My dear readers. It’s a few days before Christmas 2018 and I am sitting on my couch in Chicago watching Love Actually on Netflix. I haven’t watched this film since it came out and for some reason it seemed like a really good idea to watch this chilly afternoon. I mean, Hugh Grant is lovely to look at and listen to (I’m such a sucker for a British accent), but something else is going on with me these days…
I find myself feeling all mushy, all the time. Grateful for everything and everyone in my life and even sentimental. What is wrong with me? I’ve been the champion of freedom in my love life. Freedom in my sex life. Freedom in my work life. Freedom generally. And honestly not really thought about feelings. Or romance. Or certainly love. I tell you, my readers, to embrace your sexuality. Don’t worry about finding romance. Live your lives with abandon. Do you. Take care of what you need. Protect yourself. And here I am feeling very romantic and connected to the world and everyone who crosses my path.
I am actually feeling in love with life. I find myself talking to to strangers. The homeless man on the street who told me he could feel my positive energy the other evening. I shook his hand and looked into his kind eyes. The connection with him gave me such amazing vibes. Every single Uber driver – I ask them questions. I let them tell me about their stories and their lives. They only want to be heard. The waiter at a restaurant who serves me nourishing food. I leave him a 30% tip for taking such good care of me. It feels good to be cared for, even if it is their job.
I feel like turning up Spotify up and dancing. I feel like sweating. I feel like kissing. I feel like fucking. I feel like looking every single person in the eye. I want to see deep in their souls. I want connection. With everyone. All the time.
Why am I feeling so connected and generous and thankful and alive? Could be the season. The holidays are always a bit sentimental. Could be that I really am so grateful for all things in my life. It’s been an incredible year for me professionally. Could be that my mom is sick and I am embracing moments with her while she is still on this earth. Could be my heart has finally healed after four years. Could be the world feels so chaotic that love and human connection seems like the only answer to find calm.
Love is kind and gentle and pure. It’s an emotion that I have avoided for so long and now it is manifesting itself in nearly every daily interaction of my life.
I don’t know what all of this means. But I do know it feels good. Like really, really good.
Open your hearts when the time is right for you. And enjoy the holidays.
Hello My Lovely Single Women in your 40’s, 50’ and maybe 60’s! It’s that time of year when we rehash the events of the previous year – how are we doing in our career, how is our relationship with our family, what is the quality of our circle of friends, do we have a significant other/do we want one, are we living our lives to the fullest?! It’s possible that we have already lived ⅔ of our life… how do you want to live the rest of it?
Gosh, I’m so serious – thought this blog was about how to meet people!?
I do want to talk about how to meet people, for friendship, romance or something undefined, but I want you to get your head in the right space.
We’re not getting any younger – sorry, I am right there with you! If you want to meet new people to enrich your life you need to open your mind. I am not telling you to lower your standards, but I am telling you not to be a close-minded judgmental bitch – okay? I am telling you to be open to meeting people who have had vastly different experiences than you have. I am telling you that you need to give yourself permission to take a chance on a stranger.
You have to be open to meeting someone to actually meet someone who can potentially enrich your life.
If you’re still with me – great! So where, how, who?!
If you have read my book, you know I am a huge fan of dating apps – particularly Tinder and Bumble. If you are leaping to the conclusion that they are just for hook-ups and sex, stop. Again with the mindset issue. These and all dating apps are merely tools to meet people outside of your normal social circles. They certainly can be used to find a sexual relationship (highly recommended if you don’t want something serious) but they can also be used to find something potentially longer term. It’s all about opening your mind to the possibilities.
My other big tip for meeting people – stay in the present moment. This is something I have been working on quite a bit through meditation (I use the 1Giant Mind App, if you are curious). If you can learn to live more in the present than in the past or in the future, you are more likely to connect with people as you are going about your life. You will start to notice connections with people – a smile, eye contact, saying hello and those moments can easily lead to a conversation, which can easily lead to a coffee date, which can be the start of something beautiful.
Sorry for the tough love here. I want you all to have yummy relationships in your life. Use dating apps and smile.
P.S. I’ve updated my coaching services with some fun, new offers. Have a look!
This week I had the pleasure of being a featured guest on a Facebook LIVE interview over at DivorceForce with Sandy Weiner, Founder of Last First Date. Sandy is devoted to helping women of 40 and over achieve healthy, toe-curling love! She is an internationally known TEDx speaker, dating coach, author, and podcast host who believes and teaches that a woman of value attracts her best partner.
Below is a repost of Sandy’s blog. The original can be found here.
Dating after divorce can be scary, exciting, and frustrating. In today’s video, author Anne Grey shared our best tips for successfully dating after divorce. Check it out!
This week, I was honored to be a featured guest on Divorce Force’s Facebook Live broadcast, where the topic was women over 40 who are dating after divorce. Host, Jenn Butler, interviewed me and Anne Grey, author, consultant, and advocate for women over 40 who specializes in empowering women to navigate the world of dating apps to find gratifying relationships. She is the author of Amazon Best Seller, Sex and the Single Girl, A Slightly Older Girl’s Guide to Dominating the Dating World. She is an expert contributor on divorceforce.com and is a frequent podcast guest on casts such as Sextacular You with Dr. Ebert, Ready for Love Radio and Love University. Watch the video and check out highlights below.
Watch the Dating After Divorce Video
Jenn: I am grateful to have you both here and really excited to talk about this topic, because I think after divorce AND over 40, dating can feel this whole other mountain to climb. So many ladies in our community have written in about awful experiences, not knowing what to do or how to start, and some have even just decided to give up and be alone forever. So, this is going to be really helpful for all of you watching today.
Highlights of what we covered:
What are some of the common fears you see women have around getting back out and dating?
Is there a right time to start to consider dating again after divorce?
Is there preparation or inner work that you suggest women focus on?
Are there questions women should ask themselves to help them know if they are ready?
When is the right time to have sex?
What should women expect to be different from before? Does “old fashioned” type of dating exist anymore?
The world of dating apps-use them or not?
What type of attitude toward dating do you suggest for women to have?
What are the possibilities when women are willing to take the risk and put themselves out there?
Anne and I share very different points of view about many of the topics, which made this interview engaging and fun. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Share your key takeaways, and bonus points for commenting about what your biggest struggles and triumphs were when dating after divorce.
Here we are single ladies… the week of Valentine’s Day. Woohoo… There is no way of avoiding the most “couply” day each year. It’s going to happen on Wednesday.
Ironically, when I was married, I don’t remember Valentine’s Day being all that great. One year I distinctly remember receiving the ugliest “tropical” flower arrangement imaginable. It was delivered to my office and I know the intentions were good, but yikes… And I remember that mostly my ex was traveling for work on the most romantic holiday of the year. Most every year. So I should be used to spending Valentine’s Day alone, but now that I am single, I think I am more aware of the potential loneliness that happens only because of this fabricated, Hallmark, rose and chocolate-selling, boost to the economy holiday that celebrates the societal norm of being part of a couple.
The first year I was divorced, I published my book, launched it on Valentine’s Day and spent the day emailing everyone I knew and posting in every divorce group on Facebook that I could find to push the book to #1 in the human sexuality category on Amazon (which I did). That year I also had a yummy, younger man in my life who brought me flourless chocolate cake and roses and would kiss me for hours. Turned out he had MILF fetish, but hey – Valentine’s Day was lovely. Lol.
This year I am feeling a little indifferent. Relationships with men in my life have definitely evolved to quality over quantity. I am still not interested in getting married again and I don’t really want anyone in my life on a daily basis. I still adore my single, childless, 40-something freedom. But something has shifted in the last year. I have been able to let myself feel much more intimacy and I seem to be seeking genuine friendships with all people in my life, not just men. Connection has become important. To men, to women, to the Universe.
I am not sure what is happening on the 14th but on the 15th I am attending a “Stupid Cupid Party” which is a professional networking party and the proceeds benefit a domestic violence legal clinic. I am donating a copy of my book to one of the raffle packages and I am looking forward to meeting some really cool people, some of who may become part of my network of genuine friendships in my life.
Be kind to yourself this Wednesday and every day, my lovelies. Seek the kind of relationships that you want in your lives, not the ones society dictates. And fuck it, send yourself some roses. xo
Happy New Year lovely ladies!! As a single woman of a certain age, holidays – like New Year’s Eve – can be full of pressure, expense and excess. Holidays can also be really tough after a divorce and while I don’t talk much about it, last night reminded how far my life has evolved in the last 4 years.
Yesterday, I woke up with a terrible sore throat, looked at the weather (wind chill advisory of -15F) and decided my best bet was to forfeit the ticket I purchased to go out to a concert with a group of friends and stay home – cuddled up on the couch with my cat, Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper on CNN and a glass of Champagne at Midnight. As I realized I thoroughly enjoyed my evening, it gave me a little pause to think about the past few NYE’s. Here’s a little retrospective for your amusement:
Four years ago, my ex-husband moved out around Thanksgiving and I knew I needed plans for New Year’s Eve. I opted for something low-key – dinner with a girlfriend, champagne toast at midnight and home to bed. I remember getting home, reading the NY Times, popping open another bottle of bubbly and realizing I was lonely… what do you think I did?! Booted up Tinder, of course. And this was back in the day when the app allowed you to see how far away people were and if they were online. Ordering in some company was as easy as ordering in pizza. Order I did, in my impaired state… an Uber driver (I am sure he did something else impressive?), who was literally in my home in 20 minutes. We smoked some pot. Had drunk, sloppy sex. And passed out together. Not exactly my finest moment. Happy New Year 2015.
That first year of going through divorce, I realized I needed solid plans for each and every holiday so the following year, I flew to Florida to stay with a friend for the holidays. NYE was spent with a bunch of old, retired folks on the beach. A very good, safe, no chance-of-hooking-up-with-random-Uber-drivers plan. Happy 2016. Year after, I was about being low key again – dinner with friends, home early. No late night Tindering but did spend New Years Day in bed with a lovely man who I had known for some time. Happy 2017 to me!
This morning I woke up in my own bed, alone, happy, not hung-over. I grabbed my phone only to be greeted with text messages from several lovely people – friends, lovers, past, present – all whom had reached out to wish me the best in 2018. To be honest, it’s been a rough few years. Finding myself single and 40-something is not what I ever imagined in my life. But I have to say I am so, so happy and free and enjoying every minute. If you are in the midst of a transition or a difficult time, hang in there. If you have always been single, embrace your freedom. As I write this, I am sipping some champagne and enjoying the morning. Life is good ladies, life is good. Cheers to 2018!
A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending an evening of the Elevate Dance Chicago festival at the Dance Center at Columbia College in Chicago. The concert was made up of 4 different local groups and all of them were fantastic in their own way, but I am still thinking about the last group of the evening – Ayodele Drum and Dance. Their mission is to foster community from a feminine perspective through the study and performance of diasporic African drum and dance. The energy and spirit in their dance was palatable. I could feel their joy of life from my seat. And this was the most diverse group of body types I have ever seen at a dance concert. It was fabulous to see a celebration of all shapes and sizes!
I have written a lot about body image, both in my book and in my blogs (here and here). It’s such an important subject and an important issue for women to come to terms with. My philosophy is that as a woman in my 40’s, life is really too short to be obsessed with being something that I am not. It’s a time to truly embrace the body God has given me and enjoy my life!
During my recent chat with photographer Tristan Anderson, of course this subject came up. His business is about making women feel beautiful, loved and comfortable which leads to him being able to capture their very essence in portraits. He enables his clients to get past their vulnerability and let their gorgeous selves shine through.
We both agree that it’s really sad that in 2017 there is still a stigma around being more than a size 2. The average size of an American woman is size 16. And when Vogue allows a size 4 on their pages, they think they are being diverse when nothing could be further from the truth.
Although Tristan is quite trim at the moment, he grew up significantly overweight and around his mother and other women in his life who were also heavy, so he does understand. And for his own challenges, he believes weight was never the problem. The problem was not loving himself. And true to the way he recommends a regimen of self-love and self-care before a portrait session, Tristan believes in taking care of ourselves and our bodies each and every day. Use a lovely moisturizer on your skin. Get regular massages. Embrace what you perceive to be flaws. Be kind to yourself. Every. Single. Day.
Imagine taking a whole day to be pampered, to celebrate your beautiful self and the result is a series of portraits that allow you to truly see just how beautiful you are! I think that sometimes we can’t see what other people see in us. A portrait session can fix all of that and more. Consider booking some time with Tris today. You deserve it.
Mention that you saw these deals on Anne’s blog and get:
Collection 1: $100 OFF Collection 2: $200 OFF Collection 3: $350 OFF
The images used for this blog post Tris’s amazing clients that have allowed Tris Anderson Photography to use their images in marketing and/or social media. However, may not have selected this Dating Package for themselves.