{FOFix her up} Help us find a great guy for Ivy Pittman!


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As FOFs, we’re always setting everyone else up–our single kids, our sweet and eligible FUF (fab under fifty) neighbor, the helpful computer guy…sometimes we forget to help ourselves.

When we sent out an e-mail last week about an opportunity for single FUFs to find love on live television, we were flooded with replies from single FOFs. “What about women who are over 48, single and have it together?” wrote FOF Ivy Pittman. “I mean don’t these women deserve a chance to find love too?” Yes, we do. And here’s your chance, Ivy.

Read about FOF Ivy Pittman below. If you think you know someone who could be a good match, leave a comment about why! Let’s FOFix her up!

FOF Ivy Pittman is 54 and feels “more with it and together now” than when she was in her 30s. “I know who I am, what I’m going to do and what I’m not going to do,” says Ivy. To whit, she’s more ready than ever to settle down with Mr. Right. She’s also smart, funny, completely forthcoming and baggage free. Her ideal first date? “Six Flags, the beach, a baseball game…” says Ivy (an avid Red Sox fan, in case you were wondering). She’s been in a several long-term relationships, but never married. Her theory: “If I wanted to be married, I could be married. But, I’m not going to be married just to have ‘M-R-S’ in front of my name.” Our theory: This FOF is just too damn cool! No, seriously…

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FOF Ivy Pittman

Age: 54

Height: 5’5”

Profession: Freelance writer, indie book reviewer, co-founder of visiblewomanonline.com, a website for women of color over forty.

Location: Montclair, New Jersey. “I would date someone long distance, in fact, I have in the past. I’d also relocate for the right person.”

Hobbies: Dancing, jazz music, reading, power walking, cycling, entertaining, adventures, casual drinking, the beach. “I’m just not a cold weather gal.”

Past relationships: Never married. “I’ve been in several long-term relationships but found out those men weren’t for me.”

Ivy’s wish list for an ideal man: “He is holding his own; has a good job; likes to travel and do cultural things; likes dogs (I love dogs!); respects a woman who has interests outside of a relationship; enjoys his quiet time; is a good conversationalist and he absolutely MUST have a great sense of humor. Respect and honesty are big for me. I’d prefer someone on the taller side (at least 6 feet), a husky build, an African-American man would be nice…”

Dealbreakers: “I couldn’t be with someone who has a problem with commitment. I’m not saying you need to commit to me after the first date but at some point, say 2 or 3 months, we need to have that conversation, because we are not kids.”

Ideal first date: “The beach in the summer or walking around a city or town, having lunch or dinner and good conversation. Six Flags, a baseball game or a jazz club could be fun too.”

Think you someone you know that would be a good match for Ivy, leave a comment about why! Let’s FOFix her up!

{FOF Love Connection} Date Stan!

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A good (single) FOF man is hard to find. That’s why we couldn’t resist playing cupid this week when Stan Frantz, our 59-year-old email programmer, mentioned that he’s looking for love. Stan is a lifelong bachelor, but don’t let that scare you, ladies. He’s creative, smart, kind, financially secure, an animal lover . . .

Well, we’ll let him speak for himself. Take a look at Stan’s story, below. If you think you or someone you know could be a good match, leave a comment about why! We’ll choose 3 finalists to send on a date with Stan, and let our members vote on the final choice. It’s Love Connection . . . FOF style.

About Me:
I’m 59; I live in Northampton, PA.
I’m looking for someone to share my life with, a soul mate, but I am open to meeting and getting to know anyone who just wants to spend some quality time together enjoying life.

I would like to be with someone who is curious, open and easy-going, taking life as it comes. You should be able to give of yourself easily, be loving, caring, kind and gentle. Conversely, you should also be open to receive tenderness, intimacy and caring when it is offered. Most importantly, you see my life as it is and want to share yours with me, becoming true partners in all that life has to offer us.

I live in a 200 year old log cabin in the country on about 3 acres of meadow and woods with a creek through it. I have a vintage barn I have converted into a workshop and studio. My home is my dream come true and I love working on it and my gardens. I have a deep appreciation for nature and find great peace and happiness there. I especially love all animals and have many furry and feathered friends.

I really enjoy meeting and talking to anyone and everyone. The amazing variety of human nature intrigues me and keeps me curious and involved. I love to make people laugh and I’m good at it.

I am financially secure but not at all materialistic. I prefer the simple and useful over the flashy and expensive. I am creative and artistic and always working on making something. I am proud of being very self-sufficient; I can make, fix, or build just about anything.

I’ve done quite a bit of traveling pursuing both my passion for surfing and interest in world cultures. Usually I prefer the low budget approach (i.e. staying in a village in a local family’s hut) rather than a luxury resort, but can go upscale too. In the past year I’ve been to Hawaii, Nova Scotia 3 times, California twice, and spent my birthday surfing in Peru last winter.

I loved Nova Scotia so much I bought 3 acres overlooking the ocean and will be building a summer cabin up there this summer. I am excited and looking forward to taking on this new adventure, but at the same time know I will miss my current home, garden and animals. But such is life. You have to make choices. Finding the right balance, that’s the challenge isn’t it?

So what do you think, FOF? Could you or someone you know be right for Stan?  Comment below and tell us why. Then we’ll play cupid…xo

{Dating} What advice would you give your 25-year-old self about love?

If we only knew what we know, now! FOFs, if you could go back and give your 25-year-old self some dating advice, what would it be? Read some wise words about love from other FOFs, and tell us your own advice in the comments below. We’re putting together our favorite advice for a special Valentine’s Day eBook!

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Staness Jonekos is author of the bestselling book, The Menopause Makeover (2010). At 47, Staness got engaged for the first time to the love of her life–her very own “Mr. Right,” as she calls him. You can read her personal story here.

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“I wish someone had told me when I was 25 that:

1. Dating is an interview process, and YOU are doing the interviewing. Qualify your candidates.

2. Men love a mission – be his mission!

3. A man can never read your mind – tell him what you want, don’t tell him how to ‘be.’

4. If you want to be pursued, don’t pursue.

5. Never lose yourself in a relationship, always place your needs first. The right man will want that for you because when you are happy, he is happy.

6. Don’t marry a rich man. Marry a good man. He will spend his life trying to keep you happy. No rich man can buy that! (Of course, if he is rich AND good-–jackpot!)”

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Sherry DeRosa is a life skills coach. Sherry met her current husband Michael in her 50s, and soon after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Michael supported Sherry while she fought the disease. The two married in 2009 on an ocean terrace in Laguna Beach. Read the entire story here.

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Trust life, love and remain true to oneself. The latter is the hardest thing to learn. At 25, we want to rush everything, get everything done and set for the ‘future.’ Instead, live in the present.”

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Candida Royalle is an erotic film pioneer, entrepreneur, and author of How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do. Candida is divorced, but a few years ago, she fell in love and experienced “the most fulfilling sex of my adult life…in my fifties!” she says. She was engaged but broke it off. “I felt we were incompatible in other ways. But, I think it shows that one is never too old to have a fulfilling, intimate life. And, I’m sure there’s another great love affair in me.”

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1. “Be clear about what you’re looking for. Are you interested in finding a man who’s marriage material? Or are you just looking for someone to have fun with? When I was younger, I’d often fall in love with men but then later decide they weren’t appropriate for building a life together. My lack of personal clarity and planning in relationships ultimately led to disappointment and heartbreak for one or both of us. My girlfriends who knew what they wanted, tended to have achieved their desired outcomes with love.

2. Nobody is perfect, we all have flaws. If you focus on what drives you crazy about someone, you will drive yourself right out of the relationship. If you focus on what you like, you have a much better shot at finding deep, lasting and intimate love.

3. Do NOT move in with someone within the first year, and do NOT become engaged or get married before you’ve spent at least 2 years together! The first two years are pretty much a masquerade, where you each put your best face forward while also seeing only the best in one another. Wait for the dust to settle, and find out who you’re really hanging out with before giving up that great apartment with reasonable rent and before putting the down payment on an expensive wedding hall!

4. If you want to know what kind of lover he is, watch the way he eats. Does he take his time eating, savoring each bite and enjoying the flavor and texture of his food? This is probably a man who takes his time making love and enjoys more sensual, caressing lovemaking. If you’re a woman who likes to cut to the chase, past all the touching and cuddling and go right to the end goal, then the guy with a ravenous appetite who plows through his food is the one for you!

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Pamela Madsen is a leading sex expert, founder of the American Fertility Association and author of SHAMELESS: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home In Time To Cook Dinner which is #1 on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases in Sexual Therapy.” She and her husband recently celebrated their 30-year anniversary. Read more about Pamela here.

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“I would tell my 25-year-old self that I was truly beautiful–and that any man would be lucky to get me! I remember not believing in my own beauty at that age. I thought everything was a little bit wrong–my weight, my hair, etc. I’d also tell myself to give the guy a chance! So many young women have this checklist of what the perfect guy should look like, act like, etc. Cut them a break and get to know them. Last, sex is good–but precious. Truly think about who you share yourself with.”

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Francesca Kranzberg, is one of FabOverFifty’s marvelous makeover winners. She works for JConnect in Maryland, helping newcomers get acquainted with the community. She met her husband at the age of 27, through a Jewish matchmaking service.

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“I’d give myself the same advice I give my 25-year-old daughter:

1. Don’t rush into anything

2. Don’t become exclusive until you are sure you have found someone you want to be with. Dating around helps you to learn what traits are important in a mate–and also, what you can live without.

3. Guys love the chase. Don’t be too available or they will lose interest. If a guy calls you on Thursday or Friday for a Saturday night, tell him you already have plans, or even a date.

4. Once you are sure you have found ‘the one,’ let him know it. But, also let him know that you will walk away if he can’t commit by a certain date.  In other words, give him an ultimatum. If he can’t commit, then you aren’t walking away from much.

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Gerri Shute enjoyed a wonderful career in the world of executive recruiting as Vice President of Research for a leading international firm. After she left an 11-year relationship in her late 40s, Gerri met David, the love of her life who she ultimately married. “It was a love affair to the end,” Gerri says. David died of Parkinson’s in 2008.

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“Don’t settle. If after the first date or second date, it doesn’t feel right, stop there. Don’t get into something where you’ll ultimately get hurt or not have the opportunity to open your heart completely. I remember in my 20s I went to a guy’s garden apartment for a drink. It was our first date. Well, the apartment was a total man cave and he gave me a dusty wine glass. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Your first instincts are best. On my first date with David, we were both very relaxed–we never stopped talking and never had an awkward moment. When we got married, my wedding dressmaker said to me ‘Gerri, you didn’t settle.” She was right! David was the love of my life.”

{Dating} 3 pick-up lines that actually work on FOF men

Remember those lines you used on potential “Prince Charmings” in your 20s? “Those probably won’t work anymore,” says FOF Dating Coach Cheryl Savage.

“When you’re in college, everyone is single — you are exposed to thousands of single people on any given day,” says Cheryl. “In our 40s and 50s, we are not exposed to as many single people as we were in our 20s and 30s. You have to intentionally go out to places where there are a higher number of single people, and you have to use an opening line that will gauge whether or not someone is available.”

Last month, Cheryl took FOF Sharon Nord on a dating outing to show her first-hand how to approach men. Sharon moved to New York City just over year ago, after she and her husband split.

“I haven’t had much luck meeting men in New York City–it’s difficult,” says  Sharon. “My insecurities about meeting men are: getting turned down, ignored and laughed at. I was married a VERY long time and haven’t dated since I was a teenager.  I’m still getting used to being more assertive.”

Cheryl and Sharon headed to Stone St., a popular post-work hangout for stockbrokers in the Financial District of Manhattan. To quell her jitters, Cheryl gave Sharon these 3 foolproof openers to use when approaching FOF men:

1. “You’re looking awfully cheerful. You must not work on Wall St., do you?”

Why it works: “This is what I call ‘the art of the question,'” says Cheryl. “Depending on where you are, your question is going to vary. In this case, we were around Wall St. on a day the stock market plummeted so it was appropriate, but you can tailor your question to your location or the specific man you want to talk to.  Remember, the whole idea behind approaching a man, is to find out if he’s interesting to you. His answer will help you determine that.”

2. “My friend and I are having an argument about your nationality… are you Greek or Italian?”

Why it works: “Again, this falls under the ‘art of the question,'” says Cheryl. “Always ask an alternative-choice and not a yes-or-no question, so you can continue the conversation to find out if he’s interesting. At a golf event, you might ask:  ‘What brings you and your friends to the golf event? Do you live in this area or are you just here because of the event?’ If you are somewhere more non-descript, like a bar, you might say, “My friend and I were debating whether you guys are brothers or friends. What is your relationship to one another?”  Jump start the conversation to find out if this guy is interesting.

3. “What a great shirt! Does your wife shop for you?”

Why it works: “This is what I call “the art of the compliment,” says Cheryl. “To compliment a gentleman on his clothing is just nice. However, it should be a sincere compliment. By asking, ‘who shops for you? you or your wife?’ You can determine if this man is married or not. If he answers, ‘My wife,’ don’t freak out, extend the compliment and say, ‘wow your wife has great taste,’ and move on. “The whole idea of a dating outing is to find a man that might be interesting, find out if hes married and find out if he is in fact, interesting. That’s all. As woman we tend to overstress and over-analyze.”


Did these lines work? Using Cheryl’s openers, Sharon initiated conversations with 3 FOF men. “I did give my number to one gentleman,” says Sharon. “However, I never heard from him, oh well, his loss – now onward!”

{Dating} Here come the brides! Meet the first same-sex couple to be married in NY (They’re FOFs!)

On June 24, gay marriage became legal in New York State. Or, to put it more realistically, marriage became legal for everyone in New York State. The first couple to be wed in New York City on that Sunday were FOFs Connie Kopelov, 85, and Phyllis Siegel, 77. We had the pleasure of chatting with Phyllis last week, and we learned that she and Connie were never looking to be pioneers or heroes. They simply took advantage of an opportunity to feel equal.

How did you and Connie meet?
We met at SAGE, sometime in the late 80s. (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders). We were both attending a women’s discussion group. At first we knew each other just enough to say hello–we never had conversation. A year or so after that, we were both at another SAGE event–a Christmas social. We found ourselves standing next to each other, and we started to talk. We talked for a very long time. I couldn’t tell you how long, or even what we talked about. As they say, the rest is history.

Had you ever been married prior to meeting Connie?
Never married. I had a 16-year relationship before. In between that, I was just dating.

Did the subject of marriage ever come up between you and Connie before recent events?
No.

How come?
It wasn’t an issue for us. There were civil unions, but I thought that was like throwing a bone at us. It didn’t stand for anything, it didn’t have any entitlements.

And then came Governor Cuomo, who many people credit with making this happen. Do you agree?
I listened to Cuomo’s inaugural, and everything he said came through to me – about balancing the budget; how he was going to do that. And I said to myself, ‘This guy is a doer.’ I didn’t have a problem believing him, which is kind of unusual with politicians. I don’t remember what he said specifically about the gay community, but somehow I had knowledge that he was pro. He stands right up there and he rears up and he roars and he says what he means, so far.

Did you watch the state legislature vote?
No.

So how did you find out?
TV, radio news maybe.

When did you start to think seriously about it?
When he signed the bill (two weeks before it became law), I thought, ‘Do I want to do this? I have a right to do this. What do I think about this?’ I let it roll around in my head. I felt I wanted to be married. And a couple of weeks before the 24th, I said to Connie, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ She shrugged her shoulders. I waited for some time to pass and I asked her again, and she grinned from ear to ear. I took that as a positive sign.

What made marriage so appealing to you suddenly?
I’m not sure I can answer that. I felt good about being an equal person. It was there for me to have, so I just took it. And I’m glad that I took it. I love Connie dearly. The county clerk who married us – I listened to his words, as I’d never listened to them before, and they got through to me. I took it seriously. This is not a whim.

Once you decided to do it, what did you have to do?
It was the last week before (the law came into effect). I went down to City Hall, to the licensing bureau, and I said ‘What do I have to do to get married?’ A man explained it to me and gave me a piece of paper, and I said ‘Well, Sunday would not be a good day to come down here. Maybe we should come later in the week when it isn’t so mobbed.’

And yet, you and Connie turned out to be the first ones married–and there was a lot of fanfare. You were in all the New York papers.  How did that happen?
After I went to the courthouse, I had occasion to speak to a friend. I told her ‘We’re thinking about getting married.’ An hour later, she called back. She said she had spoken to somebody, maybe the executive director at SAGE, and the next thing I know, we’re whisked away on this. We didn’t have to do anything. Christine Quinn’s office, and people at SAGE, did everything. (Quinn is the Speaker of the New York City Council.)

Why do you think SAGE chose you?
I think they were looking for an older, female couple. And there we were. I didn’t ask any questions. They sent a car service for us and whisked us down to City Hall. And they filled out all the papers and took wonderful care of us. It was so surreal and wonderful.

How far in advance did you know it would happen?
May have been 24 hours.

In a few weeks you went from not really thinking about it to being married.

Yes.

Did you have any sort of reception?
No. It was so sudden. Nobody besides the people around me knew about this. And then there it was on television, newspapers, everybody.

How does it feel to be the first?
In a nutshell – I’ve been a private person and suddenly my privacy has exploded. I’ve been getting calls from radio stations across the country, all congratulating me and wanting me to say something over the air. Most of them want me to be encouraging, but I can only say what I feel.

How do you feel?
I’m very happy to have done it. But I don’t usually advertise, I don’t wear a sign. If it comes up in conversation, I do mention it, it’s there. And since this happened, people in my building have come up to me and congratulated me. People on the street have come over to me and congratulated me.

What’s it like to know you’re an inspiration to others?
I have to tell you, it feels good to come out. And it feels good to be noticed for a positive reason, in a positive way. And I want to say that if you’re in high school, if you have a problem, talk to your guidance counselor. Talk to an older person who is compassionate, who can understand you. Please do that before you do anything else.

What makes you say that?
We know that for many people, high school is when they realize they’re gay. It scares them, and they think they’re being unnatural. There is nothing unnatural about feeling love.

When did you first realize?
I may have been a day or two old.

So your whole life.
Mmhmm.

When did you come out originally?
I’m not sure if that happened.

It was more fluid.
Yes.

Has there been any downside to marriage thus far?
This is good. There is nothing negative. This is all good stuff.

Was this a life-altering event or does it fit in seamlessly because you weren’t striving for it?
I’m not sure. It is life-altering to some extent. The relationship now is formal. It’s legal. It’s mutual. Everything is a “we.” “I” becomes “we.” I don’t have to parse my words anymore.

{Dating} Land a date for Valentine’s Day: An FOF video guide

Stop waiting for cupid to find you. FOF dating coach Cheryl Savage puts the bow and arrow in your hands. Watch her foolproof guide to landing a date for Valentine’s Day.

The best part? Cheryl shows you how to untangle yourself from any awkward entanglements that may arise. She mistakenly chats up a married man, has an uncomfortable exchange with two total duds, but still ends the night with a few solid date prospects.

You’ll want to take notes….

{Dating} Want to be on a national daytime talk show?

Are you looking for a mate for your son or daughter?

To be on a national daytime talk show, contact us now! Email lina@faboverfifty.com or call Lina at 212-717-6380, ext. 102.

You must be in the tri-state area . . .

{Dating} “How I got my flirt back”

A few months ago, FOF Robin McGann won us over with this candid, laugh-out-loud entry to our contest to win a session with dating coach Cheryl Savage:

“Try dating when you are 55, widowed and work on the West Coast on New York hours! (I’d love to go out – can we do the Early Bird Special?) Right now, I’m not interested in a life partner; rather, I’m interested in a companion for activities (I cycle, take Salsa classes -I’m the tallest one there ;-D), study French, do Yoga and love to try new things. I had a great marriage and am not looking for a ‘damaged’ person. That is hard to find at my age! I need a dating coach to help me clarify the type of man I’m looking for and how to find him.”

A few weeks ago, Cheryl worked with Robin to help her on her hunt for a dream man. “I was completely clueless about how to recognize when a man was interested and equally clueless about using body language to give men the signal that I am approachable and fun,” says Robin.  “A good dating coach can help you up your game and increase your odds of meeting men. After that, it’s up to you. I had a blast.”

Watch the video here:

Since her “outing” with Cheryl, Robin received several calls from men she met, and went on a few dates. Although nothing blossomed, she will employ the methods she learned to score many more dates. Good luck Robin!

What do you think the biggest challenge with dating is? Comment below and tell us.

{Survey} The Ultimate FOF Sex Survey

Ever wonder what your fellow FOFs are up to between the sheets? Take our ANONYMOUS sex survey to see how your sex life compares.

When was the last time you had sex?

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Which of the following best describes your outlook on sex:

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