{Relationships} These FOFs found a secret spark to long-time marriages

Marriage comes with its own challenges–especially if you’ve been married for over three decades like Cathy Skott and her husband, Myron, and Donna Guthrie and her husband, Mike. Yet, these two FOFs embarked on athletic challenges with their hubbys and both claim it was a secret spark–reviving and adding a whole new dimension to their marriages.

FOF Donna Guthrie and her husband, Mike,
are hiking all the National Parks

Donna, an FOF from Colorado Springs, CO and her husband, Mike, will hike all the National Parks. They’ve completed 33 out of 58 and hope to complete the remaining 26 parks by 2016, when they turn 70 and the National Park Service turns 100.

How did you decide to do this?
We began in 2009. Mike and I have been married 39 years. Over our 36th anniversary dinner we were talking about our bucket lists. After a bottle of wine or two, we decided instead of traveling overseas, it would be fun to hike in all the National Parks. At the time we didn’t even know how many parks there were.

How many parks are there?
58! We started later that month at Rocky Mountain National Park and from there we just took off. Now we’re up to 33.

Is visiting all the National Parks expensive?
It may sound expensive, but we save money on park entrance fees. For seniors, a lifetime national parks pass is only $10. We also try to stay at the park lodges when possible.

Who are the Gehrkes?
We found out about the Gehrkes after we started this project. They were a couple from Nebraska who did the same challenge starting in 1921 when there were just 28 National Parks. They got to 27 in seventeen years!

What was your favorite park?
Crater Lake in Oregon. The water is so blue and we visited on a beautiful, fall day. Sometimes our experience has to do with the weather, sometimes it has to do with the park ranger and the talk he gives, sometimes it’s all about the hike. We also liked the Florida parks in the Everglades and Yosemite lived up to all its hype.

What was the most challenging hike?
A park in Alaska. We were flown in on a small airplane that landed on top of a volcano. I think of myself as pretty gutsy, but, that was pretty challenging..

How has this brought you and Mike closer?
I think any big project like this adds some sort of spark, I don’t know if that’s the right word but it’s fun having a big goal and planning for it. I like the idea of couples who have been married a long time having a big project. It doesn’t have to be this–it can be seeing all the baseball stadiums in the country or going to six music festivals in five states. It adds a different dimension to our marriage.

You can learn more about Donna and Mike’s project Hike All the National Parks and follow their projects, here.

FOF Cathy Skott and her husband, Myron, bike the East Coast

Cathy, a retired teacher from Johns Creek, GA and her husband Myron are biking the East Coast Greenway from Miami to Maine (2,300 miles) this summer. Here, Cathy takes a break from cycling to chat with FOF.

How did you decide to do this?
In 2004 my husband rode the first ever navigational tour of the East Coast Greenway for charity. He loved it. He saw something in a newsletter about this tour through the Cabot Creamery Cooperative. We got in touch with them, liked the company and made the decision to ride.

What is the Cabot Creamery Cooperative?
It’s a farmer’s co-op. This summer they are setting up 8 festivals along the East Coast. We ride the path between the festivals and stop at each along the way. We have a passion for this. We love riding and meeting people in different communities.

How long is the tour?
We started on May 9 in Miami and the final festival is in Portland, Maine on July 7. Of the 59 days, we ride about 51 days averaging about 50-60 miles per day.

How has the weather been?
Really good. One day we stopped and put our raincoats on.

How did you start biking?
My husband and I bought our first bicycles when we were in our 20s. We’d ride around our neighborhood doing errands. In our 40s, my husband and I decided we never wanted to get out of shape. My goal was to ride around 200 miles per month, about 50 miles per week. That was hard when i was teaching. But, when I retired in 2008, we got more serious.

How has this brought you and Myron closer?
Myron and I have been married for 40 years. Many of our friends say you and Myron are so lucky that you have something you enjoy doing together. It’s true–it’s just a thrill and it does build our relationship. We depend on each other, we know what each other’s strengths are.

You can learn more about Cathy and Myron’s ride and follow their progress, here.

{Movies} Lessons learned about FOF men from the new movie, About Fifty.

In the upcoming comedy, “About Fifty,” Adam (played by Martin Grey Gottlieb) turns fifty and finds himself with a broken marriage and a dead-end career. To cheer him up, his best FOFriend, Jon, suggests they take a weekend trip to Palm Springs to re-live their younger days. At a steakhouse the first evening of their trip, Jon and Adam meet two FOFs. Despite setting out to meet younger ladies, they end up having a great time. When Jon and Adam cut the night short, Peggy, one of the FOFs, becomes furious. “They just stopped in for the steak; now they’re going to go out and see if they can get some real meat,” she says. “You don’t think I know what’s what? Believe me, your day is coming…”

Peggy is right, Jon and Adam’s day is more than just “coming”… it has arrived. Both men experience midlife crises on the trip. What ensues is a hilarious “coming of age story about coming of age,” and also an interesting look into the feelings and fears FOF men. Here are the top lessons we learned about FOF men from “About Fifty.” Take notes and then, go see this laugh-out-loud movie for yourself!




“About Fifty” is now playing in Palm Springs, Calif. and will be playing in select theaters in South Florida in December. It will be released on DVD and VOD on February 14, 2012.

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{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} 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} 3 Late-in-Life Love Stories

Sometimes love really is better late than never. 3 FOFs share their heart-warming love stories.

FOF Gerri Shute found love in her late 40s

“After I left an 11-year relationship, my friend Curt introduced David and me. We hit it off from the beginning.

I wanted to be married though [and didn’t think he’d marry me.] When I told him this, I thought he was going to end it. Instead, a week later he took me to the International Club and made a formal proposal.  We both wept.  He said, ‘I cried all week long thinking of what my life would be without you.’

We traveled, we entertained, we did everything. It could not have been a better 20 years. My friends said we used to look at each other in a way that said, ‘Boy, I sure won the prize.’

Then he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  The last three years or so of his life were very trying for him. He never once complained. I felt privileged that I was the one taking care of him when he got sick. It was a love affair to the end.”

FOF Sherry DeRosa found love in her 50s

“I met Michael at a Super Bowl Party in 2001. He was explaining how hard it had been to get health insurance for his assistant. I said, ‘So you arranged health care for him? I don’t mean to be rude, but that had to cost a fair amount of money.’ And Michael said, ‘Yeah, but it’s the right thing to do.’ I remember thinking, ‘there’s a person who puts his money where his mouth is.’

When I got cancer, I remember him saying, ‘We have breast cancer and we are going to fix it.’ And I said, ‘If you’ll still have me and we get through this, will you marry me?’ And so on April 25, 2009 we got married on an ocean terrace in Laguna Beach surrounded by all the people we love.”

FOF Mary Nedvins found love at 51

“I met Skip on Match.com in 2005. After two or three dates, I realized that I was head over heels. All I talked about morning, noon and night was Skip, Skip, Skip. He was handsome, he was smart and he was well made.

Then he went away for almost seven months. He called me once and said only, ‘I have to go away, I can’t tell you where I am. I can’t tell you what I’m doing.’

I was heartbroken. I just didn’t understand why God put somebody in my life and all of a sudden he was gone. I was still on Match.com dating my ass off, literally trying to forget him. I remember one sweet fellow said to me, ‘Is there somebody else in your life? No matter what I do I just can’t seem to get to you, you’re in there but you’re not there.’

One day I was in T.J.Maxx, my phone rang and the caller ID said ‘Skip.’ Someone came up to me and said ‘Do you need a chair, you look like you’re gonna pass out.’ I was going to pass out. I could not believe it was him.

I answered the phone and told him, ‘I’m upset, you just left and I feel like you dumped me.’ He explained that his top-secret government job had kept him from telling me the whole story. ‘Well you know there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t think about you, and I had your picture with me all the time,’ he said. We haven’t been apart since.”

Do you have a late-in-life love story? Share it with us, below.

{Dating} 5 Places to Meet an (FOF) Man!

“FOFs tell me they want to get married, they want to find love… but first, you need to be open to dating and having fun,” says expert Cheryl Savage.”

Cheryl warns against going somewhere with the sole purpose of meeting “the one.” Instead, she has this sage advice: “Go for fun, go for adventure and if you see an interesting man…go talk to him!”

Here are her top picks for places where single FOF men congregate…and where FOF women have the best chance of meeting them!

1. Golf Course Bars and Restaurants– After finishing up a round of golf on a Wednesday or Thursday night, many FOF men will unwind at the restaurant at the 18th hole. Many of these men might be married, but there certainly will be some singles amidst the group. Recruit a married girlfriend to accompany you. Married or happily-in-love friends can often be quite encouraging.

2. Car shows – Here’s a spot FOF men, many of them single, gather. Similarly, they gather at car races and sport races. Grab a girlfriend and carouse around. Approach a man you find interesting… If you don’t know much about cars or sports, use it to your advantage. “What do you think is the best car at the show?” is a great conversation starter.

3. A restaurant with bistro tables – Don’t hide in a booth in the back. Sit at a tall table or at the bar. It’s okay to go alone. It is easier for men to approach you when you are at eye level and by yourself. They won’t approach you if they have to bend down to a table or if you are engaged in conversation with someone else. If you’re in a group, turn away from them periodically. I call this, “separating from the herd.”

4. Sports Bars– Especially during big games, men congregate at sports bars. Go with a girlfriend, not another man, even if he is gay or your brother, because a man who wants to approach you may not know that.

5. Bike Riding Groups– Many single, professional FOF men go cycling on Saturday mornings and then head to coffee shops after.

Are there any places FOF singles should avoid?  “Sitting home on your couch cuddling two men by the name of Ben and Jerry!” says Cheryl. “My best advice is to get out and have fun. The chances are better than when you don’t.”

Image via Millie Motts

{Dating} Are you on a manhunt?

{Comment below to win two coaching sessions with Cheryl!}

Cheryl Savage has helped hundreds of women find love—from 20-somethings to 70 somethings—but, she explains, “FOF women have their own unique challenges when it comes to dating.” So what’s holding you back? Read on . . .

1. We judge. Women—especially FOF women—are judgers. We meet a man and we immediately begin judging him based on his looks. Where do these judgments come from? Probably something your mother told you when you were five years old.  Stop judging and start asking questions:

  • *Do I like him?
  • *Is he interesting?
  • *What can I learn about him?
  • *What can I learn about myself?

2. We think, ‘I can’t have sex unless I’m in love.’ “We were taught that you don’t have sex unless you’re engaged or married. We didn’t “live” with boyfriends. If you’d had sex with more than two men, you were a slut. Well, you’re not 17 anymore. Times have changed, and no one is going to judge you if you have sex.”

3. We date just one man. “You should be going out with 3 to 4 men for at least 18 months. Over the course of a month, have lunch with one, dinner with another, a movie with the third, and so on. Continue dating the other men until a relationship with one is established.  Then call the others and let them know you have decided to be exclusive.”

4. We rely on online dating. “Dating on the web is like putting on a blindfold and throwing darts into the wind. You need to meet men face-to-face. Go on an outing to a place where men congregate—a car show, the races, a food and wine festival. Bring a married girlfriend—she won’t be competition—and approach at least three men. Throw a party at your home and require every attendee to bring along a single friend.”

5. We date in secret. “Women in our generation feel that not having a man is some sort of failure. If you’re not married, you are less than. So they feel self-conscious telling others they’re single. Big mistake. Tell everyone that you’re single and looking.”

6. We forget how to flirt. It’s been a long time since we were giggly schoolgirls with crushes. But you can and should get that feeling back. Here’s a quick flirting cheat sheet guaranteed to get a man to approach you:

  • *When you enter a room, find a guy who catches your eye.
  • *Once you spot him, immediately “separate from the herd.” Take a step away from your friends—no man will approach a group of women.
  • *Walk to the bathroom or to greet a friend so you can pass by him. As you pass, look right at him and smile like you’re going to stop and talk to him.  Don’t stop—keep walking.
  • *Pass him again when you walk back to your friends.
  • *In the off chance that he doesn’t approach, go up to him before you leave and give him your card. Say, “I noticed you from across the room. If you ever want to meet for coffee, I’d be open to that.”

Why do you need a dating coach? Enter to win two coaching sessions with Cheryl by commenting below. Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

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