This FOF got hitched after fifty. Now, she’s paying it forward by teaching other women how to find late-in-life love, too.
[Editor’s note: The essay below, by FOF Jane Harris, is part of a series of personal blogs from our readers. Have your own story to tell? Email your idea to email@example.com.]
When I turned fifty, I really believed it was over for me–that having a wonderful and loving relationship with a man was no longer possible. I would soon find out it was really only the beginning.
I was born in England and had a troubled childhood and teenage years. This continued in my adulthood, in the form of ongoing disastrous relationships with men. I had no problem meeting men and dating. I lived with some, and moved with one to New York City (where I still live to this day) when I was 27. However, this relationship nor any others lasted beyond three years.
In 2000, when I turned 50, I started dressing more “appropriately” for my age–hemlines below the knee and necklines at strangulation levels! I believed that men were only interested in younger women anyway. I was alone, unmarried and unhappy.
My life was not working. It was time to do something! My boss at the time introduced me to motivational workshops with The Landmark Forum and from there, I embarked on a very-powerful journey of self-reflection and taking responsibility for my life.
In a coaching session at Landmark, I had an epiphany. It was not that men stopped being attracted to me, it was ME who had stopped being open to men. My beliefs that I was too old and that men only wanted younger women caused me to stopped flirting and being open to love. It was ME who switched my light off! In that moment, I decided I was going to go from an “old maid” to “hot babe!” No sooner did I find myself beating men of all ages off with a stick!
Please do not get the wrong idea. I was not out there with thigh-high hems and low-cut tops flaunting my sexuality. No, my “hot babe” persona mostly did not have to do with sex, it came from the inside and manifested itself in my confidence with men.
When I met Richard, it was not love at first sight for us. He was actually looking for a younger woman (he is same age as me) because he wanted a child. Also, I was not what he would have considered his physical match. Our attraction was based on what we value. For him it was my kindness, playfulness, that I always laugh at his jokes and most importantly, my loving heart. For me, it was his intelligence (very sexy), sense of humor (he is very funny and provides a lot of fun in my life!) and his wonderful thoughtfulness. Richard believed a child could provide him love, but felt I filled that void and it was a non-issue that I was past my child-bearing years. After two years of dating we moved in together and three years later, in 2005, we got married in a friend’s beautiful garden.
I was passionate about paying it forward. Richard thought I would make a wonderful dating coach (bless him) and suggested NYU’s certificate coaching program. I had not been in school for 40 years, but, after a year of hard work, I became a certified a coach in 2007. Choosing dating and relationship coaching as a speciality was a no-brainer because of my own journey.
Everyday I get to support women and help them open their hearts to connect with men creating a relationship that they have always wanted. Apart from Relationship By Choice, my one-on-one sessions, I have recently partnered with Linda Turner, an art therapist and psychotherapist. Together we have developed a LoveShop for women 40-80. We help women clear the barriers that are in the way of them having the relationship they desire. I feel so fulfilled!
For more information about Jane’s relationship coaching service or a complimentary Relationship Discovery Session with Jane, e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Relationship Discovery Session” in the subject.