For the past several days I’ve been sharing my There-to-Here story. Yep, this another long email. I have SO much to share and teach you. It will only take you 10 minutes to read this. Is it worth it? Up to you.
When women hear I became a first-time bride at 47, it’s what they always ask: how did you get from there — staunchly independent and stuck in being super single —- to here — in a healthy, happy marriage since 2006. (That’s one of my favorite wedding pics above, btw.)
I’ll start today with the “There.”
I was single for 30 years. Only about five of those years were spent in a relationship.
One was Tom whom I loved for 20 years. He only loved me for one. We were young, and we were terrible for each other. He ultimately got married and had a daughter with another woman. I finally let him go.
Then there was Steve. On the 2nd date told me he’d never marry me. It took me 3 ½ years to believe him and finally break up with him. I cried for a year. (Now I’m so grateful he wouldn’t marry me!)
Oh…and there were countless “short relationships” that were just affairs. That’s it. You’re caught up on my relationship history.
I always fell hard. From the beginning I thought (hoped) he might be The One. And in every single one I got dumped…used…humiliated. (I kid you not: the first time I actually dumped a guy was when I was 46!)
As the decades passed on and on, I was either queen of first dates OR I was on “I don’t need no stinkin’ man” hiatus.”
Hiatuses sometimes lasted years. I would work my 60+ hour weeks, hang out with my girlfriends, and spend a lot of Friday nights on my couch…alone…with my Taco Bell, Chunky Monkey, Merlot, and All My Children. (Oh, those were the days!)
I sometimes went years without being touched by a man.
Any time a man would so much as brush up against me I had such an intensity of feeling. It was a type of physical pain that I will never forget.
I don’t need a man, I just want a man.
Men don’t want a woman like me and, therefore, they were superficial jerks.
I told you about these beliefs in my previous emails.
Here were my core beliefs before I went down the path of learning and becoming a grownup dater.
1. My “I don’t need a man” mantra was masking my deep desire to love and be loved. As long as I let myself believe I would be just fine living the rest of my life alone, I had an excuse not to go after love in any real way. And it sent good men running.
Here’s what I now know that you should know:
When you give yourself an excuse for not really trying…when you’re not All-In with something this important and, honestly, this challenging (especially for women at this age) …
it can’t help but put up a wall between you and your dream.
2. I believed that men didn’t want a woman like me. I felt insecure, undesirable, and unworthy. And I hated men for it; how shallow could they be?!
Believing how horribly unfair men were led me back to #1. See how that works?
Why would I need such horrible scum in my life? Heck no, I didn’t need any part of those superficial, nasty men! Why ruin my already good life??
That was all a lie.
When I allowed myself, I could see the truth all around me.
All different kinds of men loved all different kinds of women. I saw smart, independent, “imperfect” looking women with good men who loved them…everywhere.
Even though I absolutely believed that the men I wanted didn’t want me…
and I believed they were all jerks anyway…
and I felt wounded and unappreciated…
and I believed deep down that I’d never be fully loved by a man…
I kept trying to find love!
I thought I could still show up online, at the grocery store, at singles events, and on dates being the fabulous woman I knew I was.
The men just weren’t looking hard enough. But one day, one would…and he’d be The One!
That was the BIGGEST lie!
When we think something it leaks into our actions. It has to. .
I had been hurt. I knew ‘how men were.’ No way I wasn’t going to protect myself from the rejection or disappointment.
So I built a wall to protect myself.
I DARE YOU to not like me. I DARE YOU to like me.
I DARE YOU to be like all those other guys!
I DARE you not to climb my wall!! And to climb it.
I DARE you to hurt me…again.
Occasionally I did throw caution to the wind.
I’d meet a charismatic, smart guy who would seem soooo into me. For him I would take a risk and focus on how to get him to like me and pick me.
Those were the affairs that ended up tearing me down and breaking my heart.
I needed help. Enter my teacher and savior…
Anne, my therapist, helped me identify the Wall of I Dare You I had erected to protect myself. And over the years it got higher and higher.
I made sure men knew I was just fine alone.
I tested them to see if they’d be into me.
I looked for what was wrong…and always found something.
It was my wall — the very thing I erected to protect myself — that was what was creating all my hurt.
I was having one bad experience after the other.
Anne finally taught me that I was creating it.
I thought I could mask my insecurity, anger, fear, disappointment, mistrust, and hopelessness and show up as my funny, passionate, compassionate self. (Nope.)
I thought that the men I liked didn’t like me because of the size of my thighs. (Nope.)
I thought my wall was keeping me safe. (Definitely nope! It was just keeping me alone and single.)
Anne taught me a new way to look at myself and at men. And she gave me skills I never imagined I even needed.
The first time I went on a date with the consciousness, confidence, and skills I needed to show up as the real fabulous me — regardless of the guy — it was the beginning of the rest of my life.
I remember driving home amazed. It was the first time I left a date not feeling exhausted. Or scared. Or expecting bad things to follow.
I was HOPEFUL and sure I was headed toward the love I had wanted for so long.
I met my husband a few months after that date.
How about YOU? Have you erected a wall of any kind?
Are you waiting for the “right man” to climb it and pass all of your tests?
Are you holding on to false beliefs and letting your wall go higher and higher…self-sabotaging and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy? OR keeping you on the bench, waiting for the right man to just show up?
If you can relate to any of this it’s good news!
It means you have control over changing up your love life…like I did.
You can learn how to value yourself as the desirable woman you are.
You can learn more about good men. (The kind you want to spend the rest of your life with.)
You can dig up all your self-talk and stories that are keeping you alone and learn to turn them into (true and) positive stories.
That’s what I finally did. And its how I now HELP YOU find your own grownup love story.
I hope my 3 Big “there-to-here” lessons helped you see the power and control you have over your own love life.
You are NOT a victim of men.
Men are NOT superficial oafs you need protection from, nor are they looking for some kind of woman that you are NOT.
It is NOT luck that leads him to you.
And YOU CAN do what I did. You just have to learn what I finally learned.
I would be honored if you allow me to guide you to your love story, like I’ve done for hundreds of women who are like you. I do that once per year during my Over-40 Love School.
Enrollment begins soon for my new, 9-month personal coaching program:
Over-40 Love School.
You will have me as your coach, by your side, along with a wonderful small group of women to share your journey.
If you’re interested in learning more about Over-40 Love School. send me a message here.
As I always say:
There is nothing wrong with you.
There are just some things you don’t yet know.
Be good to yourself, ok?
PS: PS: In Over-40 Love School you take your journey alongside an intimate group of women* who share your experiences and honor your fears and dreams. (No youngins’ allowed!)
Imagine…for 9 months I am by your side. You are in a safe, no-judgement zone as you learn the skills, tools, and new perspectives that move you forward every single day — to love.
* Over-40 Love School starts on February 26. I will close enrollment on February 22 OR when all “seats” are full. Seats really are limited because I am committed to coach and support you personally. Send me a message here to get more details about Over-40 Love School . Find out if it’s right for you.
Love is in your future!