On Being Alone

Alone and Loving ItEarly on in the life of this blog, I wrote several posts about dating after turning 40 and the minefield it can sometimes be. Like when I was asked out by the homeless man I was serving at a homeless shelter or the time I got hit on by a man riding a pink child’s bike.  Not to mention Facebook’s recent mission to set me up with Cowboys and/or Native Americans.

I also wrote a post, about love, fear and everything in between, which received several emotionally raw comments from women who, at 40, had never experienced real love or relationships. I turned one comment, from a woman who was turning 40 and had never been in a relationship, into a post and that post hit a nerve, becoming one of the most commented on posts on the site.

Today a member of the WAF community, Tricia, is presenting an alternative view to the theory that every woman, and certainly every woman in her 40s, wants to be in a relationship. She’s alone and thrives in it. That’s not so unusual, as I have many single female friends in their 40s and older who enjoy their single status. Where I think she’s different is, well, read for yourself…

On Being Alone – by Tricia Amiel

I come from a large family of women.  At some point in my life, around the age of 40, I realized that all of them are alone.  There are no marriages that worked out, no long term relationships.  I don’t know what it is about us as a family, and I wonder what it is about me.

I’ve been alone a long time, after a failed marriage and a long string of short affairs.  It wasn’t a decision I made at first, but I’ve grown into aloneness and am finding comfort in it.  It’s now a solid decision that I’m making every day.  I recognize that I’ve made poor choices in the past, and that this has probably influenced my decision to be alone.  But it’s more than that. I really just don’t need or want to be with anybody.  I feel alone in that too.  It seems to me that everybody wants to find the right person to be with, and I’ve wondered what it is about me that finds me in this place in my life, and what it means.

Maybe this is just a stage in my life that will change, but I can’t even imagine that.  I can imagine doing the rest of my journey through this life without a partner.  In fact, I’m comforted by the thought.  There’s a certain joy in it for me.  It’s not that I never get lonely, because I certainly do.  But not often enough to make a difference in how I feel, and it’s easily resolved by spending time with my friends, my children, even the students I am compelled to connect with a couple of times a week.  I’m filled up by working, by writing, by achieving my goals.  It’s enough for me somehow, and more satisfying than any relationship I’ve ever been in.

Although I’ve been accused of deluding myself, of being bitter,  I like to think that maybe I’ve finally learned to love myself and my life enough, that I’ve come into a state of grace after years of struggling with life and with love.  There’s nothing bitter about this…this is a kind of deep, meaningful peace, something I’ve never found in romantic relationships.  It’s about me, and having the space to come into my own way of living and being.  That way simply doesn’t require the presence of another being.  There’s just enough of me now to give myself the joy, the comfort, the love that I need.

A very important person in my life once told me that the only way I was ever going to feel complete was to be with the right person.  I can honestly say to her that I’ve found that right person, after 42 years of searching, that she is my one and only, hopefully for a lifetime.  That she is me.

What are your thoughts on being single at 40? Are you like this reader who not only enjoys it, but plans on staying that way? Share your thoughts here or on The Women at Forty Facebook page.

8 Reasons NOT to Contact His Mistress – Part 1

Editor’s Note:  I get book pitches and media inquiries on a daily basis. I usually just skim through them, not necessarily finding them relevant for this audience, but this headline right here, got me…

8 Reasons NOT to Contact His Mistress.

I’ve never been married but know the pain that being cheated on can cause. And while I have had my doubts about a few of the men in my past, I’ve never been the tire slashing, car keying, email/cell phone checking type. Ever.

But some women are. Even women in their 40s and beyond.

And then there are women who, some may argue justifiably, want closure and who feel the best way to get that is by reaching out to “the other woman.”

This guest post from Rick Reynolds, founder of AffairRecovery.com, is speaking directly to them.Read it, mull it over, then sound off. Do you agree, disagree? Have you ever confronted “The Other Woman?” Share your thoughts (anonymously if you prefer) in the comment section, on the Facebook page, or email your story to contribute (@) womenatforty (dot) com.

8 Reasons NOT to Contact His Mistress – Part 1

By Rick Reynolds, LCSW
President and Founder of AffairRecovery.com   

When cheated on, the devastation of betrayal can make you react in ways uncharacteristic of yourself. Obsessive behaviors take over and you can end up behaving in a way you never believed possible. This isn’t only for women either; this applies to men who have been cheated on as well. If you do happen to find out who the mistress or other person is, the open wound can cause you to act out via confrontation. So what’s the driving force when we feel a compulsion to speak to the other person? Typically it’s to feel better, to take away a bit of our pain. We think somehow that course of action provides more benefits than the alternative. Rarely have I seen much benefit, and I’ve certainly witnessed a great deal of harm. Here are 8 reasons NOT to confront them.

  1. How much information do you really want? If you think you might be able to get more information from the affair partner, you’re right, but it might not be what you want. If you have been with your partner a long time, then you’ve probably already realized that you and your mate have different subjective realities. You can have vastly different recollections of any event. For that reason alone you can certainly gain a different perspective, or details about a specific event. But you’re not gaining anything worth-while, it’s hard enough to process the information from the perspective of your mate, why add to that?
  2. Affair partners can lie. It is interesting how often a hurting mate believes the affair partner will tell them the truth and sorrowfully see the error of their ways after they realize the pain they have caused. It is not uncommon for the affair partner to tell lies and manipulate the situation to get the upper hand.
  3. Talking to the affair partner is comparing apples and oranges. One of the most difficult pieces of an affair to discern is motive. Frequently, there is a compulsion to discover why this has happened. Don’t be mistaken and think the answer lies with the affair partner. In reality, the affair partner has created an illusion of what your mate’s reason for cheating is. So please don’t think the causes and motives thought by the affair partner match those of your mate.
  4. Vengeance doesn’t work.When you’re really hurting, it’s really tempting to think about making the other party experience the same pain that you’re going through. The only problem is this course of action only results in self-inflicted injuries. Don’t compromise your personal integrity by acting in ways you normally would never approve of. Injuring another will never bring the peace you seek and it will only lengthen the amount of time it’s going to take to recover.
Next Week, Part 2: 4 More Reasons Not to Contact The Mistress
Affair Recovery specializes in helping people heal after infidelity. After recovering from his own affair 25 years ago and helping 2,000+ other couples do the same, founder Rick Reynolds and his team have developed research-validated, groundbreaking online and in-person programs for redeeming the losses created by infidelity, betrayal, and sexual addiction. Take the free Affair Analyzeronline assessment, to learn more, visit www.AffairRecovery.com.
Editor’s Note: Inclusion of author’s links and website is not an endorsement of his products and/or services, nor necessarily reflects the views of womenatforty.com.

 

The first time you meet Idris Elba, you shouldn’t have deep conditioner dripping from your head

Sad Spoiler Alert: I have not met Idris Elba. So this is not one of those happy posts where something magical happens at the end.

You know how growing up you had friends who were so close you called them play cousins? He’s sort of like my play British boyfriend.  If play means he has no idea I exist.

This post actually started out as a Facebook status update in response to Idris Elba singing in his new(?) video (check out the video at the end of this post. Wait! Will you at least read the post first?)

Side note – Idris is an awesome actor, a VERY good looking man, and from what I understand a great DJ and entertainer.

And a VERY good looking man.

Singer? Not so much.

But, a few of us remarked on Facebook about how it really didn’t matter, especially since the lyrics and the tone of the video are so…delicious. The funniest response I saw went something like this, ” He could juggle bottles of pink oil moisturizer while tap-dancing to the macaerena. I’d still buy that ish on DVD…”  So there you go. Emotions run high when it comes to my man Eed (that’s what I call him on our play dates together.)

Anyway, all this Idris talk reminded me of the time I almost met him.

You see at one point Eed lived in Atlanta (maybe still does) in the townhome complex of the girl who did my hair, and I was over there once getting my wig busted and she went out to her mailbox while I was under the dryer and came back and told me Idris was just at the mailbox and I almost snatched the plastic cap off my head to go stare (stare because like, what would I say?) at him, but then I thought “Grace, the first time you meet Idris Elba you shouldn’t have deep conditioner dripping from your head. You probably shouldn’t anytime you meet Idris Elba, but certainly not the first time,” she said, in the run-on sentence from hell.

Some of my friends, being who they are, chimed in.  One very supportive and equally misguided friend suggested “Nonsense! He meets thousands of women. It is important to make a memorable impression.”  A friend more grounded in reality countered, “I agree it is important to make a memorable first impression. But I must add POSITIVE memorable impression.”

Long story short, I did NOT snatch the plastic cap off my head and go running out to stare at Eed. So, I may have missed my once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the man who today is asking me in this song to share a few secrets with him.

The moral of the story? The next time Idris Elba is picking up his mail, I will, plastic cap, deep conditioner and all, RUN to go meet him. And that, is no secret. Check out this video to see why…

Part 2 – Rachel Moheban: Ask the Relationship Expert

ask relationship expert In Part 1 of my interview with Rachel Moheban, the renowned psychotherapist talked about the surge in creativity she experienced when she turned 40. She also introduced us to her latest project, The Ultimate Relationship Resolution Program. When the conversation turned to relationship talk, we both noticed one thing; these days there’s more pressure to get married than to stay married. In Part 2 of our conversation, Rachel addresses a the relationship mistakes some women make and shares her number one relationship tip.

The number one relationship mistake women make

One of the most common relationship mistakes Rachel sees women making is getting into relationships or marrying for the wrong reason. Rachel cautions women to enter a relationship and marry for the right reason, “not out of need, not out of desperation, not out of dependence.”  (Image: The Relationship Suite’s Ask the Relationship Expert)

Continue reading Part 2 – Rachel Moheban: Ask the Relationship Expert

WAF’s Whirly Girl: Rachel Moheban – Part 1

Rachel Moheban Last Monday I introduced you to one of New York’s most sought after psychotherapists and relationship change experts, Rachel Moheban. Rachel, who’s a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and holds a Masters in Social Work from New York University, is the force behind The Relationship Suite and The Ultimate Relationship Resolution Program.  A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of talking to Rachel about her upcoming projects, the relationship issues she sees regularly in her practice, and the launch of her Ultimate Relationship Resolution Program. In part 1 of our interview, we talk about turning 40 and what it takes to build a one of kind business. (photo: Rachel Moheban, LCSW)

On Turning 40

“For me, 40 was revolutionary.” Rachel explains. “It’s a time when you really come into yourself in an incredible way. In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says that between the ages of 40 and 60 we are our most creative, and I’ve found that to be true. At 40 I started developing my program and it’s the time when I learned the most emotionally and professionally.” Rachel also believes that we become more in tune with our spiritual selves in our 40s. She says, “if you can really tune into that, it’s miraculous.”

Continue reading WAF’s Whirly Girl: Rachel Moheban – Part 1