Over 50 and Alone on Valentine’s Day

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Are you a single woman over 50 who finds being single in today’s superficial world a challenge?  Do you feel happy with who you are but wish you had someone in your life?  If that’s you, I can relate.

Caveat – This is not for those who are single by choice.  This is for those of us who face another valentines day alone and wish it wasn’t that way.  Feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.  I am not focusing on this or stewing over this so please don’t think I need some healing or relationship help or coaching.  I love myself and I have no men issues.  I have to put that out there because if I don’t I will be contacted by several people that want to help me get past my issues.  I simply am sharing where I am right now and at a point in time.

I have talked with many women my age and based on those conversations, I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way.  I thought I would share some humorous and heartfelt insights in hopes it will help someone else experiencing this.

So here we are, another Valentines Day. Time to see all the commercials about love, all the ads about gifts and everything else about love and relationships.  The Bachelor series is in their 21st season of people putting themselves out there on TV to find love.  There are also other shows like the Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and many other find love shows.  Why do those succeed?  In my opinion it’s because people still believe in love and the hopes of finding love no matter what your age.  So we like to watch and hope that person finds lasting love even though we know in those circumstances the odds are against them. In fact there have been very few that have actually stayed together much beyond the “final rose.”

If you are over 50 and single, you may not be thrilled about seeing those commercials or shows because they don’t apply to you.  There is no one that will bring you roses or jewelry or candy on that day or any other day (unless it’s you or a friend or family member, of course, but this isn’t about that).

Some people say statistically that the odds are not in our favor at finding love at our age.  I understand that but based on where I came from, the odds were against me at succeeding and I beat those odds so I believe anything is possible if you have faith and never give up.

I think for me, the hardest part is sitting in a group and hearing people celebrating how many years they’ve been married as if my being divorced makes it a seem like the biggest failure on the planet.  When I was married we didn’t have a great connection.  He put me down a lot and I didn’t show him much love and affection.  The more he put me down, the less love I showed.  It was a vicious cycle that ended in divorce and hurt my kids.  If I knew then what I know now… We were the wrong 2 people to get together but if we hadn’t I wouldn’t have the 2 amazing offspring that I have today.

As of today it’s been more than a decade since someone told me they loved me (other than close friends or kids). I’ve dated off and on in hopes of finding someone but have more nightmare experiences than good ones. I actually did a humorous speech for a Toastmasters speech contest about my experiences sometime back and won many levels of the contests.  Here are some of those stories to make you laugh. Can you relate?  These are all true and have not been embellished.  You can’t make some of this stuff up.

  1. One guy told me to show up casual, we were going to a beach restaurant so he wanted to make sure I wasn’t dressing to the nine’s I guess. It almost seemed like a set up because I showed up in a hat, nice t-shirt and jeans and he proceeded to take apart my appearance as not feminine enough.
  1. Then there was the guy who right at the beginning of the conversation tells me why he dates Hispanic women and doesn’t like white women (I am obviously not Hispanic and he didn’t know my last name was Fernandez). The reason? Because they were much better in bed…He went into more detail than I cared to know.
  1. There was a nice attorney whose divorce was going to be final soon (I now make sure people are free of their past relationships completely). He enjoyed the conversation with me and asked to extend lunch because he was enjoying the conversation. I was too; we had a lot in common. He was obviously desperate to move on because as he walked me out of the restaurant he was all over me. Right outside the restaurant!  I wouldn’t kiss him or participate in the pre “get a room” scenario, so I never heard from him again. 
  1. What about the guy who thought I was too masculine because I drove a truck? He was an engineer and we had a nice conversation over coffee. He was a bit put off by the Harley riding thing and then asked which vehicle was mine.  When I pointed to my truck he said “what are you, a guy?  Really?  I was dressed in a business skirt suit and looking very feminine.  Next…
  1. There was one who asked me if I liked lingerie 5 minutes into a coffee date and then asked what kind of sexy things did I do for my man?  He walked me to the parking lot and I had to push him off of me to get into my truck and lock the door.  We had no conversation before that other than a couple online exchanges.  There was no flirting or anything like that. 
  1. One guy called me a prude because I wouldn’t go to bed with him after meeting him for a short coffee date. He said “don’t be a prude” as he was all over me after only talking for an hour and my saying I was looking for a long term relationship.
  1. There was a guy who never got a date because he started with the sexual comments after only a couple of text messages that were simple conversation. When I called him on it, he played dumb, started to make me wrong and said it wasn’t sexual and that we were “flirting” so it should have been ok. The flirting was “I miss your smile” and I sent a smiley face.  Yeah that says sext me up doesn’t it?
  1. One guy had posted a photo from 20 years before with thick wavy dark hair. I didn’t know this until we met in person.  I would not have recognized him if I hadn’t been talking to him on the phone where we were meeting.  The hair was silver and most of it was gone.  He looked nothing like his picture. 
  1. Many lie about their age, height and fitness level. Do they think I wouldn’t notice?  If you lie about one thing what else will you lie about to get your way?  One guy in his profile at the end said “I’m older than my age on the profile because I want to get my best matches.”  Yeah almost 10 years older and it was obvious he was lying about his height too.  I didn’t believe anything he wrote to me about himself.
  1. One guy I had a few dates with was nice but I found out that he was still living with someone and not divorced from his wife.

These are only a few of the many stories I have.  I am sure you have many of your own if you have been dating in today’s superficial microwave photoshopped world.

Then there are the other problems; if I’m on some dating sites, I can’t keep the 20 and 30 something’s away from me.  I get dozens and dozens of them contacting me despite the fact that my profile says “young enough to be my son = I’m not interested.”  I am not exaggerating when I say dozens. That doesn’t work for me nor does the old enough to be my father group.  I’m interested in someone my own age that experienced life at the same time I did, at the same age.  I’m not willing to be someone’s cougar experience.

Many of those my age who are successful don’t want me because they want the younger hotter version to show off to their friends, make himself feel younger or whatever the reason is.  Many of them do not last and they go onto the next one.  I’ve been told more times than I can count I’m not their type, when I ask what their type is they say younger than you, you’re too old.  Mind you this is from someone my age.

It’s all very superficial and it seems the over 50 woman is stuck in limbo with all of this.  Sure we can find someone to sleep with but someone to be committed to is another story.  I am sure the other age groups have similar situations. I am focusing on the over 50 group because that’s where I am. I am not complaining here, only stating my experiences.

There was a great guy that I dated for 3 months but he died in a skydiving accident and there were some other complicated things regarding him that I didn’t find out until after he died.  Despite those things, I had a wonderful time with him.  He was a gentleman and enjoyed spending time with me.  We had a lot in common, too.

Since he died, I have not been on a date.  There was one man that I was interested in and I think at one time he was interested in me but since I seem to be a bit inept in letting someone know I’m interested in them (yes I am working on this now), I think I gave him the signal that I wasn’t interested so he never pursued anything with me and that opportunity was unfortunately lost.

Some of my friends have encouraged me to go “have a fling” in order to get my energy going or something like that.  I thought about it for a minute. While that’s ok for some people and used to be the way I rolled, it isn’t in alignment with my values today.  I believe that a soul connection happens when 2 people have sex. I have heard it referred to as a “soul tie” where your souls are tied and connected.  I did a significant amount of work on myself to break all the ties and heal from all the trauma from my past and I don’t want to connect with someone who I don’t know or isn’t in alignment with my values.  I’m not making anyone else wrong for doing that.  I’m saying that doesn’t work for me.

Many consider that point of view to be old fashioned, out dated or just plain stupid.  I can understand why God’s plan for marriage is not to have multiple partners.  I’ve been told there’s something wrong with me for not doing it or looked down on.  That’s ok; I think I would feel bad about myself if I compromised my values.  I don’t want to go back to that place where I once was.  I didn’t love that person.  I love the person I am today and want to still love me tomorrow.  I did many things I’m not proud of and wish I could take back.  I know they made me who I am and all that but I could still be that person without some of those things.

So with all this negativity how does one survive?  I have to admit sometimes it’s a challenge to go to sleep alone and the negative thoughts want to take over but the important part is to focus on what you do have and not what you don’t have.  What you focus on expands. So if you focus on the negative, you will be stuck in the negative.  If you focus on being alone, you will remain alone.  If you focus on the fact that you have no money, success or whatever you are negatively focusing on, you will expand that in your life.  You will reap what you sew.  In the end I know God will bless me greatly in his time.  My job is to focus on the good things I have and be grateful.

In keeping with the positive and being grateful, here is my gratitude list for today:

  1. I am grateful that I own my own place and that out of all the condos in Irvine, CA, I live in one of the few where I have space to put plants on my patio and make it my own little sanctuary.
  2. I am grateful for 2 offspring that love me and that I have a great relationship with. They trust me and ask me for advice often and help me when I ask for it.  I know many that do not have this in their lives and I am grateful
  3. I am grateful for friends that care about me and are there to help if I simply ask for what I need.
  4. I am grateful for my health
  5. I am grateful that my needs of food, clothing and shelter are met.
  6. I am grateful that I have a car to drive that is in good repair and a nice car
  7. I am grateful that I own a Harley and can go ride when I want to
  8. I am grateful that I live in a place with beautiful weather
  9. I am grateful that my life examples help other people in their own lives
  10. I am grateful for the gift of speaking and teaching that enables me to help people be a better version of themselves.

As I am writing that list I feel good inside reflecting on it.  If you feel down about being alone and like you will never find someone and you are doomed to walk the planet a lonely woman, do a pattern interrupt.  A pattern interrupt is something to break the pattern you are in and replace it with something else. You have to break that cycle of negativity and replace it with positive and upbeat thoughts. Here are some suggestions to change those thoughts to something more positive.

  1. Stop and take time to pray or meditate – connect with God. I do this every morning before I start my day and every night before I go to sleep.
  2. Write a gratitude list
  3. Spend time with family or friends doing something you enjoy
  4. Put on some upbeat music
  5. Do some self care (massage or other pampering)
  6. Ask yourself this question “what do I absolutely love about myself?” Notice it says love, not like.
  7. Hug a friend or family member or even a dog or cat.
  8. Get out in nature (garden, walk in a park, walk in the grass or on the beach or by a stream or lake)
  9. Take a day trip somewhere to get away from the day to day
  10. Do some art or crafts

 

 

Doing these things or some other me time activity will help you expand your focus to positive things.  Being positive on the inside will show on the outside.  Men will be attracted to that.  Then you have to get out and meet people.  This is where I have had problems and need to fix it.  One of my friends was trying to get me out of my hibernation shell recently.  It made me realize that’s the one thing I’m not doing.  I’m hiding out and not meeting people.  If I expect to be blessed with someone, I have to go places where I can meet him. I am making a commitment to doing that so I can activate that part of me that has been in hibernation too long.  Special thanks to my friend (if you are reading this, you know who you are) who won’t let me hide out and hibernate and has given me that nudge to get back that part of me that has been dormant for way too long. 

 

I know this was a bit long but I felt like someone other than me is feeling this way and needed to feel that they aren’t alone.  Even if only 1 person reads this, I know I have helped someone. I know I was supposed to write this for someone to read.  If that is you, I hope it helped.  If you know someone who could use this or enjoy this, pass it on.  If you have your own story, share it here. 

 

This Valentines day and every day thereafter, love yourself first, that’s the most important person to show love to.  If you don’t have anyone to spend that day with, do something nice for yourself to let yourself know that you are loved.

 

To Your Success!

 

Eldonna

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at www.EldonnaLewisFernandez.com

3 Comments

  1. Dean E McKee says:

    Wow…very well written and great advice. God has been revealing great truths to you and if He has someone for you it will happen. Keep seeking Him first and all these things will be added to you.
    Continuing to pray God’s blessing on you

    In Christian love,
    Deano

  2. Adria Manary says:

    I can relate deeply, Eldonna. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you! I am rarely on FB, but came upon your post, and found myself reading on to the end (which is unusual). I lost the love of my life a little over two years ago, and know I will never get over it. I was blessed with 32 years with him – and have become more and more aware of how fortunate I was to spend my adult life with a gem of a man who loved and respected me and made every day a joy. On the other hand, it makes being alone even more painful. As the saying goes, “The taller you are, the harder you fall.” Well, I’ve come to the reality that the more in love you are, the more alone you become when that love is stripped away. Enjoying that adoration, along with encouragement and support (that was also given generously to my children) for all those years…and then suddenly being without it all…I have found myself not only alone – and lonely – but also lost. I too, am not in need of relationship or life coaching or healing. I will move on when I’m ready I suppose. I just thought I’d let you know that there isindeed at least one…ME…who related to and enjoyed your post. Although I am sure there are many others. We should get together sometime soon! I wish you the very best.

    • Eldonna Lewis Fernandez says:

      Thank you so much Adria for your insights. It must be so hard to move beyond that. I’m happy you had so many blessed years with a wonderful man. Sending prayers.

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