We know what it’s like to date longer and later in life. We’ve been there too. Our founder dated for 26 years before meeting her Mr. Yes. What felt like a solo journey as her friends found long-term partners evolved into a need to find other women who shared her experiences.
But nothing existed to bring women in their late-30s, 40s, 50s+ together to help them share their dating stories, to learn from one another and connect. Nor was there a gathering place that offered these women dating motivation, support and encouragement to keep believing that they’re worthy and deserving of enduring love. Now, picture more than 20 million single, divorced and widowed women in the US. It’s time that such a place exists.
We celebrate that a woman can live a wonderfully fulfilling, joyous, purposeful and meaningful life without a romantic partner. We embrace and respect that. We also honor that love can be found between any two people, no matter their genders. For those women who want to find a loving life-long companion, we’ve created First Date Stories™, a shared resource of podcasts, questions and answers, tips, inspirations, articles and personalities discussing dating, self-care, lifestyle and more.
Remember to keep going on first dates. Because beyond your next first date may be the long-term love you are seeking.
Meet the First Date Stories Team
Jodi knows a lot about dating – especially in your late 30s and beyond. A successful businesswoman, she went on nearly 400 dates, experiencing firsthand the excitement, joys, challenges, frustrations and self-doubt that comprise the emotional roller coaster of dating.
Jodi recognized a need – a place that offers support, inspiration and camaraderie for female daters in midlife. That’s why she created First Date Stories. It’s a hangout to share stories, find tips and tools, get motivated and connect with other women. Jodi’s mission for First Date Stories is to help women be the best they can be by inspiring confidence and resilience as they maneuver through the dating scene.
This is not Jodi’s first entrepreneurial venture. After 20 years of marketing experience in Silicon Valley, she formed Klein Consulting to help businesses with their marketing efforts. She is the founder and President of Espoir Ventures, LLC, the company behind First Date Stories.
Jodi obtained a B.A. in International Relations from UC Davis and an M.B.A. from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Jodi and her husband live in San Francisco. Her favorite thing to do on a first date was to meet for a drink of any kind.
Dr. Marisa T. Cohen
Dr. Marisa T. Cohen is a relationship coach, researcher and teaches college-level psychology courses. Her research focuses on peoples’ perceptions of first date success and consensual non-monogamy. She is the author of From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love, a book that relates relationship science research to everyday experiences and real relationship issues confronted by couples. She is passionate about discovering and sharing important research from the field and her lab, and has given guest lectures at the 92nd Street Y, Brooklyn Brainery, Strand Bookstore, WeWork, and many other locations.
Dr. Cohen is also the author of Finding Love: The Scientific Take, a Psychology Today blog and Love Lessons, a Long Island Weekly newspaper column. She has been quoted in publications such as Bustle, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Man Repeller, Men’s Health, and Women’s Health. She is also the subject of an upcoming documentary, which will air on BRIC TV. For more information about her and her work, please visit marisatcohen.com. Marisa’s favorite thing to do on a first date is to come upon a beautiful hidden treasure while out exploring a new area.
Sue De Santo
Sue De Santo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been a therapist in private practice for over 20 years. She is a graduate of Loyola University with a Masters Degree in Social Work. Because of Sue’s own divorce after 13 years of marriage, and her dating struggles, she expanded her practice and earned a certification in Relationship Coaching for Singles from the Relationship Coaching Institute.
Sue has a specialized one-on-one Singles Coaching Program that provides support and guidance so that you feel confident and have a clear vision of your path to finding your significant other. She is based in Chicago and works with clients throughout the country. Sue’s favorite thing to do on a first date is dancing. In fact, that is how she met her current husband of nine years! To learn more, visit suedesanto.com.
Love and Relationship Coach
Sarika Jain is a leader in love strategy and transformational coaching, and is the creator of the Sacred Soulmate System. She’s been called a “Relationship Sorceress”. Over the last 10 years, Sarika has dedicated her professional life to helping savvy and successful women heal their relationship with their inner selves and get on the path to finding love that lasts. Her unique approach encompasses everything from uncovering relationship patterns to practicing yoga, all with the goal of inspiring women to live the lives they’ve dreamed about – the lives they deserve.
Sarika can reach women like no one else because she has been where they are. After experiencing the ups and downs of dating in NYC for years, and even a broken engagement, she began a journey of healing and self love, and met her husband soon after.
Sarika‘s background includes training in energy healing, yoga, meditation, conscious communication, psycho-spiritual counselling and relationship coaching.
Sarika lives with her husband in New York City and leads a playful, passionate life. On a first date, Sarika loves walking through hidden gardens and parks. More information can be found at sarikajain.com.
The CaregiveHer Coach
Ilysse Rimalovski is a life coach and master retreat leader living in Maplewood, NJ, dedicated to helping women feel heard, supported and celebrated.
In 2018, she transitioned her ThriveWell Coaching practice of nearly 20 years into CaregiveHer to focus exclusively on improving the quality of female interpersonal relationships. Teaching next-level empathy, she makes it easier for women to communicate their needs, especially when confronted with difficult situations. Her approach is heartfelt and healing, fostering thoughtfulness, facilitating meaningful connections and building sisterhood.
Ilysse is recognized by Coach University, the Retreat Coaches Network, the Life Blueprint Institute and the International Coaching Federation. She graduated from The John Hopkins University with a degree in Writing Seminars.
She is an empty-nesting mother of two college-aged daughters, a wife, dog owner, and lover of seas, spas and adventure travel. Her favorite first date is outdoors and active–hiking, biking, or walking along the beach.
Her ideal clients are motivated women in pursuit of self-care and discovery, who seek to lovingly reconnect with themselves, with others, and with nature. For more information about coaching and upcoming retreats, please contact email@example.com or visit ilysserimalovski.com.
Gail Weiner, MFT
Gail works with women in midlife and beyond who want a deeply satisfying romance that lasts. In addition, she combines her training as a writing coach with psychological assessments to guide women in crafting authentic online profiles that attract their best matches. In Datewise, Gail has designed a process combining the insights of therapy with the action based tools of coaching so that her clients gain the self-awareness, skills and healing that empowers them for lifelong intimacy.
She sees clients in the East Bay and Marin County, CA, and via Zoom. Gail is also the creator of a Meetup Group for women 40 and up in San Rafael, CA called Creating the Life You Want and she hosts Empowered Dating workshops in the Bay Area.
Gail has over three decades of experience treating youth, women, couples and groups in various settings – from an inpatient psychiatric unit, ER and day treatment, to schools, agencies and private practice.
She lives with her partner in beautiful Novato, loves seeing her grown son, the oregano thriving on the back porch, and ocean waves just before diving in. Her best first date includes that fresh oregano, any ocean and a live blues band before the night is done.
For more information, please visit www.datewisenow.com or contact Gail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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