Carolyn and Her Fifty First Dates

The following is the transcript for this podcast episode.:

Jodi: Welcome Carolyn! Thanks for coming on the podcast this episode.

Carolyn: Well, thank you, Jodi. I’m so honored to be on your podcast.

Jodi: It is terrific to have you here and I’m looking forward to the conversation that we’re going to have because this one is going to be unlike any other podcast episode that I have recorded to date.

You’ve come on the podcast to do something that a guest has never done before. Most guests come on and we delve into one date. I’ve had a few guests come on and talk about two dates, but you, Carolyn, you are going to be the first guest to take us through and talk about more than two dates because you went on 50 first dates!

Carolyn: Yup. Yes I did.

Jodi: That is impressive!

Carolyn: And I’m just happy to be here to, to, to share what I learned from them. I mean, you, you helped so many women on their first dates and I’m so impressed with that. And I hope I can just contribute because I learned a lot from my 50.

Jodi: Well, that is really sweet of you. And I know you’re going to contribute. You are already doing so in many ways, but we’ll get to that in a, in a little bit. Now, the idea of going on 50 first dates might excite some of our listeners, but it also might recoil others. Right? (Laughter) That’s a lot of first dates to go on. Why did you decide to go on 50 first dates and how did you go about it?

Carolyn: Well, there were a couple of reasons. One is, I was in in my late fifties and I’d broken up with a man. We had different life goals. We had to break up, but we still loved each other. And I was afraid I was going to look for someone just like him, because I liked that type. And so I realized I needed to expand my type of man that I was looking for. I really wanted to find a long-term committed partner. But I also wanted to avoid things that had happened when I had dated before, which is sometimes settling for a person who’s just, okay, not really great. Or getting really hurt by one person and stopping dating and not getting too discouraged or and, or being too picky about who I wanted and not going out with anybody.

So I was trying to avoid all that and luckily I’m a researcher. And so I thought, how can I approach this differently? And I thought I should go out with a lot of men in order to figure out what type I would like. And then that movie “50 First Dates” came to mind. And of course she went out with 50 dates with the same man because she had amnesia. But it gave me an idea that 50 would be a great number to go out with and, and explore different types of men.

And the other side of that was, as a researcher, I decided to look at dating more as research, like a research. It was research into what type of man and relationship that I would like. So I felt like I was about to embark on dating types of people, not necessarily individuals. And I was hoping that would all make it more interesting to me as a researcher, make it more successful, and avoid those things that I had done before when I got discouraged with dating.

Jodi: You come with a really, a truly unique background, because most people come into dating with a profession, but not a profession that will help them learn about dating and evaluate their experience. So, given this, what came out of your recent project. Share with us what the results were.

Carolyn: Well, I was very pleasantly surprised how it worked out, because I don’t think I could have predicted this. First of all, having a goal provided a lot of positive and optimistic momentum to the dating. I felt like I was going towards my partner he was far away, but I had a lot of things to do in between, and it was, and I could enjoy the journey more than, than just the destination.

What happened was, each date — since I knew I was going to go on 50 and I was committed to doing that, although of course I realized if I found my guy right before and I was sure I would stop, but I was mainly going for 50 — each date didn’t have as much weight. It didn’t matter as much if each date worked out or not with if I liked him or he liked me. I could be more objective. I could be more curious like, “How was I with him? How was he with me? How did we, how were we both will this, will this work? Should I go on a second date?” And it was just lighter.

So I really enjoyed myself. I can enjoy myself with the men. I had more fun with them. I also, I could, if I got rejected, which I did actually a lot I could move on easily. In fact, I went through this entire project feeling like it was a fun project. And then when I looked back, I realized I’d actually been rejected a lot. And I hadn’t even noticed it hardly because I kept that momentum. So it worked to have that goal for me.

Also, because I was trying to cast my net widely for different types of men, each man I went out, didn’t have to be a potential partner. They just had to be someone I liked who I wanted to explore, like “hmm, a businessman” or “hmm, an artist” or a musician or someone who likes the beach or someone who does, who hike a hiker. I was looking for different types.

And also didn’t have a list. I didn’t start out with a list of things I wanted. I was doing the type of research that would be called exploratory.

I was open to what I found. I was taking in a lot of data about different types of men and seeing what I liked and what I didn’t. And I was slowly developing a list, but way farther along the line, not in the beginning. That’s just some of the benefits that I got.

Jodi: It’s a lot of benefits! You got a lot of benefits. You had the healthiest perspective going into this project. I love that you looked at the big picture and, Carolyn, that you always believed that he was out there. How is it that you always believed that he was out there? Where did that belief come from?

Carolyn: I think I just had faith in this project. You know, the other thing about 50. I’m a statistician and the number 50 is actually what you need in a sample size to get significant results. So I kind of trusted that, that would, that 50 would be enough to bring me at least a conclusion of what type of person I wanted. I just thought that that would work.

But I also, I wasn’t counting on it. I mean, if I had gotten to 50 and hadn’t found somebody, I was going to do it again. Because I was enjoying myself so much. I guess in answer to your question is, I do have a naturally optimistic nature from my parents. And so I that’s where I go. And that’s probably kept me going a lot too.

Jodi: Your optimism combined with your statistician know-how gave you the impetus, the drive, and the belief that this project was one that made sense, that you could execute on, that you could enjoy, that you could continue on and that would result in you finding your person.

Carolyn: And it did! And it did!

Jodi: Wow!

Carolyn: I wanted to make that point. Yes. Yeah. I actually found it before I got to 50, so I was pleased.

Jodi: So you found him and we are going to get to that because I want to hear about that. But first let’s talk about the big picture. Let’s talk about this project and we don’t have time to delve into all 50 dates because that’s a big number, but the good news is that you have a new memoir that’s just been published and it’s titled “Fifty First Dates after Fifty.”

Carolyn: Right.

Jodi: And so the reader who reads this book accompanies you through this entire odyssey. And I know this because I’ve read your book. And so I was able to accompany you through this odyssey and it was a really fascinating, inspiring, and really interesting one.

Carolyn: Great! I’m glad you liked it.

Jodi: Absolutely! So instead, let’s highlight, let’s say three of your most memorable dates. So can you take us through, let’s say the first one and help us understand what about it made it significant?

Carolyn: Yeah, there are several of these dates. And by the way, I just want to say in the book, I only highlight really around 20 of the dates. I take people through those 20 and just mentioned the other 50, so they don’t have to actually slog through all 50 of the dates.

But these are the ones that really stood out. And this, this one I’m going to talk about was about the midway of the project. It wasn’t an online date. I had met him on Match.com. And I didn’t get many answers to my Match.com because I was very specific about what I wanted. So this guy matched me pretty well, and we had friends in common.

So for our first date, he asked me if I wanted to have dinner at his house and I accepted. And then I had second thoughts. I thought still, I don’t know this guy very well. And mainly, I don’t know if I want to invest a whole evening at somebody’s house, actually an hour from my house, until I know them a little better. So I suggested that we have a date. And we lived an hour apart. So I thought of a place that we could go halfway between our houses. It was a marina and it would be a nice place for a walking date.

And the reason I like this date is this an example of me taking care of myself. You know, dating’s a long-term project and you have to really take care of your own heart. And I didn’t want my heart to be off in some guy’s house and find out, maybe we didn’t like each other. He didn’t like me. I was really taking care of myself by insisting on a pre-date.

And he agreed to it. He was very cute. He said, “Sell, I hope I pass the test.” (Laughter) So it was very cute. So we, we had the walk and it was a very sweet walk and I wasn’t as attracted to him as I thought I would be. I liked him and he, we had a great conversation and I was willing to take a chance on a second date.

And so I was looking forward to it the next day before the date, the date was a couple of days later, he called me at my house and said, “Can I tell you something?” And I was about to have some friends over for the evening. He knew that he said, “I want to tell you something before your friends come.” And he said, “I don’t think I can have a day with you. I don’t think we’re a match.”

And I was so disappointed because that predate was for me to tell them, to find out about whether he was okay for me. And whether I felt comfortable with him, it wasn’t for him to reject me. I was so shocked and hurt and my heart was hurt because my heart had started opening up to him a little.

And so here’s what I did. That is one of the things I did. One of the best things I did, it was self-care is. I I had a little dialogue with my heart. I just turned to my heart and said, She said, really, “How did this happen?” I said, “I know we were supposed to have a pre-date. It was supposed to be for us.”

And, I just had this conversation that was reassuring my heart and telling her that I loved her and how proud I was that she kept open, open heart to people. And then I was trying to protect her by having a predate. And she said, she appreciated me doing that. And it was just very healing between us to get in, get in sync with my heart and let her know I was really trying to protect her. And I was hurt, sad too.

And I felt her feeling protected by me and cared for by me so that it was just a good example of, I was trying to take care of us. It didn’t work out the way I thought, but I salvaged it by talking to my heart.

Jodi: Dating is a series of being rejected or rejecting someone at some point until you get to that person. This technique that you used is one that we all could benefit from because we all need to protect our hearts along the way. How do you actually go about that? Are you having that interaction with your heart through meditation or in another way?

Carolyn: I was preparing dinner for my friends. And, and so I was just talking out loud to my heart. I just said out loud, “I’m so sorry.” I actually, my friends were about to come, so I thought I would, they would hug me and comfort me, but then my heart kind of cried out. I thought that we were protected. And so I just started talking to her out loud and I heard her talking to me. It’s more of an internal dialogue, but that I think I say stuff out loud to her.

Jodi: This experience, which caught you completely by surprise, because as you said, you were the one who was doing the deciding there, not him! He turned the tables on you, but it all worked out for you.

How did that strengthen and improve your journey throughout the dates to come? Because as you said earlier, you looked back and you realized you were rejected. I say that, you know, more than you were the one doing the rejecting. Did that strengthen your resolve and your heart for the dates?

Carolyn: Well, you know you know, as well as I, that in order to date, you have to have some resilience for things like this. And so I think w what it did is it comforted me that I had a way to be resilient, that I had a way to take care of my heart. I felt comforted that I, I could comfort myself. I could ask for help from my friends who were about to arrive to comfort me and I got over it pretty fast and seeing that made me want to go on.

And also we have, when we did, we have to respect what the other person wants too. He said, I wasn’t a match for him. Well, I can’t argue with that. I have to respect that. And so I wouldn’t have wanted him as a match. So, he saved us both some time.

Jodi: He did you a favor.

Carolyn: Right, right.

Jodi: Your time is precious. You didn’t need to spend that evening with him because it wouldn’t have ended up getting you to the results that you were after. So, and my observation, and from all my years of dating and the thing that so many people find so challenging is that you can’t take this personally when someone you don’t know, you’ve just had a walk with, comes back to you and says, I don’t think we’re a match.

We can’t really take that personally deep down for a long time because that person is just getting an initial sense of us and really doesn’t know us and..do you agree?

Carolyn: Yes. Oh definitely. Not taking things personally is a huge is a huge perspective that you have to take when dating it. It can’t be. It’s not about you. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

Jodi: Right. And yet it feels so much about you.

Carolyn: Yes, it is related. It is related, but I just kept coming back to, “well, if he thought we weren’t a match and I didn’t,”… I wasn’t sure we were a match. I was just willing to give it another try. It’s good that somebody was clear, I guess, especially since I wanted to move on, I was going to move on.

Jodi: Exactly. And it was fortunate that you had these friends coming over that night. Yes. Yes. Okay. So another thing here, another element here, is to have a support system, whether it’s one person or a group of people.

Carolyn: Definitely, definitely. That’s one of the things I noticed about my project. I kind of had a support system. It’s a long-term project, whether you’re going on 50 or 10 dates, or going until you find your person. It’s long-term and you have to build in support, whether that’s a core group of friends or a group or a therapist or a therapy group, or a personal relationship workshop group, which is what I have. Everything helps.

Jodi: Everything helps. All right, well, let’s now move into the second date. That was memorable from your 50 first date journey. Please share with us what happened on this second date.

Carolyn and her Fifty First Dates

Carolyn: Well, this date was also around in the middle of my dating project. And I call this the Magical Date because it was just the whole aura of it was magical. And it was the result of me casting my net wide to be with different types that I might not have been with.

I met this guy on a Sierra Club hike, which is, which is a type I would like, but he was shorter than me. And I had this prejudice that I only could be with men who were taller than me. But he was so kind and nice and personable that I decided to see what it would be like to date him and see if I could overcome my short prejudice.

We went on a few dates and we had a wonderful time dancing and having dinners. And I think this was our fourth date and he invited me to his house. I trusted him and he had beautiful music playing. He was a white guy who, who danced African music. African dances. And he had all these masks and objects from Africa in his house and played world music in front of the fire. It was just beautiful and luscious to be there.

And then he took me hiking behind his house. And this was February, it was kind of drizzling. I was a little wondering what he was doing. He said, “Come, please follow me up this path.” And we went up this path on the hill, behind his house, and I was really skeptical because I was getting cold.

And then all of a sudden I saw this little magical hut on the side of the. And it was a little hut glowing with candle light and some music was playing out of it, some very ephemeral, angelic music. And it was like really a scene out of “Lord of the Rings,” those tiny little houses on the side of the hill. And it felt like that. And we went into the little hot and we looked down, we were way above his house and it was just very cozy. He set it up with pillows. We just sat there and actually just looked at him. We were just gazed. We just felt happy. And he just…it was just very sweet.

You know, I would not have had that experience if I was, had not cast my net wide and been willing to go out with people I might not like. And in the end I actually could not overcome the short thing. I couldn’t do it. And, he didn’t feel very good about that. And neither did I. But we had some sweet times that I wouldn’t have given up for anything. It was just a great thing to experience.

Jodi: So, this is an example of a date that enriched you personally because of the goodness that you felt and the spiritual connection of sorts that you experienced in that location, in that magical hut?

Carolyn: Yeah, he had created magic there. He had created this environment that was just out of this world. And I would never guess that about him. I thought he was a hiker. I thought he was interesting, but a dancer, but I didn’t know he’d do this. People have gifts inside them that we can experience if we’re open to it and those gifts are part of living and having a full life, and this is an experience that I’m so glad I had, even if I didn’t see him very many times after that. It was just so precious.

Jodi: He surprised you in a way that you hadn’t expected and it helped you learn to think more broadly about people who you meet and what they might be, who they might be, how they might be? Is that…yeah.

Carolyn: Well, it, it, it definitely confirmed that everybody, not everyone, but most people have something to offer. And even though I could not overcome my prejudice against short men and I wanted someone tall still….of course, I could be friends with people who are different too. So it reminded me that there are all sorts of people who can surprise you.

Jodi: That sounds like it did help enhance your view of people to come and open your mind even further. Let’s transition now to talk about a third date that you went on.

Carolyn: Okay, well, this is the day I call it the “Date of Balance.” I was on a date with a very high energy younger man. And we, and he was accompanied me to a New Year’s Eve party, which was itself, very high energy. It was a big house full of people, dancing and socializing and being out on the deck eating and drinking, and we both knew people there. And so we went in and we were both wearing these very glimmery shiny outfits. And we kind of matched in our energy. That’s why I liked going out with him, wanted to go out with him. And so we were very well aligned.

But since we knew other people we each wanted to go say hi to our friends. So we agreed, “Well, let’s go mingle a little bit and then get back together.” So we did that throughout the evening. We mingled with other people. We said, hello to our friends, hung out with them. And then we got back together and we danced together or we just talk together with other people. And then we went apart again.

And what I loved about it is that’s the kind of balance I was looking for in a partnership. I’m someone who spends a lot of time alone. I need time alone. And I also like to be with people and I really want both. And I really saw in that party a model for what I wanted in a partner. And that it should be possible. I really could feel it in my bones. And some of my dates were like this in it was a model for the type of partner I wanted and I wanted to feel it in my body to experience it. So that, and I, and I do believe that it’s what I then was able to recognize and maybe attract in a partner to have this because this type of balance at a party, much later when I found my partner and much later when we were going to parties, we did the same thing. It was exactly that. What I had imagined was possible. That’s what we did.

Jodi: You were sort of painting a portrait in a way of the person and all the characteristics and the interactions that you were looking to meet and be with. And this modeling of this coming together and stepping apart in social situations is something that you realized was so important for you.

Carolyn: Right. Right. And not everyone does that. And not everybody likes that. Some people like to cling, cling, cling, and some people like to ignore the whole time. (Laughter) So to have that balance was really precious and what I knew, what I wanted modeled, what I wanted.

Jodi: This modeling of the type of relationship that you. Wanted, ultimately to be a part of ended up leading you to that person. Please share some details about how you found this person.

Carolyn: Well, first of all, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have noticed him if I had seen him earlier in this project. He actually was part of my large friendship, not friendship group, but acquaintance group, in our community, but I hadn’t really noticed him.

And I just started noticing him towards the end. And there was something about his energy, his brightness, his optimism, he’s smart. I was at a party once and he made a really, really smart comment. And I looked at him, I thought, Oh my God, this is the type of person I should be with. And I just, it kind of all came together when I started seeing him, but it was later in the project.

I still, for some reasons, was not sure I wanted to take a chance on him. Cause I was pretty serious towards the end. I was really wanting to be with people who I was pretty sure were available to be partners and we’re kind of what I wanted. And I was still not sure about him. But then we decided to go on a date and the date that we picked was an incredible date.

We talk about first dates and you do one thing or the other, well, we had a day long date in which we did three things and each of the things reflected an aspect of ourselves that we’ve ended up sharing from that on, The first thing we did is we went for a bike ride. He showed up with his bicycle and we went biking in a beautiful place near my house.

Then we had, we coincidentally, we had a, a friend who had died and it was her Memorial Service was that day. So we went and we’re with our friends in this kind of grieving time. We kind of were witness to our friend’s grief and our grief and showed that together. And then the third thing was, we were planning to go an Oscar party. Another friend had the Oscars where that night we were going to go to a party at her house. But in the meantime, we stopped at my house. And I was just full of feelings. I was feeling was full of feelings about the person who died. She was so much like me.

I thought it could have been me. I was still, I had just seen the person I broke up with so long ago, but I was still feeling sad about him. I was scared about how much I was feeling for the person that I was starting to see. And I just started crying and he just held me. Nothing more, just, just held me and just showed me what a presence he could be with me and how safe it was and how gentle he was.

And I just cried and he understood. And then we went off to the Oscar party and just helped hands. And that was the date. Then he went home. And it imprinted on us that those three things that we still do together. We do some exercise. We do some joyful playing with friends and then some sort of deep work, not a Memorial service, but we do our own work. And so it was about a balance of its own type.

Jodi: Most days are not days like the one that you and he experienced together, you really experienced an odyssey of emotions that day.

Carolyn: Right! Exactly, exactly!

Jodi: And he was able to be by your side, through all of it in a way that was very comfortable.

Carolyn: Right. And, and I had expressed emotions with other dates also, but this was just a much wider spectrum. He was touching me on so many more levels than anyone else had. And I realized how aligned he was with me and I with him.

Jodi: The behaviors, the criteria that you were seeking in your partner, were you, maybe not in the moment, but after that day, just running through them and saying check, check, check?

Carolyn: Yes, I was, I was. But I was also a little wary. I was also wary, I by then I was thinking I just wanted to wait and see, I wasn’t going to be jumping in and saying, “This is it.” Even though I kind of felt like it, but I was also going to say, well, let’s see how this works out. I was a wait and see kind of a feeling. He was matching a lot of the things and that was wonderful. And he was, I should be honest, he was matching enough that I didn’t want to go on any more dates.

Jodi: But he wasn’t your 50th, so….

Carolyn: No he was not my 50th. Yes. So that’s a story. I think that’s part of the story.

Jodi: But he was close to your 50th, but  he was not your 50th first date.

Carolyn: Right.

Jodi: So you weren’t entirely sure, perhaps we would say. Right, now this project that you put together, which is really extraordinary, how long did it take?

Carolyn: It was two and a half years.

Jodi: Two and a half years!

Carolyn: I thought it would go faster. My goal was seven months,

Jodi: Oh boy!

Carolyn: …but I hadn’t done the math about how many days that would mean a week. (Laughter) And I had a full-time job. I mean, that was not practical.

Jodi: Right, right. Do you recommend that other women, the women listening to us right now, follow your lead and also embark on this a 50 date…?

Carolyn: Well only if it resonates with them, I would say yes. If it sounds like something fun. I mean, the reason it worked for me is because I’m kind of quantitative and I like goals. I’m motivated by goals and that made it fun for me and made me move forward. But someone else, may like another type of goal, like maybe dating for a certain time, amount of time, like maybe half a year or a year, and then take a break or something else might work better.

I would say, whatever people can do that makes dating enjoyable and not a chore and not scary. And my book is I have it’s full of different approaches to dating, and I kind of hope that readers see it as a smorgasbord of ideas and just pick the ones that work for them, because it’s all about keeping motivated for ourselves.

Like for some people, just seeing dating as research might be enough of a fresh approach. Like just to say, “Oh, that that might change the lens that you see a date from, and that might help.” We’re all so different in what motivates us and what makes us go and keep going. As you know, dating is a question of persistence. What can you do that will keep you going?

Jodi: Persistence and resilience.

Carolyn: Yes, exactly.

Jodi: And a desire to find love.

Carolyn: Yeah, yes a big motivation. There’s the motivation. But then that sometimes gets lost and dating feels like a slog. And so what can we do to make it feel more fun and interesting?

Jodi: Exactly. I remember as I got further into dating and into midlife dating for me, it became at least the first dates, an opportunity to learn something. I walked into that restaurant, that cafe showed up to ride that bike, whatever it was, thinking that I will hopefully come away with a nugget, something new….a fact that I didn’t know learn about a specialty I knew nothing about maybe removing recommendations at a minimum. Like something, or a good story at a minimum at a minimum! And then if it exceeded that, it’s only goodness.

Carolyn: Yes. Yes. That’s the perfect attitude to go in with that. There’s something there.

Jodi: Well, you went to a lot of dates and you spent time with a lot of different men. So, you clearly learned a lot about them. But more importantly for you, you learned about yourself. I’m curious, what most surprised you about what you learned about you?

Carolyn: Well, let’s see. I knew that I wanted a partner and I knew that I was optimistic and that I could make this project fun. But what I was surprised at was, halfway through I felt like I had, I had gone over from the side of dating to find a partner to, I’m just dating and this is my life. And it became my life in an enjoyable way. I felt like I was in kind of a groove. Like this is how I live. I’m with my friends and I date and I go to parties and I go to retreats. And It’s a full life.

And I had that and I, I really loved having that feeling. That that was one of the happiest times in this whole project, when I realized I was actually perfectly happy being single, that dating was fun and that it could go on and on, and I was fine with that.

Jodi: It’s a full life. I love that Carolyn, that you landed there. It’s a full life that is tremendous. Tremendous.

You started this project because you broke up with someone listeners have been there and possibly some listeners have just broken up with people. What advice do you have for them when you look back on you at that moment in time?

Carolyn: Well, first of all, I do think it is important to grieve if you’ve just broken up with someone and, and lost someone that you dearly love for whatever reason. And however you can do to do that. I happened to be a songwriter at the time. So I took some songwriting classes and wrote sad songs about my lover leaving and everything, and it really helped.

Jodi: That’s great.

Carolyn: And then when, and then suddenly then after a couple of weeks, I wrote a happy song and I realized, oh, maybe I’m ready to date now. And so I really feel like there’s a grieving. I wanted to acknowledge that there is a grieving process.

The other thing is if you’re going to start dating remember that it’s a long-term project and build in loving support for it, for you. Create your life the way you want to live with or without a partner, which for me was surrounding myself with good friends. I had a women’s group that I met with regularly. I had a co-ed group that we met for dinner once a month. I was part of a large community of people who had gone through personal growth relationships who gave a lot, who were very supportive and gave a lot of, had parties and gave a lot of support to each other.

And then I did things I love to do, like go hiking and go to spiritual retreat centers. I didn’t get isolated. That that would be the hard thing to just be by yourself and trying to date, because then it’s easy to get into that situation of feeling discouraged and putting a lot of weight on each date to take you out of your isolation.

So I just think that it’s part of self-care. I mean, it’s just taking care of yourself and doing the things you love in your life so that you’re loving yourself. It all comes back to loving yourself really. And what can you can do to do that, with or without a partner?

Jodi: It does. It comes down to love of the most important person in your life, which is you.

Carolyn: Yeah

Jodi: For each of us.

Carolyn: And I know that your book has a lot of that and believes that too, that you need to be starting with loving yourself in a place of fullness and that you have a lot of advice about holding onto that as your date too.

Jodi: We can only show up as our true selves, if we are. Aware of who we are, we are authentic. And that only happens if we take the time to accept and embrace ourselves. And that is one of the most important steps towards actually finding that lifelong loving partner.

Carolyn: You don’t have to do it alone. I mean, I don’t, I’m not someone who says you can sit around and feel and love yourself by yourself. I have done it in reflection of people who reflect back to me, my best self and my love of me. That’s how I’ve learned it.

Jodi: By bringing people into your life who become good friends?

Carolyn: Yes, yes! People who are good friends who are loving friends. Yes. I mean, I learned, I had a whole new set of friends when I started going to personal growth workshops, which are all about learning to love yourself and love other people.

And so I was in a whole community of people who were trying to be more loving and that’s exactly….I really do recommend that approach that too. I feel like you need more loving people in your life, go to workshops in which they’re teaching that.

Jodi: You spoke about not isolating yourself. And yet here we are coming out of a period of time where we were all isolated and people who were living alone were especially isolated. And that has added so many challenges on so many levels. Thankfully things are getting better and parts of the country increasingly so, but we still have that challenge out there.

Carolyn: We do. We do. And know that people figured out ways to connect online for dating. I mean actually Zoom dating. There’ve been people who have been creative, very creative and taking walks out a lot of walks outside. The workshops that I was part of were online for the whole pandemic, but recently they’ve been in person because they’ve been able to require vaccinations and a lot of testing and made it really safe.

So I think things are opening up in different pockets. And so it’s possible. I mean, this is a great time to be thinking of starting to date because there are lots of there beginning to be more options.

Jodi: Exactly. It’s a great time to step up one’s dating activity and your book, Fifty First Dates After 50: A Memoir is a terrific companion as any of our listeners, any woman in midlife anywhere, steps forward to be out there. Where can listeners get your book and also where can listeners, and how can listeners, get in touch with you?

Carolyn: Well the book can be ordered anywhere that books are sold. It’s starting with Amazon and every bookstore should be able to order it. My website has links to all the usual options and to independent bookstores, which we really need to support now, because they’re the ones who support diverse books.

So my website is CarolynLeeArnold.com. And you can just go to the page that says “Where to Buy” and there’s options for buying the book. Also on my pages are links to my Facebook author page, and my Instagram account, and my email to contact me. They’re all there.

Jodi: And that’s Carolyn Lee, spelt “L E E.”

Carolyn: Right? Right. And I have an offer on my website. If you go to my website and sign up for my blog, which consists of a lot of dating tips and things about being brave and being women in the world right now, I will send my detailed dating tips to you.

I have the 10 dating tips on my website. I have the detailed ones as a gift to send if you sign up for my blog.

Jodi: Okay, that sounds fantastic! And we are going to link to all of that in the show notes for this episode.

Carolyn: Great.

Jodi: Thank you Carolyn, for being my guest. Thank you for taking us through the. And some of the lower lights of this odyssey, that was your 50 first date project. It has been a lot of fun to speak with you.

Carolyn: Thank you, Jodi. Thanks for the great questions. It was very fun to be here. I really appreciated talking with you about it.

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