The following is the transcript for this podcast episode.:
Jodi: Welcome Sandy! It’s fabulous to have you as my guest this episode. Thank you so much for coming on the show.
Sandy: Oh, I’m so excited to be here Jodi! Thank you for having me.
Jodi: This is going to be terrific. We are going to get into a date that you went on and talk all about it, but not yet. I first want to ask that you share some things about yourself with our listeners, so they get a sense of you.
Sandy: Sure. So, my name is Sandy Wiener. I’m 65 years old, live in Stamford, Connecticut, and I have three children. My oldest is in her thirties and lives in Israel and has three beautiful children. My middle is a boy and he is living in Stamford, actually moving to a town nearby. And my youngest is living in LA.
All three kids are really creative. They’re artists and musicians and bakers and fashion designers and all kinds of cool stuff, which they get from their parents. So I was an artist my entire life until I became a life coach right after my divorce. And I’ll get into that in a minute. And my ex-husband is a comedian, a professional comedian, and we worked together most of the time we were married. I was one of the head writers for show we did for Nickelodeon for children and, did a lot of cool things. I edited film and directed him and learned I had skills I never knew I had.
But my marriage was not a good marriage. I stayed a long time, cause I’m not a quitter. I like to try and make things work. And now I know that some things are just….you’re working too hard at something that’s not going to ever work. And so I finally came to that conclusion after 23 year. I divorced my husband and I realized that a lot of who I had been had been kind of diminished. I lost a lot of myself in the marriage and I was trying to reclaim those parts after my divorce.
And so I was thinking like, what do I want to do? The art that I had done. I painted furniture. I did a whole bunch of things for people, but I never really felt fully valued for the work that I put in because art is very labor intensive, and a lot of people would nickel and dime me and I just didn’t feel valued. And so I thought, you know, back in 12th grade in my yearbook, it says, “Sandy is the go-to person for any time you have a problem. She will help you.” And so that was who I was.
And then I decided to go to become a life coach. I didn’t know what that was. A friend of mine said, “Hey, why don’t you look into this?” And it was perfect for me because it’s very goal-oriented, which I am. There…It’s practical, but it’s also deep and it’s also creative. And I even brought creativity and art into my practice doing workshops in the beginning. And I sometimes bring them back when I do retreats. So I became a dating coach after my first two years of coaching because…I was coaching, my friends who were dating and making a mess of it and I remember one friend who I used to take walks with every day. She, she was dating this really toxic guy who was telling her that he’s not at all available for a relationship. And she said, “What do you think he meant by that?” (Laughter)
Jodi: I think he just told you what he meant by that. (Laughter)
Sandy: But it’s amazing how many people don’t see what’s right in front of them. And I was helping her with her profile. I was writing profiles and helping her with her photos and, you know, doing all the online dating stuff with her. And I had no idea what I was doing, but I, I was good at it and I said, “Okay, this, this is a really fun thing to do.” And I segued my coaching into dating and relationship. And I have been doing that for almost 14 years.
After I think about three years ago, I realized the part that I love most about my work is helping women find their value. I was finding that the part about like teaching women, how to flirt or, I don’t know, you know, just kind of the nitty gritty of what a lot of people teach in dating, was not as interesting to me as the deeper work.
And so I started a new business. It’s called “The Woman of Value.” I have a Woman of Value Club, which is a membership program where women come every month and learn about dating, relationships, skills, all the things that are important to be a better human, really, and to relate better to other people.
And I also authored a book a year ago, about a year ago, during the pandemic, it’s called Becoming a Woman of Value: How to Thrive in Life and Love. Just being able to see people transform and own their value as I have after my divorce is the most gratifying thing.
Jodi: First and foremost, congratulations on launching your children so successfully into their lives! That is a tremendous accomplishment. And you have been on quite a personal odyssey these years.
It’s so fascinating that it’s led you to this point and that you reference back to your yearbook from high school as, as a catalyst to help you move forward. I love that. Uh, and that you have gotten to this place where you have really found that grounding oneself in their value is of the utmost importance in being successful in life.
Sandy: Well, thank you for acknowledging that launching children is an accomplishment because I honestly think that every, every relationship is important in our lives. You know, whether it’s our work relationships, our children, if we have them, our significant others, our family, all of them really are what makes up our lives and how we show up in one is usually how we show up in all of them.
And parenting for me was an opportunity to sort of change the legacy of how I was raised, which was. Feelings and needs. What are those? I don’t know….which is not to put my parents down. But most parents just had no idea how to honor or talk about feelings. It was more about like “Just get over it. Don’t think about that.” And a lot of fixing and a lot of yelling and mind reading and all the things that I wanted to change in my parenting and also in my coaching practice. Because we just don’t have the skills to communicate effectively, to know how to set boundaries around the things that really matter to us.
And so I…my kids have said to me, it’s pretty amazing that you came out the way you did from your family and that you were able to kind of rise up and that’s what I want for them. And it’s what I want for everybody.
Jodi: I hear you. I think that “the Greatest Generation” wasn’t really encouraged to be as expressive and to put things out there that were in their minds. You were just to forge forward and keep it to yourself and be tough and move forward. A survivalist mentality, perhaps. I’m not trying to psychoanalyze your family, but I think that there’s what you spoken about is something that a lot of people have experienced of a certain age with their grandparents or parents.
Sandy: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you put it so nicely.
Jodi: But we’re in a different time now.
Sandy: Yeah, we are. And you know, I still made mistakes. I was trying to figure it out, but one of the most pivotal things I think for me was reading a book called How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk, because I never realized you have to actually listen to your kids that they should just respect you because you’re the mom. And the moment that I started to really empathize, and it was really the beginning of empathy for me.
I didn’t know anything about empathy. To change my relationship with my children, they felt heard, I felt respected. They felt respected. And years later, when I was a dating coach, I created a course called “How to Talk to Men So Men Will Listen and How to Listen So Men Will Talk.” So it was based on that book, but it was like, we don’t know how to talk to each other.
Jodi: Right, right. Well, empathy is a cornerstone of any relationship, isn’t it?
Sandy: It sure is. And we’re so bad at it. Like we think we have to come in and fix and, and diminish somebody’s feelings so that they’ll just move on and get over it. I remember my very first retreat that I had. One of my members had to leave early because somebody she was so close to was put into hospice care. She was devastated. And so she flew back to LA from Connecticut to be with her family.
And all I was watching as the other women in the retreat, were trying to give her empathy and one of them said, um, “Oh, you’re going to be okay” or “Don’t worry about it.” Some were crying more than she was so that she was then taking care of them.
And I watched the whole thing because I’ve been in situations where people didn’t know what to say. And I thought it was a great opportunity, even though it was for dating and people were looking to go on their last first date, I said, “This is a really important skill and let’s talk about empathy and how do we give empathy?” And I said, “I know you were all trying to do your best, but let’s talk about how we can do better.”
And it was a great in the moment lesson on how to really sit with somebody, how to really just hold them where they are and not try to take it away or make it even worse. But we don’t have the skills to do it, and I think it’s just important for us to learn them.
Jodi: It’s not a typical thing to do, to step back from a moment in time that you’re experiencing and to assess it, especially in a group format like that. But this presented that opportunity for you and your retreat attendees, which I would presume was rather powerful for them when they reflected back on, on their actions, and their behavior to help their fellow retreat participant move forward.
Sandy: I hope so. I hope it stayed with them because that was the intention was not, not to shame them because they didn’t do a right, but to really start to learn the skills that they need to take those forward into all their relationship.
Jodi: We need to learn skills when we are dating because dating requires practice and it requires one to be out there trying different things, being vulnerable, being engaged with, in conversation, with, and present with whoever it is you’re on a date with in different ways. Would you agree?
Sandy: Yeah, for sure. There’s so many skills that we need to learn, and it’s amazing when you practice those how much better your relationships get and also just how much more empowered you feel when you’re dating, like you’re actually a choice and you get to look at somebody and decide how they would fit into your life. Not just, “I hope he picks me and oh my God, I’m so anxious on the date.”
You know, I used to date like that and now, and, I’m still single. And I’m going to talk about my date in a moment. But it’s such a different experience where I come in confidently, you know, just kind of not full of nerves, but to have a good time and to connect with a human being.
Jodi: I reached that point on my dating journey as well. For me, it was a, I guess, a combination of things coming together at a certain time in life. One was age, just being more mature, being more confident, having more, a lot of experience dating. (Laughter)
But also not requiring someone else to validate me…getting to that point of, as you were speaking about in your wonderful book, Becoming a Woman of Value, my own value in my own self-worth, which every woman, every person should strive to get to. And, it’s tough to stay there all the time because of just the challenges life will throw at you, but really to try to be grounded in that place.
So you’ve come on to talk about this date that you went on and you came to this date after a good amount of dating experience, right?
Sandy: Oh yeah.
Jodi: And I am excited to hear the story. So why don’t we get into it?
Sandy: So, we’re going to call this guy, “Liverpool Dude.”
Jodi: I love that! Liverpool Dude. I can be accent is just already in my head.
Sandy: Well, that’s what pulled me in as so many women who see that somebody from England or South Africa or Australia, and you’re like, “Ooh, I just want to hear what he sounds like.” So that was me.
He connected on Bumble with me and he was cute. And he was also 15 years younger, which was very flattering…that he said right away, “I’m attracted to your intelligence.” He seemed really bright and he paid attention to my profile. So he asked me questions. Like I have a two truths and a lie. My two truths and a lie where I can stand on my head, I Drive a stick shift and I wrote a New York times bestseller.
Jodi: That’s terrific! You can stand on your head?
Sandy: I can. (Laughter)
Jodi: They’re all impressive, but the first one….it’s all impressive, but wow! That’s remarkable! (Laughter)
Sandy: It’s just one of the skills. It’s like this thing I could do, like my whole life without really trying, but, um, yeah. And driving a stick shift is also a great conversation starter because I’ve always pretty much almost always driven a stick shift.
So this happened about a month ago during the pandemic and he seemed really cute and really attentive. And we got on a call pretty quickly. And of course, because I wanted to hear his Liverpool accent. He was a musician when he was younger. There were so many really intriguing things about him and you know, right away he said, “I don’t care that you’re 15 years older than I am.” I like people for who they are, not how old they are.
And I said, “Yeah, me too. I date people of all different types and ages and distances. I don’t care.” After that first call, I think we talked for like an hour and a half on the Bumble phone, so I hadn’t yet exchanged my number. And then we exchanged phone numbers and my son was in the other room and he said, “Mom, you spent an hour and a half on the phone on a first call. You’re breaking your own rules!” (Laughter)
Jodi: He’s keeping you honest. (Laughter)
Sandy: He does. And usually I don’t do it. It’s like, first of all, I usually don’t have a lot to say to somebody in an hour and a half on a first call, but we had so much to talk about. So I kind of went with the flow and he said, “You know, let’s talk again tomorrow.” And I didn’t hear from him the next day. But we had set a tentative date. So let’s say this was a Thursday night. We had set a tentative day for that Sunday.
I was waiting to hear confirmation about the date and I didn’t hear from him. And I was like, “Wow! We had such great conversation. I’m going to reach out to him.” And I don’t usually do that either, but there was something about him that intrigued me.
So I was tempted to reem him out (Laughter)….show him who’s a woman of value! And I actually talked to a friend who’s also a coach and I said, “Talk me off the ledge. And how do you feel about me sending him a text? And what would that text say?” So we kind of worked it out together and kept it very positive; kind of non-attached to the outcome. I just thought, we had a good connection. I don’t know what happened.
It was just a curious and kind of playful text and it was something like, “I really enjoyed our conversation the other night. I thought we were going to get together on Sunday and then crickets. And I’m just wondering if everything’s ok?”
And so he wrote back immediately and said, “I’m so sorry. My daughter needed me and I had to go into the city.” Okay. So he goes, “Can you talk later tonight?” And we talked again for a long time. And then we really made a date. So we were going to meet the following Sunday and we set up a time. And then we said, we would check in later in the week.
And he did check in with me again. I think we spoke Thursday night and he said, “You know, I live like two hours away, but it’s fine. I like driving. I’m in my car all the time and I’m thinking that’s great.” And then he asked me again, “Are you sure you’re okay dating somebody who’s 50?”
And I said “Of course.” And he said, “Well, you don’t look 65 and I think you’re attractive. And I’m looking forward to meeting you. I’ll call you when I’m on my way.”
And so we had booked a restaurant. We were going to meet for lunch. Sunday morning I didn’t hear from him. And I thought, “Okay, he’ll call me right as he’s getting in. And I’ll leave the house when I hear from him.”
About 20 minutes before we were supposed to meet, I decided to call him. And the phone went right to voicemail and I thought, “Okay, he could still be coming.” But I had a bad feeling about it. I actually….that morning, something told me in my gut that this date is not going to happen. And I was right. He stood me up! He blocked my number! He disconnected from me on Bumble and I was, as they say in Liverpool, I was gob smacked!
Sandy: Yeah, this had never happened to me before. Um, so I sat there in my living room and I was really proud of myself for not having gone to the restaurant because a lot of people just do that and they sit there and they feel really embarrassed that they waited. And I know you have a great story in your book about that. But she made it into a great date in the end with a girlfriend, with her girlfriend, which I thought was great.
And look, you can go to a restaurant and order yourself a meal and make the best of it too. But I sat at home for a few minutes and processed it and then I was like, “Okay, get yourself out of the house. Go take a walk. Go do something and just get out of this head space.” Cause I did not want to be wallowing in self-pity and anger and it was great.
I took a walk by the beach. I breathed in the salty beach air. I felt so much better and I stayed out for a while. And then I came home and you know what? I, because I had never met him, I was able to really process it pretty quickly. And I decided to share my story with my, my people, my audience. And I created a video because part of me was a little embarrassed that it happened to me. And then I said, “You know what? I’m human and I want to share that I go through what they go through.”
And it was one of my most popular videos. People really appreciated that I was vulnerable with them. And I shared some takeaways, which I think are really important. And I can share them if you’d like.
Jodi: Yes, but before you do and I absolutely want to delve into that, I just want to say “Bravo!” Bravo, because you’ve done something that isn’t comfortable for most people, which is to come forward and say “I was stood up.” And it takes a lot to do that and to put that forward because many people have been stood up, which is all wrong and is such a shame. But that usually isn’t really talked about.
And so you’re putting it forward to say, “Hey, this happens. And not only did it happen to me, but I’m going to help you” Now we’ll delve into that so that we can help listeners who have been where you were navigate through that experience more successfully and get back to feeling like they’re a woman of value. So, please share your advice.
Sandy: Okay! So this is for anybody who has been stood up…it hurts! It is painful, but you can do something about it. And when you have a plan of action, it’s empowering. Just like when I got up, got out of my house, it was empowering and it helped me to really heal quickly.
So the first thing I think is really important is to feel what you’re feeling. We tend to, and I do. Um, I tend to like stuff, the emotions out don’t be angry. Don’t be disappointed. Don’t be anything because that’s how I was raised. As I said before, you know, it’s just, just soldier on and soldiering on keeps those feelings in. It’s much quicker to go through the feelings because they come out the other side and they’re not going to stay with you. So take a few minutes and just figure out what emotions are coming up for you. Anger, embarrassment, disappointment, whatever it is, feel it. And then let it go.
Jodi: Let it out, don’t let it fester because it only does, does damage to your psyche.
Sandy: Yeah. And maybe you need to write it out. Maybe you need to call a friend and talk it out. But however you process, do it.
And the second thing that’s really important is not to ruminate on “the why.” We tend to focus on why did people do what they did to us. And we will probably never know why. Most of these things happen because….well, he blocked me, so I’m not going to find out because I’m not calling him. We can’t control people’s actions, but what we can control is our response.
And we also can ask ourselves better questions then why, which is, “Why would I want to date somebody who doesn’t respect me? Why would I want to date somebody who doesn’t have the decency to tell me the truth?”
So we ask ourselves these low value questions, like, “Why didn’t he do it?” and “Why would he do it to me?” and “Why me?” Those are questions that don’t help us. They don’t really have answers. So when you get out of self-blame and you go, hmm, why would I want to date someone like that? That’s a game changer.
Jodi: One of the trickiest parts of dating is not to take it personally, especially this early, at this early onstage, because it’s about the other person. It’s really not about you. They don’t know you.
Sandy: No, they don’t know me and for whatever sick reason, they wanted to have a lot of conversations with me and then not show up. I started doubting every part of the conversation. Like, was he even from Liverpool? (Laughter) I don’t know. And it was pretty hard to fake the accent for a couple of hours. I do believe that part.
So the next thing that’s important is to really take care of yourself. The best antidote to getting stood up or being rejected in any way is to love yourself more; to practice self-care.
So I did that by going to the beach and breathing in that delicious salty ocean air. I took a walk. I sat on a bench. Just do what makes you happy. Maybe want to meet a friend for coffee or a walk or journal. Like I said before, you might want to go get a manicure. So, you know, just kind of do something that keeps you feeling good about yourself.
Jodi: Take time for self-care.
Jodi: That’s what you’re suggesting. Absolutely. That’s so important.
Sandy: Yeah. I think throughout the dating process, we need to practice self-care for sure. And along the same lines, positive affirmations are always good. So understand that one person’s actions don’t determine your self-worth.
You can say, or write things down that help you believe that you are worthy of love that you’re lovable, no matter what happens. And maybe it’s something like, “my heart is still open to love” or, “I’m making room for the right person to come into my life.” And you know, it’s like, it’s part of the journey. You also congratulate yourself for putting your heart out there.
I think a lot of people just don’t date. And so if you getting stood up, it means that you’re taking a risk and you’re getting out there and you’ve made a connection and that you still do believe in love. So I think that’s super important is to just kind of pat yourself on the back and say, “I’m out there. I’m doing it. It’s part of the journey.”
Jodi: It is. And we always should acknowledge that we’re making an effort. We’re taking risks because we believe that we are worthy of love and that we have love to give that lucky person who gets to receive it if we meet that person one day.
Sandy: Yeah, definitely. And the last thing that I want to share is that this is an experience to learn from. When I work with a client, we debrief every date so that it’s always a learning experience. I have my dates look at three things they liked about a person. If they’re actually on a date, two things that were yellow or red flags, and three things they thought they did really well on the date that they’re proud of and two things they might want to do differently the next time. We’re always looking at what worked, what are some signs that we might’ve missed and what can we do better. And so I think it’s really important to debrief what happened.
I was able to look at my interactions with Liverpool Dude and I realized that his words and actions did not match from the beginning. He didn’t call when he said he would. He didn’t follow up on that date like he said he would. At one point, he said…he had sent me some music that he had recorded when he was younger in Liverpool….and he texted that to me once we had exchanged numbers.
I asked him a simple question, like, “What part did you play in the band?” It took him four days to answer! And then he made up an excuse and said he lost his phone and “I’m so embarrassed and I’m such a proper twat that I didn’t call you.” So of course saying proper twat makes it sound so cute. (Laughter)
Jodi: Yes. Especially for us American women!
Sandy: Yes, that’s right. So, you know, it’s apologies and “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.” And so we have to stop excusing the inexcusable. And I also spoke way too much on the phone before meeting. I almost never, ever, ever do that.
I had an experience early on in dating where I talked to a guy so many days in a row before meeting that the meeting itself, that the date itself was horrific. We had like no connection. But I had built him into this amazing person because of a phone connection.
So we tend to do this. We are so yearning for connection and we finally find somebody who’s interesting and seems interested and we want it to work so badly that we overlook red flags, yellow flags. And I was flattered. I was flattered that a younger man wanted to date me and you know, all these things that I just learned from, and I won’t do them again.
So if you’re looking honestly, at some of the things that you might have missed and some things that you might’ve excused, just do it differently next time and follow through on your commitment to be true to yourself and true to your values and to your standards.
Jodi: These are priceless pearls of wisdom that you garnered from this unfortunate date of being stood up, that you have just shared with me and listeners. Thank you Sandy. Really. Thank you for coming on the show to, to shine a light on an incident, an experience, that too many people have, and that really isn’t talked about much in any sort of open forum. So this is really helpful, I know, for people who are listening.
And what also will be helpful for our listeners is for them to get your book, Becoming a Woman of Value: How to Thrive in Life and Love. I have read it. I loved it. It is filled with actionable advice and you’ve got those 30 steps in it based on the three pillars you’ve already discussed with us. And you’ve got wonderful stories woven into it. And honestly, I was nodding my head as I read it. It was just, “yes, yes, yes” as I went through the book. So I really recommend that listeners get it. Could you please share where they can get your book and also how they can get in touch with you to follow up as potentially a client?
Sandy: Sure. Well, thank you for that lovely review of my book. It’s a labor of love. You can find my book on Amazon and you can find me at LastFirstDate.com. That’s where you’ll find all my coaching services, my blog, my podcast is there.
My podcast is called “Last First Date Radio,” and that’s wherever you listen to podcasts, it’s everywhere. We’re in our ninth year and almost 500 episodes. Make sure to check out my episode with Jodi, we had a fantastic discussion and I really loved our conversation.
Jodi: Me too! Thank you for having me on your show. It was great.
Sandy: You’re welcome. It was fantastic. So, yeah, that’s where I am. I’m also at TheWomanofValue.com. So if you’re interested in not dating, but finding your value in other ways, I also have a podcast there and you can find it there and a blog and a whole bunch of other things.
I also have a Facebook group that is for single women over 40. We do have women in relationships and women who are married, who started out single in the group, and got married and are sharing their experiences.
It’s a fantastic group. I have seven monitors who keep this group safe and sane, and we have just really beautiful discussions about how to grow on your journey to lasting love. And you can find that at “Your Last First Date” on Facebook.
Jodi: You’ve created an incredibly rich and meaningful and helpful portfolio of services and resources and expertise for women to help them achieve their value and to find the partner they’re seeking. I will share all of the information–all the links for how people can get in touch with you–in the show notes for this episode.
Thank you, Sandy, for this conversation and for all of the value you bring to the world.
Sandy: Ahh, thank you, Jodi. We are so aligned in how we see the world and it’s always great talking to you.