Dating after 50

Linx Q & A with Jodi Klein, Author of First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures

Linx Q & A with Jodi Klein, Author of First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures

What is the book about and why did you write it?

First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures is a collection of true hopeful, hilarious, and horrific tales, plus takeaway tips and inspirational quotes told to me by women in midlife. I wrote it to provide entertainment, camaraderie and guidance to readers who are riding the dating rollercoaster or considering a comeback.

I want all daters to believe that they will find love, no matter how unlikely it may seem at times. To do that, they must keep going on first dates. Dating is a numbers game. The more people you meet, the greater chance you have to encounter your “Mr. Yes” or “Ms. Yes.” Also, you’re much more likely to fall in love after you’ve accepted and embraced who you are and truly love yourself. 

Not all the stories in the collection conclude with “happily ever after” endings, but each woman kept showing up for first dates because she believed that she was worthy of receiving love and that there was someone worthy of consuming the gift of her love. 

It is my hope that their stories inspire readers to do and feel the same. Millions of women in midlife are riding the first date rollercoaster. First Date Stories will help them take the ride together. 

Where did you get the idea from?

The idea was born out of my personal experience. I know what it’s like to date longer and later in life. A demanding career and desire to find my “Mr. Yes” led to me becoming an alumna of nearly 400 dates over the course of 26 years. As friends peeled off into coupledom, it became increasingly difficult to find women who were single like me. By the time I reached midlife, dating had gone from being a supportive, shared adventure, to what often felt like a solo journey.

I discovered that I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. I also came to realize that women derive empathy and connection through the sharing of our stories. But when you don’t know others who are in the same place in life as you, there are no stories to hear. If you don’t have people to connect with who relate to where you are, you can feel baffled by today’s dating scene, as well as frustrated, disconnected and possibly even lonely. Many of the women who I met for whom this was true were giving up on finding the love that they desired.

At the time, I was a member of a short story writing group. I casually began chronicling some of my first dates. As I told women about what I was doing, more of them wanted to share their tales. The momentum built. My fellow writers told me that they were curious about what happened following each date, so I inserted a section called “The Rest of the Story.” Realizing that there were lessons to be learned from each tale, I added Dating Takeaway Tips. Quotes from renown women are placed throughout for laughs and to instill some words to live by.

What started out as a side project evolved into this book. But the publishing process takes a long time. Creating a podcast doesn’t. So I launched the podcast and the blog in tandem while I continued to work on the book and the “First Date Stories Initiative” was born!  

Do you have a target reader? 

Absolutely! The target reader is a woman in her mid-thirties to early-60s who wants to meet a loving lifelong partner. I wrote it for “seasoned daters,” which is a term I coined for people who are in the dating scene longer than they’d anticipated they’d be. It was also written for women who have come out of long term committed relationships, who are divorced or widowed. Early reviewers have also pointed out that men dating in midlife who’d like to gain insights into the female psyche should also buy the book.

Has a book like this been written before?

To my knowledge, this collection is the first of its kind. Through the years, I’ve continued to search for a book that features a collection of true first date tales of women’s midlife dating travails. I have yet to find another one. 

How did you keep dating after so many years?

I kept believing I would meet my match. Not every hour of every day, but more often than not. I started writing First Date Stories a few years before I went on the most important first date of my life—with my future husband. We got engaged 10 months later and I became a first-time bride when I was 49 years old.

I share with readers how he and I met, and the first date we went on, in the book’s final chapter. Now I know that all the dating ups and downs that I lived through before meeting him were worth it, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time. 

I hope that First Date Stories will motivate readers to continue going on first dates. The reason is simple: if they don’t go on a first date, they’ll never go on a second, a fifth, a tenth, and move toward a lifelong, loving partnership.  

What are you working on now?

I’m continuing to work on the “First Date Stories Initiative,” which, with the addition of the book, is comprised of three components. 

There’s the “First Date Stories Podcast.” On each episode, I interview a woman about a memorable date she’s been on. Guests have revealed all kinds of stories, from whacky to wonderful. There was the veterinarian who showed his date the paintings he made from the blood that gushed out of his nose when it bled, the man who made a racist comment at dinner not realizing that the woman he was out with is half African American, the woman who met her boyfriend during the pandemic in a Comic-Con group on Facebook, and many more!

At the end of each episode the guest shares advice to help listeners become more in-the-know, confident daters. 

There’s also the “First Date Stories Blog,” which showcases writings by dating and relationship coaches and self-care experts. All of it can be found at FirstDateStories.com. The podcast can also be heard wherever people listen to podcasts.

You mentioned that your guests on the podcast share dating advice. What’s the advice you hear most often?

Guests have shared an array of advice over the nearly 50 episodes we’ve recorded. There is one theme that’s most common, though. It’s to be open! And by “open,” they mean open in multiple ways. 

Be open to being with a partner who’s different than you’d imagined your future partner to be. Be open to meeting them in a way or place that you hadn’t expected to. Be open in your communications with the people you date by telling them what’s essential to you in a loving relationship and what your boundaries and unacceptable are.  It’s when we’re open in both heart and in mind to what may come next that we’re more likely to welcome wonderful people and experiences into our lives and grow as human beings. 

How did you meet your husband? Please share with me some details about your first date. 

Actually, our first date almost didn’t happen! The final story in the collection, which is titled “The Traffic Trifecta,” chronicles how my husband and I met and our first date. There’s a lot to the tale and it’s a wild one. I’ll summarize it. 

We’d met at a business networking event earlier in the week. Shortly after unexpectedly asking me what my relationship status was as I munched on an appetizer, which I then nearly choked on, he left the event with my business card in hand. The next day he contacted me on LinkedIn and we set up a coffee date. Given that he’d messaged me on a business platform, I wasn’t sure if we’d scheduled a networking or personal rendezvous.

Although I’d given myself what should have been more than ample time to drive across San Francisco on a Friday afternoon to meet him at a café, I got stuck in the worst city traffic jam I’d ever experienced! Only then did I discover that downtown streets had been unexpectedly shut because the President of the United States was at a meeting! Multiple times I considered canceling and turning around. The longer I stayed locked in traffic, the shorter our date would have to be, as I was celebrating my birthday that evening with family. 

I decided that not even President Obama was going to keep me from getting to the date! So I channeled Steve McQueen from the movie “Bullit” and circuitously wound my way through the city’s streets and down alley ways, arriving at the café 45 minute late! 

Our time together flew by. We discovered numerous shared interests and a similar sense of humor. I was attracted to him and comfortable in his company. It all felt easy. Natural. When we said our goodbyes, he commented we should get together again. 

Later that evening, my mother asked if it had been a date or a business meeting. 

“It was a date,” I responded. 

“How do you know?” she asked. 

“Because he didn’t ask me one question about business!” We burst out laughing!

He asked me out for the following Friday, and we’ve been together ever since. We got engaged 10 months later, and I became a first-time bride at the age of 49 years old.

What a wonderful synopsis! How do you think women who are dating will be helped by reading this story?

First and foremost, I hope that it will be an entertaining and enjoyable read for women and for men who want to learn more about the women they’re courting. 

I believe there are at least three lessons to be learned from this story for people who want to find their match. One is to go to events alone. Yes, go solo. Shake off any uncomfortable feelings you might have showing up somewhere without a companion. You’re much more approachable when you’re not with a friend. It was because I wanted to talk to someone at the networking event, and the man who is now my husband was eating alone, that I walked up to him. 

The second is to talk to strangers. Forget what you were taught as a child. When you see someone from across the room, you should approach them and try to start a conversation. It’s so easy to miss these opportunities¾these gifts¾to connect with others. You lose out on saying hello to someone new who might add something special to your life, and they’ve been denied the chance to get to know you, even a little. 

And the third lesson is that you can find love at any age, at any moment in time, anywhere. Believe that you’re worthy of receiving love, that there’s someone out there who’s worthy of receiving the joy of your love. Don’t settle and keep showing up!

What’s your “secret sauce” to a happy marriage? 

There are numerous factors that go into making our marriage such a happy one. What I view as our “secret sauce” is that we are each other’s biggest champion, cheerleader and evangelist. We respect and believe in one another so deeply that we support each other’s goals and dreams unequivocally. It’s an amazing feeling when you find someone who believes that your success is their success and vice versa.

How can readers get your book? 

First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures will be published on September 14 by She Writes Press! Readers can pre-order it from their local independent bookstore, Bookshop.orgBarnes and NobleAmazon and wherever they like to buy their books. 

For a signed copy, they can purchase the book from Books Inc. or come to one of the upcoming events that are listed at FirstDateStories.com/Book. They can also find more information about the book, podcast and blog on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

Jodi’s Bio:

Jodi Klein is the author of First Date Stories: Women’s Romantic and Ridiculous Midlife Adventures, which will be published on September 14. She founded First Date Stories as a platform for women to share their tales and wisdom so that others can overcome the trials of dating in midlife and find the long-term love they seek. Jodi is a graduate of UC Davis and holds an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, where she spends time working with local non-profits and rooting for her favorite sports teams. For more information, please go to FirstDateStories.com. 

Finding Love Again After Divorce or Loss of Spouse

Shot of a mature couple drinking champagne while relaxing in deck chairs at sunset
Romance, courtship, and monogamy are wonderful blessings to strive for in life, regardless of one’s age. 2015 has been a fascinating year across multiple axes at Linx, as we have had the opportunity to work with some of the most influential men and women in the nation. What I particularly admire about many of our new clients is that they are well over 50 years old. Many of them have been married once, twice, and in some cases three times. We have even represented many widowed clients who, after having taken sufficient time for healing, introspection, prayer, and quality moments with family and friends, affirm their belief that love with someone new seems fathomable and within reach.

Why spend the rest of your life alone when you could find a companion, a love, a lover, a dancing partner, a best friend- you name it – with whom you could fall in love and experience magic again? Loss, of any kind, fuels the soul with hope and curiosity – it can be very exciting to “hit reset” and to see who’s out there in this giant world of ours. It can make you feel like you’re 16 again and feeling puppy love.

Some of our 50+ year old clients have shared that one of the major things that dissuades them from dating again, after divorce or the loss of a spouse, is worrying about what their children will think. This concern is very real and makes perfect sense on a lot of levels. Understandably, it’s not uncommon for many men and women to have very (and in some cases I have seen, extremely) poor filters when they date for the first time after divorce or losing a significant other. In most cases I see, clients were together with their spouse for 20 years on average, which means that they sort of never really dated to begin with! They got married very young, had X number of children, and never looked back.

Fast forward decades later in this era of modern dating, the social and dating landscape couldn’t be more different! A very laissez-faire attitude amongst many singles has manifested itself over the last few years and comes hand-in-hand with the rise of a million dating apps, niche dating sites, and an underlying current of complete and utter disregard for courtship and chivalry- some of the original principles upon which Linx is built. What it means to be a gentleman and what it means to be a lady. Alas, I digress.

In the multiple cases to which I have been privy about dating for the first time post divorce or loss of spouse, the stories can be gruesome to say the least. For many men, they pick someone purely based on physicality. Unfortunately after a few dates or, in some cases, an actual relationship, these men realize that the match they chose comes nowhere close to the magnitude and quality that their late spouse or even ex possessed. It is their children who regard the new flame as a poor fit for their parent and remind them that they can do a lot better.

For women, they will often chose someone who makes them feel safe, loved, and where they feel a strong emotional pull. Many of the men that these females chose on their own do not match up to them financially and lifestyle wise. In other words, they are not in the same socio-economic class but, more importantly I feel, they lack sophistication. These females are reminded by their children that the new relationship is indeed threatening, and that the new guy is simply after her money. As the saying goes, love can be blind.

So even though I have heard so many stories of dating in the wild for the first time post divorce or loss of one’s spouse and as many times as I “feel” for my clients, in many respects it is important to go through this and see what’s out there before starting Linx. I believe it makes people (my clients) appreciate the quality and caliber of our clientele even more.

So in closing, if a dear friend, colleague, or parent is sailing through the seas without a rudder as they navigate dating in 2015-2016 alone, give them the encouragement and hope that finding love is indeed possible again. Remember it’s a sensitive subject and can take time, a lot of work, moments of sheer frustration, and rejection but that they too can believe in love again and make it happen. Let them try to pilot dating on their own with some tools to start with (i.e., get online, go to singles meet-ups, etc) and once they have dated a bit and practiced, then hit them with higher stakes dating where courtship and romance is simply a click away to: amy@linxdating.com

This Week in Perspective at Linx

Ever since January 1st, I’ve been inundated with matchmaking and membership requests, trying to keep my head above water. There has been a ton of excitement and many calls from incredible folks including some major high profile people in technology, finance, and creative industries such as film or design. A lot of really cool clients have been matched – some are in the infancy stage of really exploring things and others are already coupling up. Some go on ski vacations together, others jet off to the tropics. The demand for Silicon Valley matchmaking from the 20’s crowd is as strong or even stronger than that coming from the 30+ group. We have even been getting a lot of really fantastic older men lately coming through our door. These men have typically been married before and refreshingly desire a match close to their own age (50 +)- so the demand and the supply are coming simultaneously from every age and demographic, like they rarely have before.

We’ve also been getting a lot of requests for our date coaching by professionals from all around the Bay Area. I cannot express HOW transformational this really is. You do not need to be a client to hire us for our coaching. With the help of a customized date guide prepared expressly for the client and two hours of in-person intensive coaching, those that hire us go from doubting themselves to Cheshire cats beaming with confidence. All it takes is two hours and our techniques are groundbreaking – there is nothing like it anywhere. Email me for more info!

This week we have client interviews and are hosting a sold out mini meet-and-greet series of interviews for women who are looking to qualify to meet the VIPs. Due to such high demand, we have blocked out an additional date for March 28th for another day of one-on-one mini meet-and-greets for qualifying applicants.

As we approach March and the brink of Spring, I ask you all to cast a wide net. Don’t focus so much on his swagger and exterior; focus more on his soul. Stop worrying about what others think and look within. Ask yourself if are you happy with where you are in your life. What do you need in order to be happy? I can tell you this much- confidence is the #1 rule of attraction. Men and women both love a mate who finds confidence from deep within – a super-confident (but NOT arrogant) person carries (him) herself in that certain way that emits the right pheromones. We all know it when we encounter it.

If he doesn’t call, move on. If she doesn’t wow you after two dates, give her the courtesy of closing the loop. Don’t lose sight of your New Year’s resolutions. Keep a steady head, be clear, stay focused on your goals and remember to have fun. Finally, the next time you are on a date, be a little carefree – don’t worry about trying to be perfect. Laugh out loud if you feel like it. Chances are (s)he will like that quality about you. And, at the end of the date, ask yourself DO I LIKE HIM/HER, not does (s)he like me. Digging deep and looking into your soul builds strength and that is one of the best confidence boosters out there. Have a great week and I hope you enjoy the new layout of the Linx Line blog. XO

Searching for a Princess for our VIP| Are You His Match?

The question on the mind of most guys and gals as they embark on a first (blind) date is some form of “What’s he/she really like?” It’s certainly on my mind as I go to meet a woman for the first time, knowing only a few facts about her. So what am I really like?

I could tell you that I’m a pilot, a photographer and a lawyer, but that doesn’t tell you much about what I’m like. I could be a terrible pilot, an even worse photographer and a mean or incompetent lawyer. I could give you my basic demographics – 6ft, 195lbs, early 50’s, Caucasian male, no police record, born and raised a Texan. Fills in a couple blanks, I realize, but doesn’t say much about my personality. I could also provide you the usual laundry list of fun and fabulous activities in which I, like most other guys, regularly engage in the hopes of attracting attention — such as bungee jumping from a crop-duster, lion taming with a swizzle stick, or karaoke at Carnegie Hall. But as impressive as those activities are, they don’t convey much about my personality or my ability to be a good first date (let alone a good second or third date).

Perhaps if I told you what kind of princess charming I am searching for, that would tell you something about what I’m like. So, I could list all the fine and fantastic qualities I hope my princess charming will have – she is smart, sassy, self-assured, sensitive, single, sporty, spontaneous, sure-footed, sensible, and somewhere early 30’s to early 40’s. But really, what would that say about me? Nothing much except that I have laughably high expectations and a fondness for alliteration. And in any event, making such a list sounds a lot like writing out a shopping list and I don’t like shopping lists, even when I’m headed to Safeway or Costco. I guess that’s why I always forget at least one thing and have to make a second trip. But I drive a non-Prius electric car (I keep a spare just in case), so making multiple trips to the store doesn’t really contribute to global warming, except the utility company may have to pollute the environment to make the electricity for my car, so I guess I’m partly to blame for that, but I usually remember 3 or 4 new things to get on the second trip so it’s not really a wasted trip, and there’s always a need to go to Petco because my dogs consume so much food, but alas I digress. Now back to the subject at hand.

So instead of all that, let me offer for the next woman who happens to be thinking about meeting me on a first date some accurate information that might be useful to her in answering the aforementioned question. I will list a few principles which I use as a general guide on how I approach people and life, something similar to “Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy”, only not as demented.

Perhaps this may provide some help in answering the “What’s he really like?” or “Is this the kind of guy I want to be stuck with over a two hour dinner?” question. Perhaps we already have some common ground. So here it is . . . .

1) Find the humor in any situation or person, no matter how grim or dull

2) Take your work, but not yourself, seriously

3) Be grateful for what you have, and thankful for what you do not

4) Treat everyone with sincerity and respect, but don’t take you-know-what from anybody

5) Be curious about all things, large medium and small and never stop learning something new

6) Everyone is trying to stay “one step ahead” – better to be three or four instead

7) Find compromise and pick your battles wisely, or you’ll end up fighting all your life

8) Avoid the extremes in all things, too much of anything is not a good thing (there are one or two exceptions we can discuss)

9) You learn about people by listening to them, you don’t learn when you’re talking

10) If you want the finer things in life, then work hard so you can afford them, but leave yourself plenty of time to enjoy them

And above all,

Make time to search out the great places in this Great Big World, places such as (these are photographs taken from our VIP)…grandcanyonThe Grand Canyon at sunset, a changing symphony of light and shadows and color

HaleakalaHaleakala at sunrise, from the Pacific’s Mt. Olympus, above the clouds and the entire world

MValleyMonument Valley shrouded in clouds, appearing as it did millions of years ago

ABQA hot air balloon festival, an endless colorful parade taking flight in the crisp morning air to the cheers of thousands

FlyingCloud surfing on an ethereal blanket that scarcely conceals the earth below

TurkeySunrise on the Dardanelles, floating between two continents, each rich with its own history and culture

If you have read this and you are wondering if you might qualify as a match for our VIP, email me: amy@linxdating.com. I have personally spent considerable time with our client and can attest to the fact that he is a genuinely warm, funny, quick witted, man who is truly a gentleman through and through. He’s masculine, chivalrous, successful, upbeat, and has made a nice home for himself in the Bay Area. The missing piece is the right match. Are you that girl? Email me if we’ve sparked your curiosity!

Silicon Valley Dating

We just interviewed a very impressive 50-something scientist and entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley. A true pioneer in his field professionally, loving father, and all around reinassance man. Tall, commanding, intellectual, and romantic! He’s also very kind, easy to talk to, and sincere.

Even the most confident and sexy man welcomes our subtle dating advice about strengthening one’s dating game. During his interview this week, we picked up on that he is SO passionate about his work. We worried that talk of work might dominate the conversation on a date and as a direct result could feel much more like a business meeting than a hot date for both parties.

Get to the bedroom, not the boardroom I interjected. He smiled and nodded his head. My assistant gave him some solid advice about dialing back the talk of work and playing up discussions of some of his hobbies, as well as, not forgetting to ask her questions! Dale Carnegie 101! Show a genuine interest in other people. This same principle carries over to the dating game. Ask without feeling interview-like. Be sincere and genuine.

Today I received an email from him sharing, “I was impressed by your thorough evaluation (and appreciated the tip about “keeping it light” and flirtatious; ie. avoiding too much talk about science.)” 

We love our clients and give them the necessarily tools in order to succeed. Today I guided another client when she asked the simple (yet important) question of what to wear on her first date. Since I know each and every client and their preferences, I gave her the necessary insights into him. He likes his dream woman to be confident, slightly understated, natural, and with a philosophy of less is more.

Thus, I told her wear a conservative monochromatic dress, closed toe pumps, very simple jewelry, and light natural make-up. Stay away from wild prints, cleavage exposed at all, and anything too flashy. A 2013 Jackie-O look! cn5685881This sort of classic sheath from Banana Republic is ideal for her date. Feminine sweetheart neckline, pretty, and elegant. I’d accent this with a cute trench for rainy nights and colorful pashmina, some classic stud earrings, and a necklace like Banana Republic’s ‘Deco tassle necklace’ for under $30. cn5353636

It is impossible to get these insights from other forms of dating. Online sites could never share these highly personalized preferences and most other matchmakers never really get to know their clients (so many these days simply interview “meet” their clients over Skype and never in person!)