What DO We Want in Love Now?


Recently I met a man online who was new to the scene. Bright, articulate and very clear about what he wasn’t looking for in a woman and his next relationship. Reading it, I thought, “I like how clear he is. He’s honest and confident and really a bright man…an amazing writer and he can spell!” I could almost feel the chemicals being released in my body and it felt wonderful, that sweet sensation letting me know I wasn’t dead yet.


At the same moment those hormones were taking off their pajamas, a light came on not only because I couldn’t sleep, but because I was about to sleepwalk right back into a familiar place…a black hole that I’d fallen into many times before. I felt a smile come across my face and like a recovering alcoholic, I knew this time I would take a different street even though there was a lot of comfort in that hole.


I’m addicted to the mysterious man who is a bit of an unknown quantity. He’s “almost there” or “exploring” love and relationships, and always, very “conscious”. He says he wants love in his life, he’s happy with his life, likes living alone but wants to find someone special to spend time with and share some things in his life sometimes. You get the picture, but do you get the attraction? It’s a bit like Ernest Hemingway with a dash of Richard Gere. Illusive, handsome, bright, creative, romantic and ever so charming. I’ve had some amazing food with these men. Fine wines, beautiful settings in gorgeous locations, romantic sails and even spent some wonderful holidays right out of a movie set. What more could a woman ask for? 


I’ve grown over the years, perhaps, grown up. Still drawn to those men who sort of want a relationship. I now know that although the honeymoon will be amazing, what will follow for me at least,  is the emptiness, confusion, struggle and drama that belongs in that Hemingway novel but not in my precious life. Now, I know to walk around that hole, take another street. That other street is less familiar and requires more from me than blithely following those delicious hormones down the road. Now, I must choose what is right for me and that requires knowing what that truly IS. It means facing my fear that he might not be out there, or at least within 50 miles of me. And the temptation to settle can return again and again when that fear appears.


Isn’t being a grown up a wonderful thing? It may be hard work at times, but the rewards are so amazing. When I find the man I truly want and deserve, I’ll happily walk over those spent fireworks that lay on the ground,  holding the hand of someone who wants what I want. The journey begins with knowing what that is.


Do you know yourself, who you are NOW, and what you really want in your next amazing relationship? Begin there because when you know who you are and what you want, you can know them when you see them. 

I’m here to hold your hand, keep you motivated and teach you how to trust yourself…and see dating as an adventure!
Let’s meet each other and get you on the road to finding love again. For a complimentary 30-minute session, give me a call at 510-817-4242 or email me at to set up a time to talk.


Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, and Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair

Big Red Chair

Our Secrets Keep Us Trapped


I spent the week listening to some of the leaders in the field of  human potential, I’ve spent a lot of my life rooting around looking for myself…and my potential.  Anne Lamott was the highlight for me. I’ve always identified with her, maybe because she’s honest, willing to write and speak without her make-up  on or her “best self” flag hanging out there.  As I get older, I want to be just like Anne though she’d say, “No, you don’t. You just want to be just like YOU.”


The summit wrapped its content around “Self-Acceptance”. Sound a bit woo-woo to you? Maybe you’re thinking that we’re all a bit too self-focused already? If you’re grousing about the “young folks today”, most assuredly you are thinking, “My God, we ought to be teaching them to accept responsibility, show up for work wearing some decent clothes and looking up from those damn phones long enough to cross the street or drive a car!” So, I get the skepticism. I gotta admit, I wasn’t expecting much more than fluff…except for Anne Lamott!


I tuned in to watch about 12 presenters of the over 30 that participated. Scientists talked about neuroscience and self-esteem. Coaches, speakers, writers, addiction specialists, spiritual directors, many of whom you’d know took self-acceptance to a new level…a personal one.  It certainly got personal for me.


You see, it seems that unless we really do like ourselves, it’s hard to like anyone else. And, there is no greater challenge to human beings than just that…liking ourselves. Question is, however, how can we be expected or know how to like ourselves when we’re born into such negative, untruths about who we are? Taught to be an imposter, hiding parts of our sweet selves that we have disowned because we are so ashamed of them. Things like my father and grandfather’s suicides, a mother who struggled her whole life with crippling depression, knowing what it felt like to have the repo guys come while I was in school, coming home to an empty house , and being delivered a Thanksgiving turkey and a “food bag” from the church so that we could have a holiday meal. I could, as I am betting you could as well, go on and on about the things in our lives we’ve done, been told, experienced or had done to us that cause us to carry shame. Much of my life and energy has been consumed by making sure nobody knew my secrets. I thought if they did, they couldn’t possibly love me. 


So, how do we learn to accept ourselves? We get feisty. Ferocious about reclaiming that beautiful little person that came into this world exactly the way he/she was supposed to. Not perfect for very long, but making mistakes in order to learn how to live. Problem was, somebody didn’t get the memo…our parents and our society. Seems religion told us we were already born sinners. How can you feel good about that? Then, there was that thing about mistakes. Spilled milk wasn’t a normal thing children did. Yelling, or saying things like, “You’re so clumsy!” made their mark and went into our internal storage units.


We now need to learn how to treat ourselves as well as we treat our children, grandchildren, friends and others in our lives that we know are wonderfully imperfect. It’s our greatest challenge, and the most important thing in our life. For only when we can accept ourselves as flawed, imperfect, mistake-making, desperate-for-love human beings will be begin to protect ourselves from our own inner critic and be willing to share some of those “shameful secrets” with others who have similar stories. Then and only then can we know that  though our stories may be different, we all have them. There’s such comfort knowing that because we no longer feel that deep fear of being and feeling alone. A dark place becomes illuminated when we share our stories with fierce honesty. First, with ourselves,then with others who are safe and who we know really won’t abandon us. The irony of being honest and vulnerable is that shared experiences, especially those that make us feel ashamed and alone, are the very things that bring us closer together. If you don’t believe that, look at all those amazing human beings on the ground around the world, and right here at home, being there for those who are suffering.


Don’t wait for an illness, earthquake, or life’s most challenging times to tell your stories. Ask for help if you need it any day of the week, or in the middle of the night. Be there when others give you the gift of their precious stories…especially the ones they’d rather not share. It’s an honor to to listen. Others who love you will be honored when you’re ready to share yours too.

Like this post? Re-post it on your social media so that others can begin the feisty journey toward honesty and joy!

Are you tired of being alone, but think nobody would love you if they knew “this” about you? Don’t let this myth stand in the way of finding someone with whom to share this amazing chapter of your life!

Want to talk about how to find love, both for yourself and someone special?

Email me for a Complimentary Strategy Session today! 

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Writer, Speaker and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big RED Chair  510-817-4242


What’s It REALLY About…Loving After 60?



Those of us who are thrown/cast/sentenced to being back out in the land of dating and mating after 60 often want many of the same things. Who doesn’t want someone that looks younger than their age, sexy and passionate, adventurous, kind, romantic and of course “has no baggage”? Just like when we were teenagers, truth be known, we want pretty much the same qualities PLUS the wisdom and experience 60 plus years brings. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take the movie version of romance right to the last day of my sweet life. But, here’s something none of us wants…


We phrase it differently because to even think it makes us feel like a heel. Some say, “I don’t want someone I have to push in a wheelchair.” We think someone younger, even by 3-4 years, will mean we can travel together, build that vacation home that is still on our bucket list or just give us more time than someone our own age, or a year older. We bargain with time and in the process, deny what none of us wants to face as older adults who so want to love again.


Denial can be a wonderful thing. All of us use it in our lives in one way or another. That first look in the mirror in the morning says, “OMG! Who the hell is that?” The minute we look away, our heart and soul resets itself to age 35. Off we go into the day, the same person we once were. Everybody else looks “their” age. We notice someone on the bus with a walker and think, “Poor thing!” but every cell in us is 35 and will be that way forever. Thank Mother Nature for that denial. It does keep us living our lives, staying curious and on the dance floor for salsa lessons.


There is, however a downside. The illusion that perfect or almost perfect health will always be there for us. Illness may happen to others, but not to us. We think age is always the determining factor in when our health issues might occur or grow larger and more serious. And the big onethat our hearts won’t shatter when we lose someone we love. You see, all that bargaining we do is really our fear of losing the love and the lover we so desperately seek.


Nothing guarantees us one more moment of life or great health. Authors who write the books about running, eating the world’s healthiest diet, meditating your way to long life died well before 75, and still we think we will live forever.


So, how do we open our hearts to love as we age? Do we want it badly enough to push past the denial, open our hearts to each other knowing that life is a precious second at the time no matter what age we are? Do we go on our journey willing to do whatever it takes to find love knowing that also means “for better or worse”? Most importantly, is love worth the certainty that we will eventually feel the pain of loss?


 Love is our choice now. We no longer have to find a partner to have a family or work so hard to send our kids to college  Now it’s about us and living life our way. Today it’about tenderness, sweetness, willingness to be there to make life better than it might be alone. There’s such freedom now to truly choose love. Yes, it has a cost… and it’s a precious opportunity for happiness.  How will you choose to see it? Why not go forward, eyes wide open, take the plunge and enjoy every sweet second of it? 

Are you ready to find the next love of your life? Unsure where to begin or not having much luck in your search? 

I’d love to be your guide.

Give me a call at 510-817-4242 to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session

Maybe you’ll be sharing the holidays with someone special by starting your journey to love today!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair




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