The Day My Mother Stopped Looking for Love

Not my Mother, but she was just as beautiful!

Not my Mother, but she was just as beautiful!




My mother was a stunningly beautiful woman. The oldest of nine children of first generation landowners, she grew up on a tobacco farm in the deep South. Unlike my sweet grandchildren, my mother never knew what childhood felt like. She told me stories about standing on a stool on cold winter mornings well before the sun came up making biscuits alongside her mother, warmed only by the wood-fired stove. When she shared the stories, she never smiled. She wore her anger and sadness all over that beautiful body.

What she wanted, second only to her freedom from taking care of her siblings, was to be a model. Tall, stately with the most beautiful long legs and perfect lips, she was something to behold. At 18 she was out the door. Working as a telephone operator to earn a living, she began to do some modeling at local department stores. She was finally on her way! Until, that is, a very handsome man showed up with enough charm to sweep Ava Gardner off her feet. Every woman loves a man in uniform and those Coast Guard whites must have done her in. Before she knew it she was married with three children soon to follow. That scene wasn’t in her dream, but then again, women’s dreams rarely came true in the 1940’s.


My Daddy died young and left a beautiful widow with three children to raise, but my mother never missed having her “hair done” and as they used to say, “always looked just like she stepped out of the band box”. Though we had very little money, she always looked beautiful, even when “nobody was coming”. And, she never lost her interest in a good-looking man.


Over the years, she dated men, many of whom were truly a mess. But, she kept that spark for love until she was about 60. That was the day I remember seeing her in a jogging suit and a pair of Keds. In the days that followed, she bought more jogging suits to wear and the dresses disappeared except when she went to work. The sparkle in her eyes seemed to dull and my beautiful mother seemed to grow older every day. Years later, I realized this was when she “gave up on men”.


This is how it goes for some people, and they don’t even have to be 60. The feeling that love isn’t worth the trouble, that they always choose the wrong people, that sense of hopelessness about ever finding love. Like my mother, they just put on those jogging suits and never take them off.


The search for love takes effort and it’s easy to feel it isn’t worth it. Perhaps it isn’t for some people. But, I’m here to tell you that finding love again is so worth all the effort it takes. Just because you’ve not yet found the person that makes your heart sing, because you think he/she isn’t out there or that you are too old, or your “chooser” is defective…making the decision to do whatever it takes and asking someone to walk with you while you open your heart to love can mean a sweeter, longer, more beautiful life. Companionship, touch, sharing your joys and sorrows…who doesn’t want that?


Before you settle into your jogging suit, ask yourself if you wouldn’t rather have a glass of wine or watch a sunrise with a handsome man or a beautiful, charming woman with dreams and passion that might just be yours too!

If you know someone who’s about to put on their jogging suit, please send them the link to this post. It may just be the thing that inspires them to keep their dresses rather than shipping them  off to Goodwill!


If you are tired of watching sunsets alone and are willing to do whatever it takes to find a special someone to share this next amazing chapter of your life, I’ll show you how and be there to hold your hand.

Email me at or call 510-817-4242 to set up a time for a Complimentary Strategy Session with me. Let’s see what the NEW YEAR can bring to you!

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big Red Chair    510-817-4242 


Big Red Chair

I’m Under Doctor’s Orders




I charted it up to stress. God knows, when we’re in big transitions in our lives, it’s unavoidable. And for me, “follow your gut” is more than a phrase. I’ve been following it to one small room for several months now, and when I was about to walk, unannounced into my doctor’s office ready to say, “Do ANYTHING!”, that gut did take me to the diagnosis. I’ve got that bacteria that causes ulcers and getting rid of it is like pulling up a 300-year old redwood tree by the roots. So, off to the pharmacy to pick up the dreaded drugs, a nuclear bomb of a combination that “sometimes” kills the bacteria, if if doesn’t kill me first.


The brown paper bag from the pharmacy was not only full of pills, but sheet after sheet of instructions, warnings short of skulls and crossbones, and of course Common Side Effects. Being the neurotic I am, I began scouring each page, becoming more anxious as I flipped them over to see yet more reasons NOT to take these drugs! And then I saw it. The statement that brought me back to my senses and gave me the perspective I needed to open that adult-proof cap:


“Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.” 


Right out loud, I said, smiling…”kind of like trying to find someone to love”. Dating is hard. It’s just hard. We hang out in the wind all the time. If we’re online, it’s like another thing on the Drug info sheets:


This is a summary and does NOT have all the possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you.” 


What can we possibly know about someone not only when we see their profile online, but honestly, even when we meet them for coffee or “more naturally” at an event? There are no assurances that who they appear to be actually is who they truly are. And, I’m sure we often don’t give each other a chance to get past the jitters, and show each other our best stuff. Only time will reveal more information and give us what we need to make a decision to stay or leave this one behind (again?).   But here’s the deal via the Drug Information Sheet:


“Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished…stopping too early may mean you do not get the desired results.” 


At the advice of my Dr. and the wisdom of my gut, I’m taking a break from dating until I heal what’s ailing me. If you find yourself not enjoying the experience at least some of the time, maybe you’re thinking thoughts like, “All women are_______”, or “Everybody out there is damaged goods”, or you’re still thinking and dreaming about the one that broke your heart, it may be time to take a break, put your feet up and do a bit of healing yourself. Then, after you’ve binged on Netflix long enough, pick yourself back up and begin again.

Those Drug Information sheets must know what they’re talking about, right?

If you’re tired of being alone and looking for someone fabulous to share this chapter of your amazing life, I can show you how to stay out of the weeds of discouragement, keep that hopeless romantic in YOU alive while you find them.

Call me at 510-817-4242 for a Complimentary Intake Session to talk about how we might work together to help you find love before another holiday season arrives! 

Donna Bailey, MS

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

Donna’s Big RED Chair






We Need Each Other



Not everyone wants to see the pictures of your grandchildren and I get that. And, I posted this one anyway because every time I go on Facebook and see how loved he is, I realize once again the power and necessity of connection.


Almost two years ago, I  watched this newborn baby gaze into his mother’s eyes, turn toward his adoring father’s voice and even recognize his Grammie who had come to welcome him into the world. Science tells us that the reason  he looks at his mother is based on survival and that when that bond fails to happen, babies do not thrive.


Connection to other human beings continues throughout our lives as necessary for survival. Oftentimes work and career is the avenue to meaningful connection. Sharing our stories of day to day life with colleagues provides us a sense of belonging. But is that enough?


While some people say they are happy living alone, most want to find a partner in life. The longing for connection and belonging is powerful. When we experience the loss of someone we love, physical pain centers in our brains light up revealing that we actually do feel the pain of a broken heart. Is it any wonder then that so many of us avoid that pain by believing we don’t need or want a relationship?


Whether or not you are in a love relationship, find ways to connect deeply with others. Volunteer your time to help others, get massage regularly, get yourself to a coffee shop, find a Meetup group for singles.


It wasn’t that long ago that you looked into your mother’s eyes. Now it’s time to  find your way to someone else who needs you as much as you need them.

If you are ready to find love again, I can show you the way!

Donna Bailey, MS

Donna’s Big Red Chair

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


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