I just published my first book, titled “Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer’s Guide to Love.”
When I first submitted my manuscript to my publisher, they asked which category I thought it belonged in. The title says “single,” “late bloomer,” and “love,” so one could surmise it’s a relationship book for people in midlife. It is, but it’s more than that: It’s a survival guide for anyone looking to achieve their personal best in life and love.
I got married for the first time at 51, so I do have some authority on the subject of being single. But like I said, the subject isn’t so cut and dry or as easy as meeting “The One.” To be single is to be a survivor. To be of a certain age is to be a survivor. To search for love is to be a survivor. To be human is to be a survivor.
My book is a hybrid of categories: It’s a memoir, which means it’s got personal stories, observations, and experiences, including reflections about my family and upbringing; it’s a dating handbook, which means it’s got tips on being single and finding love; but it’s also personal growth and life lessons, which means it’s self-help.
As my PR team likes to say, it’s “The Tell-All That Helps All.”
While writing the book (and years ago when I was single) it occurred to me on more than one occasion that to be single isn’t just about being on the apps or looking good. Being single—an empowered single, that is—is about being an empowered person. And how do you become an empowered person? You face your fears, build resilience and self-worth, and do whatever it takes to find your greatness. What you do in dating, you do in life, and vice versa.
“If you want to find your greatness, you’ve got to do the work. You’ve got to stop making excuses, stop refusing to take responsibility, and claiming victimhood. In other words, you’re gonna have to kick your own ass.
Doing all this will build your confidence and self-worth. If, however, your self-worth tank is low, here are my go-to tips inspired by Stoic philosophy to fill your tank back up:
- Own your truth, flaws, and quirks, and use them to your advantage.
- Practice self-forgiveness and compassion.
- Take stock of your strengths, talents, accomplishments, and great qualities.
- Stop all internal self-talk.
- Remember a time when you overcame self-doubt and prevailed.
- Congratulate yourself for doing the hard things.
- Be open to compliments and accept them graciously.
- Celebrate the small wins.
- Don’t compare yourself to others.
The good news is that if you practice the above, you’ll get results, whether it’s succeeding as an empowered single or rocking it as a middle-aged marriage first-timer.”—Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer’s Guide to Love,” p. 119
Being empowered is having conviction about who you are, and what you have to offer. It’s my philosophy as a coach, and a point I drive home in the book:
“I can make you more irresistible, teach you how to flirt, or give you tricks to snag a man. But that’s not my aim. My coaching mission isn’t so much about “getting a guy” as it is about getting a life. My goal as a coach is to improve your emotional fitness, which in turn makes you more irresistible. If I’m going to teach you how to use your feminine wiles or manly charm for anything, it’s to be authentic.”—Done Being Single: A Late Bloomer’s Guide to Love,” p. 147
Dating advice is life advice, life advice is dating advice; it’s interchangeable. It’s the kind of advice you’d give anyone trying to tough it out in the world–single or not. Dating advice/life advice means setting boundaries, staying on the path of right action, and honoring your highest good. Dating/life advice also means practicing acceptance, aging gracefully, detaching from the outcome, and knowing when to quit. I show you how to do all this in the book.
What’s also in my book are my hilarious dating tales, deep dark secrets, tearful confessions, and cringeworthy stories of mistakes made and lessons learned. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll hurl, as they say.
So how to categorize my book? Just in case you’re still wondering, go to Amazon and look up “Mate Seeking,” “Midlife Management,” “Later in Life Romance,” “Self-Esteem/Self-Help,” or “Motivational Self-Help,” and you’ll find me there.