Forget Jerry Maguire!


She drove 25 miles to meet me for lunch, and somehow though that’s what we do here in the Midwest, it still made me feel treasured. Not a friend yet, we’d only met once when I was still unpacking my things and the snow still sneaked up on us some mornings. It was a Meet-Up group, six women walking on a sunny day telling our stories as only women do when they hike.


I’ll admit complete ignorance really. About this area of the country that I’ve only seen out the windows of airplanes as I crisscrossed from California to Maine and back. Being a lifetime coastal dweller, looking down I’d try to imagine what it must be like to live down there in that flat land only bordered by each other in wide open spaces that go on forever.

I think of the Dust Bowl, of Steinbeck and those election years when whoever lived there seemed to pick our next President.


I didn’t remember much about Gayle except how sweet she was and her beautiful shiny face that looked as if it had never seen makeup. Blue eyes given by the Swedes, they smiled at me when she came through the door. Seems she’d not been to my little town “in years”. Well before this Thai restaurant was on the River.


Right away she wanted to continue the conversation we’d had on the hiking trail. Fascinated by my work with people who are looking for love, she’d told me about her daughter, who at age 30 had given up. About being a widow for nine years, her husband a hard working man who was an alcoholic. It hadn’t really occurred to her that she might want to love again until that morning we met.


The Pad Thai came and I had to pace myself. All I wanted to do was savor it and stop myself from choking from shoveling it down. Gayle was still on her Spring Rolls.


“At first, I was so lonely and I wanted someone really badly but not any more…well, not like that, anyway”, she said. “I’m happy with my life. My kids are near me, I do things I love to do and I’m pretty happy most days with life.” Then she said something that really hit home…”I used to feel as if I had to have someone or I wouldn’t be happy. You know, it was kind of desperate feeling. Now, I feel like I’m OK being alone, but that having a companion would just add to my happiness.” I knew exactly what she meant and that it is a crossroads for many of us who have loved and lost someone, whether by death, divorce or wisdom that it wasn’t the right person for us. That growth from living the movie line, “You complete me.” to the sweetness of saying to someone new that we’re coming to love, “I’m happy you’re in my life. It’s so much more fun to do this with someone.”


This transition from needing someone to make us whole to wanting someone to add to our pretty darned OK life is not a straight line, nor is it easy at times. It takes time and a path that is unique for all of us. Some of us will need another go-round to find that place of serenity. That’s OK.


If you’re feeling like life is pretty darned good, that you’re happy most days and yet, feel that big space in your bed would sure be better with someone there, it might be time to gently move towards that. But remember, much like finding a job, you gotta be clear about what and who you’re looking for to make life richer and more fun. Today, just start opening to the possibility and I can help you find the way to love!


Your First  30-minute Session is On Me

Call me at 510-817-4242 or email me at  and let’s set it up!


Donna Bailey, MS

Coaching, Speaking, Writing and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big Red Chair




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