When I mentioned my blog and forthcoming book to my cousin Jo Robinson, who is a rock star in the health and relationship writing arena, she said I absolutely must talk to Pat Love. And she was right, because after we spoke, I realized that the work Love is doing is the lynchpin to what we’re navigating as 40licious women. The aptly-named Love is an expert on relationships and authored many books including “Hot Monogamy” with Jo, and “The Truth About Love.” Her new book, “Never be Lonely Again: the Way Out of Isolation, Emptiness, and a Life Unfulfilled” takes cues from the Dalai Lama and asks readers to address a basic question: “Who am I”?
The next few posts will be pearls of wisdom from my interview with Love. I hope you find them as insightful as I do.
Vanessa: What are you seeing in relationships for women in their 40s?
Pat: It’s interesting I just spoke with a group of 40-something group of women on Saturday in a small group, spa setting. It was an exclusive group and they asked me to talk about sex over 40.
V: We love that.
P: So if I had to make some generalizations, I’d would say, in their 40’s, women come up for air. At this point, they’ve launched the activities that involve major tasks in life. If they wanted to have children, they’ve probably done that, or taken the means to make that happen. They’ve launched some kind of a job or career or some kind of a work history. They’ve probably tried a love relationship or two. I think what happens in your 40’s is you become consciously aware that “I’m a person too” and you start asking the question, “Who am I?”
In fact I had a woman in my office just yesterday, a couple, actually, and she was just approaching 40. And I asked a question, “What are your core values?” In other words, “When you’re dead and gone, how do you want the people you love to remember you: your children, your friends,” and she teared up and she couldn’t answer the question. It’s a very thought-provoking question.
To be honest with you, I’m not sure I had a conscious thought ’til I was close to 40. But somehow, and maybe this is projection, because of the biological imperative that’s built into our bodies, 40-something is the first time you might get to think about yourself, and I think that’s a major life task of your 40’s. And I think that’s a major life task of your 40s. And so I don’t know if that’s an answer that you’re seeing. To think about yourself might be, “Well, I’m not really interested in sex, and why should I have sex if I’d don’t feel like having sex, and yet, it’s a deal-breaker with my partner, OK, I’ve gotta figure out a way to feel sexier and more motivated,” or, “You know what? I’m tired of working for somebody, I want to work for myself,” or “Now that I have my teenagers at least I have part of my day” if it’s a stay at home mom, “I can do something, and maybe this is the time I’ll go back to school, or whatever feels right.”
PLEASE COMMENT: What are your core values? What actions do you take to demonstrate your personal “brand” to the world?