“Love for Grown-Ups” addresses marrying for life when you’ve already got a life
Port Washington resident and author Patricia Ryan Lampl knows firsthand that it’s possible to find love at any age. She met her husband on a blind date and became a first-time mom and a step-grandmother all in the same year—at age 44. Lampl is also the author of four children’s books, a magazine columnist and an award-winning television producer. She and her two co-authors, Ann Blumenthal Jacobs and Tish Rabe, have learned from the “Relationship School of Hard Knocks” and share their experiences and those of other women they’ve interviewed.
Patch writer Ann Latner had the opportunity to ask Pat Lampl some questions about her latest book book, “Love for Grown-Ups – The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying for Life When You’ve Already Got a Life” (Harlequin).
Ann Latner: Your book, “Love for Grown-ups is about finding love when you are over 35 – a challenge for many. What was your inspiration?
Pat Lampl: There were no books written for us when we got married and that’s why we decided to write “Love for Grown-Ups.” We’re not psychologists or relationship experts; this is from-the-trenches, real-life experience. We’ve interviewed women all over the country to learn how they adjusted their lives and made love work with a wonderful man. We’ve dealt with things Emily Post and Sigmund Freud never ever thought of!
AL: The subtitle of your book is “The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying for Life When You’ve Already Got a Life.” Who are the “Garter Brides”?
PL: The Garter Brides is a sisterhood of brides 35 and older that started when Ann and Pat wore the same garter at each of their weddings. That same garter was then passed on to other brides across the country and even to Europe! We have since started Garter Brides’ chapters all over the country where women pass the garter, and advice, on to other brides.
AL: Do you think that a single, older, career woman who already has a life and is independent can marry without sacrificing her independence? Do you think it’s easier for people to marry young or later in life?
PL: The Garter Brides say that is it never too late to fall in love. Being a little older we needed to take a new look at dating. Going into dating in our 30’s and older we realized what was really important in a relationship and what we were looking for in a mate. When you know what qualities are important, you’re able to let go of relationships of convenience and focus on someone who shares the same life goals as you. This sure makes it a lot more fun! As one Bride told us “In my twenties it was about looks and chemistry. When I was older, it was about chemistry and substance.” We also bust the myth that people are less flexible as they get older – everyone we spoke to made enormous changes in their lives – happily. Love will do that!
AL: How much of the advice in your book was based on personal experience? I’d read that you went on something like 9,000 blind dates before meeting your husband – that’s a lot of blind dates! Do you think that many women wouldn’t have your perseverance?
PL: We brought a lot of our personal experience to the table. But, we interviewed scores of women and found so many common threads – as one person said “’Love for Grown-Ups’ is like having a great conversation with your best girlfriend who has her head screwed on straight.” Yes, I went on A LOT of blind dates. Dating can be compared to looking for a job – you have to be out there! And remember, one date can change your life. It changed mine!
AL: Your book addresses some of the real traps that couples who already have established lives can fall into when they try to blend their households….for example, stepchildren, finances, ex’s….. What do you think is the biggest challenge to an older couple’s happiness?
PL: Blending families and households can be daunting – but, you’re adults! One challenge that we all face is giving everything the time it needs – the time for relationships to build, to create new traditions and to build the trust that a family needs to have. You have to lose the paradigm of “The Brady Bunch” (the only thing we really like about them is that they had a housekeeper – wouldn’t that be nice?) We have an ongoing conversation with thousands of women on our facebook page about all of these issues.
AL: The holidays are upon us – who would you recommend giving this book to?
PL: “Love For Grown-Ups” would be great for someone who is divorced or hasn’t married (yet!) Men have even told us how much they’ve enjoyed the book and the insights it has given them into women’s feelings.