Love for Grown-Ups – Book Review by Jamie Levine

Those who know me—and/or regularly read my blog—know that I’m a single mother by choice. After years of dating—but never meeting Mr. Right—I began to feel my biological clock ticking and didn’t want to settle for Mr. Wrong. Thus, I decided to do things backwards: have a baby first, and get married second. I had a child on my own, and it was the best decision I ever made; my five-year-old daughter is everything to me, and my life is quite satisfying and full. However, I am still single, and continue to hope to someday meet a man who is worthy of sharing my life and my daughter’s life with.

Love for Grown-Ups: The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying for Life When You’ve Already Got a Life is an apt book for women like me—or simply for any woman who is over 35 and either hoping to meet a special man to marry, or one who is about to take a serious relationship to the next level, and wants to make sure it works. As the subtitle suggests, this book is targeted toward successful, independent women who are looking for, or committing to, serious relationships later in their lives. These women—like myself—are older and wiser than they were in their 20’s, and are seeking qualities in a man that may not have been as important to them when they were younger. Women like us know how to survive—and even thrive—alone, but we still yearn for companionship, and want to meld our lives with the “right” man—and do so for life.

The authors of this book—Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl, and Tish Rabe—are business colleagues and long-time friends who supported each other through their dating experiences and later-in-life marriages, and ultimately, passed along a garter that each woman wore in her own wedding. The “Garter Brides” write from their own experiences on finding and cultivating long-term love, and, after having interviewed dozens of women who got married in their late-30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and beyond, share a multitude of anecdotes and helpful tips about the process. From meeting Mr. Right to knowing if he’s really “the one,” to getting to know each other’s friends, families, and kids, and integrating both of your busy lives, to dealing with exes and moving in together, this book takes readers through all the steps involved in finding (and maintaining) happily-ever-after, and offers lots of witty and sound advice.

A positive—and realistic—guide, Love for Grown-Ups tackles all the important issues women encounter when dating and marrying later in life: step-parenting, integrating households, communicating with ex-spouses, and blending beliefs and finances. Both entertaining and inspiring, this book showed me that good relationships come in all shapes and sizes; the only defining characteristics for success are communicating, and figuring out what situations work best for you and your partner and make you happy. The authors state, “We wrote this book because we believe that single women and men everywhere deserve to find each other, love each other and build richly satisfying lives together.” And while doing so isn’t always easy, the authors prove that it is possible, and definitely worth the work—and the wait!