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Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir

Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir

by Carolyn Lee Arnold
Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir

Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir

by Carolyn Lee Arnold


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What does a free-spirited, fifty-something professional do when she breaks up with her non-committal Buddhist boyfriend and longs for a life partner? She holds a ‘letting go’ ceremony with the boyfriend, challenges herself to go on 50 dates, takes a few lovers, and voila! Finding Mr. Right becomes a sexy dating project.

Set in the SF Bay Area world of personal growth workshops and spiritual ceremonies, Fifty First Dates after Fifty traces the adventurous path of Carolyn’s universal quest for love. The goal of fifty pulls her forward through the highs and lows of dating—magical and ecstatic, pining and painful—while her heart soars, falls, and keeps on going. Buoyed by her dating project, she avoids settling for the wrong guy, discovers the type of man she wants, reconciles a love of independence and sex with her desire for commitment and emotional connection, and finds the unique partner for her.

This upbeat memoir about the search for a partner in midlife is also a celebration of a woman’s unabashed sexuality. Erotic in places, funny in others, it offers a positive view of dating as an enjoyable journey of self-discovery and self-love along the way to one’s own Mr. Right.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647422110
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 11/02/2021
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 720,078
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Carolyn Lee Arnold drew upon her thirty years as a social science researcher and ten years as a relationship workshop assistant to create the dating project in Fifty First Dates after Fifty. A native Californian from Los Angeles with a New England education, Carolyn found her true home in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she prepared for dating and life by attending spiritual ceremonies, working in free clinics, leading women’s backpacking trips, hiking the local green hills, identifying as a lesbian-feminist in the 1970s and ’80s, and earning graduate degrees in women’s studies, statistics, and educational research. Fifty First Dates after Fifty is her first book, and excerpts have been published in Persimmon Tree, Outside In Literary & Travel Magazine, and the Human Awareness Institute’s Enlighten Journal. An excerpt from her second memoir, about her lesbian-feminist years, has been published in Noyo River Review. Still a feminist, she lives in the Bay Area with her partner, one of her fifty dates. For more information, including dating resources, visit

Table of Contents

Prologue: Monogamous Dating xv

Part I Letting Go

Letting Go One 3

The Plan 5

Flashback 8

The Workshops 11

Letting Go Two 18

Part II Touch

Choice 23

Waves 30

Touch 38

Hot Tub Date 43

HAI Singles / Peter 45

Tantra 46

Intuition 52

Working Late 55

Peru and Lesbian Nation 58

Peter's Birthday 64

Winter Solstice One (2008) 69

Part III Hope

Sex 81

Ideal 87

Drifting 95

Gift 98

Peter's Skype from India 104

View 107

Valentine 110

Ecstasy 118

Hope One 123

Hope Two 127

Hope Three 132

Part IV Longing

Longing One 139

Phone Dating 144

Mr. Right 150

Colt 153

Halfway 160

Spirit Rock 162

Winter Solstice Two (2009) 166

Part V Visions

Balance 175

Magic 181

Longing Two 186

Relationship Class 194

Dance 199

A Regular Date 207

Summer Retreat: Poly Experiment 211

Part VI Discouragement

Santa Cruz Beach 225

An Evening in Oakland 229

Oasis 231

Winter Solstice Three (2010) 237

Test 242

Part VII Revelations

Sex Party 253

Deep 258

Opening 263

Greece 278

Greek Island Fantasy 285

Sixtieth Birthday 291

Epilogue: Winter Solstice (2018) 295

Notes 303

Acknowledgments 305

About the Author 307

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