“Get Out Of Your Own Way”: 10 Famous Women On Finding Love (And A Husband) After 40
While speaking at the Essence Festival over the long (and glorious) holiday weekend, recently wed reality star Kenya Moore opened up about finding love after 40. To be specific, at 46.
“My husband is extremely supportive,” Moore said about Marc Daly in a conversation in front of a large audience. “He is always encouraging me. He’s my rock, he’s my protector. And you know, honestly, I thought it would never happen to me. You’ve seen me go through so many things on the show where I really felt in my quiet moments, ‘Is it true what they say’re saying? I can’t keep a man? I can’t find someone to really love me for me? Is it ever going to happen?’ I’m a 46-year-old woman and I’m a Black woman. Statistics show that over 44 percent of us never get married and that’s a real fact. So for me, I kept the faith and kept hoping and it just happened for me in a way I never expected it to, so it had to be God.”
What she had to say was both beautiful and encouraging, as many of us believe that when things don’t happen on a certain timetable, they may not come to fruition at all. But plenty of women have found true love after 40. Here are nine other Black women who did and their advice/lessons learned based on their experiences.
I want to tell you how he found me. I got real focused on what I wanted in my personal life and the type of man I wanted to spend my life with. I like to have this conversation around finding your GPS or engaging your GPS, your divine GPS…I’ve made it mean something completely different. Gratitude, passion and success… See last year, I got really focused on the destination I wanted to have in my personal life. And by being really focused with that and setting my destination in that place, I was able to be in alignment with the man who showed up and the man who said I’m there too and I want that too…
I’m telling you I am beating every statistic. I am 53 years old and we are not supposed to get married after what 20, 25, 30 maybe? Yeah… that’s not true. I don’t follow any of those rules. I’ve never thought any of those rules applied to me and those rules don’t apply to you either.
The 46-year-old, who announced her engagement earlier this year after meeting her man, John, online, told Essence, “I think when you’re present and you’re aware, it opens you up.” Her advice to others?
“Bring the best you and to work on yourself continuously,” she said. “And then also to be open. There’s so much baggage we bring from other relationships.”
Author and radio personality Shirley Strawberry (Strawberry Letter anyone?) tied the knot in 2015 to Ernesto Williams after she decided to stop sitting at home waiting for a man to do all of the work.
“I wanted a relationship, but I wasn’t putting any effort into it and made no room in my life for a man,” she told Essence. “I had faith that God was going to send me a man, but what was I doing? You can’t go home every weekend and just sit there. You have to put yourself in the game. Faith without works is dead.”
The 54-year-old star said “I do” to Jim Skrip in 2015, her third marriage. You would think after twice walking down the aisle, Williams would have given up on love. No way.
“Well my words are, there’s always hope,” she told us in 2015. “You never know what you’ll find and where you’ll find it. I was on vacation with my daughter going to Egypt, cruising on the Nile. I wasn’t looking for anything. I’d been alone for a number of years and divorced for ten years at that time. I found a hometown guy from my mom’s town in Buffalo, New York and started a conversation. He happened to be traveling alone and happened to know who I was but wasn’t a super fan. He accepted me for who I was after a wonderful first three-hour date of talking about ourselves. We found out we had a lot of things in common. Three years later we’re getting married.”
Long, who is 46, got engaged to boyfriend Ime Udoka in 2015. She spoke on what helped her find the right man even before he put a ring on it.
“I think that women who are extremely driven to success, ambitious, I think they get to a point in their lives where they’re like, ‘Uh oh. I am 30-something years old, and I don’t have a husband and I don’t have children yet and what does that mean?'” she said in 2013. “I think what it means is stay in your course because it’s going to happen when it’s supposed to happen. It doesn’t happen for everyone at the same time, so you can’t compare your life to someone else’s.”
“You have to have an open heart to be vulnerable to accept it when it does come,” Long added. “I think the more success you have as a woman, you kinda go, ‘Well, I don’t really need a man ’cause look: I have everything I want,’ but the truth is you do need a partner because at some point in your life you’re not going to want to walk alone.”
“I have always believed in life after divorce, although there was a period of time where I wondered,” she told T.D. Jakes. “I had doubts. I was 59 years old and was so engrossed in my work. I was running a company, I was doing all these other things and working. I just didn’t think there was any way I could meet someone. So I started by falling in love with myself again. That was really important.”
Nash became engaged to love Jay Tucker at the age of 40. And as she said on her TLC wedding special, “People think the first time you fall in love, it’s the last time. That’s not true!”
She also offered advice in a chat with CocoaFab in 2013 about finding love and making love work years into a relationship when promoting her book It’s Hard to Fight Naked:
If you’re right at the beginning I would tell you to be what you want to see, because inevitably you are going to attract what you are. And so if a whole bunch of crazy people keep showing up then get up and look in the mirror and say, ‘Good morning, crazy!’ Because something ain’t right. And then if you’re a little further down the road and you’re prepared to go out and date, I would encourage you to date for your priority, not for your preference. And then if you’re a little further down the road I would probably tell you some things that you can do to keep your man out of the streets and in your sheets!
Union tied the knot with Dwyane Wade at the age of 41 in 2014. Last year she shared relationship advice based on her own past hiccups and her marriage.
“Having been there before, there’s always options,” Union said in an interview with The Grio. “A lot of times we have to get out of our own way. We have an idea of what our type is. If your type hasn’t worked for you in 40 years — guess what? Your type sucks! Time to change your type. Open it up a little bit. Think outside the box! Maybe they’re younger, maybe they’re older, maybe they don’t come in the shape or size or color that you assume they would come in.”
“But there’s so many dope people out there that if you open yourself up and get out of your own way, you’re going to have a lot of options,” she added. “A lot more options than you think.”
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times last August, two months after marrying boyfriend Mike Dobson at 44, Scott compared her journey to tying the knot for a second time to animals.
“In the animal kingdom, the lioness does the hunting,” she said. “But the king, it’s up to him to earn her.”
“I went on safari, and I watched this male lion chase a lioness for two hours,” she continued. “He got close to her; she slapped the fool out of him. Made him bleed. Then she ran. And he ran. And she ran. And he ran. For hours. And then finally, she decided, ‘Okay, you’re the one.’ He earned it. And it was like a light switch: Ohhhhh … I think I had been doing the same thing.”
So what did Scott do? “I gave it to the creator,” she said. “I made room in my life for someone great.”