quotes and advice for single moms on career, dating men success

Last week, my kids and I visited my mom at her Milwaukee condo, the complex of which is occupied mostly by senior citizens. While lounging by the pool where my kids caused a ruckus, mildly amused and mostly annoyed by the very loud woman who went on and on and ON about how she could not believe the restaurant charged her $2.75 to swap the picadillo peppers for onions, I was delighted when a very elegant, spry older woman sat down next to me, put on her wire-rimmed bifocals and dug into her Danielle Steel paperback.

“I'd like to jump in there, too, but I'm going to be 90 this month and probably shouldn't get into a swimsuit,” was her opening line. That, of course, was cue for me to tell her a) she looks fabulous for her age (true), b) who cares what you look like (truer still), c) engage with her. I'm so glad I did. There were some gems of advice from my new, brilliant friend, and I must share them with you.

First, a quick bio: This beautiful woman grew up in a small, rural midwestern town and became a PhD psychologist. She married her college sweetheart very young. At age 26 after recently giving birth to her only child, a son, her husband unceremoniously “sued me for divorce.”

“He was a heavy smoker, and two years later he was dead,” she said with a shrug. “My parents said, ‘Honey, what do you want to do?' I said, ‘I want to play the field,' so they suggested I see the family doctor.'” She had her tubes tied. “I never regretted it for a second,” she told me.

For the past 37 years she has been married to “the love of my life” — a building contractor who just celebrated his 100th birthday. Here are some genius single-mom nuggets from from this hot momma:

Always have your own money. 

When her love rang in his centennial birthday, his grubby daughter sent real estate brokers over to the condo to assess its value, intending to sell it. Joke was on her! “When we married, I had money saved from my practice and bought the place I wanted in cash. The house in my maiden name. Always make sure you take care of yourself.”

17 steps for financial success as a single mom

Marry for love. 

“Mr. Goldstein is the love of my life,” she says. Before him, she dated a prominent lawyer for 12 years until he passed away. “But no one loved me like Mr. Goldstein.”

Marry your financial and professional peer. 

“But Mr. Goldstein was doing very well for himself. Honey, you need someone who respects your career, and you respect his. Don't settle! And make sure you have your own money, in your own name.”

Enjoy your body. 

“Honey, you're still young. You look great. Play the field.”

9 reasons sex and dating are better as a single mom

But be careful. 

“That's great you're dating. But honey, be sure to protect yourself. Don't get pregnant.”

P.S. Enjoy your body. 

“When I went for my annual exam, the doctor said, ‘You look like a young girl on the inside! You could still be having active sex!'

When I asked her if she and her husband still had sex she said: “Oh no. Not any more.” Did she miss it? “Sometimes. Honey, play the field.”

How to be confident when you feel old, gross and fat

Don't stop playing the field. 

“The other day I was in Pick ‘N' Save and I ran into a doctor I knew 40 years ago. He told his daughter, ‘I knew her years ago, and when her husband dies I'm going to marry her!'”

About Emma Johnson

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder  Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist and author. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Emma's Top Single Mom Resources.


  1. Louie on January 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    To the 90yr old lady hi I’m Louie i spent the happy last 10yr with Liz 70yr when I was 48yr I’m 58 Liz pass away in my arms last Xmas eve she was my friend and we had sex every day age just a number I miss her

  2. Mari on May 27, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Love her! Sounds like me great advice!!! Always a fan of having and building my own and enjoy plenty of sex.

  3. Suzie on December 5, 2015 at 8:45 am

    She is a woman ahead of her time, during her time. She’s honest yet true. I read her article during a time in my life, post-divorce, where I’m in financial repair, learning to enjoy living on my own (doing my best not to create codependency) and realizing how important our health really is. She’s spot-on! I’m choosing to hold off on the partner – search until my career is better directed, my finances have stabilized, and my health is peaked. But in the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with taking a “time-out” to build that before sharing. Because in the end, we still stand on our own.

  4. Mom on July 29, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I agree with everything, plus one additional note: always ALWAYS take care of your health. Never put it behind your career, your sex life, your money, or your kids. Some people are healthy by luck of birth, some unlucky. But when you are young it’s easy to take health for granted. Ill health can, and will, alter your life.

  5. Kristen on July 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    She is adorable and gorgeous. I love how she still makes sure she is dressed for success. She reminds me of my own grandmother.

    I agree with her. If you have your own money then you don’t have to settle or hunt for someone who does have money. You should also be ok with wanting someone whom is your financial equal!

    Thanks for sharing this story!

    • Emma on August 2, 2015 at 4:57 am

      Isn’t she awesome?

  6. Deanna on July 28, 2015 at 11:28 am

    I really enjoy that you cellebrate and encourage others to embrace being single. This society is so stuck thinking we need to be coupled and that’s not so. You really lifted me up today and helped me push forward. Thank you!!! 8 years single, and enjoying it! Regardless of what people think!!!

    • Emma on August 2, 2015 at 4:58 am

      Thank you for sharing that! It is hard for me and others — yes, we are doing awesome, living these full lives. But I would really, really love a romantic partner. But that is hard, too. There is no perfect situation!

  7. Lauren Rae on July 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing Emma. Inspiring and true. Although I do hope I am having sex as long as I am alive.

    • Emma on July 20, 2015 at 1:23 pm


Leave a Comment