Lessons in Love from Bolder

A new book featuring interviews with inspirational people over the age of 70 aims to change perceptions about what it means to be ‘old.’ 

Dominique Afacan and Helen Cathcart set up Bolder in an effort to change negative perceptions about ageing. Their website features a collection of stereotype-shattering people having the time of their lives in their 70s, 80s and 90s. Their book, “Bolder – Life lessons from people older and wiser than you’ came out in September. 

Dominique Afacan shares some of the best lessons her interviewees have taught her about love.

1. Love doesn’t have a deadline

Thank God for that. When I hit 35 and was still single, I though it was all over. Then I started Bolder and realized that I was mad. So many of our interviewees had found love much later in life. Sue Plumtree was one memorable example. After 37 years in an unhappy marriage she did the difficult thing and ended it. Far from it being the beginning of a solitary, negative life, it was the start of a new, improved existence. She started writing books, set up a dining club and found happiness on her own. Once she was settled in her new life, she met a man – and is happier than she’s ever been. 

2. Stop caring what people think of your love life

This was a big one for me. As one by one, my friends slipped off into the world of coupledom, I worried what they thought of me. I didn’t mind being single, if I’m honest, but I did mind the idea of people thinking I’d somehow failed. Most of the people I interviewed for Bolder genuinely could not give a toss what anyone thought – an attitude I found extremely refreshing and ultimately really helpful. Alicia Moorehead, a 70 year-old skydiver we interviewed on a windy beach in LA told us, “I don’t lead what people might think is a normal life and I would never want to.” She relished every year of singledom before meeting her husband in her fifties through skydiving and now they jump together all over the world.

3. A lot of it comes down to attitude

Whether loved up, on the lookout or happily single– we realised that most of our interviewees shared an amazingly positive attitude about life. They had regrets of course – lost loves, break ups and far more besides – but they tended to reframe them as an essential part of life’s journey. Muffie Grieve, our cover star, likened life to a game of tennis. “You win some, you lose some and you fight again,” she told us. She recently took home two world championship titles for over 80s tennis and went on to marry her second husband, age 82. 

‘Bolder – Life lessons from people older and wiser than you’ is available to buy now.

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