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Dear Gail: Separation Anxiety

Comedian Gail Forrest shares her hard-earned online dating expertise with the recently divorced and offers advice on getting fit.

Separation Anxiety

Dear Gail,
I’m recently divorced and have joined an online dating service. I’ve received numerous responses, but several are from women who are not divorced, but “currently separated.” My fears: maybe they are still hung up on their soon-to-be exes, maybe still sleeping with them, or have a boyfriend in the wings?  

I don’t want my heart broken again, so do I dare respond to those that are only separated?  Several are real hotties.
Just Divorced

Dear Just Divorced:
I hate to inform you but your fears are real. “Currently separated” is a tricky group. The best way to approach this is to start with yourself. What are YOU currently seeking? If you crave angst and psychological torture it’s a win/win to date the “currently separated.”  You will be able to hear every single detail about the pending divorce – all the time. This includes screaming, crying, a lot of swearing and the words, “I’m calling my lawyer; that was premarital property, asshole.” Sounds like fun! 

I’ve had to make the same decision on dating sites and it’s a toughie. I rarely see a hot guy in my demographic so sadly I don’t have that dilemma. My rule is to not respond to the “currently separated” as I believe they will soon be the “back with my ex.” And thankfully I can say no to the weekend in Tulsa for his college roommate’s yearly pig roast. 

I broke my own rule last year and dated a “currently separated” who had been in that category for three years with no end in sight. Shouldn’t dating sites have a statute of limitations on those people?

Dating is hard enough without the undecided and wishy washy.

Are You Gym Shamed?

Dear Gail,
I’ll get straight to the point: I’m 57 and decidedly out of shape. At the advice of my doctor I’ve changed my diet and I’m not scarfing down the martinis like I used to. My doctor also recommends consistent exercise. I told him I wanted to do home exercises, but knowing me, he strongly urges me to get a gym membership, a personal trainer, and a strict schedule. That’s logical but I feel intimidated by the gym. I hate the idea of revealing to others my out-of-shape body. I hate the idea of having to mingle with all the young, sleek Adonis’s and Aphrodite’s. I hate the idea of being *judged* on a physical basis.

How do I steel myself to go through with this? I feel like an insecure adolescent again.
Perry A. (not my real name)

Dear Perry A. (not your real name)
Your doc is right. Get yourself to a gym ASAP. There is no time to lose at fifty-seven as your heart, arteries and joints are stalking you. They will get you in time so step away from the vodka with a splash of vermouth. Trust me, exercising at home is a surefire way to not exercise. You will always find an excuse to stop or never start. Don’t let yourself be gym shamed, just get your ass in gear and go!  

First and foremost, no one will be looking at you as they are too busy looking at themselves in all the mirrors. Personally, I don’t want to see my body from every possible angle as it scares me. I am also shocked and awed by the gym fashion extravaganza. I’ve seen women working out in more jewelry than I own. And some dressed like Cat Woman.  It would take me hours to squeeze into all that spandex and days of fasting along with a colonic. 

Perry, I go to the gym looking like a cross between Rip Van Winkle and Roseanne.  I wear baggy shorts and a torn Mets t-shirt from 1986. Admittedly there are some hot young bodies I stare at but you don’t have a lot of competition in the over fifty-five category so cheer up. Just get on the treadmill and start walking to Alaska. Granted it’s a marathon but your heart, joints, and carotid artery will thank you.

Need advice? Gail wants to hear from you. Send your letters, questions, and quandaries to: newsletter@weareageist.com 

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Very funny and on the mark.

    I do the regular gym thing and I’m mid-70’s, way past caring about my physical appearance (plus there’s people here ten years older than I am), but I tell you, Gail, you’re right on the jingle re the health dividends – I strongly intuit that I wouldn’t be above room temp if I hadn’t started a gym membership 10 yeas ago and gotten regular exercise.

    You’re also right about the following:

    (1) the young gym rats love to preen for themselves, man, do they. The gym helpfully installed a wall-length mirror to aid them. From my 2nd floor perch on a treadmill, I can look down on them without them knowing that I’m watching. It’s like watching a chorus line in which each dancer is totally unaware of the other, only of their own flexing reflection.

    (2) the gym apparel of the the young is amazingly fashionable, much more lavish that I had previously thought. All have the mandatory tattoos of course.

  2. Well the big question is whether you are going to get a mandatory tatto?! Count me out as I walk by a tatto parlor every day, look in at all being tatted and then have to keep myself from fainting.

    Glad you have become a gym rat!

  3. 😂 Heh, no, I’m not going to get tatted. Although there is a woman, a gym rat regular and in really good, attractive shape, and who is OLDER THAN I AM (she’s 79 I’m told), and who has shoulder-blade butterfly tat …. and it works for her, seriously.

    She might be one in a million, of course.

  4. When I started I bought an XL sweatshirt and L sweatpants and bee-lined for the back row in group exercise. No one looked at me at all – passport to the land of invisible. After a year my bp was down 10 points and my weight down 15 pounds. Got the L sweatshirt and after another year M sweatpants. Got good results so I kept going. Somewhere along the way it occurred to me that the only one looking critically at me had been me. Right on, Gail!

    • You are a super hero. That is a great story and so glad you got yourself in gear. And you are right no one is looking critically or at all except you! I am sure you are lookin’ good and much healthier!


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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