Melanie married for the first time when she was 65. An actress who achieved everything but love, she finally found love later in life.
Melanie Chartoff married for the first time at 65! Beginning as an actor off and on Broadway, Melanie Chartoff is best known for the characters she created on “Fridays,” “Seinfeld,” “Newhart,” and “Rugrats,” as the voice of Didi Pickles. Her work has been included in a variety of publications, including The Jewish Journal and three editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul. “Odd Woman Out” is her first book.
In this episode of Last First Date Radio:
- Why it took 65 years for Melanie to get married for the first time
- The mistakes Melanie made in love
- The key transformation Melanie went through that led her to lasting love
- A crazy story about how she met her husband
- What you can learn from Melanie’s story
Married for the First Time at 65
You’ve said you’ve played many roles as a human being before you actually became one — what do you mean by that?
My sister and I played roles to charm our parents and keep them together. I had no idea who I was unless I had an audience. It was a survival tactic. When it came time to choose a mate, I didn’t know who to choose and my personality would change depending on who I dated.
For a long time, I chose men who were sexy, fun, and slightly dangerous. Then, I finally chose a marriageable guy, but when I became more successful, he felt emasculated. I felt I had to take care of him. That put a damper on the relationship. I needed a man, and after we broke up, I was left feeling confused.
Then in my fifties, after a healthy crisis, I went through a free love journey. I tried all different types of men and got that out of my system.
In my sixties, I tried online dating. I finally became the chooser on Match.com.
Tell us about your last first date.
Since I was now the chooser, I wrote to only two men on Match.com. The first man was lovely, but I wasn’t attracted to him.
With the second guy, I felt immediate attraction. He felt the same. After our first date, he told me he’d been seeing someone for about six weeks, and he said he’d end it. But, he continued to ask me out only on weeknights, which made me realize he must still be seeing the other woman. I told him I couldn’t keep seeing him while he was seeing others.
Then, the first guy I met on Match emailed me to ask me to go to a concert. He told me he just found out his ex was upset, because the guy she was seeing just broke up with her. He realized I was the woman he left her for!
Guy number two called and said he wanted to see me again. He offered to pick me up at the airport on a weeknight, and I realized he really was choosing me. We’ve been talking ever since.
What do you hope people take away from your story and your book?
I always felt like the ‘odd woman out’ who didn’t fit in. I met a man who was the ‘odd man out’. We fit perfectly together. The book is filled with mistakes I’ve made and needed to learn from. When I was younger, I learned from Dr. Pat Allen. As feminists, we didn’t understand we could be strong and confident but not scary to men. She told us to let the man pay. Let a man be a man. Leave things for men to do and court you.
I found a man who’s a feminist and protective. His kids are self-reliant.
My mother taught me it’s never too late for love. She fell in love late in life and so did I. I had self-loving to do. I had an attachment disorder. I was velcro for unavailable men. Work on your self-love first. That helps you find love.
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