A mother-of-three who endured a messy divorce at 47, then slept with eight tinder-dates in a year and documented it in a memoir, says dating is her ‘superpower’.
In her book, Available, published in June 2021 and newly released in paperback, Laura Williams, 51, documents what dating divorced after 40 is like in the internet age, and how exploring her sexuality helped her to heal and find herself.
Williams had been married to her husband for 22 years by the time she was 47 years old. The couple had three kids together, an apartment in Manhattan, and a house in the country.
Author Laura Williams, 51, called dating in midlife her ‘superpower’ in a recent interview with the New York post
Her 2021 memoir, Available, which documents her divorce and experience dating online in her 40s, has recently been released in paperback
‘Our sex life wasn’t great anymore. There wasn’t really any passion between us.’ Williams told the New York Post. ‘But I had expected that.’
Then one day 4 years ago her husband admitted to her that he was having an affair. She promptly told him to leave, filed divorce proceedings, downloaded Tinder and was dating within 5 months.
‘I was 47 years old and I expected to be with the same man for the rest of my life,’ she told the Post.
Last year in an interview on the divorce counseling blog Grace Untethered, Williams talked about how the divorce rocked her like a death and left her questioning who she was.
Williams was married to her husband for 22 years before he confessed to having an affair and they split. Above left, Williams on her wedding day at 25 year old. Right, Williams recently
Williams at 21 years old with her later ex-husband, right. Williams posted this photo on her Instagram, talking about how little she knew when she was so young
‘Death and divorce, and I’m not saying one is preferable to the other but I can say for myself that the experience was akin to grieving,’ Williams said to Grace Untethered host Holly Herzog, ‘The loss of my identity was so jarring that I really questioned, who am I if I’m not the wife?’
Williams – who had started dating her ex-husband at 20 years old – decided to take the divorce as an opportunity and indulge in the dating scene that she had never experienced in her 20s.
She downloaded Tinder and began blindly swiping right on dates.
She told the post that the experience opened up a part of herself that had been dormant for years.
At 47 Williams began dating again. She bedded eight men she met on Tinder over 12 months and rediscovered herself in the process
‘You now have the freedom to do whatever you want,’ Williams said, ‘If you want to sleep with two men on the same day, you can. If you want to have a tryst in the middle of the day, you’re free. The only person who can judge you is yourself. And if you’re fine with it, screw everyone else.’
For twelve months she dove headlong into the sex and dating scene, bedding eight different men and later documenting the experience in her memoir. Williams writes about afternoon hotel trysts, a middle of the night meet up across town wearing nothing but a silk gown and a winter coat, and lunch-date quickies.
Williams described the experience as an eye opening look into her identity through her desires.
‘[The question was] do I feel like sleeping with you now?’ Williams told the Post, ‘And it’s a literal yes or no. I don’t really care about anything else. You don’t even have to be a good person. It doesn’t matter.’
During her dating Williams also tried to better understand men, using her post-coital pillow talk to probe the opposite gender’s minds by asking them a series of quick questions.
‘What do you like about this? How do you feel about that?,’ she told the Post, ‘Because I missed out on knowing that. And I wanted to understand adult men.’
Williams told the Post that she hopes her memoir will help women understand their own identities, and become more in touch with how their sexuality can heal them
She told the Post that midlife-dating is her ‘superpower,’ and rather than feeling down on herself over her age, she found her age and independence empowering.
‘I didn’t buy into the theory that because I was older, I was less desirable. Men were very attracted to the fact I was a strong woman who didn’t want anything from them and was calling the shots,’ Williams said.
Though now Williams is in something of a relationship, she prefers not to label it.
‘I’ve gotten attached to someone. But I still hold out the openness to say, ‘If I wanted to have a one-night stand with someone, I could still do that.’
Williams told the Post that she hopes her memoir will help other women to realize how much is out there for them, and how sex can be a powerful ally in overcoming heartbreak.
‘The sex was important to me. It made me alive when I felt dead inside,’ she said, ‘I found strength that I didn’t know I had. And I also found openness and sexual curiosity that I didn’t ever in a million years imagine I was capable of.’