The former mayor of Colleyville is now a sexpert.
Well, kind of. In 2007, after several years of marriage, Donna Arp Weitzman and her husband divorced. No longer the mayor of Colleyville and looking to start over, Weitzman moved to a high-rise in Dallas and began dating. She was 55 years old.
Beginning to date again proved dramatic and exhausting for Weitzman.
“I was working a lot of hours and dating takes a lot of energy,” she says. “It is not for the shy retiree, that's for sure. And so, coming home late from the office, and having made it a day and then going, ‘Oh, God, I gotta go out to dinner and I've gotta be charming, and I've [gotta do] the best I can do, and I've gotta try to make this guy like me.’ I was worn out by the time I'd get home.”
But she continued to date several men at once. She didn’t rely on any apps to introduce her to the men. Having served as mayor for so long, she knew plenty of people who could introduce her to eligible men.
In 2012, five years after her quest for a man began, she married Herb Weitzman. A mutual friend had introduced them.
But she wanted to remember her awful and funny dating experiences. So she began writing down stories and reading them out loud to friends.
Friends encouraged Weitzman to publish a book about dating over 40 and wanting to become “the last wife.”
“All of us want to be the last wife. We don't want to be like just another wife,” she says.
Weitzman didn’t know anything about publishing a book, but her social skills, which had landed in her public office, also helped her to self-publish her book.
She met a young woman at a party who was a book editor and begged her to edit her book.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I want to show you my musings.’ And she's like, ‘No, no, no. I do memoirs. I do, like, biographies,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, please, edit my book. Please just look at it.’ So, she agreed,” she says. “I think she was just as scared as I was to do a humor book on dating because it's a satire on dating.”
From there, she also randomly met someone to lay out the book and then someone to illustrate the cover. In July 2015, her first book, Cinderella Has Cellulite And Other Musings From A Last Wife, was released.
“I was scared to death. I kind of had this secret goal that I was scared to tell people. If I could sell 1,300 books, I thought, that would repay all the costs I had of getting this book published and then I'll feel successful," she says. "Well, the book sold over a thousand copies the first month.”
Weitzman then released a second book, Sex and the Siren: Tales of a Later Dater, and now she says she's working on a third book, which will be written from a man's perspective. There are also talks of her books being turned into a TV show.
"It's been written, and now it's just being shot to networks. It's being shown," she says. "I have an agent with Innovative Artists. A real Hollywood agent. Really handsome. I had Hollywood writers that wrote it."
Today, Weitzman does radio and TV interviews where she gives relationship advice. But she wasn’t pleased with her new title.
“These radio people would call me a sexpert,” she says. “Well, it was kind of embarrassing to me and so, over time, I and my PR firm re-termed me a dating expert or a dating, relationship counselor.”
Her advice for dating over 40 ranges from how to introduce the kids to a potential new spouse to what to wear to bed.
“I always tell the women if you're over 40, then wear loose fitting materials. If you're over 50, just turn the light off completely,” she says, laughing.
But dating when you’ve had more life experiences comes with challenges that young people don’t think about.
“You know, there's a lot of alcoholism, there's a lot of all kinds of life problems. Depression. Illness,” she says. “That’s not things that you deal with so much when you're young. You deal with a different set of problems. You deal with, ‘What are they going to be when they grow up? What's their career going to be?’ You deal with what ifs. When you're over 50, you deal with what is.”
Dating at an older age was unique for those kinds of reasons, but she says she also felt the same angst millennials feel.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
“Do I text him back immediately? Do I wait until the end of the day?” she asks.
Throughout my time sitting with her at a coffee shop, she taught me several dating terms she says millennials use, like “cushioning,” where you date several people at once – “In my day, we called it cheating,” she says – and “phubbing,” where you ignore your date by being on your phone.
But her one true piece of advice has no age limit and it’s as old as time.
“Just keep kissing frogs," she says. "If you come up with the right one, you'll get a prince charming."