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SINGLE IN THE VALLEY

Wendy Whitelaw By  Shelly Moore

On December 3, 2011, Wendy Whitelaw was enjoying breakfast with her two daughters at The Pancake House in Temecula when she noticed the many missed calls on her cell phone. When she returned one of the calls she found out her house was on fire. By the time she and her daughters got home, the house was fully engulfed in flames and for the next four hours they could do nothing but watch it burn. “Everything was gone,” she said, “the car that had been left in the garage, family photos, heirlooms, furniture, clothes … everything.” Thankfully, the neighbors were able to save the family’s dog. Can you imagine being a single mother and losing everything? Where do you go, how do you start again, and how do you attempt to stay strong through such a tragic loss? When talking with Wendy, I discovered what an amazing and courageous woman she is. Through all she had previously been through in her life— divorcing after 15 years of marriage, high-powered, stressful jobs, and financial woes—she had never asked for help or even allowed anyone to help her. After the fire, however, the outpouring from the community was overwhelming, and she learned to set aside her pride and accept the help she desperately needed. “When you are stripped down to nothing, you truly find what is important,” she said. Over the next year Wendy had to rebuild her life and a home for her daughters. It was during this time that her spirituality became much stronger. “I began believing that the world wants good things for me,” she said.” By the grace of God and with the help of friends and family who stuck by my side,” Wendy says she was able to rebuild her home and start a new chapter for herself and her girls. We sat on her sofa in her beautiful new home, and talked about her faith, her divorce, and dating as a single mother. “I had several relationships after my divorce, more than I am proud of. I made many mistakes and found that I had always been attracted to the wrong type of men, and was unclear about exactly what I myself wanted in

a relationship. I certainly wanted to be strong and independent, but part of me still wanted a man who could take care of me.” Wendy explained that she had to learn it was okay for her to have a more feminine role in a relationship. She went on to say, “I soon discovered that I had to respect men even if they are structured, linear thinkers and non-emotional, and that it’s okay for me as a woman, to be emotional and intuitive.” Wendy began to study dating, treating it like a job. “You need to have a plan for dating just like a business plan,” she said. In May, she joined an online dating site and met Kurt. Even after meeting the potential man of her dreams, she continued what she refers to as “duty dating.” She felt this was the way to rule out other men and be sure that Kurt was the one for her. “With Kurt, I didn’t have to force a square peg in a round hole He helped me realize it was okay for the man to be the king and for me to be his queen.” Wendy firmly believes that newly single women and men need time after their divorce to heal before they start dating. “So many people jump into serious relationships when they aren’t ready,” she believes. She created a dating contract with her girlfriends. I read through the contract and it was brilliant. She had taken her real estate coaching skills and applied it to dating, having her friends as accountability partners. With Wendy’s experience both as a business coach and with dating, she is excited to embark on a new adventure as a “dating coach, and will be hosting a workshop titled “Attracting the Love You Want,” tentatively scheduled for April. I left Wendy’s home moved and inspired by her story. I continue to be honored to meet these fabulous women who are “Single in the Valley.” “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” – Maya Angelou

Photos from left to right: Wendy with “Single in the Valley” columnist Shelly Moore, with daughters Anna and Cora, Wendy at home.

February 2014 • 19

LoLa Magazine Feb 2014 Issue  

LoLa stands for Local Ladies. We are a women's magazine for the Temecula Valley area of southern California. In our February issue, we are...

LoLa Magazine Feb 2014 Issue  

LoLa stands for Local Ladies. We are a women's magazine for the Temecula Valley area of southern California. In our February issue, we are...

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