The secret to romantic relationships from an 81-year-old expert

Dr. Pat Allen

Dr. Pat Allen

Dr. Pat Allen has figured out the secret formula to romantic relationships, but it took the end of her rocky first marriage, lots of education, and a few other relationships to find it. Now that she has, she has been happily devoting her life to helping others lead successful relationships for the past four decades.

At 81, Allen is a licensed marriage, family and child therapist with an office in Newport Beach, California. She has authored several books, gives seminars and classes, one-on-one sessions, and hosts an online radio show every Friday night called, “Empowered Conversation.”

Basically, she says, it all comes down to women being able to be happy alone, and being willing to share their happiness, while a man needs to feel respected. The more he feels respected, the more he wants to cherish his woman – and thus, the woman feels loved. See here:

The spunky red head was born to an Irish Catholic family in Chicago but moved to California in 1965, with her four children, when her husband was relocated for work. It was around this time, however, when she started drinking. And it was when she found herself in the hospital after attempting to hurt her husband, that she knew she hit bottom and needed to change her life.

“I said a prayer that if I could have a moment of sanity, I would serve mankind for the rest of my life – that was in 1968, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” says Allen, now sober for 44 years.

Her first husband left her and married someone else, but she bounced back and decided to pursue a masters in counseling, instead of art as she originally planned. Today, she’s busier than ever.

“Tuesdays and Wednesdays I work down in Orange County – I work for another non-profit for addicts,” says Dr. Allen. “I also go to art class on Tuesdays, because I’m still an artist and musician. I play the piano. I know how to balance my life between working and playing.”

She says the biggest challenge of her job is to not get emotionally involved with the cases of her clients.

“I’m a cognitive behavioral therapist who helps communicate what you want and what you don’t want. I keep my ego out of the way,” says Allen. “God tends to work through imperfect people. I believe I’m on this planet to serve other human beings, and in doing so, I benefit.”

Through her life and work experience, she says she’s realized the only way you know you love yourself, or anyone else, is through the commitments you’re willing to make and keep.

“I help people make and keep agreements,” says Allen. “I help them to negotiate.”

Her last husband of 18 years died in 2003, but she says she now has a new boyfriend.

Allen’s advice to the single ladies is to go where you laugh.

“Men see us not for our physical beauty, but our ability to be happy,” says Allen.

What advice would she give her younger self with the wisdom she has now?

“I now know the secret to life,” she says. “Someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. If you don’t have a human, get a dog.”