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February 10, 2022

How She Revels: Elise Pettus

Get to know the founder of UNtied!

After being divorced for ten years and mostly enjoying my life as a happily single-ish, 57 year old, I met someone on OKCupid who flipped my world.

Age: 58

Location: Brooklyn

What do you do for work?   

I am sure I’m not the only Reveler with a multi- chapter work life. After ten years in documentary film, followed by seven years writing for magazines, I now run a network for divorcing women called UNtied.net. It grew out of my own experience facing divorce ten years ago, and yearning to connect with other women who’d been through it. I discovered that so many women want help with concrete info around hiring a lawyer, etc., but they also crave the kind of grounding wisdom that can only come from talking and listening to other women on the same road. At UNtied, we try to meet both these needs. We’ve built a curated directory of top professionals and a rich archive of videos on topics ranging from telling the kids to getting back into sex. We also host regular events where women meet each other and form meaningful bonds. I am wildly excited to be part of building the Revel Divorce group! I’ve witnessed again and again how women—even after the most painful life traumas—are able to heal and grow through frank dialogue with other women. 

What’s your most secret pleasure? 

During the pandemic, I’m sure a lot of us were watching more porn than usual. I decided that I would limit myself to only watching porn in French. That way, I felt I was also making headway on getting my french skills up to speed for a post pandemic trip to Paris.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you recently?

After being divorced for ten years and mostly enjoying my life as a happily single-ish, 57 year old, I met someone on OKCupid who flipped my world. We were friends at first; he was managing a family crisis, I was dating other men (yes, during the pandemic, my pod consisted of me, my son who lived at home, and two men I first got to know over Zoom). None of them stacked up next to him (literally or figuratively, as he is 6'5"). While I’ve always scoffed at phrases like "finding the one," and wasn't sure I even wanted to be in a serious relationship (pick his socks up off the bedroom floor? No, thank you), I increasingly found myself mooning over this very tall man. One day, I did one of the boldest things I've ever done. I made a video in which I told him how much I liked him and then sent it to him. It didn’t change things immediately, but some months later, he came over for dinner with two bottles of red wine. As we got down to the bottom of bottle number two, things got cuddly, then they got sexy, and we spent our first night in the same bed (we both had only known each other's guest rooms till then). We've been together ten months now, and he says it was that video that made the difference. And you know what? I never would have sent it, if I hadn’t first shared it with my most trusted divorced girlfriend and gotten her encouragement to send it. 

What are you afraid of? 

One thing I’m afraid of is white water rafting. But it looks like 2022 is the year I’ll be facing that fear down because I just said yes to a trip down the Futaleufu-- one of the wildest rivers on the planet. Yikes.

Best recent book or streaming experience? 

Recently, I’ve been reading books on Jungian psychology.  I’m realizing how much his rubric makes sense to me. The Jungian approach seems to focus less on curing illness and more on the lifelong study to know oneself and use that knowledge to bring your best to the world.

Most coveted object, either in your possession or dreamed for?

I used to have the most beautiful Japanese donabe---it’s a form of clay cookware used in Japan to create one-pot family meals, usually including greens, rice and maybe some fish. It looks a little like a Moroccan tagine only to me it has a much sexier shape. I gave mine to a guy I dated briefly—not realizing that good ones are actually hard to find!

Last Google search?

See Japanese donabe above.


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