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A Woman’s Guide to Dating Leftover Lovers

A few years back, I was commissioned for a writing project. The project was based on a fascinating concept this woman had been exploring, centered around dating. Not young love dating. Second chance dating. In your 30’s and 40’s. When pretty much every lover you meet is a leftover lover.

The project was probably one of my favorite writing projects to date. Not because the content was fun to write. But it was the theory behind it all that felt OH SO TRUE!!

I was single and in my early 30’s when I was hired to help write this “dating guide” for women. Shortly later, I met my husband. For whom I lovingly refer to as “My Pizza”. All thanks to this guide.

I know this sounds completely weird to refer to my husband as Pizza. Especially if you have never heard of the Leftover Lover concept. But when you do know it {or read it here}. Trust me; you will get it. 

So in honor of the upcoming National Pizza Day this Sunday. I’d like to share some snippets from the Leftover Lovers project. A satirical guide for women dating in their 30’s and 40’s. When every lover she meets is a leftover.

And by chance, you are still looking for your mate. I hope that this helps you find your Pizza.

Leftover Wine (Noun): The One Night Stand



You may not be able to wrap your head around this. You may think we are crazy because it seems better to save the remains of a bottle of wine for another day, rather than pouring it down the drain. However, when you’re drunk, you don’t think your best, and that is why we are here. 

Suppose you had a party, and several half-opened bottles are lying around. You think to yourself; there is no reason to pour it away. After all, if you preserved the wine properly, it will keep for at least another day. The problem is it is unlikely this wine will ever taste the same. 

Which is is why it’s always better to enjoy the wine you had and toss the rest away. 


Leftover Dessert (Noun): The younger man


The best part about a genuinely scrumptious dessert is when the leftovers are just enough to enjoy the next day again for breakfast in bed. As a child, getting a stash of candy or some dessert was a source of accomplishment, but as adults, it moves beyond satisfaction into sheer excitement. The best thing about having an overload of booty one night is that you can savor it now and perhaps for when you get that sweet tooth in the morning.


Leftover Soups and Stew (noun): Platonic Lover for Life


If you have the right amount of spices. There’s just something supremely comforting about a big bowl of hot soup on a cold day. The beautiful aromas fill the room, playfully dancing in the air as the ingredients simmer on low. Once you finally ladle the soup/stew into your bowl, snuggle up on the couch with a warm blanket, the childhood comfort which brought effortless joy, hits your tongue. Which makes the preparation of this simple meal from scratch, seem well worth the effort.

When you think about it, soup or stew is not that much of an effort to make. Being one of the simplest meals to prepare, it is adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. For the girl on the go, it can sit all day in your crockpot waiting for you to come home and enjoy, or for the girl on a budget, it can be a very economical meal to enjoy, and not lose its flavor over time. What’s best about soups and stews, they make a great leftover, many times over. 

Dating leftover soup is the same way.

It is comforting, healing, gentle love in every last drop. It doesn’t take much effort because it has a soothing nature that feels easy, as if it has always been there waiting to be made. And let’s face it, it has always been there. You just didn’t see all the herbs, spices, and stock of ingredients, which would make this soup or stew taste so good.


Leftover Chinese, including Sushi (noun): The Player


You know the man. He seems like a great idea at first, but after spending time with him, you are always left unfulfilled.  


Leftover Salad (noun)The Narcissist


When you look up the definition of a salad, this is what you get.

A dish consisting of small pieces of raw or cooked food mixed with a sauce and almost always served cold. Salads can be assembled around a wide variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, cooked meat, eggs, and grains. Garden salads use a base of leafy greens; they are familiar enough that the word salad alone often refers specifically to garden salads. Other types include bean salad, tuna salad, fattoush, Greek salad, and somen salad.

In part, this describes what dating a leftover salad would be like; low in fat, unsatisfying, non-hearty meal. Leftover salad is the worse leftover around. The good-looking man who thinks perfection is in how he looks. How you look! 

He is the kind of guy who is all about outward appearances. While he may seem like a good choice, in the beginning, eventually, their taste leaves you with little or no satisfaction. The once crisp, inviting bites of salad evolve into a limp, soggy mess the next day. Ultimately, leaving you feeling like you’ll never be good enough. 


Leftover Fried Chicken (noun): The rebound


No matter how much you dress up a chicken, it’s still a chicken. Even when you fry it. While initially, Fried Chicken feels amazing, showering you with comfort, at the end of the day, it’s still chicken. 

Sure, is Fried Chicken amazing? Of course! After all, it’s tasty and perfect for either a fancy feast or a down-home comfort kind of night. However, something weird happens with fried chicken between the time you put your dinner in the fridge to the time you heat it the next day. This once heavenly meal deflates into a soggy mess. What tasted good initially, is now a boring version of Fried Chicken. 

Be warned; you should only enjoy Fried Chicken while it’s hot. 

Leftover Pasta (noun): The husband


This comfortable zero thrills food might cause you to become happy & fat because it is always good, even when it is bad. Which is marriage, and we need not say more. 

Who doesn’t love Pasta night? Pasta is the ultimate comfort food, perfect for enjoying over a candlelit night. Italians knew what they were doing when creating this meal. Leave it to the pioneers of passion, and romance to create the ultimate cuisine to find love in. Even one of the best love scenes of all time revolved around two lovesick puppies kissing with one simple marinara drenched pasta strand. When you eat Pasta, you rarely enjoy it as a leftover, because it’s your one night out and you are going to savor every moment alone with it. So if you find yourself enjoying Leftover Pasta, you’re probably married, delighting in its splendor, after the kids went to bed. 

Leftover Turkey (noun): The too perfect guy


This guy seems lovely in the beginning. He has lots of personality, exciting, a multi-faceted guy. You don’t know what to expect, and he is everything you want when you want it. However, he isn’t the guy, no matter how perfect he may be. Eventually, you get bored by too much Turkey. 

Leftover Pizza (noun): Your perfect guy.


Everyone loves Pizza. I have yet to find someone who doesn’t find Pizza the most comforting meal to enjoy. With Pizza, you can curl up on the couch watching Netflix on a Friday night or enjoy its comfort at Party with all your favorite friends. The best thing about Leftover Pizza; you can wake up, fresh-faced, messy hair, in your pajamas while watching Saturday morning cartoons, enjoying Pizza all over again for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  

Which is why Pizza is the most sought after kind of guy.

He’s a simple man, comforting, just as good as a leftover — if not better. Leftover Pizza is the ultimate leftover. He is the man you want to find.   



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