Now she’s staying busier than ever before, tackling movies, music, books and, as she recently revealed, getting back into the dating game. But while the 66-year-old has opened her heart to all sorts of possibilities, romantic love remains elusive.
“I go out in Nashville; I go all over the place,” she recently told TODAY social contributor and friend Donna Farizan. “I used to sit at home, just behind my gate with my dogs, and sit in front of the fire, sort of look around and go, ‘Uh, anything happening?’ And, you know, it was killing me. It was way too lonely. It was not healthy.”
That sense of loneliness first set in around 2015, when her husband of almost 30 years, Frank Gifford, died. But as painful as the loneliness was, it was also part of the impetus for her to make big changes, like her move to Nashville.
“I’m busy now doing what I have waited all my life to have the time to do,” she explained. “And when Frank passed and my mother passed and (my kids) Cody and Cass moved to California, it was my time just to fill up my time any way I wanted to.”
She’s filled a little of that time with what she calls the “surreal” experience of dating but when asked about the love search, she turned to the lyrics of her 2018 song, “Once Again.”
“You don’t find love. Love finds you,” she sang, adding, “It hasn’t found me yet.”
And while Gifford hasn’t giving up on the idea that it might find her, she also accepts that it might not.
“I’ve had a couple of dates, and I’ve had some fun,” she said. “Everybody goes dancing and to music festivals and stuff like that, but no, that hasn’t happened yet. I’m not sure it ever will again. I’m not online; I’m not looking for it. I never go out and say, ‘Gee, maybe today’s the day.’ It’s not like that.”
When Farizan insisted that it’s only a matter of time, Gifford played the prediction for laughs, looking at her watch and saying, “Well, tick tock!"
"At this point, I say, ‘Guys, if you love Jesus and have your own teeth, give me a call!’”