35 And Suddenly Single: Brave New Dating World

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

35 and Suddenly Single: Brave new dating world

Wine was bound to be involved when I took the plunge. Separated for five months and definitely ready to start looking forward instead of backward, I join a dating site for the first time.

While my August had been very busy socially with another festival and plenty of other late nights too, as we move into autumn it just feels like the right time. For a moment the future feels full of possibility.


Back in my twenties it used to be case of meeting people through friends or going out, getting smashed and hoping someone might make a move.

Most of my friends are now married with kids and I guess the totally drunken option is just not so becoming of someone in their thirties. I am learning as I go.

There's a part of me that's excited about the prospect of going out on the dating scene again and meeting new, interesting people. Eleven years is a long time to be out of the game and with internet dating it's oh-so completely different to last time. However, I can't help but admit I'm also still resentful that I'm having to do this when I thought I'd never have to again.

I also hate the fact that as a pretty open and honest person I am going to have to lie, when I don't really want to start any kind of relationship with that. However, a number of female friends have advised that if anyone on a date asks why my marriage broke down saying because I wanted children but my husband didn't will make them run a mile.

I suppose I knew that already but I find it unfair. It makes me seem needy and I'm really not, just a truthful realist... and a woman in her thirties who wants kids. Worse luck.

As I've said before I really wish I could leave it till I was 50 or older too. Lucky, lucky men.

So far I've found online dating to be hugely underwhelming, and much more of a chore than I thought it would be.

It's difficult to know what's best. Sometimes when I'm stuck on the train or at the supermarket and surrounded by people and their screaming kids I can't help feeling that I'm lucky it's not me, at least yet anyway. The grass is always greener, right?

I'm not sure what I want at the moment. I'm probably not ready for a full-on relationship yet after such a long time. Before I met my husband when I was 25 I was single for four years and loved it. I'd happily be single and independent again for that length of time if only I didn't have that darn biological clock ticking away in the background.

Anyway, I plough on online and seem only to get approached by the shy type who are happy to exchange emails but never suggest meeting up, or the NSA (no strings attached - a new acronym to me) men only after one thing type. Hmmmm, not what I was expecting... disappointing.

I don't want over-confident but overly cautious is dull as well. Too fussy, already? Probably.

So many sites to choose from and so many different recommendations. What works for one didn't for another. It's clearly a question of luck as much as anything else - being on the right site at the right time as someone else suitable.

I've been told that things pick up in the run up to Christmas as people are keen to find a partner for the festive season. I already feel I might give it a rest till then as the reality seems to be not what I imagined or wanted right now.

Maybe I've done it too early and it will feel more natural when the divorce comes through. Who knows? The solicitor has advised the whole thing should be over by the end of November and then I will officially become a divorcee. I shall certainly be arranging some drinks as I try and forget who I am for a few hours. Surely, if there's a reason when that aim is acceptable it's becoming a divorcee.

Ugh, singledom - welcome back, it's been a while.

You can read Melinda's previous columns 35 and Suddenly Single columns here.

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