Deluded.

Being the hardened, cynical serial dater that I am, I like to think that I can spot a scammer a mile off, but apparently not everyone can read between the lines. This past week has seen quite a few on one particular dating site that I use and they all use the same template, in that they are a General in the United States Army, have pets, and state that religion is very important to them. One photo of course (which won’t be them) and a beautifully written profile in perfect English that goes out of the window when you actually exchange messages. Like I say, I can spot ’em a mile off but it does seem that women of a certain age get sucked in after I heard a story this week that involved a woman buying a holiday for the two of them (thinking he was going to pay) and only hearing alarm bells when he said he needed a short term loan. A holiday with a guy she’d never met, who lives in America but works in Dubai, who apparently earned mega bucks, what was she thinking? He never turned up for the holiday by the way.

These deluded women are also the type who write to guys on death row. Women who should know better who’ve been married (maybe more than once) had relationships, and maybe feel that it gets harder to find someone when you get older, thinking that their best years are behind them, maybe they’ve lost a lot of confidence and so any guy who pays them a bit of attention is latched on to. I get it, I really do, but hopefully common sense would kick in at some point instead of deluding themselves into thinking that they  have now found their soulmate in a man who’s murdered someone, living thousands of miles away with a cat in hell’s chance of getting out of prison alive.

Oh the romance.

And that’s exactly it. Getting involved with someone on death row means he’ll never cheat, you know exactly where he is at all times and it’s all hearts and flowers  as there’s going to be a limited time on this relationship. It’s all high drama, saving like mad to get over to Texas to see the guy you’ve sent a thousand letters to, had a thousand phone conversations with, and who will always be innocent of the heinous crime that he’s actually on death row for. “They don’t know my Jimmy like I do. He’d never hurt a fly”. But he did. In fact he did a lot more than that but let’s not let the truth get in the way of a good Mills&Boon romance because that will spoil everything. He’s everything you’ve ever wanted because it’s not real. Running around with a placard protesting his innocence will not change anything, will not make anyone revoke his death sentence, will not make the families of the victims forgive and forget, but you know this. Because really, you don’t want him to be found innocent and become a free man, the attraction for these women is the fact it’s not a real relationship, it’s going nowhere and they can be a death row widow and pretend that they have lost the love of their life.

Deluded much.

Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong, I should be writing to “One eared Frank” in Strangeways asking him where he stashed the bottles of vodka he nicked from a supermarket (565th offence) and promising him I’ll take him for a breakfast at McDonalds when he gets out. But I’ll be refusing to go on the precinct with him, a girl has to have some standards.

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A Red Letter Week

Not going to lie I’ve had a really good week and even though I was working over the bank holiday weekend it didn’t really dampen the good mood I’ve been in. Twitter (of course) was at the start of it when after a bit of banter with the lovely author Amanda Prowse she then cast her eyes over a couple of blog posts and let me know that she liked it, a brilliant start to Monday morning as far as I was concerned.

Tuesday I knew that the new edition of Woman magazine which was about to hit the shelves, had a two page feature of yours truly in it so I was really excited about that. As well as a photo there was a bit of a dating diary to give an idea of what it’s really like to be dating over 50. A lot of people at work were really nice about it and pointed out that it was a lovely photo that made me look a lot better than I usually look. I should hope so, it took the talented lady who did my hair and make up absolutely ages to produce the end result and I loved it. Having said that she usually does the make up for some of the young “Coronation Street” stars when it’s a red carpet event and I certainly didn’t look as good as them but it’s only make up, not magic, or maybe it’s the 30 years plus between us?  Let’s just say that on that particular day, Sally Rowe made me look and feel a million dollars.

Wednesday I caught up with Richard my housemate after we both got home late that night and he admitted that he’s really fallen for his new boyfriend who he’s been seeing for a couple of weeks. I know I know, only a couple of weeks but his fella has been staying over at weekend and as I have a prime ringside seat I have watched this romance from day one. I’ve watched my housemate get giddy when he comes off the phone from talking with this guy, showing me (the same) pics of him and asking “Is he fit?” He is Richard, he is but I like the fact that this guy makes you so happy, makes you put your pinny on and cook meals from scratch for him, makes you wait impatiently for weekend so that you can spend time together and plan trips away/holidays/when to tell respective families that you are now an item. I like the fact that your new boyfriend makes you feel special, makes you catch your breath, your heart flutter, makes you nervous and all the other things that people feel when they’re in love. I love that you have found this and I’m just the tiniest bit envious.

As much as I am dating I am not looking for “the one”. The men in my age group have been married a couple of times and I think it’s safe to say that (hopefully) we’re all realistic enough to know that there is more than one person in this world who would make us happy. To project all our hopes and dreams onto one person is too much pressure, by now, especially at my age, we should have maybe realised that if we can find someone who we can relate to, laugh with, make plans with and all the rest we are lucky. That doesn’t mean I’ll lower my standards by any means, I don’t want to sit in every night and “watch a film and cuddle on the sofa” or hold hands walking to the corner shop while he gets his beer and fags, but the pool I’m fishing in is a lot smaller than anyone else’s, I do know that.

What I do know is that it’s highly unlikely I will find someone who sets my soul on fire and I’ve accepted that. I don’t like it, but I’ve accepted it. So when I see the two love birds cast knowing glances at each other, a caress from one to the other as they brush past each other, a private joke, an impromptu romantic night away in a hotel, as much as I love seeing them together, it’s a reminder of days gone by for me.

My life’s not over by any means but I’m pretty sure the romance is.

Good job I’ve got a good memory.

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Long Distance Love.

One of the things unique to older dating is the difficulty of a long distance relationship, as there are usually a few reasons why this won’t work out so whenever I get a message from someone who lives too far away, I say right from the start there is no point pursuing it. This never seems to put the guys off though, even when I say I don’t drive  they always say that they wouldn’t mind doing all the travelling, there are trains etc, but I know that eventually it will all end in tears because none of us, in the end, will compromise.

When you’re young it’s not such a big deal to move to another town or city for whatever reason, University, career, or a love interest as it’s easier to make a new life when you’ve got the confidence, plus, you’ve always got the safety net of being able to go back “home” if it doesn’t work out. Fast forward 30 years and it’s entirely different, as a lot of obstacles have appeared that weren’t there before such as leaving children and possibly grandchildren behind, old friends, a job, a house,and a life that has slowly been built up over the years so it’s understandable that for most women, when it comes to it, it’s hard to make that leap into a new life where you’ve moved to another town/city to be with a new partner so it’s easier not to.

For most older men the reasons are different. A man will quite happily embrace the idea of a woman coming to spend the odd weekend with him and while he’s making noises about how he’d relocate and up sticks to live with you he would probably prefer it if you bought a house on the next street, so that way his life can carry on in the same routine and he wouldn’t have to get rid of the pet budgie. Old dogs, new tricks. At the end of the day, the longer you’re on your own the harder it is to compromise on some things, but a move to somewhere new is probably not going to happen for a lot of older daters. I must admit though I would probably make an exception for someone who lived in another country, preferably hot, like Spain, where I could visit whenever possible and then when it came to moving I could claim that the language barrier was a problem (even though he’s English) but think how many holidays I could have…

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