It’s Been A While…

It’s been a while since I’ve been on a date but as always, all dating apps/sites are very busy in the new year as everyone seems to have made a resolution that this will be the year that they find someone so everybody seems to make a big effort, well for 5 minutes at least so it’s been no surprise to find loads of messages from guys all wanting to get to know me better. So after sifting through them and not even replying to the 80% of “Hi” I got into conversation with a few guys and decided to meet up with “P” for coffee at Media City. For some reason some dating experts sneer at coffee dates but for me it’s a really good way of finding out if we might want to go on an actual date and an hour is long enough (too long sometimes) for both of us if the conversation has dried up but to be fair that has never ever happened as most of my dates don’t know when to shut up.

I’d spoken to P on the phone a couple of times and I had noticed that he did talk a lot but I put it down to maybe nerves and also maybe he liked the sound of his own voice but here we were at the coffee place where I was about to find out.

He liked to talk.

It’s been a while since I’ve had my ears battered with the sound of whinging bitter middle aged men and I had almost forgotten how much they can go on about themselves, but especially about an ex. Guaranteed that when a guy makes a reference to an ex but then says “I don’t want to talk about it” I’m being told things I don’t want to know within 10 minutes. P was no exception but by the end of his tirade I was feeling sorry for his ex. He called her stupid, a bitch, and the reason they split up was because “She said NO to EVERYTHING!” I’m guessing that wasn’t the reason, she probably called it quits when she found out he’d been buying properties but not putting her name on them (which he was bragging about) but all he could focus on was how many times he had to tell her how to use the washing machine properly as she had a habit of shrinking clothes when washing them. I didn’t even give P an hour, my excuse (which was the truth) was that I had to get into Manchester to an open mic comedy might where I was praying that the acts would be funny after such a depressing date because this is what these guys don’t seem to realise, we’ve met up because we could be interested in each other so what better way to impress than express your hate for an ex. The last date I had before this one didn’t shut up about his holiday in Havana so if anyone is planning a trip there then get in touch because I can tell you all you need to know. He was still talking when I put my coat on, picked my bag up and walked off, maybe women are also guilty of this, who knows?

It’s not been all bad though, any older women on dating sites will tell you that they get messages from young guys in their early twenties and I’m no exception but usually after saying thanks but no thanks they go away but for some reason I have a particular 23 yr old who seems very persistent, we all know his reasons for wanting an older woman but it does make me smile and yes it does give you a confidence boost. But how ironic when a lot of older guys my age want younger women but I’ll put money on that they aren’t getting messages from them asking for sex.

Now could somebody please pass me the earplugs.

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Why I Go On Holiday On My Own

It’s been that time of year again when I go off to wherever on my own, for the  past 3 years it’s been Ibiza but I’ll be looking to go somewhere different next year and it will definitely only be a week as 11 nights was a bit too long for me, but of course the same old inevitable question was asked, “Why do you go on holiday on your own?” Older people my age seem to have a bit of a problem with this, someone at some point will sidle up to me while their partner or group of friends look on to try and see what the poor sad single woman is going to say, and usually I’ll make some flippant remark about it should have been my honeymoon and I got stood up. or my partner ran off with the Jehova’s witness who apparently knocked on our door 6 months ago, just to see the embarrassment on their faces as these people are never the ones to say “On your own? Come and join us!” No, usually theses are the people who feel sorry for me, as I clearly have no friends if I have to holiday alone right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

At my age some of my friends have their own apartment elsewhere that they like to holiday in with their partner, family and grandkids, or a caravan that they like to take to different places, not everyone likes my idea of a holiday which consists of lying in the sun all day, couple of glasses of wine, reading, people watching then more wine. I’ve never been one to get involved in groups of women who all get together to go off for a weekend to Barcelona, my mouth always seems to get me in trouble if I take a dislike to someone (and vice versa) so it’s easier not to get involved, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a get together with a group but holidays are a bit different.

But I must admit that sometimes I wish someone was with me to see the likes of Carol kicking off in the hotel restaurant when they didn’t have any vanilla ice cream one day and demanding to see the holiday rep to complain. Carol with her clip in curls that she wore around the pool with a sun visor on with the curls peeking out the top and her sunglasses perched on top of the visor, think she might have been channeling her retired tennis player look but I was more concerned with the fact that her husband wore more jewelry than she did. Or Sharon and Gillian who were on the next table to me one evening telling me all about the operations they’ve had which quickly became a competition between them both as to who has had the worst time. It turned out to be Sharon who had had a swab left in her throat after an operation but they were kind enough to give me the name of a really good consultant should I ever need a hip replacement. Or the woman who fell off a 2 foot high stage in the karaoke bar one evening and broke her ankle. I wasn’t the only single woman in the hotel though,there was another single lady I’d say 50 ish who provided some entertainment for all of us as she got off with the guy who did the quiz in the hotel one evening, did the walk of shame more than once straight into breakfast (you can imagine everyone absolutely LOVED that) and decided to go for a swim in the hotel pool when everyone was going into the restaurant for dinner, a sure way of getting everyone’s attention, look at meeeee.

There are many reasons why people choose to go on holiday alone, there’s pros and cons of course but for me it really boils down to this. I have a week off work booked and I can either,

1. Sit at home on my own in Manchester and look out of the window and watch the rain.

2. Sit on a beach on my own wherever I choose feeling the sun on my face.

Decisions decisions.

Now please could someone pass those clip in curls to this sad pathetic older woman.

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Turning To Dust Is Not An Option.

At the beginning of last week I was excited to see an interview I’d had with the fabulous Carol Vorderman was shown on the Lorraine programme as part of a series that Carol has done about what it’s like to be over 50 and dating and well just being fabulous. Yep, I’m more than qualified to give an opinion about that but we did in fact talk about how life now is very different to how we thought it would be, it is in fact far better than we expected it to be except for dating, (on my part).

Too many older guys think they can still attract a 35 yr old and the guys a bit younger than me who have taken care of themselves also want to attract the younger women so where does that leave all of us gorgeous over 50 women who are smart, confident and hoping to find someone to spend the rest of our lives with? We attract the guys looking for a “mealtime and holiday companion” as Reg from Runcorn is fed up of eating his Wiltshire meal for one on his own. Pete from Preston too scared to get on the tram to Manchester as he’s not been there for 15 years, we attract the guys who are retired with too much time on their hands but hope you’ll spend time at their allotment with them, (quietly of course) guys who want to be seen with a smart looking woman but would prefer it if you keep your opinions to yourself. But while older guys would like a younger woman what they don’t know is that every single woman over 50 on dating sites/apps will receive messages from young guys in their early twenties, and I don’t care why they do it as it definitely boosts a woman’s confidence.

Don’t believe me? No I wouldn’t have done either but being over 50 has it’s advantages. For a start we’ve probably reached as far as we can get career wise so maybe we can relax a bit in that department, kids have probably left home which means we have a lot more spare time, if we’ve got grandchildren then we have the best of both worlds where we can have them for a short time knowing we can give them back to their parents and everybody’s happy. Hopefully we’ve realised that we don’t have to stay in an unhappy relationship and however scary it is to be on your own, it’s far more scary to waste your life staying with someone just for the sake of it. But do you know what the best thing is?  The days of chasing promotion are over, the days of being a full time mum are over, the days of wondering if your latest love interest is cheating are over, the days of trying to be everything to everybody are over, and it’s great. But let’s not forget that this is also the time we become invisible which means the pressure is OFF. Nobody expects a single thing from us older ladies, not one, nothing, not an opinion, an original idea, a suggestion, nobody expects a damn thing because by now no one sees us so as far as society is concerned we are worthless, we’ve had our life, done our bit, raised our kids so thank you and good night.

This is when the fun starts. Now is the time to reconnect with who we were when we were younger, before the kids, the exes, the daily grind of just getting through the day which means trying to build up that confidence to step out and do whatever the hell it is that makes us happy. When I was a teenager I used to go to Wigan Casino where I used to just dance all night to northern soul from midnight until 8am, obviously I wouldn’t dream of doing that now but there are loads of northern soul nights going on which is full of people my age and now and again I’ll go to one of these (on my own) and just do what I love to do. I’ve also started to go on holiday on my own (which actually winds up a few people my age but there you go) and I absolutely love it, people are always friendlier on holiday and more likely to talk to anyone. The thing we all have to realise is that by now the road ahead is shorter than the one behind, whatever you want to do just do it. Turning to dust is not an option ladies.

Now could someone please pass me my diary so I can pencil in 23 yr old Matt for Monday night.

 

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Excuse Me??

This time last year I had such a good holiday in Ibiza, on my own, that I decided to do it again and because I’d left it last minute to book I was pretty limited on what was available, so I ended up staying in the same hotel as last year and as usual that meant my single room was overlooking the bins/car park. Not really a problem as I didn’t intend to spend much time in it apart from sleeping, just annoying as this seems to happen every time I go anywhere on my own. Of course there were different people on holiday this time, thankfully no stalker, but there is one thing that stands out on this holiday that I won’t forget.

It wasn’t the group of four lads who had come away on a lads holiday and obviously some time after the holiday had been booked one of them had got himself a girlfriend and she’d ended up tagging along.

It wasn’t watching the hotel cat run off with one of the parrots halfway through the parrot show.

It wasn’t listening to a group of women over 40 who were absolutely slagging off one of their group, whilst giving me pitying looks that I had come on holiday alone.

It wasn’t the man who was leaning across my table for one while he talked to someone he knew, knowing that he was totally blocking my view until I had to ask him to move, which he wasn’t happy about.

It wasn’t the 25 older Spanish women who arrived on my last day who were a breath of fresh air as they insisted on line dancing to most of the songs being played by the pool.

It wasn’t even overhearing a woman telling a group of people  ” I couldn’t eat my salad tonight it had too many alopecia.”  That must be a new name for jalapenos.

No it wasn’t any of those things, it was when I was out one evening, sat alone on the terrace of a bar when a young woman came out for a cigarette and noticing I was alone she asked could she sit at my table while she smoked. We started chatting and a woman sat to the left of me with her husband decided she’d join in the conversation telling us that she was 64 yrs old with a daughter of 45 and a grandson of 25. We both just looked at her and said “Right” before carrying on our conversation before we were interrupted, with the older woman muttering about rude people. A couple of minutes later the young woman asked had I come on holiday with someone?  Hearing that the older woman turned to me and said ” Yes, we were wondering that, why have you come on holiday on your own?”  Oh I see, you’ve clearly been talking about me then so it’s time you were put in your place love.

“It should have been my honeymoon.”

That shut her up.

It doesn’t bother me going on holiday on my own, but it bothers other people, especially older people.  The women hold on to their partners that little bit tighter and don’t even give me eye contact never mind a “Hello” in case I get ideas about running off with their Fred (Fred should be so lucky) but that’s ok. What is NOT ok is to be so rude and to ask someone WHY they are on holiday alone so that woman deserved the answer she got.

No wonder my ears were burning all week, and I thought it was sunburn.

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I Don’t Need No Bad Advice

If you’re a regular on any form of social media then you know that sometimes not everyone will agree with some of your opinions, which is not really a problem if everyone agrees to disagree but sometimes I have had unwanted, unasked for advice from so called “dating experts”. Looking at my profile you will see that I’m an older dater, a little bit past my prime, but trust me I would have given any of you younger ladies a run for your money back in the day. Anyone who’s out there dating and trying to find someone will know how hard it is no matter what age you are, and some of the problems are ones we can all relate to, but I seriously didn’t know how hard older dating is until I tried it myself.

Not so long ago I tweeted about keeping the conversation going in the time between arranging a date and actually meeting up as I’ve been let down a few times (usually the day before or on my way to meet up) when there’s not been much contact. Imagine my surprise when a so called “dating expert” tweeted back to say that there should be no contact once the date is confirmed. I beg to differ, that leaves the way open for Sexy Sally who’s profile pics are of her sprawled across her bed/car bonnet/sofa in her Primarni underwear promising all sorts of things. At least if you’re keeping up the banter with your date he might decide to at least meet up with you before he goes off into the night with S.S. This expert also advised to maybe try to meet up as soon as soon as possible (maybe the next day) if  there was a chance the guys were going to get cold feet. Listen love, you’ve probably advised all us singletons to have busy social lives so which one is it? If I and all the rest of the dating world have arranged to meet a date in a few days it’s because of work commitments/social commitments and I for one am not prepared to cancel a “stripping for beginners” class and to be fair I would hope that my date wouldn’t cancel his “how to assemble flat packed furniture” class either.

Another gem was being told not to be on any dating sites/apps on Friday and Saturday evenings so that it looks like I’m too busy being out and about. Let’s face it, older daters are very likely to be home Friday or Saturday nights baby sitting the grandkids and if single, would probably appreciate a couple of chats with other singles on dating sites. I for one enjoy being out Sundays to be honest, late afternoon until around 10/11 pm because on Sundays there seems to be more of a mixed age group around. But it all sounds too much like game playing, to be told not to be available at weekends, by someone who’s probably not going to be in my position for at least 30 years if ever. Stick to what you know love because  older dating is certainly not one of them. I’m always interested in what someone who supposedly does this for a living,  has to say to someone like me as I’m all for getting some tips and good advice, and from a couple of more well known dating experts I actually have which I’ve appreciated.

But I don’t need no bad advice.

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