Hi, I’m Kate, forty-something, self-employed, working mother of two. I also happen to be very much single.
Dating … it’s a funny old game isn’t it? Especially when you get to our age and life is so very different to when we were 20. In fact, I actually got married at 20 to my First Love – the father of my eldest son – and I often look back to that time in my life and wonder a) what the hell was I doing and why on earth did I marry that young and b) why am I now mid forties and single?
Life wasn’t really meant to turn out like this and I think a lot of my single friends probably feel the same. When I was younger, and a lot more naïve about love, I just presumed I would be married forever, but life has a funny way of throwing you endless curve balls – and don’t get me wrong, some of those curve balls are fantastic … others, not so much.
Dating sites, men, and aliens…
I’ve been single for two and a half years now and it has been an interesting period of my life and one that, overall, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed – I have definitely learnt what I do want from a relationship … and also what I don’t. It has felt though, that the older I get, the harder it is to meet eligible men. I don’t go clubbing, I rarely go to pubs and being a freelance writer means the only man I’m ever likely to talk to during the day is the postman … and he’s married. I checked.
Dating sites seem the norm these days, for those very reasons. It’s so easy to meet people online. Upload a photo, write a few lines about yourself that fellow dates may or may not read and sit back and wait. My experience to date has shown, however, that it really depends what site you’re signed up to – I’ve dated a lot, and thankfully, I live to tell the tale, but dating as a woman over 40 can be quite … challenging.
I’ve tried free sites and paid sites, and the main thing I’ve always struggled with is my age. Not me personally – I love being 43! But other peoples’ reaction to it. I’m either pestered by 20 year olds looking for Mrs Robinson or being asked out by much (much) older men … and not having anything in common with any of them.
I’ve dated a man who believed in aliens, a man who was very pleased with himself because he brought me biscuits as a present (chocolate macaroons no less), and a man who sat on my lap and tried to kiss me. Badly.
I’ve dated a 25-year-old and a 57-year-old (although not at the same time) and I’ve dated men at every age in between. Tall men, short men, confident men and shy men. I certainly don’t discriminate! Alas, it just hasn’t worked out for me.
I don’t think I would class myself as ‘unsuccessful’ in love, I just think I’ve needed this time to myself to try different hats on. The worst thing you can do, in my humble opinion, is just flit from relationship to relationships, like a Daddy Long Legs bumbling along a wall. It doesn’t benefit anyone. Not you, and certainly not the other person.
I’ve had two major relationships in my life, both resulting in a very much-loved child, and both consequently leaving me wondering if there is anyone out there who is normal. It doesn’t sound a lot to ask but when you are out there on the dating scene, it can sometimes seem like you’re asking for the moon on a stick.
I would like to meet someone drama-free. Someone who likes the same things I do. Someone who understands what it is to be in their prime, albeit second half, of life … and yet full of life. Because that’s the great thing about turning 40, at least for me. I know who I am and what I want. I love exploring new places, trying out new things, but I’m also very comfortable in my own skin and would be equally happy just chatting nonsense with someone equally as silly. The old adage about loving yourself before anyone else can love you is especially true at this age … I’ve never been happier.
And that’s why I’ve decided to try this new website that is perhaps more tailored towards women like me, in the hope that this is where men my age are also looking for love again. Or, at the very least, I’ll find someone I can tell my terrible jokes to … and they will laugh no matter what. What I like about LoveBeginsAt is that this isn’t just a dating site – it’s a place where I can make new friends, try out new hobbies with people like me and not feel like I’m a square peg in a round hole.
I’m a typical Libran, and I remain ever the romantic. I believe that I’m not destined to be on my own for the rest of my life and that love is out there somewhere. The pressure is off now I have my own family and I can take my time deciding who I want to share that with – and it’s a great place to be.
About Kate Sutton
Kate Sutton has contributed to The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, has modelled for M&S and regularly publishes blogs on lifestyle, parenting and dating.