But, even if that were an option (having teen children is a pretty good boyfriend repellent, I find), I am still very, very picky. It certainly takes courage to be single in your fifties. Twice-divorced Carol Vorderman, 55, recently talked about being “happily single” saying that she was finally revelling in doing her own thing and running on her own “clock”.
Those who remain married into their fifth decade can sometimes wear their marriage like a status symbol. Thrice-married actress Kim Cattrall, who celebrated her 60th birthday this year, says of her single status: “You know so much more about what you want and what you don’t want and what you’ll put up with.
Many fiftysomething women’s desire for a different kind of life is also hindered by the need to look after ageing parents and/or demanding children. I don’t have to cook “his” dinner or do “his” washing. I can go on holiday when and where I want, I can eat the food I fancy and spend my money exactly as I please.
Of course, having three children, aged nine, 13 and 16, does clip my wings a bit.
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Her life was completely uncompromised and I can entirely relate to her contentment. As a nutritionist and hypnotherapist, I see many fiftysomething women.
They come to me because they want to lose their menopausal tummies.
Their comfort eating and drinking is often a symptom of their unhappiness – but a fear of being alone stops them from tackling the real problem. My children are becoming more independent and this is my golden time. I don’t have to go to boring business dinners as a plus-one, or schlep up the motorway to visit someone else’s parents.
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It makes us sound like we spend our evenings forlornly signalling to each other across a creaky old dance floor by waving our Zimmer frames, while our hearing aids whistle shrilly. I know fiftysomething women who are running marathons, starting businesses …
I even met one recently who had just won her class in an Iron Man contest (basically a triathlon on steroids) for age 64-69.