Start Fear of dating after divorce

Fear of dating after divorce

I was not of that mind, though, when my husband and I split up three years ago.

But at the same time I still fizzed with the euphoria I'd revelled in the night before. I had returned to a strange land where I hadn't thought I belonged any more.

A club to which I - a 45-year-old with a body battle-scarred by time and childbirth - thought my membership had expired.

They were the classic gripes of long-haul coupledom: housework, childcare and money. Every working mother with young children knows how difficult it is to do two jobs. I rushed in after the school run wearing no make-up, and there he was again, in the hallway, flicking through his post...

In the end, the brawls became so unpleasant, so frequent and so personal that I asked for a separation. Well, if you are a single working mother, it is twice as hard. The penny was slowly dropping'It left me with little inclination and no energy for another relationship.

I wasn't even thinking about dating, let alone sex, at all. My sexuality was in a Snow White-sleep, from which I had neither the courage nor the desire to wake.

It was the morning after the night I'd been fretting about for the previous two-and-a half weeks, and the prospect of which had terrified me for the past three years.

I had just spent the night with Stephen - the first man I'd been intimate with since the break-up of my 15-year marriage.

It's a place more and more middle-aged women like me find themselves nowadays, as marriages break down and society now fully expects - indeed encourages - us to embrace the dating scene again with the same gusto we displayed in our youth.

Not so long ago, a newly single woman in her 40s, with two children, would have been expected by society to put on a brave face, say nothing of the pain caused by her divorce and resign herself to celibacy.

The creeping waistline, the not-so-perky breasts... how on earth could I ever undress in front of someone again?

But the things we argued about were far from familial.