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Their negativity was surprising and quite upsetting at times. One friend suggested I should just focus on being by myself, while a particularly charming family member questioned why being a mother wasn’t ‘enough for me’.
They even implied that I should wait until my son was 16 – only another 15 years on my own then!
I do realise this all sounds pretty depressing, but then, by some miracle, when I’d been single for around a year I met Jack* – someone I really liked who seemed to really like me.
Things with Jack unfortunately fizzled out after a year or so – he was having a second youth of constant holidays and weekend breaks that I just couldn’t join in on, as much as I loved his approach to life.
At first, it seemed exciting creating profiles on and Plenty of Fish and immediately getting loads of messages.
But I soon got the wind knocked out of my sails when I opened up to friends and family about my newfound love life.
I learned to keep quiet about my dating adventures and largely ignored the so-called ‘advice’, but I soon realised that meeting new men isn’t quite the wall-to-wall fun I’d imagined.
What became immediately clear is that lots of people my age are like Tom – old before their time and acting like we’ve been married for 30 years.