Gransnet forums


Looking for love

(93 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 18-Apr-13 08:46:27

When author of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Deborah Moggach, found herself back in the dating jungle in her mid 50s, she wondered where all the decent men had gone. Read her story and share your comments and experiences here.

Gally Thu 18-Apr-13 09:33:45

Well, that's encouraging grin. Written with humour and hope. I wonder where she found him? Perhaps he's got a younger brother wink

Greatnan Thu 18-Apr-13 14:47:31

I had a great time after my divorce when I was 39. I did all the things I should have done at 18, instead of getting married. I dated so many men I can't remember their names. I put a lonely heart advert in Private Eye which attracted over 100 replies. I met about 20 men. They were mostly very decent, but I didn't find that magic 'clicking' with any of them. When I moved to Monaco, it was wall-to-wall with eligible men and I had some wonderful times. Again, though - nobody with that vital spark. When I moved back to the UK, I joined some dining clubs for single people. It was pretty dreadful - the men were mostly just out for an affair and, worst of all, were right wing, bigots, or both. I joined a humanist group where the men were much nicer but mostly married.
I went on several weekend breaks with Solos and thoroughly enjoyed myself, flirting and dancing and drinking.

I had a good time in Brussels - in fact, I don't remember much of my year there, as I went out every night and the champagne flowed freely.
I did meet one or two men who were very sexually attractive, but they turned out to be unsuitable in various ways.

I realised when I was in my late fifties that I had never found the right man because I didn't want to....... I like being perfectly free, after 20 years of stultifying marriage, so whenever things began to get serious I would find some excuse to break it off.
Serious relationships demand commitment and compromises and I have never met a man who seemed worth the sacrifice. I think of marriage the way I think of taking the veil or having a child - it is something you should only do if not doing it is unthinkable.

Gorki Thu 18-Apr-13 15:00:12

Wow ! What an exciting life you've led,Gratnan

Annegranny2 Thu 18-Apr-13 15:00:12

I agree wholeheartedly with Greatnan. I divorced at 36 and then had 3 young children who took up mostly all of my attention. I also had a lot of problems in my family with deaths of many of my close family too. I came round after all of this when I was made redundant in my 40's and I dated many men, found in various clubs, bars, websites, introductions and holiday romances. I really enjoyed this time as it was fun and I have lovely memories of them all, but my freedom is too precious for me to hand over to any man. I don't want to make compromises that I see many of friends make who are now 'couples' when they have to ask to go on holiday with their friends or grandchildren and they are in their 50's or 60's! I love my home, and still have a full time job, but I will always have a sparkle in my eye and always will enjoy the company of men without any of the sacrifices I see others making.

Gorki Thu 18-Apr-13 15:03:19

You,too Annegranny2. Apologies for the spelling Greatnan

gillybob Thu 18-Apr-13 15:24:06

Wow Greatnan have you ever thought about writing a book? Sounds a very exciting life. envy

lucyinthesky Thu 18-Apr-13 15:26:22

I wonder if the age at which you divorce has an influence on how we feel about dating, committing ourselves etc? I am 65 and divorced 3 years ago after being married for 30 years. I'd already met up with an old boyfriend from when I was 20 through the internet, but my affair wasn't the reason my marriage broke up. My husband was gay and had been deceiving me for 7 years by being in a relationship with his best (male) friend. So I have not been in the situation of being alone and having to find companionship.

I live in London and spend a lot of time in Paris, where my OH lives. We have no intention of marrying (what's the point at our age?). Being apart for a week or so at a time works well for us as we both have freedom to do our own thing knowing that within a few days we'll be back together, so no time to feel lonely. In any case I couldn't bear to be away from my baby grandson for more than 3 -4 weeks!

whenim64 Thu 18-Apr-13 15:26:42

I echo those sentiments expressed by Greatnan and AnneGranny. I realised years ago that I didn't want or need a partner any more, and preferred my freedom and independence. Each to their own. smile

Greatnan Thu 18-Apr-13 16:07:26

I could only write a book if it were completely anonymous as my lifestyle might be a bit of a shock to my grandchildren and I wouldn't like to embarrass them!
My life falls into three parts - the first 39 years were 'bog' standard - married at 18, two children by 24, trained as a teacher at 27, did all the middle class things - PTAs, guides, pony club.
I used to think the words of 'Don't Cry for Me, Argentina' were written for me - 'Can't stay all my life down at heel, looking out of the window, staying out of the sun'.
Then I got divorced, lost weight, got contact lenses, went blonde, got a job in Monaco, bought some expensive, well-tailored clothes and behaved very badly. I loved every minute. London was not quite as good as Monaco but I wanted to be able to see more of my family and the social life was still good.
At 59, I retired, gave up on men, let my hair go white, gave up the lenses and cosmetics and retired to an isolated village in France. I haven't put any weight on, though, because of my long, daily walks up mountain paths. I am back to being dowdy, but at 72, I don't care!

Annegranny2 Thu 18-Apr-13 16:25:11

I am 59 now Greatnan but still have the contact lenses, cosmetics and hair dye. I feel my life has been in 3 parts too, the first part when I fell in love and got married quite young. Second part when it all went wrong and I had to change course and look after myself. Third part is now, when I do all the things I love, realise my potential, enjoy my family, laugh a lot and can just be me. My mother and grandmother never had this chance, so I think about them often and how they had to stick it all out with no choices. They helped me though to make the changes I made, even though they were a long time gone. Brilliant women! I love Gransnet too and have only just found it.

Greatnan Thu 18-Apr-13 16:43:02

A warm welcome, Annegranny - I am sure you will find plenty to interest you and lots of friendly people here.
My sister still dyes her hair and wears make-up at 76. Each to her own!

HUNTERF Thu 18-Apr-13 16:55:13


I am 64 and widowed.
None of the known family has had any divorces and I hope it remains that way.
There is a reasonable amount of money within the family which has been built up over generations.
I do not want to put it at risk.
I have a good relationship with my 2 daughters and granddaughters and want the next generation to inherit my money and I do not want to put that at risk.


Greatnan Thu 18-Apr-13 17:14:57

Are you beating off the predatory women, Frank?

Giginanna Thu 18-Apr-13 17:19:57

I am not looking for love but am definitely looking for some freedom to explore life and the world a bit more! I got married in the Rocky Mountains aged nineteen, we were just kids and it was a bit of a joke! By the time I was twenty six we had four kids ourselves and thirty six years later there are seventeen of us with all the partners and grandchildren! They are a great bunch and we are a close family but just sometimes, no actually quite frequently, I dream of moving to some remote village in France with no satellite signal and having a gap year! You are giving me ideas Greatnan!!

Greatnan Thu 18-Apr-13 17:25:44

Oh, I definitely have a Human Freesat box and watch a lot of UK TV!
When I emigrate to New Zealand, I will have to rely on iportal to watch it on line. NZ TV is somewhat limited - I could get Coronation Street, but it would be three years old.
The last time my whole family was together, with ten gc, some of their partners, some of their children, my two daughters and one SIL, there were 22 of us. Alas, we will never all be together again.

kerrymallah Thu 18-Apr-13 18:54:21

I'm new to Gransnet and find myself following this fascinating thread. I'm 57 and I've been single now for 4 years after a 33 year marriage.
I had a pretty unhappy marriage for the last 20 years but I had four children and consequently a very busy, happy life. When my youngest two went to uni I made a break for it.
Four years on I am now adjusting to living alone, I don't always like it. Money is rather tight-I was made redundant from a well remunerated job, I really enjoyed, two years ago and so have set up in business on my own which is not easy in this climate- so am not able to enjoy my freedom as much as I would have liked. On the plus side if I hadn't worked hard to progress my career and to become financially independent I would probably not had the confidence to leave my marriage.
There are days when I feel a little lonely, I moved to a new area when I left, but have no regrets whatsoever.
Initially I imagined it would be relatively easy to find a new partner and I was very proactive but with limited success. Of the 35 or so men I dated I wasn't interested in 30+and the other 5 weren't interested in me!
I have now abandoned my search. I admit that at times the thought of a lonely old age frightens me a little and I hate to think I will never have a sexual relationship again; I hadn't imagined that I would be saying goodbye forever to that side of me.

Greatnan Thu 18-Apr-13 19:09:47

Well done, Kerry, for having the courage to get out of a marriage that was not making you happy. I have explained to many people that I was happy and married, just not happily married!

jeanie99 Thu 18-Apr-13 20:11:17

If you divorce while still young it's easier to slip back into life alone although with children financially there would be challenges. There is also more of a chance to remarry but don't know the statistics on this.

The older person would have different issues again, the house may have been sold and you are nearer to retirement.

If the lady stayed home and looked after the children during the early years and is left without a pension for the later years this could be a major worry.

I would have thought there are fewer older men and women available or who want to marry again.

Companionship becomes more important in later life, someone who is a friend and enjoys similar interests but who still allows you to be you.

I've been married for 43 years my husband and I have many interests and do many things separately it makes for a more interesting marriage and keeps things fresh.

Relationships are complicated and can be difficult at times after all we are all individual.

Nonu Thu 18-Apr-13 20:17:22

We have been married for 42 + years and i love it that we have a lovely companionship + everything else .


Enviousamerican Thu 18-Apr-13 20:34:13

Kelly, I wouldn't give up yet! love seems to happen when your not looking for it. Continue to enjoy your life and you just never know! I wouldn't want to remarry,I'm 59, but my hubby has spoiled me and no other man would interest me. I wouldn't be happy alone so I hope it never happens.You have many year left to enjoy,whatever you please!

chunckey Thu 18-Apr-13 21:09:30

I am 66 and am about to retire, I have been divorced for 10 years and the thought of being on my own and not having having some companionship makes me feel really miserable.

Its been ok while I have been working but now i'm unsure of being on my own.

I have two daughters and five grandchildren, but they lead busy lives and cannot spend a lot of time with me which I understand.

I suppose it is the unknown that scares you.

Greatnan Thu 18-Apr-13 21:56:32

Don't be scared, Chuncky - there are lots of women in just the same position and plenty of places where you can meet friends. My sister is 76 and widowed, but she goes to two women's groups and they have all kinds of outings and events. Your library will have a list of local organisations, and I am sure there will be some kind of voluntary work you can do.
If ever you feel lonely, just come on here and talk about it and there will be plenty of friendly ears ready to listen!

annodomini Thu 18-Apr-13 22:39:35

I've been divorced since 1986. For a while I had my two sons at home but gradually they drifted off though they occasionally came back, eventually with the girlfriends who were to become their partners. Then they established their careers and their own homes. I'm very proud of them and their families. I had a job I liked and was involved in local politics, school governance, did OU courses and didn't have time to be bored. I didn't feel the lack of a partner and have not set out to look for one. Chunckey, don't be afraid of the unknown. Take that first step. There are organisations that need volunteers (I'm a CAB adviser); schools that need retired people to hear children reading; book groups; U3A where you can develop new interests and meet new people. I go to the theatre much more often now that I can go in a U3A group. Enjoy your 3rd Age!

Brabant Fri 19-Apr-13 08:52:20

Having moved through life and three husbands plus two long term partners I think I have finally learned something: value what you've got. Throughout my marriages I always had the feeling I was missing out on someone better and kept alert and looking. No surprise that the husbands took the hint and buggered off, then. One life partner killed himself and the other opted for a woman younger than his eldest son, referring to her as his blond dolly.

Thanks to internet dating I have now found myself the imperfect life partner. Of course he is imperfect, but then so am I. This time I have decided to stop looking outwards and start working inwards. Yes I long from time to time for the days when I lived alone and no one told me off for leaving lights on but then he leaves doors open and loo seats up. And hey he's 72 and I'm 65 and we've already cracked five eventful years togther: maybe it helps that although we are both European we start from different countries and different languages: using three to communicate fully. Even the dog takes commands in all three languages.........

So what's my message? Ignore looks, forget wrinkles, political views are just discussion topics, put your energy into every chance and build on what you find, whomsoever that might be. And the internet is a great search place. Oh and if you don't like yourself: then why should anyone else? So make sure you are happy with who you are, the way you look, what you say and what you think and do. And I learn't that only after hitting 55. Taught by the dog........