How to start dating again at 40

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She didn't warn me that he also had a folding bicycle, shaved his head and wore sandals.Faint memories of a non-negotiables list stirred at our first encounter. I listened to Edward, looked into his eyes, and showed him I was charmed. In April, together with our daughter Isabella, 5, we will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary.

And when they left they wouldn't slip him their number unless he asked for it, and even then they might demur.

I was so busy reading the messages I thought men were sending me – he loves me, he loves me not, he just wants sex – that I never recognised I was sending out a message too.

And it was, loud and clear: "Not Ready to Settle Down." It got me thinking about all the attractive, successful single women I've met over the years – and Shane, whom I knew back in the Eighties, was one of them – and how they seemed to have it all; their professional status, their own homes (and mortgages), their own Mastercard (sometimes gold-plated), their own teeth (sometimes capped and bleached). If ever you watched them in a room full of people at a party, you'd see them refuse to go out of their way to meet the one available man who, usually, had been invited by the hostess with good intentions, especially for them to meet.

Everything about them, even their body language, is saying: "You can try all you want, but I'm not yet so desperate that I'm ready to compromise." According to Shane Watson, men give these single women a wide berth – or rather the marrying kind of men do.

Married men, serial monogamists or homosexual men can't get enough of them.

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