Advice: How do I start dating again?
She's an attractive, 40-year-old mum and after being single for six years she's decided it's time to look for love again. But how does she get back into the dating scene?
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I read your column on a regular basis and I would really appreciate you and your readers' advice for the following.
I am an attractive 40-year-old mum and recently decided to study full time at university. I have been single for six years and I am very proud of being independent and haven't felt the need to date or move into a serious relationship.
But recently I have felt quite lonely and I am wondering how do I get back into the dating scene?And how and when do I bring up the fact that I am a mum? Are there any women or men out there in a similar positions that could give me some tips?
I'm sure our readers will add to my suggestions as there are many who will have been in a similar situation. The fact you are noticing you are getting ready for relationships again means you are likely to already be sending those signals out people around you - you may need to sharpen you powers of observation to see who is responding.
Being comfortable with yourself is a very appealing characteristic and in a university setting you will have many opportunities to interact with a wide range of people. Get involved and be open to new connections as much as you can - with social events, study groups, fellow students.
Look out for new ways to get involved in your local community through hobbies/sport/general socialising. Have a look at the online dating services - be honest about who you are and what you are looking for. If you decide to progress with online connections find out about how to be safe - look for online tips and take care with how much you disclose and how you set up first meetings.
Give yourself permission to meet with lots of potential partners without assuming they will lead on to serious relationships. That way you take the pressure off yourself, you get company to socialise with and you don't need to be so worried about when to talk about being a mum - it will just come naturally as you get to know each other.
We'd love to hear your take on this week's issue. Before you comment below, though, remember that this is a real-life situation. This reader has bravely shared their personal life with you; please show them respect by refraining from hurtful or abusive comments.