For many single people, lockdown in March brought dating to a complete stop. Orders to stay at home were unprecedented. Bars, cinemas, clubs and restaurants closed. We weren’t allowed to meet loved ones we didn’t live with, never mind a potential partner for a romantic stroll in the park. For many, it became a time of reflection, to re-evaluate and slow down. But not for me. After spending 15 years as a single mum, I decided it was actually the perfect time to get into the online dating game. Because, at 43, and with my daughters – age 22 and 19 – all grown up, I knew exactly the type of man I was looking for.
When I split up with my girls’ dad in 2005, I wasn’t in a rush to find someone new. My daughters were seven and four and, as I got used to life as a single mum, I was happy for it just to be the three of us.
We lived in Hungary, but my job as a dancer and events coordinator took us all over the world, until in 2014, when the girls were 16 and 13, we settled in London. The girls started a new school and I threw myself into my new job, working long hours in a busy restaurant.
Although I wasn’t looking for love, I wasn’t short of date offers. I had a few relationships, but nothing serious, and although I introduced them to my daughters, I never brought a boyfriend home. To me, any romance was separate from my life as a mother, and I never met anyone special enough to be a stepdad to my girls.
That said, over the years I’d developed a clear idea about what kind of relationship I eventually wanted. From my experience, the most successful men seemed to be the happiest. It was the men with thriving businesses and beautiful homes who were the most fun, interesting, intelligent and relaxed.
Whenever I’d encountered men confused about what they wanted out of life, I found their negativity and lack of enthusiasm draining. I was drawn to the go-getters, creatives and entrepreneurs.
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‘I'M DETERMINED NOT TO BE SAD'
Author and farmer Rachael Thomas, 53, lives in West Wales and her mum, Kathryn Smith, 75, lives in a care home in Worcester. My family and I were forced to move my mum, Kathryn, into a care home in November 2019, just before the pandemic, when her Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia got too bad for her partner or my family to deal with at home.
‘All I want for Mother's Day is A HUG WITH MY MUM”
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, Ruth Langsford opens up about her need for physical contact with her loved ones
‘SHE MISSES JAMIE'
Louise Redknapp’s friend reveals she is struggling to cope without her ex
Finally, holidays are on the horizon!
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Small steps to personal improvement
Hello everyone, my name is Annie and I’ll be here every week discussing health, busting myths and helping you to find a healthier and more sustainable way to live. In this column, we’re going to dip our toe into the world of health, wellness and fitness. But I promise, lovely readers, that among the learning and the inspiration, we’re going to have a jolly good laugh; and heaven knows we all need more of that right now.
‘I THOUGHT THAT IT WOULD BE EASY TO GET BACK'
Jacqui Deevoy, 58, is a writer from London. Believe it or not, when I was in my 20s, 30s and even 40s, I found checking out job vacancies and going for interviews fun and exciting. Full of confidence, I used to boast to friends that I could get any job I wanted and had a zero-fail rate with interviews. That all changed when I hit 50, though. And these days, it’s no fun at all.
The picture that means SO MUCH
Tracey McAtamney wondered how she would ever move on after losing her husband so suddenly
Rise above it, William!
Prince William must not be tempted to get involved in another feud with his brother
Linda CUTS PAULINE OUT
It looks like Linda Robson has been cropping former friend Pauline Quirke out of her social media snaps as their feud continues to escalate.
DON'T TELL ME I CAN'T… ...give up drink
Tracy Cassidy’s summer of sobriety changed her life
Kingpins and wannabes barrel through the London underworld.
A Low-risk, High-reward Approach
6 Key Ways Print on Demand Can Help eCommerce Businesses Scale in 2021
Your Facebook Friend Has Some Thoughts To Share About Your Covid Vaccine
Mark Zuckerberg wanted to make Facebook a source of reliable information about the pandemic. Instead he created a perfect platform for conspiracy theorists
Back on the Road
We all know travel can be a pain, but when it hits below the belt you need to know there’s something you can do about it
It’s easy to see why Barbados has long been favored as an escape to the sun
MARK EDWARD HARRIS: The Beauty of SHINRIN-YOKU
The pandemic has forced all of us to look within our own borders for both photo opportunities and mental health breaks.
MEGHAN'S SIS EXPOSES UGLY LIES!
DUCHESS Meghan’s furious sister, Samantha Markle, is blasting Harry’s wife for playing the victim and using “depression as an excuse to treat people like dishrags.”
US ASTRONAUT LAUNCHING NEXT MONTH MAY SPEND YEAR IN SPACE
NASA may soon chalk up another one-year space mission thanks to an out-of-this-world Russian movie-making deal.
GET YOUR FRONT ROW SEAT TO VIRTUAL FASHION SHOWS
It’s hard to remember now, but it was during the fall ready-to-wear shows last February that the fashion world first became aware of the coronavirus, even before it had been declared a global pandemic.
What Bills Fans Are Saying
Bills Digest scanned the Bills’ Facebook page and other fan message board sites to gauge the hot topics Bills Nation is talking about. We chose some of the better posts, edited for brevity and clarity, and present them here, along with Bills Digest editor Mark Ludwiczak’s take on what’s being discussed.