I WENT on a date for the first time in a long time the other night.
Work, life, kids, my love of alone time — and perhaps my fear of commitment — have all got in the way over the years.
But I decided to bite the bullet and put myself out there again.
And whoa, is it a different world out there or what?
Dating is a whole new ballgame at 39 — with two kids in tow.
Meeting someone in my teens and early 20s was a cinch; all you had to do was head out to the local nightclub and you were bound to pick up.
You give someone the sexy eye across the smoke-filled nightclub.
He comes over and buys you a lemon Stolli or five.
The next thing you know, you’re dry humping each other on the dance floor to Nine Inch Nails’ Closer and he’s got his tongue down your throat.
Yeah, they were the good old days.
Obviously I have matured since then and nightclubs and Stollis aren’t really my thing anymore.
Which means meeting people of the opposite sex is a lot more limited.
According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 83.8 per cent of single parents in Echuca are female — leaving a very small talent pool of just 16.2 per cent male.
Yes, we know most men can’t cope on their own for long. But it means it’s pretty slim pickings for us women.
So challenge number two.
Anyway, after being encouraged, urged and then pushed into trying online dating (which I loathe), I gave in.
Trawling through lists and lists of needy, lonely men looking for their ‘‘soul mate’’, ‘‘best friend’’ or ‘‘special lady’’, I almost gave up.
Until I got a message from a seemingly interesting and funny guy with a good job and who (most importantly) wasn’t desperate for marriage or someone to cook for him and do his washing.
And he had a photo (nice one at that) because who goes on a date with no idea they could be spending the next two hours with a Steve Buscemi or Rowan Atkinson lookalike?
Anyway, cutting a long story short I felt sick the whole day leading up to the date, almost cancelled three times and was still taking very small steps as I headed for my car.
And it was nice.
The date, not the car.
You didn’t think I was actually going to give you all the juicy details did you?