Facing the fear of dating in your late thirties and beyond…

I was inspired to write my first novel The Middle-Aged Virgin after becoming single in my late thirties and embarking on the daunting dating scene.

In my experience, dating was portrayed as something that was only done by millennials as part of society's acceptable 'rule book'. So, you date in your twenties, get married in your thirties, have kids, settle down and live happily ever after.

Whilst that is the reality for lots of people, that doesn't happen for everyone. Some women get married young or have been in long-term relationships and then find themselves newly single in their thirties and forties. We're all different. And dating definitely isn't just for twenty-somethings.

Middle-aged women date too and for us, sometimes it can feel pretty scary. Particularly if it's been a while since you last sat across the table from a total stranger and had to make conversation.

Like Sophia in The Middle-Aged Virgin, I was terrified by the whole process. Convinced that guys wouldn't be interested in a woman like me who was fast approaching forty. I was worried that I wouldn't remember how to flirt, survive a date or do anything. Never mind knowing how to navigate the online dating sites which didn't even exist the last time I was single!

But I needn't have worried. My first Tinder date was with a lovely, smart, genuine guy (who also happened to be extremely hot!) and despite him living thousands of miles away (just my bloody luck!), we enjoyed each other's company throughout the rest of his holiday in London and we still keep in touch.

I've been on lots of dates since then (some good and some also bad...) and whilst I'm yet to find my one true love, I still remain hopeful that he's out there. And until we find each other, I'm determined to continue enjoying and living my life.

What has been your experience of dating in your 30s, 40s and beyond? I'd love to hear your stories. Email me at: olivia@oliviaspring.com or connect on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @ospringauthor

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