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My body also became much fitter after I joined a gym that offered the sensual delights of belly-dancing as well as the boring treadmill stuff.Not only did it make me healthier – crucial when you live alone – but it also had the effect of buffing up my self-esteem when it came to relaunching myself into male society by joining clubs and organisations and going on activity holidays.

‘Get married again,’ was his practical advice every time; Liam was emphatically not the neurotic type who would feel jealous at the thought of any successor in my affections.

He wouldn’t have wanted me to spend the rest of my life moping at home alone.

But I liked the idea of a male companion with his own place somewhere near me.

And because I have no children, it has been easier for me in some ways to start dating than it is for my friend Veronica, who claims that the only one of her sons who is still at home would find it hard to accept a new man in his mother’s life. Women can invent endless excuses not to move out of their comfort zone, usually through fear of rejection.

It’s amazing how many smug marrieds view single females of a certain age as potential husband-snatchers because ‘all the good men have been taken by middle age’.

Speaking as a 50-something singleton, I can assure them that most of us have no interest in flirting with other people’s husbands (they should be so lucky! For despite the gloom-mongers’ assumptions that there are no nice unattached men with an interest in mature women left, I am proof that you can find romance after 50.

And don’t forget pubs, because that’s where a lot of lonely single men congregate when away from their spartan homes.

You don’t have to sit there feeling self-conscious – these days pubs offer everything from comedy and music to quiz nights in order to give people a good excuse to go along.

When a man describes himself as ‘cuddly’, he means ‘fat’.

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