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In my teens, I waited by the phone for a boy, any boy, to call.
In my twenties it was all high drama, getting my heart broken and dating rotters.
Of course, having three children, aged nine, 13 and 16, does clip my wings a bit.
And indeed, concern for them is another important factor in why I am not flinging myself at the first available man.
Those who remain married into their fifth decade can sometimes wear their marriage like a status symbol. Thrice-married actress Kim Cattrall, who celebrated her 60th birthday this year, says of her single status: “You know so much more about what you want and what you don’t want and what you’ll put up with.
But there is a definite demographic shift going on when it comes to our relationships.
Their comfort eating and drinking is often a symptom of their unhappiness – but a fear of being alone stops them from tackling the real problem. My children are becoming more independent and this is my golden time. I don’t have to go to boring business dinners as a plus-one, or schlep up the motorway to visit someone else’s parents.
Many fiftysomething women’s desire for a different kind of life is also hindered by the need to look after ageing parents and/or demanding children. I don’t have to cook “his” dinner or do “his” washing. I can go on holiday when and where I want, I can eat the food I fancy and spend my money exactly as I please.