No. 1 Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Fiona Mcinnes, 44, from Ed­in­burgh, tried online dat­ing af­ter her hus­band’s af­fair.

Six years ago, in my late 30’s, I found my­self a sin­gle par­ent af­ter split­ting with my part­ner of around 17 years. I met my now ex-hus­band when I was only 20 and mar­ried him four years later. We share two chil­dren (a son and a daugh­ter) and I would say we lived hap­pily to­gether un­til about seven years ago. That was when I found out my hus­band was hav­ing an af­fair with our neigh­bour, a woman who was also my friend at the time and had a fam­ily of her own. I didn’t be­lieve my hus­band was cheat­ing at first, but af­ter do­ing my own re­search I dis­cov­ered it was true. I kept the news to my­self ini­tially as mar­riage for me meant ‘the happy ever af­ter’. I was left at home bring­ing up our chil­dren, while my hus­band worked and went out ev­ery week­end with­out me. I de­cided to lose weight for my­self, which in turn gave me the con­fi­dence to do some­thing about my re­la­tion­ship – I re­alised the way I was liv­ing wasn’t a nor­mal or healthy way to live and so I fi­nally plucked up the courage to ask my hus­band to leave.

Get­ting back into dat­ing... The chil­dren started go­ing to stay with their Dad ev­ery sec­ond week­end and sud­denly I dis­cov­ered that I had some time to my­self. I would meet up with friends for lunch or drinks – hav­ing a so­cial life was new to me. I would panic when­ever a mem­ber of the op­po­site sex would talk to me, the last time I was on a date had been 20 years prior and you have to re­mem­ber, there was no so­cial media, in­ter­net or smart phones, it was all land­lines back then. This was a to­tally new ex­pe­ri­ence for me. I felt out of prac­tice in the dat­ing game and my con­fi­dence had been com­pletely knocked, I was made to feel worth­less. One of my sin­gle friends was al­ready us­ing In­ter­net dat­ing and she sug­gested I try it. Cu­rios­ity got the bet­ter of me and I de­cided to cre­ate pro­files on some free online dat­ing sites such as, Plenty of Fish and Badoo. I stated that I was look­ing for friend­ship as I wasn’t re­ally af­ter any­thing too se­ri­ous. Af­ter what I had ex­pe­ri­enced, trust was a bit of an is­sue. I started chat­ting to peo­ple online and I will ad­mit, you can get some strange peo­ple out there, in­clud­ing ones still in a re­la­tion­ship (I stayed well away from them). But, I did get chat­ting to some nice peo­ple. The first per­son I met up with was a man from up north and it ac­tu­ally turned out we had met be­fore as we had friends in com­mon, how­ever it never re­ally took off be­tween us. Chat­ting to peo­ple helped to re­build my con­fi­dence, along with a hand­ful of first dates – some of which I’m still friendly with now, I even wrote a ref­er­ence for one for his dat­ing pro­file and he found the girl of his dreams just shortly af­ter that. Un­for­tu­nately I spent my 40th birth­day sin­gle and couldn’t even have an al­co­holic drink as I was re­cov­er­ing from hav­ing surgery. When I had been mar­ried, I had said to my hus­band that I would have loved to celebrate turn­ing 40 in New York as I had sur­prised him with par­ties for his 30th and 40th (I had been suf­fer­ing from morn­ing sick­ness on my 30th, so couldn’t celebrate prop­erly then ei­ther). Some time af­ter my 40th, I re­ceived a mes­sage from ‘Bryan from Irvine’ and we would speak online daily. I re­ally en­joyed talk­ing to him, his con­ver­sa­tion was good – it wasn’t smutty or de­grad­ing. We chat­ted for weeks be­fore we ac­tu­ally spoke on the phone and de­cided to meet up. I met him at Kil­win­ning train sta­tion, where we then went to Tay­lor’s Ho­tel and spent the full day chat­ting as if we had known each other all our lives. It was amaz­ing. We have been to­gether for just over four years now. My new life with Bryan... We travel coast to coast to see each other ev­ery two weeks, while my chil­dren are spend­ing time with their Dad. Our re­la­tion­ship works well, but it can be frus­trat­ing as nei­ther of us can drive so we have be­come very ex­pe­ri­enced on trains! Bryan and I Skype and call daily, but it would be nice to have him a bit closer for those days when I’m need­ing cheered up. It can be dif­fi­cult to meet the right per­son, es­pe­cially when you’re a bit older and you’ve been out of the game for a bit. But it’s worth it. The week­ends that Bryan and I share to­gether are very pre­cious and go in a flash. Who knows what the fu­ture will hold but I ap­pre­ci­ate hav­ing that spe­cial some­one in my life again.

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