‘Romance is never straightforward’
Liz Hoggard, 55, is a journalist and author. She lives in London.
For me, there were no fantasies about white dresses growing up.
A late starter on the social scene, I threw myself into work and travel in my 20s and 30s.
A writer, I was and still am, out most nights at the theatre or cinema on dates.
Occasionally I longed for a night in with beans on toast with a significant other. But an ability to attract commitment-phobic men meant that fantasy was rarely tested.
When a two-year relationship ended in my late 40s, I decided to dip my toe in the world of online dating. It’s fun meeting new people for a couple of hours, but it won’t be the thing that defines me.
In my experience, romance is never straightforward. The battles, the break-ups and make-ups – it really is like a rollercoaster.
In my 50s, I’d rather be able to focus on the most important relationships of all: friendships that I’ve nurtured for 35 years. We look out for each other, plan holidays and celebrate each other’s successes.
So have I given up on finding someone? My life might be easier if I retired altogether from the romantic arena. But the truth is, I would still like a companion.
But not just at any price. I’ve been far lonelier in relationships than I’ve ever been as a single woman.
‘I’d rather focus on my friends’
Meeting someone isn’t a priority for Liz