‘Ro­mance is never straight­for­ward’

Woman (UK) - - Real Life -

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

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