Daily Mail

15 DATES . . . HOW COULD HE COPE WITH ME IN MID-MENOPAUSE?

- Linda Kelsey Spain · England

AT THE age of 56, after 24 years of fidelity to one man, I was, frankly, ter­ri­fied. De­spite be­ing in rea­son­able shape for my age, the thought of strip­ping off in front of any­one felt so almighty a chal­lenge that I was con­sid­er­ing celibacy. There was also the un­for­tu­nate tim­ing of my menopause which was only just kick­ing in, re­sult­ing in bed­sheets be­ing kicked off, not to men­tion the oc­ca­sional 3am shower and change of night­clothes in an at­tempt to cool things off. How would any new man deal with that? Then, dur­ing my first year of sep­a­ra­tion, and after a few desul­tory dates, I met Ron. He was funny and self­dep­re­cat­ing, sen­si­tive and smart. Like me, he loved to walk ev­ery­where. So we walked and talked for hours. We went to the movies, out to eat, I cooked him sup­per. But after al­most three months we’d done noth­ing more in­ti­mate than have an end-of-evening hug. I liked the scent of him, but al­ways quickly pulled back. The most dar­ing thing I did dur­ing that pe­riod was buy some gor­geous new un­der­wear on a just-in-case ba­sis. I was both wait­ing for him to make the first move and hop­ing he wouldn’t. By now it was July. I went off on a fam­ily hol­i­day to Spain with my sis­ter and her hus­band. I felt braver (at a dis­tance) and wrote Ron faintly sug­ges­tive emails. I con­fided in my sis­ter that the first thing I was go­ing to do when I got home again was have sex with this lovely man. Or at least try to ini­ti­ate it. That first week­end back in Eng­land we went for a long walk in the coun­try­side. We held hands, kissed prop­erly for the first time. That evening he came back to my place to eat and after a cou­ple of glasses of wine I took his hand and led him to the bed­room. It was all so easy. It turns out Ron had sensed my fear and didn’t want to rush me. Wise move. Since that first evening 12 years have gone by, and we’ve hardly spent a night apart.

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