It is quite amazing the huge amount of articles and online advice that literally pours out of the internets gaping mouth this time of year. As we ring in another year in whichever way we decide to celebrate it (or not) We all reflect on the year just passed and make promises to the Universe that THIS is the year we will achieve all our dreams.

This idea Is perpetually fuelled of course by the internet. New year new you! Diets come at you from every direction! Exercise regimes! Life coaches talk about relationship overhauls! Whilst I stood in my daughter’s kitchen with Jools Holland blaring out I thought to myself here we go again! The word stood is rather an overstatement. I was barely able to and had drunk myself into a wobbly slurring mess. Life for our family has become an increasingly hard hill to climb since the death of my daughter in September 2021. Here we were facing another year without our gorgeous girl in it. As if that wasn’t hard enough there were so many other problems to face.

My personal life had taken a back seat in recent years and the lack of a significant other in my life meant that I was still surfing the internet dating world picking up the odd bit of male company here and there. Whilst my family and its needs took priority there is nothing like a clock striking midnight to remind you that your time for fun was running out fast. So I mentally promised myself that I needed to rebalance my time so the things that give ME joy appeared more often in my routine.

This means climbing back on the dating horse and riding off on as many dates as possible. Of course, as usual, I have a hankering for those familiar faces and bodies that I have a long-standing affection for. It is all too easy to rely on those that have gone before. But then I was presented with a dilemma.

Someone from my past who I had dated (and I mean dated) only a couple of times suddenly appeared in my inbox. This guy had persistently pursued me for many years with messages and phone calls but when dates were made he repeatedly cancelled. With other fish to fry I quickly moved on and having read him the riot act I blocked him on all my apps. But he persisted, over the years he has popped up on my LinkedIn and then work emails. Occasionally I would chat with him but the moment I tried to pin him down for a date he would wriggle like an eel and I would exasperatedly block him again. Of course, I realised a long time ago that he must have gotten married. He was single when we first met but that was many years ago. But just like a boomerang, he kept coming back around remembering our couple of dates in painstaking detail.

I thought he was blocked in every possible way but yet again a text arrived! Probably from another phone. This time the text was confessional, grovelling and desperate. He was sorry he messed me around, but he was married and seriously unhappy! Although the fact he was married was bloody obvious it was an interesting twist that he had confessed. So intrigued I toyed with him a little. He was like a small boy totally lost in a life that was making him miserable. What could he do to make it up to me in the way of an apology? So playing along I said I loved Roses, Champagne and Jewellery. It was all very tongue-in-cheek.

The texting continued and the following day the most magnificent bouquet of Red Roses arrived. I’m a sucker for flowers. So thanking him I pushed for us to meet for a coffee or a drink. He immediately began the usual evasive manoeuvres. My thinking was that if we met again face to face maybe I would shatter this romantic notion he had of me in his head. After all, it was years ago and we had done no more than had a drunken kiss or two. I get the impression that he would be terrified of getting caught out. But I wanted to know if he was miserable enough to risk a meeting. Trying to increase my knowledge of the male psyche was a passion of mine.

The whole thing got me thinking about the morale issue of infidelity. I am sure that many of the younger men I have dated although single when I met them have gone on to get same-age girlfriends but kept seeing me as well. There has often been an overlap. Their need to keep up appearances of dating in their own age group is a priority but they seem unable to move on from their passion for me the older woman. I become their best-kept secret. Eventually of course they do move on. But a married man was an unusual area for me to play in.

If I’m honest as long as I am answerable only to my own conscience and not the one committing adultery should I care about the third party? I can hear the sisterhood screaming abuse at me already. But even I eventually came to understand (having been cheated on multiple times by both my husbands) that blaming the other woman is not only futile but misses the point entirely. An affair is the result of an unhappy marriage not the cause of one. It didn’t stop me from taking my revenge on my Ex-Husbands and their lovers but I also accept that expecting people to stay together for years and years in today’s mad world of temptations and pressures is just unrealistic. Maybe we should reevaluate our moral compass where marriage is concerned. Does the marriage model of ‘Till Death do Us Part’ really work in 2023? My answer is a resounding NO!

So what shall I do about Roses Man? If he ever becomes brave enough to take the leap and meet me and things progress, should I become his Mistress in the true sense of the word? It would certainly be a first for me and there is something about it that appeals to my inquisitive and thrill-seeking nature. After all none of the ‘Other Women’ in my husbands’ lives cared one jot about me! Or should I hold the moral high ground and say no?

l have a feeling that it’s purely an academic question. I don’t think Roses Man has the balls for a full-blown affair. I think the idea appeals to him but the reality may just be a step too far. I don’t think it will be too long before my perfectly manicured and painted Red fingernail hits the block button once again.

Watch this space, till next time Gaynor xx





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