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Suddenly found yourself single after ages off the market? It can be scarier than a room full of Lady GaGas! Thankfully our dating guru, Anna, has these tried and tested tips.

Today being single isn’t only something that happens in our teens and 20s. Today a number of women in their 30s, 40s and 50s find themselves suddenly single for various reasons including the fact that 43% of marriages end in divorce – and it’s a pretty scary place when you haven’t been there for some time. Here are some ways to survive the first stage of unexpected or unwanted singledom.

Back on the dating scene

This is the most important piece of advice to remember, so keep this in mind before and during your first date as a singleton, and for all dates to follow: When it comes to meeting the opposite sex, everyone is really 16 years old – and this goes for men too. You may be 45 years old, sophisticated and successful, but you will still jump around and scream when someone you like asks you out, panic about what to wear on a date, get sweaty palms, and nervously blurt out inane pieces of conversation over dinner that make your cheeks burn in recollection for weeks to come. And then, like a teenager, you’ll sit by the phone for days after a date waiting for the bastard to call you.

Sunday Blues

Warning – The worst time for a singleton is the coupliest time of the week: Sunday morning. Instead of moping around between the sheets resenting happy couples making each other breakfast, making love, and lovingly sharing the Sunday papers, plan stuff for Sunday morning, such as brunch with friends, go for a long walk, masturbate (yucky word, isn’t it?), whatever, just get up and get out!

Get Your Youth Back

You’re feeling tired, sad, as though you are carrying a heavy weight. You’re probably looking at funky, younger women around you and envying their energy, lightness: they look so shiny and new. So you can’t be their age again but you can reclaim your youth, and it doesn’t mean buying a $170 dollar wrinkle potion.

To do so you have to firstly look at the differences between a girl of 19 and a woman of, say, 34: the girl just wants to have fun and buy new clothes, the 30-something wants security, and to buy a new house; young people don’t believe in death, they are fearless, older people see death in every situation, and feel more fear. So to be young again you have to ditch some of the material props and the cosiness that burden you.

If you hate being a mortgage slave, sell the house; find a new job if you hate the one you’ve got, stop stockpiling designer furniture and grown-up, status-based possessions. But most of all, you have to stop being afraid. When you do possibilities will drop on you from every tree.

Here’s an idea: play some music from your youth, music that brings back the “you” of then. Remember how you used to look forward to the limitless possibilities of the future, the naivete of being able to change the world. When the feelings kick in, do something impulsive and irrevocable. And don’t give a toss what anyone else thinks.

Give a guy a break

Get to know someone a little before you turn your nose down at them. Yes, we know you’re picky but if you’re ready and wanting to get into a new relationship you have to understand the realities of the marriage market for women over 30.

The truth: Nature has decided that women who have more years to produce children are more sexually rivetting than those who have less time, her little way of continuing the human race. But men, even those in their 80s, can produce children, and in some primal sort of way they know this. Mother Nature is a total bitch. Combine this with the depressing statistics that in cities such as Sydney there are three women to each man. Then add to this that of the male population, many are gay, married, or only date 20-year-old models.

We’re not trying to encourage you to slash your wrists, just face two facts:

• you are never going to marry Matt Damon
• your soul mate is out there, you just have to sort of shift (not lower) your standards. Don’t go so much on first impressions as you would have at 20. Have lunch with that nice guy in accounts (you never know), and don’t say no because a guy doesn’t appear to be rich, cool, or isn’t super good looking. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

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