I guess I could class myself as an online #datinghttp://uk.blastingnews.com/showbiz-tv/2016/09/celebrity-couples-who-began-their-relationships-on-a-movie-set-001120317.html 'veteran' following over a decade of life-influencing dating experiences. It is true that online dating is common in the lives of many of us busy singletons, not just the desperate, as previously thought!

I suppose I could boast some success over the past decade, however, as a #single and looking female in her early forties, the landscape has most certainly gone from lush pasture, to baron winter-scape.

As somewhat of an expert, I am often asked what it is I look for in a man, a difficult question in fact. I am more comfortable describing what I 'don't want' in a partner.....

Until I hit forty, I was reasonably comfortable dating men in their thirties, and had even been unwittingly fooled in to having dinner with men in their late twenties, who clearly looked older than their years!

Having hit my forties, where I'm conscious what my teenager, and of course my friends will think of my potential beau, I've taken the sensible approach, and opted to only date those within a couple of years either side of my age. With that sacrifice comes travesty, a mine-field of no-no's, and a much higher percentage of dating failures as a direct result.

My dating red-flags are simple, and appear to follow a coming theme. Having consulted my single female friends, it appears (which is heartening!), that I am not the only woman to identify with the following factors to avoid with a potential life-partner:

  • He lives with his parents/mum/dad - this is a common scenario for the newly single man in his forties. His ex has kicked him out of the family home, and he resorts to moving back home. This doesn't work for me, as I don't like the pressure of having to 'entertain' a new partner in my home, without the ability to spend a quiet night at his pad
  • He is on a different social/intellectual plane to you - Having been a successful woman, enjoying some very senior and responsible employment roles, I have recognised that having a partner whom works in a role which bears no responsibility or dedication, creates tensions, as he will never accept your success, and of course the pressures that can be born out of that success.
  • He is still living with his ex following their split, or spends an unhealthy amount of time with them. I look to enter in to a relationship with a man, not his ex wife/partner. For me, a man that still has the need or desire to remain in the company of someone he no is no longer in a relationship with indicates he most certainly hasn't moved on, and definitely isn't ready for a new relationship.
  • Sport, or other hobbies feature too much in his life and that he struggles to find a 'window' to actually date you. This normally happens to a man that has been single too long. He fills a social void, and becomes overly attached and dedicated to this, to a point of it almost replacing a partner!

This list is actually non-exhaustive, as I realised when I was so easily able to list those above. I am sure I have hit on some themes that resonate with many a single woman in her forties. I know we all want different things from a new partner, but there are some things I will not compromise on.