dating

'I'm 61 years old and Tinder is my absolute favourite dating site.'

My marriage of 17 years was normal, happy and successful, with kids, a house, a dog… unremarkable and uneventful.

We parted amicably, 17 years ago, and I was content with life as a single mum for about five years, with absolutely no intention of ever having a man in my life ever again.

The transition period from ‘single’ to ‘actively seeking friends’ was gradual. It coincided with a massive change in myself as a person. An inevitable and vital process of rediscovery and reinvention of a new enlightened me.

The role of wife and mother I played for so long had now diminished and my new third age of womanhood dawned.

My friends decided that I needed to get a “boyfriend”.

Ho hum… but how??

Then I attended a wedding and discovered that the couple met on a dating site. ‘Hmm… maybe that’s the way to find a friend.’ I thought. I cautiously investigated several dating sites, and with some great photos and an amazing profile blurb, I put myself ‘out there’!

I was contacted by several men at first. I quickly learned how to spot scammers, and then most importantly, identify “chemistry” and “connection” with male strangers in the unfamiliar territory of chat rooms and online texting.

After a thrilling and mind-blowing first date with a young “hot brown skinned hunny”, my ego was sufficiently inflated, and my confidence escalated sky high. There was no stopping me now. I was addicted to this easy and fun way to find friends. Tinder… An absolute smorgasbord!

'My friends decided that I needed to get a “boyfriend”. Ho hum… but how??' Image: SBS
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I have high expectations of my friends though.

I crave romance and special attention. Old-school style.

I want a man to show me a good time, to please and impress me, with tokens of affection, respect and honesty. To be the best friend he can be. Look good, smell good, feel good!

My experiences of the dating scene also led me to reassess my need for male company and friendship and analyse precisely what I was seeking.

Most definitely I want friendship and companionship, but importantly I want travel, fun, laughter, light-hearted banter and deep cerebral connection, and finally, a sublime physical union - with someone I can bestow all my love and affection upon with all my being.

Ultimately, love.

However, during my 61 years, I have acquired a million different passions, a huge depth of knowledge and interests and hobbies, pastimes and amusements, obsessions and distractions and a massive curiosity for everything. To find just one compatible man to match my boundless interests and keep up with me isn’t easy. I need to have many diverse friends, each bringing something individual and special to ‘Mariane’s Table’, to ensure I am entertained and satisfied.

I’m British and blond, and its apparent that opposites attract on Tinder. This is what I love about dating. I get to meet beautiful exotic men from different countries, religions and cultures. Through their friendship I am taken over world horizons; I am constantly wowed, enthralled, educated and enlightened by their stories. As a global citizen, I totally thrive and delight in my multicultural integration, breaking down race barriers and cultural myths and prejudice.

'I want a man to show me a good time, to please and impress me, with tokens of affection, respect and honesty.' Image: SBS
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The ‘highs’ of dating way out last the effects of alcohol or drugs. The process of achieving and going on a date is one amazing euphoric experience for me.

It’s so good to get ready: do my hair, my makeup, dress up, wear heels. I feel good when I look good, making myself look fabulous… for somebody who cares and appreciates me.

There are very few other occasions I get to do this.

The period of anticipation before I meet a new man is thrilling. My heart beats faster, my eyes sparkle, I’m smiling from top to toe. The rush of adrenaline and the release of those all-important ‘feel good’ hormones - endorphins - ensure I’m on cloud nine!

I LOVE IT!

I’m a romantic; nothing melts my heart more than to date a tall sexy strong handsome man.

Perfumed, virile, chivalrous and charming.

Insight on SBS tonight or On Demand.

Video via SBS

We meet on a hot summer night in the city; a quiet walk along the river, he holds my hand, a reassuring guiding arm around my shoulders… alluring chocolate eyes meet mine… the magnificent release of pleasure as we kiss passionately under the stars, far from the madding city crowds.

Laughing… happy… chatting.

A friend is made!

So… will I ever commit to one man?

Maybe my amazing prince will sweep me of my feet one day… but 'til then I intend to continue sharing myself, never to be in isolation.

Dating keeps me young; it gives me a reason to care for myself; to keep fit and healthy; to have fantastic adventures and make amazing connections.

Dating slows the ageing process for sure!

I’m only as old as the man I feel!

Mariane is a guest on Insight: Dating After 60, airing tonight at 8.30pm on SBS, or you can catch up anytime, anywhere on SBS On Demand. #InsightSBS

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