Ask Delissa! Sorting the agonies of love, dating and relationships

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Ask Delissa! Sorting the agonies of love, dating and relationships

Our agony aunt DELISSA NEEDHAM answers your questions. This week: Meeting someone new after divorce

Love (Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash)
Love (Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash)

Delissa Needham is here to answer your relationship problems. She runs The Dateist, an advice-based dating site and has produced various shows for ITV, Channel 4, Discovery and Channel 5. Specialising in relationships and she is an agony aunt for Essex Radio.

Dear Delissa,

I want to meet a new man – how do I go about it? I’m 40 and got divorced 4 years ago. Although I had a boyfriend for a while, there’s been nobody special. I‘ve been on my own all through lockdown and although my children came home to stay I’ve never felt so alone. So as soon as lockdown is lifted I want to find a new partner.

I know the kind of man I am looking for – he must be fit, tall, outgoing, healthy, intelligent, a raconteur, a good conversationalist, own hair and nice teeth, well dressed, attractive, confident and economically sound. And I would ideally like to meet someone from my own faith. My husband was Jewish and I’m sure that’s why we got on so well. So that’s quite important to me. I’ve tried introduction agencies and it’s been quite hopeless. I’ve spent quite a lot of money on agencies (£14,000 actually) and I’ve had no luck at all. Most of the men on their books I couldn’t fancy if they were the last man on this planet. There’s supposedly someone for everyone but where? How do meet my ideal man.

Sandra – Belsize Park, London

Dear Sandra,

What a list!!! As far as I’m aware there is no supermarket that will supply man parts!!! You sound like you’re filling a trolley. I realise you are asking my advice about how best to meet someone new but first of all let’s look at your attitude. My advice to everyone looking to find love is absolutely ditch the list!!!

Sure everyone is likely to have some deal breaker and in your case looking for a Jewish partner is understandable. It’s an essential part of who you are. That’s makes sense. The problem I have with lists apart from how limited they are is that love is far too serendipitous for lists. You absolutely never really know how or when it will happen. Remember Sex in the City? The character of beautiful preppy Charlotte York finally fell truly in love, not with the tall perfect ideal husband, but with Harry – a sweaty round fellow with terrible eating habits.

For Charlotte he was sexy and although they are fictional characters if you look around you will see how often it happens in real life. It’s a mystery why people fall in love. You walk into a party, lock eyes across a plate of salmon twirls and suddenly there it is – the magic of love. You dream of a hunky body builder but the man you can’t stop listening to couldn’t bench press a peanut.

You don’t know if he likes opera, rare burgundy or pina coladas at sunset.

You don’t know anything other than you feel like you could listen to this person forever and ever.

Whatever that magic is that fires love it doesn’t happen by ticking lists. Where on planet earth do all you women with lists expect to find that impossible ‘perfect’ man. I don’t know – but it might also be worth asking yourself if you mirror that list.

Is that guy you are dreaming of also going to have a list and maybe your teeth, intelligence bank balance etc don’t match up to his list?

A friend of mine had a list like yours, it was equally as specific. She signed up for introduction agencies and asked her friends to help etc. And then one day she walks into a meeting and joining it late is a large very overweight man in baggy jeans, round metal framed specs, a crew cut and a boil on the back of his neck.

On the face of it really really not attractive. Then he opened his mouth and he had a voice like honey and lips like a foam mattress.

My friend told me she was in love from that moment on. He was intelligent, sexy, powerful and besotted with her. Falling in love is an unpredictable and romantic adventure – I like it that way. My friend would never have spotted Mr Boil on an introduction website. It’s why I’m not a fan of introduction agencies.

I don’t see how a complete stranger can ever know you well enough to be able to match you with someone else. Friends and family can help for sure – but you can help yourself. The best thing you can do is put yourself in the most likely places to meet what you most want. One of my client’s wanted to meet a man with nice teeth so we sent her to several dental conventions.

And yes she met someone.

Not because he had nice teeth but because he made her laugh – the teeth were secondary. Get what I’m saying. Make a plan of action. Open your eyes and look.

Go places – get on your heels, put on your smile and your lippy and step out as soon as this is over. Start meeting people and ditch that list. As the Jewish background is important to you then strategise. You know what to do – get thee to the right places.

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