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Advice on dating a man going through a divorce

For although I was feeling fitter and more attractive than at any time since having my daughter 11 years before, disrobing was still a terrifying thought.

I wasn't even thinking about dating, let alone sex, at all. My sexuality was in a Snow White-sleep, from which I had neither the courage nor the desire to wake.

So, two years later, I all but ignored the flirtatious man who had recently moved into my mansion block.

It's a place more and more middle-aged women like me find themselves nowadays, as marriages break down and society now fully expects - indeed encourages - us to embrace the dating scene again with the same gusto we displayed in our youth.

Not so long ago, a newly single woman in her 40s, with two children, would have been expected by society to put on a brave face, say nothing of the pain caused by her divorce and resign herself to celibacy.

I was not of that mind, though, when my husband and I split up three years ago.

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When you're facing a divorce, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by everything.

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After all, I'm happy proof that when it comes to sex, life can indeed begin in your post-divorce 40s.Later that night, an even bigger milestone beckoned. On the journey home, we kissed again and, after alighting from the taxi, enjoyed a passionate embrace on the pavement outside our block.The next step was obvious - even to out-of-practice me.But at the same time I still fizzed with the euphoria I'd revelled in the night before. I had returned to a strange land where I hadn't thought I belonged any more.A club to which I - a 45-year-old with a body battle-scarred by time and childbirth - thought my membership had expired.That was when the thought first struck me: what if things progressed and I had to peel off?