Fiona McInnes, 44, from Edinburgh, tried online dating after her husband’s affair.
Six years ago, in my late 30’s, I found myself a single parent after splitting with my partner of around 17 years. I met my now ex-husband when I was only 20 and married him four years later. We share two children (a son and a daughter) and I would say we lived happily together until about seven years ago.
That was when I found out my husband was having an affair with our neighbour, a woman who was also my friend at the time and had a family of her own. I didn’t believe my husband was cheating at first, but after doing my own research I discovered it was true. I kept the news to myself initially as marriage for me meant ‘the happy ever after’. I was left at home bringing up our children, while my husband worked and went out every weekend without me.
I decided to lose weight for myself, which in turn gave me the confidence to do something about my relationship – I realised the way I was living wasn’t a normal or healthy way to live and so I finally plucked up the courage to ask my husband to leave.
Getting back into dating… The children started going to stay with their Dad every second weekend and suddenly I discovered that I had some time to myself. I would meet up with friends for lunch or drinks – having a social life was new to me. I would panic whenever a member of the opposite sex would talk to me, the last time I was on a date had been 20 years prior and you have to remember, there was no social media, internet or smart phones, it was all landlines back then. This was a totally new experience for me.
I felt out of practice in the dating game and my confidence had been completely knocked, I was made to feel worthless. One of my single friends was already using Internet dating and she suggested I try it. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to create profiles on some free online dating sites such as, Plenty of Fish and Badoo. I stated that I was looking for friendship as I wasn’t really after anything too serious. After what I had experienced, trust was a bit of an issue.
I started chatting to people online and I will admit, you can get some strange people out there, including ones still in a relationship (I stayed well away from them). But, I did get chatting to some nice people. The first person I met up with was a man from up north and it actually turned out we had met before as we had friends in common, however it never really took off between us. Chatting to people helped to rebuild my confidence, along with a handful of first dates – some of which I’m still friendly with now, I even wrote a reference for one for his dating profile and he found the girl of his dreams just shortly after that.
Unfortunately I spent my 40th birthday single and couldn’t even have an alcoholic drink as I was recovering from having surgery. When I had been married, I had said to my husband that I would have loved to celebrate turning 40 in New York as I had surprised him with parties for his 30th and 40th (I had been suffering from morning sickness on my 30th, so couldn’t celebrate properly then either).
Some time after my 40th, I received a message from ‘Bryan from Irvine’ and we would speak online daily. I really enjoyed talking to him, his conversation was good – it wasn’t smutty or degrading. We chatted for weeks before we actually spoke on the phone and decided to meet up.
I met him at Kilwinning train station, where we then went to Taylor’s Hotel and spent the full day chatting as if we had known each other all our lives. It was amazing. We have been together for just over four years now.
My new life with Bryan… We travel coast to coast to see each other every two weeks, while my children are spending time with their Dad. Our relationship works well, but it can be frustrating as neither of us can drive so we have become very experienced on trains! Bryan and I Skype and call daily, but it would be nice to have him a bit closer for those days when I’m needing cheered up.
It can be difficult to meet the right person, especially when you’re a bit older and you’ve been out of the game for a bit. But it’s worth it. The weekends that Bryan and I share together are very precious and go in a flash. Who knows what the future will hold but I appreciate having that special someone in my life again.