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Discovering Your New Partner's 'Ex-Files

Published by Huffington Post on Sun, 10 Jan 2016

Louisa Whitehead-Payne, High50's dating columnist, has settled upon a new boyfriend. The 'Delightful Dick' is living up to his name and she enjoyed his charming company over a weekend at a swanky country hotel, despite his ex popping up in the middle of it. After a couple of Saturday nights in London, we are spending a quiet weekend at my home. As we are much easier with each other now, we begin to open up about our marriages and previous relationships. He tells me his story. The Ex-Files His wife left him for another man five years ago. He clearly loved her to bits and didn't want the marriage to end. The area of disagreement was in the bedroom, where she had no desire for him and he spent much of his married life in a fever of frustration. Surprisingly and admirably, he did not choose to take his passion elsewhere. She left him for a square-shaped local shop-fitter, which was a massive blow to his intellectual and physical ego. Immediately, it was definitively over. He had a mad fling with a local celebrity, very glam and 20 years his junior. That ended when she indicated that she wanted children, as he didn't want a second family. He then sought out women online, picking clever and successful ladies, the sort that would make his ex-wife jealous. A two-year relationship ended bitterly when he didn't love her enough to commit. Not surprising, given the selection criteria. Then followed a long haul dealing with prostate cancer and, after two years of surgery and chemotherapy, he got the all-clear. As he exited the hospital, he determined to make time for the things in life that gave him joy, especially things he had missed out on. A New Sex Life Unsurprisingly, given 25 years of extreme marital rationing, sex was high on his list. So he prioritised ladies he wanted to bed rather than ones whose intellectual prowess would enrage his ex-wife. Net forward motion versus the revenge-dating strategy, I suppose. He tells me about all his dates and shows me photos. OK, I insist on seeing the pictures he had, and they were all lovely looking. Pleasingly, most of them turned out to be crazy. I am impressed by the kindness and understanding he showed these women, but also gobsmacked by the essence of each story. Ex Number One: The No-Sex Sexter She was the director of a company that makes high-end sex toys. Dainty, blonde, and cute. Her, not the toys. She sent him filthy texts but ran a mile when he tried to kiss her on their fourth, yes fourth, date. Ironic or what' Ex Number Two: The Gorgeous Widow With Her Own Guru The Scottish marketing executive based in Shanghai who he flew all over the world to meet up with. Sardinia, New York, Moscow, and Brussels. Essentially, dates were holidays with her which she insisted he pay for. Gorgeous, flame-coloured pre-Raphaelite hair and cheekbones that could have carved smoked salmon. She was widowed and made him talk to her "guru" about her late husband. Then she insisted he address a pair of therapy dolls that travelled everywhere with her. Marketing people can be fruit loops, but this one really took the cream-filled, chocolate-coated biscuit. OK, she was drop-dead gorgeous, but his pain threshold to get laid must have been pretty high. She lost it with him when he ordered the wrong fish in a restaurant and he ran for the nearest airport. Ex Number Three: The One With The Unexpected Husband The Portuguese doctor, who he got to know via Skype, then finally arranged to meet when he was on a golfing trip to Porto. She was elegant, brunette, and doe-eyed. And then, he got a call from her as he pulled out of the Hertz rental garage to drive the 200km to meet her in Lisbon. She confessed that she had not been entirely honest: her husband had just found their emails and was planning to beat him to a pulp on arrival. Then, she suggested meeting the day after instead! Ex Number Four: The Silicon Valley The wedding dressmaker - strawberry blonde and curvy - who lived in a tip of a live-work studio in Bristol, with a cat and breast implants. A first roll in the hay had turned into a silicon-enhanced roll in a collection of fascinators. They tumbled on top of them as they got jiggy in her studio, raining down from their badly-balanced boxes all over the sofa. She drank as well, apparently. And of course there was the usual collection of women who turned out to be older, fatter or uglier than their photos suggested. You had to admire his energy and commitment to his cause. But this collection of wild and interesting beauties made me feel a little ordinary by comparison. On reflection, he did run a mile from these creatures. But it made me realise that men will put up with quite a lot for a pretty face. Related articles from High50: New Year, New Love' A Single Man At 50: Dating Tips After 28 Years Of Marriage He's Just Not That Into You: What To Do When Internet Dates Go Wrong Earlier on Huff/Post50: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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