Wow! Where do I begin? Well, first, there are two kinds of relationship. There is the fling, and then there is something deeper. It may not last very long – days, weeks, months – but in that time you know you have a soulmate. And the soul is what I am interested in.
That’s what I find attractive: a mature soul, a soul that is experienced. A guy can have a great body, he can be young or old, but if we can’t make a connection that creates chemistry, I’m just not interested.
Of course, the connection depends on what stage you are at in your life. Take my first husband, who was nearly 50 when I met him, and I was 25. I’d always preferred older people. Even when I was little I was hanging out with bigger kids, because I was eager to learn.
So for me, in my twenties, men of the same generation, or those in their thirties, seemed boring. I had a mature soul and I wanted to be with one, so I felt my husband was sent to me. And while we had mature souls, we had young hearts. It was a new beginning for him, so in a way he was starting out on life just like me.
Eight years later, we split up after I fell in love with someone who was younger than him – but that wasn’t about my new man’s age. I guess it was more about my husband. We’d built up a lot of baggage by then, and it was weighing me down.
Actually, that can be one of the problems with older men. They can become stuck in their ways. Their children and commitments can make big calls on their time and energy. But me, I like to start a new life every day, travel light and unencumbered. I don’t worry that I didn’t have children, because that was my destiny, and in fact I’m very content.
On the other hand, an older man will probably be more secure and confident about himself. And if he has made it, he will have more time to give me the attention that I need. To be honest, I can’t stand a man who lacks self-confidence, so I find it easier if they are successful.
I have a strong personality – you will know that from my appearances on Strictly Come Dancing – and I don’t want someone who is insecure and feels the need to compete with me. I don’t want to compromise myself to fit in with someone else.
In such a situation, that’s what I have found myself doing, and I don’t like myself for it. Lovers should adjust to each other like dancers. They should move in the same direction, touching, but never getting in each other’s way. As we get older, that becomes more difficult, and that’s probably why it would be difficult to live with someone again 24/7.
Then there’s the money question. I’m not a material person, so I’d never be interested in someone just because they were rich. I need to be with an educated spirit, I need stimulating conversation, and I’m over the time when I need more clothes and jewellery. But I do expect my men to have a certain sophistication, and to appreciate what makes a good lifestyle.
I like them to take pains over their appearance, too. Not too perfect, not too vain – they can wear jeans and a shirt all the time – but they still have to care about the details. And they have to be funny. The whole nation now knows about my sense of humour. My lovers have to share it. And again, you’re most likely to find that in an older man, who has learned from experience to laugh at the world.
But in case all this makes me sound like I think older men are best, please don’t misunderstand me: the soul is what matters most to me. Besides, a girl is allowed to change her mind any time – and anyone who has watched Strictly will know that I’m not scared of contradicting myself.
I mean, when I was younger, if I’d wanted a fling, it would probably have been with a professor. But these days, I might prefer a ski bum. (Only joking!) Maybe even for a deeper relationship, too. I feel like I’m at the beginning of a new life, and a younger man might be on the same wavelength.
He would still need to have some substance, though, some conversation and sophistication. Otherwise we wouldn’t even last a night. And after all, a night can be a very long time…