WHEN mother of two Sarah* found herself suddenly single at age 30, she came to the daunting realisation it meant getting back into the world of dating.
The Ipswich resident said many people shared her fear of dating, though it wasn't an issue many spoke openly about.
"My now ex-husband was my first boyfriend. We met when I was at university so to find myself back in the dating game at age 30, on the other side of a 10-year relationship with two tiny kids, was horrifying," she said.
"I hadn't had dating experience of any kind and had quite relished the fact I found 'the one' first time around. But that wasn't to be and I had to get back out there again.
"A lot of my friends are still happily married or in relationships, so to even find someone to be my 'wing-woman' was difficult."
Two years after her separation, Sarah bit the bullet and went on a blind date set up by a friend.
"The guy wasn't great and after a few dates I did tell my friend she could never do that to me again, but it did get me back out into the dating scene," she said.
Sarah said balancing work and motherhood made her take a different approach to dating than when she was younger.
"I have a lot less tolerance. I know this time around who I am, what I want in life and what I won't stand for," she said.
"My children are also important to me - I am upfront about them when dating."
Sarah has tried meeting people through friends, online and even through speed dating.
"I am trying to be open to putting myself out of my comfort zone, just to see what these avenues are like," she said.
"As with anything in life, you could meet fabulous people but you could also meet some 'crazies'."
Sarah also offered her advice to others who found themselves in a similar situation and assured they were not alone in feeling nervous.
"Dating is hard in general, not just as a single parent or divorcee. You have to persist with it. Sometimes it works out, most times it doesn't, and then you have to start again.
"But I think if you know who you are (and) what you want from relationships, you can't go wrong."
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*Name has been changed
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