As Valentine’s Day beckons, those not in romantic relationships, like myself may be considering joining online dating sites.
This is exactly what singer, actress and civil servant, Shelley Twinn did when she was 47 and at one of the lowest points of her life: – Divorced, kids running riot, almost homeless and spending too much time going to family funerals. Shelley who’d never had great self- esteem was at rock bottom. ‘I really didn’t like myself,’ she says.
Shelley soon realised that she and friends who were also cyber dating, were finding themselves in some pretty hilarious situations. So, she decided to start writing about them.
Having written poetry and song lyrics for many years, the writing process came fairly easy to Shelley. She also found that focussing on writing was therapeutic after being distraught about losing her father.
“I’d been with my husband for around 25 years and it was a very different experience being a single mum bringing up kids and being out of the married norm that society encourages.
I found dating sites really exciting. They give you the opportunity to really look around and consider what sort of person you want to date. The technology helps you select based on what you want the other person to look like, say blonde hair, green eyes and the other party can self-select too. Then if you decide to meet you get to see if there’s real chemistry. I certainly found that if the chemistry is there what a person actually looks like becomes less important.
I dated about six or seven guys over a year or so. It was a whole new experience dating in this way. There was lots to learn, it was all new. My friends and I had conversations about things like how quickly you should text back when someone shows interest, when you should sleep with them and all sorts of other aspects of dating etiquette. I was stumbling my way through it. The ultimate goal was to find someone to love and someone who would love me, because at that point, I really didn’t love myself.
What I’ve written and turned into my book, Dating Is Us is fiction, but it’s based on the experiences of my friends’ and the personal experiences of others in the online dating scene. Those who’ve read the book say it’s made them laugh and cry. People can enjoy it as pure entertainment but for some over 40’s it will be an eye opener and hopefully help encourage them to try out some dating sites. I’d definitely recommend it as long as you are mindful of what you might find. Several friends have married people they’ve met on online dating sites.
There’re some startling observations in there too around differences in values and morals in today’s disposable-like society. I also began to realise that actually the over 40’s generally don’t participate in safe sex. Condoms are rarely used by this age group and that’s a real concern in terms of the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.”
For Shelley her online dating experience became a voyage of self-discovery. ’ “I wondered, was I looking for something that I’d lost or something that I believed other people in society thought I should have. In the end, the most important thing I learned, was that you need to learn to love yourself before you can have a healthy romantic loving relationship with someone else.”
This is something that I 100% agree with Shelley on. How can you expect to be loved or give love if you don’t love yourself? It’s a lesson that the majority of people take many years and several bad relationships to learn.
Shelley is launching her book Dating is Us published by Marcia M Publishing House at The Courtyard in Chingford, Essex on 16 February. Entry to the launch party is FREE. Tickets can be reserved from https://jus-tickets.com. At the launch event Shelley will also be singing songs from a specially created EP. One of the songs is called Late Life Love, another I Ain’t Got Time To Love. Shelley feels these perfectly reflect her own experience. Signed copies of the book can be bought at the launch event and the book is also being sold on Amazon. Beyond this, Shelley’s next steps include organising speed dating events around the country and launching her website www.datingisus.com alongside the book and EP.
Shelley Twinn- Short Biography
This is the first publication by Shelley Twinn.
Shelley is a Londoner, born of a Caribbean father and an English mother in the Swinging ‘60s. Shelley grew up amidst a period of immense social change regarding morals and values in the United Kingdom.
The impact of how society and immediate family and friends viewed her mixed heritage family and her parents’ relationship gave Shelley a positive view on how ‘Love can sometimes conquer all,’ despite pressures from all aspects.
Shelley has achieved success in many careers including fashion, hairdressing and the Civil Service. Shelley is also a singer and performer. She was asked to be in the group Boney M when she was 20 and released a single in 1986. She still plays on the London music circuit and has written several songs about relationships which she is proud to include on the website datingisus.com.
The prompt for this book was relationships and the idea that a ‘fairy tale’ happy ending is still achievable even when the status quo alters. The minefield of dating websites and the ever-increasing use of social media make almost anything possible in the cyber world. As Shelley describes once the two worlds collide, love can actually be found. However, what is now termed by Shelley as being the ‘disposable society’ is sometimes lurking in the shadows!
Shelley is now in a loving relationship with her ‘Late Life Love.’