SINGLE, SEXY AND THIRTY SOMETHING - the over 30’s dating handbook.

Are you divorced? Newly separated? Or just trying to start again? Then Single, Sexy and Thirty-Something is just for you. It contains tips, guidelines, rules and attitude from one Single, Sexy and Thirty-Something single, professional, working mum to you.  

Tried and tested by me, friends and clients, Single, Sexy and Thirty-Something not only highlights the pitfalls of starting to date again after a long-term, committed relationship ends, but also shows you how to start.  

Where women actually meet men (NOT the pub) combined with stories from other women who have already ‘been there, done that… and succeeded’. A must-have for any single woman.

In Store Price: $20.00 
Online Price:   $19.00

ISBN: 1 921240 35 0
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages:100
Genre: Non Fiction


Author: Tania Kettle 
Imprint: Poseidon
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2006
Language: English


About the Author

Born in 1969 in Auckland , New Zealand , Tania is a full-time mum of Liam, lover, partner and soon-to-be wife of Ken, and a full-time clairvoyant.  

For the past eight years she has done weekly, nationwide radio shows and has just had her first short story published.


“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.”

Hugh Downs


Before we start, I want to say that I know where you are standing because I’ve been there. I married at 24, had a child, and at the ripe age of 30 found myself divorced. For many years being single, like you, was my choice but one day I woke up and decided that I no longer wished to be single. Easier said than done! The rules of Dating had changed and instead of being wooed by a string of suitors with flowers and champagne I found myself stranded in a dingy riding a Tsunami. I was way out of my depth. Where to start was the first hiccup I encountered. How, when one decides to no longer be single does one go about it? What steps are involved, is there an easy, quick fix solution?


Well, the short answer to that is yes. There is.


Sure, the rules have changed and yes, sometimes it can be like navigating your way through a minefield but hey, so is childbirth and people still do that!


On my weekly radio shows that I now do I talk with women about men. Their relationships, expectations, emotional boundaries and self-confidence but found that there are women who, just like I had been, don’t have the first clue as to how to even start.


So, the following pages are a step by step guide using tried and tested (by myself, friends, acquaintances and clients) man meeting methods which will show you how to change your single status into ‘coupledom’.

To begin this process we are going to work together to change your man antenna and this will happen by updating your physical (and mental) outlook, redefining and enhancing your expectations then clarifying your emotional boundaries. The next step in our journey is finding where men live, work and play and last but not least, how to navigate your way through the first 3 dates. It’s that easy…so let’s get started.



Chapter 1 – Dressing for Success

“I don’t look like Cindy Crawford when I wake up.”

Cindy Crawford


The first step we are going to take towards the new ‘In-a-couple-and-loving-it’ you, is the first impression – clothing. We are going to do this because you and I have both watched women as they walked down the street, had coffee, sat at restaurants and mixed and mingled in bars and said to ourselves and our friends smugly, “What were they thinking when they got dressed?” But have you had a good look at your wardrobe recently and can you be absolutely sure that no one has ever said that about you?  

Now before I go deeper into the why’s, how’s and wherefore’s of your wardrobe I am going to share a story about one of my clients, ‘F’.  

I had talked with ‘F’, an out of town client on the phone for two months before she was able to come to Auckland and we could meet in person. ‘F’, 38, had a senior management job in the Tourist Industry and as far as work went had found her niche in life. The only bug in her busy life seemed to be her lack of male companionship. From our conversations I knew she was funny, intelligent and well read so was looking forward to meeting her in person. ‘F’ came to see me in between meetings and she was in person exactly as she was over the phone. I wondered why these attributes weren’t coming across well to men, as having spoken to her for quite a few months now I knew that she didn’t have any major issues that we needed to deal with. When she left I was stumped as to how she could be single. We continued to talk over the phone and ‘F’ continued to miss out on second dates. In frustration when I knew ‘F’ to be next in Auckland I asked a male friend to take her out for dinner…this is the email I received early the next morning…  

“You had described to me a well-read, intelligent, attractive businesswoman and through the two phone calls that we shared, I knew that she did actually own these qualities and I was looking forward to our date. I arrived at the restaurant 15 minutes early and ordered a bottle of wine anticipating an enjoyable evening ahead. Unfortunately the woman who turned up did not bear any resemblance to the lady I was expecting to meet. As much as she had an all-right figure, her skirt did not do her justice and only just covered her generous behind. Her top was better but every time she leant over there was nothing left to the imagination and instead of looking hip she just looked nasty.” ‘F’ did most of the talking (about relationships and what she wanted) but I just wasn’t there emotionally any more and left pretty early. I was expecting a smart, attractive, successful woman and while she may be smart and successful, she hid it really well.”  

‘F’s’ issue regarding second dates was easily fixed (she is an extremely quick learner) and she is now happily living with her fiancé.  

Firstly, I want you to go and have a look at yourself in the mirror. Now I want to ask you a question…if you were to meet your perfect man today, right now, would you feel confident about the way you look or are you doing an ‘F’ on me? ‘F’ in work attire looked fabulous…in a social situation on the other hand she dressed 20 years too young. She tried too hard to be hip and wear the latest fashion but it just did not work for her age or her body type.  

So, there are two questions that we need to address here:

Are the clothes you are wearing fashionable?

Do they suit your body type?  

Let me give you an example…  

I am 175cm with brown eyes and an olive complexion while my sister is 165cm blonde with green eyes. We are both attractive in our own way yet there is no way on God’s green earth that we can both wear the same type of clothes, at the same time and look good.  

In the rational part of our brain we all know that clothes come in sizes ranging from a size 8 to a size 18. What the irrational part of our brain doesn’t compute is that some of us are tall and some of us are short which for obvious reasons will change how the clothes look on us. Whether clothes suit us or not is not to do with our width but our height.  

What I have in my wardrobe as an all time favourite is a fabulous black skirt that I can wear anywhere, anytime, with anyone that makes me feel like a million dollars. It is long, so embraces my height and is cut in such a way that makes my hips look exotically tantalising rather than large. It emphasizes all my good points and detracts from my negative ones. As I said, great cut.  

My sister on the other hand has the most amazing red dress (it clings in all the right places and has this amazing mid calf hemline) which if I am honest I secretly desire but that’s where it stays with me - in my dreams. It would not matter if I lost 40 pounds or was 17 years old I would still look like Molly Muppet on a bad day - it is just a shorter woman’s dress and I am tall.  

It makes sense when I explain it like that, right? But I constantly hear women complain of being too fat or too thin, that their butt is too large or their breasts aren’t large enough and right here, right now I want you to STOP putting yourself down.  

The next time you go into a shop to buy a new outfit – trousers, top or a jacket – instead of thinking, “This doesn’t suit me I am too fat (or skinny),” instead I want you to think, “This doesn’t work for my height, let me go and have another look at something which may suit me better.” Another cunning plan is for you to ‘copycat’ a movie star. Now when I say this I do not mean throw ‘diva-like’ tantrums but rather find a movie star who has a similar height to you. Check out the kind of clothes that she wears. This is good for two reasons:  

You get to see what is in fashion and therefore step out of your current comfort zone and….

She has a professional person who consults with her re her wardrobe so that she only wears clothes that enhance her looks.  

A win-win situation.  

Whenever you have a negative thought creeping into your head I want you to think of my piranha and shark analogy – it’s not the size it’s the attitude baby! Decide to be brave, take back your power and celebrate your difference.  

So, the billion dollar question is, what IS your best feature?    

If you do not know or it is not immediately noticeable to you stop and ask your best friend, sister, Mum or maybe your own children. These are the people that care about you and want to see you happy and if you are honest here maybe they have already tried to drop hints to you.  

Once you have accurately looked at your body and decided which is your best physical feature (and had everyone else’s opinion too) you need to clean out that wardrobe of yours. This is a very simple job but one that we all tend to procrastinate over and put off for another day. Today is your day.  

We are going to simplify your wardrobe and we are going to do this in two parts:  

Part 1  

Throw out any clothes you have not worn in the last year. If you have not worn them in this time frame you are not going to – you know this, bin it.  

Clothes that are a little tight, too young, too old, too over the top or just too last season – bin, bin and bin!  

If you are holding onto clothes that you used to fit you need to remember two things - if you haven’t lost the weight already then you are not going to miraculously lose it while you sleep. In having said this you do have the choice of joining a weight loss program.  

If you do choose to become a member of Sureslim ( Jenny Craig ( or Weight Watchers ( by all means do so but please remember that:  

You will not lose weight from where your clothes are already tight (go figure but Murphy’s Law) and you will want a new wardrobe to celebrate the new you  


Use the bin.  

Part 2  

Find the items (tops, trousers or skirts) that enhance your particular feature(s) and replace with care back into your wardrobe. What you need to remember here is that you should not just keep an item just because you wear it a lot. Often we have clothes that make us feel comfortable but in reality do not do us any favours in the ‘wow, that is one stylish woman’ vibe that we are looking for, so be strong here. That which does not enhance your figure- bin!  

Black is a woman’s best friend.  

Here are a few basic dress tips:  

Black is always flattering (in case you missed it the first time!).  

If you do not immediately feel good in a top/trousers/skirt then it is guaranteed you are not going to look that hot. DO NOT let the salesperson sell it to you but if that advice is too late, for gods sake don’t wear it out as you are not doing yourself any favours.  

Go back and check out magazines that have your movie star mentor in it. As we all know women’s magazines are harsh fashion critics so check out outfits that she wore. If she got the ok when she wore it chances are so will you.  

There are a couple of good sites that will help you to enhance your particular fine point(s) and detract from those features you wish belonged to your ex’s new girlfriend...


Check them out!  

In the infamous words of Coco Chanel…

“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

Don’t be afraid!  





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