Jenny Powell reveals how she learnt modern romance rules through dating after her divorce

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Jenny Powell learnt a new approach to dating upon meeting fiancée, Martin. [Photo: Getty]

Jenny Powell, 50, met her fiancée, Martin, the old-fashioned way – but he taught her how to date in the 21st century.

She reveals this in conversation with Kate Thornton, chatting on the ‘White Wine Question Time’ podcast, produced by Kate Thornton in association with Yahoo.

The former ‘Wheel of Fortune’ presenter divorced her husband, Toby Baxendale, in 2009. The pair had been married for three years. She later met Martin in 2016.

She told Kate Thornton: “I was in Pret a Manger at Euston waiting to get the train back up to Manchester and this Adonis walks in, I thought ‘Bloody hell, he’s alright’.

“And I just put my head down because I was ogle-ing him, and this shadow loomed over me and it was him asking if he could sit down.

Jenny was shocked when Martin asked her to take his number, rather than the other way around – but he explained it was all to do with a modern approach to dating.

“He was chatting away and he said, ‘Do you want my number?’ And I said ‘What for?’ I mean, what girl says that to a fit bloke?

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“He went, ‘Well, you obviously haven’t been dating very much because now, in this day and age, I don’t put any pressure on you; I’ll give you the option. I will give you the number, then you can walk away and then you can think about it. So I grabbed the number off him.

“I texted him saying: ‘I’m a mature woman, I don’t play games. My name’s Jenny. This is me. This is my number. Whatever.’ 

“He rang that night, and asked if he could take me out to dinner.”

Modern dating isn’t all fun and games. While the rise of romance apps and social media makes it easier than ever to meet and get to know prospective partners, it also brings new hurdles.

One of the less pleasant 2019 dating trends is “orbiting”.

The act of orbiting is made ever-easier by the subtleties of social media interactions. You may have had a romantic relationship with a partner which fizzled out, but they regularly ‘like’ your posts or watch your Instagram story – so it is hard to get them out of your mind.

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