To my middle-aged divorced friends who have fallen for each other…

Life is full of mortifying moments. Peeing in a train toilet, when the door is suddenly opened by a bloke and you're hovering. Scales which speak your weight. Asking a woman when the baby's due – and she replies that she's not pregnant. Bumping into your boss at a nudist camp. (Don't ask! I'm still in therapy!) The list of blush-inducing moments is endless, but nothing compares to the embarrassment level of newly divorced friends rediscovering "lerve".

Falling in love is like going to the doctor and being told that you need to put on weight. Is there anything more exciting than that first kiss, prompting a swoon worthy of a Beatles concert circa '66? Soon you're feeling so high above cloud nine that you have to look down to see it. Hell, you're so elated, you keep expecting air-traffic controllers to ask you to relay your position – which is probably half naked in the restaurant loo because you just can't keep your hands off each other.

‘There’s nothing more irksome than grown-ups acting like teenagers, except with wrinkles instead of pimples.’Credit:iStock

But please don't think the rest of us want to see it. Puppy love is only cute when you are actually a puppy. There's nothing more irksome than grown-ups acting like teenagers, except with wrinkles instead of pimples.

Two of my divorced pals, people who swore they'd never, ever fall in love again, have suddenly fallen for each other, and it's driving the rest of us bonkers. Seeing two middle-aged people so united in mutual adoration has made their long-term friends experience something we've never felt so acutely before – nausea to the point of projectile vomiting.

Can you blame us? They're suddenly using really insipid pet names in public like "pumpkin" and "snooky" and asking each other for "smoochie-woochies" in totally irritating baby voices. They're slipping hands in each other's back pockets; dropping inside jokes in front of other people; swapping seats at dinner parties so they can sit together – then feeding each other. They're suddenly "we-ing" everything: "We enjoy Sudoku"; "We're keen on quinoa"…

Yep, middle-aged lovers really should have a minimum isolation period of, say, six months so as not to irritate the tooth enamel off everyone else. When my loved-up friends came for lunch and promptly started playing tonsil-hockey at the table, as hostess I wasn't sure what to say. "Um, can I get you something? A beer? A glass of wine? A room? A psychiatrist, maybe?"

Yes, it's wonderful to be number one on a speed dial, to have someone to laugh at your jokes and provide the harmony line on I Got You Babe. But can we just make a few rules?

Rule 1 First off, while delighted that you've gone warp factor 10 to Planet Passion ("Hormonal Houston, we have lift off!") can you spare us every X-rated detail? Do I need to know that your bed headboard needs an airbag? Or that you're now an ASIO agent's dream – with fingerprints on every inch of your bodies?

Rule 2 Please don't play matchmaker to your perfectly happy single friends so that you can double date.

Rule 3 Don't move in together. I think it's best to at least have things in your fridge that have been around longer than the relationship. When you fall in love, you have both feet planted firmly in the air. Yes, it could be love … but what if it just turns out to be a chemical imbalance?

There's only one thing worse than being in love – not being in love. Perhaps, in truth, we're all just a bit jealous. So enjoy your late-blooming love affair. Just don't rub our noses in your happiness, okay, you smoochie-woochie-possum-pies.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale July 14.

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