The former Des and Mel frontwoman, 52, has famously enjoyed a series of flings with younger partners in the past, but pals have told OK! that she’s now setting her sights on an older man.
“Mel is desperate to find someone new,” they claim. “But she’s over the thrill of a toy-boy relationship and she’s looking to find her other half.”
The source continued, “She’s made it no secret that she has a high sex drive and now, after taking a break from dating, she’s ready to find a man her age that can really match her energy, both emotionally and physically.”
Talking about her vow of celibacy, Mel said it was a result of her realising that she had been using sex as a “Band Aid” to patch up problems in her relationships.
The TV presenter said, “I thought if I withdraw the sex, then the problems I can just avoid. And so I’ve just avoided.”
Mel continued, “After a year I was so much more understanding of myself and had more respect for myself. I won’t lie with anyone that isn’t my equal ever again. It’s as simple as that.”
The star’s first marriage was to actor Daniel Caltagirone, and the couple had two sons Roman, 21, and Valentino, 18, before splitting in 2009 after growing apart.
Since then, Mel has embarked on a series of back-to-back age-gap relationships.
In 2013, she married Jack Cockings, who was 16 years her junior, but the pair went their separate ways after less than a year.
Mel went on to enjoy several dates in 2018 with German golf pro Martin Kaymer, who is 14 years her junior, and was once linked to X Factor star Olly Murs, who is also 14 years younger than her.
But it was her latest relationship with Italian gondolier Riccardo – whom she met whilst holidaying in Venice in 2020 and who is 27 years younger than her – that had the biggest age gap.
After the couple went public with their love, Riccardo spoke out about their differences, saying, “Beauty is relative. Maybe what in your eyes is beautiful, isn’t to me. Every person is different, nationality doesn’t matter. True, no?”
And though a source last year said Mel was hoping Riccardo would give her the “happy ending” she so desperately wants, the pair are understood to have parted ways in September.
Talking about how hard it is to meet someone suitable, Mel said last week, “It’s very rare to meet a man my age with the energy I’ve got.
And I don’t mean for marathon sex sessions, I mean like, life.”
But our source claims that Mel is now willing to date older men.
They said, “She’s letting pals set her up on blind dates and is even considering joining dating sites. She finally knows what she wants.”
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