I turned up a few minutes late for one date to find that the guy had already ordered and eaten dinner without me, and I booked myself on a climbing holiday with 14 fit men, only to discover halfway up the highest mountain in North Africa that they were all married.
While I did meet some really nice men, it was certainly not at the tortuous round of singles events, at which there were always more women than men and everyone had a sad, resigned look in their eyes.
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But, while we were perfect for each other on paper, the relationship lacked passion.
I felt that to continue going out with him would have been unfair to both of us, so I ended our relationship. Many people — including my mother and best friend — accused me of being too fussy, and said that I should stick with Simon, as he ticked so many boxes.
Whenever I was between boyfriends in the past, I would just enjoy life until another man came along — through work, mutual friends or our eyes meeting across a crowded room.
But when I phoned a dating agency eight months ago, everything had taken on a new sense of urgency. ‘Haven’t you found yourself a husband yet, Bridgey? But don’t look desperate — men hate that.’ I went speed-dating, online-dating, wine-tasting dating, quiz-dating and dinner-dating.
I realised that since turning 35 three years ago, I hadn’t met anyone I liked romantically, who was also single, straight and interested in me. ’ one married ex-boyfriend wrote on my Facebook page. I joined running clubs, did acting classes and dance classes, went on skiing holidays and singles holidays and badgered my friends to set me up with their friends.
Some attempts were more successful than others: a singles holiday to Greece made me feel like Elizabeth Taylor due to all the men after me, whereas one evening spent dinner dating with seven single women in their 40s and just two men — one of whom walked out after ten minutes — made me want to give up on the idea altogether.
Or ask you partner to offer you some leniency when it comes to your routine. If you require professional, psychological or medical assistance, please consult with a trained and qualified specialist.
Lucy Walton is Female First’s resident agony aunt, sex, weddings and relationships editor. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat, diagnose or replace treatment from a licensed professional.
The solution is to meet them in their own natural habit: coffee shops and pubs, of course, but also sports clubs, evening classes, even the local supermarket. James Preece, who runs dating events, says that although it might be a struggle to find men — who are often happy just hanging out with their mates rather than trying to meet new people — women in their mid-30s shouldn’t give up hope.
Thankfully for women who are the far side of 30, James says it is ‘absolute rubbish’ that they have no chance of finding love.
The tortoise is lovely if a bit quiet and really enjoys gangsta rap, as do I.