Would like to meet the truth about internet dating

But I didn’t have a chance because on her profile, she stated: ‘All my children are over 18.’In other words, I need not apply because my son would be too young for her.

I’ve had hundreds of people view my profile, yet only ten dates in the four months I’ve been internet dating.

I also hoped, selfishly, it would persuade my dates that I wasn’t to blame for my single status; that there was a legitimate, if tragic, reason.

For the last few months, I have been seeing a chef my age I met on the site. Before we even met, she admitted she’d come to snoop through the windows of my house to check I was above board. The next day I changed my profile to read ‘widowed a few months ago’.

I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, but I hoped a brief summary of my marital status would explain my presence online.

He and his former wife, Hazel, 66, a shop assistant, divorced in 2000. Although an online affair led to the demise of Bill’s marriage, he remains a dedicated internet dater. When I admitted to one of my dates — a retired divorcee in her 60s — that I’d cheated on my wife, she glared at me and spent the rest of the evening ranting about her ex-husband. I sipped my drink in silence, wondering when I could leave. Hazel and I had been married for 26 years when, in 1999, I logged on to a dating chat room while at work.

Otherwise, they seem to be looking for a replica of their last relationship. I spend so much time listening to how wonderful their recently dead husbands are, I end up feeling inadequate.

We enjoy regular Sunday lunches together and if there’s someone I’m considering introducing our sons to, Christabel — who’s been with a new boyfriend for the past two years — will meet her first. But I was torn between spending time with Alison and seeing my boys.

After two years, she ended it, saying she didn’t feel like a big enough part of my life.

When I wasn’t ignored, it often felt as if I were on a production line.

One woman I met in a bar early on claimed haughtily that she’d been out with a man called Mike the day before and was meeting another called Steve the following day. One 45-year-old sent me a picture of herself six months ago posing stark naked in bed.

I slept with two women in those early months; both after our first dates. The sense of rejection following such physical intimacy was awful, prompting me to instigate a ‘no sex on the first date’ rule. Last year, I uploaded a better profile picture; women, I learned, like men to look moody. For the past two months, I’ve been seeing a writer four years my senior. I have also written a book, How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting, which is being published on Valentine’s Day.

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