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The key here is to think positive. It's never too late to find someone special. Second, spend a little bit of time on your dating profile. Don't rush through it, after all you want to present the best version of yourself to catch our members' interests. And third, lose your inhibitions, don't look back at your younger self and be disuaded from dating now.
I did it because I wanted to have fun, flirt and meet men outside my social group. I felt some trepidation about putting myself out there. Especially for someone who barely has an online presence. But 15 million people in the UK are registered for online dating and one in five relationships now start online. There are an overwhelming 1, dating sites, though, so where to start? I decide to try those recommended by friends and that advertise the best success rates: I go for the least level of exposure, with a black and white pic of me wearing sunglasses.
The site asks questions about my looks, level of education, lifestyle and beliefs, and then the difficult bit: I say I am looking for a slim, six-foot Caucasian man, easygoing, energetic, enthusiastic, generous, confident and funny. I realise I am describing my husband. Maybe I should be more experimental. I describe myself as slim, blonde, widowed, easygoing and ready for a new relationship all true and give myself the name Life Enhancer. Before you can contact the men they suggest, you must subscribe.
The men I find First up is Nottinghillbilly, pictured with messy hair, a beard and in a leather jacket. I then peruse Oddball, Goopile and Naked Plumber. A guy called Wayne winks, but on his profile I discover he is recovering from having his brain tinkered with on the NHS, and much as he sounds lovely, I need someone straightforward at this stage in my life. LondonArty looks younger than some so I try him. He responds by asking me to come up and see his Samurai Swords.
But I agree to meet Unicorn, a year-old retired construction engineer, for a coffee in the West End, where we both work. How it works Being a Guardian reader, I assume this will be dominated by intelligent, solvent and liberal Guardian readers. I upload the same photo and answer the same questions and details as I did on Match.
It is the Guardian after all. A feature called Your Matches creates a list of compatible, potential dates.