Where are all the match-makers when you need them?

July 6, 2011 § 18 Comments

Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends but precious little help they are in match-making me with someone.  All the men they know are married or SFAR (Single For A Reason) or in their dotage.

Twice in the last month I have been put next to men who if they weren’t sixty, I swear to God they were in their seventies.  With a view to romance.  Thanks a bunch.  One was deaf in one ear; the other had brown, protruding spots all over his face and hands.  I don’t want a man who can’t get it up and whose colostomy bag I am going to be having to change in five years’ time.

I was with my husband for nearly twenty years and only had eyes for him.  So when I left him three years ago, my fancying mechanism was still in aspic.  Men twenty years younger.  But that was sick.  I don’t actually fancy twenty-six year olds but nor do I fancy 76 year olds, and at the rate men can get younger women, 76 is my rough reality.  It is one thing growing old with someone, quite another to hook up with a man who has grown old with someone else.  You’ve missed the good bits and are minus the history.

Is it too much to hope for a candidate within five years of myself?

My friends say, have I thought of internet dating?

Have I thought of internet dating?

Of course I bloody have.  And dismissed it.

I want to meet preferably a friend of a friend.

Internet dating is not my natural habitat.  I am not of the generation…  Though I shall, of course, have to get over that.

It’s just in my mind a singular kind of desolation, getting all made-up and ready to go out on a date with someone you’ve never met and spotting him at the bar and knowing within that first millisecond, just glimpsing, that it’s wrong.

I am not quite that desperate just yet.  At total rock bottom.  Though I soon will be.

I have heard of a million internet marriages that are happily ever after, and I do know that the fault lies within my own prejudiced self.  More fool me, I am sure.

Just give me a bit more time.


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§ 18 Responses to Where are all the match-makers when you need them?

  • OK, take time… but don’t waste it.

  • dpawson says:

    So now the plankton isn’t at rock bottom?
    Age is now a concern?
    Internet is rejected … sans reason?
    Methinks the lady doth protest too much?

    Come on, how about a rethink? These days you may be in the majority rather than your supposed minority? Perhaps your 50 year old males are used to stopping in, having similar feelings to yours?

  • Monty Brench says:

    Your’e not prejudiced just bloody amusing and clever to boot.I shall watch your progress avidly.And,you are not at fault with your thinking.

  • Robert says:


    Read your article in the newspaper today and your message above; can appreciate how it seems but your analysis is perhaps harsh. Isn’t it that the single unmarried man you specify is maybe a bit shy and reticent (this is why they are single) and this is exacerbated by the media portrayal of women as being very critical of men. Potential gains (admittedly very high) still don’t warrant the possible cost in rejection. Neverthess, interesting article.

    • SB says:

      But surely by the time we get to our forties that fear of rejection should lessen a bit? So what if someone rejects you? Put it down to experience and move on.

  • Minty says:

    Definately don’t rule out internet dating out so quickly. A friend put me on “My single friend” and I met someone I was with for a quite a while. There’s no stigma, it’s very hard these days to get away with false info and pics etc, and you can stipulate what you want. You can get to know someone pretty well first via e-mail and phone. Also -speed dating is really good fun if you can find a single girlfriend to go with. Hilarious!
    Keep us posted whatever you decide to do – I’ve no doubt someone will drift into your life the very second you decide to stop looking!
    (What if they were very old, but very rich? and maybe a dodgy heart? 🙂 xxx

  • M says:

    Hello, I couldn’t resist checking your blog after reading your excellent story in The Times today.

    I felt a male perspective was needed on this… so here goes.

    As a 37 year old divorced male I strangely enough have reached the same conclusion – am I facing a seemingly unending period of time on the scrapheap of life.

    It has been around five years since separation and divorce and in that time there have been a couple of relationships that have lasted 1-2 years each – and some not so lengthy! Being honest I would say that the people I have met fall in to roughly two categories… those that are very newly separated and therefore just not settled enough in their own minds to know what is right… and those that well, let us just say, seem to be fruit loops. In the latter category I (probably unfairly) would place the ladies that I have met that seem to be either (a) cat obsessed, (b) away with the fairies most of the time or (b) selfish beyond belief and are out only for a free ride – with little comprehension that a relationship involves sharing the good times and the bad times – oh and the bills and the driving maybe now and again! I can appreciate this probably sounds very negative when read back but… I have come across a few dates over the last five years that have been very keen to take advantage of a decent and genuine guy. Such a shame… still, you live and learn as they say.

    I am very conscious that I am entering a rant here and I will therefore stop. I fully agree though that what is needed for us single folk in our 30s and 40s is a new way of meeting. Online seems to just not work… so far at least – and as you mentioned, the friends of friends route just seems to cover people who are already settled in relationships and / or those that (maybe for some of the reasons I mentioned in the previous paragraph) are just not suited to entering and developing a deep and meaningful relationship.

    Or is it the case that those of us that were in stable relationships, building a family etc… only to find it all fall apart around us – have too high an expectation in today’s world ?

    Your reference to ladies tending to favour much older gentlemen is perhaps a key to my lack of success in finding someone my own age that is on the same wavelength – perhaps these people are all looking for someone 20 years my senior. Well I suppose that means I have a hope one day ? For now though… what to do ? Joining a monastery is not something I’d be overly keen on.

    With 60+ million people in this country – and we can assume half of them are female – it does seem odd that finding that special someone is seemingly bordering on impossible.

    I’d welcome any thoughts people have on this…. and of course… if you happen to be 30s / 40s and looking for a decent guy – kind, caring and all those good qualities – and perhaps not 20 years your senior… I would love to hear from you.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that last bit.


  • Hi
    I just came across here after reading your article in today’s edition of The Times. It made for an interesting read. if it’a any consolation, contrary to your thoughts, it can be just as hard for us divorced fathers too.
    Hope your blog proves to be a success, good luck!

  • madaboutafrica says:

    hmmmmm I agree . As a single mum it appears to me that I don’t exist even when it comes to social occasions especially if it involves s.m.c.s i.e. smug married couples
    To a certain extent your children are also invisible ( until of course they are able to chooses their own friends).

  • Well, I have been a widower for a few months now and I can tell you Plankton that you girls are not the only ones who are lonely. After more than half a century of sharing and compromising, being my own master is not ” a box of chocolates”. But I am a fit 77 and certainly not dead yet – today I spent DIYing a new addition to my heating system to make it more efficient and then, I also have my motor cruiser to keep in good shape – but it not much fun if you cannot share your (modest) successes and (possibly catostrophic) failures. No, single life is not fun at all, but if I think of trying to make a move on a female, I worry that I will be a predator in the eyes of you girls. All very sad for both sexes – so where are all the decent matchmakers?

  • litehiker says:

    Loved your Times article and your blog and completely sympathise with your predicament. I’m afraid I’m in one of your specific categories of men that you probably don’t think highly of but hey. A blog is a good thing to air your thoughts and bitches and enables you to rail against the hand you’ve been dealt. But, and this is a big but, things can change when you least expect them to. I know. Good luck.

  • Suzy says:

    Friends are hopeless. My ex-husband left me 8 years’ ago and I’ve not been invited to one party or dinner where there have been single men. In fact I’ve been invited to 8 parties in 8 years. Married women don’t trust single women.

    It’s a terrible thing to say but to be quite honest my married friends have turned me into the the person they are all scared of – the smart, slim, witty, attractive divorcee. I have had to make my own way, start up my own business, create a life-style of my own. My friends haven’t helped me. But I still love them dearly. What I would say is that if I fancied someone else’s husband I wouldn’t necessarily turn him away as a matter of honour if the interest was reciprocated.I would never have said this 8 years’ ago. I would say to all married women, “watch out, look after your single friends or they might have to look after themselves, at YOUR expense!


  • John Rubens says:

    Now for the other side of the coin. Single male, 60’s, dance teacher, apparently not bad looking. Lost count of the number of women I’ve been out with over the last 3/4 years from the London dance world Story always the same. Either want a relationship on their terms, have so many commitments they’re not prepared to give up or cart around more baggage than terminal 1 at Heathrow because of failed past relationships. Most are cynical and selfish in the extreme. Maybe no consolation to you but this is the crap society we now have to contend with. Good luck with your mission.

  • Voula Grand says:

    I am surprised that you are so prejudiced against Internet dating, and see it as a sign of desperation. It seems to me to be just a practical part of modern life, even if it is a little unromantic. You say you know of many happy marriages that have come about this way (I am in that group…). You position yourself as Plankton, but seem to think there is an even lower link – those who are even more desperate and turn to Internet dating. It’s not how you meet someone that matters…. it’s how the relationship develops after the meeting….
    If you really want a relationship, why not at least try all avenues?
    Good luck!

  • thinkpositive says:

    Reading your article in the Times part of me wanted to shout to you ‘ where’s your self esteem gal’ ?

    By using such ‘put down’ / negative expressions about yourself what message are you sending to the universe in your quest for a new partner ?

    I am in a very similar situation to yourself, divorced with two children and no sign of any suitable new partners on the horizon or otherwise. Like you I also do not feel drawn to trying the whole internet dated thing.

    I have recently come across a Matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna in Ireland held in September each year which I am seriously considering going to but do not, at present have any other female single friends to go along with – might you be interested ?

    It sounds, as the Irish would say, really good craic, and much more fun than looking on line.

    The alternative might be to set up a matchmaking festival somewhere here in the UK, but that does not sound so romantic does it ???

  • Sal says:

    Reading your article I wondered if I’d somehow sent one in myself without realising. It’s all so true (apart from the gorgeous and willowy bit in my case). How do you meet any unattached male worth getting to know that aren’t needy/sleazy/of pensionable age….. or many other off-putting types? I’ve tried internet dating – they are the only ones I seem to meet. I even had one who verbally abused me online (with several unrepeatable words) for not wanting to go out with him when I found out that he didn’t have a job, didn’t want one and seemed to spend his life attached to his TV/computer.
    And if I have one more of my many (married) friends say ‘There’s someone for you out there’ I will probably be responsible for the next major global catastrophe when I explode.

  • Annie-Lou says:

    I read your article a week ago and then went for a walk with a good friend of mine whose sister is 45 divorced with two children as well as being attractive, resourceful, courageous, etc., and desperate to meet someone with whom to share her life. Apparently she has really had good success since swallowing her inhibitions/apprehensions and contacting Kindred Spirits in the Telegraph. Three different meetings, all interesting and rewarding, and the third one, an instant hit. I just wanted to pass this on, to give you encouragement to try this route. I know that it is not something we could possibly have imagined doing in our younger lives, but this is the way that the next generation are living and seem quite easy with; this internet world, which in its own way is the new social forum. I really think it is worth a try if you can take the leap. Nothing to lose really, and certainly not your self esteem. It takes courage and self belief to have a go. Good luck.

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