I began the week being ‘wooed’ by a ‘suitor’ who called himself Firm Hand. Will she ever experience that thrill of eyes meeting across a crowded bar?
His profile picture showed a stool painted with the words: ‘The Naughty Spot.’ His ideal Tinder date, he revealed straightaway, was a ‘strict auntie’ to give him a ‘guiding hand’. I was two weeks and hundreds of swipes in, and I’d still not had a single, genuine date with an honest man. As I kept swiping, it became clear that the more mature men of Tinder fall into a few distinct categories.
I’d checked if the car park had CCTV in case he tried to abduct me.
For she, like countless other middle-aged divorcees, has found the world of internet dating — of which Tinder leads the field — to be a tawdry, loveless, moral abyss.
In fact, she’d be the first to warn any married woman secretly thinking the grass might be greener on the other side to stay firmly where she is.
The arbitrary way in which I started to dismiss men shocked me — especially when I realised there were thousands of people out there doing the exact same thing to me. Window shopping, reducing fellow humans to a number of physical attributes on which we reject or pursue them? I tried to strike up a conversation with every man I matched with, but half never even responded.
Others ‘ghosted’ me — not returning messages after we’d exchanged a few pleasantaries.
A few hours later, I got my first match — one of the men had liked me back.
Mike, a 49-year-old mechanic, cut straight to the chase. I quickly ducked below the window and turned off my phone.I asked for his email address and used it to track down his IP address — the unique number that identifies the network on which an email is sent — and found that his message had come from Russia.When I asked why, Dave’s profile instantly disappeared.I made a profile by downloading the app to my phone and linking it to my Facebook account, then I chose some flattering pictures of myself.To deter time-wasters, I tried to be as specific about what I was looking for in a man as possible: someone with a good sense of humour who would share my love of Eighties music.Clearly, I was going to have to keep my wits about me. When I first dated 30 years ago, we’d shyly share a warm Bacardi and coke and talk about Duran Duran.