Here's some truths about dating in your 40s. Firstly, I want to tell you that no one ever meets anyone in real life anymore, those chance acquaintances on late nights in nightclubs, well maybe they do happen but you have to realise that most of the people hanging out in nightclubs are around 20 years younger. I know this because I recently had a chance encounter where I kissed a man and then I found out he was 28, my son is nearly 21!
The truth is we all lead busy lives and I guess that's why dating websites like Match seem to be the standard way to meet someone - you don't even have to speak to anyone if you don't want to, in the case of Tinder you can just swipe left and right depending on how you rate attractiveness and you'll only get notified if you have a match, it's a little like window shopping! What you find is that sometimes the box is more attractive than the contents, sometimes there are absolutely no contents inside the pretty packaging and sometimes, the package is just so scary you want to get it as far away from you as possible, swiping left at 3 million miles an hour!
I should state that most of my friends are singletons and all of my girlfriends are younger than me so I've pretty much seen it all.
This is what I've learnt so far -
Men like to send naked photos to women they don't even know, they think this will score them points, I can confirm, however, it won't, the photos, however, will be passed around the pub and laughed at.
Men often lie about their age and use old photos to try and tempt ladies, this does not work because when you go and meet them it doesn't take too long to work out they're actually 10 years older and also if you start by lying about your age, well it's no foundation to build a relationship of trust is it?!
Some men are apparently mute and fill their dating profile out with question marks and don't have a photo. How in the heck are you supposed to be attracted to someone who's just a blank question mark? It reminds me of telephone dating in the 90's and you'll have to take my word for it that it never ended well!
Aesthetically pleasing men with photos of themselves with adorable puppies are always a win in pretty much every woman's eyes. "Adorable caring hot man, what's not to like?" Said every woman in the entire universe!
Men who have photos of their children on their dating profile, No, just no. Yes you may be the father of the most beautiful children in the universe but really, dating sites are not the place to share your fun family holiday photos.
Men with what you would call nurturing careers who send messages which would make your eyes water. I'm just not sure I would want those men nurturing my loved ones if that's what's really on their minds.
Funny men who write long creative profiles are always a catch, it shows they're serious and if they have a face to match then they're like gold dust.
Men who post photos of their cars? What in the heck is that all about? I don't want to date a car, I don't even drive! Has any woman ever went on a date with someone just because they posted a photo of a car?
Men who are 40 want to date 20-year-olds, men who are 50 want to date 30-year-olds, being in my 40's this does not make me smile when a fat bald man with a paunch age 60 gives me a wink, in real life or online!
The world of online dating is a minefield, especially for women like me who last dated before the birth of the big internet boom but I have to hope that somewhere out there is a man in a similar situation as me looking to date a lovely 40 something who's creative and sparkly and enjoys a decent glass of Sancerre in the evening whilst listening to musical theatre soundtracks, one thing I can guarantee though is that whilst I might not view myself as proficient at online dating, there are so many stories to tell that it's good for my writing career at least.
You can read more of Mandy's dating stories on her blog Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger