Despite saying I wouldn't again waste my money paying for an online dating service, I found myself signing up for a 3-month period. Its expiry date coincidentally Christmas Eve, 4 years since the first time I signed up to the same site.
By the end my profile was viewed 154 times, I liked 38 guys and 23 liked me. Two of those were a mutual like that I only decided to "like" after they liked me. At the end of 3 months I hadn't been on one date via the site.
Whether it was my face, age or blurb that was unattractive I will never know. Though the competition was probably more attractive.
It could have been the fact I'm drinking in most of my photos, which I'm told is a top no-no of dating profiles. People tend to only take photos of me when I'm drinking so I also resorted to a selfie or two. I think selfies themselves are unattractive with an air of vanity about them.
Mine aside, looking at the men's photos there were many that had several pictures and they looked different in every single one of them - different hairlines and hair colour - clearly taken over a period of a decade plus.
I thought I was one of a mere few who had been to Macchu Pichu, but actually, it's pretty popular.
Lots of us went to the London Olympics.
How are so many men getting to stroke tigers?
It seems that those that aren't pulling a Zoolander or comedy face are in fancy dress. If they're not ski-ing, snowboarding, surfing or some other adrenalin fuelled activity that is.
Dating site rejection can be hard on the ego but if I opt for logical reasoning rather than looking at how gorgeous the competition is (very) I'll stick with thinking I'm simply too old.
Like the last time I looked into dating agency stats, most men of all ages are saying they want kids. I therefore wonder if my age is off-putting to people my age and younger before they even consider my face or words. Over a third of the men who looked at my profile were in their 50s and 60s and even most of those ticked "want children". Do they really? Or do they think it widens the net?
I encountered a guy who said he was 38 but confessed in his written notes that he was in fact 43 but got less clicks if he put that. He felt he looked and acted younger. People say that about me but I wasn't prepared to fib about my age (my photos were all very recent) and I would never say I want children when I don't. It's a bit like putting yourself in a shop window. Attaching tags to sell yourself in the form of photos, likes, beliefs and what you're looking for.
Even in the supermarket you pick the item with the longest sell by date rather than one past its best before date.
I received quite nasty replies when I politely rejected invitations so I stopped replying at all. My favourite ignored message said, "Sorry to hurry, you but my subscription runs out tomorrow." Charmer. My loss.
My dating offline doesn't fair much better. I met an amazing guy this year. We are the same age, got on like a house on fire and the chemistry was there. Unfortunately he desperately wants a family. After a few weeks he confessed he was considering dating women as young as 23 to heighten the chances of finding someone who wouldn't be too wrapped up in a career and settle down with him. That rules me out by 20+ years. I pointed out it doesn't work the other way around. He rolled his eyes and said he'd heard it all before. Adding that there were more ways for women to consider having children.
The search continues but not via a tick box or a site telling me what percentage it thinks I'm matched with someone based on height, gender, age or what kinds of relationship sought.
A relationship of sorts is sought but despite me having those height, gender and age preferences, they're probably best kept to myself.
Disclaimer: This piece is based on actual events. In certain cases incidents, characters and timelines have been changed for dramatic purposes. Certain characters - including myself - may be entirely fictitious.