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Dating in your late 30s

The unspoken warning was that, because of my age, I might not find anyone else.Dating in your early 20s is fun and irrational, and it is done with little regard for actual compatibility or long-term sustainability. I yearned to be comforted by the safety of a long-term partnership.

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Our generation doesn't believe in wasting precious minutes on providing a polite rejection to an inquiring individual.The solution is to meet them in their own natural habit: coffee shops and pubs, of course, but also sports clubs, evening classes, even the local supermarket. James Preece, who runs dating events, says that although it might be a struggle to find men — who are often happy just hanging out with their mates rather than trying to meet new people — women in their mid-30s shouldn’t give up hope.Thankfully for women who are the far side of 30, James says it is ‘absolute rubbish’ that they have no chance of finding love.I turned up a few minutes late for one date to find that the guy had already ordered and eaten dinner without me, and I booked myself on a climbing holiday with 14 fit men, only to discover halfway up the highest mountain in North Africa that they were all married.While I did meet some really nice men, it was certainly not at the tortuous round of singles events, at which there were always more women than men and everyone had a sad, resigned look in their eyes.He was 41, adventurous and enjoyed travelling — as do I.

His emails were fun and witty and when we first met for a lunch date we left the pub at 6pm, always a good sign. My friends liked him and I couldn’t believe I’d found someone at last.

These are not bad things, as you were once there yourself.

However, they're not a good mix for someone who has lived and learned from life's lessons that can only be served up in career jobs, independent living and lost loves.

But, while we were perfect for each other on paper, the relationship lacked passion.

I felt that to continue going out with him would have been unfair to both of us, so I ended our relationship. Many people — including my mother and best friend — accused me of being too fussy, and said that I should stick with Simon, as he ticked so many boxes.

Like the hopeless romantic mainstream media shaped me into being, I spent the better part of my 20s chasing the conventional dream to find my love story.