Our dating column has shown the highs and lows of what happens when two strangers meet. But what if one of them cries off?
Elaine Watson, 55, from Middlesbrough, has been let down at the last minute by not just one Blind Date, but two.
Both men seemed to have reasonable justification for cancelling at short notice — but how does it feel to be all dressed up with nowhere to go, and has it caused her to lose heart altogether?
ELAINE, 55, SAYS:
I’ve had more than one dating disaster. Once, I met a man for coffee and — although my online profile makes it clear I’m looking for someone who takes care of themselves — he had no front teeth!
Another seemed very articulate and engaging online, and he had a responsible job. But when he arrived for our date, I could tell he had been drinking heavily. I didn’t want to see him again, but friends said I should, as he was probably just nervous.
Elaine Watson, 55, (pictured) from Middlesbrough revealed how her experience of being let down by two blind dates has impacted her view of finding love
I politely asked him not to drink prior to our second date — but, again, I could clearly smell alcohol. I later found out he’d been banned several times for drink-driving.
People with that kind of problem can hide it on dating sites. That’s when I wrote to the Daily Mail.
I was so excited when I got the call to say I would be going on a date.
Perhaps I should have known that it wouldn’t end well when my first date kept changing arrangements. He initially seemed keen, but then simply refused to pin down a time and place until, finally, our evening was cancelled. I was really disappointed.
Luckily, I was offered another date, so didn’t feel blue for long. I think you always have to invest emotionally in the date, otherwise there’s no point. So I planned an outfit and made an effort with my hair and make-up.
This time, when the call came to cancel, I was dressed and ready to leave. I was told he had texted to say he could not make it. Rather than going out for dinner, I went back upstairs, took off my new dress and sat in my pyjamas, with a full face of make-up, watching TV!
It was really deflating and I even opened a bottle of wine to make myself feel better.
I’m a pretty positive person, though, and I knew that he had known very little about me, so it wasn’t personal. I just had to take the view that it was his loss.
Nevertheless, I had still been to the hairdressers, got a new outfit and spent time on my make-up.
I split from my partner of nearly 18 years last year after he was unfaithful. I was very upset by his betrayal. It took me six months to regain enough confidence to even think about dating again.
Elaine (pictured) split from her partner of nearly 18 years last year after he was unfaithful, before that, she was married for nine years
Prior to that, I had been married for nine years. I think perhaps we were just too young to make it work — we married when I was 22 — but we get on really well now and share our wonderful son.
As a middle-aged woman on the dating scene after a long relationship, these two ‘non’ dates gave me the impression that men are just not as keen or excited about the prospect of a date, which makes me feel down.
The only saving grace is that I didn’t actually turnth up to find that I had been stood up.
This has made me think twice about dating again for a while. I’ve started to worry I’ll never find someone with the things I want.
I’m a happy, confident person and, in my online dating profile, I’ve made it clear that I won’t respond to men who don’t include pictures on their profile and that I’m looking for someone active like me.
I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. But I still get messaged by men who refuse to reveal themselves or who are clearly very unfit.
I’m a happy person but this has made me think twice about dating
Don’t they read the dating profiles? How can I go running or cycling with someone who is severely overweight?
Recently, my son asked how my dating was going and I sent him some pictures of the men messaging me. He just laughed.
Then there are the younger men. I have no issue with going out with them, but they tend not to want relationships, so I don’t usually take it any further when they get in touch.
I had one daunting experience when a very attractive younger man asked, via messages on a dating site, if I had an open mind, then asked if I was interested in starring in an adult film!
When I said absolutely not, he offered me £3,000. I contacted the site to get him blocked.
When I told another younger man that I didn’t think we had anything in common, he replied: ‘With your looks and my money, we could go places.’ Some might go for that, but, thanks to my job as a business administrator, I’m self-sufficient and would never go out with a man because of his money.
Elaine (pictured) questions if she’s looking for a man who doesn’t exist, she says men are often not interested in her because of her age
Even men who seem polite can be inconsiderate and insist I trek over to where they live instead of a mutually convenient venue.
Dating mishaps can be funny, but they’re frustrating. I think I have a lot to offer, but it seems hard to find a genuine, attractive man with good manners. Am I asking for too much?
I keep trying, as I’m a glass-half-full person. I don’t need a man to complete my life, but I’d like one to complement it. I have good friends and a great social life, so I won’t just settle.
I’m active, a keen photographer and love the theatre and cinema. It would be lovely to meet a man with similar interests. I prefer men taller than me, although that’s not hard as I’m 5ft 2in!
When I go out with friends, I have no problem talking to men, but I find most aren’t interested because of my age. On the other hand, I can go on a dating site and get 100 matches, but not one will interest me.
Also, you can chat to someone online and form an idea about what he might be like, only to meet and find he doesn’t live up to your expectations.
It can be very disappointing and, sometimes, I wonder if I’m looking for a man who doesn’t exist. But I won’t give up hope — Mr Right must be out there.
OUR DATING DOCTOR SAYS:
We are often sold the fairy tale dream when it comes to romance, says Dating Doctor ALANA KIRK.
- Keep your expectations realistic — don’t emotionally invest before you meet someone.
- Try speaking on the phone, rather than just emailing or messaging, before going on a first date. You can learn a lot from a real conversation.
- Remember, more people meet a partner online than in any other way. It can work!
- If things go wrong, don’t take it personally. You can’t know someone else’s mind.