Lunch dating agency
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.
My friend Kerry, tired of my moaning, had told me about an upmarket dating agency that takes on only high-achieving rich people.I put a classified ad in Private Eye, which read: ‘Fun, attractive female journalist, 38, seeks romantic, sporty, intelligent guy, 30s/40s for adventures and hopefully LTR/marriage/babies/the lot!’Out of a surprisingly large number of replies, Simon’s stood out.Otherwise, the qualities I am looking for are pretty standard: he must be kind, funny, not pompous or bossy, be intelligent and well read and an animal lover.I tell her I'd prefer someone around my own age (she tells me I don't look 50, and am in fact 'slim, fashionable and gorgeous', which makes me want to date her), but they must be boyish rather than Steptoe-like (I tell her Imran Khan could be her template, although I wouldn't date him as I don't think my cats would want to live in Pakistan).Why would they like someone who, if she can still have children, would need to have them straight away?
No, men will run a mile.’ She paused, then added: ‘Sorry, dear.’ I’ve never been someone who absolutely has to be in a relationship.
Whenever I was between boyfriends in the past, I would just enjoy life until another man came along — through work, mutual friends or our eyes meeting across a crowded room.
But when I phoned a dating agency eight months ago, everything had taken on a new sense of urgency. ‘Haven’t you found yourself a husband yet, Bridgey? But don’t look desperate — men hate that.’ I went speed-dating, online-dating, wine-tasting dating, quiz-dating and dinner-dating.
I tell her I was married to someone much younger who never paid for anything.
'But him not paying for things was not the deal breaker. I'm a romantic in that I expect the man I'm with not to even look at other women - to be like my dad, in other words - but then I come over all feminist if he attempts to pay for dinner. I'd feel like a prostitute.' Mairead says I am, compared to her other female clients, all of whom want to be looked after by a man, very unusual.
He was 41, adventurous and enjoyed travelling — as do I.