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... Lessons learned from 100 Blind Dates Lessons learned from 100 Blind Dates

9 March 2012

Ursula Hirschkorn and editor, writing for the dating column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine played Cupid for a year, by setting up more than 100 people on blind dates. “They ranged in age from their mid-20s to almost 70. They came from all walks of life, from teachers to zoo-keepers, lawyers to businessmen I sent them out ballroom dancing, surfing, skiing and wine tasting,” said Ursula

She said, “For a few it was the start of something special, for others it was an experience they would rather forget. For me, it was a unique insight into what makes Britain’s lonely singles tick.”

According to Ursula "Most of the men and women who went on the dates were over 40, and trailing broken hearts and broken marriages behind them". With almost half of all marriages ending in divorce and the average age at which couples split being 44 for men and 41 for women.

The generally perceived idea is that, it is the women who are searching for a relationship, while men want to have a good time. But when you reach middle age, it’s often the men who are in search of love, while the women are off having a wild old time.

A 60-year-old divorcee said all he wants from a woman is “someone he get on with who will be a good companion to him.”

While young men run away from commitment, the older they get, the more men value the security of a relationship. It’s just a shame women’s needs change with advancing years, too. After years spent as wives, women in their 50s want to have fun. Many were devoted to tennis, salsa dancing, fitness, holidays and their many friends.

Such women aren’t looking for a man to complete them instead, any potential partner would be interesting enough to distract them from their daily busy lives. Unlike the men who were looking for someone to curl up on the sofa with, the women wanted someone who would sail off into the sunset with them. The majority of men went into the dates hoping to find love the majority of the women went into them hoping to have a laugh.

The reason for certain couples that clicked was because they were forced to meet someone from outside their social circle.

One 49-year-old woman said about her date, “He is not the sort of man that I would normally date, but he’s exactly the sort of man I’d like to end up with. I am glad I went out of my comfort zone to meet the kind of man I should be dating.”

Another problem affecting older daters is children. When you are young it is all about whether or not you want to have them. When you are older it is all about how to cope with other people’s offspring.

Rather than relishing the idea of a ready-made family, childfree women often resent it and this makes for a divide between those with children, and those without.

Ursula felt that in general the problem is the longer you are single the easier it is to get set in your ways and draw up an unrealistic wish list.

Summing up her "year at the coalface" Ursula commented: "The lesson the successful couples learned was to give their date a chance and they were rewarded by meeting someone genuinely special.

…but it also taught me why some people are just destined to stay single. Like the man who told his date she would have been a stunner — 40 years ago Some people just can’t be helped"


Read the full article on the Dail mail website: