COLUMN: Michael Hand – The Swan Story

I NEVER expected to be on the dating scene in my fifties but after 22 years my marriage ended and I wasn’t cut out for being on my own. I have heard it said that women grieve and men replace, so after a short period of grief I went looking for love.

Dances and pubs were not for me and I discovered that my best friends hadn’t a clue what my romantic tastes were. On a couple of occasions friends set up blind dates for me with “the perfect match” however these turned out to be very uncomfortable experiences without a spark of romance on either side. In desperation I decided to give Internet dating a go and discovered a site called ‘Plenty of Fish’.

Soon I hooked up with a lady called Dorothy and after a series of awkward texts I plucked up the courage to make the 30 mile journey to meet with her for a date in a restaurant on a winter’s night.

The advice from people who know about these things is to keep the first date short, meet for a coffee which allows you a quick escape route if it doesn’t go well. I was never one for following advice and I decided to go the full hog and treat Dorothy to dinner. The restaurant was dimly lit and the conversation flowed quite easy. Afterwards we adjourned to a dimly lit pub that was enhanced by the sounds of traditional Irish music. I was so absorbed in the music that I didn’t take a good look at Dorothy’s features but I sensed that there was no real attraction there. When she suggested a second date I said ok because she was pleasant company and I didn’t have any better offers.

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