So, I went for coffee with the Darkly Intriguing Man From The Gym and of course it was very pleasant, as always. He’d even brought me a present from his recent trip home. Charming, no?
We sit for two coffees, one after the other, chatting about this and that, with no particular aim or direction. It’s all very civilised.
We’ve got the platonic nature of our friendship down to a fine art now. There is absolutely no flirtation in our meetings. None whatsoever. Which on the one hand is good, as it makes me feel better about the whole thing. But on the other hand … what’s the point? Until he’s firmly and incontrovertibly single, this friendship isn’t going anywhere.
Back at my desk, I’m flicking idly through a newsletter, pondering the cruel twist of fate that presents me with a man who’s tall(ish), dark and handsome; has all his own teeth; has never used a ‘LOL’ in all our correspondence; is intelligent, funny, interested in me AND Body Combat … but who fails on the one most important criterion: that of being 100% single.
If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry.
Still, I’m thinking that as pleasant as our little meet-ups are, it’s probably time to look elsewhere. Sitting here cursing the fates is just wasting time. Maybe I should get started on my action plan – start working out how to meet more single men, for a start.
I’m still thinking about it when a small news article catches my eye:
“Would you like the chance to participate in a unique television programme looking at how relationships are formed and what it takes to truly connect with someone? This summer, we’re looking for single women who believe it’s time for a fresh start in their search for someone special. For more information please email us with your name, age and contact details.”
Well, what the heck, eh? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I rattle off a quick email, briefly outlining my hopeless situation, obediently tacking contact details to the end of the message.
Not 15 minutes later, the phone rings. It’s a chatty young lady, wanting to know more about me and my relationship history. We go through the drought of the last two years, touching on my ‘under 25, over 55’ niche and the brief interlude with The Young Swede. We mention The One I Almost Married and the Italian Stallion (I’ve never really mentioned him before; perhaps I will one day…).
She tells me that the programme involves three women living in a very nice house for eight weeks and meeting up to 100 men.
“It’s not like a dating show,” she tells me, “it’s more about how relationships develop.”
At the end of the conversation, she thanks me for my time, and asks me to send her a couple of photos, “just so that we can put a face to the name when I present you to my director”.
I dig out the least unflattering mugshots I can find and send them off before I can change my mind. It sounds like a bit of a barmy idea, but it could, I think, be a lot of fun.
That evening, I go for coffee with a male friend, and I tell him about it all.
“Oh, jeez!” he says, “that sounds hellish, doesn’t it?!”
Does it? I thought it sounded like fun.
“Well, of course!” he exclaims. “You know what this kind of programme’s like…”
To be honest, I sort of do. But since I don’t own a TV, perhaps I also sort of don’t.
In any case, I’m sure his perspective (mid-twenties, plenty of fish in the sea) is quite different from mine (mid-thirties, aaarrrrrggggggggghhh!!!).
And besides, I’ve tried and failed with all the usual methods of finding a man. So, what the heck. I reckon it must be time for something completely different…