After my first date in a year ended in disaster, I spoke to other fortysomething women — and a psychologist — to learn what they could teach me about running the gauntlet of romance. L ast week, I pushed myself to go on the first date I have had in a year. In this case, it flung back a guy who lied on his dating profile about his age, used a photo that looked 15 years out of date and told me a bizarre story about how he had done time on a chicken farm because the prisons in his native country were too full — all, and this was the really confusing bit, for a crime he did not commit. But women in their 40s are likely to have run the gauntlet of hope, heart-sinks and uncertainty that are part of the dating trajectory, from traditional meet-ups to the rise of the planet of the apps. My process of natural deselection is trawling hundreds of profiles that pass in a blur of torso selfies, confusing group photos and grinning men in their 50s holding out large fish this choice of profile picture is one of the many mysteries of online dating. So, I speak to Dr Martin Graff, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of South Wales, who confirms my fears that it is just a numbers game after all. Dr Graff, whose research interests include the psychology of online dating, explains why the hours of swiping feel draining. For a start, fewer men in that bracket are looking for women of a similar age, compared with younger men.
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