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Men are more likely to die at this age than women, particularly in the 18–25 group: reasons include car accidents and suicide.Mortality statistics among men and women level off during the late twenties and thirties, due in part to good health and less risk-taking behavior.But for the internet, we would never have come together, and he taught me another truth — that as well as enabling you to find your soulmate, the internet also gives you a chance to meet somebody who is the exact opposite of what you are seeking in a partner.His internet profile said he lived in an idyllic cottage with a log fire and that he was positive, creative, practical and content, except for that special person in his life. We had arranged to meet in a pub opposite Reading Station.But just before I was due to set off, he rang to say he had changed his mind. Online dating for older people sounds such a good idea, and ever more of us are signing up in the hope of meeting a wonderful new partner.After my partner died, I thought to myself: ‘Online dating is the modern way to go.’ I was pretty certain I would soon find my ideal person, somebody clever, witty, good-looking, successful, excellent company, open to new ideas, well-read and with a sense of purpose in life.

Henning Wiechers, who conducted the recent survey on behalf of Metaflake, the vast German online dating agency, claimed that when people are too old to go clubbing, they need to access a second marriage market — and that the internet provides the perfect forum. While online dating is certainly booming in popularity — the industry is worth £170 million in the UK, with nine million of us now logging on in the hope that we will find somebody, otherwise unreachable, who will be just right for us — my experiences should serve as something of a warning to others looking for love online.One divorced man of my age, who has been on these sites for six years, said that the first woman he met was £50,000 in debt, another wanted him to give her £350 to get her car out of the garage and a third hadn’t mentioned that she had severely impaired vision — the ultimate blind date.Another man said that he met somebody who seemed great and they got on so well that they arranged to go on a holiday to South Africa together.He paid upfront and she was going to reimburse him for her share of the cost.But the day before, she rang to say she had changed her mind and wouldn’t be going after all.

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