Mike, a 49-year-old mechanic, cut straight to the chase. I quickly ducked below the window and turned off my phone.
He pointed out that we were no more than a couple of minutes apart.‘On my lunch break,’ he messaged. After my alarming start, I decided I’d have to play detective to stay safe.
My phone was flooded with hundreds of men who matched my criteria — aged 40 to 55 and all within a 60-mile range. By the end of the first hour, I had swiped right — or approved — about 50 possibles who I liked the look of.
A few hours later, I got my first match — one of the men had liked me back.
His profile picture showed a stool painted with the words: ‘The Naughty Spot.’ His ideal Tinder date, he revealed straightaway, was a ‘strict auntie’ to give him a ‘guiding hand’. I was two weeks and hundreds of swipes in, and I’d still not had a single, genuine date with an honest man. As I kept swiping, it became clear that the more mature men of Tinder fall into a few distinct categories.
Her husband of 24 years, the father of her three children, had come home from work and announced he didn’t love her any more and wanted to leave. Their sex life was hardly the firework display of their 20s, and sometimes she’d look over at this snoring, paunchy, greying man on the other side of the bed and wonder: ‘Is this it?In fact, she’d be the first to warn any married woman secretly thinking the grass might be greener on the other side to stay firmly where she is.Claire says: ‘I’d hoped to meet some decent men in their 50s, someone with whom I could enjoy a conversation or a meal out.‘But it was horrendous and I’ve found that it’s zapped my confidence and made me feel a lot more anxious about the future.‘I’ve been shocked by the number of men who think it’s acceptable to send you pictures of their private parts.‘One man started sending me lewd messages, asking me what I’d like sexually.So when super-muscled Dave popped up, saying he was a member of an elite Army regiment on a secret mission to the Middle East, I decided to do some digging.I asked for his email address and used it to track down his IP address — the unique number that identifies the network on which an email is sent — and found that his message had come from Russia.