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Every day, Claire Morton thinks back to that moment in November when she could have saved her marriage. While she loved her husband, like most couples in long marriages, she felt they had become a little staid and set in their ways.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?Then there are the tattooed drinkers and smokers brigade, all pictured ‘down the pub’, and finally the sportsmen perched on high-spec bikes, spattered in mud on assault courses, or crossing marathon finishing lines.A man named Paul claimed to be an injured body builder, yet he seemed baffled when I decided to call his bluff by asking about the technical details of his diet plan. Spending a lonely old age in front of the TV began to seem rather inviting.
Then there was Mark, who wanted to meet me with ‘the wife’ — pictured with her face obscured, but not much else. There are the bachelors posing with cars or speed boats, the men wearing suits that varied in quality from Savile Row to Burton, but who all wanted to imply they were CEOs.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.Over my time on Tinder, I found that the more I swiped, the more fussy I became. By a process of elimination, I realised my ideal man was a Paul Hollywood lookalike in a management position or running his own business.The arbitrary way in which I started to dismiss men shocked me — especially when I realised there were thousands of people out there doing the exact same thing to me. Window shopping, reducing fellow humans to a number of physical attributes on which we reject or pursue them? I tried to strike up a conversation with every man I matched with, but half never even responded.