For the last few months, I have been seeing a chef my age I met on the site. Before we even met, she admitted she’d come to snoop through the windows of my house to check I was above board. The next day I changed my profile to read ‘widowed a few months ago’.
I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, but I hoped a brief summary of my marital status would explain my presence online.
We’ve all heard about the bad behaviour of men who date online: the married ones just out for casual sex, the ‘successful businessmen’ who turn out to be minicab drivers and the ‘spontaneous risk takers’ who are, in truth, crashing bores.Carleton Smith, 55, is a divorced private chef from Chilham, Kent. But, by that point, I’d been internet dating for two years and had been told one lie too many. I began online dating six months after my wife Christabel and I separated five years ago.He has been internet dating since he and his wife of seven years, Christabel, 49, a writer, separated in 2008. But in the flesh she was plain and dumpy, not sylph-like and pretty, and as soon as I spotted her waiting for me in a bar in Canterbury for our first date in January 2010, it was clear she had doctored her picture. It seemed more convenient than using the lonely hearts columns and I felt I was too old to chat up women in bars and clubs.Incensed, I walked up to her and roared ‘You’re not tall and thin! I stated clearly on my profile ‘my past is part of me’ because Christabel and I remain great friends. My longest relationship was with Alison, a 50-something financial broker I met online in July 2010.For the first two years of dating online, I subscribed to a dating service run by one national newspaper. On my first date, a stunning solicitor turned up at my home in a BMW and designer dress.