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Moderately well-oiled following a Christmas party, she went home and emailed us both, no frills. His messages were initially a trifle effusive, nervous perhaps. We migrated to text messages, he started writing novellas. I was already finding it all a bit heavy-handed when his idea of a first intersection was taking one of his four (FOUR! ) drive to deliver one of his brood to his sister’s for the holidays, then return to Auckland sans child. Even someone as inexperienced at dating as me knows the first face-to-face is held somewhere casual and close to home where both parties have a clear exit.The message said: “Mark meet Nancy, Nancy meet Mark” (not our real names), and that was all. This fellow also made it clear he’d had a good Google of me, which is kind of creepy. Another man was almost my kind of guy, aside from having lopped the better part of a decade off his age.The chances of her having got the measure of a man with the same limited set of banal questions seemed highly unlikely, too.But I still hoped to meet someone special, someone I’d never cross paths with under my own steam, so we went through the paperwork.

So my friend asked for the initial meeting to take place somewhere public, whereupon it transpired Tinder-man was on home detention and couldn’t go any further than his front door.

She also said she was happily settled with a new chap, whom she’d met the old-fashioned way, and what’s more, she could feel her as-yet unconceived daughter around her.

Clearly we were from different tribes, but I still thought it was worth following through – after all, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I’d just turned 47, spring had sprung, albeit rather wetly, and I decided to Google introduction agencies in my neck of the woods.

An appointment was made with the matchmaker’s assistant. Next, she asked about “specific violence” – which I quickly realised was Pacific Islands. Yet there were no questions that could possibly have any bearing on nuance, none that might uncover a person’s life philosophies or social politics. For some reason, I started by saying I’d like a fellow who didn’t follow sport too closely.

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