For some years I have lived alone, apart from the past six since Basil moved in. He is very good looking, nicely set up, fit, well-socialised, healthy and very hirsute. But he’s a dog.

In all these years you would have thought that a glamorous, young-looking 60-something (that’s me) would have crossed paths with an available, nicely set up, fit, well socialised, healthy man (hirsute or otherwise) of a similar age. But no!

My friends who are safely married confine themselves to coupledom, and it seems they do not have any suitable brothers or cousins they could introduce me to. So, where are the single older men? I know they are around because recently one of my friends disappeared from the single women circuit and set up home with one, looking sickeningly happy and ready to make the most of the opportunities of late-love.

Well, that’s what I want too. So, in the absence of well-intentioned match-making friends, I decided to explore internet dating and found it puzzling and a little bit scary.

Hundreds of men have registered with these senior online dating websites, but they either have no photograph or one taken with their laptop camera that has chopped off their head or is in silhouette because the window was behind them.

The profiles they have written about themselves are very off-putting too – if there is one at all (and one has to assume that’s because some of these senior guys haven’t become familiar with the technology). Typically these Kiwi men describe themselves as “cuddly and sexy”, and “I’d welcome babies and children”, or, “I want to look after you”; with hobbies listed as V8 motor cars and country music. Most alarming of all, the men of my age are very old looking and I am wondering, “Who is going to be looking after whom?” It is such a lottery.

As a result of this research, I believe Hawke’s Bay needs speed dating for seniors. I believe speed dating is very popular with the 20-40 year olds and I think it is a brilliant idea.

How marvelous to get a measure of someone in a minute or two. Do they smile with their eyes? Can they speak in sentences? Have they washed lately? Do they have a beer-gut? Do they demonstrate social confidence in a nerve-wracking, if hilarious situation?

The choice of venue will be very important. It needs to be slick and sophisticated, with wine to help loosen the tongues and boost self-confidence. There should be sufficient space to set up the tables, good light (poor eyesight can be a problem if it’s dark), comfortable and not too echo-y (for the hearing impaired).

I know just the place, the Hawke’s Bay Opera House plaza. Perhaps Creative Hawke’s Bay could include a ‘Speed Dating for Seniors’ night in their summer calendar?

Now, I just have to ensure I’m looking fit and gorgeous. Mind you, most people are very kind, so who would ever tell me any different?

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