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Heart Searching: A mistake to pine for something permanent

THE ARTICLE on computer dating by Juliet King-Smith ('Wanted: narcissistic mummy's boy, misfit or general weirdo', Heart Searching, 19 June) probably tells us more about the writer than about the men who have shared a little of their lives with her, or the process by which she met them.

Is she perhaps asking too much, overly dependant on being in love, too clinging, or too jealous? Or even too arrogant, self-centred and self- pitying? Perhaps not, but computer dating can only match the superficial, measurable things, filtering out the obvious mis-matches and bringing people together who wouldn't otherwise meet. No scheme can match the heart and soul.

Sometimes the wrong things are filtered out, when someone is mistaken about what they are really looking for. Then it takes a long time, and a great deal of learning from past errors, before good partners are established. I haven't tried computer dating, but I advertise occasionally and answer ads. After the first three contacts, I realised this wasn't going to be easy. I have made some ghastly mistakes (sorry guys) but I have had some good fun, and made several firm friends. It's hard to remember now, how and when I met whom, whether we met through ads or more conventional means.

Unlike your writer, I believe it is more rewarding in the long run to enjoy whatever each new relationship brings (whether it last two dates, two months,two years or more) than pine for something permanent. Sticky ends are simply sticky ends - to be dealt with, learned from, and put aside.

Building a lasting relationship takes good judgement, intuition, luck and a lot else besides. I hope your writer finds what she needs and that readers have not been put off by her disappointments.

Sandra, High Wycombe