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I knew we were right for each other

MY EXPERIENCE of Dateline was one of renewed optimism in life, crystallised views on whom I wished to share that life with, a redressing of the balance between work and play and last, but by no means least, a lot of laughs along the way.

Following many years in single-sex education I found myself married to the first man who showed an interest in me. However good he was, the match was not made in heaven. Eventually I became a dedicated career woman. Several years on I decided life was better defined as an existence.

So, I signed the cheque and hey presto - six names. The challenge for a woman, in this age of insecurity, is to be able to lift the phone and chat to a stranger. My list rapidly dwindled as I found people were always out (or, in one case, making wedding preparations). Others treated it as a good way to chat for an hour at someone else's expense. But at last I was in touch with different people and finding out what made them tick. Often it was fascinating; at other times, well, the opportunity for an unsavoury hotline definitely presented itself.

I also waited for calls to me, but none materialised. So it was up to me to make my fun happen. Over six weeks I went through four lists of names. I met men from all walks of life and with very varied personalities and experiences. I enjoyed the meetings, and for the first time I learned who appealed to me as a companion and potential partner. Was it the computer freak, the budding Oxbridge graduate with an aversion to divorcees, or perhaps the businessman who liked to discuss underwear?

None of them, as it turned out, but I soon knew, when I met my new husband, that we were just right for each other. We met three years ago this month and are currently producing our second child. An uncharacteristically pro-active step has provided me with the things I was reluctant to acknowledge were missing in my life.

Chris, Milton Keynes