Not all of us are only interested in one thing: Heart Searching: Robert Adams wonders if he is alone in wanting to find a whole person, rather than a sex partner

READING some of these Heart Searching features makes me, as a man, feel that life holds nothing for me any more. Sentiments such as 'just as peculiar as the rest' (19 June) and 'lying seems to be endemic in these arrangements' (17 July) crop up - frequently with the word 'hopeless'. Always written from a female point of view, and in line with the 'seeking-the- earth' tone of many of the advertisements below. Who do these women think they are?

One group is described in the first of these gems as being good-looking, intelligent, humorous, more youthful than their years, and well-off too. And apparently they hunt in threes - what have I been missing?

Despite being in that mid-forties age range myself I have never met this combination of assets through a lonely hearts column. However, I have come across some fascinating, and a few delightful women whom I would have not missed for anything. Things have not worked out, but I am carrying on despite the Saturday morning blues.

It is often said that men are only interested in one thing. Well, I am quite keen on that one thing myself, but it does sometimes seem that the same applies to box-number women too. The words they choose so often say it all: the demanding tone; the emphasis on height, good looks and the trappings of success. Rarely does there seem to be any interest in meeting a whole person - that combination of mind, body and spirit - which overlooks the imperfections in us all.

This impression is frequently confirmed at that first meeting, with the awful 20-second summing up that so obviously takes place. I am clearly not the dreaded Chris from Northern Exposure, and time after time the body language says it all. Often not even a drink is offered in return, even though this is surely a way of saying 'thanks for trying' - and certainly not a green light.

Happily, it is not always like that. Charm is still alive, and 'thanks but no thanks' can be delivered in a thoughtful way. Just occasionally I do feel that it is the whole of me that is being met, and that is elevating, even if it does go no further. As it was put to me once: 'At this stage it's just a business transaction.' Not so for this respondent: a whole person, warts and all, is who I want to meet, and I do appreciate it when the objective is shared.

I suspect that, among men, I am not alone. General age, whereabouts and mental prowess apart, I am prepared to at least share half an hour with all- comers. I am free of specific ideas about the sort of person I would like to meet, as I have found it is the differences between people that make life interesting.

Not being part of the Porsche-plus- bimbo brigade I do not require a photo to be sent. I want to encounter potential friends, and I am not really bothered what my friends look like. I know that occasionally one of these relationships will develop further, but at this stage I just want to meet someone interesting to share a short time with in conversation. 'Attractiveness' (how often that word appears as an adjective) can take months to emerge.

On the positive side, what I have learnt is to expect the unexpected, and to enjoy things for what they are and where they may lead. I once received a polite 'no' in the post, which I promptly binned. I kept all the letters which eventually followed, but the first is now landfill on the London/Kent border. More than a year elapsed before that woman - a whole person if ever there was one - wrote again, because her circumstances had changed. What resulted was certainly interesting.

Another completely experience arose from correspondance over 250 miles, normally well outside my range. (Why is location so frequently left out?) Just about everything seemed to be against this one, but the initial letter from Merseyside was striking (the usual catalogue of children, crisis and culture, all rounded off with a splendid 'and I can clean out the drains'.)

It was the drains that did it. With offbeat humour like that there was certainly a whole person there, so a written friendship was settled on. And when the drain cleaner came down for a spot of southern exposure we actually agreed it would be best not to meet, as it might spoil something that was both unusual and rewarding. Circumstances changed again, so of course that meeting did eventually take place, with results that will be familiar to readers of Mills & Boon books. Sadly that one hit the rocks too, but I would not have missed it for the world.

A couple of pleas. The first is for that all-important element of humour. This can be an angst-laden business, and a smile helps. The second is for acknowledgement. Possibly as many as half of those who reply - men as well as women - are particularily vulnerable; that may be why they are using this method of finding a partner. And I for one am not able to tell which half that is.

Writing that initial response can take a lot of courage, and to receive nothing in return dents the morale further. Of course it is accepted that, for a woman, phoning may not be easy, but a brief 'no thanks' only costs 18p, and if dozens of these stamps have to be bought then that is just too bad. Those are people out there.

Sufficient encouragement has been received to be able to say that I've not given up. A bit bruised at times, but I have found myself in several completely unanticipated situations which I have both enjoyed and learnt from.

Perhaps most impertantly, a flow of people has been maintained through my life. No jillpot yet, but that could be just around the corner.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before