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.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
music
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

News
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...

Deputy Head of Science

£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London