Who’ll find love on our virtual date? This week it’s Marina, 40, and Fred, 43

Marina, 40, has been single for three years with one son

Marina, 40, has been single for three years with one son

MARINA, 40 

Dating Past?

I broke up with my long-term boyfriend, who is the father of my child, a few months after giving birth. We tried to make it work but we had different goals.

I have used dating apps but weeding out no-hopers takes so much time.

Pre-Date Nerves?

I’ve never been on a blind date before and I freaked out beforehand.

VITAL STATISTICS

Single for three years with one son, aged four.

CURRENT ROLE

Freelance photographer.

WOULD LIKE TO MEET

A man who spoils his woman. I’m not a gold-digger but I have no time for men who say, ‘Let’s split the bill.’

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I planned my outfit from the waist up, choosing to wear a designer turtleneck top, which I found in a charity shop. It goes well with my black hair.

First Impressions?

I was surprised. Fred seems younger than 43. He’s blond and looks a bit like a professor, but he isn’t my type. I’m more attracted to men who are fairly well built, and I could sense that Fred is one of those guys who lets his partner decide what they’re going to do as a couple.

Easy To Talk To?

Our conversation was stilted because there was a delay on Fred’s computer. We had to talk quite loudly to hear one another, too. But we did enjoy talking about food. Fred is French while my family is from Russia, so we swapped cooking tips.

He is comfortable in the kitchen, which I like in a man. I’d prepared a pot of tea and nibbles, but didn’t get a chance to eat as we were talking so much.

Embarrassing Moments?

I’m no gold-digger… but I think men should pay the bill

MARINA’S VERDICT: 5/10 

LIKED? Fred is sparkling and witty company.

REGRETS? None. I’m glad I tried it.

SEE HIM AGAIN? No.  

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Fred was shocked that I haven’t seen any of the Harry Potter movies. He then took a sharp breath when I confessed that I haven’t seen Star Wars, either. I’d rather read a book.

Did Sparks Fly?

Not from my end. And I don’t think flirting is something that comes naturally to Fred.

Would you like to meet in person?

No. I’m decisive and won’t let anyone be mistaken about my feelings towards them. We didn’t talk about seeing one another again as my son came into the room during the date. It was a natural ending to a great hour of conversation. I’d love to have Fred as a friend.

What do you think he thought of you?

I think he liked me. He seemed to be trying to impress me with his culinary talents.

Would your family like him?

They would know he’s too quiet for me, but Fred is lovely and I hope this experience gives him the courage to go out into the dating world.

It has definitely made me feel more confident about finding someone in 2021.

Fred, 43, has been divorced for four years and has four sons

Fred, 43, has been divorced for four years and has four sons

VITAL STATISTICS

Divorced for four years, with four sons aged 16, 14, 11 and eight.

CURRENT ROLE

French teacher and translator/interpreter.

WOULD LIKE TO MEET

Someone who knows how to cook and will do their share of the housework.   

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I couldn’t stop her talking (and talking) about places she likes 

FRED’S VERDICT: 8/10 

LIKED? Marina is smart and attractive.

REGRETS? None — it was a nice experience.

SEE HIM AGAIN? Yes. 

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FRED, 43  

Dating Past?

I married my first proper girlfriend after two years of dating in 2003. Before that, I didn’t date seriously, and since our separation and divorce I haven’t got back into dating.

Pre-Date Nerves?

I was apprehensive because I haven’t done anything like this before, but how else are you supposed to meet someone during a pandemic? Fortunately we were both rather nervous.

First Impressions?

Wow! Marina lit up my screen and was warm and bubbly. She is a very attractive woman with long, dark hair. 

While our internet connection wasn’t great, she asked plenty of questions which helped to break the ice.

Easy To Talk To?

Marina is someone who can talk about any subject. She loves urban life and living in London, while I’m a country boy and adore living in Yorkshire. 

At one point I couldn’t stop her talking (and talking) about the West End and art galleries and museums she likes to visit.

We’re both big foodies, which is a plus for me. I am French and most British people turn green at the thought of snails, tripe and offal. 

Not Marina. She told me how much she loves turkey heart, which really surprised me.

Embarrassing Moments?

No. And I liked that Marina didn’t bat an eyelid when I explained how my parents prefer to serve ox tongue — cold with some mustard. Most women would gag.

Did Sparks Fly?

It didn’t feel like it. However, there wasn’t a pause in the conversation.

Would you like to meet in person?

Yes, that would be nice. While I’ve realised I’m still not ready for a relationship, I would be open to seeing Marina in person.

What do you think she thought of you?

Ideally she would think that I’m an interesting and friendly person.

The date ended rather abruptly when her son woke up and she had to check he was OK. 

I wasn’t sure how to finish the date, and we didn’t know whether we could exchange numbers. 

I’d have carried on talking, but on reflection it seemed like a natural end.

Would your family like her?

Yes, I think so. Marina is very knowledgeable and I think they would like that.  

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