I’ve been told they cry off as they have met someone more suitable.’Some older women may be missing out on the chance of finding love, she thinks, because, bruised and rejected in earlier relationships, they lack the confidence and persistence to keep dating until they find a match.

After scores of dodgy dates, Cory found Kevin Parrott: ‘On our first meeting, he handed me his card,’ she recalls.

However, there can be a more subtle reason why many women who say they’d love to find a man remain single.

I was surprised afterwards when he didn’t get in touch. It turned out he’d seen some other women when he saw me and gone on to have brief relationships with them.

When those relationships failed, he came back to me and I just felt, “He’ll be off again”, so I didn’t pursue it.’Official statistics reveal that among those aged 45 to 64 there are equal numbers of men and women living alone, it is only in the 65 and over age group that the lone women outnumber men — and that’s easily explained by the fact that men die younger. ‘A man can pick from a wider pool of women — his age and under, by several decades,’ The Plankton writes.

The woman, who is divorced but says she would love to be married again, describes herself as being ‘on the wrong side of 45 with a brace of kids’ and bewails her place in ‘relationship no-man’s land’, condemned to be alone for the rest of her days.

Her outpourings, which convey with unflinching honesty the huge difficulties older women can face finding a man, have caused quite a stir on women’s internet chat forums.

‘Forty is a huge cut-off point for a lot of men,’ Ruthie explains.

‘There was just one I met and we had a fantastic evening.

Older women may also be scuppering their chances by being too picky.

In Cory’s case, she had low expectations of her initial meeting with Kevin because they seemed to have little in common: Kevin is a maths professor, while Cory only scraped maths O-level — and he’d listed ballroom dancing among his interests.

They have certainly proved a talking point among my single women friends.

‘I almost wept when I read her blog about going to a wonderful party hoping to meet someone,’ my friend Ruthie explained. You know you are being unrealistic and that it won’t happen — yet when it doesn’t, you can’t help being disappointed.’Ruthie is 47 and one of the most attractive women — of any age — that I know.

Of those who had got together within the past 15 years and were aged 40 or over when they met, four out of ten had met online.‘I keep trying to date men over the internet, but it is often hopeless,’ she says.