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 finding love can still happen. A group of psychologists at a
Canadian University have looked into whether people’s dating behaviour would change when worried about the risk of a virus - would people shy away from chasing romance if subconsciously aware of a potential health risk, or would the natural human desire to find a partner prevail?
Their work, combined with other psychological studies conducted during the pandemic, offers a window into how the crisis appears to have affected
off so that was that.”
“But it was a good feeling to know that through our agency, members found their soulmates, and lived happily ever after, I hope. Some wanted romance others just friendship. And I don’t recall any tricky customers in terms of problem relationships.”
When much of the industry went online in the early 2000s the Bradshaw’s paper led services all but became redundant. Few people wanted to communicate by mail when websites were more immediate. Natural Friends went digital, but, says Barbara, “the most common problems related to the website. Those that we could not solve we had to refer to our web designers. As people had different computers it was not always possible to fix things.”
Then in 2003 James was diagnosed with a brain tumour and though
dating behaviour. And it points to ways in which people can date more effectively in the future, as well as form deeper and stronger relationship bonds.
Pre-pandemic it was common for people to use apps to continually move from person to person. But as social restrictions came in, people have been spending longer getting to know each other in the virtual world before meeting. This has meant that when they did finally get to meet in person, the encounter carried more importance. All’s well that ends well, hopefully.
successfully removed it left him virtually blind. The business continued for a while before being sold on.
Maybe the Bradshaws didn’t have the digital expertise or appetite to guide Natural Friends into a new future but it was certainly in good hands while they were the owners, and it seems some of their customer care may have disappeared.
“Even years after finding a buyer for the business, which has been sold on again I believe, people are still getting in touch, hoping as a last resort, that James and I still exist and can solve their problem.
The main complaint is that there is nobody from whom they can get a response either by email or phone or letter. As I cannot help, I suggest getting in touch with the Office of Fair Trading.”
When online
dating goes
wrong . . .
A West Suffolk businessman tells of his experience trying to find romance on the internet
Eleven years I ago I found myself single again after 20 years of marriage and a further relationship of seven years.
I never liked being single, even as a young man, and as a 50-year-old it wasn’t any more appealing. The thought of returning to the dating scene filled me with dread. Office romance, as the boss, was out of the question.Dating sites seemed a better bet than trawling pubs and clubs.
Having researched a few free sites, I entered into correspondence with a promising lady in her early 40s who seemed genuine and looked like a model - almost too good to be true.
We arranged to meet in a gastropub near Chelmsford for a dinner. I arrived early, not wanting to keep a lady waiting, and positioned myself in the bar keeping an eye on the door, waiting for this goddess to appear.
One or two single ladies came in but none looking remotely like the photograph.
To my surprise a lady approached me.
“You must be John?” Oh
“That’s me, and you’re . . .
“Yes” she replied "I’m Carol”.
“Ooh, I didn’t recognise you,
I’m so sorry” I stammered,
“Would you like to sit down?”
I gestured to a chair and
pulled it back for her to sit
“I had facial reconstruction a few years ago after that photo was taken, but looks aren’t everything are they?” On the one hand I felt very sorry for her but why post such a misleading photo? It was the difference between fancying someone and not. We ordered a drink and chatted further. I decided we would have dinner as planned then make a polite exit.
It turned out she lived on a farm and had lots of pets. Personally I’m no pet lover (yes, I realise this is a mortal sin in Britain).
I noticed, when the subject of animals came up, she started to scratch one of her legs then an arm.
“I think my dogs must have fleas”. Dinner was out of the question, I needed an exit strategy.
“It might be the meds I’m on though” she offered helpfully then twitched her head.
Oh lord, half mad as well.
By some divine intervention my phone pinged. “Oh no, its work, I’m really sorry but I need to go in.” I apologised and fled.

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