Dating After 40? Just Be The (Young, Beautiful) Product They're All Looking For!

Need proof? "Six months later, we had a storybook wedding in the south of France. It's a numbers game - it's as simple as that. I'm no beauty, but there's someone out there for everyone." Well, then:

Divorced, fed up with bad relationships that went nowhere, apparently absolutely determined to find a man, Paula Rosdol decided to get scientific (or at least pseudoscientific.) "Working in management consultancy, I was used to solving challenges. So I decided to go on 100 dates - I was going to work the odds. I devised a marketing plan, whereby I was the product and my target audience was an intelligent, cultured, compassionate, open-minded and financially secure man (I was much more flexible on looks and age).

How to market her "product?"

I worked backwards - what would that man be attracted to? I "packaged" myself with a midlife makeover, internally and externally. A stylist friend fixed my clothes. I took a trip to the make-up counter. I toned up. I had my teeth whitened. And I read a lot of books on how to be your best self. What every woman can do, and it costs nothing, is to change her energy. Looks are much less important if you have great positive energy. I learnt that men are attracted to three things: beauty, health and youth (it's all about procreating). If I could make the best of myself and feel good about me, I would really have it going on. And I set myself a deadline - I had to find a man by 50.

So in case you're keeping track: live up to men's expectations of youth and beauty, be flexible about their own. A "numbers game?" Maybe. What the story demonstrates is, rather, that if you put all your energy into meeting a man, well, chances are after more than a hundred you just might. But, by her own admission,

Dating, and putting on all the make-up, was time-consuming. It became my social life - I'd date after work in my wind-down time, so it didn't feel like a chore. I stopped telling most people because they thought I was too intense and driven.

Intense and driven is one thing: that little matter of life happening whilst making other plans is quite another.

Now, look. Clearly the woman succeeded at her goal, which is, I guess, terrific (to paraphrase Crimes and Misdemeanors). And I understand that dating isn't easy. But the thing is: Rosdol is now a self-styled dating guru, whom women pay for help charting a similar course. I appreciate the irony of a successful career woman using her business acumen to get what really matters - the MRS! But advice that makes man-nabbing a sole life's goal at the expense of friendships and other interests is of dubious value at best and, for those certain few without the author's iron-willed follow-thru and teflon sense of self-preservation, seriously demoralizing for anyone who "fails." Wait, I'm being too hasty: even unsuccessful dates can be valuable!

you don't want to be so focused on "the One" that you miss out on people who can enhance your life. I used the experience to quiz my dates on what they found attractive in women - my market intelligence - and I adapted ­accordingly. Men like confidence, though not unapproachability; graciousness, not pushovers.

Or not.

What It Feels Like To Find Mr Right After 125 Dates
[TimesUK]