Katie Sheppard, the director of relationships at Match. Its research shows that dating is, especially for divorced women, fraught with complication, anxiety and worry. Looking for second-time love when children are a first priority is a challenge.
Nicola Lamond, Netmums spokeswoman and mother, said: Single parents describe themselves as lonely, isolated, vulnerable and worthless. There is a real sense their world has shrunk. Trying to meet people in bars and clubs can feel like a younger person's game, especially when you need a single friend and a babysitter to get there. Susan Broom is a bubbly woman with a ready laugh who is 48, single, and has now given up actively looking for a man, certainly online, and is not afraid to admit that she does feel the sadness of that.
I prefer men of my own age. But a lot of those men my age are only looking at women in their 20s or 30s. Because of its 'anything is possible', 'sweet-shop' appeal, online dating just encourages men to cherry-pick their ideal — usually younger — mate.
Which is depressing if you're a woman of a certain age. Studies across all cultures and nations have shown a consistent trend for men to have younger partners.
An unhappy pattern for plus women who want a new partner. It's an invisible band of women, they don't complain and they just get on with their lives, but actually it's tough for them. It's hard to meet people, especially in London. I'd like to try to set something up for the single people in my area, I know they are out there. A physical event where people actually meet instead of everybody finding online dating a bit of a letdown and just staying home feeling sorry for themselves.
Women also report losing friends because of the differences between single and attached lives. So it's tough because you also have to get out there and find a new bunch of female mates too, and, of course, they end up being younger than you, and then you worry about going out with them and they'll be getting chatted up and you won't!
And in a real way — not just in a 'singledom rocks' way. Because quite often it really doesn't. There are rewards, however, for remaining single, says Kate Grussing, the founder of the management consultancy firm Sapphire Partners, who believes single, childless women in their 40s and 50s have huge advantages at work. They have proved themselves, they are good at what they do and at the top of their game.
And they will have got where they are in their careers by juggling far fewer balls on the way up. When actress Lynda Bellingham, 62, met her third husband, Michael Pattemore, in she assumed "he wouldn't fancy me".
Reaching my 50s was an unsettling time, and I felt that my romantic life was over. And that kind of assumption is something which holds a lot of women back, claims Julia Macmillan. She is on a mission to help women to tackle their something love drought by doing what men do — going younger. But Dr Lean said Tinder was preferred because it was already on the smartphones of many young people, who were familiar with "performing Tinder".
The app also has a feature that allows users to change their location to a destination they intend to visit. Both researchers have also been Tinder tourists.
Dr Lean, who initially thought of Tinder as a "quick sex app", opened an account to conduct research. Visiting Ethiopia, he had matches with two local women and a traveller. Dr Condie, who also used Tinder for research purposes in Nepal, said she discovered people on the dating app who were from her home town in Britain. The travellers surveyed by Dr Lean and Dr Condie did not use the dating app only to find sexual partners. The first person Mr Neale met was a young Thai woman in Bangkok who took him to a night market frequented by locals.
I was interested in what she could tell me about their culture and what people her age do in the city. Ms Ung, 28, a finance worker, said she had positive experiences using Tinder while travelling solo across the US and Europe. However, she found that men in the US subverted the supposed anonymity of the dating app by sending messages or commenting on posts to her Instagram account, which she linked to Tinder — a phenomenon New York Magazine called Tindstagramming.
Dr Lean said Tinder presented travellers with opportunities for new social encounters, but time, the cost of phone data, safety and travelling companions were constraints.
As Lucie Robson, a year-old medical student, put it: Lucie Robson found Tinder "quite a good resource" during a five-month solo trip to Canada and the US.
But not every Tinder relationship is platonic. Mr Neale said he was intimate with one Tinder date "and the rest were like meeting normally". The safety and security implications of meeting people from dating apps is often highlighted, especially since the death of New Zealand woman Warriena Wright during a Tinder date with Gold Coast carpet layer Gable Tostee in A Tinder spokeswoman said users should make their intentions clear when travelling and follow its online safety tips such as informing friends and family of your plans and staying sober.
As Mr Neale put it: His suspicions were aroused when she asked him to leave his hotel room to retrieve a bag from her motorbike:...