He was waiting for me in my local London pub, The Bells, in his tight jeans, T-shirt and trainers, looking a little apprehensive. By and large he wasn't interested in girls of his own age.
He offered to buy me a drink but that didn't seem right, so I went to the bar and got my own glass of wine. 'All they want to talk about is The X Factor and the latest celebrity gossip. Many would say the age gap between us was absurd, but I don't think either of us thought about it for a second.
After a couple of dates they start putting on the pressure. And I found his healthy, strong body very appealing.
They want a proper relationship and commitment.'I could see the attraction for him of the older woman; he didn't have to spell it out. I wondered what the next step in this unfamiliar scenario might be. He stayed over that night and fell asleep with his head nestling on my shoulder. From then on we saw one another every three weeks or so.
I always called him Pup and he generally referred to me as Miss. My partner and I had split up the previous year, after a 13-year relationship.
And not long after that, in July 2012, I had woken up to the depressing realisation that it was my 60th birthday.
Now I was single and 60 and feeling on the scrap heap.
I knew we'd never live together and that I¿d never meet her family. I would pack in as much as I could while I still had the face, the body and the desire for it. 'Maybe we could get to know each other a bit better...' And so my liaison with Pup was arranged.
But it was still a relationship of sorts' It was a bewildering landscape, but I was glad to see how free of stigma online dating had become. By this stage of my life, I was too battle-scarred to believe in knights on white chargers. Surprised and pleased, I wrote back saying I thought he was cute and that I was all in favour of younger men. Another new young friend, Simon, was 25, slim, sweet-faced and boyish, a little shy.
He was an internet entrepreneur and passionate about digital technology.
When he mentioned that he still lived at home, I felt a wicked frisson shoot down my cradle-snatching spine. 'I've never had a serious girlfriend,' he admitted. That's why we all use dating sites.' 'What would your friends say about you being out on a date with an older woman?
' 'It would be a big mark in my favour,' he grinned. ) He explained that he had divorced his wife the previous year and was attempting to open a new chapter in his life. He had texted me to say that he would get there a few minutes early, 'so that you won't have to wait and have people wonder what an attractive woman is doing alone in a hotel bar'. He sent another text moments before I arrived, saying he was sitting by the window in a darkblue blazer and light-blue shirt. I spotted him right away; he was even more handsome than in his photos, and exuded a collegiate air.
Increasingly I felt that the big-bellied, baggage-laden oldsters on the dating site couldn't compete with these tempting young men. So it was with a gleeful squeal that I found a message from him one morning: 'Hi "Raven", thank you for looking at my profile and sending a wink. Then all of a sudden I found myself unlocking the door, climbing up the stairs and dropping down on to my bed, with Charles gently pulling off my shoes.