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Sure, the men weren’t physically my type, but I’ve always valued intelligence and charm over looks anyway.So then, why did I have an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach on the Tube ride home?

The stereotypical characters are all there: the cougar, the cocky regulars, the ones fresh on the market, the ones looking for real love and oddly, two friends who thought they’d booked tickets to speed-mating, not dating. Many of whom hit on me throughout the night, as well as made offers to accompany me home.

In my mind, it would be the equivalent of an impromptu Mad Men office party: suave men in suits and beautiful ladies in expensive shoes, each with his or her own black Amex.

I walked away with three key life lessons, which I’d like to share.

Generally, my love interests tend to be older than I am, somewhere in their thirties. So why did these men, all aged between 35 to 44 years, seem so much older?

It dawned on me that a certain level of confidence was missing, along with that youthful excitement about meeting someone new.

‘That girl over there in the corner, you can tell she’s the good one,’ says Tom as he points to a brunette, who, despite being very pretty, looks just as nice as any of the other women in the room. During one of the breaks, I catch up with the blonde, sassy 44-year-old cougar to hear how the gentlemen are doing. The 43-year-old university lecturer reveals that she’d love to go on a date and hates the internet, because of the ‘games people play’. By the second round, it had become quite obvious that the ladies had the upper hand.

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