Column: Why finding Mr Right can be so wrong!
It is said that you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you finally find your prince.
But Anna Heaton had to kiss more than The Frog's Chorus in her search for true love. You see, Anna has been on 77 first dates – roughly one every 10 days – since she became single again two years ago.
Not only that, but Anna has even devised a spreadsheet, ranking them out of 20. The picky singleton says she wants to find Mr Perfect before her 30th birthday next May.
Should you tell her or should I? There's no such thing as Mr Perfect, love. From smelly socks left on the floor, to the un-emptied bin/dishwasher, there always going to be something wrong with Mr Right. You see, princes and princesses are only true in fairy tales, not true life.
The Perfect man might sweep Cinderella or Little Mermaid off her, erm, feet, but these men and women don't really exist because real life is gritty and it's challenging.
Then kids come along and things get a whole lot tougher. Throw illness, unemployment, elderly and dying parents into the mix, and it's a wonder that some relationships actually survive the onslaught. Many don't.
But that's not to say that true love can't be found. It can. Only Anna, and people like her, might have to lower their expectations a little because the path of true love never runs smoothly. But you have to give her full marks for trying, because she's used every method imaginable to meet her soul mate, including apps such as Tinder and Bumble.
Friends have set her up on blind dates and she's even appeared on ITV's dating show Take Me Out. The dating spreadsheets started out as a joke but, as her quest continued, she began to use them as a strict rating process.
So, I hear you call, what is Anna's ideal type of man? Well, she says he's got to be tall and with a rugby player's physique. She also likes a “posh boy in a pink shirt”. Well, she might just be in luck then, because a stuck-up, rugby-playing loudmouth in a pink shirt is someone I, and countless others, would definitely avoid.
Sadly, since going public about her search for Mr Right, poor Anna has found herself sailing through some troubled waters. Apparently, after revealing that she rates all her former dates on a spreadsheet, dozens of them have since got in touch to ask just how highly they have scored. Good luck with that, Anna! That'll involve a few fragile egos and awkward phone calls. Just let those those frogs down gently now.