Who’ll find love on our blind date?

Who’ll find love on our blind date? This week it’s Ruth, 68, and Dennis, 70… but will romance be on the cards?

  • Every week FEMAIL sends a couple on a blind date and asks them to report back 
  • This week Ruth, 68 and Dennis, 70 had lunch at The Blunsdon House Hotel
  • Are you a singleton who is keen to go on a blind date? Email: [email protected]
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Each week we send a couple on a blind date. This time, Dennis Wood, 70, met Ruth Barnes, 68, for lunch at the Blunsdon House Hotel in Swindon, Wiltshire.

Divorcee Ruth, of North Wiltshire, has two children and five grandchildren. Dennis is divorced with a son and lives in Swindon.


Ruth Barnes, 68, (pictured) is a divorcee from North Wiltshire

I’ve been divorced for 15 years, and just can’t seem to meet someone. I put a dating ad in the paper once, but all the presentable ones who replied were married — and the ones who weren’t, well, I could see why!

So I was keen to meet Dennis, and not at all nervous as I’m a fairly sociable person.

Dennis was waiting for me inside the restaurant, and greeted me with a kiss on the cheek. I noticed right away that he was very tall and well-dressed. He was very friendly, too, and gave me some chocolates, which was a lovely gesture.

We chatted away like old friends, talking about our various hobbies.

Dennis enjoys cooking so I was asking his advice about things to make. I chatted a little about my family, although I was sad to hear he doesn’t really have any himself or anyone close to him. So, I invited him to play whist with my regular group later that evening, which he came along to.

But while he is a lovely man, I didn’t really feel any physical attraction.

After our lunch, we sat on the hotel terrace overlooking the beautiful countryside and had coffee. But it became clear that Dennis was interested in more than friendship.

Several times he told me I was stuck in a rut and needed to change my ideas about dating. I tried not to give this much thought, but he kept touching my arm, which I wasn’t too pleased about.

Then he walked me back to my car and half-way across the carpark, grabbed me in a bear hug and gave me a kiss.

I didn’t say anything — and it wasn’t intimidating or anything like that — but I felt it was far too much, too soon. Then before I could close my car door, he bent down and kissed me again!

He did come to play whist, and again we got on fine — but as we left, I said goodnight and firmly said no to a goodbye kiss. I’d be happy for Dennis to come along to whist again and to be friends, as I enjoyed his company.

But I was taken aback that he didn’t wait to find out if I liked him before kissing me. He was just a bit too enthusiastic.

It’s a shame, because although I have many male friends, I don’t have someone to call my own —and would love that.

I was married for 35 years, and have been single for 15. I’ve had two relationships in that time, but nothing serious. I don’t do online dating, and so have muddled along, hoping someone will turn up. I do go out to places where you might meet people, but no one seems to be right.

How do you read the signs on a first date?

Reading the signs can be tricky. Dating doctor Alana Kirk says take it slowly on a first date to avoid any misunderstandings.

  • Unless you have received a clear signal to be demonstrative, don’t be
  • If in doubt, ask! This will ensure you both feel comfortable
  • If the chemistry is there, it won’t vanish, so keep it steady

Still, I keep busy — I’m retired from the Defence Academy, where I taught civil servants — but I’ve stayed fit and active.

I have a lot of interests, such as travel, gardening, reading, whist and Scrabble. I also have a son and daughter and five grandchildren, and I help them out whenever I can.

I’m happy to have gone on the date, but I’m not sure I’ll be actively looking for more. My life is very busy as it is, so I’ll just wait and see who comes along.

LIKED? Easy to get on with.





Dennis Wood, 70, (pictured) is a divorcee from Swindon

I WAS a bit apprehensive before the date, but as soon as I met Ruth that all went out of the window. She was charming and great company — we got on very well. She is very articulate and confident in her own skin, and had made an effort for the date too. She looked lovely.

As we talked, I realised that Ruth has been on her own for about 15 years. Perhaps that’s why she feels she doesn’t want to change too much — she said she thought she would struggle to cope with a new relationship.

At the same time, she seems to have a lot of people depending on her. She does a lot for family and friends, and I wonder if she gets enough time for herself.

Looking back on the date, though, I suspect I came on too strong for Ruth. Although I felt we were laughing and flirting easily during the meal, I know I can come across as very keen.

As I walked her to her car, I gave her a cuddle — but I think it made her a bit apprehensive.

The problem is that when I like someone I like to show them. But I know that with someone new, it’s sometimes better to take it slow, and I realise this is something I have to work on.

I also told Ruth that I hate being on my own, and she may have interpreted that as being needy. But it’s true. I’ve been separated for three years and am retired now too, so I really would love to meet someone to share my time with. I absolutely hate living on my own.

I do like to keep busy and I go walking, do archery, and play indoor bowls as well as golf —badly! I have an autistic son, Andrew, who lives in residential accommodation, although he spends a few weekends with me over the year.

I’ve tried internet dating but the ladies I have met are mostly widows and seem to want friendship rather than romance. They are happy to stay in their comfort zones, whereas I am looking for a more fulfilling long-term relationship.

I have a very easy-going personality and would love to date someone similar, but I have to say I’m finding it hard meeting someone at my age. We all have quite established lives, with family commitments and our own priorities already set, and it’s hard to break into that.

Many of the widows I meet don’t want to betray their husbands’ memory, while others aren’t interested in romance, and have financial security as well as family and friends to keep them company — so I wonder, why would they need a man?

I did go along that evening to Ruth’s whist group, which I enjoyed, and I’ve invited her to my archery sessions too.

In the end though, I left it with her to contact me if she wanted to — the offer is always there for her to come to archery. I really enjoyed our date and wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

LIKED? She ticked all my boxes.



VERDICT: 10/10

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