Mystery Dating A FEW YEARS AGO, TIRED OF BEING FIXED UP AND OF GOING OUT WITH her girlfriends, a 35-plus North Dallas professional we’ll call Stephanie tried one of those video dating services.

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Soif someone can’t enhance my life or add value to my life, and if they don’t share my values, I am not interested.” Q BVIOUSLY THERE’S NO EXACT SCIENCE TO SUCCESSFUL DAT-ing and mating. I’ve no doubt that the men reading this story will respond to that anecdote with, “What’s wrong with that? Women are often accused of being too picky, but at least we have some standards.

But as we grow older, those standards can harden into impenetrable and unrealistic barriers that screen out all but the non-existent Mr. “You can be guilty of setting your expectations too high,” says Lisa Le Master, 41, president of Fairchild Le Master Oppel, a media training and crisis communications firm, “and that’s a quick way to find yourself alone.

IT HAPPENS AROUND AGE 40, GIVE or take a few years.

You walk into a club where you used to go on dates or looking for dates, where you used to feel comfortable flirting or dancing or having a cocktail, and, suddenly, you see the obvious-you could have given birth to these kids. If you’ve never been married, or if you’re divorced and single again, there is a dating life after Nostromo, the 8.0, and Studebaker’s-and it’s not at Arthur’s.

Using his own anecdotal evidence, Albright maintains that the growing number of never-marrieds is a Yuppie phenomenon and a sign of the times.

Like the characters on “Seinfeld,” he and his single friends have been busy at work and at play.

If you didn’t like the date at the door, you just rolled the dice for another one.

Of course that’s no problem when you’re 20, and mystery dating is new and exciting.

Working the numbers through your mind, you realize that you are 15 or 20 years older than that cute guy or girl across the bar. e;rplace now, and you have entered the Twilight Zone of Dating. Like the sweet couple in Beetlejuice, forever doomed to the same old haunts, all you need is a guide to the other side to find your way.