The personal ads in everything from the TLS to the smallest local rag reveal a thousand hopes unfulfilled and lives unlived.
But they also reveal people's profound and comical capacity for self-delusion.
Lives of quiet desperation lurk beneath the surface of even the most preposterous personal ads, as Catherine and Rowan are about to find out.
Behind the quiet desperation of the personal ads there often lies some irresistible comedy.
Having finally admitted to being lonely, Rowan and Catherine find themselves at opposite ends of the table at a singles dinner party.
Having discovered that personal columns are a disaster, Rowan and Catherine's friends decide that some direct action is called for.