Once you've embarked on the dating rat run in America, there are no short cuts to the cheese.Part of the problem was that, as a short, balding, William Hague-lookalike with no visible means of support, I wasn't considered much of a catch.
I've met Leah Mc Laren and she's an absolute knockout.
In Manhattan she'd be snapped up in a New York minute.
I always found the experience of being on a date in New York extremely uncomfortable.
The trouble is, like most Englishmen, I'm very easily embarrassed.
My father, the late Michael Young, was a life peer and I applied for an American Express card in the name of "Hon Toby Young" in the hope of impressing my dates.
Unfortunately, when the card arrived it was in the name of "Hon Young".When American women complain that there's a shortage of eligible men - and Leah Mc Laren is no exception - what they mean is there's a shortage of tall, unattached, rich men who still have their own hair.I tried everything to turn myself into a more eligible bachelor.As Leah Mc Laren writes in her article, "In North America, it is generally understood that men chase women, and women, in turn, leave themselves open to being chased." But the word "chase" scarcely does justice to the ridiculous obstacle course that has to be completed before an American girl will go to bed with you.At the end of the first date - which invariably cost me an arm and a leg - I was lucky if I got so much as a kiss.This involved convening a "focus group" of six American women between the ages of 18 and 35 and having a professional market research consultant lead them in a discussion of my shortcomings while I sat behind a two-way mirror. The low point came when the consultant asked them if they'd ever consider having sex with me.