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“That’s straight off her dating profile.” Before I could investigate this prescient but slightly worrying insight, the 11-year-old was writing another one off. “Her hobbies are making ponytails and watching cartoons!

“She didn’t tick the box for ‘willing to work with single parents’,” she pointed out. ” We ruled out anyone who couldn’t drive or sounded like they were looking for sexual adventure or didn’t like leaving the house.

Aviv Goldgeier, an engineer for the dating website Hinge, recently analyzed the share of “likes” on Hinge that went to the most-liked people of each gender.

He found that inequality on dating apps is stark, and that it was significantly worse for men.

“We’ll have none of that in this house.” What about her, I asked. We put a line through everyone who seemed never to have actually met a child.

The stuff about children having pure souls was a giveaway, the children decided.

The au pair filter: 'We ruled out anyone who couldn’t drive or sounded like they were looking for sexual adventure or didn’t like leaving the house.

We put a line through everyone who seemed never to have actually met a child.' The problem with writing a column such as this one is that there’s always a risk your words will come back to haunt you. Lately, though, it looks like I’m about to stumble again.The most likely explanation is that women, who are generally less likely to initiate contact, have a higher threshold when they do so.For many women, though certainly not all, if they are going to break with gender norms, it is only going to be for a really attractive guy.Two more turned out to be unsuitable on the grounds of enquiring about the exact dimensions of the bedroom they were going to be sleeping in or the kind of car they’d have. It’s possibly a good thing that I missed out on online dating.That left two: a calm and gentle vegan photographer from South America, and a sweet Italian who winningly confessed to never having minded children before and not knowing how to use a washing machine. I may not actually be cut out for au pair hosting either, though I still have high hopes for the vegan photographer. Then we put an X through everyone who wanted to be an au pair “because I’m not happy with my life”. We sent them an introductory message, and then we were into stage two – hope, disappointment, denial, rejection, hope again.

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