A few weeks back I decided to give online dating a whirl. I was clear about what I was looking for, what I brought to the table and I did my due diligence. I spoke to friends who had used online dating as a way to meet their partners, listened to the pros and cons and chose my dating site.
I should add that I gave it a whirl about two years ago…for a week! I joined a site suitable for folk who like the countryside and it was going swimmingly until a chap sent me a photo of him and his pet ferret (and no that’s not a euphemism!), so I came off. So not for me!
But, online dating makes sense to me. I work from home, I don’t have many opportunities to meet new people and therefore my social group is tiny!
Decision made. I signed up to Match.com. The questionnaire when you sign up is quite interesting but it’s terrifically hard coming up with something witty and meaningful in your blurb, not to mention picking a flattering but honest profile photo. This is so alien to the way I dated in the past. I used to go on a night out, flutter my eyelashes and job done. It’s all changed!
I had already decided that I wasn’t going to take any of it personally and that it was just a bit of fun. It’s a good job really! The way it works is a chap looks at your profile, if they like the look of it can ‘favourite’ you, ‘wink’ at you and/or send a message.
Day one I couldn’t get any work done as my phone kept pinging with all these chaps winking at me. I have to say that although I’m no oil painting I’m not a swamp thing either. I was shocked by the ages of some of these guys. I had chaps in their 70s winking at me….ewwww…..not to mention toy boys looking for a sugar mummy!
My first observation at this new found dating game is that there has to be a market in teaching folk how to take a selfie. There were topless guys, chaps in bed, creeps who’d clearly cut the wife out the photo and some extremely strange ones with one eye facing the camera and the other one coming back from the shop with the bin bags!
On the plus side when there’s nothing on the telly it’s quite funny going online and taking a peek at who’s looking for love. It’s a bit like shopping online for shoes. You can pick tall ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones, ones with hair, baldy ones and every other kind in between. What’s harder is not to nose at what’s going on in the background of the photos. I was quite distracted by the fact some of them never bothered to clear work surfaces of dirty crockery, take down the ironing board, or at least put on a clean shirt!
You can do a search for your perfect match and a selection box of likely candidates comes up. It was quite disconcerting that out of tens of thousands of possible matches, a friend of mine came up as my perfect match every time I went online! He’s certainly handsome, funny, charming, well mannered and interesting but it’s not exactly something you can bring up in conversation “by the way I hear Mork is looking for his Mindy”. I’m the last person he’d want to date. Now I know he’s looking, I’ll have to find him someone glorious. I’m surprised he’s single as he really is a bit of a dude.
After about a week I had my first message. Match deleted it before I even had a chance to read it as it featured inappropriate language and it was a starter for ten! One chap messaged “you’re stunning, I wouldn’t last five minutes” Seriously! Is this something he wished to brag about! How weird is that for an opening line?! One chap, who said he was in his forties but had hair so white he looked like Santa, was quite funny in his messages but by the time I’d found my glasses, worked out how to read the message on my phone and then thought of some witty retort he’d moved on to the next thing. It would appear I have lost my ability to banter, so that went no further.
Eventually a chap ‘favourited’ me. I took a look at his profile and he had a nice face. He looked honest. His profile was interesting, he seemed to like the same things I did. He said he owned his own business, liked nothing more than watching motorsport live (one of my very favourite things to do) and taking trips to London to go to the theatre and as our interests seemed to match up I ‘favourited’ him back. I can’t tell you how hard my heart was thumping with nerves! Next he ‘winked’ at me, which frankly is just weird, we’re not twelve, nor are we builders on a building site and then he emailed!
We emailed back and forth a couple of times, mostly about the weather! Weird! and then he went straight for it…Would I like to meet for a cup of coffee? Gulp! My first proper date in 25 years! ‘Bugger it’ I thought, it’s just an opportunity to meet a new human and have a cup of coffee, so I said yes. I’d read all the guidelines on keeping safe so we agreed on a date and time and I picked the location, M&S cafe in Glasgow. Nice and public, pretty harmless I thought.
His very next question was “What kind of kisser are you”. I’d only just learned his name was Jack. Who asks that sort of thing? He hadn’t even asked about my hobbies, what part of the country I was from, what my opinion about BMW’s was. Nothing. Dating has definitely changed since I was last on the scene! I thought that was just weird and needless to say, didn’t go on the date. Oh and in answer to his question, an out of practice one! It’s been YEARS!
For the next week the number of inappropriate messages, favourites and winks was so ridiculous, that for now, I’ve de-registered.
I’m not disheartened though. Somewhere out there is a chap who loves motorsport, is willing to listen to me witter about the lovely autumn colours on the trees, will sit with me under a blanket and watch the stars, is not bothered by my inability to cook a decent meal and who shares my love of laughter. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
What I’ve discovered in my search is that what he must have, above everything else, is kindness, a sense of humour and manners!
Wish me luck!