After a few blissful months of being completely on my own and enjoying every minute, I recently took the plunge and joined an online dating site. For those curious/sceptical/intrigued about the whole thing, let me shed some light on it...
Historically my dating pattern has generally involved meeting people at social events. When I think about it, this sounds crazy. The chances of finding my perfect match on the rare occasions that I might chat to a complete stranger? Slim slim slim. And let's be honest, this lack of choice has proably launched me into several bad relationships with the simple belief that 'it's better than nothing'. The result? I've made far too many compromises, overlooked far too many flaws and put up with way too much. So is internet dating the answer?
Before I started, I got some great advice from my best friend, who did some internet dating last summer:
- You will meet a lot of new people and have a whole lot of fun
- The first date should be mid-week for a drink (not dinner)
- If you don't like him, don't let him pay
- What you think you'll get is never what you get
- Women lie about their size; men lie about their height
- Guys always include the following photos in their profile: one doing some form of physical activity, one surrounded by female friends, random 'arty' shot, one being 'cultural'
- All's fair in love and war
Some things I've learnt along the way
- Getting a date is easy, so I can afford to be picky
- Internet dating can be a bit ruthless, so it's important to have a thick skin and not put all your eggs in one basket
- Sending the 'thanks but no thanks' text after a date is never pleasant
- The third date is definitely the clincher
- Everything my friend said above is absolutely correct
- You will get contacted by a lot of weirdos
Incidentally, before I embarked on this adventure, I went on two dates with a guy which involved the following. Absolutely hysterical in hindsight, althought mildly mortifying at the time:
- Pointing at the small scar on my eyebrow and saying "what's that scar from?"
- Turning up to our second date hungover and stinking of alcohol
- Pointing to my skin and saying "do you wear fake tan?"
- Mentioning his ex-girlfriends continuously and then having the audacity to suggest that 5 months out of a relationship might not be long enough for me
- Saying "I really like your dress. My ex girlfriend used to wear dresses like that and I thought they were really quirky."
- Texting me after the second date to say "So the third date involves sex from what I've heard".
- Telling me my accent sounded really posh
- Cancelling our third date because he was too hungover