Friday, 25 June 2010


I've officially been online dating for a whole week now. Well, I haven't really in the sense that I haven't been on a date yet (the ettiquette appears to be a lot of back and forth messaging and covert sizing up of people first), but I'm out there and it's a work in progress. Maybe three or four interests so far, all with fairly interesting degrees and quirky profiles. I've mainly gone for mid-twenties, good looking (but not scarily adonis-like) cuties with a hint of geekiness and wit to their profile. Only one has already asked me out for a drink outright, but I'm happy with a bit of web chat for a while. I suddenly feel a bit self-conscious about the whole blind (well, I've seen a picture - visually impaired?) date thing. What if I'm not very interesting? What if they're nothing like they say? What if it's a total clash of peace-loving, unwashed barefoot hippie and high-maintenance me looking for a nice cocktail and a great view? I know I'll be employing my failsafe 911 tactic of having a friend on call to text if I need them to call me with 'bad news' so I have to dash out of there. In some ways you've got nothing to lose by going on such a date because you haven't had a chance to get excited about them as a person, but I also haven't had one in about a year and a half, so I feel rusty and useless.

Out of the 32 messages I've received from guys on the site, only four were from people I'd added as favourites, and the range of email subjects ranged from the standard 'Hi' to the more bizarre 'sup, fellow aspiring writer' and 'fancy taking the kitkat challenge?' I didn't stop to find out what the challenge was but I'm pretty sure it was a bit unsavoury. Lots of people have got the big comedy thumbs down (sorry overly sensitive readers,* but I'm not on there to be nice to weird strangers.) I haven't recieved any thumbs down but I have had a couple of my messages go unanswered (worse, I think). So it's not like I've whooshed in there and stolen lots of hearts, but it's ticking along quite well; it's heartening to log in now and again and see messages waiting. I'm still surprised by how great some of the men on there seem, very funny and successful - I think a lot of people are just there looking for a bit of a flirt in a city where much of your out of work time is spent wedged in a train with someone's armpit in your face, or being heckled by tramps. It's not the most romantic way I've been wooed, and it's fairly businesslike keeping on top of your mails and who's added you as a favourite, but there's something to be said for organised fun. Less painful uncertainty and less at stake, in some ways. I'd be interested to hear anyone's experiences of internet dating, all romances and horror stories welcome...

Ones to keep at bargepole distance:

Anyone! Who uses too much! Punctuation!!! Just sounds desperate/amphetamine-laced.

Or an overload of smiley faces. :) ;) :P Be a man.

The seriously, no-way-on-this-earth-are-you-a-day-under-forty thirty year old who just messaged me saying I had great pictures, but 'hope you don't run screaming from mine!' Sign me up.

Someone who wrote a boring three-liner about not knowing what to say in these messages, trying out the weather and plans for the weekend, before concluding that both approaches were rubbish. Yup.

Anything with too much self conscious LOLing at their own sentences. Nothing that funny - this is a weird pick-up scenario, so just try to sound as normal as possible. Shouldn't be too hard. Haha. Lol. Rofl.

*For the record, I am aware that I'm not perfection personified myself, but I don't think I should be agreeing to a date with people who come across as awkward, basement-dwelling or psychopathic just because it's nice to be nice. A couple of people have pulled me up on this, but I don't settle for average in my normal dating life, so I haven't lowered my standards for this approach. Plus so many males (the gender most critical of my attitude in this respect) treat women they're dating far worse when they do know them. I see it as being smart and assertive to be straight about what I'm looking for. I'm not just hunting for a perfect Action Man type, I'm scanning for a glimmer of humour and intellect, so it's not entirely superficial. If you've got a nice face and don't LOL your way through life, you've got a shot. Over and out.

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