I have a love-hate relationship with internet dating, but as I work from home, the opportunities to meet eligible dates are few and far between.
A few things have happened recently which have made me re-evaluate my life. I’m pretty happy being single, but with my children either growing or grown up, sooner or later I will find myself alone. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing in itself, I have become more aware of the effects of being alone, having witnessed it in other people, and it makes for some pretty selfish behaviour.
I guess it’s par for the course – when you live alone for an extended period of time you become self-reliant – I’m not talking about financially, but more that you become your own world, and stop thinking about others and focus only on yourself. It’s survival, but it’s not pretty.
So, with the philosophy lesson out of the way, let me entertain you with my snippets from the world of online dating!
I joined a well-known site 2 days ago. It’s been…interesting. My profile has three photos of me, and all of them were taken with either my children or my grandchildren, none of whom I wish to be paraded on a dating site, so they have been closely cropped, leaving only my face. The first conversation I had went like this:
“Hello, saw your profile. Do you have any more photos?”
“Not at the moment. Why, are three not enough for you, haha?”
“Well, none of them show your body.”
“How do I know you’re not a blob from the neck down?”
The thing is, the guy was almost totally bald and had bad teeth – cheeky git. Still, I’m not sure if his message was worse or better than the next one who asked me if I resembled Hattie Jacques!
I’m approaching 50, and most of these men are on the wrong side of it – are they really all still looking for the perfect size 10, Baywatch stereotypes?
But, I am nothing if not determined, so I persevered. I struck up a conversation with another man in his early 50s. He asked me if I went to the gym (a slightly more roundabout way of asking if I am fat I suspect). I said no, that I used to but for the past couple of years I had had back problems and the gym just exacerbated it, but that it was nothing that a couple of good painkillers couldn’t handle. I then received a lecture – a lecture – on the dangers of drug abuse, and how most painkillers are addictive, and that I shouldn’t be taking them. Not a cautionary warning, an actual, lengthy, lecture! I felt like I was back in primary school.
He received block number 3.
Internet dating is both hilarious and depressing. One man had a pint of beer as his profile picture and yet claimed that he doesn’t drink. Another had half a dozen photos of his dog licking his ear, I kid you not.
One man from London sent me an obviously cut-and-pasted message along the lines of ‘Hello beautiful, love your smile’.
I said thank you.
He then went on to extol his virtues and how much I would gain from meeting him. Sigh. I explained that although I was sure he was nice, he lived too far away and that I don’t do long distance dating, but wished him good luck in his search (he’s going to need it, believe me). Did that put him off? No, it did not. He kept on and on, telling me that he would make the distance worth my while (eeewwww), and that I’d never regret it. Desperate. As. F**k. Block number 4.
I was working over the weekend, and I had the site open in another tab. As I worked I received a notification, which I ignored until I could take a break. Then I got another, and another…in the space of five minutes I had received around 10. Ooh…I’m popular. Pride, however, comes before a fall.
They were from one man, well, I say man, but I’m not sure he even needed to shave yet.
“Hi, I saw your profile. You are very pretty.”
“You have a lovely smile.”
“H E L L O ?”
“Why are you ignoring me?”
“You are like all the others, think you are too good for me?”
“Please answer me.”
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”
After my last relationship, I set the bar very high (it was so low with the last one that I could step over it!), so I can just read these messages with a raised eyebrow and one finger poised over the ‘loser’ button. Most other times I have deleted my account by this stage, but I will persevere – if nothing else it makes for good writing material!