Sunday 18 September 2016

Love Online

Floral Heart
Well I thought today, I might share my story of the minefield known as, 'Online Dating'. Eek just the term has a tendency to leave one cold, or perhaps it's just me?

Anyway, it is most certainly, not something that I had ever, and I do mean EVER envisioned myself doing, but when both a friend and my eldest daughter suggested I give it a go, I thought I should probably reconsider. What did I have to lose after all, other than my naivety?

So I set about researching the various dating websites. Fair to say, there are rather a lot of them and choosing the right one was a bit like hooking a duck at the fairground, on the face of it they all look quite similar, but if choose the right one you might get a pleasant surprise. Okay, I realise that analogy is not a particularly great one, but please do humour me. In the end I took my chances (so to say) with

I signed up, albeit very apprehensively. For me it felt rather like walking into a crowded bar and trying to introduce myself to some random stranger, in other words, somewhat uncomfortable with a touch of scary mixed in. But, sign up I did. Next a profile photo. That was a bit of a problem as there are very few photos of me; being a mummy to Miss D and Miss L, I am more often than not behind the camera. However, this is what I used as my profile photo, please be kind...

...Okay so it's not brilliant, but it's passable. Being the 'wrong' side of 40, I figured that perhaps going with the old fashioned black and white picture would prove more flattering. I will let you be the judge of that decision. Anyway, the next step was to compose the profile 'blurb,' as I like to refer to it. You know, the bit where you basically have to sell yourself, so that your Prince Charming finds you and simply cannot resist you. Do not ask me how long it took to pen this short summary of myself, but suffice to say, it was considerably longer than my estimated 15 minutes. 'How difficult can it be?' I thought to myself, well apparently, very difficult, hence the amount of time spent on it. So, this is what I came up with...Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my online dating'blurb'.

I would love to tell you that I’m a six foot tall, supermodel whom practises yoga and lives off a diet of fruit and salad, but that would be a lie.
I am a petite brunette, whose exercise regime comprises of walking the dog (or rather being walked by the dog). I do eat fruit and salad, but I also have a healthy relationship with chocolate. I absolutely, cannot live without tea and have been known to panic buy teabags whilst ignoring all other essentials when snow hits.
I am a sociable person and get along with most people I meet. I am a very thoughtful person and help out friends whenever needed. Warning, if I like you I will probably tease you relentlessly. I am sensible and organised, but I am also crazy and spontaneous at times. If I get excited, I will jump up and down whilst clapping my hands, so if you’re easily embarrassed, either steer clear or don’t surprise me with anything too exciting.  I am notoriously clumsy, so it would be helpful if you have a quick reaction time.

If you haven’t gone running to the hills yet and would like to know more about me, then I look forward to getting to know you too.

I'll be honest with you, reading that now, I am rather impressed and somewhat surprised by how well it turned out. Fun, honest and concise. That's the secret. But of course, the question you are asking is did it work?

Well I can tell you now, yes it did! I had a lot of messages and e-mails from some very nice gentlemen, some completely dirty old men (you know the ones who make your skin crawl and send you filthy messages full of double entendres) and one boy.who was in his early 20's who didn't think age mattered (well sorry, but I already have two children, I don't need a third). However, I was very polite to them all and just sent a standard message of:

Thank you so much for your message, but I have already met someone through the site and am off on a date this week. I wish you luck in your search for love.

Well something like that anyway. Dirty old man didn't take it very well, but hey ho with his filthy approach, I imagine he is still unsuccessfully trawling the dating websites. Honestly, I am literally cringing at the thought of him, even now. Not nice!

Anyhow, once again I have drifted off topic, so to return to the point I was going to make, I wasn't lying to any of them, because I had met a lovely and very funny man, Mr. Orange Dog (he is currently in the process of deciding on a name for himself which I can use in the blog to refer to him). And if you've read previous posts, you will know that we have now been together for a year and half, yippee; not bad for a reluctant visit into the online dating world! 

My advice, if you are thinking about looking for love online. Go into it with an open mind, you may find your Mr (or Mrs) Right, you may not. Make your profile short and fun, with absolutely no lying, you'll get caught out and make sure your profile photo does look like you, posting a photo from ten years ago is just not on; using a photo of someone else is definitely not cricket! Above all, follow the safety guidelines of the dating site (boys this one goes for you too) and don't give too much away in those early chats etc. When you go for your first date, do meet somewhere public and do let friends know where you're going and when you expect to be back. Text friends when you get home so they know that you are safe, but also to give them the opportunity to get all the gossip from your night/day out ;-)

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