In research for The Singles Night that I am holding at Fernandez and Leluu in February, and also because its new year, new life, new love and all, I have started to subscribe to an online dating site. If anything, I can recruit members for the event seeing as there seems to be a short supply of decent, good looking, non creepy type blokes around.
I have started to prowl on Guardian Soulmates (as so many people I know talk about it), lurking like little Miss Red Riding Hood (innocently) in the Cyber Woods of North & East London. Fur Coat No Knickers.
For about a week, I was stalking my page to see if anyone is “viewing” my profile, or if potential dates have read my mail.
Soulmates has got a “popular” page, these are the profiles that have been most added to people’s favourites. Some of the men are hot as ever, looking like they could be your next top trouble. But beyond that, its just kind of average : (
I mailed about ten of the men there just for fun, just to make my subscription fee worthwhile. You don’t gain unless there is a bit of pain right? Nothing. I get nothing in return. Except a few very nice emails from ones I didn’t mail – like, ‘Blimey, you look nice’ from people who don’t even live in London or very weird looking blokes who want to learn more about oriental cuisines.
Ohh didn’t that bruise my ego (for about 5 minutes)? I’ve become one of those people whom I wouldn’t write back to.
Are men shy or can’t they afford the subscription fee, still stuck in the pub and they can not reply? Perhaps their keyboard is broken or they have been temporarily kidnapped by green people. Or is it simply, as it is with me when I don’t reply: they are just not into you. Nuff said.
But what can you do though, to make yourself stand out? Don’t we all sound the same, great, wonderful and looking for someone who also loves travel and reading? Don’t we all love music, food, the arts and being on top of it all making lazy strolls with dogs and stealing ice cream?
In a few words or sentences, don’t we all fit in and fill these boots? Little do we know, (and of course we know it) we are just as blind as the grandmother who sees what she wants to see underneath the red riding coat, unawares of the big bad wolf that will eat her alive, once she have let it into her doors.
Saying that, I am in conversation with someone who seems very nice but lets be honest, what would happen if we ever met? Most likely, we will have nothing in common, there will be those awful awkward silences and that will be that and the experience will be another one of those date stories to tell. I’ve got a pocket full.
I can’t resist but to take part in online dating, as the internet changes our lives so often, with social networking site, blogs, apps etc. It used to just be regular snail mail, phone calls and actual dates. Then we got email and text and skype and so on.
We have to move so fast with the times, to be part of the game that the rules have all changed because there are more and more games to be played. But no one tells you what the rules are because no one knows them until after a certain period has lapse. And you are left, a little confused, a little weird yourself (as you are stalking your inbox, their twitter account and read too much into what they are blogging about) because you are old fashioned and contemporary at the same time.
In the big scheme of things, how are we meant to react to someone we are seeing, knowing that they are “talking” to all these other people online; when do you draw the line between this and that, what is the level of acceptance and when do we know if we love someone, over react or simply in need of some me-time? There are so many new questions.
Wouldn’t it just be wonderful to meet the person of your dreams at the fruit section of a supermarket or even better at a market. Those were the days, I hope are not over.
Further Reading: The Independent Internet dating may be all rainbows in the adverts, says Rhodri Marsden. But the truth is that many more hearts are broken than matches made