Almost every single person I know has tried online dating, with a good proportion of them having tried because of my persuasion. I guess I’m quite a good advert for it though, having met my partner through one of the larger and more well-known sites (think striking something to create a flame).
It didn’t happen overnight though. In fact it took over a year of dedicated online dating. The process itself is quite a journey. One starts off in a flurry of enthusiasm and activity. As soon as you upload your profile for the first time, you literally get bombarded with contact from all sorts of people.
At first this is very exciting, and you energetically give your fingers more exercise than they’ve ever had before as you frantically type lots of replies. However, the quicker you learn to be über fussy, the better, trust me.
I wasted so much time replying to people that had written me really lovely emails, clearly having taken the time to digest my (somewhat lengthy and prosaic profile). I was flattered by their efforts and felt compelled to respond, ignoring the fact that their photos did not inspire the same enthusiasm.
In hindsight, this was very silly of me, spending precious time writing emails when I didn’t even find them attractive. I suppose I thought I should give an award-winning personality the chance to impress me. But the few people I actually met up with in this category, I knew instantly that it would go no further. Unfortunately personality alone just doesn’t cut enough mustard for me. I need to at least fancy someone a bit in order to make the progression between friendship and romance. And I was not online dating in order to make new friends.
On the other end of the scale, the (few) cute model-types usually had about two sentences to their profiles and came across as shallow as a pond in a desert.
There are of course exceptions to every rule. And there amongst the 99% of pebbles are the occasional jewels: the ones that make it all worth while.
To find said jewels, however, naturally becomes quite a process. Most people who have been online dating for a while start to view it as one of the daily chores: do the washing, cook a meal, vacuum the floor, process the new messages… Generally one establishes a particular time of day to do the task, a good hour or two at least is ideal. As you become more practiced however, you get a lot faster at scanning down your message list, or scrolling through a new bunch of mug shots, in order to hopefully pick out a potential candidate or two.
My year of online dating (or ’27 Men’ as is titled my book) saw me meet a whole bunch of characters, and is certainly mentally labelled as one of the most memorable years of my life.
The greatest thing about online dating is that you get to communicate with people that you would otherwise never cross paths with. The likelihood of my meeting my current partner randomly is about as fat as a size 0 model. We lived, worked and hung out in very different worlds. In fact, in many ways, we’re a good example of ‘when opposites attract’ – something that profile based online dating doesn’t really nurture. But more of that in another post…
For now, over and out