Okay, so I know I said I will never ever do the internet dating thing again…(or maybe I didn’t use words THAT strong). But I did say I was careful. Once bitten and all that jazz.
But you know, there is no harm in browsing is there? So guess what I have been up to? Oh, shock and horror. There is still a huge stigma attached to internet dating (or maybe that is not the correct term, as technically it is just a way of getting introduced to new people). What is wrong with you? I know, I know. Courtesy of my friend J who will remain anonymous: “The best way to meet the love of your life is through friends”, but honestly my friends ain’t running to my assistance or they are looking for someone special as well.
Also, I am not desperate, but would like to meet some new people and see where it takes me.
So maybe I need to explain the process to the uninitiated… Depending, of course, on which site you join, you are normally given a free profile, where you can upload a photo, answer a few questions about your ideal match and say a few words about what you are like and what you are looking for and voila! you are ready to go.
Unfortunately, most sites only let you browse without a subscription. You can add people as ‘favourites’, send them one liners like ‘I’m interested so far, tell me more about yourself’ or ‘I’d love to respond but I don’t have a subscription yet’. And of course you cannot share any contact details with someone who doesn’t have a membership. So if you really want to have meaningful, more than one-liner conversations, then a membership is a must.
The other important thing is the ‘your ideal match’ section. Here you have to list all the characteristics you would like in your ideal match. And you can be very specific, hair colour, smoking habits, drinking habits, how much money the person have (wealthy/fat cat) or just ‘any’. All physical characteristics of course! These criteria are used by the computer to match you to prospective buyers (sorry browsers) and come up with an ideal match!
But you have to be careful, because if you do not block people who do not match your non-negotiable criteria, your are sure to find a few married men and players adding you or sending you messages. I got 2 messages from 2 men within 24 hours, one’s user name was actually something like ‘married_man’ looking for a relationship, not a ‘one night stand’.
So now you are (really) ready to go. Just click on ‘my matches’ to find the most likely matches, and you can start browsing through……1 000 matching profiles!! It’s like going to a PEP store, an assault on the senses. Where to look and where to click…
And so, what has my experience been so far? Well, I actually met 2 men. One just finished 50 shades of grey, so my checklist will now include to exclude that. I am nobody’s guinea pig! And the other guy whom I met at the Keg had his cuppa tea and could not stop trying to touch me. Like he was a child in a candy store. Thank goodness he was not drinking alcohol!
Otherwise I am just chatting to people. There are some strange, strange people and very, very ordinary ones as well. Some of the guys’ ‘about themselves’ read like a story book… One guy’s profile looked quite interesting (sensitive guy), but when I sent a message, he came back ‘throwing a few point out’ like that his divorce left him in debt and he hasn’t fully recovered financially (did I look like a gold digger???), that he is 53 years old (yeah, I can read and count incidentally) and that he is a photographer and that if I get jealous easily I am not the one for him. You gotta be kidding me??
The clever guys all appear to have a huge chip on their shoulders. “I am so clever, I can actually google a quote!” And then there are loads without pictures. To me it says that you are either really ugly, very shy or worried that a girlfriend or wife sees the picture!!
For now, I will continue browsing. Maybe a few random messages, just for fun (like the one I sent to someone who added me in Melbourne, offering a map book). And giggle when I get told that I remind someone of a flower… Maybe if I look past the spelling mistakes, the boasters and all the comrades athletes, I may find someone interesting to have coffee with???