I've never tried Internet Dating before.
Firstly I've always either been in a relationship (hardly ever the case) or fairly happy being single, looking to meet someone but in no particular rush for it to happen ( mostly the case).
And secondly because the last time I was single was back in the summer of 2009 when internet dating was still something of a dirty word. I did consider it for about two whole minutes when I first moved to London in September 2009, as I literally didn't know anyone. But I soon started uni and two new jobs, started meeting people, making friends and by the end of October 2009, I had started a relationship with a girl I was at uni with that would last for the next 3 and a half years. So I didn't need to.
haha. Now I haven't needed it before and I'm still not convinced that I need it now. However, I've been single now for over 12 months - which is a long time - and it would be nice to meet some girls, go out on a few dates and potentially meet someone I could be in a relationship with.
So I thought why the hell not. Maybe Internet Dating is the answer? After all in the UK 1 in 4 relationships now start online and this is the Year31Project! & what is it all about if not trying new things and meeting new people? Plus it might be good for me because the two things I really struggle with are, meeting people and the initial interaction. It's hard to meet girls! Where do you do it? And even if I do I'm always way too nervous to talk to a girl I fancy. Once I get going I tend to be alright. And I think I'm ok at dates? It's just the actual asking them out that I find near impossible! So maybe Internet Dating can help me with that?
I'm not really sure where to start? There are hundreds of sites but I don't know which t go with so I go with the one that I've heard of - although my sister says that it's started to go a bit seedy and I'm not really looking for that but it's the one I know of - and I sign up. You have 1 month, 3 month and 6 month options and although the longer the subscription the better the value, I'm a bit poor at the moment - having just started a new job as a swimming teacher and taking a show up to Edinburgh - and I'm really not sure if this is for me so I decide to go for the 1 month option (which was originally £30 but I somehow managed to sign up for half price).
So I sign up and start to fill out a profile. This is so awkward. You have to sell yourself but without sounding like your'e showing off. Which is really tricky because of course really you are!
I add some photographs:
I'm "famously" unphotogenic - I don't think that's actually a word? but you get what I mean - and so those are literally the only half decent pictures of me that I have.
Photographs uploaded I start to fill in the about me section. Some of it is easy enough. Tick some boxes. Height, weight, education etc. Some less easy, like how do you choose whether you are unattractive, average, attractive, very attractive? Isn't that for other people to choose? Anyway. I'm not "attractive"? I don't look like David Beckham or Ryan Gosling. But looking around at the men of London I reckon I'm better looking than a lot of them? So I just skip that one and carry on. Non-smoker, no pets, lives with roommates etc.
Then it's the really tricky part. The "personal advert". The section where you really need to sell yourself! So I think about going with the "quirky" approach. I want to describe myself as: always stands on the balls of his feet when he wees, can't walk past a mirror without pulling a face, loves singing and dancing but only when he thinks no one is looking etc. But I bottle out. I worry that this will either attract the wrong type of person or that people will be disappointed when they meet me because I'm not "quirky" enough in real life. (I had this problem in an interview once when apparently the personality in my CV didn't quite come out in the interview).
So I go with a "safer" approach. Tell them that I'm a writer. That I'm a swimming teacher. That I'm training to swim the channel. I talk about my interests: films, going to gigs, climbing etc. I try to add a little humour but it probably ends up sounding a little dry? But at least it's done.
And now what?
I sit and wait. Nothing happens.
I do a little search and I'm pleasantly surprised! There appears to be a lot of intelligent and attractive young women looking for love in London. But being a bit new to all this and not knowing how best to start a conversation with somebody I find "interesting" - my main problem in life and a good reason to be on here in the first place - I put off contacting anyone for today and get some sleep.
The next day I do a few more searches. I search for dark haired girls aged 22 to 32 who are shorter and weigh less than me. There are a lot and several that I find physically attractive. I look through their profiles and I find half a dozen that also seem interesting / appear as though I could get on with.
I send some messages (I try not to write too much but probably fail). I sit and wait again. Nothing happens! I get on with my day. Go to work etc. Still nothing happens. No one has replied. A girl sends me a message. This is nice. Helps boost my ego a little. She seems nice but I don't find her particularly attractive and her profile doesn't say much. I don't reply. I don't want to be rude. I do feel a little rude but I don't know what to say to her so I just say nothing. This is brutal! I don't know if I like this?
I wait to see if I get any replies from the messages I sent and while I'm waiting I decide to send a couple more messages. I thought I would be enjoying this? And I hoped that it was going to help me meet people. So far it's not much fun and less than 48hrs in I feel like giving up!
I won't. Not just yet! I've signed up for a month, so I'm going to use it for a month. I'll do some more searches, send a few more messages and hopefully find someone / some people willing to go out on a date with me. Because after all I'm a catch... right? But one thing I know is it's really unlikely that I'll be renewing.
I don't think Internet Dating is for me. If it helps you then great, go for it! & who knows what's going to happen over the next 4 weeks. It might help me too? But my initial reaction is that I'd rather get ignored and rejected in real life, I don't need it in cyberspace too!
But I would like to meet some nice girls who I can take out on dates. Maybe Internet Dating is the way or maybe it can help me to build up my confidence a little so that I can ask out people in real life? But whatever happens, wish me luck because although I'm not in a big hurry, I have been single for a little while now and it would be nice to meet somebody. So hopefully it happens for me at some point.
HAPPY INTERNET DATING!
(Hopefully it works better for you than it is for me).