One Week in the Life of An Internet Dating Singleton.

Posted on April 26, 2015


Internet dating is a tease and flows into your life with varying degrees of success. Sometimes it lifts you up, makes you feel good, and takes the edge of those exceedingly fun evenings in with Mum and Dad.

But it can also be a let down.

From guys meeting you and telling you to your face you don’t look quite like your pictures (happened to a friend), to being cancelled on come the day (happened to me. Lots). To – worse – being ignored altogether, like you never existed. As if you’d imagined being asked out for dinner! Internet dating, whilst useful – progressive even – it’s definitely there to test you.

Take Mr Portuguese for example. He was doing everything right – leaving me voice notes on whatsapp (proving he’s real and not afraid to talk to me), offering to teach me a language that I actually need to learn (handy = bonus points), and being quite cute and funny, sending me photos of him in the barber shop the morning of our ‘date’ and then another one of him looking freshly barbered.

Sadly, it was my turn to cancel on someone that day. I felt bad about it, I also knew in my heart of hearts I wasn’t going to fancy him, so the whole experience didn’t seem worthy of interrupting my work flow (very little does). I still wanted to see him though, if nothing out of loyalty to my commitment and also because of the element of wondering ‘what if’. I told him as much, and said that I don’t want to be one of those tinder dates that seems promising and then quickly fizzles out. He seemed disappointed. He took it in his stride, but the enthusiasm in his tone was gone. I’d become ‘one of them’.

Then there’s Stranger Sam.

He’s mysterious. Attractively so. Not aloof. But he intrigues me. I liked his story. He works in a factory for the time being whilst being back near his family, but his passion is sound engineering. Likes music with high levels of GSOH. We hit it off straight away. It felt like a meeting of minds. Two lost souls in the shire, looking for a mate. I could imagine us staying up late at night putting the world to rights and having lots and lots of really good sex.

It felt too good to be true (which means it usually often is, right?). I know absolutely nothing about him to be honest.

Stranger Sam only has two photos on his online profile which is uncommon – most people have up to 5 – and his Facebook page (without being friends with him) doesn’t reveal much at all. He’s clearly a classically good looking guy, the type that would have been super popular at school, lots of girlfriends etc – but one picture is in black and white (which can often be hiding something IMO, although really that doesn’t matter to me) but in the other, as Anna put it – he could either be incredibly hot or depending on which way his accent swings, possibly not. Which alerted me to a new hidden catch i’d not preconceived. But don’t get me wrong, none of this really mattered to me. I guess I was hooked. There was just something about this guy, which I couldn’t put my finger on.

The day before we were due to meet after two weeks of him regularly getting in touch he cancelled on me due to ‘work’. Irony? But he said:

“If i’m not too much in the doghouse, could we try again next weekend when i’ve got some more time?”

Unlike Mr Portuguese, Stranger Sam wouldn’t leave me any voicenotes. I left him one once – we’d gotten in the habit of chatting most days and saying ‘good morning’ or sending funny one liners and strangely he never sent a voice note back. He said he didn’t like talking on the phone as he suffers from crippling shyness. The following weekend he was too busy again, and well – that’s the last i’ve heard of him. He was super super keen, and then ‘poof’ he’s gone like Superman. One can only assume he found himself another lady shaped ‘distraction’.

Cyber break ups suck just like real world ones, but the disappointment rarely last more than a few days. I decided to re-join OKCupid. It’s free and it opens up a whole new world. I’ve kinda exhausted the best of what’s on offer in the shire.

OKC – I’ve got a love/hate relationship with it, but in this last week it’s been quite the success!

Just this morning in fact, I thought i’d struck gold when a cute, burley blond formerly from Greenwich (where I live) got in touch with a rather complimentary opening gambit. Modestly complimentary, and yet tantalisingly adept at chatting up girls to boot! Turns out he used to work for the Government and now he’s started his own business. He was intrigued by mine. Result! This is just the sorta guy i’m looking for – someone down to earth, smart and with great credentials. Who could understand my new world. The catch? He lives on the south coast these days.

Bringing the search closer to home, there’s prospect in the form of Good Clean Fun.

Slightly shorter than my usual preferred choice (but still taller than me) his opening gambit made me laugh out loud. Sold! Our forthcoming banter is really quite fun. Hilariousness rolls off the tongue and before I know it we’re talking about his mad uncle Harold whom I supposedly picked up in a bar the night before. Can he have a serious conversation though? His photos are good and varied. He seems like a good egg. And possibly quite attractive to boot. We swap numbers. Nearly a week later, we’re chatting on whatsapp about an alternative universe where he’s Madge from neighbours, and this is the first time she’s heard from her long lost love Harold (me). It’s weird. But i’m laughing my socks off and I find myself describing in detail how I’d been locked in a dungeon for years with a scarecrow for company. It makes no sense and probably isn’t funny to anyone else but we’re pissing ourselves.

Then at the start of the week, as a distraction from Stranger Sam’s disappearance I found myself spending an evening online with Mr Song Lyrics. He’s young – 28 – a bit too young for me these days. But he’s cute. And seems posh. And like he could own his own car. He keeps responding to me with what appears to be really quite strange ways of talking. He calls me Girl quite a lot at the end of a question, and says cheesy things about wanting to be together. Or how he wants us to ride like the wind. He amuses me for a while, but then I get bored. He’s too young, and it shows.

Then a nice looking Algerian pops up. He travels lots. Based in London. Launching a new business. Result! Turns out he doesn’t lives in London anymore and is spending the next 6 months in Morocco. Not a result. This cyber lark is becoming far too cyber!

I think when you are dabbling in free online dating tools, you run the risk that you connect with people who aren’t serious about the dating part in internet dating. I suppose if you pay for something then you take it a lot more seriously – otherwise what’s the point?

Sitting on the train back north, Stranger Sam is on my mind.

I can’t work out if I want to meet him or not. Do I simply just ‘like’ him (as much as you can like a person you’ve never met) because he’s proving unavailable to me? Am I being reeled in by the very thing i’ve been trying to avoid this past few years? No one likes something that’s too easy, too available – and there’s always the element of challenge which has a certain amount of appeal, but there’s a delicate balance between when to chase and when not to chase. And what about those red flags? Being fairly full on and then disappearing is not an attractive quality. I’m certainly not going to take it personally.

Tonight, whilst chatting with Good Clean Fun on whatsapp, chucking away in our weird little fantasy world I get a strange friend request on Facebook from someone with an usual name.

I recognise the first name. But it couldn’t be… could it?

A year ago I went on a fun date with a guy who lived local to me. We had a nice kiss at the end of the date and I felt fairly confidant i’d see him again. I liked him. We’d initially met online, but for the first time in a long time this felt ‘real world’. He was possibly the first guy i’d liked in a long while that wasn’t The Great Love. But the next day I flew overseas, and then, well, life got in the way.

He says to me on Facebook (tonight), jokingly, that he likes to play it cool before he asks a girl out on a second date. Over 12 months since last contact.

I say ‘you like it freezing then.’

He laughs.

Whether it tests you, teaches you something new about yourself or lifts you up, dating – real world or online – is a form of connection that can have its place in your life. You just gotta know what you want, stick to your guns, and never never settle for anything less.

“And make sure you’re wearing your bullshit goggles, because you’re gonna meet a lot of people who throw a lorra lorra shit your way.”

Posted in: Journal