Friday, January 8, 2016

Online dating fail

A week ago my darling daughter suggested I take advantage of a week's free membership of an online dating website.

The real-life Brenda

Even though I have always known online dating and a real life Margot Date would not be a match, I thought, why not?

And so I created a profile and called myself Brenda. If it was good enough for The Spectator and Princess Di to call QE11 Brenda, then it was good enough for me. There are not so many people called Margot in my world ...  maybe I wasn't playing by the spirit of the game, but I had a nagging feeling that this was not going to work out for me anyway ... and anyway it didn't.

The purpose of the site seems to be to make money for the owners. The cheapest offer was to pay $33.95 a month for a minimum of six months, paid in three instalments. As I have not much income at present while trying to build a business, it was easy to stick with my self-imposed non-sign-up-to-direct-debits after the week's free trial (today I had to tell the good folk helping our Paralympian Athletes I couldn't commit to them either).

In the first week I had more than 60 matches. Despite ticking all sorts of boxes I was matched with men who my mother would have called a GI...a geographic impossibility. Really, if someone three states away is awesome that's not going to work so well unless I want a pen-pal. More on that later.

There were a few chaps from my home town and close by. They all sounded great online. That's the thing about being online. You can be whoever you want to be. When you meet face-to-face you cannot hide.

They all love their children (of course they do - who doesn't?), many of them love motorcycling (ditch the wife, regain their freedom on two wheels?) and some even mentioned that they liked to cook. The self-descriptions were interesting. In the set question: What is the first thing people notice about you? One modest chap said he is told often that he looks like George Clooney. Yep, I'm sure he does. After a big night and with a hangover. Really? Whoever looks like a celebrity except that celebrity? I met a man at a conference who told me he was the spitting image of Leonardo DiCaprio. He may as well have said he was a dead ringer for John Smith, because there are more John Smiths in this world than the gorgeous and unmatched Leo.

I've had a pen-pal...a gorgeous man I met a couple of years ago. He had a situation that prevented an ongoing relationship, but we were email pen-pals for six months. Which was all rather flattering but what was the point?

Getting an email notification comes nowhere near shaking a man's hand, looking into his eyes and feeling that zing. So maybe it doesn't happen often, but when it does. Kapow! as our friend Batman would say.

I know of beautiful couples who have met online and I'm beyond happy for them. But this experience reminds me yet again of what my mother used to say to me as we walked around the small town where I grew up: If you could just marry a nice boy from this town your life would be simple, but I know you won't do that.

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