What better day to write about dipping my toe into the unknown waters of online dating than today, while the streets outside are still strewn with the petals of hastily-bought roses in the aftermath of Valentine's Day?
To bring you up to speed - I have been single since breaking up with my long term boyfriend in June last year. I think I coped fairly well, considering that 1) I had high hopes for the relationship; 2) I had just helped him deal with the fallout, emotional and practical, of an unexpected bereavement; and 3) earlier the same year, I turned thirty, with all the self-analysis and reassessment of life choices that that particular landmark entails. No longer the chicken of Spring, etc.
For a while there, I focused very hard on holding myself together and getting back to a level of emotional stability, and just didn't have the energy or the inclination to even think about men. It was all about me, at that point. That is one of the plus sides of being single in your thirities, you have a lot of free time to devote to self-reflection and development. I did a lot of yoga, drank a lot of chamomile tea, and cried in front of my boss.
I had always said that if I found myself single and in my thirties, that I would try online dating. Many of my friends have tried it at one point or another, with varying degrees of success. It seems to have lost the tarnish it once had of being the sole preserve of nerds, losers and psychopaths. I know that the ideal situation (at this point I can hear my mum's voice in my head) is that you would meet someone through friends, or at work. However, here in the real world, my work is full of old men and accountants, and my friends are all female. I just don't come into contact with that many, or even any, eligible men. So, internet dating it is.
Anyway, so far, it has been a strange experience, but not a bad one. After getting a friend to write up a profile (it works on a recommendations basis), adding quite a few people to my "favourites" list, and sending out a load of messages to potential suitors, I sat back and waited. After a week, my inbox resounded with a vast, echoing, wind-whistling, tumble-blown silence. I think it is fair to say my ego was a little bruised.
After a few weeks of feeling like Superted pre-super powers (scary voice-over: When he was made, they found something wrong with him... and threw him away like a piece of rubbish!), I cracked and decided to make my profile funnier, and a bit ridiculous ("6 ft tall blonde amazon with teeth that sparkle like diamonds"). These English people (men and women) are extremely witty and eloquent, so no ordinary "nice and normal" write up is going to do the trick. I also changed my profile pic to a more natural, less dressy shot.
Anyway, it either worked; or those cosmic forces that decree as soon as you stop giving a sh*t, you get what you wanted, came into play. A few people have got in touch and some have even added this little teddy bear to their list of favourites. I have been on a couple of dates so far, with a few more scheduled. More to come on that, later.
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You all remember what happened to that bear, don't you? That's right, a Spotty Man from outer space brought him to life with his cosmic dust, took him to a magic cloud where Mother Nature gave him special powers...
That bear became... Super Ted!