A while back - about a year and a half ago now - I took a leap into the world of online dating (which you can read about here). I was lucky; my experience was a positive one overall, and thankfully weirdo- and creep-free. I went on several nice enough meetings/dates with dudes of varying attractiveness; the loveliest of whom I found myself in a verging-on-serious relationship with. Ultimately however, we had to face up to the unavoidable fact that we are at different stages in our lives - and that was that.
In my experience, heart-break only gets harder to recover from the older you are. However [grits teeth], I try to remind myself that there are some consolations to be had from growing older - it is only at this point in my life, for instance, that I have felt confident enough about my body to wear a mini-skirt. Not that my legs are better than they were in my twenties; it's just that now I am that much less prone to giving a sh*t about the imperfections.
There's a spirit of recklessness that kicks in during your thirties - I've only got a few mini-skirt wearing years left, so might as well get my pins out, no? Maybe I will get that tattoo after all...
But back to the point: I've gathered the pieces, dusted myself off, and have been thinking about giving the whole cyber-dating thing another whirl. Despite the fact that I have been just one text message away from bitter (to paraphrase Carrie Bradshaw) - and have felt like dropping out of the game altogether at various points - when it comes down to it I'm a romantic at heart. I believe love is our only real purpose in this crazy mixed-up world - to give love, to accept love and to cultivate love in our hearts defines us as human beings in my opinion.
And it couldn't hurt to meet a few more nice English guys, surely.
However, I want to be fully ready before I throw myself back in there. Internet dating is most decidedly not for the faint of heart. I want to be in that strong, resilient, contented place I was in when I originally signed up and logged on.
I'm nearly there. I'm hovering at the edge of the water in my bathers, my toes curling around the ledge as I give myself a little pep talk and take a deep breath...