Rough Guide to Internet Dating

Dating Acronyms – GSOH – good sense of humour, MWC – married with children, N/S – Non Smoking, LTR – long term relationship, NSA – no strings attached, SGL – Single

OK, so I did the rounds of Night Clubs and Pubs in my youth and met my fair share of eligible and not so eligible chaps and having reached a point in my life (still very much single) where I would rather chew my own foot for entertainment than venture into a Club, my options for meeting someone of the opposite thingy were somewhat limited.
Eventually I realised after struggling to make myself seem interesting, that I am quite possibly the most boring person in the world and therefore had to use a substantial amount of poetic license.”

I had already discovered that I wasn’t going to lock eyes with Mr Right over the Tesco Extra TV dinners at midnight and I had already dismissed the idea of paint ball games, DIY stores and over 30s events so in fairness what was left – but Internet Dating?

My first reaction when it was suggested to me was “you must be joking”. I had visions of desperate men desperately searching for equally desperate women with a GSOH who wanted a LTR instead of NSA and wasn’t MWC. So I did a little research and discovered that Internet dating is more successful than you might think – well according to the Academics at the Universities of Bath and the West of England who found that people who meet via e-mail are likely to continue seeing each other and of those surveyed, 94% carried on to a second date. The study also found men were more dependent on their e-partners than women, and more committed to the relationship and that giving gifts was also important. The thought of all those potential gifts, the fact that there was very little on the telly and a lot of empty space in what was previously a full bottle of Shiraz, swayed me and I decided to take the plunge. After all – wasn’t it just going to be like browsing the Argos catalogue and ordering what you wanted?

Right – so now I am committed to giving it a whirl. What first? Which site? What do I do? How do I get out there? .. I needed more Shiraz to make momentous decisions such as these and an hour and half later I had settled on a very popular site that had been mentioned to me by a friend and embarked on my journey with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

Having logged in, I was confronted by a congratulatory announcement – telling me that I had made my first positive step in my quest to find everlasting love and please read the following testimonial from Bobby and Flossy announcing to the world that “We met on this dating site and are now looking forward to the birth of our first child” – It didn’t actually specify their relationship but I hoped they weren’t brother and sister and decided to press on.

My first hurdle was to specify what and who I was looking for. There isn’t a tick box that says “anything with a pulse” but I did discover that I could search by age, size, colour, location, profession, height, specify any combination of marital and single status and even dictate the number of preferred children. However I paid very careful attention to the whole requirements business in case I ticked a box that said “Vegetarian with 6 small children under 10” by mistake!”

So what interests do I want him to have (apart from me)? Football? – Yes, I can live with that, basket weaving – I think not. Hang-gliding – (pass), sailing – (get sick looking at a puddle, so again not), dining out – (no contest), fine wine – (now you have my full attention), keep fit – (well I can run for the ice cream van so we’ll tick that one) and so on until I think I have a full specification to work with.

It was a “doddle” I reviewed my selection and decided that there definitely must be a substantial number of 6’3” divorced, non-smoking, British Airways pilots with no children who live just around the corner, otherwise why would they give you all those options to choose from?

Anyway – now it’s my turn.

So… my interests:- obviously saving the planet by offsetting carbon emissions by only flying when there is an “R”, “J” or “A” in the month, Pilates (that is a type of pasta isn’t it?), attending the Gym regularly, (actually no I need to strike that – I think their idea of regularly is more than once a year and I was going to be truthful). Eventually I realised after struggling to make myself seem interesting, that I am quite possibly the most boring person in the world and therefore had to use a substantial amount of poetic license. Not sure quite what I am going to do if someone questions my knowledge of Swahili but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Now for my profile – it needed to be punchy – yet honest, funny – yet tender, oh the dilemma! What should I say about myself? SGL sincere woman W GSOH seeks SGL man – for cosy nights in and a view to a LTR…. Nope – that was all a bit too predictable so I decided that the “direct and wacky” approach might just be the lure that the man of my dreams wouldn’t be able to resist so my “punch line” ended up as “do you like chilli and can you make me laugh” (obviously a clear winner!) followed by a top quality profile which read:

“Model T Ford, few thousand miles on the clock but has original bodywork which is slightly dented. No nodding dogs or child seats on board and not willing to have child seats fitted. Good runner when there is a plane waiting and not a large amount of baggage in the boot. Must be seen to be appreciated – no offers of a service required please”

I think it might have been a lot longer than that but it’s a bit of a blur now.

So having set myself up – I loaded up a couple of photos – oddly picking some that must have caught me in a good light, that were not 20 years old (no point in lying is there?) and which may possibly not get me sued under the Trades Descriptions Act if I ever got a date and I was cooking on gas.

The only thing left to do was the “quick search” – I clicked on the “Find my perfect partner” button with bated breath and everything crossed, practically salivating at the thought of those epaulettes and BA Staff badge and what did I get? …

“There are no members that match your criteria, please refine or amend your search”

Rats… the Pilot must live a little further away…..

………….To be continued…………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAuthor Bio

Tracy is our Rough Guides Dating Blogger. Check out her hilarious journey through the world of online dating.

Tracy spent many years working in the City for UBS, MLIM & Blackrock (with our founder) and Barclays GRCB running helpdesks, IT Security and Customer Service before throwing in the corporate towel for a life in the country with the cockroach inspector. She now heads up the Customer Service team for Software solutions provider Access UK Ltd and is very happy thank you!

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