Yesterday I closed my online dating profile and breathed a big sigh of relief.
It was for the best really. My heart wasn't in it. My head wasn't in it and my diary certainly wasn't having a bean of it. I realised halfway through writing an email to Trifle Man that suggesting meeting in January probably wasn't going to be conducive to getting to know each other and that I was wrong to keep putting him off. However, that doesn't really explain why he felt the need to reply with a picture of himself sat on a horse.
Anyway, I've ventured into the world of online dating several times since I move to London as a wide-eyed graduate 10 years ago. Through online dating, I've also met some lovely people such as Wise Friend and GBman, both of whom I am still good friends with. But perhaps that's where I'm going wrong. I mean, I love that I now know Wise Friend and GBman when otherwise our paths would never have crossed, but really I seem to be a success story only when it comes to Internet Friending.
I am rubbish at the dating part of things...
Take the time the guy told me about his IBS and lengthy toilet trips in the second minute of our first conversation, just as I bit into a chocolate brownie (the rest went straight in the bin). Or the guy who told me that he liked me but I had to make all the effort as he was done doing that with girls then asked me to get him a pint. I calmly walked to the bar and then just kept on walking, into the night, muttering under my breath like some crazy lady in complete disbelief that men like that actually existed.
Then there was the one who asked me how long my longest relationship was, then proceeded to tell me I was obviously a commitment phobe and was I aware of this? 'You're the one who's pushing 45 and acting like a 23 year old,' I wanted to scream. But instead I ordered a very overpriced gin and tonic at the very overpriced bar he had chosen before excusing myself of his company and the bill and getting the bus home.
I could go on, but it only gets worse. There was the man who was so insanely boring that I fell asleep at the bar where we were drinking and only to wake up when my head hit the table and find he hadn't actually noticed. And the man who when I told him I was deaf, after we had met in a particularly loud and dark bar, simply made his excuses and left, *sniff. And then there was the one who decided that we were going to get married and live happily ever after before I'd even agreed to meet him for a drink. Needless to say the drink never happened.
Internet dating is not all about the horror stories – I have proof of this as several of my happily married/engaged friends met this way. But I don't think it's the way for me. I can't do the whole small talk with strangers over email any longer. I don't want pictures of men with trifles cluttering up my inbox or guys telling me I must be a commitment phobe (although it may well be true). I don't want to be judged on my deafness, my height, weight or personality from afar, or in person on the first meeting and I know don't want to be the person who does that either, because honestly internet dating does make you a little judgey…
So I'm stepping out of cyberspace and into reality.
And as long as no one emails me a picture of themselves with a trifle, it should all be ok… (I. MUST. STOP. BEING. JUDGEY)
I'll keep you posted.