So at the ripe of twenty-two I decided that it was time to take my life into my own hands and try again at internet dating. I thought this time round I would part with some money and get on one of those better websites. The appeal of a guy singing to me at the train station got me to sign up onto match.com (for a month’s membership at an eye watering £29.99). And they brag that have more relationships and marriages than any other website. So why not?
It’s filled with hundreds of semi good looking men, some with vague interests outside of hiking, meeting their mates for a beer, and let’s say, happy slapping sheep. I’ve moderated all of my filters so no one older than 30 can get in touch with me, but still somehow men old enough to be my father are trying to talk to me. Then there are the guys my age who write like five year olds. Too many emails going, ‘hey how r u?’, that I am so tempted to offer a long essay discussing the theory of metaphysical poetry, or plays I’ve read, or just something more interesting than what music I’m into.
I think courting in Jane Austen’s era would be more fun than this. I feel my stomach plummet with dread faster than a rollercoaster with a death warning attached when yet another greasy looking man in his forties has winked at me. They most probably have a couple kids and a few tattoos and couldn’t even spell the word novel, let alone discuss the themes of one.
Strangest of all, I started chatting to a guy who was a journalist, and it was clear there was no interest of a spark, but I’ve got some good advice out of him. I bet that made his day thinking that of all places to give a young writer at advice, it was a dating website for singles. The internet is a hard place to generate that instant, ‘wow you are good looking and this could go somewhere’ feeling. One guy ticked all the boxes, but in person, just nothing seemed to happen.
Perhaps I’m setting my standards too high. I’m angling all of this from a very literary perspective, but books and writing are a key interest, and there’s only so far you can see going to the gym as a hobby. I find myself trawling through pictures of hundreds of guys thinking, you’re okay, not so good looking, oh what tragic fish eyes, and one good looking guy turned out to be an inch shorter than me, and he was off the list.
The world of internet dating is as fraught as the real world of dating, expect there’s less chance of getting felt up, but the virtual feeling of being felt up is far worse (a hot shower and a bottle of shower gel helps get rid of the dirty feeling.) Maybe I should start trawling the bars in the local city, and just go with the next guy who says, ‘hello sweetheart, how’s it goin’?’. It’s about the same as what I’m getting online.