Who says online dating doesn’t work? Yes it can be a long winded process and you will have to go on your fair share of bad, even terrible dates, but every one of those dates could be one step closer to finding ‘The One!’ That one person to share your stories with, that one person that makes you feel safe, that one person that makes you smile when it’s been a bad day. Every ‘single’ person, (whether they care to admit it or not) wants to find LOVE, and until a few months ago, I was one of those people.
I had been living and loving single life for years, but I was getting to a stage in my life where all my friends from home were settled down, having kids, getting married or buying houses with their fiancees and in all honesty it was really getting me down. My life was good, I had a good job, great friends, a nice flat but I was missing something. So a year ago I plucked up the courage and joined an online dating site. I had always been a bit dubious about online dating. What if someone I know sees me on there? What will people think? I had all sorts of questions going through my mind. But I finally clicked the dreaded ‘Join’ button and had become a member of Plenty of Fish. I went for a free site to start just to see how things went.
To my surprise, it was actually quite fun. I got to read different people’s profiles, find out their likes and dislikes and if I felt like being a bit daring I could drop them a message to start a conversation. I would never just say “hi”. If someone just said that to me it wouldn’t really impress me, so I would find a common interest on their profile and begin a conversation around that. Before long I was chatting to a few different people. I’d entered a completely new world and I was loving it. Apart from the occasional odd message from randoms, being a bit forward and clearly only looking for one thing(which I always ignored), conversations were great, and before long I was being asked out on dates.
I had been out of the dating game for a while so I was quite nervous for the first couple of dates, but then I remembered that the person I was on the date with was in the same position as me, which actually relaxed me. I enjoyed the dating scene for a while, it was a great way to meet new people and socialise. Not every date went well though, I had my fair share of bad ones.
The worst one I had was a date to the bowling alley. The guy seemed great at first, conversation was good online, he made me laugh quite a lot so I agreed to meet with him. At the bowling alley I started to pick up on the fact that he was quite self obsessed. He talked about himself a LOT, not only that, he also discussed with me the other conversations he’d been having with girls online. For me that was a big NO NO! He was on a date with me so he shouldn’t be discussing other girls! I had to play 3 games of bowling with him, 2 of which he had lost, so decided to throw a strop at the end of the 3 games because he hadn’t won. Can you believe it? At this point I was getting quite excited for the date to end but oh no, it wasn’t over yet. He then took me to a fast food chicken restaurant, ordered a huge meal and pretty much ate the whole thing with his hands. It was just delightful…NOT! Right at the end of the date, as we were saying the awkward goodbyes he said “Text me later to tell me how good I was.” I think not buddy. There was no text and I never saw him again. That is a great thing about online dating, they are people that are new to your life and if the date goes badly you never have to contact them again.
After about 6 months on Plenty of Fish I started to realise that the messages I was receiving were getting very crude and most of the boys were on there purely for sex or weren’t who they said they were. I think people started seeing it as a hook up site. It just wasn’t what I was looking for. But I wasn’t about to give up on online dating.
I decided to search through different apps and sites, when I came across TINDER, an easy app which links with Facebook and suggests people with similar interests or friends in common. It was great, swipe left if you don’t find them attractive and swipe right if you do. It’s quite judgmental (which is the downside of it) but I liked the idea of people not being able to message each other unless you both swipe right and you have a match. There were less chances of catfishes, no inappropriate messages all the time and I could see if they have friends in common with me. It was a thumbs up in my books.
I came across a lot of people I know on the app, which made me realise that online dating is now becoming socially accepted and isn’t a weird thing anymore. More and more people are doing it. I was getting a few matches and would have great conversations with some people and others seemed to struggle to hold a conversation which would then go dead after a few days. I dated a couple of people from the app but nothing came of it, I just didn’t get that butterfly in my stomach feeling when I met them, until a few months back when I had my first date with Ben. We went for a few drinks at a local pub and we talked the night away. I knew then that I wanted to see him again and I didn’t want a date with anyone else. He is honestly like the male version of me and we just instantly clicked. 6 months on and we are now a couple, things are great and I am very happy.
My advice to anyone thinking ‘oh there’s no point’ or ‘It’s been ages and I still haven’t found anyone,’ is to keep at it. What’s the point of giving up? Many people these days are busy with work and rarely get the time to go out and meet people. Online dating is the way forward, and I think it’s great. Who are you going to meet just sat at home watching TV? If you get an hour or so to yourself in the evenings, log on and socialise. You never know who you might meet… it could be ‘The One’.