A few weeks ago, someone asked me how I met my husband Andy and seemed genuinely surprised when I explained that we met on Match.com. Isn’t that where everyone meets these days? We have now been together for 11 years and been married for 7, and I feel like I have known him all my life … but it wasn’t always that way.
After my first marriage broke up, I was fairly pessimistic about meeting someone else that I would want to marry, much less foist on my children, who were still relatively young. I therefore hit the online dating scene not expecting much. And that was fortuitous, as to begin with, that’s exactly what I got.
Online dating is quite simply the most surreal thing I have ever done in my life. Putting together a profile and a picture, which I hoped would attract a mate, but not any mate, the right sort of mate, was so inherently daunting, that for ages, I just put it off. Perhaps, I convinced myself, Mr Right will stride over, while I was doing my shopping at Tesco and tell me to put down that packet of frozen peas, before whisking me off for a pub lunch. I don’t know why I held on to that for so long. I’ve never actually heard of anyone finding their soulmate in a supermarket.
Once I had decided to give it a go, I had to think about who I was looking for. It’s a bit like putting a shopping list together of all the attributes you would like in a partner, before deciding that you would probably settle for less than half of them.
A couple of bits of advice: Don’t rush into a new relationship straight after a messy breakup. Give yourself time to be in the right place before you invite a new person into your life. And, when you do, make sure they are enhancing what you already have. If you are not happy within yourself, you cannot expect to have a happy relationship. Do not expect anyone else to change your life. Only you can do that.
Anyway, on to the experiences Andy and I had before finding each other; Do not be put off by these, just remember it’s important to be careful, and that it may take a few dinners with frogs, before the prince/princess turns up. One chap I spoke to online, wanted to take me off to Mexico. For about 15 seconds that actually seemed like a good idea, then I remembered my cats and my children (not in that order I promise), and declined his offer. He talked far too much about the amount of money he had, which unfortunately put me off completely. I am constantly in debt and never have 2 beans to rub together, but there is literally nothing less attractive than a man who can’t wait to tell you how much he has in the bank.
Another one seemed relatively normal in emails, so I agreed to meet him for a drink. When I arrived, he flipped out his phone and showed me a picture of his car. I said his car was very nice and expected that particular conversation to end there. It didn’t. The car wheedled it’s way into every subject we discussed, until finally he could take the worry of leaving it in a unlit car park no longer, and scuttled off to retrieve it.
One man told me that he didn’t believe it was me in the picture on my profile. I was 40 at the time and still looked pretty good, though I say so myself. I laughed and assured him it was me and that it was a recent photo, but he kept asking for a ‘real’ photo. This conversation went on for 10 minutes, me getting more frustrated, and him getting more angry. Eventually he ended the call, after telling me to stop wasting his time!
Andy had even more interesting experiences. He was rather pleased, as you can imagine, when ‘Neve Campbell’ * contacted him. Who knew ‘Neve’ used Match.com?
‘Neve’ told him that she was living in Africa and her parent’s house had burnt down, so could he kindly send her a few quid. He did not of course, but sadly a lot of people do send off money to people who are not who they appear to be. There are horror stories of capable, successful men and women seemingly losing all their usual common sense and sending money to people they have never met. Be careful! Anyone who asks you for money should be avoided at all costs. Even if it’s ‘Neve’.
Then there was the Brazilian woman who, (sniff) apparently was very hot, but the budding relationship faltered when she looked up online the crime rate in Chandler’s Ford in Hampshire where Andy lived at the time. She informed Andy that she thought it was a bit rough. Coming from someone who was living in downtown Rio, Andy thought that was a bit rich.
Finally, there was his memorable date with a woman in a car park with a dog. They met, did one round of the car park with her dog, and then got in their cars and went their separate ways. Perhaps car park speed dating will take off.
A word about the ‘stick or twist’ nature of online dating: You have met someone, and you like them, but is there someone out there who is even better? My advice is, if you meet someone you like, stick. There are far too many people who are continually chasing ‘perfect’ when ‘pretty good’ is already under their nose.
My experience of online dating has been very positive and I would absolutely advise you to give it a try. Please just be careful and approach it in a light hearted way, realising that it can be as disappointing as it is exciting. Don’t give up. Sometimes it takes a while. I appreciate that I have been very lucky, but, who knows, maybe you could be to. ❤️
*NB The author of this post is not suggesting in any way that the real Neve Campbell contacted Andy, or ever used Match.com