I always justified that I used online dating with a back story involving wine, a dismal love life and a persuasive friend. I was about to start this with the same justification but I have finally realised that none is needed. Here is a the reason why, and why nobody should be scared of the stigma attached:
I and my boyfriend are living proof it works. So are two of my best friends who recently celebrated their one year anniversary. My cousin got married last year to a man she met online.
Online dating may not be guaranteed of life long love and happiness. Cue my Auntie, who met a few weirdos before she gave up. But a few bad stories and some people’s negative reactions should not put you off if you want to find love. I think the key things is this:
Not giving up.
I had tried online dating for a few years. By this I mean, when I was single, I had a profile up and every now and then I would go on it, read the messages, and chat to men who would instant message me. I didn’t get obsessed with it, I didn’t have high expectations, but by the same token, I did not delete my profile. (Or if I did, I put it back up again). Patience is definitely a virtue in the online dating world, along with reasonable expectations.
Second key thing: Do not bother with instant chatting.
A certain way of knowing who is a player is that that person will instant message you or want your email for MSN messenger. I would often have quite long chats with someone, and then never hear from them again, even if I wanted to, but more often I didn’t.
I would get not the nicest of comments through IM, such as “You have only got one picture up, that is worrying.” Okay, thanks for implying that I am the elephant woman, idiot.
And in the middle of one conversation it suddenly went off topic: “MMMMMM I love the new pictures you have put up, your eyes look so good..”
“What? I haven’t put up any, what you on about??”
“Oh no, I meant to message that to my friend.” You’re blocked, loser!
Another classic was: “Are you a girly girl?”
“Erm I guess so..”
“Do you like shoes?”
“No more than the average person.”
“Do you like leather stiletto shoes?”
“Are you some kind of fetishist?”
I don’t even want to guess why some men spend their evenings doing this. So I learnt to disable the IM feature on my profile, leaving me at my ease to read the messages, answer them at my own pace, look at profiles and update my own. After a while, I started to take online dating more seriously, and began to think about meeting up with men I exchanged messages with. More on this next time!