Let me set the scene…….
It was a crisp, cold February evening, the night before Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t feeling particularly happy, as I felt like I already knew my husband would make little or no effort to make this a special or memorable event! We were sitting down on opposite sides of a large corner sofa. It’s strange that he was even watching telly with me, as he used to go out every night. I don’t remember what we were watching but I remember the adverts.
Oh, I forgot to mention this Valentine’s Day would have also been our three year wedding anniversary! So then this commercial comes on:
“Being single can be amazing. So if you’re going to give it up, it has to be for someone who makes being a couple the best thing in the world. At eHarmony we really get to know you, that way we can introduce you to someone really worth getting to know.”
It was like I could feel the pressure building in the room and smell the gut-wrenching catastrophe which was about to become real. I could feel my breathing tighten. Many people don’t know I suffer from anxiety and sometimes struggle with my breathing when I have attacks. I could feel the panic set in.
“We need to talk,” he said. Then, he was gone. Of course I had the obligatory week of despair where I went into denial and begged him to come back everyday. But anyway, I think I have grounds to sue eharmony.
Instead I joined. That’s right you read that correctly, I joined the site! ‘If you can’t beat them join them’ so they say! I have always been a fan of irony and in my opinion it doesn’t get much better than this. I’m also a believer in fate and could this be mine? eHarmony spured on the end of my unhappy marriage in order to find me someone who would treat me how I simply deserve?
Anyway, back to reality. I joined one week ago and have been intrigued to say the least. Just getting to the registration part was a big step, never mind putting aside all the worries and emotional doubts about Internet dating. THE QUESTIONS WERE A NIGHTMARE! How many times can they rephrase ‘what do you like to do in your spare time?’ Then it goes on to what feels like hundreds of ‘agree /disagree’ style questions that may or may not also be used by the Government to discover terrorists and people prone to psychotic episodes. I tried to be honest and asked friends or family to help me answer a couple of questions. So I’ve sent and received a few ice breakers and smiles, and started talking to few men on within a 40-mile radius.
Here’s my advice so far:
Pictures: It’s not nice to be critical of someone’s appearance but it helps if you find them attractive. Location of a photo is important. If they are always in a pub, bar or club then enough said. If they are always sat at a computer then I’d be concerned at the extent of their social life. If they use a passport style photo as a pic, definitely no. No one looks nice in those What were you thinking….look at the backgrounds is there any tell tail signs of their personality in the pictures, if they are at home what’s the decor like. For instance if they have outdated furniture or curtains, etc. they probably still live with their mum.
What they write: As with all Internet societies, there will be people who are not who they say they are, people who are there just for a laugh and those whose main goal is to have sex. For example, I read on one man’s hobbies list today “Making love to you harder than you’ve ever had it before.”‘ Wow! There’s so much romance in here I feel sick! See if they have hobbies in common and then use this to strike up conversation. If their whole blurb is depressing then you may not want to get involved. If you’re looking for a single dad then see how much he mentions his kids. It’s a great way to see if he is caring. Check to see if they have pets and what kind. It’s another great way to see whether they are capable of caring for something other than themselves. Cheesy lines don’t do it for me unless they are used in a humoured way. If their profile makes me laugh this always scores them top points!
Making conversation: I always go for a quirky first message mentioning something I’ve read in their profile to show I’ve paid interest beyond their appearance. If someone calls me sexy within the first couple of messages this doesn’t bode well and let’s me know they are only interested in one thing, and that’s just not what I’m looking for. Occasional compliments are appreciated as it’s nice to know that someone likes you, but too strong too quick usually freaks me out! Wanting to exchange numbers within the first convo normally has the same reaction. I would prefer to chat for at least a few days. For people that message first- they may loose me instantly if they say things like ” I never knew angels existed ’till I saw your profile” I’m not joking, and I didn’t reply. Also, there are the copy and pasters that literally send out an email that I assume many women have read before. Boring! And those that write an essay? Seriously I’ve had to reply with ‘That’s simply too much for me to continue to read.’ How do you have the fun of getting to know someone if they do that!? I guess this part is very personal to what you like to hear from people. Also, the same old questions like “How are you?” and “What are you up to?” continuously…. try and say things of interest and hope for the same in response!
First date: Well done if you have got this far!! Whoop, whoop you! Whatever you and the other person decide to do, remember to be safe. Tell a couple of people where you are going and go somewhere public and just relax. You can usually tell if this is someone you will click with on that first date. If it doesn’t go to plan just be honest, everyone appreciates honesty!
Good luck if any if you ladies are attempting this approach to get back out there! I’ll be honest with you- I stopped writing this blog half way through after being on two websites for less than a week. I got too freaked out by it all and decided it wasn’t for me. But I stuck at it a bit longer because sometimes it’s nice just to have people to talk to (if you’re a single mum stuck at home when kids in bed, etc). And then just as I was about to chuck it in…….I met someone! Date number two today, wish me luck ladies.