Ok I have something to tell you, don’t laugh…I joined match.com. How did this happen? Read on…
I spent a day with the magnificent Rosie Hardy along with my enchanting houseguests Alex Stoddard and Stephen Maycock. After climbing a mammoth hill to shoot in 1000000mph winds, we got talking about life, love and all the pieces in between.
Rosie spoke about a recent relationship break down that came to blows over the festive period. She’d made a sensible break away from a destructive lifestyle and was no longer on the road to recovery but quite incredibly near the end destination. I was impressed and totally in awe. She’d grabbed a dwindling situation by the balls, inspected it, recognised its worthlessness and tossed it to the curb! I’m sure the truth is a little more fathomable with far more emotion than my version…but to me, these were the facts that I heard and I loved them. When I grow up, I want to be as hard as a Hardy.
She spoke of her new interest whom she’d met through a dating site, match.com to be precise. He sounded wonderful and I was so happy for her. Even if it wasn’t to last, he was an excellent distraction and proof that she needn’t ever look back.
She asked me if I’d ever thought about joining one as I scoffed in distaste over food. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend…but I was admittedly and unexpectedly at the end of a grieving process for the eight year relationship that I’d lost. I explained that I’d never dated, I’d never flirted and I’d never let me eyes drift for such a long time that I’d forgotten how it was all done. I was a baby back then who had simply fallen in love with her mate…it was hardly courting science. I went home and pondered over her story. Maybe if it was good enough for a successful and beautiful young girl like her, then it was ok for me too.
Two days later Alex and Stephen returned home and my upside down life was turning it’s way back around. It was late one midweek evening when I remembered what we’d discussed over lunch at the weekend. After much deliberation and inner argument…I found myself on Match attempting to describe myself in 250 characters as well as the man I intended to marry solely by physical attributes and financial income. It felt wrong.
The whole thing was completely bizarre and so unconventional that I was re-writing the paragraph over and over. Gone were the days that I’d watch girls get hammered in clubs and fall head over heels into the first man who gave them ‘the eye'…this was far more factual and straight to the point, quite simply a game of ticking boxes.
Evading the term ‘model’ to limit the chances of douchebag responses, I avoided the bio; ‘I like cake and cats, get in touch' and alternatively went with the following:
"I like photography, buttons and miniature things. The fruit at the bottom of a pimms glass and a flower growing through the crack on the floor. I like quirky houses with pointy tops and beach days under blue skies. I like the feel of paint between my toes, touch screen gloves and sausage dogs in coats. I like condiments in vintage jars, feeding ducks bread…and happy old folk. I like pop up books with pull out pieces, well spoken speeches delivered with passion, warm pudding with cold cream and new slippers unsquashed. The sound of velcro pulling and flips flops flapping, kittens mewling and onions sizzling. I like marzipan, cake, roast dinners and red wine. I like Halloween and team spirit and the sensation of Skips on my tongue. I like people…who simply make me smile. Don’t waste money buying flowers, just take me to where they grow.”
I posted it and after an hour of messages from short old chavs with nothing but over gelled hair and pimp my ride horrors as their profile pictures…I added the following for effect: ***Please don’t contact me if you are less than 6ft tall, over 33 years old or unemployed, thank you***
I sat back and admired my poetical masterpiece over the abundant collections of “Hi my name’s Dave, I work in an office and I go to the pub on Saturdays, I like chippy tea on Fridays and the cinema with my mates on Wednesdays. I like eating out and I play football" - uuuurgh, the worse kind of bio - I know your name, it’s your username twit and I care not for your job just yet. You like cheap nights at the cinema - saw through that one but not judging, me too…and you basically like what every other human being enjoys…despite it being as dull as dishwater. BORING. BORE OFF.
I started to scroll through my supposable matches…
- Too short
- Too round
- Too old
- Too young
- Oh, definitely too fuzzy
- Too much of a five finger fod (that’s forehead for non-northerners)
- Name is Amit…sounds too much like armpit
- Introduced himself with ‘oy oy’…well that aint goan fly
- He has a topless toilet selfie with bog roll in the foreground…
- Basic spelling errors, ‘I am also quiet active’…nope, next
- Wow, has serious potential to be a serial killer with that mugshot
- Replicating a Miley Cyrus tongue in three out of four of his pictures
- And the blatant age liar “I’m early thirties” means “I’m at least 44 trying to pull off the youthful look with my distressed skinny jeans”
Oh and the choice of usernames provide no end of giggles. I will never know what some were thinking when they signed up as ‘beefyboth’, ‘warm_heart’, ‘notjustfit' and 'chunkylove27' (there's 27 of them?!)…just a small selection of the chosen names that contacted me, there for your own entertainment and presumably still single should one tickle your pickle. Alas, 'tomtom' had something going for him but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to reply to someone named after a sat nav.
Within just 24 hours of signing up, I was ready to delete the whole thing. I was feeling a bit silly and desperately didn’t want to be recognised by anyone that I knew! I posted in my small private group on Facebook with the confession that I had to get off my chest…
My intention was to explore what online dating entailed and to report back via the blog with my discoveries. However the reaction to my admittance was certainly mixed; some teased, others cringed (Ben I’m looking at you)….but many were encouraging, often sharing their own success stories through similar sites. The more I looked, the more I saw something that I wasn’t expecting…
People with kids, people who work away, people who are shy, people who don’t have spare time, people who had come out of long term relationships looking to meet new faces because their friends are all married off…and people who didn’t want to find their wife-to-be in a bar halfcut cussing at burly bouncers. My judgemental attitude towards online dating was quickly being scrutinised and hastily re-assessed. I was trying to sit on the fence to write from an unbiased perspective but the more involved I was, the more intrigued I became.
Less than forty eight hours passed and I recieved a message that sounded promising from a man with an electric smile…
I was extremely dubious. How curious that the one to catch my eye was only on it for a short while and his trial account set to expire as soon as I joined. His full name was a mixture of the only two men I have ever loved with his last name being my ex’s Mothers maiden name, his birthday the day after my sisters and he went to high school with a girl that I lived with for three years. Did I forget to mention how much I like small coincidences?
Reminding myself of the change in the wind, I took a chance and sent him my details. I added him on Facebook to discover we had just one solitary mutual friend….
To be continued…