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Wednesday, 11 August 2010


Last month, while I was lamenting my single status and thinking thoughts like - if I am no one’s significant other, does that make me insignificant? I decided to take my lack of significance into my own hands and signed up to a couple of internet dating sites.

So, obviously I began my quest for significance with Guardian Soulmates  because I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and thought I should find someone similar.  I actually considered that for my profile heading – “Bleeding heart seeks similar for, er, bleeding”.  I quickly reconsidered.

Setting up an internet dating profile must surely be one of the circles of hell Dante neglected to write about. Staying single must be better than having to decide (and state for the public record) my level of attractiveness – they should probably change that question to “exactly how vain/deluded are you?”  Or add as an option - “well, you’ve seen my picture, you decide!”  I decided above average was the safest option, though I later realised that most people say they want people who claim to be attractive or very attractive. Above average apparently doesn’t cut it.  Sort of explains why there are so many single people failing to find their ideal mate doesn’t it?  I wonder if anyone ever says they are below average? (Must do a search to find out).

No sooner had I stumbled over that obstacle than I was presented with another – describe your ideal match. Male or female? Now, I’ve been single for a long time (mostly by choice) could I afford to strike off a whole gender?   Did I want to date women? Did I want to admit that I wanted to date women? Was I just including men for appearance sake? I selected male and female and moved on.  Already my head was pounding but I had come too far to stop now.

I then had to write a few words describing myself and my ideal partner.  Would this be a good time to show off my comedic skills? They’re a bit of an acquired taste.  My sister always tells me to keep jokes to a minimum when I first meet someone to improve the possibility of a second meeting.  This probably explains why I’m still single – jokes keep slipping out.

I eventually decided on something that was short and (I hoped) at least a little charming.  The usual stuff – what I’m like (easy going, friendly etc.), what I like (eating, cooking, movies) – and ended with what I was looking for:

“Looking for someone to have adventures with - the kind that involve discovering new places, new people, slaying a few dragons (ok, fine no dragons - killjoy!) and discovering each other.  Let’s start with hello and take it from there.”

I know this is exactly the sort of thing my sister warned me against, but I couldn’t help myself. And I suppose it’s best that whoever responds knows in advance what they are letting themselves in for.

I then submitted my profile and waited nervously.  By that I mean went about my normal day-to-day activity, I wasn’t literally sitting staring at my computer screen hitting the refresh button every 10 seconds (really!).

When I went on line the next day, my profile had been viewed quite a few times and had even been marked as a favourite by some, but I had received no messages.  I decided to be a little proactive and did a quick search of the people who matched my criteria.  There were two women with interesting profiles and attractive pictures (there were more, but these particular two grabbed my attention first – I guess that answers the male or female question).  I marked them as favourites and proceeded to write them each an introductory email. 

Both emails I thought were friendly, tailored to the specific individual based on what they’d written in their profiles and expressed a desire to get to know them in some capacity (friendship, relationship etc.).  I sent the emails off and waited eagerly.  Each day I checked my messages and each day I was disappointed to see that had not received anything.  I could see that both ladies read my emails on the day they were sent, yet neither had responded. 

Two weeks passed and still I had had no response.

I had also not had any messages from others despite being one of their favourite profiles.  What the hell was that about? Were they waiting for me to write first?  What about the two women I’d written to? Was my message and profile so unappealing that they couldn’t even bring themselves to reply just to say thanks but not interested?  Did no one ever teach them how rude it is not to reply when someone takes the time to send you a message?  The hope and excitement I initially felt when I joined the site gave way to self-doubt and (very mild) depression.

Now I’m back to feeling insignificant again and waiting for the people I’ve marked as favourites to send me an email.  And all this for the bargain price of £25/month.

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