UPDATE – Strongly tempted to go against my better intentions and continue this blog after all. I’m bored without. Keeping myself entertained vs not looking like a massive wally? Tough call
A little over a year ago, I stood in my flat, heart palpitating, palms clammy. I gave myself a pep talk. I downed a shot. I was psyching myself up for my first ever internet date.
As luck would have it, the date went well. We talked some rubbish. Gradually, our nerves dissipated and we began to talk marginally less rubbish. He leaned in to kiss me at closing time. By which I mean, he leaned in with the intent of kissing me, the barmaid shrieked “Closing time!” and we both jolted backwards as though discovering a bad case of mutual halitosis. But we saw each other again. And then I ditched him for someone else I thought would be a better bet.
This is the problem with online dating. With such a candy-store of possibilities, there’s always the suspicion that what you have can be upgraded. It may be that your upgrade, like mine, ends up sending you a dodgy answerphone message in which he’s audibly pleasuring himself. But it’s a scenario frequently encountered. You like the person you’re dating; they’re dating someone else who is better and hotter and cooler and thinner and an altogether shinier prospect than you.
In May 2010, when I was a newbie, I thought OkCupid had the goods. Fit men, funny men, buff men, brainy men; musicians and firefighters and stockbrokers and comedians and many such men who didn’t need to resort to online cyphers. Sure, there were plenty of crazies, but no more than you’d find on the average bus.
Initially, I applied the scattergun approach. This resulted in a series of godawful micro-dates rendered bearable only through tequila. There was the guy whose hot-pink cocktail was taller than he was. There was the guy who insisted on dragging me into a Soho sex shop to observe the biggest dildo in the world. And there was the guy I’ve subsequently christened ‘seventeen seconds’, which luckily has nothing to do with what you think.
That stuff is relatively amusing to recount. Less amusing are the ones who seemed promising at the time. Whenever this happened, I had a horrible tendency to put my eggs in one basket. It was always fantastic until the eggs got smashed by a gigantic rock-hard turd.
I enjoyed OkCupid as much more than a ‘means to an end’. But if I’m honest, I was hoping for that end in the same way that a writer wants a book deal. The only people I know who found meaningful relationships on OkCupid are the ones who found meaningful relationships while simultaneously dating me. On the plus side, I got talking to some dirty old men in Arizona, so I guess everyone’s a winner.
It’s been fun, but it’s time to go. Online dating encourages you to ricochet from one person to the next; a kind of Brownian motion of emotions which every now and again you need a break from. I plan on sourcing my next man from the real world. Sleazy old men attempting to grope my bum by the cash machine? Bring it on.
In the meantime, I’m young, free and untethered; in possession of a duvet nobody’s going to hog and unlikely to be subject to a Dutch oven. What could be better in life than a fart-free sleeping arrangement? Especially coupled with the fact that you never know who might be just about to come your way.
This will (probably) be my final post. I will miss this blog; thanks to everyone for all your input and feedback. New creative venture coming soon (check back for the link). In the meantime, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re sticking with OkCupid, I wish you all better luck than I had.