So this is the post I was telling readers to expect today. It has taken me some courage to write this up, and yet I don’t know why. I met my boyfriend through an online dating website, and whilst many would feel embarrassed or ashamed of it, I’m actually fine with that. A lot of people laugh when they hear that we met that way, or pull a funny face. I assume because a lot of people associate online dating with TV shows such as Jeremy Kyle, and documentaries on Channel 4 about people who meet online on a rainy Sunday morning, have sex by the afternoon, and then are talking to someone else by the evening. Seriously, that isn’t how online dating works… Maybe some people ARE on those websites for just one thing, but we must remember that not everyone is.
So I am here to this evening to share my story, so grab yourself a cup of tea, a couple of biscuits, and prepare for a long read.
Back in April/May 2013 me and an old friend decided to sign up for a dating website (not going to name which one!) for a laugh. We didn’t intend to meet anyone on it, as it was purely for a laugh after another old friend telling me how much fun the website was, and how many people you meet on there. The thought of online dating frightened the hell out of me, for obvious reasons. First of all the thought of putting a picture of myself out there was the worst. I constantly worried that someone would steal my picture and use it on the same website, or even another one to pretend to be me. That was really scary! But then I realised at the time that I posted pictures of me on my blog all the time, so people could have stolen those, so why would a dating site be any different? So I went for it, and put up a picture. Only one! I refused to put up anymore.
Alongside popping up a picture, it’s also rather awkward writing up about yourself. I don’t know anyone who likes writing about themselves, especially when it comes to selling ourselves to someone, especially when it comes to applying for jobs, so selling yourself to a possible future partner is a challenge, and one we all have to tackle at some point or another. However, I found with online dating that it was worse as you need to try and make yourself sound really good, and awesome so that someone will message you. Especially someone with mutual interests.
So after I set up my profile, it was just time to wait, as well as have a look around the website for people who I may have liked myself. After eyeing up a couple of people, and getting the encouragement to message them, a small part of the fear began to disappear… Alongside the pictures, and about you section, another huge fear is actually talking to people on the website, especially if they’re gorgeous!
An issue I encountered with online dating is the amount of odd messages you receive. I did at first write “weirdos” but that isn’t exactly a nice thing to say… But that is how it felt at the time. I would get messages that reminded me of essays, they were THAT long, and they were all full of soppy style words and phrases that were clearly written to try and win me over. They didn’t work… Of course it was easy to ignore these messages, but when they were sent twice a day, maybe even three times, the block button got used.
If you weren’t being messaged like this, you were messaged by guys who did just want one thing, which of course was boring, and annoying. Especially annoying when they got offended if you said you weren’t interested in that kind of thing. My profile didn’t exactly state that I wanted fun. It did state I wanted something serious, so someone messaging me asking if I wanted to go over was just urgh… Yawn! Again, those people got ignored.
I had one guy message me who just wanted company, which was somewhat sweet. He wasn’t even bothered about a relationship, or even sex, but he just wanted a friend to talk to as he was lonely. He was a cool guy, someone I could have called a really good friend. I was sad to say bye to him when I deactivated my account to be honest, as he stated he wouldn’t find anyone else to talk to. I’m sure he has since then, and I hope he has met a lovely girl too, as he really did deserve one.
Another person was pretty clingy, something I disliked a lot. He went on holiday and said how he was paying £2 a day to talk to me… Guilt tripping me much? Either way he was a bore, and I only replied to his messages because I didn’t wish to be rude. He wasn’t creepy, or rude, or interested in one thing, so I didn’t feel the need to be rude and ignore any messages he sent… Although I did eventually because I started talking with Dane, my boyfriend.
He messaged me first, and I can’t exactly remember what he said other than hello, his name, that we shared similar interests, and he hoped I would reply. Which I did, of course. The first thing I thought when I looked at his profile was that he was ginger! I also noticed that he was from Coventry, and that we had a hell of a lot in common! He had a lot more pictures than me on offer and the first picture I saw of him really did make me say, “ooo he’s lovely!” out loud.
We messaged loads, and I mean LOADS. Then during a weeks holiday at my friend Gabriella’s old flat, he asked for my number, and from there we both left the online dating website behind and started to text loads. A couple of weeks later, we met up in Birmingham for the first time, and from there we have become what we are now.
It was when we were officially together we decided to delete the profiles we had made, considering that we didn’t need them anymore. I was so pleased to delete it, but as I already mentioned it was sad to say bye to the one guy on there. Which was sad as he said he would be lonely from then on, but that he was happy I had met someone on the website and wished me all the best.
Of course when I first started talking to Dane and met him for the first time, I told my parents a little white lie. I told them that we had met at a gig years previous and had decided to meet up as we had only spoken online since meeting. They believed it of course, as I know a lot of my closest friends due to the wonders of the internet. Eventually I told them the truth, and they admitted that they didn’t fully believe my story but that it was alright. Although at the time they would have disapproved due to the stigma behind online dating. I luckily never experienced anything bad, and I think I was pretty lucky to be honest.
Out of the handful of guys who spoke to me, I only ever gave Dane my mobile number, and met up with him. He seemed like the most truthful and sincere person I had spoken to, and the one with the least background issues too. He was just laid back, able to chat, and wasn’t pushy. Perfect material for online dating!
So, would I recommend online dating? Yes, and no. Yes in the sense that it can be fun for a laugh, hell maybe even something serious. I only joined it for a laugh, and it resulted in me meeting what I think is my soul mate, and the love of my life. I would also say yes as it’s something that doesn’t hurt to try and hell if you don’t like it, you can delete it. I would also say no because I don’t know if it is for some people. I found it wasn’t exactly for me and I just happened to have Dane find me, but I didn’t feel it was going anywhere before then. I was close to deleting it before then. The thought of that creeps me out, because I may not have found Dane, and I don’t even know where my life would be without him… Nowhere really.
So as well as this being my online dating story, I wanted to bring Dane into this to share from a man’s point of view about what it’s like, and how his experience was with it.
I suppose I should start off by saying I began online dating by making a joke profile. I’m not proud of it but I stole some pictures from Imgur and created this elaborate story and background for this hyper-christian creation. It was a response to killing the time and helping a friend amend her online profile (another friend and I had gone round to cheer her up after a bad time dating). Subconsciously I think it was for myself to be able to test the waters of online dating with a facade before putting myself on there as well as out of resentment for those successful more attractive people out there. I would have never intentionally hurt anyone, built anyone’s hopes up or made any malicious comments, it was really just to be a bit weird and play with people. I suppose there was no real chance of me preventing people getting hurt and I do regret it due to the thought of what it could have done to someone. Upon viewing a lot of women’s profiles and making feeble attempts at being weird I was actually intrigued by the ladies on the website. So I did the right thing and deleted Mr. Christian (I don’t remember the name I gave him, probably something stupid) and created my own profile.
I put as many cool and interesting photos up, plenty of me snowboarding and looking dapper in a suit. All my good sides. I don’t think I changed the photos at all during my time on the website which was completely opposite to my own description. That was probably overhauled many many times, ranging from trying to sound cool and uninterested to way too much detail to crappy attempts at humour. One thing that I always made clear, as if people couldn’t tell from my pictures, was that I had ginger pub… hair. It was just too hard to try and work out what people would like about me and you always thought it wasn’t good enough.
I don’t know about other people’s experiences but I was always the one to instigate conversation. I know that a lot of my female friends were barraged with all sorts of messages. Typical reaction on the internet as men can be fucking weird. There were some pretty ladies on there but as with going out and meeting people I would always feel like they were out of my league. Hell, even Nat looked that way to me. I did pluck up the courage to message some women and got a few replies, but most went nowhere. It took me a while before I found Natalee and I really can’t remember how it started but we are still going strong after two years. I wont say soppy stuff as I don’t see the point in putting it out on the internet. She knows she means the world to me and I love her to bits.
I’m going to put it out there and say dating is way harder for men than it is for women (see above gif). There are so many expectations for both sexes but until I met Natalee I always felt like I was the one chasing and doing all the hard work. We just clicked and it worked for us. If you’re looking for someone, don’t hesitate to put yourself out there. Be it on the inter-webs or in a dingy nightclub. Unless you resemble Charles Manson both aesthetically and personality wise there is someone for everyone. And as the great ginger Tim Minchin sings “If I didn’t have you, someone else would surely do”.
So that was mine, and a little bit of Dane’s online dating story. Ours, in a nutshell.
Have any of my readers tried online dating? Have you met your other half thanks to it? If so, please share your stories with me! I would love to read them.
Until next time however, take care all and have a great evening.