Roo and I are slowly getting into a routine of ‘just the two of us’ since deciding to separate from her Dad back in September. It’s lovely that we’ve found a new school that we can be at in ten minutes from the house, we have a much more relaxed morning now and a lot less stressful.
Monday to Thursday we get our time together, we do things after school, games, craft or movie time and I hope to be able to invite a few friends for tea soon. Then on a Friday Roo trots off to see her Dad for the weekend and they get to spend time together and keep that bond that is so important. For me this is my time to see friends, go out, meet new people – it’s good to have this and I enjoy it.
It’s funny though how it’s little things that challenge you when you’re just a ‘one’ and not a ‘two’ and I’m certainly finding out that being back out in the ‘dating game’ is a little bit weird, a tad scary and challenging after being with someone for the last 13 years of my life.
At 35 doing the ‘dating’ thing is not where I thought I would be and where on earth do you start? Most of my friends are married, or with long term partners and my social circle of friends is well my online friends. The thought of heading out to a bar or a pub on my own gives me the chills and is more likely to break me out in a cold sweat than a gorgeous come and get me glow. Even going to see a movie on my own felt really weird recently and I was just missing a big “I’M SINGLE” sign taped to my jacket.
The chances of meeting someone whilst pushing my trolley round Waitrose and Aldi are slim and would I want a potential date knowing the contents of my store cupboard whilst we glance over our trolleys? Work doesn’t open up opportunities to meet people as I’m desk based and spend most of my time glazing at social media metrics and formulating marketing strategies.
That leaves only one option, a dark, murky and untested option….online dating. A quick search reveals a multitude of options for anyone wanting to try online dating and find their cupid via their PC. Big players are Match.com, MySingleFriend, Tick Dating and recently I was invited to try out JustDivorcedSingles.
I created a profile on Match.com a pretty good profile I think, good photos, a witty write up and my list of ‘wishes’ for my perfect date; well mannered, good sense of humour, well dressed and within 30 minutes my email was pinging with requests.
Excitement brews and you click on the people who’ve viewed your profile. You know they say first impressions count, well they do they really do. Most of the people on these sites can’t even be bothered to upload a photo, complete their profile, spell properly or reply with a half decent grammatically correct message – what is wrong with the men of today, where did the idea of wooing a lady and getting to know her go?
I went out for coffee with a few guys, some good, some bad (really bad), one I actually ran away from before getting in the coffee shop as his photo had obviously been taken in 1982 and not 2013. However, I did meet someone recently on there – a really normal person, someone who actually completed their profile, who took the time to get to know each other. We did those normal things that grown ups do when they’re trying to get back into dating and meet someone. We did dinner, movies, dates out with friends, pub nights out, trips to London – things are good.
We’ve shared laughs, tears and it’s been good to have the support of someone else who’s been through the whole getting divorced thing and learning to do things on your own and adjusting to new routine. Having someone else to talk to, bounce ideas of share those fears that you get when you find yourself a single parent has made the last 5 months easier and I am grateful for that friendship and what’s developing from that.
What happens next and where we go from here who knows but it does feel good to be part of someone’s life again and have someone to talk with about my new adventures.
What has shocked me though through this little meander into online dating is how many of the sites have poor profiles, don’t police their members properly and who actually clone profiles off other sites to populate their member lists. If you’re not web savvy or smart enough you could quite easily miss this and end up signing up for multiple sites which have all the same guys on. Ultimately you need to remember important rules about online dating such as not giving out your number until you’re ready, meet in public and tell someone where you’re going and always try and speak before hand and exchange recent photos.
If you’re trying the dating game at the moment I’d love to know your horror and success stories….