Let me tell you a little story….
I was that friend who was single while all my best friends were getting engaged, getting married or having babies. 90% of the time it did not bother me as I am hard like that (no one likes a whingebag) but the other 10% of the time I would find myself lonely on a Saturday night, watching crap with Ant & Dec, almost crying into my wine wishing I could have a cuddle or just well……. company.
(Cue the violins!)
When we went to weddings everyone had a date and I just had myself.
The thing that annoyed me the most was when some people would patronise the shit out me, “Don’t worry Clara, you’ll find someone when the time is right” while looking at me with sorrowful eyes, rubbing their hand up and down my arm and introducing me to their ugly friend/brother/cousin/dog walker/post man. Fuck off! I found meeting men so awkward. A creature of habit; I like what I like, I know who I know, and I never usually think past that.
I remember once getting a taxi home in Manchester on my own after a night out. The cabby was a lovely chatty fellow (as they can be), and he started asking questions. Where I worked, where I was from etc. Standard politeness. He then asked me if I had a fella and I said no. He turned around in disbelief and said
I said “Pardon?”, but thought ‘why not, why should I?’
“Why are you single, a lovely girl like you?” he chuckled shaking his head.
I couldn’t give an answer. How the fuck am I supposed to know. Am I ugly? Was there something wrong with me? My feral best friends think I’m a legend, this I know. But by that chalk, is there something wrong with them? (Probably, but that’s another story for another time!)
I absolutely hate the idea of meeting people in bars. Everybody just wants a shag and doesn’t seem genuine and I’m not like that. I had my fun in my early twenties. I wanted real love Godamnit! I wanted the Victoria and David, Romeo and Juliet, Brad (swoon) and Angelina shit.
What was wrong with me? I rarely got chatted up, and on the odd occasion that someone would want to find out more about me I would fuck them off because having fun with my friends was far more appealing (and it made my mates laugh!)
I would always just dismiss these men as freaks and weirdos.
I had a bit of a lightbulb moment when Freya sat me down and said I was moaning about being single too much (which is rich coming from her, the Queen of Moaning Minnie’s!)
Amelie then asked me over a bottle of wine ‘what are you doing proactively that is going to change your situation?’
The penny dropped. The answer was nothing. Absolutely jack shit.
So it was time for a change. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
The hardest thing in the world was coming out of my partially happy little comfort zone and trying something new.
It’s daunting, no matter how confident, sure of yourself or drunk you are. But I felt I had no other options. That’s the way modern people date these days right?
So after a few bottles of wine for courage (any excuse!) I set myself up on two dating sites. One was www.mysinglefriend.com (done by a friend with my consent) and the other one was www.plentyoffish.com.
I picked these two sites is because they are both free and I was skint. Also I felt like if I paid for a site and I managed to hook myself a boyfriend, then technically I would have paid for sex (this is how my mind works, but I’m sure the sites you pay for are much better in reality!)
At the time, ‘Plenty of fish’ had a bad reputation, there was talk of lots of ‘cock shots’ floating about on there, and in my experience it did not disappoint. After uploading a few suitable pics of me (where I did not look like a massive pisshead) I wrote a brief profile:
I literally had three pictures of cocks in my inbox before I had even finished editing my profile.
The part that horrified me most was not the penises themselves (who hasn’t seen a penis?) it was the horrendous spelling and abbreviations:
‘Y up 4 shg 2nite’
‘yr ft call me’
‘how big r ur tts’
‘U r gawjus’
Are you fucking kidding me?
I mean these sentences make absolutely no sense. Where did these twats get their education? I’m worried for the future of my unborn children if people can leave school in this day and age without learning to spell.
I fell asleep and woke up to thirty private inbox messages all from the ugliest men you have ever seen. Honestly all rank. I could almost smell the BO coming out of my screen. I’m guessing these men send the same messages to multiple women to increase their chances of getting laid. As the saying goes, if you throw enough shit some of it will stick.
One kind fellow said he wanted to take me out on a date at 3am in Ancoats and we could run around stealing flowers out of old ladies back gardens. I mean that’s just rude and weird.
As the days went on the number of messages increased, until I was getting about fifty day. It was actually taking me hours to scroll through, read and delete them! The penis pictures were becoming a huge novelty and every morning I would pass my phone round to the girls in the office for ‘cock of the day’.
Mysinglefriend.com didn’t have much traffic, I’d get the odd message here and there but nothing like the numbers on plenty of fish.
Eventually realising my Prince Charming wasn’t going to send me his cock in a private message or land on my doorstep. I decided to do my own searches on plenty of fish, and that is how I came across Mr J.
We both work in the same industry, both love Vimto (vimto is my life) both follow the ‘Twat diet’ and we both love the same music. And obviously I fancied the look of him from his profile picture..
I ‘liked’ his profile and he sent me a message the next day asking how my weekend was. We chatted for a couple of weeks (admittedly I do hate the pointless shit chit-chat but it’s got to be done!) He seemed great. So we finally decided to meet up in town for drinks.
I was so terrified of meeting him that I turned up completely pissed, luckily he thought that was great and announced that he “best catch up quick!”
Four years later we are still happy, we now live together, love each other unreservedly, look after each other and have a great laugh together; taking the piss out of each other every day (that’s romantic right?)
We aren’t engaged …yet, and I will write a blog soon moaning about that. (I’ve been a bridesmaid seven times! So it’s been my turn for a while now right?) But generally I’m the happiest I’ve ever been (pass the sick bucket) and even if we don’t get married, I know I’ve met the one for me. I’ve found my soulmate. Not only that but he gives me money to get pissed and treat myself and encourages me to see my feral best mates often, what a hero!!
So generally my online dating advice would be to bite the bullet and set up a couple of profiles, message a few people and go on a few dates, but most importantly have a laugh with it and make sure your mates are involved, supporting you. Don’t be afraid of change because it leads to new beginnings.
Also, if you go on a shit date-write a blog post about about it so we can all have a laugh. My only regret is that I deleted my plenty of fish profile and so no longer have access to all the rancid, naughty pictures I was sent. They would be fun to look at now and again.
Quotes made using Typorama. Animal head images created using animal head app. All other images copyright free.