About a year ago I took to the world of online dating. I was very sceptical and not really in a place to meet someone else or start a new relationship, it had only been just less that 6months since ending my marriage. It was too soon, common sense said that, I’d been through too much, too much had gone on and it was still early days. But my cousin twisted my arm and convinced me that it’d do me some good.

For awhile I just had a nosey, the odd message and swipe right and it made me feel a bit more confident. Then eventually I embarked on a date, a casual coffee with a guy I had been messaging for a few weeks. We had a laugh over text Abs I thought we’d get along. Then I met him.

Now I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover and that looks aren’t everything and blah blah blah! But first impressions count for a lot. And well, quite frankly he’d used an old picture from a good angle and I just got a vibe. This guy wasn’t my cup of tea. At the risk of sound derogatory, it’s was his body language, dress sense and persona. He was just not my type of person, even just as a friend. We chatted and went for a coffee and very quickly my initial reaction was confirmed, the perfectly kind and nice gentlemen I had met, had nothing in common with me, conversation was hard work and I wished I’d saved my babysitter for a night out with my bestie and his rum drinking madness! So I politely made my excuses left and when he asked me out again I thanked him and explained that we weren’t maybe quite a match.

Then I left it almost a year to finally go on a date again. Don’t get me wrong I’d chatted and had more right swipes but I just felt dubious after my last experience about the whole online thing. I mean how could someone be so different in messages than in person? Well I finally gave it ago again last week and went on a second first date this time with someone new. Someone who I thought was more sparky and had more personality.

He invited me to play junkyard golf, brill, he was onto a winner there. I like fun, unusual dates, always have, even just social events with mates, I like doing things off the cuff, a break from the norm and a bit of a laugh. I actually thought I might like this guy and went on the date concerned about what he’d think of me, whereas last time I’d already had an inkling that I might not be keen. Once again though I was to be disappointed, I again first saw the guy and saw a different person to the pictures, again a much younger pic at a good angle. But also, I saw someone who just didn’t fit the image and impression they given me. I gave him a chance though and we played a round of mini golf before I caught my train home.

Again, conversation was difficult and I felt like he was trying to say all the things I wanted to hear, a bit like a candidate might do in a job interview. In both situations I don’t want that though, I want someone to be real and themselves. So I chalked it up to another date experience and funny story to tell (bad dress sense and golf ball co-ordination related-no rude pun intended) especially as the guy awkwardly tried to kiss me as I turned away and scuttled off for my taxi. It got me thinking though, is online dating for me?

I’m not so sure it is, I find it all a bit false and forced. The best way to get a feel for someone is to see them in person and it’s not a job application. It’s socialising and life, yet it all feels a bit like a recruitment process, you look at their profile read their credentials, message and then meet, like an interview. I just wonder if I’m better off meeting someone more naturally through my social life and circle. I mean on both occasions I had more fun and banter with the taxi drivers on the 5 minute journeys than I did ok the hour long dates. I’m a lively, talkative person that socialises easily and confidently. I get along with most colleagues at work, I interact with a lot of people on a regular basis so need someone that’s going to hold my interest and attention.

Some of my friends have suggested I need to give them more of a chance but then others have also agreed with me and said life’s too short, there’s plenty more fish in the sea. I’m kind of inclined to agree with the latter, my child free time is rare and limited, I’m not going to waste it! Although pre-marriage days I did have a reputation for being a one date wonder and cutting guys loose before giving them much of a chance. Maybe then my standards are too high, but after wasting ten years of my life on someone who hurt me in many ways, I don’t want to waste my time on someone that I don’t find interesting or attractive.

So whilst I debate about deleting my online profile, I’m just going to go with the flow. I don’t think I’m necessarily quite ready to meet anyone. I don’t feel ready to give up too much of my time with toddler P and my friends for a bloke. I don’t feel ready to disrupt my life as it is at the moment, I’m a busy person with people and things that I’ll want to prioritise over a chap, so it’s going to take someone to really catch my eye to make those compromises. That said, I don’t intend spending the rest of my days alone, I don’t intend on shutting out men completely. I’ll still go on dates and give them a chance, I just think I’ll have met them in person first.

I think it’s the online match making that I think I want to close off from. I’m not feeling the whole meet up and make small talk with a stranger. I know plenty have met partners for life through dating sites but I’m just finding them a bit of a chore, a bit of hard work and I’m not really getting anything back out of them. I know two dates it’s probably not giving it much of a chance but I’ve not really be inspired by the apps and swipe left mostly anyway.

I think dating is for me but maybe in the more old fashioned out and about meeting someone that’s a friend of a friend or whilst having catch up cocktails with the girls. Bye bye bumble, you’ve been fun while you lasted but you didn’t really have much of a buzz.

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