Thursday, 23 February 2017 was a tremendous day for me.
It was the day I deleted my online dating profile.
But I’d also like to consider it as the day I chose life. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I’d love to sound all cool and even more Trainspotting and say ‘Reasons? There are no reasons’, just like in the famous ‘Choose life’ monologue from the film, but it’s not possible.
There were reasons.
Plenty of reasons.
These are just a few, and why everything will be just fine.
If you’re not one of the beautiful people, it’s not happening, let’s face it. I’d dearly love to tell myself it didn’t work out for me because I was so devastatingly handsome that the damsels on these sites didn’t dare approach me. Blessed with the hunky good looks of Channing Tatum, the astounding intellect of Einstein and the razor sharp wit of Bill Hicks – did they every really stand a chance?
That’s what I’d like to think. The truth is so different it’s almost unbelievable!
Bottom line: I’m not tall or insanely handsome, and I was punching way over my weight with a lot of them. Many times they clicked on my profile – which was well punctuated, might I add! – and then just clicked away again. Sorry to disappoint, girls! Won’t be happening again now that I’ve deleted my profile!
Too much nonsense
There’s all kinds of nonsense and mistreatment goes on on these sites. Fair enough, you’re not gonna set everyone’s pulse racing, but with all the ghosting going on, I’m surprised Bill Murray and Dan Ackroyd weren’t blasting POF to supernatural smithereens with their plasma guns!
Then there’s the day of the date itself.
Some cancelled at the last minute (possibly for a genuine reason, but more probably because Plan A got back to them and was on!).
One took a single look at me, made her shitty excuses and left – not particularly pleasant, but it did leave me time to go for a swim that day, so it had some health benefits in there for me in the end!
And one ditched me – didn’t think adults did that sort of thing, but how wrong was I!
I just didn’t enjoy it very much overall
That’s the bottom line really. I just don’t like the concept. No matter how casual you approach the date, it’s not a natural setup. Two strangers getting on great on paper – well, via text message – and then meeting for the first time and putting themselves out there. It’s buttcheek-clenching stuff!
And a friendly word of warning: If your date glances down at your shoes as they walk towards you in the first meet up, you could be in for a bumpy ride, so shine those loafers up tippety top, boys! )
Now I can go back to those amazing days when, without expecting to, I’ll meet someone magical at a social gathering, event, club, coffee shop or elsewhere who would rock my world to its very foundations (in a nice way, of course!). Then, too shy to ask them out, I can spend the rest of my days admiring my princess from afar, fumbling for something to say, greet her ‘hello’ every single time they walk past and struggle to breathe in her presence while my heart pounds away, feeling like it’s about to burst out of my chest like in ‘Alien’.
No more walking away disappointed from afternoons or evenings with pleasant, attractive strangers who never want to see me again. No more minor emotional investment in texting and messaging back and forth. The days of hopeless romanticism are on their way back. Hello, old friends, I missed you (sort of)!
So, what’s so great, then?
‘There’s always something to smile about’ – that’s something I told a friend recently, and it’s true, there is.
Last summer, I started to phase online dating out of the equation and focus more on myself, on life in the here and now and on being happy (selfish sod).
I’ve been keeping fit with swimming and somehow been gradually returning to the best physical shape of my life again, a shape I should never have lost. Not only that, I went back to my passion of judo, to the pleasure of the judo lifestyle and of seeing my friends from the club. And I started eating well again (although I’ll pretend the many boxes of Maltesers at Christmas time didn’t happen!).
As the scales begun returning good news, I went back to dressing smartly and indulging in my love of aftershaves. Even so, I’ll still be slipping into my fave T-shirt at some point in summer 2017: the Pulp Fiction one with Uma Thurman on the front, smoking a ciggie! Damn she’s cool in that movie, and the shirt is one of my finest purchases at ‘Primani’. It all feels so good!
After a lengthy spell away, I finally began blogging again in my spare time. Hopefully, I’ve found the chirpy, upbeat voice I once had, but if not, rest assured I am working on it and normal service will resume shortly! I focus more on my books, too, knowing that there are no notifications from POF or some other online dating site to distract me.
Generally, the less time I’ve spent online dating, the more focused I’ve felt. Happier, even. And someone, somewhere in the real world, probably finds that attractive.
What happens next?
In the meantime, another day may go by. Another month. Another year. Who knows, but either way, I’ll still be feeling good and doing the things I love, and I’m not Ally McBeal, so yay for me!
If you’ve seen T2: Trainspotting 2, you’ll recall they updated the ‘Choose life’ monologue. (And if you’ve not seen it, look away now!) As double-crossing Renton, Ewan McGregor tells his friend to choose Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There’s nothing in there about choosing online dating.
That tells me everything I need to know.
Everything’s gonna be okay.