I wouldn’t say I do things for this blog. But I often have a thought in my head that says ‘Well, if it doesn’t work out, at least I might entertain a couple of people with the stories.’ (Think Scuba diving,yoga, fitball….) And that is partly why I’ve signed up to internet dating…again. A five year or so gap has dulled the pain enough to have another go. The other reason is that it would be quite nice to meet a lovely man who doesn’t leave black fur in his wake. (Obviously that’s a reference to Norman cat rather than an ex.)
I knew there would some interesting elements, but I didn’t think they would actually start before I’d seen any profiles.
I did my homework- reading reviews of the sites most people agreed had a better chance of working, asking friends what they used and with what level of success. I decided to go with eharmony. Partly because a friend had recently met her partner on it, mostly because I had heard a few horror stories of colleagues discovering each other through their profiles on other sites and all sorts of awkwardness resulting. To the uninitiated, eharmony requests that you fill in around 2798 questions, then it matches you with others who have also filled in the required 2798 questions and have come up in the system as having some element of common ground with (Other than the fact that you both found the time to fill in the 2798 questions). You can’t ‘search’ for people – you can only see your matches. Although to date I have A LOT of matches, so I’m not sure it’s pared things down much. I tried this site years ago on one of their free weekends, but all I can remember is receiving a diatribe from an individual about how anyone he met had to have absolutely no baggage and definitely no cats. I wouldn’t have minded, but I’d not spoken to him – it was his ‘introduction’. It kind of put me off and I didn’t bother after that.
Anyway, things seem to have moved on, as they often do, and the site has changed a lot since then. I had discovered in my research that they actually reject people based on their answers sometimes, so I decided to ‘forget’ the cat (I’m sorry Norman) and the crochet habit to start with. I thought if anyone saw that on my profile they would make assumptions – possibly correct ones – but assumptions none the less. So I filled in the 2798 questions, got accepted (!), reviewed the payment options and decided to go for the six month option- if I was going to do this, I might as well give it a good shot. I put my card details in, waited and….well I could see profiles, but no pictures, which I had been promised once I had paid. I decided it might take a while.
Part way through all this my phone had buzzed that I had a text message. I thought I might as well check it while I waited. It was from the fraud part of my bank saying they were concerned about recent activity on my account. Argh! I called them. 45 minutes later I was having a conversation with someone that went something like this:
‘There has been some activity on your account that is very out of character for you.’
<Me, thinking someone had spent thousands. Well, not thousands, because there isn’t that much on my account, but you know, lots> ‘What’s gone through?’
‘There seems to be a payment to….e harmony.’
I can only assume that even my bank have me down as a terminally single person who should give up hope (the amount of money wasn’t big enough to trigger a flag). This was getting kind of insulting. I explained that no, my card wasn’t missing, yes, I really had signed up to a dating site, and yes, I would like them to put the payment through please. I did feel like adding they should be terribly proud of me.
And finally I got to the pictures. I contacted a few people, a few contacted me. The short story is that three days later I have upset two people sufficiently to stop contacting me, one I’m not sure if I am upset or if there was a technical glitch (but I was kind of relieved about that to be honest). I am still talking to one who seems very lovely. I have admitted to my crochet habit (but made out it is very mild) and he took it in his stride. In the last message I dropped into conversation that I also have a cat. I’ve not heard from him since, but you never know.
Wish me luck. Part of me is thinking ‘what could go wrong? But it’s me. And the other part knows I need all the luck out there :o)