I found myself at 28 with two little boys and a failed marriage! I can remember thinking that was it. I was going to be alone for ever. No one was going to want to get with someone who had two kids and baggage!
I didn’t want to be alone forever, but the thought of going out to bars and clubs to meet drunk, leery men terrified me! How the hell was I going to do it?
The first time I set my profile live I think I lasted for a few hours before hiding it. I had messages, not just one, quite a few. They ranged from ‘hi’ yes that was all it included. To very graphic, omg why would you even write that messages. Clicking through the profiles I thought I can’t do this. Too old, too young, too weird! Were there any normal men out there?! My first experience scared me. I felt exposed and vulnerable. I didn’t go back on for a few weeks.
The best thing that happened was getting a single friend involved. I didn’t feel so alone. We treated it as a bit of a laugh and I stopped taking it seriously. We both set our profiles to live and within a few hours had messages. The funniest thing, we had messages from the same people, saying exactly the same thing. They hadn’t even read our profiles. They just had a generic message that would get sent to every girl that popped up that they liked the look of. Any boring or rude messages just got ignored. The message had to be personal and show that they had actually had a read of my profile to warrant a reply.
I would know within a few messages back and forward whether I could get on with someone, online. However the way people are online can sometimes be very different to how they are in real life. Have you seen Catfish? I went on a few dates, some good, some a total disaster! Every date I would feel sick with nerves beforehand. After a few dates and not clicking with anyone I decided to give it all a rest. At least it had given me a confidence boost and shown me that people aren’t always that bothered by kids and baggage. There are a lot of people out there the same.
Bored one Sunday evening I decided to log back on and up on the bottom of the screen popped someone who caught my eye. Reading through his profile I was interested but it said at the bottom not to be upset if he didn’t reply as it saved in the long run. Not wanting to miss the opportunity I pinged off a message. Well I say pinged, more like agonised over what to say and then quickly pressed send before I could chicken out. I think I tried to be funny, I wish I could remember what I had put. Then sat nervously waiting. I rang my friend who looked at his profile and agreed that yes he was very nice. Neither of us thought I would get a reply so I think I actually squealed with delight when I did. We messaged back and forward though the site initially and quickly moved to messaging through Facebook messenger.
I think the first date was set for a couple of weeks after the initial contact or maybe it was a week?! I had my hair done that day and it was a beautiful early Spring day which makes everything seem great. I can remember being so nervous and excited. More excited than I had been before. I was on the phone to my friend waiting for him to pick me up as we were going to my local country pub. I said to her that I wasn’t doing it anymore after this date, I couldn’t deal with the nerves. He picked me up and instantly we got on, there weren’ too many awkward silences, we had loads to chat about and he was even more good looking in the flesh. I’m not totally shallow but you need that initial attraction. Our first date was a total success and we spoke every day for the next week till meeting again the following weekend. I knew on this second date that this was going to be something more. I fell in love very quickly which surprised and terrified me at the same time after being hurt before. Luckily for me, he felt the same.
I’m so grateful to online dating. Without it I really don’t think I would have met him. We lived not that far away but in a different town. Very rarely went to the same places and had no friends in common. It would have been a total chance meeting had we have met another way. I’m so glad I logged on that day and saw him and that I plucked up the courage to send that first message. I could still be sitting here on my own wondering how I was ever going to meet someone. If you are reading this and wondering whether to give internet dating a go, do it!! Two years later, I’m very happy with a beautiful baby girl and my perfect partner.
I learnt a lot very quickly on the online dating scene and picked up quite a few tips and ways to keep yourself safe. I will be doing some more posts on online dating so if there is anything you would like to know please do ask.