Although happy with my lot at 37, (self-employed, close friends/family, well-travelled, varied social life, own house and car), I felt “something” was missing, or rather “someone”.
I’d dated over the years, but now wanted to settle down and live the sanitised family life portrayed by advertisers. I even had the archetypal spinster’s cats to ease the pain of solitude.
Finding love in a bar, gym or club was proving to be hard, so I decided to treat it like looking for a new job, not very romantic I know, but where had romance got me before?
I signed up online and decided to avoid my usual “type” in order to avoid previous mistakes and had a few friendly dates with “nice” men but there was no “sparkle”.
The more dates I went on, the more I knew what I was willing to accept and what I wasn’t. I wanted a normal working man with no illegal vices. Someone to laugh with, who had left home before 45, with a car, who could handle money, between 30 and 60. Too much to ask? I knew that the loneliest I had been was with the wrong person and that I would prefer to be alone than settle for Mr Right-Now.
I’ll save you the graphic tear-stained disappointments and the wasted make-up.
Eventually I hardened up and started to see this as an opportunity to drop the desperation and just enjoy meeting people.
I became good at reading body language and between the lines. I sent “cyber winks” to men that I’d have been too shy to talk to in person. Faint heart never won fair ‘gentleman’.
When I received a marketing email about men from either end of the country I sent one man a “wink”. He was from Sheffield.
After two weeks of emailing and phoning we met up. After three months I’d moved across to Sheffield and rented out my house. After six months I was pregnant with twins.
Four years later we married. Now after more than seven years together, I find it hard to believe there’s still a stigma about internet dating. I hear lots of stories of happy couples who met online.
As long as you make sure that you meet in a public place, play it safe and be realistic with expectations it can be fun and maybe even the start of something new.