After last fortnight’s date with the beautiful, self-obsessed snore-bag, I decide that due time and attention must crucially be devoted to contemplating what I’m really looking for in a man (and not doing what I’ve done thus far and picking them purely based on a visual assessment). I’ve therefore not been on any dates this week, just done a lot of e-flirting, in a bid to get to know my cyber-admirers better.
“Babe, you don’t think you might be being a little bit picky?” my best mate says when I lure her round to vet my choices with the promise of a glass of wine. There is the possibility that she might have a point. Thus far I’ve dismissed one guy for having professional modeling shots on his profile (poser), one for writing ‘lol’ in his email (immature) and another for being too gushing about my appearance (shameless flatterer/potential stalker).
It’s not until I go to write my own introductory email that I realize how tough these guys have it. It’s massively intimidating, attempting to be original whilst not coming across as an enormous weirdo. I make a mental note to revise my opinion of the guy who emailed with one line – ‘vanilla or chocolate ice-cream?’ – whom I’d immediately blocked because of his terrible opener.
My mouse has been drawn to a picture of a man who looks like he might tick all my metaphorical boxes. He’s smiling in an uncontrived way in his profile pic and looks like the sort of man who might not realise how attractive he is (that’s become a new box-ticker since my last date). He’s 6 foot 4 (bonus), lives near me and lists music and food in his hobbies, which means we have at least two things in common. I type and re-type “Hi, how are you?” before deciding I am officially the lamest person ever and shouldn’t be allowed to talk to people. Eventually I settle on ‘you’re profile caught my eye – nice smile. Message me back if you want to chat’. It’s not going to win any awards for creativity, but hopefully it won’t scare him either.
After being briefly terrified by a bloke who has somehow managed to Google the details on my profile, discover my true identity and email me about a Facebook group I set up in 2008 (he tries to convince me he’s a spy but I think it’s more likely to be testament to the power of Google), a reply from Smiley Guy appears in my inbox. Result! I also get an email from a guy who pushed the “no obscene pictures” rule, and his boxer shorts, to their absolute limit and asks me “do you like what you see?”. I don’t, and he’s blocked. It really is a minefield, this online dating lark.
Words by Zowie Edwards