Modern Dating

Trying to find your ‘soul mate’ in this lifetime is to put it bluntly…a nightmare!. Well at least it was for me, along with most of the people I know who are currently in the dating game. Long gone are the days where people used to meet up at the local bars, pubs, dance halls, clubs etc. It has all been taken over by the internet. I remember when it was still an unknown way to meet someone and sometimes even made fun of. Now its just the norm, nearly every single person looking for love these days are on internet dating sites, which can be a true blessing or like I said…A complete and utter nightmare!  I have experienced both sides too it. On the plus side you can see a person and know if you are attracted to them, talk to them over chatting, get to know a little about them before deciding whether to go through with a date or not. The negative side of it is that it can be extremely off putting and dangerous.  Its difficult when you see all of your friends happily married or all loved up in serious relationships, you start to feel like you will never meet ‘the one’ and quite possibly destined to be on your own forever. When I felt this way I decided to try online dating and up until settling down with my partner, things were….erm…interesting.

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I always found the dating game tough anyway and didn’t used to meet people very easily.  The only person I met through the traditional way of ‘seeing someone across a crowded room’ and falling in love with was my children’s father.  After we split I went through the ‘I’m never going to meet anyone ever again and destined to be a single mother for the rest of my life’ phase, until a friend told me about the popular website ‘Plenty Of Fish’.  If it was down to me I would actually change the name to ‘Plenty Of Nutters’ but in all fairness I did actually meet the love of my life through them.  But it wasn’t easy and I can only describe it as ‘sifting through the trash to find the prize’…And I have definitely sifted through some large amounts of trash.  During my online dating I came across liars, cheats, time wasters, fakes, perverts and some downright nasty people, I of course came across really nice people too, but who just simply weren’t right for me.  Of course someone who isn’t right for me could be the right one for you, its all about finding that person you gel with, and like I said, if you stick with it then you have a really great chance of meeting your soul mate.  So if you are stuck feeling like you are having really bad luck at the moment I am going to share with you some of my most memorable dates with people who I will never forget…

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My very first ‘Plenty Of Fish’ date was a funny one.  It was not long after I had split with my children’s father and was in the mind set that the first person I met on that website was going to be my future hubby, my perfect partner! Unfortunately in reality it turned out that this was going to be the first in a very long line of strange dates.  I got chatting to someone and we chatted online for a couple of days.  After getting on well we agreed to meet up.  Unfortunately he didn’t drive which kind of put me off, but I thought to myself that I couldn’t really turn the potential man of my dreams down just because he didn’t drive.  We arranged to meet at a pub near to where he lived.  I pulled up in the car park and as I did,  I saw someone dressed in a strange combination of a football shirt with jeans but with smart shoes walking through the entrance, carrying a sports bottle. Looking back I should really have drove straight back out but I had already told him what kind of car I drove and felt a bit mean in leaving.  I went over and we said our hello’s, I asked him what he had in his sports bottle?  he replied with ‘I haven’t got any money so brought some beer with me’  Again..why I didn’t walk away at this point I have no idea.  We went inside, found a table and ‘I’ went to the bar.  To be honest I cant remember what we spoke about but I do remember that I could smell really really bad body odour! I thought to myself that there was absolutely no way this guy would have turned up to a date stinking of sweat, (obviously and strangely forgetting that he had turned up with no money and beer in a sports bottle) but when he took a trip to the men’s room, the smell drifted away with him confirming that this one really was not the one for me. Afterwards, I received a text message saying he thought the date went really well, how I am not too sure because with me…my facial expressions always tell you exactly what I am thinking, and the feeling definitely was not mutual.

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When chatting with people online, there will be times when a person takes offence that you aren’t interested.  I have had abuse thrown at me such as ‘I didn’t fancy you that much anyway’ or ‘I should have looked at all of your pictures before contacting as you are way too fat’, basically anything to insult you to make them feel better and big their ego back up.  At the end of the day someone who I think is attractive wont be attractive to someone else, and vice versa, that’s life, don’t take offence and move on.  This kind of example brings me onto another memorable ‘Plenty Of Fish’ experience….

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Over time, I started to have certain stages I took before meeting up with someone.  The first was to chat through private messages, next was to check them out on Facebook to make sure they actually existed.  After that I would then move onto exchanging telephone numbers.  You might think that this is a little quick but the way I saw it was, you could waste weeks and weeks of chatting online to then meet up and realise they weren’t what you was expecting, resulting in wasting both peoples time.  With exchanging telephone numbers it meant that we could actually chat over the telephone etc. making sure that we weren’t going to be uncomfortable and stuck for words.  Unfortunately this time it was a mistake.  In-between the exchanging numbers and talking on the phone stages this guy said something which really put me off him.  I politely said I am really sorry but I don’t think we are really suited after all. This didn’t go down too well and rather than taking it on the chin and saying fair enough no problem, I received days of text abuse and prank phone calls at 2am every morning which got so bad that it resulted in reporting his telephone number to the police.  Luckily I heard nothing after that but its crazy how some people will actually do that kind of thing.

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Obviously I did have dates which were normal..ish,  but more often than not it would just simply be that we weren’t compatible and we would politely go our separate ways. Strangely there were lots of guys who I would be speaking with for a while, who would just disappear off the face of the Earth!  I am a very ‘say it how it is’ kind of person so if it turns out that I am not interested in someone then I tell them straight out, no game playing.  But of course I know that not everyone thinks that way.  There was even one man who I had been dating for about a week in person,  who then just disappeared off the face of the Earth never to be seen or heard of again!  There were also ones who started out great but ended badly.  I have to say that the next memorable ‘Plenty Of Fish’ experience was the strangest and most dangerous..

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I was contacted by a guy who was the perfect match for me or so I thought.  We had the banter, we were attracted to each other, he treated me like a princess and it was going great! Things progressed quickly and we met each others parents and it really seemed to be love at first sight.  He lived in a town which was about half an hours drive away from me, so one weekend we planned to have a night out in his area and I was going to stay at his house afterwards. Things were going great, I drove over there, picked him up from his local pub where he was with the lads, he was quite drunk by that time and so we parked up and went onto somewhere else.  This was the night that I was meeting his friends for the first time and with it being a place I didn’t know I have to admit that I was feeling a little venerable but I trusted him and things were going well….right up until one of his mates thought it would be funny to get the DJ to play my dates and his ex wife’s wedding dance song.  As you can imagine this caused a bit of a problem.  Neither of us saw the funny side and couldn’t quite fathom out why anyone in their right mind would find that funny, but after that things with him started to change very quickly.  It was suddenly like I was sat with a complete stranger!  He started snapping at me, causing arguments and tension, it was very uncomfortable and it started to freak me out.  I decided to go to the ladies and leave him to calm down.  I must admit that I was in there a good 10 minutes trying to decide if I should leave or not.  When I went back out and over to the table the decision had already been made for me, he had gone.  My coat was there but no one with it.  I asked people where he was and they said he had left.  I rang him to see where he was but there was no answer.  I waited for him to call back but he didn’t.  I was starting to feel quite panicky by now so I tried calling again, this time he picked up but instead of ‘hi babe are you still at the pub, I will come back’ which is what I was expecting,  I got a ton of abuse.  I was accused of walking out on him, being selfish and making him look stupid sat there on his own, I was called most names under the sun and he had me to the point where I was having a panic attack and in floods of tears.  The call cut off and I just sat there in shock.  All I could think to myself was that I needed to get home but had no idea where my car was.  I decided to try one more time, all I got was his voicemail, so I left a message saying that I wasn’t really sure what was going on with him but I was in his town where I didn’t know where I was, didn’t know a single person, I had no clue where my car was so the least he could do would be to help me get back home.   I got no reply and confirmed that he really was an utter low life.   In the end one of the staff members at the pub helped me find my car and luckily I had only had one drink so was able to drive home.  It was one of the strangest experiences in my life and cant believe how alcohol can change someone so easily like that.  When I got home it was one of those ‘did that actually just happen’ kind of moments.  Safe to say that things were ended after that, but he did have the nerve to pop up every now and then asking if I would like some fun…yeah turns out he was that type of guy. All I can say is that I am so glad he showed his true colours sooner rather than later.

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This might all seem like doom and gloom so far but as I said… I have indeed met the man of my dreams thanks to online dating.  So I will end on a good note to prove that it was all worth it in the end.  I met my partner in the January of 2014, we chatted for about a week through text and talking on the phone, but instead of a big first date planned it was more of a casual ‘hey what are you up to?, nothing much, you fancy a drink? yeah why not’…and so we met up for a coffee at McDonald’s. Yes we had our first date at McDonald’s.  Five hours later and we were still sat chatting, about anything and everything, it was so easy between us, there were the butterflies and the excitement and the attraction and it felt amazing.  We fell for each other very quickly and it was intense.  We moved in together April 2014, but by September 2014 everything turned to disaster.  We had taken the whole thing far too quickly.  We had a lot of our own demons and problems to face privately and it tore us apart, he ended up leaving.  Stay with me though, I promise there is a happily ever after coming up…During the two years we were split nothing ever felt the same.  I was convinced he was my soul mate but I started the online dating again, even started a new relationship in January 2015 which lasted a few months but things didn’t feel right, as awful as it sounds I compared everyone to my ex.  No one matched up to him or understood me in the way he did.  Every now and then we would chat, I would contact him or he would contact me but I wasn’t over the split, I was angry with him and every time we talked I would end up having an argument with him and just couldn’t get over the fact that he left in the first place.  Then in May 2016 something finally clicked and I was ready to try again.  We started dating again and all the love fell back into place.  The butterflies and the excitement was back, we had faced our own demons apart and we are now stronger than ever.  We are taking things slower than the first time round, the best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes.  Every time I see my boyfriend I feel that overwhelming love for him, we were always meant to be, but it seemed we just needed to get to the right time in life for it to work.  We are happier and stronger than ever and I do believe that there is someone special out there for all of us. 

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The world of modern dating is utter madness but if you are looking for love then please take my advice and stick with it.  Sift through all of that rubbish, (and there certainly is a lot of rubbish) but you will find your prize in the end.  I’m not saying it will be easy and I hope you manage to avoid disaster dates like mine but you will ‘definitely’ find your partner in crime.  Even though online dating can be daunting and crazy, it does give you a much better chance of finding your Mr/Mrs right than waiting around to bump into someone at the local club on a weekend.

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So here are my top tips for online dating…

1-After personal experience, DO NOT trust dating sites which you have to pay for.  They are in no way more effective or safer than the free ones.  Quite often they have employees who make fake profiles to chat and to keep you paying.  More often than not you will be chatting to a fake person for months who you will never meet.  If the person keeps putting off exchanging personal details after talking for days, then chances are they aren’t real.     

2-Don’t wait for people to message you, if you are interested in someone then you need to go for it.  The other person might be just as worried about contacting people as you are.

3-If you don’t get a reply, really don’t take it personally, we all look for different things in a partner so what is meant to be will be.  there is someone out there for all of us.

4-If you get abuse, simply block them, these people are pathetic, don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing that they are getting to you.

5-Make sure they are willing to give you their Facebook.  Its the best way of checking out what a person is like, what they look like, how they act and if they actually do exist.

6-Talk to them over the phone or if possible have a Skype date.  Again this is a sure way to make sure that the person exists and to make sure that you are compatible.

7-Meet in a public place for your first date.  I found that there were lots of men who asked for me to go round to their house to meet them.  That’s just plain stupid, anything can happen, if that person does not respect that you want to keep safe this way then they aren’t worth your time.

8-Take your time, keep your guard up for a while, the person might not turn out to be  as perfect as what they seem

9-Most Importantly….for god sake just use your common sense!

As well as all this have fun, keep an open mind, stay positive, accept that there will be disaster dates, hopefully nothing too disastrous and you will find your prince/princess charming when the time is right!

Thank you for reading, 

Happy fishing, happy dating, stay safe

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