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The Way I See It
6:30pm Friday 29th June 2012 in News
A FRIEND of mine, let’s call her Sara (because that’s her name) has been internet dating.
Being a modern sort of man I was shocked by this.
"But you’re a good looking woman” I said somewhat patronisingly “why do you need to do that?”.
But her argument was sound.
“I don’t go to clubs; I make bad decisions when drunk and I don’t fancy anyone at work.”
As she works in the media I wasn’t surprised.
So avoiding some of the more salacious sites (Taunton Totty, Somerset Smoothies, Ladies who Munch) she signed up to a reputable website and started the game.
And what has she learnt so far?
•No one, really absolutely no one, is as good looking as their picture. Even if Johnny Depp or Ewan Macgregor were on the internet pull, they would post a picture taken ten years ago. I think it must be in the terms and conditions. As Sara said sadly, “To be honest, if you turn up on a first date and recognise the person, you are doing well.”
•It is also, ironically, very traditional. Women cannot make the first move. Men must pursue and woo; women must be coy and reserved. Knowing Sara as I do, this is tricky.
•The etiquette is complex: three emails before you suggest meeting; coffee first; lunch if coffee goes well; dinner if lunch is negotiated successfully. And waiting at least 48 hours before re contacting – anything less is desperate, anything more rude.
•And online names give plenty of scope for breaches of the trades description act. After a few false dawns, Sara learned to ignore emails from men who had the word “sexy” or “slim” in their name. It was like wish fulfilment, the same as assuming that the mere ownership of a gym card makes you fit.
Given all of this I am surprised anyone does the internet thing at all (and they do – a recent survey said that internet dating was now the second most common way to start a relationship). But Sara seemed to enjoy the games, and I knew she would always do well.
And she did. When I saw her recently she told me she had met someone and they seem to be getting along like a couple of shipwrecked librarians with only EL James to read. I was interested; what site did she meet him on? She looked uncharacteristically shy. Apparently, their eyes met across a crowded photocopier.