Never say never. That’s what they say. And wouldn’t you know it, I have begun online dating.

Apparently, I was never going to be single again at 40. Consequently, I was never going to need to entertain the ridiculous idea of joining all those desperados in the game of internet romance. Call me a traditionalist but it had always been my belief that life would present those folks you were supposed to meet, in the grocery queue or when you had a flat tyre.

But life is too short.

Now, I’m not saying internet dating isn’t the answer to many peoples prayers. A cyber love search presents a world of opportunity at the touch of a button. It’s akin to gambling for the lonely hearts – believing Mr or Mrs perfect could be one click  away has its allure.

Then there is the reality.

I started my search with the flush of excitement at the sheer volume of potential. I was there wasn’t  I? An attractive, intelligent and interesting mother of three, compelled by circumstances to expand her dating arena . Surely the male pool would offer similar specimens – and plenty of them?

Six months down the line…it seems unlikely.

I have busily set all my profile parameters, those boundaries that will hopefully deflect ‘ kisses’ ( as we RSVP peeps like to call them) from unlikely candidates. Unfortunately, it is with great disappointment that I watch the messages from fifty five year old truck driver Bert from Baulkham Hills or Childless, 42 year old car enthusiast Trevor from Rooty Hill, appear in my inbox.

I weed through the flotsam and jetsam and occasionally find someone date – worthy. Though, my process is so ruthless I always wonder who I might have let slip?

If his profile picture indicates he has lopped his previous girlfriend from the frame – alarm bells ring.  Or perhaps he has one blurry shot of himself and then five of the scenery from his long history of exciting travels  -Deleted tout suite. Mr Smooth, pictured in his prized car – forget it! The chap who declares the lucky lady will make a great accessory to his already uber cool existence – get a dog. Done a self portrait reclining with your shirt off? Good luck in your search. Every photo of you in the far distance surfing, skiing or doing another bloody triathlon? Bye Bye. No pictures at all? – stop hiding or get out of the game!

Jaded? Just a little. And that’s before I even get to any real dates.

And there have been a few :the young overly forward Brazilian, the traumatized Physio who discussed his medication schedule, the Executive Search jock with delusions of grandeur and the cute Finance fitness freak who admitted to having a shopping list of willing admirers notched up on his bed post… it goes on.

Needless to say, I get on and off the  merry- go-round. Hiding my profile and trying to put my energy into something more productive. However it seems not long after, the whiff of loneliness creeps up and back on we get.

It’s like playing a slot machine at the casino. The potential keeps rolling round and the possibilities keep lining up. So here I sit wondering whether to pull that handle one more time or just get up, kick the machine and walk away.

Whilst I ponder that, I think I will go and pop my tyre.

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