We’re a few days past Valentine’s Day now, and there’s been a fair distribution of love on my social media timelines between couples, but there has also been some single friends out there posting about how they’re ‘#ForeverAlone’ or how online dating will never lead to anything etc.
So here I am, the happily married mother of one, to tell you that you’re wrong. I kid. But, seriously, you might just be.
I’m a strong believer in everything happening for a reason. I guess in a sense, I’ve had to be. There’s been some seriously low points in my life that at the time I couldn’t see a way out of, but now I look back on them and can’t see how I never saw the way out sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, after all.
Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye
Is an auld Scots saying that I’ve come to live my life by. It simply means that what is meant to be will be, and you won’t miss anything that’s meant for you. Now, call it fate, call it hard work, call it dumb luck. Whatever you call it, what’s meant to happen will always happen.
I’ve been in my fair share of pretty tough relationships, I’ve been in relationships that were toxic and relationships that were simply convenient. At the time, I would think that this was what was meant for me, but again, looking back I can see that it wasn’t. Well, not in the “forever and ever” sense, but they were definitely there to teach me life lessons. To teach me that I can be bold and travel to different countries solo. To teach me about other people’s friendships. To teach me that rebounds never work. To teach me to never feel pressured into things that you’re not comfortable with – whether that’s pressure coming from your partner or from your social group. To teach me that, no matter what, no matter the mistake, I will always have people there who have my back. The main thing that these relationships taught me though, is to never give up on the hope of sheer blissful happiness.
After I broke up with a previous boyfriend, I joined Plenty of Fish (POF), a fairly popular dating site. After sieving through your typical amount of dick pics and “hey sexy” (yuck) messages, I happened to find my husband and father of my child.
Andrew and I started chatting, and quickly we were messaging constantly. It felt like I’d started reconnecting with an old friend who I hadn’t spoken to for years. There was nothing creepy or strange or unnatural about our messages, and most importantly our connection. We found out we had a tonne in common and just the right amount of differences to keep things interesting. We met a few days later for dinner, and the rest as they say, is history.
We went from dating to in a relationship pretty quickly, and we simply knew that we loved each other and wanted this to be a forever kinda thing. We joke proposed to each other regularly in those early days, talked about how we’d always want two kids, and how we’d build a Lego collection together as well as a family.
He was the first person, never mind boyfriend, to make me feel loved for every single aspect of me. I was always able to be open about my mental health with him, always able to turn to him and always able to count on him. And that’s when I realised that this was the first time I’d been in love. Not your roses and fancy dinners love, but your weekly shop and Saturday morning cartoons kinda love.
Now, I’m not naive. I know that this doesn’t happen for everyone, heck, it was the first time it had happened for me. I guess, what I’m saying is that dating apps and online dating can work. There are real success stories there, and I don’t think that’s completely down to algorithms and luck. It also takes courage and work, just like meeting any type of life partner does and should take.
So, if you’re wondering if the right person is out there for you, or you’re struggling to have online dating work for you, please feel free to read the below tips:
Five Tips for Online Dating
- Stay away from cliches – now, I say this even though my tag line on my POF profile was “hello, is it me you’re looking for?” ‘Cause I love a bad pun as much as the bad person, but what I mean by this is the bad online dating cliches. The creeper who wants photos sent to them constantly, the person who constantly hounds you to meet irl, the person who just constantly messages you with “hey x” etc. Stay away from cliches and be yourself. The people you’re trying to talk to are people. Ask them about themselves, be more bold than a simple greeting.
- Have a conversation starter in your profile – my username was a quote from my favourite Doctor Who episode, Vincent and The Doctor. I had put on my profile that if someone knew where the quote was from, then I was already planning our wedding. The first message Andrew sent me was simply “Vincent and The Doctor episode of Doctor Who”, and that got me chatting straight away. (I later found out he’d googled it, but let’s ignore that fact just now). The point is, have something on your profile that people can converse with you about, instead of just your love life.
- Have patience and read the other person – now, you may be super keen on someone and want to talk to them all the time, but the thing is some people have busy lives and aren’t able to be on their phone constantly. Just because someone doesn’t reply to you straight away doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like you. Be patient. Don’t rush from chatting to dating if one party isn’t completely ready. I had a guy who bought us tickets to a gig, despite us not having met in person yet, and is not having any real chemistry. He then got really pissed when I said I was in a relationship, saying how he was going to have to sell the tickets. The tickets that I did not ask him to buy. Reading the other person is super important. As much as it would be wonderful if everyone we liked, liked us back, the world isn’t perfect and it doesn’t always happen. When it does happen don’t be disheartened. Just remember that there’s no point poking a fire after the flame has gone out, and that whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye.
- Be yourself – it’s the most cliche piece of advice that anyone could ever give another live being, but it’s the truth. There is no point pretending to be something or someone (helloooo Catfish), that you’re not. At the end of the day the end goal of online dating is a relationship, how are you going to be in a relationship with someone if they don’t know the real you?
- Do not send unsolicited sexts – this should be seen as common sense. Don’t send dick pics or nudes that haven’t been asked for. Don’t send sexually explicit messages that haven’t been led to or asked for and for GODS sake don’t get pissed when someone calls you out for it.
Now, it’s up to you. You can take this entire blog entry with a pinch of salt, or you can give it a bash. Let me know if you do take any of this advice and definitely let me know if it works for you!
Please don’t be disheartened if your efforts aren’t bringing what you want, just take this time to focus on you and your well being. Your well being should come first. It’s the whole ‘positivity breeds positivity’ thing.
Be positive. Be patient. Be you.