So last week I did something I said I would not do…

I joined an online dating site. One of those over 35 ones that keep popping up on my Facebook newsfeed.

“Join for free” it said. So I loaded a recent photo, tried to think of something creative and witty for my subject line, and then the impossible paragraph that encapsulates all that I am and am looking for in a man, in under 150 words.

Something must have worked, because I received a whole line of messages and winks in my email inbox the next day. I went back onto the site, and realised that my profile photo has had the bottom shaved off, and my strapless dress looks like I am bare.  No wonder I have so many messages in my inbox!

I have caught Sipho’s eye. Marius winked at me. Glen sent me a private message.

I open the first message and screw my eyes  up to see what the person looks like in the photo. He isn’t really my type, and  he wants to know if I like really tall men. I am really short. But if I don’t answer, will it make that poor man miserable, and make him feel like last week’s bread crusts?

So I do answer, just a friendly message, but it won’t go through.

It is then that I realise that the “Free” part is just to capture a person’s interest. To actually do anything on there needs a subscription.  It doesn’t cost that much, so I sign up for three months.

So I have been a member of the site for just over a week. I have had a few messages from some nice sounding men.

I have wondered why  someone would put  a photo on the site  where they look miserable.

I have blocked a man who insisted that I give him my cell number before he showed me what he looked like.

I have come up with several creative ways to put off men that I wouldn’t go anywhere with. I can’t just ignore their message. I would hate it if they did that to me.

The worst thing about this site is that the men can see when you have looked at their profile, so there is no chance of any secret reconnaissance. And even worse, you can see who looks at your own profile, and then never messages you.

A quite attractive man winks at me. I wink back, but it doesn’t seem to register, so I do it again. Then I worry that I have now winked at this man twice. What an inane thing to be worried about.

This is all rather like buying shoes from a online catalogue. And what happens if one meets one of these men? It’s backwards to how life normally works. There, you meet someone and then get to know their details. Here, you learn all sorts of things about a person and only after a while, do you get to meet them. Imagine if you really like someone on email, and then find out there is no attraction once you are face to face.

I suppose then, you have just made a new friend.

I look at all these photos of men and I wonder what I’m doing here. I have just had my heart trampled on by a man that I loved more than any other man in my life history. Am I really ready for this?

I just don’t know where else to meet men my own age. Everywhere I go in my normal life, I seem to attract men who are much younger than me. Why am I complaining, you ask. Because they are fun to be with, but run a mile after a few months JUST IN CASE you are thinking about a commitment, even if you aren’t.

So I am in this for three months, and I am not taking it too seriously.

And I have a date this weekend with a 42 year old IT guy who plays action cricket and has a very fun sense of humour.

Who knows…

At the very least, I will have more things to write about!