I wanted to spend some time today reflecting on something I have made a conscientious effort on over the last couple of years – online dating. These days, I think it’s pretty common. Meeting people isn’t easy is it and online dating offers you a way of broadening your selection. Even as little as five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined doing it but everything changed in 2015 after a most random conversation with my Mum.
Dating has never been easy for me. When I was younger, I always developed feelings for people far too easy. Or I’d get close to someone and grow attached and I’d bottle that feeling up because I was afraid of rejection. At school, I had a major crush on the same girl for 7 years. Then when I went to university for my first degree, I fell in love for the first time and that became one hell of a crazy ride. I won’t go into the specifics but it didn’t end well and I ended up deeply in love with a person who had fallen for someone else and it took me quite some time to even accept or get used to that. I became very reserved after that, even more so than I was before and I only really snapped out of that 7 years later. And even so, it hit me hard when I heard she got married and more so when she had her first baby. But I digress.
So anyway, I had a chat with my Mum and she said I should give it a go. I was sceptical. You see, four years ago, I became rather sick. Not like the flu style sick but life altering long term kind of sickness. I became mostly housebound, which meant less socialising and meeting new people. My means of meeting potential Mrs David had vanished. After a few years, my dear sweet Mum told me that I should try out online dating, which I swear was driven partially out of her desire for grandchildren. But anyway, I agreed and I signed up for Match.com at first. I was really excited but also afraid. You see, being sick meant that my body has changed drastically. At first, I lost 98 lbs in the space of some 4 months. Then, when I got put on treatment, my weight piled back on. These days I am majorly out of shape (not that I ever was in great shape mind you) and this meant that my photos were not as fetching as Joe Blogs topless with his six pack. The fact is, I could never sell myself well. My pictures were unremarkable. I’m a fat guy with a big nose. I’m also not particularly exciting. Sure, I have hobbies but being housebound means that I’m not exactly going to be able to go rock climbing or skydiving or whatever else the crazy kids of today are up to. Basically I’m a bit of a homebody. That doesn’t really match up with active tall dark and handsome. So how do you sell yourself in that position?
After many months of rejection and insults, I called my time on online dating quits. It was a failed experiment but one that I had to see for myself. For many years, people told me that I’ve got to just put myself out there and I’d meet someone and I did and it didn’t work. Now I know that a guy like me is never going to find it easy in this game.
So what does a guy like me do?