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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Dating in the Online World (From a single mum's point of view!)

I make no secret of the fact that I am fed up being single now! This is the longest I have not been in a relationship since I was 15 and although I don't need a man to survive, it is nice to have one! I don't have time to meet guys in the 'usual' way at the moment, whatever that is. I have met my past boyfriends either at house parties, at uni or at work and these aren't really options at the moment. I turned to online dating almost in desperation (though I'm not quite as desperate as the girls on Take me Out yet, I hope!). I have reviewed the ways to meet guys online, in a way, over the past couple of weeks and the results are below....
I have only just started getting over the mess that was last year in terms of dating, but, being lonely, I have  
been on free dating site for a couple of months so far. The site isn't the best, it has a LOT of weirdos! But there is no way I am taking a risk and going on one that I would actually have to pay for when the same weirdos could be on there too! I have spoken to a few guys, a lot of messages I simply ignore as they are plain weird!

I have met one guy from the site and he almsot put me off for life! We went on one date and I wasn;t sure about him or whether I was actually ready to date yet and so he turned stalker on me! Had to block him on facebook and on the website! I have been speaking to a couple of guys lately who seem alright so I will see if anything comes of those conversations. My friend keeps trying to get me on but I feel it's possibly for older, more american people.... I have dabbled on the site but didn't really like it. The profiles, again, all seemed a little weird and to be honest I couldn't be bothered with working out who had told their friend exactly what to say!

It seems that even though online dating has become more acceptable lately, it doesn't mean there is much of a choice for people my age. I do wonder why guys of around 25 are having to go on a dating site in the first place? Though I guess they could ask the same of me.

At 21, I appear to also be too young for another dating phenomenom of the 21st Century, that of Speed Dating. When researching ways to meet guys whilst talking to friends, ironically online, one suggested Speed dating. I looked it up, having always been secretly interested in the idea of it, and found that most events  
Speed dating, seems fun, but not at 21!
were actually only for those over 25 and a lot only for those over 30! They are also few and far between, at least in Bournemouth, and charge a whopping £20-£40 for entry.

An idea of my own was to meet guys via people I have already met online. These, in theory, 'strangers' might be able to objectively find me a man without my 'type' getting in the way. I asked my lovely more girls for help on the matter and a few said they wanted to help me out. Some put up 'ads' for their friends to date me, along with photos taken from my facebook page. From this, I have had the chance to set up 'e-dates' with a couple of guys that I would never have had the chance of 'meeting' without the wonder that is facebook. I shall be able to see how well this method works once I have had the e-dates!

I have added the facebook application Zoosk, but, despite rave reviews from some on how great it is I just can't get the hang of it and found it annoying, disappointing and full of really weird men! Sorry Zoosk lovers, but it's not for me!

Carrying on the facebook theme is a suggestion from a surprisingly large amount of girls on the more page who admitted to meeting their current or past boyfriends online via the social networking site. After listening to their stories, I took it upon myself to search for guys I liked the look of via the search people option. I came across a huge stumbling block 
 straight away. Having used a random name generator to find a guys name that wasn't an ex or a brother's name, I happily started scrolling through the 'Ryans' of facebook, only to see that with each Ryan for seemingly eternity, I had at least one friend in common, often 2 or even 3! Damn the Six Degrees of Seperation Theory! It did put me off thinking that if I were to add these guys, the friends in common would be weirded out as to why I had added their friend. And the guy may look to the friends in common and even ask the mutual friend how he knew me! Cringe!

The second stumbling block I found was how was I to know if these guys were in a relationship if their profile was private? And, even worse, what if they were an ex or even current crush of said mutual friend. It was a social network dating minefield and I was very wary. Despite this, in the name of research, I decided to add a few guys....and....nothing! I added these total (ignoring the friends in common) strangers, and they accepted the friend request with no questions asked! They haven't messaged me asking who I am, haven't deleted me, just slotted into my news feed like some weird alien life forms, only there because I liked what I saw from a tiny thumbnail image! Now, I could of course start messaging off myself, but I feel too awkward to now. So, until I decide to delete these strange men, they will just sit there in my friends list, unaware of the reasons behind my adding them.

My final foray into online methods of dating was the wonderful world of iPhone dating apps. I had already had an unsuccessful attempt at finding dating apps on my phone when More magazine came up with an article on iPhone dating apps. I decided to give one of them a go as it had a good review. It is called Streetspark and is a free app. You fill in details about yourself and your ideal man and your location and the app finds men in your area for you. You can then ignite them and if they ignite back you can talk. If they extinguish then you can't talk to them, and the other way around. In theory this app is a great idea, and may be in the future if enough people downloaded it. But, as it is now, I had about two people less than 30 miles from me and both didn't float my boat! The others who ignited me I was forced to extinguish, not just because they lived so far away, but also because they were a bunch of weirdos! Not a great way to meet men!

And so in conclusion, the most viable way to meet men online for free at the moment is still plentyoffish! I shall persevere! I also have a couple of e-dates lined up still too so I will keep you updated on how they go.


  1. Hey hun, I saw your link on More's page. Your blogs are great. I actually met my fiance on Zoosk so they're not all weirdos lol. I've just wrote about it on my new blog, can you check it out? Trying to get some followers otherwise I'm just talking to myslef lol:

    Thanks x

  2. Hi Stacey,
    I couldn’t help but read your comment and message you.
    I’m writing my dissertation on relationships formed through online dating. I tried to subscribe to your blog but it wouldn’t let me, I am really interested to know more about how the procedure of internet dating helped you and your fiance to meet.
    If you don’t mind and have the time to answer a few questions it would be a great help.
    I find it really interesting the different attitudes around users of online dating and really want to know some more!!
    My email is email me a a quick note if you are interested and we can go from there...
    Many Thanks
    Steph XX


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