I think it was Hamlet who wisely said “To date, or not to date, that is the question.” It was something along those lines I’m sure, and he was right, it is definitely my question today.
I’ve been single now for over two years. There have been a few brief flings in this time, but nothing I’d consider a ‘relationship’ in the sense that you call someone your boyfriend and feel happy about asking them to take the rubbish out or farting in bed.
During this time I have been through periods of proactive dating, where finding a partner has become my most pressing yet seemingly impossible goal. I’ve also had moments where the thought of having to go through the whole ‘getting to know someone’ process has just seemed too hideous to contemplate.
In the last few months though I feel like I’ve reached a healthy plateau. I don’t feel the sense of mild desperation I felt in 2008, when I was still new to singledom, I’m generally pretty happy most of the time, yet I still have the feeling that something is missing. I don’t need a partner, but that doesn’t stop me wanting one. (And it’s not just the implant removal talking).
The fact is that being a parent is hard work, being single can be a bit dull, and when you put the two together you can end up feeling a tad isolated. It’s compounded by the fact that I work at home on my own most of the time. I get up, do parenty things, take the kids to school, work on my own, the kids come home again – it’s not terrible by any stretch of the imagination – Bee and Belle are both lovely girls and great company – it would just be nice to have some regular adult company and perhaps someone a little more intimate than The Internet to share my hopes and dreams with.
So, finding myself as I do in this literal no-man land, I’ve decided to have another go at online dating. Something tasteful mind you, I’m not thinking match.com. There is part of me that finds the whole thing a little bit sleazy, but there must be plenty of normal, well-adjusted people online, surely? You’re all lovely people right?
I’ve actually done it before, without a great deal of success, but the whole working/parenting/living in Somerset set up does rather restrict the amount of time I can spend loitering around funky independent bookshops and sipping cocktails provocatively in trendy city bars. So I’m going to do what I do best – get online.
And this is where I need your help. Despite being a writer by trade, I find it almost impossible to write an interesting dating profile, even worse to try and describe the man I am looking for. Just how do you stand out from every other person who likes ‘evenings in with a film and a nice glass of red wine’ without coming across as either arrogant (‘what’s with all these dullards who like red wine then?) or a complete nutter (I live by the power of the moon, making all my decisions based on the roll of a dice*)?
So this is my idea for a profile – everyone reading this post has to come up with two lines, one which describes me and one which describes what I’m looking for in a partner. Then I put them all together and say ‘this is what a random collection of friends and semi-strangers has to say’. What do you think? Too weird? If nothing else it will make me stand out…
You don’t have to be kind, just be honest. It’s so hard to describe yourself to other people, much more interesting to have other people describe you back to yourself, to see exactly what impression you give.
And of course I promise to keep you up to date with my progress and share any particularly amusing propositions I get. And if I find a man who doesn’t mind me writing about everything he says on my blog, then I’ll know I’ve got a keeper…
*I did actually live by the dice for a while about ten years ago after reading Dice Man, but I think I should probably keep that to myself initially.