On Sunday I opened a Chinese new year fortune cookie I’d been given in Stratford. It said that in the next week I’d do something new and unexpected. I screwed it up and threw it away, thinking “When do I ever have a spare moment to do anything unexpected?”!

I can only assume that those words sank in to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because somehow last night I found myself filling in a free basic profile on – just intending to take a look around before I made any decision whether to pursue this option.

And now I have winks and emails to deal with and I have to make decisions, not only about whether or not to sign up and give it a go, but also whether to wink back at anyone, and if not – horror of horrors – to reject them. Which, by the way, is one of my greatest dating fears. I hate the idea of seeming judgmental or superficial. Both of which I know I am, but don’t want to admit to…

I’m a little afraid of my email right now!

So, to my online dating readers I ask, how long can I ignore the messages in a bid to avoid having to make decisions? What’s the etiquette on this sort of thing? Do I have to be wary of feelings if I don’t want to “wink” back, or is the whole point that it’s a safe environment in which to test the waters?

Am I doing the right thing?

(ASIDE: Should I start every blog entry with Angela’s introspective quote from My So Called Life – just as a disclaimer to warn people that I over-think EVERYHING?!)


14 thoughts on “Plunge

  1. I have no experience in this area whatsoever but that won’t stop me from giving you my two-penny-worth: do not sweat it! Do not wink unless you like what you see. The whole point of online dating is that you can put out these feelers without loss of face if the person doesn’t like you back. Face to face, it’s hard to put yourself out there but online, a lot of the embarrassment of rejection is eased by the lack of having to look it in the eye. If you like someone, wink away, respond to emails or whatever but don’t pity wink!

    And for what it’s worth, I think its a great idea that you are trying this. We already know how real proper relationships can be developed online (hello, friend who I have only known for a few months but value deeply) so why not love connections too? I have a couple of friends who met online and are happily married now. Worst case scenario is that you have a bit off fun… so don”t sweat it!

    • Hehehe – hello right back atcha!

      It does seem like a really easy way to break myself back into the whole dating scene… and the fact that it’s all a bit anonymous makes it much easier to overcome my “Oh, gawd, now I have to hurt someone’s feelings…” fears.

      Now I’ve overcome my initial nervousness it’s actually proving quite addictive… 😀

  2. I’ve never done the online thing, but one of my best friends had the first month or so of communication with her now husband via email. They have been happily married almost 2 years and are a wonderful couple. Go for it, but like Kate says above, don’t pity wink!

    BTW – yes it was me in Waterstones on Sunday. I did know that you worked in there, but I didn’t have my specs on so wouldn’t have seen you unless I was face to face. Next time I’m in Stratford on a Sunday I’m going to come armed with Specs and come introduce myself 🙂

    • Yes – next time come say hi! I’m pretty much always downstairs, and if I’m not front of store I’m hiding in kids (my section) – I love meeting fellow bloggers face to face! 😀

    • Yay – so many of you met online, that’s why I had the guts to go for it! 😀 I figure it’s no scarier out there than on the street – and email conversations are far easier than trying to talk to someone in a bar…

      Good to hear I’m not on a timer – some of the winks/emails I want to take my time to think over and figure out whether I’m interested. xx

  3. Just be polite and friendly to everyone – its easier to take rejection if its put nicely! (Or you can just ignore it, sometimes it seems that someone is just winking at any girl in their area!)

  4. I make no secret of the fact that I met my husband online (on craigslist no less).

    It’s just like the laundromat or the subway. You meet psychos, you meet stars. It’s just easier online to high tail it out of there if you meet a murderous psychopath. They don’t know what laundromat you go to.

    Just be yourself and don’t let anyone waste your time.

    And also, a tip someone gave me that I always used–meet as soon as possible. If you’re having a good vibe via email, then after a few days share your telephone numbers. If you find it hard to hang up the phone at night, then meet in person after a week or two.

    Then if you meet and it turns out you can only stand each other electronically and the in-person thing makes you want to puke then cut off all communications politely with an “I’m sorry but I’m not interested”. I found it really hard to do but after the first few times it was completely painless.

    Have fun and good luck!
    Oh, also, I checked drivers licenses for accuracy. The cool ones found it adorable. The uncool ones didn’t matter.

    • Thanks for the tips GC – this is the sort of advice I need!

      You’re right of course – the difference between the online world and the real world is so marginal – your meet crck-jobs in both! And it seems I have a beacon that attracts them in both settings anyway…

      And of all the local people I chat to on twitter or blogs, I’ve only ever “bumped into” two – Roisin, who I’ve since met properly, and Louise, who didn’t see me! So the likelihood of seeing them on the street seems pretty slim, even in a small town like mine.

      It seems like fun so far, anyway! 😀

  5. I met my fiance on Match and 5-6 or my married couple friends all met on Match, so go for it!

    The best part of online dating is that there is a little safe distance. It’s easier to be honest. So if you want to wink, then wink. If you don’t want to, then you don’t. I will say that it always seemed to be appreciated (both when i gave and when I received) and nice, polite decline of interest once things had reached the email or date phase. It’s very simple to say “I enjoyed your email/our date but I don’t think we’re a match.” And people seem to expect it since it’s online dating. Get out there an have fun and don’t be shy about expressing an interest or lack thereof.

  6. Oh, don’t worry about feelings! You can be as picky as you like! You have to be comfortable when you take the plunge and go on that first date.

    That said, my one piece of advice would be not to cast people aside for silly reasons before at least sending a couple of emails. I had a big issue with anyone who had a spelling mistake, used the wrong ‘your’ or mentioned going to the gym as an ‘interest’…but I’m sure they were all lovely young men 😉

    • Oh crikey Gemma – I’ve already disregarded a couple for those exact grammatical points – and I’m choosing to follow emails up based on how eloquent their style is too! :S I’m sure they are lovely young men, but 1) I’m an editor and a pedant – grammar is important to me and 2) the gym is a chore, not an interest!

      I have, however, had a few very eloquent, stylistically impressive, non-gym-goers get in touch… Which just goes to show that sometimes you can afford to be picky!

      Let’s see if I’m saying that in 6 months time… 😀

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