Girl About Town’s post got me thinking – her post made me think I’d not made an awful lot of effort to date. I’m not sure I’d ever summon up the courage to ask a man out and despite, being pretty socially confident, this idea would reduce me to a paralysed state. Similarly, I think a little part of me was unsure anyone would like me “like that”.
That said, as I read this article I’d been thinking how it would be great to meet someone. How I’d love to go on a date, even if it went no further. Perhaps coffee, even if we ended up just being friends. So, following much nagging encouragement, I logged onto a Christian dating website, set up a profile and agonised over what to say about myself.
I found it incredibly stressful for two primary reasons. (Well, those and the photos of myself, but I think that’s normal right?!)
My first problem was what I should write about myself. Given how much I write, it’s somewhat ironic that this was what I worried about. But if I was put off by a total lack of full stops, or couldn’t really gauge what a person was like, perhaps that’s how they’d feel about me. Now obviously the thing to remember is that while you can’t convey everything about myself, they can’t do that either. A date is the opportunity to dig a little deeper, into the chats and topics that aren’t present on an online profile.
The second is perhaps linked. I put down my marital status as divorced, and while I could keep that off there, I questioned whether I wanted to? It’s a fact about me and would impact on my experiences in a future relationship, as any relationship can. My concern was that I would be judged instantly because of it. I felt it would be like a brand on my forehead profile, and put people off. But, I wondered, would I want to be in touch with someone who instantly discounted me because I’d been married before? If that put them off without knowing any of my circumstances or story, would they really be the person for me? I wasn’t about to explain my life on a profile, and if they didn’t want to get to know that part of me, they didn’t get to know me at all.
But as Girl About Town was asked: ‘what button has this pushed?’ Would I discount someone whose marital status was other than ‘single’? I’d like to think I’d have said no in the past, but we’ll never know what past me would have thought. I know now that it wouldn’t put me off. Anyone can have been in a long relationship that broke apart, and at some point I’ll be interested to know the whys and wherefores of their circumstances. This would be after the several coffees and chats as Girl About Town suggests, it certainly wouldn’t be my first question by text to any prospective date.
Being divorced, in an online dating scenario, made me feel branded and categorised without any nuance, and I found that hard. Perhaps it would be better to leave the status off? But whatever I decided, maybe I needed to tackle the labelling I felt so aware of first, before worrying about the reactions of others.
Eventually, after about two hours of angst, I deleted the profile and felt at liberty to be myself, and I’ve not looked back.
There’s no right or wrong thing to do. Meet online, in person, blind dates, don’t go on dates. Do what you’re comfortable with, be content in and stay true to yourself. If you want to be with someone, you want someone who loves you, so that’s the person to be, online, in person, or anywhere in between.