The dating game

I have just had a flashback to the game show, Play Your Cards Right – if you’re of a certain age you will remember its simple format. Bid higher or lower and the closest match wins the prize. I haven’t been on Tinder but for me it kind of feels a bit like this, I am not sure I can articulate it in words- but hopefully you’ll be able to connect with the paralel a little yourselves?

I have been dabbling with online dating- I say dabbling, simply because dipping my toe in is the image I have, cautiously and slowly with very little confidence- imagine a dark, rough ocean and many hidden sharks – this is close to it. I would like to meet someone and would also like to be brave enough to jump in with no fears and the carefree sense of adventure that is somewhere deep inside me still- I think?- I hope!!

There isn’t a manual for online dating, and I am sure there needs to be one. Somebody could write one and I’m sure it would be a best seller because there is definitely some things to know, some do’s and dont’s and a culture that exists which is unknown to you if you are new. I can’t say more than that as I have no wisdom to offer into the process yet, I haven’t managed to identify what they are or how to navigate them, I just know its a foreign landscape and I am lost with no map or guide book…..

The one I have tried only lets you see a very out of focus image of the person until you have both agreed you’d like to chat. Nice idea so all decisions aren’t made solely on looks? But this then means that the profile information needs to be accurate- and clearly this is one area which is GREY. There’s anything from men claiming hobbies of needlework which is code for can sew on a button, to everything filled in as a joke- which may represent ‘how silly this all is’ and I’m good laugh’, but also communicates, I am not telling you anything about me, I’m closed, inaccessible and high risk? Where you live seems up for grabs too- so if you search for 100 mile radius, don’t be surprised to find someone with an old or false address living in the UAE- apparently commuting isn’t an issue these days?And I think 5’9 is code for 5’5- it seems another thing which is open for interpretation. I would like to know if these flexibilities go both ways- I suspect not!!

The other things unknown are how often to chat, how quickly to respond, playing it casual or being too keen? I seem to have survived this in my early teens once- I didn’t think I’d be back re-navigating it some 35 years later… If you assume like I did, that we’re adult now, and so can speak openly, honestly and give up the game playing- you’ll be disappointed, it seems all that has happened is we have 35 + more years experience and so are grand masters at the game…….

Luckily lockdown hit and so I have had the safety of it just being online with no risk of meeting up IRL, but that will soon change and I’ll have to muster the courage to actually step out from behind the screen and meet someone face to face- Yikes! I don’t want to seem totally negative or turn anyone off from having a go- but just beware it is a whole new world out there, and for me a little intimidating and daunting- but I’m still giving it a go! Not gonna give up yet.

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