2016, and I have decided to do something new this year. By ‘new’ I mean something I have done a lot of in the past but none of for the last twelve months or so.
January sees the largest number of new online dating sign-ups of the year, which, despite making me feel like a walking cliché, also instills in me a certain amount of optimism.
Being the naturally optimistic person I am when it comes to dating (ahem) rather than dread the prospect of getting back on the proverbial online dating horse, I have decided to consider the positives about logging back on and the benefits of online dating.
1. You’ve got to be in it to win it
All of that ‘Don’t look and it will find you’? – absolute bollocks.
It finds you if you’re a 23-year-old in a pair of hot pants, I’m a 38-year-old single mum who gets more excited by an episode of Celebrity Big Brother than a night on the tiles.
Same rules do *not* apply.
Plus when I ‘don’t look’ I’m on my sofa eating M&S meal deals for two by myself , and ain’t never met no man there, my friend.
2. It kills an hour
And is something you can do in pyjamas whilst watching Netflix.
Meaning that your four hour Game of Thrones marathon just got a whole lot more productive.
3. It’s a numbers game
And why would you restrict your chances of getting sex, I mean a relationship, by only meeting people when you’re out?
4. Don’t be an annoying person who ‘never normal does this sort of thing’
Online dating can feel a little bit manufactured at times, however, there is nothing that irritates me more than people who start their profiles telling everyone that they ‘can’t believe they are online dating’ or ‘never normally do this sort of thing’.
‘Online dating? Oh no, I meet my husband at Wimbledon, I’ve never needed to go online!’
Oh, do fuck off.
Believe it. I’ve been online for about three days and am in conversation with the manager of a premiership football club, a fireman, a restaurateur, and a travel writer who’s currently writing a piece on the trans Siberian railway.
Which beats Coronation Street.
6. New experiences
Go into online dating with an open mind and you’ll be amazed at what fun you’ll have. Instead of seeing each person as a potential boyfriend, view each date as a fun new experience regardless of the outcome.
Despite my first date of choice always involving a seat and some booze, these days, people tend to be far more creative on dates.
Bring on the rock climbing.
7. Old faces
Nothing reassures you that you are not the only total loser in love like rejoining a dating site to see the same guys on there who were there three years ago.
8. Plenty on LOLZ
‘Hello beautiful lady with smile. I like Lady, I think I love and would like you to meet.’
Of which I had a tragically small amount of last year.
And someone to get pissed with in January.
Dry January? Consider yourself blocked.
Having online dated for a number of years I can say with full confidence, that what you may well lack in boyfriends at the end of it you make up for in friends.
Don’t make it *all* about romance and you’ll be amazed at what a great way it is to expand your social network.
13. Comfort zones
I love my sofa and after the excesses of Christmas feel positively light-headed at the idea of getting naked in front of someone new. However, nothing good ever came from a comfort zone … or something like that.
If nothing else, online dating makes you realise that, actually, being single isn’t all that bad.
And I’m only three days in, that’s got to be worth £44.99 a month.