I know! I know! I'm married. Mostly happily (I'll try not to think about the tissues left in pockets that end up in the wash and the toothpaste tube that gets squeezed from the middle and the dishwasher that's stacked THE WRONG WAY and no, I'm not OCD ... much). I'm even coming up to wedding anniversary number 27 in just a few days. My motto is 'better the devil you know' so I'm not looking to change things in a hurry.
The reason I was on this web-site was as moral support for a friend who is looking. She's tried other ways of finding a partner/boyfriend/companion/lover but it's just not easy out in the dating world. Personally I wouldn't have a clue how or where to start. Honestly, once you get to a certain age it's hard to know who's taken and who isn't, who's got serious stalkerish tendencies and carry date-rape drugs and gaffer tape in their brief case and who is just a genuinely nice bloke who's not found the right person or has found and lost her and is looking again.
I'm going to call my friend Ophelia for the purpose of today's post because I want to preserve her anonymity.
Ophelia had a spare day yesterday and we'd decided to spend it together. We'd had a lovely time wandering around in air conditioning at a shopping centre, having lunch and ticking off a few chores. But the real fun came when we finally sat in front of the computer in my kitchen.
The way it works is you put up a profile of yourself including pictures. You put down basics such as your age, where you live, if you have kids or want kids. Then you fill out your profile with info on the type of person you are - what's important to you, what you like to do, your values and dreams. Then the site matches you with potential candidates.
Ophelia had a huge list of potentials that fit her criteria - living within a 50k radius and aged between 40 and 60.
Then you start shopping. It kind of reminded me of a car sale. You look at the the picture first and suss out any physical imperfections. We immediately eliminated ones without a photo, after all you want to see what you're buying and whether it's got a dent or just a few scratches that you can buff out. Then the ones who couldn't take a 'selfie' or didn't have a friend to take a decent picture also got the flick. Then we eliminated used car and insurance salesmen, men into bikram yoga and that guy who looked like he could have been the devil if you'd drawn horns on him.
The one man who looked perfect (and I do mean perfect - model looks, great physique and interests that matched Ophelia's) was off the market. But we did send smiles to maybe a dozen men. What flirts! Sending electronic smiles over the internet!! We're so daring.
Now we wait until someone smiles back. And then there might be a little chatting - on-line of course. And eventually maybe a coffee date. It's sort of like going to a party and seeing someone you like but this way you know that he's looking for someone too and you're not going to spend an entire evening chatting up someone else's friendly husband.
On the way through it made me wonder whether I'd go there if something ever happened to Iven. Like maybe he left one too many tissues in his dirty clothes and I actually managed to pull off the perfect murder. (Of course I've never actually thought of that scenario before. I have no idea how it just popped into my head.) Would I go out actively searching or would my Golden Retriever and forty four cats be enough for me? And if I went out looking would I find the right person who was looking for a psycho lady who runs too much but can bake a mean cupcake?
All I can say is after looking on the dating site, Iven had better kick off soon because the older you get the slimmer the pickings are. And I will have to become a cougar. Anyone have a Lycra leopard print skirt I can borrow? Actually don't worry - I can make my own.