Countdown to going solo 2…

Today was the day of Blind Date #2, coincidentally enough. I don’t know that driving an hour in fickle weather (Sun! RAIN! Sun! RAIN! Repeat until drenched both inside clothing and out) for a cup of tea (didn’t even get to finish it, he had to be somewhere else – these business types!) is really a date. More of a speed date. I think that’s what first dates are – a quick look to check you’re the same person you appear to be online, before they rush home to check their other messages.

Well, biting the bullet about not blogging about blind dates, I figured why not do it anyway. It’s not as if I have a lot else going on right now.

The irony is, I wrote a newspaper article about online dating around ten years ago, when it was all fairly new and *exciting*. I seem to recall comparing the categories of potential date to varieties of sliced bread… It’s amazing what hasn’t changed in online dating since then. It’s as if the internet found a niche market that needs a certain kind of attention and interaction, got it right first time, and hasn’t had to do anything else with it since.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, as they say. Rather like sliced bread.

I can play around with my profile settings to prevent certain kinds of contact through the site. One thing I’ve found odd is if I check the box ‘Must not be married’ it still lets through messages from men who are ‘Separated’ (even if their definition of ‘Separated’ is sleeping on the sofa most nights). Computer filters are all well and good, but it’s human honesty you’ve still got to judge for yourself.

As a non-intimacy type thus far in life, I’m fascinated to hear that people my age have actually lived with other people, and been married to them, had their clothes in the same washing machine as other people, been on holidays with other people, and made whole new people with other people. Is this what they call ‘baggage’? I mean, I left home at seventeen. There’s people out there who have been married longer than I lived with my Mum, even! What’s it like to share a bed? Do they make duvets big enough for two people who both like to roll themselves up at night like in a strait-jacket? How do you stop your socks getting confused with theirs? Who gets to go in the bath first? What happens if they have friends who like to ‘pop round’? How do you deal with all of that stuff?

And what’s this thing about wine and a DVD and something called ‘snuggling’? Usually while a DVD is on, I’m writing and trying to avoid the temptation of raiding the kitchen for snacks. I have been known to make cookies after midnight. It’s a good thing I’m not a Mogwai. I don’t drink alcohol more than once a year. Wine only tastes all right on fish and chips – eventually.

You see, there’s lots of inappropriate questions I would LOVE to ask on a blind date. I won’t be in my 30’s for much longer, but the depth of my ignorance and inexperience of relationships is bottomless. When Blind Date #2 asked me today what kind of man I was looking for in a relationship, I had to say I didn’t know because I haven’t had one before, so would have to wait and see. I’m pretty sure ‘attraction’ is meant to be involved, but I didn’t think that announcing in my naive fantasy world that my ideal man would be a cross between Prince Harry and Ray Mears was going to sound like it was something I had a great deal of worldly insight on. Or maybe it does, I’ve never tried admitting to that before out loud.

One thing I have realised so far, is I want to go OUT on dates. If any man suggests to me that I could go round, or could they come round as a first date, or follow-up, it’s like, no way! That’s not a date. It’s not the stage I’m at, wondering what their sitting room looks like yet, let alone any other room. And my house is a writer’s house. Other people don’t come into it (literally and figuratively). They’d have to be very special to be allowed in and appreciate my chaos. Plus the fact it also houses Junior DS10 and her review blog of world domination, so technically it’s a house where two writers live already, occasionally crossing paths at the bathroom sink.

But supposedly I write good romance, according to some readers of Death & The City, so I must be getting my yearnings for intimacy from somewhere. Either human nature, or just twenty odd years alone with just an imagination about what a relationship might be like. It doesn’t mean I can tell anyone honestly what sort of relationship I’m looking for, or what kind of person I’d be in a relationship. For example, the words people use to describe themselves on their profiles. How do you know if you’re ‘tactile’ if you haven’t experienced being with someone in that way? How do you know if you’re sensitive? How do you know if you’re ‘outgoing’ if you’ve had no-one to ‘go out’ with? Do you just guess if you like dancing or not? What’s with people who enjoy something called ‘staying in’? Isn’t that what I’ve been doing, on my own, writing novels so far??? *Shrugs*

I can’t describe my relationship personality because I haven’t been that personality yet, the same as I didn’t know what my parenting personality was going to be like before I had my best holiday souvenir ever. And people tell me ‘Oh, it’s different with every person’. So why do they then use the last one as their benchmark to describe their own ‘relationship’ personality to new people on these dating sites? *Scratches head*

I think I will sleep on it, because nature is definitely telling me I am tired as I have just made one of my best ever Freudian typos, and no, I’m not going to tell you what it was. 🙂

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