I was recently cajoled and persuaded to sign up to an online dating site for older people; as I was reasonably informed by my friends of numerous examples of post 60’s, who had all found matches and were living in the happily ever after!

Extremely dubious at first, I tentatively uploaded my photo, then proceeded to look through the following sections and lists of questions. It proved to be quite daunting as I’m totally unfamiliar with this form of communication.

My memories of youthful dating in Consett, consist of all of us girls dancing around our handbags in The Freemasons Arms and Botto’s, then when the night was nearly over; being approached and walked home by one of the hopefuls who had skirted the dance floor all night.

Also, meeting people face to face and having a chat is something I’m completely comfortable with, and to be honest, it’s what I’m used to. So you can imagine my consternation when on my online profile I came across the ‘What you are looking for?’ section.

Studying the questions, I found I was being asked to specify weight, height, hair colour, ethnicity, the level of education I found desirable, and any religious preferences. It felt more like picking out a living room carpet than a request for a prospective partner. However I continued, completed the section, then went on to the next part that asked me to describe myself!
Totally perplexed by now, I found this the most disconcerting of all. After deliberating for 30 minutes or more I had written four words:
‘I like to write!’

Realising I’d given away no other information about myself, I gave up, and made that do; guessing I’d be looking at an empty screen for a long while afterwards; as I was depicted in the ether as the most uninteresting person in the universe!

To my surprise, the next morning I was inundated with ‘’likes’ and a cascade of messages!

If I’m perfectly honest I wasn’t bowled over by the responses or the profile pictures. While I’m not an expert photographer, when taking a selfie, one would tend to smile, rather than scowl, and hold the phone a little higher than the face to achieve a desirable picture. However, for the most part, it seems that the trend on here was to place a mobile phone under the chin and then look straight into the camera, while commanding a death stare!

The result is a totally unflattering double or treble chinned image – try it, to see what I mean!

Anyway, after a couple of ‘How are you’s’ and a few ‘I’m fine thank you’s’ I was beginning to regret my decision to participate, as the conversations could only be likened to watching paint dry!

To be fair, I’m guessing all the prospective suitors in my age bracket were only, like me, trying to be polite by engaging in trivial banter. And to tell the truth with my arthritic knees, I wouldn’t want to be travelling over 100 miles away for an impending meet up over a pie and a pint!

No matter, I persevered for a month, and finally after speaking to a few nice and entertaining people, with my subscription nearly ending; I prepared to hang up my dating hat for good!

Needless to say my attempt at a fairy tale ending turned out to be futile and I left the site over £30.00 poorer. However for pure entertainment purposes, it was money well spent!

One of my favourite responses from some wise cracking wit, was

‘I don’t have a degree, but I’ve got a CD with the song, “When Will I See You Again” on it’

Perhaps, I’m destined to live happily ever after, by myself – who knows!

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Lorraine Weightman
Lorraine Weightman who regularly writes a monthly memoir telling of her days growing up in Consett has just published 2 books in conjunction with Firefly New Media Uk, which share 24 stories that were originally seen in Consett Magazine over the past few years. https://www.facebook.com/consettstories/


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