... with internet dating. It's a thankless wasteland of wasted time and endless fuckwittage, a fathomless pit of disappointment, and quite possibly a window display of damaged goods, most of whom don't seem to actually want to make any kind of connection, except a horizontal one. OK Stupid is basically an online knocking shop.
And every time someone seems to stand out like a beacon of normality and then seems to actually be quite funny and cool and, well, like someone I might actually want to date, it turns out they're not. It has to be said, this doesn't happen often. But it does happen. You start flirting and chatting and ooh look he's funny and you get on and you get a bit more interested and he seems keen because, I mean, who texts you that much if they're not actually keen? And you set up a date and... at the last minute he bails. And it stings. Even though the massive likelihood is you wouldn't fancy him anyway, or he wouldn't fancy you, or whatever. It still stings.
The problem lies with building up a picture of someone through texts and emails that turns out to be about as accurate as the idea that Jesus was a perfectly toned hottie with designer stubble. It's a false image. You can build this person to be anything you want in your head. Right up until the point you meet them. Or not, in this case.
Although, on the bright side, I'm now in the completely enviable position of being able to actually categorise the likely outcome of internet dates:
1. The awkward date
Main characteristic: a total lack of chemistry and mutual attraction.
It should be noted this is the most common. You chat for a bit, meet and realise you have more attraction to your best mate. Who's female. And you don't actually fancy girls. But you definitely fancy girls more than you fancy this one. And when there's no chemistry and attraction, charming jokes become opportunities for rictus grins and tumbleweed spotting.
These dates rarely last above an hour, such is the skin itchingly uncomfortableness of the entire experience.
2. The non date
Main characteristic: blowing hot and cold before eventually weaseling out of long arranged date
The weaseling out can come from either party. But in my experience, it's usually compounded by a very keen male being keener than a keen thing. Right up until just before the date. When they bail with little or no explanation.
It's irritating as fuck, ego bashing and basically a dick move.
3. The one sided date
Main characteristic: a total mismatch
This is when one person obviously finds the other attractive, but it's not reciprocated. Shares many characteristics along with the awkward date, but can differ in that conversation flows OK. One person generally comes out of it feeling like they've made a new friend. The other goes home to eat cheese and, presumably, crank into their pillow.
4. The fighty date
Main characteristic: a battle of wills for superior intellectual status
I have found that, because I mention in my profile that I like some books and don't like it when people can't spell, some dates take this as a challenge to continually challenge my knowledge. It renders the date akin to a GCSE exam, with me continually finding myself defending my stance on authors, politics or religion.
Debating can be fun and sexy. But when you're being browbeaten by someone who just wants to make you feel like they're more intelligent, it rapidly becomes dull and deeply, deeply unsexy.
5. The successful date.
Main characteristic: I have absolutely no idea. Try asking those twee cunts on the Match.com advert.