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Marisa Mackle: Fishing for a man online is actually just a big auld cod

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Marisa Mackle

Marisa Mackle

Marisa Mackle

My friend, Alice, is something of an online addict. Separated for a couple of years, now she is still convinced that Mr Right is out there, lurking in cyberspace.

One click of a mouse will magically produce a prince. I'm not so convinced. She did persuade me at one stage to try the online dating thing. It wasn't for the faint-hearted. One man was emailing for a while before he admitted that he had been sectioned and said they wouldn't allow him out to meet me. I'm still not sure who 'they' were, but it was a pretty hairy experience.

Another man was deaf and I don't do sign language. We sat in silence for about 20 minutes and then waved each other good-bye.

One other bloke said he'd like me to visit his wife's grave. I didn't think that would be much of a fun date so I declined. He said he was disappointed with my decision as he said my photo reminded him of his wife and he felt we would've be firm friends in real life. Then he tried to give me a bottle of her perfume.

My last date shook my hand and said, "I will let you know". The date had been kind of awkward anyway. There were a lot of questions aimed in quick succession.

I was grilled about my previous boyfriends, my hopes and dreams for the future and asked whether I drove and owned my own home. It felt like an interview conducted in a hotel lobby. I sort of wished I'd brought along a CV or something to save myself having to talk so much.

My date had got a Groupon voucher for afternoon tea for two. It was so tense and uncomfortable. Afterwards I'd need to wait and see if I'd got the job. The problem was I wasn't sure I even wanted the job. In fact I was pretty certain that I did not.

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The problem with online dating is that it's just so damn frustrating. People just email and text for weeks, months and years only for nothing to ever happen.

It's not even easy to get a date in the first place. Sometimes you feel like just asking men if they really want to meet up, or are they just looking for never ending pen friends. You feel like a teenager asking them if they like you. But of course, if you need to ask a man if he likes you, then he probably does not.

Going on dates with complete strangers is not a bundle of laughs. You know you will be eyed up and down with scrutiny and harshly judged on your looks.

Alice objects to the high standards that these men on Irish dating sites have set.

Although no supermodel herself, with the average amount of baggage for a 40-year old, she reckons that men on dating sites must have joke mirrors in their homes because, in person, they are usually nothing like how they described.

And their photos are always years out of date. Also, Alice always insists you should never ever trust a man who has only one photo. Especially if it's just a headshot. She may have a point.

Marisa's new ebook, No More Fish, is on www.amazon.co.uk


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