Boundless online dating
I am not really a city person, preferring natural things and the countryside.Having said that, I can’t think of a place I’d rather be living than London at this point.My main profile picture, taken at the Encore Award and uploaded when Sue sat by my side, was this: I thought the person in the photograph appeared to be warm, unpretentious, and perhaps kind, all of which I hoped those closest to me knew that I was.The photograph also demonstrated that I wasn’t entirely a hermit; I was shoulder to shoulder with someone – and clasping the all-important alcoholic drink.I suspected the culprit was either my face, which I have tried to hide since puberty, or the ‘weirdness’ that had singled me out for bullying when I was younger.
How was I to convey the fact that I was a writer, for instance, without showing the covers of my books and my writing name? Any such photos of myself would have been pictures of me in slightly different positions, sometimes in coffee shops and libraries but mostly in bed with a laptop resting on my chest, looking pale and death-like.I told her I had tried it once before, when I was twenty-seven; I had been on three dates – my first ever – in the space of a week, and the experience had been enough to deter me from trying it again.I felt stupid for not realising two of the men were not interested.A couple of weeks after that walk I was struck down with strange neurological symptoms that forced me to give up my job in a bookshop as I could no longer walk properly. I wondered if the long illness of my twenties had been caused by the same feelings. students at Manchester University at the time, my body visibly normal though my right leg was still weak and I suffered spells of dizziness and de-realisation that forced me to hang on to my desk sometimes during tutorials.Six months of phantasmagoric anxiety and Herculean feats of research into possible causes (and cures) followed. It was this secret intuition that prompted me to heed the advice of the same friend in the early months of this year and register once again on a dating website. I was far from an ideal place to embark on something that so terrified me that I have avoided it for nearly a decade (and in one way or the other managed to orchestrate its absence from my life prior to that), but I realised things may never get better than this; it was do or die time.‘This one’s got a good reputation,’ Sue said, creating me a profile on a well-known dating website that February night in her Manchester flat. ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I know two people who’ve got married after meeting on it.’ But the words meant nothing to me; whatever did or didn’t happen to other people had no bearing on me; I was exempt from the rules that governed other people’s lives; Sue and I answered questions (What sort of films did I like? ), uploaded a photo I had on my laptop and described what sort of man I would like to meet.I was flustered, feigning fun but feeling shameful; our action was confirmation of the oddness I have always felt and my failure in – possibly – the most rudimentary area of life.When I emerged into the world at approximately the age of twenty-seven I was not what would be termed ‘well-adjusted’; being raised in a strict religion, then even after I was too ill to be part of it anymore, being still effectively segregated from the world meant that I had a lot of catching up to do.About a year ago, at the age of thirty-five, during a long summer walk on Hampstead Heath, I confessed to a friend that I felt deeply ashamed that I had never had a boyfriend or long-term relationship.I am free-spirited, passionate, completely non-conformist (or so I like to think), have a great sense of humour, and am an old-fashioned romantic.I have strong principles and have had quite an unusual life which gives me an interesting perspective on things.’ I described my sense of humour as ‘dry’, at a party I said I was a ‘wallflower’.