From hot to not (or The cruel exercise that is internet dating)

I recently joined a well-known internet dating site – let’s call it I’ve had 170 hits so far and things are shaping up nicely. That’s to say the six or seven men who have contacted me, I’ve politely not pursued, and the six or seven men I’ve contacted, haven’t replied. That’s what us Librans like. A sense of balance.


But there was one guy I did make contact with. Let’s call him Stan.

I checked out Stan’s profile and sent him an email. He replied saying that he wanted to meet me and thought I was ‘hot’.

Now, I’ve been called ‘cute’, ‘funny’, ‘creative’ and ‘intelligent’ (all right, so I lied about the ‘’intelligent’), but never ‘hot’. OK, so Stan may use that line on all the girls, but it was a cheesy remark that made my little heart flutter like a lifeguard’s flag on a windy day.

We arranged to meet for coffee on Saturday. So there I was standing outside a well-known coffee establishment – let’s call it Costa – waiting for my date. And waiting. And waiting. After half an hour shivering in the winter sunshine and suffering with cold hands, I decided that Stan wasn’t the only one with cold feet and decided to call it a day.

Back at home, I checked my emails to find Stan had written that morning saying he’d had to work and couldn’t make it. Unfortunate, but it happens. He suggested dinner to make up for it, but I said that would be difficult during the week with me working in London, and that perhaps coffee at the weekend would be best.

No reply.

I wrote again four days later asking if he was still up for coffee, but as of today there’s nothing except  lovelorn tumbleweed blowing gently through my inbox. Stan is obviously the strong, silent type.

The word on the street is that I’ve been ‘chucked before fu**ed’, but being a romantic, and because my mother may read this, I prefer to say that I was ‘dismissed before  kissed’. Although, I admit, the word on the street’s version does have a certain ring to it.

Poor Stan. Now he’ll never know that he would have fallen hopelessly in love with me on our first date. He would have smiled as he gently brushed away the sticky, perfectly formed crescent of cocoa powder that I’d branded between my eyebrows after draining my cappuccino. Now he’ll never read the love poems I would have left in his pockets or feel my arm slide gently around his waist as we sat watching repeats of A Place In The Sun. Stan, it’s a cruel world.

So now it’s back to the searching. sends me five new ‘matches’ every day but, of late, accompanying my would-be suitors is a strange, scratching noise that gets louder with every batch. Oh, yes, I recognise the sound now. it’s the scraping of the bottom of a barrel as the computer tries desperately to pair me up with that suitable someone .

Could I really have exhausted the supply of single men in a 25-mile radius of Brighton in a month? Seems so. Now I’m being sent profiles of men who live in Aberdeen and a urgent request from the computer to ‘edit my profile’, thus widening my love net.

But there isn’t much of my profile I can change. Basically, I’ve said that I’m a Penelope Cruz lookalike who pole-dances in her spare time and has just finished researching her new book, How To Make Your Man Happy In Bed. I know, it’s a lousy profile. No wonder I’m not having any luck. Perhaps I need to sex it up a bit. Maybe say that I’m a stamp-collecting trainspotter who stays in on a Sunday to watch Downton Abbey.

It’s Valentine’s Day. I could have been spending it having my eyebrows licked clean of cappuccino by a man called Stan who thought I was hot. Instead, I’m writing this and updating my Virgin Media phone and broadband package.

Like I said, life is cruel.