Day 1. After a 3 hour online personality profile test, join “Elite Singles” expecting Tarzan with a PhD and a penthouse in Mayfair. Get one message from a dwarf living in a bedsit in Slough.
Day 2. Wonder how effective the personality profile test is, when I said I wanted someone who can enjoy themselves without alcohol but everyone I’ve been matched with has an interest in “fine wine.” I obviously do not drink being an alcoholic. Also none of my matches seem to have a creative job, all working in IT, so I question whether we will gel. I am notified of numerous visits to my profile but receive no message or smile. Perhaps I am too wacky for the site.
Day 3. Receive messages (which I can’t read as I haven’t paid a subscription fee) but no one seems to have that slightly creative edge I am looking for. See numerous people viewing my profile but not leaving me a smile. Perhaps the fact that I put that I was dropping acid with Buddhist monks in California is putting them off. Why?
Day 4. Join Guardian Soulmates which I’ve previously had a lot of success on. Am instantly inundated with “likes” and messages.
Some of them are really quite attractive – having slept with one person in the last 11 years I have absolutely no clue how to get to know a man. What on earth do I do? By 7pm when I’m attending my women’s “Vodka for Breakfast Anonymous” group I feel so high from the attention it’s as if I’ve snorted four grammes of coke, without any alcohol to take off the edge.
Day 5. Receive 67 “likes” and 50 messages from Guardian Soulmates in less than 24 hours. But unfortunately I discover my favourite of the messages is living in Dublin which is not exactly at the end of a Tube line. Have meeting with cousin Miranda to discuss situation voicing fears that, having not had sex for so long, I have “dried up” and will be as unable to accept a willy as I was when my thing shut up like a vice from doing cocaine 24/7. She said I had to practise on my own ie masturbate and buy a vibrator ASAP. Due to Catholic indoctrination from my mother I believe a bolt from Heaven will strike me down if I touch myself. She says I need to discuss this with my therapist.
Day 6. Trawling through all the likes on Guardian Soulmates. As there are so many, I can’t read all their profiles but opt for the shallow option and just send a like to those whose pictures I like (after checking they are not psychopaths from their profiles). Have 1st conversation with dreamboat in Dublin but, as he only comes to London every four weeks, think this will not do. Have successful conversation with doctor from Oxford which actually leads to a date! Feel skip in my step as he sends me a text with an x on it.
Day 7. No time to meet Mr Right. Barely manage half an hour on Guardian Soulmates. Meanwhile, although thinking that my Shagger and Lurve Addict Anonymous issues are entirely absent from this process, start to fantasise about marrying a man from Guardian Soulmates who’s half my age and who I not only haven’t met yet but haven’t even spoken to on the phone. I can tell he is Mr Right from his photograph.
Day 8. Speak to the youthful lothario for over an hour and find out he is living with his mum in Harrow in North London which is not exactly Kensington. Undeterred I arrange to meet him the next day which, luckily, coincides with my hairdressing appointment. Bump into someone from “Divorced from my Drug Dealer Anonymous” in my local supermarket who is with an unfeasibly hot very young man I decide to befriend on Facebook. My obsession with my previous “husband” bites the dust.
Day 9. Meet youthful lothario in Baker Street and, alas, do not fancy him. I must stop getting so excited by photographs. 3D meetings are essential.
Day 10. Receive multiple messages from Elite Singles including one from a banker who lives round the corner from me so take the plunge and pay to join dating site. Only now can I see the photographs of all the people who’ve messaged me some of which are shockingly unattractive. I take a shine to the banker who passes the post code test and also does not drink. I wonder if he is a member of “Vodka for Breakfast Anonymous” as well. Have long conversation with Latin American man and arrange to meet on Saturday night, although I think he may be too serious for me. OD on English Breakfast tea – this finding Mr Right is jolly hard work!
Day 11. Receive message at 6am from banker who does live in Notting Hill two seconds away from my rental property. Immediately start fantasising about marriage and kids as, obviously, he has cash. Remembering experience with youthful lothario, who I didn’t fancy, reign myself back reminding myself that I may not fancy him. He is a ginger and very pale which I do not like. Am devastated when he says he is in “Vodka for Breakfast Anonymous” and therefore cannot date me as he will not date girls in the fellowship. Was thinking it would only take me one week to meet Mr Right…
Day 12. I am obviously getting better as my heartbreak over the banker only lasted a day and I did not obsessively pore over his photograph or profile or try to contact him. Unlike my previous dating, I didn’t have to burn his photograph on the gas stove, which was lucky as I only have a gas stove in my rental property and my tenant might have thought this was odd.
Day 13. Cancel a date with a rather promising doctor as there is a boiler crisis at my rental property with no heating for 10 days. I am there till 8.30pm getting boiler quotes. He says he will not be back down in London for several weeks which does make me question how the relationship would work.
Day 14. Nonchalantly communicate with various people on Guardian Soulmates and Elite Singles when very excitingly get a “like” from a 6’2” doctor who clearly has the same hair problems as me. I can’t work out where he’s from but his hair looks like mine on a very bad day when my hairdresser has stopped talking to me. Part of me is very keen to get it together with someone ethnic who will understand my experience of being a minority in the UK. Part of me wants an extremely posh public school boy like my father. His affluence level is “higher than average” which is always a good start. Meet hot prospect – therapist with house in Camden and several buy to let properties but alas again do not fancy him. Still feel rejected when he ends the date after an hour.
Day 15. After two disappointments head to meeting with Latin American lawyer with no expectations at all. Which is lucky as when I get there he is not actually there. When I eventually meet him (hate it when men are late) it is not out of the question that I could fancy him. Although he does have a cold sore which, as far as the OCD is concerned, is practically as bad as HIV. After inviting me to a Salsa club and me actually accepting he doesn’t get back to me with the address until after he has left. Resolve he is unreliable and that will not meet him again. My barrister friend Patricia says if I want rich and posh I should join the Conservative Party. This makes me slightly queasy as all writers are left wing, but since I grew scales and a tail before the last election and was diagnosed as a Tory the Labour party will not let me in.
Day 16. Have very promising conversation with actor who does a lot of theatre and voiceover work and sounds absolutely great. Unfortunately cannot meet him this week due to the boiler replacement at my rental property. Meet Greek civil engineer who sounded great on the phone but is shorter than I was expecting and has a belly as well. The number of people I’ve fancied who I’ve met through the online dating is zero. Which has led me to feel extremely disillusioned about the online experience.
Day 17. Have promised to phone various men this afternoon but am so despondent am not sure I can be bothered to phone any of them. Also, as I am potentially looking for the father of my daughter (or in the short term the donor sperm for my frozen embryos), none of them seem to have enough cash to pay for my 24/7 child care requirements. Start pining over the Notting Hill banker – there is always one who’s “got away.”
Day 18. No time to find Mr Right. B day at my rental property. Not not Birthday, Boiler Installation Day after the old boiler gave out leaving my lovely tenant with no heating for 2 weeks. Desperate to keep tenant as entire writing career depends on it, am throwing money at the house, doing all sorts of things tenant is supposed to do. Only Mr Right related activity is sending message to man on Elite singles saying I won’t be able to call him for a couple of days.
Day 19. No time to find Mr Right. No sleep again as worried about boiler. Receive text message from interesting sounding actor but when I send what I think is reasonable and prompt reply I get no response. Do eventually hear from maltese (partly Arabic) doctor with hair issues as complex and intractable as mine, which I have described in my profile as “akin to servicing a high performance car.” Become wildly over excited as he has put his affluence level is higher than average so I think he can pay for our child. The fact that I’ve not even spoken to him does nothing to dent these fantasies.
Day 20. Phone up mixed race guy from Guardian soulmates and arrange to meet the following week. But think affluence level will not be sufficient to pay for private school for our child.
Day 21. Wild fantasies about the maltese doctor going beyond us getting married and having child but right through entire education of the child. I have already decided the child (has to be female) will go to St Paul’s Girls school, one of the top private schools in this country, and to Oxford University. No overloading the child with parental expectations then. I definitely now want a child, and am actually thinking I might be able to look after her myself. Decide I will urgently look into egg freezing in case Mr Right is late.
Day 22. Apart from my battle with OCD in my local supermarket, (such as having to open all the ready meals to check the number of legs on the prawns and the cans of dog food to get the most meaty one for my imaginary dog) a new danger awaits.
Now I am looking for a boyfriend, every male under a certain age in every aisle is potentially Mr Right, leading to frenzied primping sessions in the loo before I launch myself into the supermarket with my trolley. After bitter experience, I have learned that all the men I’ve picked up in the aisle labelled “Eye Makeup Remover” are a tad unsuitable. Of course, my first boyfriend was unfaithful to me with a bottle of Clinique foundation.
Day 23. All has gone quiet on Guardian Soulmates and Elite Singles. I guess I will have to do some hunting myself, checking out my matches and sending them a like or a smile. I go onto the website of upmarket introduction agency Drawing Down the Moon but balk at the £6,000 price tag. However this might be a good investment if it secures a wealthy man who can pay for the private school fees. Resolve to listen to barrister friend Patricia and go to some Tory events backing Zac Goldsmith bid for London mayor. Although I might vote for him I balk at the fact that he supports Britain’s exit from the European Union. Exchanges with hair-challenged doctor progress to an actual phone call. Am so wild with excitement before he calls that I feel like I’m having a breakdown. But then when he calls he has very strong Arabic accent which I am not sure will do at all. Still arrange to meet on Edgware Road later in the week.
Day 24. Loads of activity on Elite singles after my smile sending session the day before. Respond to some of the messages. Hair issues doctor cancels our date on Thursday as he says he is working late, which opens up the slot as I have received another proposal for that night from sexy voiced Actor instead. But when I text the actor about meeting up 4 hours later he has not texted me back. Think he must be avoidant or unavailable so am not entirely excited about meeting up. I want someone who responds to me immediately!
Day 25. Devastating news about the egg freezing – I am apparently too old. Also too old for IVF. Dreams of having little girl of my own bite the dust. But book in fertility test with doctor just in case. Send almost a 100 likes on Guardian Soulmates to gee things up a bit and get quite a few back. Unfortunately a lot of people who message me are people I’ve liked by mistake. Meet mixed race property developer who is very attractive. But think, like the Palestinian doctor, that his accent is wrong. Also he thinks I’m a “bunny boiler” because I’m in therapy. Shocked by news from Brussels of 31 people dead in airport and metro bombings reminiscent of tube bombings in London on 7/7. Wonder what it would be like going out with the Palestinian doctor who probably gets stopped at every airport he goes to.
Day 26. Go to “Vodka for Breakfast Anonymous” in Notting Hill not stalking Notting Hill banker (well only a tiny bit) but looking for a man. Everyone there is married.
Day 27. Due to meet hot prospect of sexy voiced actor but he cancels that morning as he is ill. Go to Notting Hill “Divorced from my Drug Dealer Anonymous” meeting (obviously in search of man). But the guy I’ve had my eye on for ages, a rugged American, shares that he is getting married the next week. Get very exciting message from ex publisher of London Metro newspaper asking me out to dinner. I message him straight back saying let’s talk on the phone.
Day 28. No dates lined up so go to Hampstead Shagger and Lurve Addicts Anonymous meeting in search of “fellowship” aka rich love addict. But the one person I fancy actively seems to dislike me.
Day 29. Have great conversation about politics and current affairs with 6’3” very attractive lawyer from South London who I’ve been exchanging messages with on Guardian Soulmates. Arrange to meet the following week. Am slightly concerned that he definitely wants to have children and his upper age limit for women is 36 as IVF unit has said my eggs are past their sell by date.
Day 30. Lawyer cancels date as he says I am too interested in politics and current affairs. Am briefly devastated but think he would not have been interested because of eggs being off. Have recovery party to look forward to. This turns out to be a disaster as my friend from Slaa the host is babbling about men and sex in a way that makes me feel really uncomfortable. I launch into first bulimic binge for 7 years and want to make myself sick, which I haven’t done since July 2009. But, after emergency conversation with Sarah from Divorced from my Drug Dealer Anonymous and my neighbour Diane, a therapist, thankfully do not. Ex publisher of metro newspaper who said he would phone me at 5 texts at 5 to say he is at an event which has overrun and will call me at 9. He does not call at 9. Think he is rude and has control issues and will not have anything to do with him. This online dating is not going very well. Am seriously thinking of pulling off both my profiles.
Day 30 + 1. (this month has 31 days!) meet sexy voiced actor at restaurant in Notting Hill. Although we have loads in common do not fancy him. Am facing apocalyptic dating scenario where living in a country that is 90% white I have stopped fancying white men. Go to bed feeling as down as an elevator whose mechanism has broken and has plummeted through 54 floors. Of course I still fantasise about Dangerous Liasons with the evil Vicomte de Valmont from Divorced from My Drug Dealer Anonymous. He is one of only two single men in recovery I’ve fancied who actually fancy me back. But he has hepatitis C and is fundamentally untrustworthy so I cannot date him. What am I going to do?
Next week: my life changing recovery from 30 years of bulimia and anorexia that almost killed me.