I tried internet dating this week! I know, I know…was I that desperate? Not really but my (supposedly good) friend said it was a good idea. How wrong could she be? (and I’m still not speaking to her!).

It was easy enough to join. Just pop a picture on and fill out a questionnaire and away we go. Then all hell broke loose. I had loads of messages, ‘want to meets’ and ‘views’. My ego was suitably boosted, until I started reading them.

Top Tip: If you’re male and planning on trying it too, please get a friend to take your photo so you’re smiling and not looking like an escaped criminal, I’m sure some were police mugshots photoshopped. It’s not a good look. Oh, and DO NOT take your picture in a public toilet. Big no no!

I couldn’t bring myself to reply to the messages. My mother always told me not to start a conversation with a man, gives him the wrong impression! Brilliant advice in this case. Although if you don’t reply straight away some of them get quite nasty. Had one message that said ‘So you think you’re better than me?’. Too scary… and desperate.

My (supposed) friend told me that she’d deleted the app after the same sort of start but some local guy wasn’t happy and started stalking her on Facebook asking why she’d blocked him! She lied and told him she’d been cloned and it wasn’t her! So she blocked him on Facebook then. It’s quite frightening really.

The internet is absolutely full of terrible stories of first dates, mostly from people complaining that the person had lied about everything or the picture was taken about 20 years ago and they were nothing like that now. But there is also some really scary headlines about people being attacked, raped and being murdered! Luckily those stories are rare but you still have to take some precautionary measures.

  • Firstly do some research. Search for them on social media or just google them. You’ll be amazed what info you can get from that.
  • If they start asking for money then cut off all contact. It’s a scam and you’re about to fall for the oldest trick in the book.
  • If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t? Trust your instincts.
  • When you finally pluck up the courage to go on the date then make sure somebody knows where you’re going and who with. Stay public if you can, a pub or cafe is perfect. Make your own way there and back.

Please don’t be put off with the scary stories though, there are also some lovely stories too. My (nice) friend found love this way, they’re madly in love planning a wedding and babies! So is there hope for me after all? Hope so.