Aw, love, what an amazing feeling, right?! Love is transforming our actions, our souls; makes us be the best people we can be; kind, caring, selfless, courageous, open-minded, full of life.
When it is gone we feel like some dead leaves, blowing in the wind, left & right and up & down on the life`s highway, sad, disconcerting, disconnected, useless, lost.
I was there so many times in the past and in every single instance, it felt like I was broken and put back together again. I had dark days, sleepless nights, tears all over the house, and lots of “why me”s.
Meeting someone new was hard because I was sick and tired of trials; I just wanted my “The One” so I can start living my real life. The life that I was living … well, it seemed to be an endless rehearsal.
I was meeting people but they were not my type, whichever type that was …?
I decided to take the internet way and I sign up on a few dating sites; some were asking for a monthly fee, some were free. I chose one of each, just to have more options.
I lost hours writing and deleting everything about me because I was trying to paint a perfect portrait of myself and show the real me at the same time and that, my friends, was an impossible task. 😛
“Upload your pictures here”… Oh, what a mess! Which one of us has the right pictures for a dating website on their phone or computer? Mine were either too friendly or too cold; I was either overdressed or not appropriate. None of them was perfect for this task.
Taking pictures around the house was hilarious and time-consuming; curtains up for the light, lights on – I am sure my neighbors were delighted and intrigued, as they were watching a mystery unfolding; my furniture was moved around so it can fit the only place I can put my camera on; five types of outfits, dealing with make-up and hairdos (which I normally avoid 😛 ) and … smile!
Yup, smile naturally if you can while thinking about the people who are going to judge all those pictures that you are currently taking of yourself! 😀
After everything was done and dusted, I waited, like merchandise in a store window, to be weighed, measured, analyzed and dismissed or approved of. Having a public profile made me feel naked and vulnerable.
I got nice messages from some men; I even enjoyed (rarely) meaningful conversations. I had some funny chats with a few married men looking for real love in this unfair, cruel world that invented marriage. One man, my “top of the list”, tried to get some money out of me by telling me a teary story about his life. Another one fell in love with me almost instantly (he didn`t even get my name right 😀 ) and tried to convince me to marry him and bring him to my country (which was part of the EU; his wasn`t). One, that I will never forget, was exposed by his dead (died in a horrible car crash) wife who wrote to me … I guess the internet works well between both worlds. 😉
What made me delete my profile on both websites, in the end, were the nasty, uncalled for, demeaning, disgusting, harassing messages that I got from some people. I couldn`t comprehend how can anyone be so cruel without provocation, towards a person they never met, just by seeing their picture. Some of the words I then read still echo in my head today.
Does this story sounds familiar to you, in any way?
We live in a world that`s rapidly evolving around us: computers, tablets, smartphones, (so many) websites and apps – I can barely keep up to this fast-moving technology. But we are not evolving at the same pace, we are still humans, we have the same basic needs and not all of us are experts in using the new technology. Besides, having a public profile is not fit for all of us with such a high risk of being conned and the stealing of personal information today.
We still want to find love, you`ll say. How do we do that? 🙂
Let me tell you how with another story. 😉
When Covid19 madness started I enrolled with the NHS Volunteer Responder Programme, because one of the things I love is to help people in any way I can.
One day I received a Check-in and Chat alert (making a call to somebody who is living alone and self-isolating) on the GoodSAM app and I contacted the person. That`s how I met Christopher, a very nice and kind gentleman in his 70`s. He is the main reason I am writing this article today.
His wife of eighteen years died a decade ago and his quest for finding love was full of trials and errors, online and offline.
That got me thinking of a way that is easier for everyone to get talking, avoiding the weirdness and awkwardness associated with dating websites: a red & white badge (see picture) that can be worn every day by people who are looking for a partner.
Life is short but beautiful and is meant to be shared with the right person. Finding your “hand in glove” person was always a bit tricky. That will stop here and now! Put your “I am looking for love” badge on every time you go shopping, exercising, or just walking around in our lovely Exmouth, so people like you know you are looking for love.
The badges are available by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. (I tried to find a store eager to help this cause by carrying the badges, making it easier for people to get them, but I could not find one).
The profits will be donated monthly, rotated between various animal shelters in Devon because Love cares about all beings. 💝
This article was also sent to a few newspapers in my area, to make sure word gets around. 😉