THE BLOG

(Online) Dating for the First Time

29/08/2013 12:01 BST | Updated 27/10/2013 09:12 GMT

I decided to change 'go for a hot air balloon ride from my list because I realised when I was stood on a chair I felt a bit light headed and wanted to get down. It turns out, despite my ease with flying, I don't really like heights all that much. So the idea of going in a basket and a balloon hundreds of meters up in the air, probably wasn't my smartest of moves.

So why was I thinking about trying online dating?

Instead, I decided to try online dating. which seems random but I have been dabbling with the idea for a while. Plus, I could use the justification of blogging about it and with that thought, I just decided to go for it. After a little research to see which website was the one, I decided on match.com since it kept coming up as one of the best.

So why was I thinking about trying online dating? I've always been the kind of girl who sees her friend gets the door held open for her, and then has to catch it to get through myself. I write that not for sympathy, but because it what happened during most of my time at school. When friends talked of boyfriends, or what they do when someone liked them, I couldn't join in because I hadn't experienced that. I didn't know how others girls did it.

I felt self-assured I would become a spinster throwing cats at happy couples.

I thought to myself, being the pessimistic person that I am, that I would never find anyone and die alone. I felt self-assured I would become a spinster throwing cats at happy couples. The advice I kept being given was that it will happen when I'm least expecting it or when I'm not looking for it.

I realised that advise would never work on me. I could not picture myself in a place where I wouldn't be wondering what it would be like to be in a relationship. I can understand for those that have experienced it that it's not the biggest deal to be single, but for me it's all I've ever known. To tell me not to think about being in relationship is like telling a child not to go in to the sea and the tide will come to them. Face it: they're going to want to go in the water and start swimming.

avoided using this face ;) at all costs.

So I decided to try online dating, to take the plunge and actively look for something rather than feeling like I'd never find anything, or no one would come looking for me. I was terrified and clueless when writing my profile. All I did was explain I liked music, reading, and writing, and avoided using this face ;) at all costs.

I was really overwhelmed with all of the attention after I set up my profile Within the first few days I had received 20 winks, and over 100 views. It was the strangest of feelings from having no male attention, and feeling almost invisible wherever I went, to be flung to the other side of the spectrum and having so many people actually take notice of me.

It was one of the first times I've felt like a guy has wanted to get know me

Winks are when people express an interest in you, and you can wink back if you like. I had the age ranges of 20 - 40 winking. Needless to say, I didn't look back at some of those profiles. The most flattering thing of all was the emails. Guys messaging me saying what we had in common, and asking me about music I liked. Or telling me they're writers, too and asking what I liked to read. It was one of the first times I've felt like a guy has wanted to get know me, rather than a pretty girl going through the door in front.

I hadn't received one weird or creepy thing at all, and soon I was having really pleasant conversations with interesting guys. After talking to one guy about music, festivals, books and TV he asked if I would like to go get a coffee in Leeds. I had only been asked on a date only once before in my first year of university, so to say I was nervous was an understatement.

I don't know if anything will happen from this

But meeting up with him went surprisingly smoothly. It was inevitable we could have the occasional moment of not knowing what to say, but between the two of us we quickly moved on. Before I knew it, three and half hours had gone by and agreed to meet again.

I don't know if anything will happen from this. When faced with the idea of not being single, I found myself surprisingly scared; like I said - it's all I've known. I'm telling myself I just need to see what happens. I have been talking to a couple of other guys, and could possibly go on dates with them, too. But I don't think I'll stay on match.com for longer than a month. Don't get me wrong, I've had a lovely experience on it and would happily recommend it if you were thinking of giving it a go.

My relationship status no longer causes me to panic

But what I have gained most from match.com, and the last thing I expected to, is I now feel calmer about being single. My relationship status no longer causes me to panic, and start thinking of cat names. Online dating made something click - it's not about being in a relationship, it's about finding the person who you want to be with. Which I know seems obvious, but having no sailed the relationship, I guess I had never thought of that navigation point before. For the first time, I am comfortable being single, and am happy to just see what happens.