Finding myself with some extended free time and wanting to maximise my dating opportunities, I decided on Sunday night to re-join RSVP. This was a massive mistake.

Just to back up a little, dedicated readers will know that I have been dating for a long time. A very long time. When I first got divorced 12 years ago, online dating was completely foreign to me (and to a lot of people really). But as a single parent who was studying full time I didn’t have any other ways of meeting potential dates so I chose online. It seemed fabulous at first. All new and shiny and full of opportunities. Pages and pages of men just there for the choosing. Believe me when I tell you that the novelty swiftly wore thin.

I’ve endured on and off over the years but times they do change and technology develops and I now feel much more inclined to swipe left and right at will, and I do it for free.

The downside of Tinder et al is that there is very little information in the bio, often none at all and despite messaging back and forth, it’s really only when you meet someone in person that you realise how very much shorter than you they are (this being an issue for me, lover of 4 inch heels, call me heightest if you must).

So back to RSVP I went, where you have to fill in at least enough information to cover age, height, marital status and location. The sinking feeling emerged almost immediately. Not least of all because as I did a quick search, the man who I am doing my very best to get over popped up on my screen. As if that wasn’t enough, I noticed that the top of the age range he specified as being desirable for him is 3 years less than my age. Ouch.

And then the “kisses” came flooding in. You might think this was flattering. It was not. Because every single one – and I mean every single one – had contacted me before. Sometime in the past several years, and I had said no to each of them. The depression began to hit hard. I came across one fellow with whom I had actually been on a date. Eight years ago. The photo in his profile was the same one he had used back then and it was a lie then!

I began to notice then all the things wrong with RSVP. It’s so old-fashioned with it’s ridiculous colour scheme which I admit has been updated from purple and yellow to purple and green. They were a bit off way back when but now it just puts me in mind of Miss Havisham’s parlour, stuck forever in the past, unable to move on.

There also seems to be a particular sort of chap who uses this site. Someone who has never seen an iPhone and uses photos of themselves cropped from their own wedding photo with the ridiculous caption “best man at my brother’s wedding”. Okay buddy, sure.

The profiles have certain themes as well. Including such classics as requiring loyalty (it’s a dog you want, not a girlfriend), needing someone who “takes pride in her appearance” (highly subjective, and usually means they’re looking for a trophy), “I don’t like doof doof or classical music” (meaning it’s Barnsey and Farnsey all the way, rock on 80’s dude) and let us not forget every chaps’ favourite movie, The Shawshank Redemption. With “will watch a chick flick if I have to” thrown in for good measure. You know, to show what a giving and enlightened sort he is.

I lasted just over 24 hours. I couldn’t take it, a black cloud of dating horror was descending over me and I had to abort mission to save myself.

I think RSVP could be great again but they need to whip off that mouldering wedding dress, knock down the mansion and re-build from scratch. In the meantime I am going to keep up with the modern crowd and keep swiping right until I get it right.

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