Now and again, as long-time readers/sufferers will know, I get it into my head that I should try dating. Yes, I will feel like a massive fraud due to the whole Asexuality thing and yes, I know deep down that it will probably come to nothing, but sometimes I really want someone to come home to at the end of the day. Someone I can talk to, offer support to, make stupid comments about TV shows with. That sort of thing. So I try Dating, having apparently not learned a fucking thing since my last attempt at hitting the scene.
Recently, I came across a website which claimed to be able to set people up on lunch dates. It sounded pretty good. The people running the site would contact me, ask me a series of questions, and then set me up on guaranteed dates with people I would be compatible with. So far, so good. I entered my details and I waited.
A few days later, someone from Florida contacted me. The Website, she told me, was based in Fort Lauderdale but had offices all over the world. Which, okay. Fine. I was willing to buy that.
She asked me a few questions. What types of dating had I tried, why I had chosen that service. It wasn’t as in-depth as I thought it would be, but I was willing to roll with it.
She said that I was a very promising candidate (good) who seemed ready for a relationship (I’m tired, guys, insert your own joke here) and would probably benefit from taking the full interview and becoming a member. All membership would cost me was, and I quote, “Two Thousand British Pounds.”
Yep. 2 with three zeroes. Which, after I managed to regain consciousness, struck me as rather steep.
This was my first brush with the Matchmaking industry. Matchmaking is an old business, with religious practitioners such as the Jewish Shadchan or Hindu Astrologers arranging marriage pacts for hundreds of years. Matchmakers exist all over the world, with several major competing agencies in the UK. Their goal is to find their clients the perfect partner, and what separates professional Matchmakers from Zookeepers who shove two Pandas in a room while hoping for the best is a rather hefty price tag. Any service subscription around £800 is considered relatively cheap.
I did not know this, which is why I almost dropped my phone and forgot how to breathe momentarily. But while I had to turn my Floridian Contact down, something positive came from the experience.
For the first time, someone said I was ready for a relationship.
I am perfectly aware that this was probably sales patter, but hearing that I could probably maintain a healthy relationship with anyone is a pretty big deal for me. I have never really handled having crushes on people well. I get obsessive, I get incredibly sad and depressed when the ol’ inferiority complex flares up, I have never once liked someone who is single. That last one is a therapy session all on its own. The bottom line is that I have never been emotionally mature and healthy enough to be there for a hypothetical partner, and hearing that I not only might be but also that someone, somewhere, might be looking for someone like me is a confidence boost. And I would be stupid not to take it.
Still though. Two thousand pounds. If I spent that much on what is essentially a Dating App, my Family would disown me. And they would be correct to do so.