The Hell Butterfly

The Kerrang! Chronicles

Kerrang! Chronicles: The Finale

With just 24 hours until they shut down my account for good (we hope) there’s time for one final facepalm at the crazies out there in the world of online dating.

As you’ll know if you saw my previous installments to this series, Kerrang! Dating is a crock o’ shit. It’s not worth the money. Sure, you can have a free account, but aside from log in you pretty much can’t do anything. So to get any use out of the site you have to pay £14.95 a month. Total. waste. of money. I ended up paying for three months because for month two, I was too lazy to get it cancelled, and for month three they decided to ignore my request to shut it down. So on the dollar-front it’s not worth its weight in gold, and being weightless due to being, you know, a website, that means it’s not worth the nothing that it is.

ImageI’ve become almost scared to look at the Who’s Viewed Me page. It seems I attract all the freaks. The last person that looked at my page seemed to be drugged up, and the person before that was practically gurning in his picture. I mean, c’mon dude. I’m sure it goes down well at parties but I wouldn’t want to kiss that face, would I? Funny though, not even the creepazoids took a second look. Not too bothered by this, but still, what does that say about me?

The Introductory messages haven’t gotten any better either. Here are some of the recent ones I have received, in all their shoddy, unedited glory:

A personality always makes big difference. Would love to have a girl with same mentality who respect

I am an Asian lad came UK to study and enlighten myself back in 2009. Work in a food industry as a Supervisor. I love being discipline, meeting people. I find ‘being honest’ is very easy!

Fair play for trying, mate.

hey there 😉

what can i say im down 2 earth guy, just a normal guy i suppose you know me once you get to know me lol.

“You know me when you get to know me” .. Well, duh

And possibly the only relatively normal one:

Are you the right girl for me

Hey my name’s max. Im looking for a nice decent girl who has a wild side also and likes having fun. I like going out or staying in. I like good food and good wine. I like working out and keeping fit. Im looking for a good healthy relationship but I like to party too. We can go to party’s or just have our own one. I would like to do what you like to do. Your welcome to message me and we can chat.

To be honest, aside from the missing apostrophes and the wrong use of ‘your’ this guy seems fairly normal. I think he’ll have the best chance of survival on that site.

In my personal experience there have been some weird ones. The 40-something that I had blocked because he Winked At me practically every day for a month,and then the 51 year old who took his place. The one who stereotyped my hobbies and insulted my career choice (though admittedly I don’t think he realised he did it). And then there was the one who sent me a message saying simply: “lets cure you of your addiction sugar”. I believe this was meant as a witty joke relating to my comment on my profile that I put too much sugar in my tea. But seriously, what possessed him to phrase it like that? Suffice to say I ignored that one.

There were some fun ones like the bloke who wanted “an enlightened girl who liked to frolic in fields and wear pretty summer dresses”. There were some half-decent attempts like the guy who wanted to protect the environment, yet went on about it a bit too much. Then there was a lot of repetition: ‘I don’t bite much/hard/unless you want me to’, ‘just looking for a nice girl’, ‘someone with similar interests’.

But it wasn’t a total loss. L was really nice to me for a while. Even though he decided to just stop emailing one day, he made for good conversation. He was a decent bloke. There was D who, despite being 35 and so not dating material for me, was game for a nice normal chat. Had he been ten years younger then his personality would have been up my street but I’m afraid I’m shallow when it comes to age. He was cool to talk to though. I wish those two all the best.

And then of course, there was M24. He is pretty much the only good thing to come from that site, and he told me the same thing about me. We’ve spoken almost every day for three months and, as you may be aware, we’re meeting up for the second time today. I managed to not mess it up the first time and he wants to see me again. And even if today doesn’t work out, it has still been a pretty sweet three months. Obviously though, we should all try and be optimistic about this. I like this guy. Like i said before, if he chooses to walk away I won’t stop him, but if he gets to the end of a second day with me and still wants to know me then that will be a much more preferable scenario. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

What this experience has taught me is that A) People suck B) Some people are worth taking chances on C) Kerrang! Dating is the worst.

If you’re reading this and considering joining a dating site, do not join this one. I can’t give you any advice on others but I can, without a smidge of doubt, tell you that you will not regret leaving it be. Try Plenty of Fish, or Match, but don’t touch K! Dating with a barge pole.


Love Story? What Love Story?

ImageI’ve never had a relationship. Almost 21 years old and I’m still a Single Pringle, though that statement is void when you really think about the logistics of the tube. Throughout the years I have had but one admirer and I messed that one up. And I’ve never had the guts to ask out the few guys who I’ve really liked. So up until now, my love story consists of a few screwed up bits of paper that missed the bin when I threw them over my shoulder.

But I began a new story about five weeks ago. So far all I have is the introductory chapter plus a couple to set the scene. It’s not a story that I can write a preface for, because although I’m pretty sure of how it’s going to end – and yes it would resemble something like the previous stories – this one is full of surprises. Every time I go to to tear up the piece of paper, the character throws a curveball at me that makes me hesitate and write a little bit longer.

This story is entitled Battleships – M24.

The chapters I have already set in proverbial stone are these:

1. The Art of Indecision

In this chapter I find myself beginning the game of Battleships by choosing my target and aiming. I chose M24. I found the mark for the first time.

2. Hit

This chapter sees a second hit on the five-peg-length crate carrier.

3. Strike Three

A well-deserved, albeit unexpected, third strike with M24.

And I suppose this post suggests the fourth chapter: Love Story? The fact that I instantly thought of M24 when I saw the words “think of your longest relationship” must mean something, right? I’m no longer considering him as someone I can talk to over the internet who actually wants to speak to me. I am now seeing him as potential boyfriend material. This is no longer a mere conversation, this is something else. Something more.

Tomorrow I begin chapter five.

The First Date?

I am not yet sure if what we are doing is a date. I guess I’ll ask him that when we meet. But tomorrow I am going to meet M24 for the first time. He is traveling to Plymouth, we are going to walk around in the sunshine, and then I am going to take him to my favourite cafe/restaurant and buy him anything of his choice. I am both excited and terrified.

They say write what you know, but until you find out, how can you write? Tomorrow I begin my research.

Other love stories:

  1. Swirling in the Time of Internet | Kosher Adobo
  2. Daily Prompt: That’s Amore- The Psychology of Changes in Love | Journeyman
  3. Princess | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  4. Missing that tune | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  5. Eddie And Flipper, Reverse Revolution | The Jittery Goat
  6. If you love to walk | Услуги переводчика – английский язык
  7. Too Good To Be True | Ventures | WANGSGARD
  8. Too Good To Be True | Musings | WANGSGARD
  9. passion | yi-ching lin photography
  10. Love And Linger – A Vibrational Experience | Shrine of Hecate – Ramblings of a New Age Witch
  11. you leave | y
  12. DP Daily Prompt: That’s Amore | Sabethville
  13. Daily Prompt: That’s Amore | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  14. Daily prompt: Amore | The Wandering Poet
  15. This one is easy. | What?????
  16. Daily Prompt: That’s Amore « Mama Bear Musings
  17. Michael [Poem] [reblog] | She Writes
  18. Daily Prompt: That’s Amore | cockatooscreeching
  19. Start Cueing Up the 1812 Overture, Here Come the Fireworks… | Eyes Through The Glass – A Blog About Asperger’s
  20. how we met, fell in love, broke up, got back together, had a baby & got married | the hilarious pessimist
  21. That’s Amore Haiku | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  22. Love Story? What Love Story? | jigokucho
  23. She Loved Me First ::E.N.Howie’s Motivational Moments
  24. okay. | a study in coincidences.
  25. My non-relationship relationship related entry! | thoughtsofrkh
  26. If One Day Love Comes Along… | B.Kaotic
  27. HOW IT BEGAN, HOW IT CONTINUES | SERENDIPITY
  28. ‘I’ve got a safety-pin stuck in my heart…’ My Amour since 1977… | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  29. A LIFE BORN FROM MUD | Hastywords

Strike Three

Hit. Red peg number three please.

The game of Battleships with M24 has progressed, and the latest hit was unexpectedly beautiful.

Originally I had decided that the third hit would be his asking me on an official date. He did bring this up the other day by asking if I’d fancy going on a date or meeting up, but no day was ever settled. I chose to wait till he set a day and time to strike. But something happened last night which made this potential, weak, strike a powerful head-on impact. M24 just took a well-deserved third red peg, and it was in no way how I had expected.

Since speaking to M24 my mood has been very much up. But two weeks of up was bound to send me crashing down as soon as the bad stuff began to creep in again. I don’t deal well with stress, and this latest essay was trying to push me off a proverbial cliff.

Remember that metaphorical freight train I said was hurtling towards me? Last night saw it collide head-on with my vital organs. Imagine it in slow motion. The last three days were like the impact of the train hitting me. Three days ago it made contact with my chest and the pain began to spread. Two days ago my ribcage shattered and breathing became difficult, but I was still standing. Yesterday my organs were pummeled and I was dying inside. I had a breakdown last night that tore me apart. I could not stop crying, as every time I did I would have a few seconds reprieve and then the pain would return and the tears would flow.

I thought of quitting university. I actually opened a new email and started to type up a drop-out letter to my tutor. I couldn’t do it. I closed the program and carried on having a meltdown. The one message I did manage to send was to M24. I have been dreading this for a while now, but after the intense pain I was in I knew it had to be now that I told him. I sent him a message telling him about my 5 year history of severe depression. I told him about how unstable my moods were. And I told him I didn’t want to drag him into my shit. He is far too nice to be brought down with me and I told him he deserved better than that. I also gave him the chance to walk away from me if he wanted.

He didn’t take it.

His reply, and the next few after this, were some of the most touching words I could ever have hoped for. He was so understanding and said he would never think any differently of me for it. He even said he hoped he hadn’t done anything to upset me accidentally. He was worried that he had upset me. He told me he appreciated that I could tell him and that he actually liked me better for doing so. I won’t copy his exact words because I’m selfish and it was so beautiful I don’t want to share it. But he was incredibly understanding and took it better than I had let myself believe he would. I was terrified that I would drive him away, and obviously this didn’t help the meltdown I was having, but the way he handled it was so amazing it actually stabilised my mood and allowed me to finish my essay.

Strike three – red peg.

M24, you just earned yourself a whopping third hit.


Should Have Gone With ‘Plenty of Fish’ …

Kerrang! Dating is a joke. It’s totally not worth the money.

Things you can do on a full paid account:

– Send emails to anyone

– Read received emails from other members with a full account

– View people in your local area

– See who has viewed your page and when

– Search all members, with optional filters

– Wink At, Favourite, and Chat With members with full accounts

– Horoscopes/Diaries/’Romantic Match’

– Get leered at by old lonely men

– Not meet anyone your own age who has an actual personality

– Meet people who’s idea of a good first impression involves telling you they want a woman with a good personality, similar interests and can love them just for who they are.

Things you can do with a free membership account:

– Log in

As you can see, to get any use out of the site you have to pay for a full membership. As I originally planned to use K! Dating for the shits and giggles, I only paid for one month. That cost me £14.95. For one month. I can get 3 months of Xbox Live Gold for that. But regardless, I paid it.

And the site is definitely not worth it.

The introductory messages are all so generic. For examples, visit my earlier posts in the Kerrang! Dating Chronicles section of The Hell Butterfly. Most consist of ‘looking for a girl’, ‘friendship first and maybe a date’ or ‘I love sports and my car so come check me out!’. None of them have good spelling. Some are unbelievably dumb, others laughable, most are boring. Some just defy explanation. Here is one I received the other day:

Who am I looking for??

Im looking for someone who wears beautiful colourful dresses, likes to frolic in fields, knows her star constellations, interlectual and likes simulating conversations. Its helps if you a little bit crazy, I sure am! Always up for an adventure. D

Gobsmacked.

In terms of the main profile page, there aren’t a great many things I can say that I think are wrong with it. I have no experience with other dating sites to compare it to, but from what I can tell it’s pretty bog-standard and does the job. The only real things I can say I don’t like, are the lack of options for Hobbies and Interests, and the fact there is no option to not disclose information such as income. I am unemployed and therefore earn nothing, but even if I did I wouldn’t want people to know. It’s not important in my opinion. But in order to remove the message that kept telling me to finish my profile, I had to select £0-£10,000. I just think there should be the option to keep that information quiet if you choose.

It provides your age, first name, location and what you’re looking for (ie, romance, friendship, fun). Mine is set to ‘Anything’ seeing as I don’t want to jump into it going I WANT A HUSBAND. There’s no option for ‘I just joined because I thought it was funny’. At least they don’t provide your last name, so no Facebook stalking … Or real life stalking.

Here is a screenshot of my personal Profile page. Because I trust you guys I haven’t blanked anything out, but if it was someone else’s page I would have. Here it is in the raw, intro and all.

ImageThe grey bar at the bottom is like a Live Feed. When somebody comes online, checks out your profile, sends a message, winks or wants to start a Chat, it will appear in the darker section of the bar. I will admit this is a pretty neat little feature. Still not worth £15 a month though.

Encounters, from the top menu, will randomly select a member from the filters you provide (ie age, location) and you can then click ‘Want to Meet? Yes, No or Maybe’. Diaries is like a miniature blog. And as for Favourites, that shows you which members that you have as favourites and which are online. As you can see from the screenshot, M24 is online as I type this. Hasn’t replied to my message though ..

Here’s a fun feature: Bolt-Ons. Ooh, how very fascinating, do tell me more! These are additional features you can choose to add to your account. Check out what they offer:

ImageFor just £5 a month, you could save the single population from paying to speak to you!

For £5 a month I could also provide a quantity of food and water to African children, vital funds for research into cancer, or the salary for a guide dog trainer. I know where I’d rather spend my money.

Barely any members know how to hold a conversation or take a profile picture. I already outlined in an earlier post how to take a good picture, but not very many members seem to follow the rules. The truth is, there’s just no hot guys on K! Dating that also know how to spell. It’s a harsh reality.

There’s just nobody very interesting on there.

Total. waste. of money.

Yes, I met M24, which was good. He also said to me that the only good thing about it was meeting me. How charming. But seriously, M24 aside, I cannot give any positive feedback. I won’t be recommending this to anyone. And the worst part, to cancel your membership you have to call the 0800 number they provide during the hours of 9am and 5.30pm. You can’t email, or just hit a big shiny Cancel Membership button. You have to fit your busy new life of Newly-Appointed-Girlfriend or Suddenly-Skint-But-Still-A-Singleton around their office hours.

I should have gone with Plenty of Fish.


Out of My Element

It’s been a few months short of five years since a guy has complimented me.

Today, M24 did.

I have often thought that my anxieties would get me in trouble. So far they have fucked up a lot of things, from big to small. But one anxiety in particular has stuck out in the last few days. I don’t know how to date. 20 years and 8ish months and I have had one admirer. I blew that one. Now it has reached the point where I have a potential second admirer and I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no experience and it has never been more obvious.

M24 told me today that he likes me.

My reaction was nauseating. Shock. Stunned silence. Elation. Realisation. Anxiety. Fear. Within ten seconds of reading the words I was fighting off a panic attack. I hadn’t expected it. I had thought about it, liked the idea and began to want it .. but I had never expected it to happen. And just like with T all those years ago, I have no idea what I’m going to do.

My best friend told me if I was having so many worries about it I shouldn’t rush into anything. My sister told me if I liked him I should just go for it. I don’t know which is right. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to fix myself – I have so many issues it could take years to resemble a normal human being. If I delay and turn M24 away until I’ve sorted myself out I could, and probably will, lose him. Can I take that risk? But if I face my fears and just go for it, what’ll happen if, or I suppose when, he finds out I have these problems. I’m trying to change, really I am but it’s not going to just go away overnight. I don’t want to put him in a position where if he wants to be with me, he’s got to be with my issues.

In the end I told him I like him too. That I was flattered he thought I was the kind of girl he was looking for (in his words, ‘smart, funny, down to earth and someone [he] could understand and connect with’). But I also told him I was out of my element. That I had never done this before and didn’t want to do something stupid. I told him I have a tendency to say the wrong thing without realising until it’s too late – an unfortunate truth. His reply? I could say what I want because he knows I’m not dumb and he understands what I mean.

He seems interested in extending our new-found friendship. I think I’d like to, but of course I’m worried. I’ll be so anxious about doing something wrong that I will. I’ll make a fool of myself, or insult him, or make him uncomfortable. I don’t want to do that. It’s terrifying and I know that everyone will say this is part of the world of relationships but this is one of the scariest things I have ever had to face. I don’t even have the words to express it. I want this, I think. He is a nice guy, good looking and he likes me. Even when I was being a little awkward in my responses and worried about how he would react, he never once seemed to falter. If he picked up on it, he never said a thing.

This could work. If I don’t fuck it up, this could be a thing. I could have a thing. I’ve never had a thing. Hopefully all my years of doing the wrong thing will help me do the right thing this time. If I can act like a normal human being, I might finally have someone.


The Introductory Message Feature – Act Two

I still don’t think the introductory feature is really worth it. I have to thank it because that’s how I got in contact with M24, but there are so many laughable introductions that it’s almost painful to see.

With some of the ones I’ve received since the last installment of The Introductory Message Feature I couldn’t help laughing out loud at the absurdity of it. Just for the kicks I’m going to share some of them with you.

The WTFer:

Doctor Who fanatic looking for a companion … I don’t have a TARDIs but I do have a lot of love to give. I play Warhammer, I shoot airguns, I watch Top Gear and laugh at the Reaper.

Haha, what? Laugh at the Reaper? Is that an inside joke or you laugh in the face of death?

The lame duck:

Hellooooo! Hey im m___, a friend suggested I give this a go as I had some bad luck with ladies lately. If im honest im sceptical, it was their persuasion that I done it! But hey, prove me wrong! I’m 25 I earn decent money doing what I do, but I’m studying at the open uni so one day I can better my current career, and do something I want to do. They say behind every successful man is a more successful woman, well I want to be successful, but i’m single! lol

N’aww.

The jaw-dropper:

I love the world – wanna join me?

Hi, so about me… I love the world and work to be happy in it. I’m very interested in philosophy and psychology – but also interested in pretty much everything in the universe 😀 – I want to know how the world is; how it works, how I work, how other people work.

I’m try to live what I value; like honesty, integrity, consistency, sincerity, courage, empathy, humility, curiosity and all that great stuff. I try to live by those things that I value.

I’m a relaxed kinda guy; I get inspired and enthused by lots of things. I’m genuine and friendly, love to play and be creative, study, question and master things, 🙂 I like to have my quiet moments and engaged moments. I try to live life the best I can.

‘I fall in love a little bit with anyone who shows me their soul – the world is so guarded and fearful – I appreciate rawness so much.’

Wow, man. That’s deep. I don’t think I can compete with that.

The outright hilarious:

im waiting for you im looking for a nice girl,where are you hidding:D

Hahaha .. ahahahah! Oh God I’m sorry, were you looking for me? I’m down here on the floor breaking my ribs at your absurdity.

The punctuation-phobe:

if you like wot you see message me 😉 Hi may name is A___ im 23 and love a good laugh and good banter i have a good full time job witch i love i also have a vespa scooter witch i enjoy and do some scooter rallys with i also do martial arts during the week any other questions or if you like what you see then please send me a message. 🙂

Note he spells ‘which’ as ‘witch’. Twice.

The inconstant:

Fun, fun, fun!! Im an athletic, energetic and sporty 18 year old. I have a good sense of humour but sometimes can come accross as shy. I love watching films and tv series. I am trustworthy and reliable as well as honest.

So you’re shy but fun, reliable but sporty but trustworthy and honest at the same time! Then why, if you’re all of these things in one neat little 18 yr old package did you have to say it like you shouldn’t be all of them?

To anyone who has followed the Kerrang! Dating Chronicles you may remember my mentioning J22 and B25. I thought about messaging based on their introductory messages so let’s end this by attempting to redeem the feature. Perhaps it’s not an entire failure.

J22:

Reliable Spontaneity [Not sure how you can be reliably spontaneous but alright then]

I am looking for someone genuine. I’m not interested in fakery or people trying to be something they are not! [Hoorah! A bloke who won’t settle for plastic!] I would like someone that I can come home to AND go out with! I would love to go rock climbing and many other out-doorsy activities alongside another like-minded person! [Knows what he wants, likes the outdoors. Good on him].

I love gaming, reptiles, guitar, the outdoors old buildings, I also really care about the environment. With the recent floods and gales going crazy in the UK, and phosphates being released into the atmosphere to combat global warming (It’ll actually make it worse in the long run) I believe that as it stands – humans are killing the planet – but we can change that. [Optimistic, loves the environment .. very nice. He stands for something. A quality you don’t find often anymore].

I dislike only one thing in general – a person dismissing an idea they know nothing about. Fair enough if you don’t care about something, but you cannot say you do not LIKE it if you have never read about it, or physically done it. [Strong values. Another redeeming quality].

B25:

Viking looking for girl :p [Viking? Interesting.] I love adventuring, especially in my vdub, playing music, surfing and studying science [Wide range of interests and hobbies, outdoorsy, likes to study. Sweet.] I’m a 3rd year ‘BSc Conservation Biology’ student a professional architect builder of cob – sustainable traditional earth houses – in Devon. [Well, I’m in Devon so points for that. Also researching and studying something to do with the environment so he cares for the planet. Sounds like a decent bloke. Plus, he was cute.]

I didn’t message these two in the end – they didn’t take the bait. But as you’ll remember, M24 did. Here is the one introductory message that cause me to message back.

M24:

hi

Hey

Im a newbie to online dating sites so here goes!
I am looking for someone fun and interesting to spend some time with and get to know.

Take a look at my profile, if you like, message me x x x

M___

Okay so you may be looking at that thinking ‘why would she reply to this and not the others?’ Firstly, he took the bait. When I looked at his profile he looked back at mine and showed an interest. This made me believe he’d paid attention to my profile. In terms of the content, he said he was new to online dating – so am I. I liked that he wasn’t afraid to admit he’d never done this before. The problem with some of the other good ones was simply that they were too specific. I was reading it thinking I couldn’t compete with their values. M24 knew what he was looking for but didn’t scare me off with specifics that I knew I didn’t have. he also didn’t pressure anyone into messaging him. He asked that people pay attention to his profile and message him if it took their interest. Overall, it was nice and polite, relaxed, and made me feel comfortable messaging. And you know I’m glad I did.

Still not a fan of the feature though. At least it’s not as bad as the Wink feature. That’s just weird


The Day the Undatable Became ‘Sweetie’

I am 20. I will be 21 in 3 1/2ish months. And I have never been on a date, had a boyfriend, or even so much as held hands. I tried for a very long time to not complain about it. My Mum had one boyfriend before my Dad but he was a manipulative fuck who she doesn’t like to talk about. Her first real partner was my Dad who she met at 19. My sister, never very lucky in love finally found someone who she really cared for right before she went to university at age 18. So I told myself I wouldn’t complain out loud about still being single until I had passed the ages of my Mum and sister at the time they first found a relationship.

That time has come, and that time has gone. In 128 days I will hit the milestone of 21. If it gets to that day and I am still single I will allow myself to say the words out loud. I will voice it. Up until now I have kept my mouth shut on the subject. My fingers have danced across the keyboard and typed the words on occasion but I have never spoken them aloud. I am sick of being alone. I can’t lie – I would like to know what it is like to have a boyfriend, to hold hands, to be found attractive and goddamn it I want to know before I’m dead. People wonder why I fear being alone forever and it’s because I’ve been alone from birth until this very day in that respect. Do I not deserve to know what it feels like to be liked? I mean, like liked? Not even loved – heck I don’t know if it’s even possible to love me, but for someone to want to spend time with me simply because they like me is something I have rarely if ever experienced. Everyone I’ve tried to be friends with have left me. I just want to be liked.

In my lifetime only one guy has ever shown an interest. He was T. I met him when I began college at 16. We met on day 1, we got on, he complimented me, I began to like him. We didn’t see each other again until a week later. Then for the next four days we spent our free periods together. From the day we met we had spent only a matter of hours together but I was starting to like the guy. Two weeks to the day of meeting, T asked me out. And I blew it. I panicked. He was moving too fast and I didn’t know how to handle the situation. I liked him, but wasn’t ready to jump into relationship territory yet. And I didn’t know how to make him understand so I did the only thing my mind could think of and I said no. I turned him down. The only person who has ever wanted to be with me and I said no. I regret it now, but if I was to do it again I imagine I would end up doing the same. That was 4 1/2 years ago and now I am here, still single, and ever more frustrated about it.

I have been on Kerrang! Dating for close to a month now and in that time a few people have contacted me. Mr L has not come back to me in almost 2 weeks. I have decided he has chosen to break contact and have not tried to recontact him since. If he wants to reply and restart contact then we’ll take it from there but I’m not going out of my way to talk to someone who doesn’t want to know. I’ve spent too many hours of my life doing that very thing and look where it’s got me. I have received Winks from a number of people, half of which I hate to say are from over 40’s. But in amongst this array of creepy, rude, and somewhat hilarious attempts at attraction, one has stuck out as the obvious victor.

M24.

We have been exchanging emails now since last Thursday – only 5 1/2 days but our message history now consists of 13 pages. He is down to earth, funny, close to his family and, dare I say it, potentially likes me. He did on one occasion tell me he found me attractive and says he thinks I’m thoughtful and caring. But I know he can’t possibly know me in only 5 days. Still, it’s nice to hear it. I won’t lie, for the first time, today I did something purely because a cute guy asked me to. I went into town, actually getting out of my house (a feat in itself) and bought Call of Duty: Black Ops. He recommended it in several messages and said I should get it so we can play it together online. I decided this was a step in the right direction. £10 for the ability to play his favourite game with him? To spend some time doing something he enjoys and not just swapping text? I think that’s a fair deal. As it happens, I really like the game.

Other than my family and my best friend, I have never been given a term of endearment. My best friend calls me dear, or dearest, or lovely. My family have nicknames for me and call me the typical names like sweetheart. But never before have I been given a name like this by somebody – except in a creepy way which I won’t go into. That is until yesterday.

When M24 signed off his final email of the night, he said ‘Goodnight sweetie’ and upgraded to three x’s to end with. Every email since has ended with these same three x’s and again today he called me sweetie. I feel that this is a big moment for me. Perhaps not life changing or something to go writing home about, but in terms of my personal achievements, to have somebody call me sweetie is a first, and a not-unwelcome second.

I don’t like to get gushy over guys I like. I get annoyed at the sound of my own typing (because who do I have to tell face to face?) and I also feel maybe I curse any chance I may have had by doing so. Every time a guy appears on my radar, I tend to get too invested in it and expend an inordinate amount of energy swooning over how nice they have been to me. And time after time they have disappeared from me. So no, I won’t get gushy over M24.

But I’m not going to hide away and pretend that I’m not very excited by his inviting me to play Black Ops, or his teasing me about jinxing the weather, or his choice to call me sweetie, or his decision to email me while at work. This makes me very happy. In fact, I have been in a good mood since he replied to my first email. My face aches from grinning so much. The last time I was in a good mood for over 24 hours was early last November.

He may not stick around, and if he chooses to walk away I won’t stop him. Maybe I should. Maybe I should fight for him. But in my mind, if someone wants to walk away from me I don’t blame them. I live with myself every second of every day and I hate it here. My head is not a place that an outsider would want to spend a lot of time around. So if someone realises that and wants to leave, I wont stop them.

But if he chooses to stick around and continues to want to know me, then I’m going to try my absolute damndest to make it stay that way. People leave me, fact. I don’t know what it is I do that makes them go but it happens to everyone. Something I do must drive them away, and I don’t know how to stop it. So until that happens or until I figure out what I’m doing wrong and change, I’m going to make the most of my time with M24. He seems to want to know me, and until the day he changes his mind and turns away, I’m going to do my utmost to convince him to stay. I just hope I figure out what I’m doing wrong before I drive him away too.