Dating: A (Not So) Modern Manual

It used to be that Valentine’s Day was the one day where you’d pluck up the courage to send a card to that special someone and then wait, Bambi-eyed, as the object of your affection sailed into someone else’s arms. There was pain, but also satisfaction that you’d given it a go. And there was always Clinton Cards, so you could nip out and get another card for someone else.

Times have changed. These days, there’s no need to face such titanic embarrassment head-on. First, we have internet dating. Now, I’m not against the concept in general – I understand that we all lead such spectacularly busy, interesting lives these days that it can be hard to find the time to engage in actual conversation. Plus the internet is so good at finding everything else; surely it can bloody well find me love as well.

Except, it’s not that simple. There is of course something joyously unknowable about dating and romance and compatibility, for which Google has not (yet) figured out the algorithm. Which leaves internet dating in a funny place. Yes, you can run through hundreds of questions to eliminate anyone with emotional instability, ear-hair and egg allergies but no, you can’t guarantee that’s going to make for a good date. Frankly, the chances of meeting your perfect partner online seem about as good as picking them out on the tube on your way to work.

Which brings me neatly to my next point – and a beloved institution of our age – the Metro Rush Hour Crush. (By the way – I assume I’m not the only one for whom the Metro goes: 60-Second Interview, Rush Hour Crush, Nemi… end?)

For anyone not familiar with the Rush Hour Crush – it basically lets people who managed to pick up a burning infatuation on public transport to write in looking for the object of their desire, in the hope that he or she is also hopelessly pining after that lost moment when they shared a handrail.

But let’s just consider this for one second. Our earnest correspondents have already been heart-jumpingly close to one another. Yet, rather than attempt actual, real-life engagement then, they opted instead to pin their hopes on a grubby piece of newsprint on page 36 of the Metro, expecting this to both relocate and reignite some ashen spark.

Yes, people are reserved and – especially without glorious, affirming alcohol – shy, but no, expecting your dreams to come true in a 12-word tribute in the back of Metro is not a recommended life choice.

So please, people of London, I ask you – instead of waiting for your perfect partner to come frog-stepping out of your computer screen like something from a weird rom-com/porno version of The Terminator (I’m calling it The Sperminator by the way, filming starts next month) – next time just try looking up, saying hi and seeing what happens. He or she is almost certainly prone to one of the 1000s of modern day afflictions that make them completely unsuitable for you – but you might just have fun finding out exactly which one.

Image by taiyofj courtesy of Flickr

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