A good friend of mine revealed to me the other day that she had signed up to the meetic online dating service. I told her a cautionary tale, about a girl I know who was stalked by an over-enthusiastic meeticboy, who bombarded her with texts, emails and calls when she declined to see him for a second date, until finally a male friend was drafted in to warn Mr Unwanted Attentions off, for good.
I advised her to meet prospective beaus on neutral territory, preferably by day, and to avoid revealing where she lived (or letting any gentleman, however gallant he might seem, escort her home after a first date). Deliberated with her about the pros and cons of adding a photograph to her profile.
Then I thought little more of it, preoccupied as I have been with somewhat unexpected and dramatic events in my own life.
That is, until hordes of meetic-matched couples began to waylay me at every turn.
First, there was an acquaintance at a party, who pointed out a guy at the other side of the room, whispering conspiratorially in my ear: “lui, c’est mon mythique”. At first I frowned, unsure as to what she meant. Later, when the conversation turned to online dating, the penny dropped, and I realised I hadn’t misheard, only misspelled.
A couple of days later, invited to a picnic by the Seine in honour of the first balmy evening of Spring, I listened, fascinated, as an attractive couple, ostensibly in the grip of that first heady rush of infatuation, recounted their online meeting, and compared the pros and cons of meetic versus match.
Faced with the evidence that perfectly normal, well-adjusted, good-looking people use the services of this kind of site, as a means of meeting new people, outside the confines of their immediate circle of friends, I am beginning to wonder if I’m not cutting off my nose to spite my face by holding back. After all, I did meet Mr Frog in not dissimilar circumstances, albeit on someone else’s blind date.
And I regularly meet fellow bloggers and commenters, both male and female, so why should meetic be any different?
Two things are currently holding me back. The first is this famous blog, now published as a book, chronicling a year of casual meetic encounters in explicit and misogynistic detail.
The other is the fact that men have to pay, but women can sign up for free.
The jury is still out.