, eHarmony and Tinder have been playing cupid in relationships since 1995, that could be a new catchphrase (I'm just making sure I get my rights!). I bet you didn't think that they've been around this long? I read some statistics that around 1 in 5 relationships now begins online. Another interesting statistic I read was that 47.6% of those people were woman and back in 2014 I was part of that statistic when I tested the waters of online dating.

This is a bit of a long post so prepare yourself.

I didn't date much when I was younger, I always had short relationships (they usually lasted no more than a week) and I just didn't think to spend my days at school in a relationship were important to me. A lot of my relationships were kept very much a secret and that's entirely how I liked it. I got into my first serious 'public' relationship at the age of 16/17 when I met somebody. He worked with my mum at the time so it was a pretty easy introduction and after a couple of dates here and there we started dating. 3 1/2 years down the line the relationship became pretty toxic for the both of us and we decided to call it a day. It was a pretty difficult break up to have to experience, however looking back we weren't a match and I didn't love have the same feelings I did for a long time so it probably was for the best for us in the long run that we separated.

Online dating was daunting from that moment I created my profile.  Nowadays, dating has a whole new routine. 200+ questions asked by an online website to find your 'matches in the area'. With Tinder it was swipe left or right - Does my profile picture make me look attractive? Does my profile read as someone's desperate for a relationship even if it's with the totally wrong individual? that's how I didn't want to come across to a potential new boyfriend. Anyways I knew there was some success with this new way of meeting someone, it's a new reality after all and I had to give it a go.

I first joined POF (Plenty of Fish) just after my relationship broke down in September 2014. At the time I think I was feeling pretty lonely and just wanted to see what was out there. I got talking to a few guys in the area, went on a few dates with some and also got messed around in the process a lot too! From this, I was starting to think that online dating was just an ugly game that I didn't want to get involved with, so I unplugged and went on with my life. 

I just didn't feel like the person I was looking for was worth looking for by scrolling through profiles on a daily basis and the app became quite addictive in the process and that's not how I wanted it to be. Just after this time I got talking to a co-worker of mine at an organisation I was interning at. We dated for a couple of months and it was nice to meet somebody I genuinely loved being around and we enjoyed one another's company a lot. I hadn't felt like that for a long while. We spent some really lovely times together and he was the first guy to surprise me on Valentines Day by leaving me a present at work when I turned up and I really respected what kind of person he was. However the conversation started to come up about making it a more official thing and that we should spend more time together, honestly I just wasn't ready to commit myself to somebody and go into a relationship that I couldn't give 100% into. It ended pretty badly and I totally regret how we both handled it at the time, luckily now he's pretty much living his dream in London so it was probably for the best we didn't go all official. Thankfully we're pretty amicable now and get along just fine.

I decided to pop onto the POF train (again) in August time as I just wasn't meeting anybody I connected within the outside world. My job also pretty much restricted me from being able to go on a lot of dates and really get to know somebody. I think this time I had a different approach, I didn't cut myself short by saying too much about myself on the profile and I also didn't give them a profile full of crap and lots of selfies for them to look over.

I met a few guys again this time, some of which are actually genuine friends of mine and I am still in contact regularly with. I was getting a lot more regular work in Derby so I decided to search that area and see what fish they had in their sea (nice pun) and came across Jordan's profile. I think I approached him initially because he was Northern Irish and who doesn't love their accent? Anyway, we got talking and very quickly we decided to go on our first date. It was September and my parents at the time were on holiday so we decided to do something in my area, he had booked us a reservation at a restaurant for us and said he'd pick me up. Little did I know as I got in the car that Jordan would present me with flowers and take me to the most lovely Italian restaurant in the Leicester City Centre. We pretty much fell in love as each date we spent together and the rest is history. That was 17 months ago. We now live together and even though it feels like the whole thing has been a whirlwind I have zero regrets. We're still very much in love and so glad we connected, even if it was on such a 'cheesy' website as POF.

I was wondering if anybody met their current/last relationship on an online platform and how it panned out for you? It really interests me.

A few tips for anybody who is looking for their next relationship online;

1. Don't write stuff about last relationships in your bio e.g I want to meet someone who will accept me for who I am blah blah blah. Just write about you

2. Don't have an album of more than 2 pictures, most of the time the guy isn't going to look through every photo to check you at every angle

3. Don't go with the intention of finding the guy you're going to marry. Just look for people to date and get to know, that's usually the best part of it. I'm still friends with a lot of guys I initially spoke to when I was on POF

4. Just have fun! Life's too short to get caught up on an app, things sometimes just take time!

Thanks for reading my online dating story, a lot of my friends and family didn't know this was how we actually met so... *SURPRISE* hope you didn't mind my porky but at first I was pretty embarrassed by meeting someone online. I finally feel ok to talk about it more!

thanks for reading,