Two years ago exactly, my project began as an informal blog testing out online dating sites as a social experiment. In addition I had taken an interest in creative writing, had a piece of flash fiction published, and was encouraged to keep practising. The blog took over my life as I became more involved in the characters that I met online. i wanted the freedom to be critical of dating sites and the subscribers so everyone is anonymous – made up names with a slight bearing of reality. I was challenged to ‘just say yes’ to any offers of a date which I did. I tried to get a broad demographic by subscribing to just under 10 dating sites. The clientele are very different as are the expectations. Through natural progression the content and frequency of my blog posts has changed. I am now confronted with the decision of whether to continue or bring this blog to a close. My clients were total strangers so I doubt that they would miss me!
Why do you deserve to win?
What began as personal life fun and an excuse to practise creative writing ended in marriage, which I would argue makes this project the ultimate success story. Intellectually it was fascinating to take part in a social experiment of my own creation – to understand the lives of others who had reached a relationship nadir and wanted a more meaningful companionship. There was a financial investment to this as I subscribed to a number of dating sites so i took it seriously but acutely aware that this is a money-making industry not a Shakespearean romance. I cannot boast many followers or an enviable readership; however i have learnt about human fragility and resolve; being alone is different from being lonely; and that the sense of security from anonymity enables truth and trust but not safety. In the current political climate of addressing loneliness as a societal problem, I would hope that the lofty think tanks spare a thought for the thousands of people defying that demographic, paying for that unique human connection in the privacy of their home. my project revealed that we all live in hope of love and a bit of fun in our lives.