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Marisa Mackle: It's over with internet guy... before it began

SOMEBODY asked me the other day how the online dating was going. I said it wasn't going that well. I'm in Spain at the moment without my laptop. I put it through the security scanner at Dublin airport after they told me to take it out of my case. I never saw it again. Despite numerous calls and emails nobody handed it in. At first I was devastated. I'm the first to admit I'm addicted to the internet, especially Facebook. Thankfully I never succumbed to Twitter.

I had planned to write my new book in Spain as I'd have peace and quiet there. But without my laptop I began to feel a bit isolated from the world.

For example, I missed not knowing what was going on in the showbiz land. So I walked to an internet cafe after a few days and logged on.

Goodness, I couldn't believe all I'd missed.

Britney Spears had split up with her latest fiance and Taylor Swift had parted company from that One Direction chap. How could I have been walking around in the sunshine, enjoying nature without knowing any of this? I realised just how much I had become obsessed with the internet.

I had my phone with me, of course, and I started texting this guy that I had been emailing on the dating site. I guess because I was away by myself with no internet I had too much time on my hands because I sent him quite a lot of texts. We had been emailing for a couple of months so I thought it would be a good idea to suggest meeting up.

I wasn't prepared for his reaction. He seemed affronted that I would even be so forward, and gave me a million excuses as to why he felt I was rushing things along and said he needed more time. More than two months of emailing and texting? I decided to end our non-existent 'relationship' realising that it was all a waste of time.

Maybe he thinks it's amusing to string somebody along, or is plain shy. Who knows? I returned to Dublin for a day to collect my son and met a neighbour for a quick chat. I filled her in on my online dating experience.


She just threw her eyes to heaven and shrugged. "If that is your worst story,' she said, "you can count yourself lucky."

My friend is happily married now but she told me about a time she went for lunch with somebody from a dating site after he had invited her. They didn't have much in common and a few days after the date she received an email from him with an invoice for half the price of the lunch.

Then she met another man who brought along an Elvis CD after she had mentioned she liked Elvis and gave it to her.

This man was about two stone heavier than his photo suggested and probably a decade older. When she didn't meet him for a second date she was bombarded by angry messages looking for his CD back.

I was shocked by my friend's experiences. But she also made me feel better. At least my 'no show' online love was always nice and polite.