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CC Image courtesy of oddsock on FlickrI discovered the filter function on OkCupid the other day.

I was having brunch with Tristan, Tristan’s girlfriend (don’t ask), Ryan and a couple of others, who were incidentally also a couple. Conversation turned to dating.

‘How did you two meet?’ Tristan says to The Couple.

They laugh. ‘OkCupid,’ they say, at the exact same time.

‘Yeah, when I applied the filters that really mattered to me,’ the girl says, looking fondly at the residue, ‘you were the only one left!’

The residue smiles. I frown. Filters? That’s only available on the paid option, no?

No, so the following evening, remembering this conversation, I start filtering like a SWIMMING POOL, trying not to think about how much time I’ve wasted scrolling through unsuitable profiles.

Single, straight, at least 5’10” (my height), university-educated non-smokers – that’s all I’m asking for. Oh and in the interests box I put the name of my favourite band, believing – perhaps mistakenly – that there’s a much greater chance I’ll hit it off with a fellow fan. I start scrolling through the results. One guy catches my eye.

There should be a name for it, when you’ve seen someone on every online dating platform going, you’ve consistently ‘liked’ them because, y’know, they’ve got great bone structure, are funny and like all the same music and books as you. And they’ve been consistently unresponsive. This time I copy and paste his interests section for when I feel like browsing Spotify for new music, before returning to the search results.

I continue scrolling down, only to be met with the words that there are no more results and that I might want to consider revising my criteria. The band gets the axe and, what the hell, alcoholism and smoking – they have a certain charm, right?

A short while later I find myself back on a familiar profile: a chain-smoking heteroflexible* divorced father of two who lives on the wrong side of the Channel. And who I’m pretty sure I’ve already spoken to.

CC Image courtesy of [Rossco]:[www.rgstrachan.com] on Flickr

*Defined on Urban Dictionary as ‘I’m straight but shit happens’.

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Meet Joe…

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Our hostess, Rosie, greets me, ‘Have you met Joe?  You must meet Joe!  He does ballroom dancing too.  I’ve told him all about you.’

‘Oh!  Right.’

But she’s already moved on to the next group, and Joe is nowhere to be seen.  I turn back to my neighbour and we continue chatting.

An hour later, I’m standing in the queue for the coat check.  Behind me is a group of guys, university friends judging by their conversation, laughing and joking with each other.  The corridor forces them into single file.  I half-turn and find myself face to face with… Joe.  I knew it’s him because some years before I had had the exact same conversation with Rosie, about how I must meet her son’s ballroom-dancing housemate; after which I had looked him up on Facebook and thought, shame he’s two hundred miles away.

‘Hi!’  He smiles.

‘Hi!  You know Will from uni, right?’

‘Yeah, we lived together.  I’m Joe.  Are – err – ?’

I hold out my hand and introduce myself.  He laughs and shakes it. ‘You’re the dancer!  Will’s mum told me we had to meet!’

I beam.  This is worth the wait.