Recently a friend suggested I try the Guardian's Soulmates webiste, I knocked back the idea outright. Its not for me.
And here's why.
I don't struggle at meeting new people. In the course of my extra-curricular activities, both online and in real life, I'm surrounded. Thousands of people check out my websites, hundreds of people read my posts on message boards, dozens of people go to the same gigs as me. At any point I can turn the girl next to me and say "Hey, how's it going, what did you think of that last one.".
I'll accept that starting off the conversation terrifies me, but after that, its plain sailing, I can be rounded and charming enough to carry it off.
So, what is the problem?
Even when out with friends, I sit at the side, or stand at the back keeping quiet, gazing into the distance, or into my pint, sometimes my mind travels in time. It takes a cattle prod to get me communicating.
I'm not sure how Soulmates will help there.
Since I discovered my cock some time in the mid-nineties, I've have about six relationships that lasted over four months, none more than seven. It worries me, there's something very wrong. I mention it to friends on MSN, my worries. And then every so often in response to me saying something outragous, the friends on MSN will say something like "I can see why it only lasts six months".
I find it patronising and condescending, and it makes me think they're fools. They know nothing of context. I take it too seriously.
Yesterday, I was at Dr Sketchy's, the burlesque life-drawing thing. Keeping quiet at the back with my post-it pad and biro, between drawing tasks, I scrawled a wee list of those lucky lucky 4-7 month relationships and how they ended. And drew a pie chart too. The reasons they ended are diverse, only two reasons non-unique. The most popular reason for splitting up, with 2.5 hits, is 'moved to London'. This shouldn't reoccur, I've implemented corrective action. The second non-unique reason, is my refusal to come back after being dumped and then begged back.
Me saying something outrageous, has never had any bearing on the end of a relationship.
Looking at the list, the other terrifying thing is what could be called the Good Luck Chuck factor. More than half the girlfriends got engaged shortly after we broke up. Never seen the film, but I understand to break the curse I have to hump Jessica Alba. Alas she never returns my calls.
What to do?
If I don't shut anything down, or close off any of my options, the possibilities for the future are limitless.
So carry on reviewing gigs, carry on going to geeky internet meetups, carry on drawing pictures, carry on as usual with brief psychotic episodes of frustration, jealousy and anger.
Then again, the friend was also signing up to Guardian's Soulmates herself, so it could have been a round about way of asking me out. But I very much doubt it.