Soulmates by Sonali Fernando – Online Dating Stories

Everyone’s looking for ‘the one’ but how do you know whether you’re going to end up as Billy-no-mates or with your soul mate with online dating?

A good place to look for tips is the new online dating book Soulmates that has a sometimes sad, sometimes funny list of dispatches from online singles serving at the front line in the never ending battle for love.

Take Saes (ASL: M, 55, North Wales) who exchanged messages with a lady from Derbyshire because his mum still lived there and he could stay over. They arranged to meet for afternoon tea in a Buxton hotel.

She was at least 10 years older than advertised and kept white gloves on for the whole proceedings, presumably to hide her hands.

After tea, she excused herself for nose powdering while Saes paid the bill but she never returned. He panicked, thinking that at her advanced age, she might have collapsed in the ladies, so he asked one of the waitresses to check the toilets – only to discover she’d done a runner.

He then mooched around the market and spotted his date with a group of similar-looking ladies. As he watched they got on a waiting coach bearing the sign “Trip to Buxton”. The cunning minx had booked Saes as afternoon entertainment – together with a free pot of tea – as part of her pensioners’ day out.

Miss Conduct (ASL: 30, F, unknown) was at the doctor’s with a seven-day itch.

Dr Pete appeared instead of the woman doctor and she was so sick of waiting that she let the unknown man inspect her ailing ‘downstairs’.

“It all looks very healthy,” he smiled, emerging from the blue “modesty-covering” paper that bedecked her lower half.

Four days later the symptoms had disappeared, and the tests had all proved negative. Itch-free and uncontaminated, she was ready to hit the dating world once more.

Then, a sweet message appeared in her inbox from a guy who referred to himself simply as “P”, saying he was fond of poetry, psychology and photography like Miss Conduct and would she like to meet up in the pub?

He sounded funny, thoughtful and interesting – and wasn’t bad-looking either. But something about his photo niggled. He looked just a little too familiar. She checked his profession: medical/dental/veterinary and realised with 99.9% certainty that she’d just been asked out by her gynaecologist.

* Soulmates: True Stories from the World of Online Dating by Sonali Fernando is published by Guardian Books RRP £8.99