Hi, I am Pat.
Mature single lady, Mum, Nanny and devoted Snow Patrol Fan.
I have had a long and varied career from service in the Women's Royal Naval Service to ending up as a Business Analyst contracting for Multinational Organisations across the world. Much of what happened in between was more luck than intent but it all very much influences where I am today.
I didn’t set out to become a business owner – this business chose me!
I was feeling particularly lost one day when I had a brainwave… after that, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head and althought I tried to resist for some time I eventually decided to do a bit of research and once I had started I couldn’t stop. It was like a snowball steadily gathering size and speed J
I had been in a relationship for more than 35 years when I finally plucked up the courage to stop enduring the unhappiness and despair I was living and it was a major life event which gave me the catalyst to do it.
It was definitely not easy and I felt real grief over ‘what should have been’. It left me feeling incredibly vulnerable and isolated. Regrettably, when a relationship breaks down so does your circle of friends.
I was emotionally overwhelmed by this breakdown and the other changes which were natural fallout. I had no selfconfidence and the excitement that life held when I was much younger had all gone, it all felt a bit like mission impossible to try to rediscover who I am and to resurrect my life
The ‘Always onLine’ culture, with the majority of us living a virtual life ‘On-Line’ via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, presented me with scary challenges to create a new social life from scratch. The Internet seemed to be the only way forward to venture back into the social, and relationship arena.
Unfortunately, I found the whole Online experience highly disillusioning, frequently dishonest and at times particularly unpleasant. A good description of internet introductory sites could be:
Where the odds are good ...but the goods are ODD
The manners and behaviour of many of the members were shocking – and the content of many of the 'introductions' was just gross!! This is almost certainly the result of the anonymity and ‘virtual’ nature that this environment affords.
Online dating and the minimal commitment to swipe left or right totally devalues the human element and mutual respect.
The frequent occurrences of catfishing and ‘Ghosting’ were extremely damaging to my already fragile self-esteem, and the extent of dubious profiles, set up to target lonely vulnerable members was quite frankly terrifying!!
Although the website owners provide a degree of ‘Moderation’ on these sites it is impossible to eliminate fake profiles. But, once they have made direct contact, they are no longer able to moderate the content of their messages, But even more serious, moderation cannot eliminate the threat of danger.
Additionally, these sites are aimed solely at those searching for a relationship and I was looking for an opportunity to meet individuals in the same area to share common interests and form friendships/groups to socialise and support each other.
I was certain that my expectations were not unrealistic and I was also positive that there must be countless other genuine members on these sites, who felt like me and faced the same challenges.
It requires determination and patience to plough through endless profiles, while trying to avoid the inappropriate or fake ones, in search of even a tenuous ‘match’.
However, worse was to come…. after perhaps several online chat sessions comes “the Meet”……when the ‘Real’ person (that is if they even bother to turn up) almost always ends in the 'match' being totally at odds with their online profile. So, there it is ..... "Back to Square One"!
The whole scenario leading to a very demoralising experience.
I gave up in despair!!
Then some time ago this was when I had my brainwave!!
I was people-watching while enjoying a coffee at a pavement café when it occurred to me that every day I am being exposed to countless other people in the same situation, in my ‘real’ life’ – in my ‘Offline’ daily routine - Supermarket, work, coffee shops, restaurants, cinema, gym – in fact.....
Anywhere and Everywhere…
Then it dawned on me!!! (My brainwave moment )
Exactly what does a single or lonely person look like?
That's just it - there is no way of telling.
Everyone knows what an engagement or wedding ring signifies - but how can you tell when someone is single or looking for companionship?
It was suddenly crystal clear, there are infinite numbers of others out there craving friendship or company but, because there is no uniquely recognisable indicator of ‘singledom’ or 'loneliness', we have no means of being able to identify others like ourselves.
If such an indicator or 'Token' existed this could provide a visual statement, an opportunity to initiate/invite conversation with others wearing such a token and
Break the Ice.
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention - this coffee shop became the birthplace of my ‘Vision’ for:
The Icebreaker Band.
ICEBREAKER = INTERACTION - NOT INTERNET
To find out what I did next click here