Chivalry and romance are dead’, Breast cancer survivor’s experience of online dating

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Mary* is a bright, bubbly single woman in her fifties from Cork. Mary lives a busy life, as she has recently switched jobs and has joined a gym. Mary’s other hobbies include going to the cinema, the opera, and concerts. Mary also has three grown up children, and is dog mother to a little pug, which she insists is “spoiled rotten”. Over 2 years ago, Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer, and had to put her dating life on hold while she went through treatment and recovery. READ MORE: Amy Huberman leaves rugby fans in stitches with major gaffe on Johnny Sexton’s retirement post Now that she has won her battle against cancer, Mary is ready to step back into the dating scene and find someone to share her life with. However, modern dating is not what Mary once knew, “When I was young, you’d meet someone in the pub or a friend would set you up, now it’s completely changed”. Mary has been single for 6 years now, and in the last year, has only really started to step into looking for love again, due to her battle with breast cancer, changing jobs and raising her children. When encouraged by friends to try online dating, Mary was taken with the idea and created an online dating profile. “I think everyone seems to do it nowadays. It is probably the trend now”, says Mary, but she feels that the youth of dating are missing out on more traditional means of dating. “I just think it’s a bit sad for the young. I think that there’s going to be an awful lot of single people alone because they can’t get what they want. They want a relationship and all they’re being offered is a hookup.” Hookup culture is something that Mary strongly avoided during her time on dating sites like Tinder, but she found that many of her matches and dates really only wanted one thing. “They could be chatting to 10 different people on these dating sites. I had to delete my Tinder account because I just couldn’t handle the hookup thing. I think you need to know somebody before you take that step. That’s my own personal opinion.” Mary tried to make online dating work by being very open and honest in her profile bio to say that she wanted a committed relationship and would not consider a hookup; and yet, hookups were many of the proposals she received anyway. “I just got so frustrated with it because you’d be chatting away to this person and then you say, oh geez, he sounds nice. Then he says, “I’m only looking for a hookup”. While Mary has had her lot with hookup culture on online dating sites, she’s also experienced some dating horror stories. “I was on a date once, before I had breast cancer and my date spent the night looking at his phone and it just turned me off completely. He seemed to be nice, with the few words I did get out of him, but it’s a rule of thumb that when you’re out with someone, especially a stranger, don’t spend your night on the phone.” Mary was also propositioned to buy CryptoCurrency via Tinder before as well, “There was one time, I was new to Tinder and this guy popped up. I know he was too good to be true. “He was trying to get me to buy that or to invest in CryptoCurrency. I knew that was a no-no straight away because he was out to catch me” Manipulation tactics like the ones Mary experienced are all too common with online dating today. Catfishing is also a massive issue that singletons face, and while Mary hasn’t experienced that personally, her friends have not been so lucky. “A friend of mine told me he got caught a couple of times, with people claiming to be much younger than they actually were. They could have had a picture up of when they were 30 and now,they were 50.” Mary may have dropped the dating apps, but she does have some advice for single ladies who still look for love online. “Be very careful and do not give out any personal details. Just be careful when you’re meeting someone, meet in a public place. It’s a dangerous world we’re living in and it’s kind of sad to think that it’s like that, but it’s true.” *Mary is a pseudonym and not this person’s real name. Get the latest RSVP headlines straight to your inbox for free by signing up to our newsletter Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this LINK to receive your daily dose of RSVP Live content. We also treat our community members to wonderful competitions, promotions, along with great stories. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice

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