By Roy Mathur, on 2012-11-26, for the Independent Daily, Mauritius (in which an edited version appeared)
I'm one of those unmatchable guys.
Whilst living in the UK, I joined the well known Desi dating site Shaadi.com. This site did get me dates, but seemed to produce the most unlikely of pairings. For example, on one date in a London coffee shop just off Leicester Square, I literally had to run for my life when, in a fit of rage at my rejection my paramour-to-be, an amateur tri-athlete, chased me down the street screaming.
Years later, post-divorce and living in Vancouver, Canada, I followed the advice of a friend. I joined eHarmony which is supposedly the very pinnacle of 'scientific' dating services. After hours of in-depth, psychological testing via a set of very detailed online forms, I hit the 'submit' button only to be greeted with a message saying that I was too difficult to match. You've heard the song that goes "I'm the main who broke the bank at Monte Carlo." Well, yours truly is the nerd who broke eHarmony in Vancouver.
So what is an unlovable, nerdy part-time columnist to do? Actually I don't have a clue and, quite frankly, I don't think I'm going to solve my personal dilemma in the two-hundred or so words left to me in this article, but hopefully I can shed the light on what services are available to those looking for a partner on our very own little, romantic Islando Paradiso.
Here are few services I had a look at:
love2knowu.com is a dating site based in South Africa. Pros: fairly sophisticated software, nice interface, clear FAQ. Cons: users pay for anonymous messaging, and there doesn't seem to be that many Mauritian members.
lavaplace.com. Pros: Simple interface with plenty of photographs. Cons: users span the whole spectrum of sincere to sleazy.
badoo.com: managed in London, owned by a company in Cyprus, controlled from Russia. Basically a very rich multinational company. Initially free, though users pay for premium features. Pros: many users in many countries and many of them have photographs. The Facebook App also seems pretty good. Cons: reports of users getting spammed.
molamour.mu: this site seems to be one of the few with a Mauritian biased userbase. Pros: conveniently, you can also connect via a Facebook App. Cons: the main site is in French. This won't be a problem for most Mauritians, but as this is an English language newspaper, I'm guessing there must be a demand for English language dating services in Mauritius. Also, the Facebook App doesn't seem to do much. Though, to be fair, Molamour does seem to be hosting social events here. Few users have photographs.
As space is short in this column, I've also included a Google search for other Mauritian online dating services you might like to explore.
Guys: hang out at all the posh, overpriced places (Caudan, 4-star+ hotels etc...) and pretend to be rich.
Girls: hang out anywhere at all and do nothing; they'll come to you.
Good luck and invite me to the wedding reception, divorce party, or lawsuit.
Back to my problem. I am looking for a non-psychopathic girlfriend (rarer than you think in a partner of either gender) with, as well as the usual qualities of humour, cash and looks, etc., also have the following important attributes:
* More than a passing resemblance to Kate Beckinsale
* An obsession with SciFi
* A love of both Star Trek and Star Wars and a knowledge of the difference
* A penchant for Trinity-style evening wear
* The ability to field-strip any form of projectile weapon blind-folded. I'll take anything from an M60 to a crossbow.
Plus points will certainly apply if she also possesses the power of self-propelled flight or eldritch psionic powers.
Complaints to: email@example.com
*Beware! Some 'dating' sites are used by prostitutes to trawl for trade. E.g. you should avoid sites like adultfriendfinder.com unless you want a trip to the clinic or police station. Also, it is up to you to judge the quality and legitimacy of any of the sites mentioned in this article. Finally, always meet in a public place on a first date!