Susie Rushton: You can track down every old flame – but that doesn't mean you should

Notebook

Share
Related Topics

It ended just as most of us suspected it might. Last week, the holiday romance between a pretty and otherwise sane-looking 33-year-old PR consultant and the man she only knew as "Martin" became a testimony to the power of social networking. Julia Cross had met him at Space in Ibiza last September. She remembered Martin as "considerate" and also "tall with quite a posh accent"; they shared a kiss under Mediterranean stars and she gave him her number. He never called.

Over the following months, Ms Cross related her "what if" encounter to friends, wondering whether perhaps she'd given him her number incorrectly. Yes, a naïve response. But a perfectly human one. Her mooning might have soon been eclipsed by another crush, if it weren't for the Emma Woodhouse-like intervention of friends, who, powered by LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter, launched a nationwide search to "reunite" the pair. Why did they do this? Because Ms Cross was very attractive and, therefore, her missing man must want to start a relationship with her? Or simply because the internet makes it easy to mount a manhunt?

It seemed destined to succeed. The dedicated Facebook page "Finding Martin" recounted all the marvellous things about him that Ms Cross could remember: he worked in IT, lived in Tooting but was from Maidenhead, and on the fateful night had worn a bicycle helmet spiked with multicoloured glowsticks. (No, I wouldn't want the nation to know about that particular paramour, either.)

Ms Cross then had to endure chortling across the land at her "desperate" search for a man who probably wasn't interested or indeed single ("Somebody tell her" was a typical tweet). Then, on Sunday, up popped the much-longed-for Martin, who was quoted in the press confirming that he had "had a fantastic night", did actually "drop Julia a message but got no response", but anyhow was now back with an ex-girlfriend, who "feels a bit odd that there's a national campaign to set me up with someone else". Cue a character assassination of Martin, accompanied by a gallery of incriminating Facebook photos of him with an arm around various women on a tour of European nightclubs, a different item of silly headgear in each shot. Chaps, if you want to start conversations with women in clubs, get yourself a ridiculous hat.

What should have been a lost holiday romance and one woman's private experience became a cautionary tale about love in the age of four degrees of separation (last year, Facebook trumpeted that it had helped bring all of us two degrees closer together). Even if you weren't as unlucky as Ms Cross, everybody has tried to cheat fate and use social networking to track down a "lost" lover or friend. But just because it's possible to find somebody, with a bit of effort, that doesn't mean they want to be found – or should be found. Sadly, I think this tale teaches that while the internet has connected us all, if used without caution or restraint, it can be a real passion killer.

 

My recipe for tackling the curry shortage

Britain's curry houses are said to be "in crisis" . Some believe the answer is retraining the unemployed here to cook kormas and jalfrezis on dedicated courses like one set up in Bradford. But, in the meantime, we can start our very own curry houses – at home. Hundreds of millions of pounds are spent each year on spicy supermarket ready meals, most of them rhomboid-shaped chunks of meat floating in an artery-clogging, gloopy sauce. It won't help the ailing restaurant trade, but our addiction to Indian-style food can be fed more healthily, as cheaply, and to a better standard with home-made dishes. All you need is the small initial investment of a good recipe book (I live for Anjum Anand, the Nigella of Indian cookery) and eight to 10 basic spices and seeds: what curry crisis?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 5 Teacher

£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...

Software Developer

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...

Systems Analyst / Business Analyst - Central London

£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...

Senior Change Engineer (Network, Cisco, Juniper) £30k

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Senior Change ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: A huge step forward in medical science, but we're not all the way there yet

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
David Cameron has painted a scary picture of what life would be like under a Labour government  

You want constitutional change? Fixed-term parliaments have already done the job

Steve Richards
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past