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

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - IT Outsourcing - £70,000 OTE

£30000 - £40000 per annum + £70,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Sou...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen / Interiors Designer - Maternity Cover

£21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company with a fast ...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Sales Counter Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This Market Leading Kitchen and joinery suppli...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Carpenter / Carpentry

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior Carpenter / Carpentry ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tony Blair speaks on stage at the 2nd Annual Save The Children Illumination Gala  

Tony Blair's award from Save the Children raises an important question: are they joking?

Chris Maume
 

Lee Rigby report: What’s the use of spotting terrorist activity if you don’t tell anyone?

Jane Merrick
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital