Nonfiction | Fertile Ground

Online Dating Debacles

So. Dating. Specifically online dating. Yeh I can hear you slapping your hand against your forehead and screaming “NO! NO! & IN EVERY WAY NO AND THRICE NO!!” But I just want to say that it serves a purpose. It does. It’s not for everyone though as you’ll soon discover…. Look, you go to a […]

So. Dating. Specifically online dating. Yeh I can hear you slapping your hand against your forehead and screaming “NO! NO! & IN EVERY WAY NO AND THRICE NO!!” But I just want to say that it serves a purpose. It does. It’s not for everyone though as you’ll soon discover….

Look, you go to a bar, as I have done many times before and you meet a guy. That is your first meeting right? within 2, 3, 4 hours you perhaps swap numbers with him and agree to see him again. You’ve met him likely under the influence of several G&Ts. You’ve met him perhaps with hip-replacement-needing dance music bleeding your ears and your friends and his friends are dragging you both away for more drinks or whatever. He seems like a nice guy. He could also be a serial killer though or with a penchant for ballbag pierceings. And he could still live with his mother.

Online dating. You chat. Alot. For hours. Days? Weeks? before you meet. You can chat at length about everything and really get to know him. Also, more importantly, have you thought about this? you can google the shit out of him! instagram him. Linkedin him. him. Do a really thorough investigation on him online. I do it all the time because I want to be safe and know what I’m getting myself into. Especially because I have a son too.

When you meet a guy in a bar, do you ask him his full name? unlikely.

“So….John… “, “my name’s Alan…”, “oh sorry, What’s your full name? do you have a middle name? do you go by that name or a nickname? is there a variation on that surname? are you adopted?”

He’d literally Usain Bolt it out of that bar and into the nearest Taxi. You probably just have his drunken scribbled name on the back of a sticky receipt. You can’t type into google….

“Alan, about 40, London”.

With online dating, you can type his profile name into google and chances are he’ll come up then you can facebook him and go from there. Or you can put his profile photo into google and it comes up with all sorts of information. Believe me, I’ve done it. SO much safer. And quite enlightening the information you can find out!

Or you could just wait around for someone to introduce you to one of their single friends and if you’re prepared to do that then great. Meanwhile, get used to watching Jamie Oliver’s “5-minute meals for one” on catchup, snuggling up with your cat on the sofa under a blanket and watching Netflix into the night while ramming chocolates into your face. Because waiting for a friend’s introduction will be like waiting for Hugh Jackman to text you his private number.

So, I have done online dating. That’s how I met my ex-husband, now divorced. Yeh ok. I also met my last boyfriend on there. Yeh….we’re not together anymore either. Ok OK, look, it’s not all bad. I know of quite a few people that met online and they’re married too now and stayed together and are really happy. It’s timing. Fate. Luck. Whatever. Horses for courses.

However, I am now single again and of course, several friends have recommended online dating. I re-registered, re-wrote my profile, put some new photos up and waited patiently. I’m not desperate for another man in my life. I’ve come out of a 3 year relationship and the thought of jumping back into another one so soon is not that appealing really. I need time to myself. So I’m half-hearted about the online dating thing. I’m on there but I’m not pushing it that much. Am not replying to anyone that doesn’t appeal to me. Not still swiping left at 2am and shouting “FOR GODS SAKES! NO! NO! NO!”

Good job too.

After 12 months of being online I have had messages like you wouldn’t believe!! I’m 44 now so I’m not looking for anyone who is below the age of 38 nor who is older than 55. I do love an older man it has to be said. This age category has sprung up some pretty interesting characters to put it diplomatically. Gone are the handsome bad boys in their 30s. Not really what I’m looking for anyway. No, here are the divorced, sex-mad, unkempt, dental-challenged men. I literally am astonished at my options!

For instance, on one dating app I got messaged “how’s the second most beautiful girl in the whole UK?”………… Second?!! who’s the first then?! your wife???!!

On the same site, another man messaged me and immeditely told me this REALLY really really long tale about a book he was reading of two women who did online dating but decided to swap houses as an experiement and they both met wonderful men….it went on for ages!  And then he asked me “but who actually found PEACE OF MIND AND RESPECT?” He actually typed the last bit in bold caps…..he told me he was a doctor and gave me his email address……I needed some ibuprofen to get over that message…..

Another message: “would you say I look better in high heeled boots than you?” No.

“if you were a burger, you’d be McGorgeous”. hmmmmm you’d be a McShutTheDoorOnYourWayOut

“Hi, how long before you fart? would it be loud or silent and deadly?” ….definitely deadly. For you.

This is just a small handful. Who said romance was dead?

I also got messaged by the caretaker at my son’s school who was also registered online. He was really nice actually but not for me at all. We only exchanged about 4 messages but he kept hinting at taking me out and I kept avoiding the question by changing the subject. In the end it got very awkward seeing him at school so I stopped replying to his messages.

And then I got messaged by this man who came over once to give me a quote for some building work! Again, I avoided answering his question of taking me out for a drink and I just said “good luck with your search”. Slightly weird.

But then there are the photos….. I once got sent a photo of a man, possibly in his 70s in his greying, creased Y-fronts and nothing else taking a selfie in his very untidy living room. Just in case I couldn’t quite see clearly, he also sent a close up of the Y-fronts for me…..they looked quite devoid of “life”…….

Another photo was from a man…..dressed as a woman. Think Donald Trump with lipstick.

Another photo was from a man…….I assumed….wearing thigh high black patent kinky boots. It was a close up arty twisted shot in black and white. I really wanted to just message the boots and take them out for a drink…..

And lastly, another man sent me a photo to lure me into his heart. He was about late 50s, sitting in a chair in a beach cafe on a beautiful day with a massive naked beer belly and with a really miserable face resting on his hand. Form an orderly queue ladies…..

Online dating is also quite tricky when you live in a small town. If you don’t put your photo up, you’ll likely get little response so what’s the point? On the other hand, when you put your photo up you’re then paranoid that when you’re in Sainsburys buying 2 bottles of Prosecco and the some Cat litter you’ll be recognised and analysed for your basket content. Drunk cat lady. So I am finding myself putting lipstick on and making sure I’m not wearing anything inside out again, as is my usual rushed habit before I venture out into my local community. I have spotted a couple of local men who I have seen online and they look terrible compared to their photos……

For 12 months I have had not one single date. Mostly because I just haven’t been tempted by anyone enough to go down that line. There was one really nice guy I started to chat to. We only exchanged about 3 messges of nothing mildly exciting then he asked me for my number so he could WhatsApp me. I told him I wasn’t prepared to give my number to him after 3 messages for safety reasons but I’d be happy to after many more messages and to see how we get on. He replied: “but we can talk more easily plus it’s free for me”. oh well when you put it like that……….

I still refused and I never heard from him again.

I also got asked out for another date by a really handsome man. We had exchanged about 4 or 5 messages then he asked me to send him a naked photo of myself. I refused. He asked me if I was frigid and I told him I just wasn’t prepared to message men with naked photos of myself or talk about sex with someone I hardly know. I never heard back from him either. I’m not a prude one bit but discussing whether I swallow or if I fanny-fart on top is not something I’m prepared to divulge to a someone I’ve only messaged 3 times. Maybe 5 times. But not 3……..

So, this time around, my experience of online dating has been pretty agonising. Like I said, I’m very half-hearted about it and am happy to be alone until the right guy comes along but being single is not fun at all. When I was in my 20s and 30s being single was the best fun. Out flirting, dancing and dating full of hysterical stories and dramas. Now I’m older, I just want some stability, home comforts, some great nights out and city breaks away with someone who loves me and cares for me and who really makes me howl with laughter. I also want to be attracted to them and not to just “put up” with someone because they are available and a willing participant! where’s the respect in that? for either of us?

I’m very sociable and friendly so perhaps I’ll meet someone in Sainsburys. Who will also be buying alcohol and cat litter…. Or maybe if I looked at my local Hermes courier driver again he might possibly appeal to me. Whatever happens, online dating for me, is not something to be taken seriously. It’s just not working for me right now. But I’m happy to wait on the bench until my bus comes along!

Meanwhile, my slow cooker for one is on medium, my candles are lit, netflix is on pause and my cat is exposing her belly legs akimbo on the sofa for me to come and rub. What more do I need in life?