So recently I’ve dipped back into the world of dating. If I’m being honest it’s kind of like the way an aqua-phobic cat might dip it’s toe into shark infested waters, tapping at the surface with a reluctant paw and leaping back in horror the moment anything tries to take a nibble!
I could delve into the issues of dating in a pandemic, but I think we are all pretty well educated when it comes to social distancing, so lets move on to other factors. For the cynics among you, here’s a photo which shows how socially distanced romance was a notion hundreds of years ago, as far back as the 1500’s, when Shakespeare dreamed up two star struck lovers, named Romeo and Juliet. So there is hope for you all. **EDIT** Yes they did both end up topping themselves but it started out well so.. swings and roundabouts!
Modern dating sites are an absolute minefield of neuroses and cynicism and it leads me to wonder if this society of instant gratification causes people to be lazy and in too much of a hurry, so they end up making poor judgements and wrong decisions. I’ve been very careful with my profile and kept it almost as you would a professional C.V. so all the messages I’ve received so far have been polite, albeit poorly written at times. When having a nosy through other people’s profiles though, there are habits one observes about the opposite sex that aren’t exactly heart warming. One thing that confused me at first were all these guys that put pictures of obscure objects and no photos of themselves. When I realised they all said NSA – I realised that were obviously married and after sex. I get that people have affairs, and this while is outside of my moral compass I won’t judge, but WHO is replying to profiles with no photo/write up? Are there women that desperate for sex they will meet with a total stranger? The mind boggles. I imagine them turning up to some kind of Jabba the hut character who bellows, “Fetch my staff, cape and ale and suck my toes!”
Did I mention how easy it is to accidentally super like someone on Tinder? You think you are scrolling up to read someones bio, but then God forbid – the screen flashes, practically shaking jazz hands at you while it hollers “Super Like/ Match” in big shiny letters. If it could speak it would be Robin Williams putting on his most camp accent. The moment this happens, your heart drops in your stomach, because you were only reading to see if the write up was as obscure as the photo – it’s the journo in me! Then you have to quickly figure out how to un-match before they see you have matched so you don’t hurt their feelings! It’s a whole other dimension of uncomfortableness and I’ve actually just done it again during this write up whilst skimming profiles for my blog! I think I caught it in time though and quickly removed it. Phew!
Presumably this happens the other way around and some of the super likes you get as a female are accidental. Given that a lot of men do not take the time to read profiles I would hazard a guess that the percentage of accidental S.L.’s are slightly lower when it’s the male species doing the swiping.
Women have always seemed to have a criteria for dating, but now it seems men do too. Years ago they would have written, “must have a pulse,” or “prefer blondes/brunettes,” but now the list is slightly longer and includes “no filters/dog photos/no cat fishes.” These fellas have clearly been had at some point and they are standing against what they believe in! I’m just trying to visualise the moment a fellas date strolls into the pub and he yells, “Where the hell are the fluffy white ears? I’ve been conned!”
Of course, women’s lists tend to be longer and include things like, ‘non-smoker, must have a sense of humour, a job, ambition and so on!’ Actually that’s part of my list but you get the idea! As women, our lists of criteria is extensive and ever changing and while we might be able to forgive some bad taste in music, or a penchant for trilby hats, kilts or a fetish for stroking cotton wool balls, some things are just total deal breakers.
Some guys list whether they have their own homes or kids, but ‘own teeth’ now seems to be a predominant feature on Tinder profiles, which is quite baffling. With it being the year 2020 with a dental hygienist in every town, and not 1804 down the mines, I would expect most men between the ages of 35 and 45, maybe 50 to have their own teeth – am I missing something? Is this humour? Are they turning their lack of any life goals and achievements into a comedic moment? “I don’t have any assets, but I do have my own teeth – aren’t I a real prize?” It’s quite astonishing! Even if a women found out they were veneers, would it really be an issue? I can’t answer this as it’s not something I’ve encountered myself, but Simon Cowell is an attractive fella and he has veneers.
I did go on a couple of dates with a fella (who I assumed had his own teeth, I didn’t ask) but it didn’t lead to anything. We went out for a meal and a stroll around a country park local to me and he seemed a nice enough chap, but there wasn’t really a spark and it felt more like hanging out with a mate. While I’m open to making friends, he seemed to have his heart set on finding a serious, long term relationship and said he couldn’t see it going anywhere, which was a fair assessment. We said goodbye, wished each other luck for the future and parted amicably. Given that this was my first foray into dating in about 5-6 years it was kind of like taking the car out for a test drive or oiling the cogs in my brain. I think it lead me to ponder what I consider a good use of my time and what I find fun. Every moment in life has purpose and imparts you with the gift of knowledge or a greater awareness of your journey. More on this later.
Earlier today, another Cam girl said to me, “Oooh dating is fun!” and yes bits of it are fun, the swapping messages online, the laughs and flirty banter, but that’s where the fun tends to stop for me and then it sort of feels like ‘forced fun.’ A date generally seems to involve a hundred million questions over dinner or a drink as you each try to fathom out if the other person is a psychopath or fruit-loop, whether there is a spark and if they are someone you want to see again. Remember when you were at school? There would be a boy you liked (for example) and he would ask you to go to the cinema or you’d go ice skating together. You would fall over giggling, and hold hands, or jump at a scary movie and grab his arm but he wouldn’t try to force his tongue down your throat or attempt to summarise your life history in one hour. Those were good times.
My idea of a great first date would be doing something active, maybe canoeing or white water rafting or something fun where you are enjoying the activity as well as getting to know someone. Questions would arise naturally and you wouldn’t feel as if you were in an FBI interrogation room with a flash light in your eyes while someone barks, “What’s your 15 year plan? What are your primary objective goals and what is the name of your 17th auntie 16 times removed?” Why is this banal information so important? Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing in two weeks let alone in 15 years and besides, I will probably change my mind at least a dozen times between now and then, it’s a women’s prerogative.
I think dating gurus and influencers have conditioned the populace to use buzzwords, and ask all these questions in the first few dates, that just aren’t neccesary. It just seems to take the fun out of it! Why is everyone in such a rush to know the ins and outs of a duck’s rear passage? “How big is your family, do you have cousins?” Why would you give a flying f**k? Are you worried I’m going to invite them all to some kind of super-wedding and you’ll be footing the bill? It’s not essential, just keep it light and good humoured initially and stop being a fun thief fellas! This also goes for women who badger men on a first date about their intentions towards them. See how the dating goes love and retract those scary claws.
So, I was wondering how other dating sites compared to Tinder when I got talking to a lady called *Lottie from one of the facebook groups I’m in. She posted some screenshots of some of the ridiculous messages she received on another dating site, which we’ll call *Piffle. I’m pretty open about being on Tinder, lots of people I know have already recognised me so there’s no point trying to be coy about it, but also no one can message me there unless I happen to right-swipe them. Given my low success rate for swiping right I think I’m pretty safe. Anyway, she posted these messages which were ridiculous and hilarious all at once and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some potential comedy gold, so I made myself a profile on Piffle.
I signed up to Piffle at about 11pm last night and by 11am this morning I had 40+ messages in my inbox and 99+ notifications, so there’s a little insight into how choosy most men are, CLUE – not very!! It’s a lot to wade through, even for comedy gold!
This leads me on to Piffles next downfall. It asked me plenty of overly personal questions I felt uncomfortable answering such as my income & habits, yet it failed to ask me if I had a type/preference and so every single type of person appears in my notifications. I do have a type (although I’ve ended up dating outside of my type in the past, due to life’s algorithms failing, along with the dating sites. My type would be sandy brown – beach blonde hair, strong arms, tatts (but not on the face) and some designer stubble. Yes I’m aware that I just described Chris Pratt from Jurassic Park but the Aldi version will do just fine, as long as he has a nice smile and a good personality! 😉 I jest. I feel I should point this out before you declare what a horribly shallow person I am for having a type, or calling a guy an Aldi version. Hey, I would be delighted to be called the Lidl version of Kylie Monogue! Yes, It is more about personality and connection, but it doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what you like in your head to start with. If you deviate from this that’s fine as long as it’s for the right reasons and they make you happy That would be my advice on dating outside of your type.
Going back to algorithms, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of matching people by education level either, and having observed so many flaws and shortcomings in a couple of the top dating sites I’ve used, it makes me feel like I could design one better myself.
One of my pet hates is someone trying to chat me up using text speak, “U ryt babe? Wanna drink l8er?” Is this to do with education or is it sheer laziness? Either way, it’s extremely unappealing. Communication is really important to me, to most women in fact and if someone is unable to string together a sentence articulate enough to garner my interest, then it certainly would not bode well for communication in the real world. People try to make a good impression with their first message, so if their best effort is “Yur hot.” I can only envision some sort of un-evolved inbred primate – humanoid hybrid, with saucer eyes, bashing into it’s crusty sock on the floor. And with that wonderfully inspiring image, I shall leave you!
Perhaps I will return to this topic with further observations, anecdotes and the elusive comedy gold I have yet to really strike, deep in the heart of the overflowing inbox!
Have a great day folks!