I’ve had long periods in my life where I’ve dated frenetically, meeting disappointing man after disappointing man and leaving some men disappointed myself, I’m sure. Occasionally I’d meet one I was keen on and find the feeling wasn’t reciprocated. I also hated having to rebuff people I wasn’t keen on. Dating is a disheartening activity. All those hours spent perusing internet profiles and getting scary pictures sent to you of things which no one should be subjected to seeing. It’s always the men with the most peculiar looking genitals who seem to think its ok to send unsolicited dick pictures. I ended up with a hunchback from spending hours over the laptop and a case of dating burn out.
If you got past the stage of both liking each other’s profiles, both wanting the same things and it was decreed that meeting was a possibility then there was the phone hurdle. Speaking on the phone could be a minefield too. All those brief witty typed comments don’t always translate to the person on the phone. People have weird accents, ways of speaking or are actually much less interesting than they first appear. Extricating yourself once you get to the phone stage can be a tricky thing. Then of course comes the meeting, whether on a civilised date or a more sordid rendezvous. That involves planning and safety checks, dressing well, maybe some light depilation and conditioning your hair, only for you to find he doesn’t resemble his pictures at all. They often would clearly have fumbled through about 200 old photos to find that one photo from the 1985 wedding they attended in which they once briefly looked halfway decent. Either that or they’d have originally sent a picture of themselves when they were 10 stones lighter, 10 years younger or with 10 hours worth of Photoshop manipulation applied.
Ultimately I met Paul quite randomly and abandoned the dating sites without a backward glance. I was relieved. I’ll describe a week of dating from a couple of years ago.
Date 1: Mike. He described himself as age 35 and very masculine. He stated that he disliked very feminine men. He was actually 43 and so camp that he made my teeth itch. Camp is perhaps the wrong word. He was prissy, waspish and uptight. His pictures had looked nice, all from the waist up and wholesome. He was quite handsome. I understood quickly once we met why there was no picture that was a full body shot (clothed, I mean). He had an immense bottom. It was completely disproportionate and quite bizarre. You could have housed a thimble collection on it. He met me in the town centre and we had a drink. It wasn’t much fun. He was so brittle that conversation was difficult. He vented a lot of spleen about a recent ex which was nice and eventually the evening ended. He offered me a lift home and I accepted. He seemed safe enough.
We arrived at the car park and got in his low red car and I wondered what was wrong with him. The atmosphere was growing cooler and he was getting more uptight and huffy. Eventually he spat it out.
“You’re the only person who has ever got in my car and not commented how lovely it is. I think that’s very odd.”
“Oh, ok. It’s lovely.”
“It’s more than lovely. It’s a top of the range Ferrari. It’s very very expensive.”
We didn’t meet again. Not my type of bloke at all and I really hadn’t noticed. He’d have had to be driving a motobility scooter for me to even notice it wasn’t just a normal car.
Date 2: Simon. Simon was 48 and really was 48. He looked like his pictures and whilst he wasn’t handsome, he certainly wasn’t ugly either. I travelled by train to meet him and spent the most excruciating evening with the loveliest man ever. He was really very sweet and gentle. He was caring and considerate, fascinated by me and seemed very keen. He was also incredibly dull to talk to and I didn’t fancy him at all. This was the worst case scenario. I needed to escape without hurting his feelings and give no signals whatsoever that I had any interest in him, whilst still being nice. I rose to the challenge, feeling like a complete cad. He got my signals and at the end of the evening didn’t try to kiss me and suggested that he thought he’d like to see me again but was guessing I wouldn’t be keen. I was gentle but honest and went back home on the train cringing.
Date 3: Sergei was a Russian ballet dancer. That was what his profile said and I believed him. He was 40, very handsome and sent me a series of pictures of himself shirtless. He had a six pack and pectorals and I briefly wondered if they were faked. I had to meet him. One problem was that he had no height listed on his profile and was cagey when I asked him. We agreed to meet in a bar. He was very short, of course. Tiny, in fact. He was wearing shoes with a huge heel and very thick soles which made him come about up to my shoulder. He was kind of sweet though and his accent was amazingly sexy. He was incredibly flirtatious which was fun. I also believe he was a dancer too. We did meet again but only once. He spent a day with me and his posture and continual movements sent me crazy. Everywhere we went he’d be tapping a foot, bracing his spine or moving a limb gracefully. I could cope with the shortness but with my terrible posture I looked a state next to him. It was also a little bit like Chinese Water Torture to hear the continual tapping of a heel. The pictures of his abdomen were real, by the way.
Not all weeks were like that and I’d often pursue a series of date in a mad rush of energy only to become tired of it all and give up again for a few months. Modern life can be tough. Good luck to all those out there seeking love. It’s a real lottery but one worth putting the effort into. You’ll get some good stories to go with the mental scars.