‘You should write a blog about that’ said Edi one Thursday morning. And because I crave praise, I have.
I’d been talking about my pre-Thailand love life in the past year and how slowly but surely, it had faded out to the point my Saturday nights involved drinking a LOT of gin with Flare and alternating designing the perfect fictional husband for our friends with bitching about how awful men are IRL.
DISCLAIMER: I know men aren’t really awful, I know I can’t tar all men with one brush and yes, I do have lovely male friends (this isn’t me saying racist things but it’s ok because I have a black friend, I genuinely have some male friends who are good eggs). I’m simply going by the absolute shits/wastes of time/arrogant wankers/badly dressed/boring as fuck sweethearts that have been discussed in grim detail at the window table of Roland’s.
I don’t want to give you a day by day playback of dating in 2015, I don’t have the man hours for such things. To summarise; internet/app dating has made me more confident in myself but far less confident in the opposite sex. For the long time fans, I wrote a post last year about how internet/app dating just didn’t do it for me, it was the cold calculated contrived version of real dating and I decided it wasn’t for me. I then started using Tinder quite a lot. Keep up.
About a month ago, I gained a worrying amount of phone memory by deleting whatsapp conversations with random men from Tinder. Even typing that sentence in silence makes me a little ashamed of myself. It just feels like such a waste and a little desperate if I’m honest. Not one of my attempts has lead to anything meaningful, only extortionate Uber charges.
There was one guy I met in actual reality (well in Fab in Leeds. Any Leeds natives will understand the significance of this). I really liked him (beard+dog=soulmate) but after what I thought was a great date, nothing. No texts back. This then lead to an obscene amount of Carrie SATC pondering as to the meaning of love and push up bras.
Other than that, it’s slim pickings in the cyber world. (For privacy’s sake, minor details have been changed and some of these stories have been borrowed from willing volunteers)
There was the guy who asked me why I had such self-esteem issues after a day or two. There was the guy who was getting married in 3 months. There was the ‘I’m not over my ex so I’m going to stand you up’ guy. The slightly more direct ‘soooo I slept with my ex last night, how was work?’ guy.
The guy who wore shirts with different coloured cuffs and collars. (He could have been Michael fucking Fassbender but some things are unforgivable). The guy I was about to meet who said ‘well it depends what my girlfriend thinks of that’. His girlfriend. HIS GIRLFRIEND. There was a perfectly acceptable window just after ‘how old are you’ and way before ‘do you want a dick pic’ in which he could have mentioned that. But no.
The really sweet, perfect on paper guy who was so keen but who I felt as attracted to as I would to someone who asked me where the haemorrhoid cream is in the supermarket. We met on a site dedicated to men with beards and the women who like them. Yes yes I know, it’s hilarious, how long do you think you need to laugh? Only I’m meant to be skyping my mum in a bit.
Finished? Good. So yeah, we met on this online beard emporium and the chat was ok. Not sparkling, just ok. It was me that suggested meeting up, I try to do it pretty early on because talking to a screen and searching for chemistry just isn’t my bag, I’m old fashioned like that. So I spent a VERY long time trying on everything I own, blow drying my hair (which I tied up in the end) and perfecting my lipstick. This whole process took so long that I had to text the date twice to ask for another half an hour. What a dick. The bar was suitably hipster and the chat was suitably suitable but it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. However, in classic Sophie style, I fixed this by turning one drink into several. This was part habit part nerves but it was also the guys birthday. Yep, his 35th birthday. So yeah. Alcohol happened. Then….other things happened. It wasn’t me, it was the shots.
The next morning, whilst searching for my lucky earrings (who knew just how lucky) with a hideous hangover, I realised I wasn’t interested in this perfect on paper man. He’ll make someone very happy, just not me. These sentiments were confirmed on the second date (everyone deserves a second chance!) So that was that!
Then there was the guy who, on the first date, was the bearded, humanitarian, works with children specimen that seems worth the wait but then texts you the filthiest, most misogynistic message on Christmas Day. At like 2pm. He should have been thinking about mince pies but instead he was thinking about….well…I can’t type it. I won’t.
The other really lovely guy (a real life meeting too!) who gave all the right signs but when it came to it, went quiet and seemed sad when I told him about me dating someone else. The guys on the bus who don’t even realise that I’m there, choosing the names of the dogs we’ll have one day.
Then there are the many pretty good conversations that seem promising but just disappear, just fizzle away in the night. I’m a hypocrite; there have been plenty of online conversations that I’ve just given up on without a word because I’m lazy, disinterested or both. BUT IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN I DO IT.
Strangely, this hasn’t actually put me off Tinder et al completely. It’s definitely reassured me that I’m not the hideous cretin I that I was and it’s also revealed that I’m pickier than I thought I was. I’d gone into this whole thing wanting just whoever was kinda alright but actually my standards are higher; I want butterflies, I want laughter, I want sexual attraction, I WANT IT ALL. And maybe that might happen online, there’s no way of knowing.
One day, I’ll be typing ‘there was this one guy who was perfect and we met on Tinder. And get this, he didn’t ask me if he could **** ***** ******* ** ** ***!!’ (There’s no way I’m writing what he actually said). So yeah, as well as holding out hope for meeting someone IRL, I won’t give up online just yet.
It’s worth it for the stories if nothing else.