Psst, fancy a date?


Here is something I wrote earlier (well, in 2012):

After 30 years of selecting my ‘partners’ by the traditional English method of getting completely out of it on alcohol and any other drug I could find, then seeing who I woke up with, I decided it was time to grow up and give my liver a rest. But how to find my next victim, er, boyfriend? I looked around and discovered that several old mates had shacked up with people they met on the INTERNET. Eh? Surely this could not be true.

I spent a cowardly few months window shopping on free sites, like plentyoffish – this is referred to as time-wasting apparently. If you look at their profile, then don’t meet ‘em, date em and marry ‘em, you’re playing ‘mind games’. There are lots of very lonely bitter people out there, but is it really necessary to specify a date who is ‘honest, genuine, not a liar’? And putting ‘not a gold digger’ is like writing ’I’m a mark please take advantage’ on your forehead. Not to mention the fact that ‘just wanting someone to love’ is not the best basis of a relationship. I love WD40 but I don’t sleep with it. I’d like to think there’s something special you like about me, however small. ‘Just looking for a normal lady’ is not going to encourage me to enquire further. I also find the use of props a bit disturbing: small kids, puppies, shiny cars and even ex-girlfriends. And strippers and guns (I’m not making it up). The whole process can turn you into a judgemental tosser- he’s got a fucking dado rail, no he’s bald in the wrong places, ooh no he likes U2. And it turns up the navel-gazing to a pretty unacceptable degree, constantly thinking about what kind of person you are, what you most like on your toast in the morning etc etc. People become items in a great big catalogue and none of them are quite right. Oh well, there’s plenty more fish…

I managed to find a couple of people who seemed ok, but it turns out that just because someone can spell and has read a book, you’re not guaranteed to get on in the flesh. Chatting in cyberspace every day can make you feel a connection that just isn’t there in real life. It’s really weird. On the plus side, I have gained a regular online scrabble opponent. And here’s what I’ve learnt from my experiments so far:

1. If you don’t fancy him, shagging him is not gonna remedy the situation. I followed the rules- quick cuppa on first date, don’t let him know where you live, etc. So I suggested a second date in the Radisson but as soon as I got there I realised there wasn’t a chance in hell I’d ever fancy him, through beer goggles or not. I don’t think my monumental hangover helped much. Anyway, I shagged him out of some bizarre sense of politeness and made a quick getaway.

2. Spending your second date being ill together is a great big stupid mistake. Especially if it’s a virulent virus and you spend 3 days in bed together. Being ill. Talk about a passion killer.

3. If he doesn’t respect you after shagging him on the first date- he’s a dickhead. Obviously.

4. A standup comedian won’t necessarily make you laugh. And certainly won’t find you funny. Professional jealousy I reckon.

Internet dating sites provide sommat to do if you’re stuck at home looking after children or a sick mother- just remember it aint real, however intimate it feels. There is some magic chemistry that happens between two people which is completely unpredictable. So you need to go and meet them before constructing your romantic fantasy unless that’s all you want, in which case don’t spoil the dream. Once you do start chatting, things can get much worse. If I wanted to see a photo of a stranger’s cock, I’d google ‘handsome young man porn’, not chat up a middleaged loser on a dating site. Oh, and don’t mention the war. Any war. Especially if you don’t agree with it. I could go on, but why don’t you have a look yourself. It’s funny in a tragic kind of way. See you out there.…..don’t all rush at once. I’m off down the pub.

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