Life is full of surprises

I really would have thought that fat hairy 50+ year old women would be sat invisibly on the proverbial shelf. But it seems not. In fact the opposite. Weird huh?

 

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Dating epilogue

The following contains cliches for which I can only apologise and assure you that every word is true.

So, I deleted all my online dating profiles in May this year having decided I wasn’t enjoying it and that I really don’t need a man to make me happy. Life has been wonderful recently, in part because the 50 Things list is giving me something to look forward to every week.

3 weeks later I was doing some cava training before my big birthday (which was a great success- I managed to drink and dance till 6am without serious repercussions) and I ended up at the pub. You can probably guess what happened next. Yes, in the age old tradition I dragged a man home whilst blind drunk. I’ve known him vaguely for years, but we’ve never spoken more than a sentence to each other that I can recall. And yet, in the midst of the drunken blur I saw something I liked (may have been his dimples).cava_

Anyway, turns out we share a love of fiction, hammocks and making dice decisions amongst other things. I won’t bore you with all the details, except to say that I’ve never dated a grownup before. He can drive, make tea and even offers to pay his own way. What a revelation. He’s not only accompanied me on some of my 50 Things, he IS one of them.

Being brought up in a family of humanoid computers I don’t naturally touch people or express much emotion. We were happy and secure with no need to talk about it. And yet here I am publicly saying I like another human being. Eek! Must be my hormones, or some chance mix of pheromones.

We both passed our monthly review and I guess we’re now in a honeymoon period. Long may it last.

Dating 6.

Hurrah, I’ve deleted my profiles and it’s such a relief. I’ll never find out what the men at New Scientist do to homeopaths, which can only be a good thing. Had a last date at the Peoples History Museum in Manchester which was very interesting, but oh so depressing. All those fantastic achievements like setting up the Welfare State and NHS … and now we’re seeing them being sold off. Anyway great place to go, it’s free, but possibly not on a first date. It probably beats the one I had at a PTSD exhibition. If you want to read more about middle aged women trying to date @GreyStellaGrey in the Saturday Guardian is doing it all  from the beginning – very similar experiences. I’m far too busy enjoying my 50 things to spend any more time worrying about being single.

Conversation on a train with an old friend (OF) who I rarely see.

Me: Shall we update each other on our dating exploits?

OF: Yeh, what have you been up to?

Me: Well after the nearly vicar I met someone on another bench- by the river in York.

OF. Really? I had a date with a man from York. In the Adelphi recently.

Me (with dread) Really? It wasn’t a couple of weeks ago was it? On a Sunday night?

OF. Er, yes.

Me. He’s 6 foot seven?

OF (laughs) yeh, do you know him?

Me. Er yes, he came round to mine afterwards and stayed the night. He said he was meeting a band in the Adelphi about possibly joining them.

OF. No way! I texted him after to see if he got home ok. He texted back saying I was a sexy kisser.

Me. He was at mine then. I can’t quite believe this.

OF. He said he was tired because he’d been at a band rehearsal on Friday which turned into a wine drinking session and late night.

Me. Yep, that’ll be when we had a date and I stayed over. Bloody hell, I really liked him.

OF. Yep, so did I.

Me. Shall we text the lying cunt?

So, what have I learnt from this sorry episode?

  1. My gut instinct isn’t infallible (though if I’d known he was a salesman I probably wouldn’t have met up with him).
  2. Leeds is smaller than you might think.
  3. To check in with my dating mates so we can swap man details and not overlap.
  4. Even when I am my usual ‘brutally honest’ self, I can’t expect it of others.
  5. Being lied to makes me feel sick.
  6. Tho odd blog is quite cathartic.

We all know that people might be dating several others at the beginning, but this was both rude and deceitful. I’m now questioning everything he told me. I’m guessing ‘early retirement’ means ‘old git on the dole’. And ‘I really want to keep you in my life’ means ‘you’re a mug, ker-ching’.

It’s hard not to get bitter and suspicious, but I refuse to ruin myself for some bloody psychopath. Perhaps I should go for the cynical curmudgeons, I think they might be more honest.

Dating 5, this is getting to be a habit

I suppose I’m becoming a dating veteran now: 3 years on and off, a few shortish relationships. And yet do I ever learn?

The last date was wrong on so many counts, yet I jumped straight in with booze and bed (thinking to myself, well I want a shag, it needn’t go anywhere). Yes, dear.

Wrong in what way? I hear you ask, well…..

  1. He left his first wife for his second and was still pining over the woman he left his second wife for. Leopards n all that..
  2. He dated a friend of mine a few months before who’d primed me about his unfaithful ways and wanting things 100% on his own terms. Dates must be available when wanted but otherwise shut up and wait until they’re summoned.
  3. He’s addicted to the internet and internet dating and booze.
  4. He nearly became a vicar not very long ago. Eek! I’m a defected catholic, I do NOT do religion.
  5. He’s very insecure. Which basically equals hard work.
  6. He snored so loudly I banished him to the sofabed .
  7. Last but by no means least, someone else with far more in common with me contacted me at the same time (but he lived farther away).

The omens weren’t looking good. So why oh why did I see him again?

Good question. Well, we shared an interest in good food, wine and I was feeling lonely. So surely a few trips to the seaside, meals out and some decent sex was better than nowt.

Reader, I was a fool.. although we had a good time and I carried on seeing him, even though the push me/pullyou was making me feel uncharacteristically insecure. I realised after a few of weeks I just couldn’t do it without emotions and they were all over the place. Best call the whole thing off.

Sadly t’other man has since found another (serves me right).

Still, I got to visit the Gormley men in the sea at Crosby (otherwise known as the real sea devils) and now have someone I can consult about computers &/or theological matters, if I should ever need the latter.

Dating 4: Still online dating. Yawn.

So I managed to ‘see’ someone for a while, but he lived 2 hours away which wasn’t ideal. We had occasional weekends together- bit of art, some food and sex, but it’s a strange way to get to know each other. You can’t drop in for a cuppa and a chat- it’s fullon or texting from a distance.

When I started thinking I wanted something more, Buddha17I realised that yet again the couples’ grass seemed greener. Maybe humans always have desire, and whatever you’ve got, it just isn’t satisfying for long. The Buddhists may be right after all.

I’ve paid for a couple of sites for 3 months and will approach it as daily work, then if nowt happens I’m out of there. Can’t spend all my life trying to find the perfect partner- I need to get on with living.

My life’s ok, but that isn’t good enough. I’ve finally realised that I’m bored- I haven’t had a learning obsession for a few years. And I reckon that’s the key. As long as my brain is being excited I’m happy, single or not. But when I have too much time to think I get miserable. What a bloody cliché.

There’s loads of free courses at edx.org from Harvard, MIT etc. It’s brilliant.

Anyway, back to the dating disasters.

The last person I had much in common with on okc didn’t want to meet anyone in the flesh. Which reminded me of William Gibson’s Idoru, where someone marries a purely virtual person. At the time I thought that might be the answer to my relationship problems, but it does make going away for weekends, or to weddings, together a bit difficult. I wonder if we’ll end up with giant robots we can program with our own choice of personality, or just carry our loved ones around on an ipad. (I never feel right spelling programme My-Virtual-Boyfriendprogram. It’s wrong!). Actually, Charlie Brooker’s been there already with his grow-your-own-boyfriend-in-the-bath.

We had loads to talk about- art, theatre, excitons, then he deleted his account, without any warning. What a charmer.

 

Most men on these dating sites seem to think I’m too clever, because I like ideas and am interested in sciencey things. But the ‘clever’ men tend to be very rigid in their beliefs, so as soon as I say I’m a homeopath they run away screaming. There’s also been a noticeable dropoff since I revealed myself to be 48, not 43. I don’t like lying, but otherwise they won’t even look at my profile. They often put the desired age of their dates completely below their own age- not just a bit, but the whole range, because they’re so ‘young’. With their bald heads and dodgy teeth.

Still, I’ve decided to be honest from the start, if they’re that deluded I’m not interested.

Update

The paying sites seem no better than okcupid, which is free.

I had reasonable hopes for my latest potential date, until he had a huge online tantrum because I didn’t reply to him quickly enough during an evening of email messages. I’d just got back from holiday, told him I was ill, but apparently I overstepped some invisible rule he had.

I have a vague idea that face to face, phone or even instant chat conversations are different to emails, which can be answered at your own convenience. That’s why I like ’em. Personally speaking, I may be chatting to someone online, but I’ll certainly be doing sommat else too- any or all of the following: tv, scrabble, fb, emails, picking my nose. I might even be doing something more useful. What I WON’T be doing is sitting looking at my watch waiting for a reply.

He was also incensed that my messages had been too short on that night (when I’d said I was ill) and accused me of ‘not trying hard enough’. This was after 2 weeks of chatting most nights. I practised several replies detailing his unreasonable insane behaviour but decided to keep a dignified silence. He finally sent a strange paragraph alluding to things I had ‘implied’. Yawn. I am now a fully certified ‘timewaster’.

So the search for Mr Right Enuff goes on. Much more slowly now but I can’t quite give up the desire for some sort of partner. With a working brain, sense of humour and a large degree of tolerance.

In the meantime I’m gonna practise mindfulness and work on enjoying what I’ve got, perimenopausal nightmare an’ all.