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.

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 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.

 

 

 

Dating Part 3

I know I know I said I was giving it up, but it’s harder than I realised. Maybe I’m addicted to failure, or that slightly cringing feeling I get when I click through the profiles. I feel like one of BF Skinner’s pigeons- can’t give up trying just in case a reward comes through. Unlikely but always possible.

OKCupid is an American free site, aimed at people who think they’re clever and are slightly nerdy. Just like me! ‘Cept the yankee bit.

I feel compelled to give you some examples of the truly shocking things people agree with in the many multiple choice questions, to save you the bother of registering (unless you’re a funny clever single man in Leeds who wants a sarcastic clever gorgeous girlfriend, in which case get on with it. I’m waiting!).

‘I don’t like to discuss politics with my partner because they’re boring (fair enough) and personal ‘???. Wonder what he’s looking for in a relationship.

‘Flag burning is more offensive than book burning. And should be illegal’.

At least you can screen people out for such weirdness. But it seems there’s very few left after my filtering. And those are married. I may be a victim of my own high standards.

‘I am attracted to intelligent women who where glasses’ ( sic). My kind of man- if he could spell and didn’t follow it up with ‘I’m a Christian and it’s very important’.

Women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved’’. That’s it, I can’t read any more.

I keep saying I’m gonna give up the whole internet dating business, but then I get a message from someone who looks interesting and off I go again swapping personal info, cracking jokes, falling in love with myself all over again. Then they either suddenly stop contact for no apparent reason, never to be heard from again, or I meet them and realise I just don’t fancy middle aged men. Yep, seems I’m the one with the problem.

I’m beginning to see why some 40+ women resort to stealing attached men- the single ones all have sommat wrong with them.  This does not excuse them, but I can understand their desperation. Me, I’m not convinced the attached ones are any better and if he leaves someone for you, then really what do you expect in the future? Oh sorry, you’re special.

Dearie me I am getting cynical. I even reread Valerie Solanas’ SCUM manifesto. She was pretty mad but she had a few good points.

Read it here http://www.spunk.org/texts/anarcfem/sp001291.txt

Courtesy of OKCupid I’ve now met a hobbit living in Newark, a Finnish anarchowitch who’s 35 but looks like a 50 year old wizard and several 19 year olds who think because I’m their Mum’s age I might teach them a thing or two- they’re mistaken- I really can’t be bothered. I hasten to add I didn’t meet the latter in the flesh. Aint the world a strange place?

And now I’m about to embark on an illadvised affair with a rebellious muslim man fresh out of his marriage with kids, which involved breaking most of my hard learnt rules: he’s on the rebound, we flirted before we even met, discussed sex in way too much detail and agreed to enjoy ourselves with no commitment. Who knew twitter could be an effective instrument of foreplay? For some reason he thinks I’m exotic because I used to go to free festivals, drive my old ambulance to raves, take loads of drugs* and like talking about quantum theories.

I must be bloody mad. Still, it’s unlikely to be boring. I’ve told him that it’s only till Mr Right comes along, at which point we discuss terms and I’ll have to go with the best offer. He’ll then obviously realise he’s madly in love with me and hang desperately onto my leg as I mount Spock’s white charger to ride off into the holographic sunset.

* He ‘thinks’- hearsay m’lud.

UPDATE after 3 months of completely messing me around, the socalled affair didn’t happen. I don’t understand how I let that happen, apart from the fact that I liked him when I met him.

Lesson 1: don’t get involved with ‘separated men’.

Lesson 2: Don’t indulge in sextalk with strangers unless that’s all you want.