Mansplaining 2020

“I come from a land down under,

Where women glow

and men plunder!”

This song, Down Under, was written in 1980 about life in Australia (it can’t have sounded that good then either but we like to laugh at ourselves) but it now applies to dating in 2020.

COVID-19 has added another layer of complication to modern dating. I have to admit that when I heard that dating sites were encouraging video dates my mind screamed “hell, no!”. It’s hard enough trying to get to know men in person. It’s also already difficult enough trying to put your best foot forward and get dates to see past superficial looks and have them want to get to know you. The saying is that the camera adds 10 pounds! No way Jose.

woman using smartphone in bed

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If only it was easy.

cheerful man using laptop for video call

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Mansplained demystified some of the common things said online. Here’s part two.

Heeeyyyyyyyyy

I cant be bothered putting any effort in. Until I know you’ll put out! Just reaching out to many and dangling my doodle to see who replies. 

*Same goes for wyd? hyd? Up to?

I’m not sure what I’m looking for right now”

 I have an F buddy, a ‘girlfriend material’, and a ‘back up plan’ so my vacancy depends on which one goes to shit first/they are busy tonight.

Also: I have no intention of anything with you right now but clubs are closed, can’t go to the footy and housemate is doing online trivia, I’m bored as shit!

* I recommend this guy if you are also bored as shit and not looking for anything. He’ll ghost you after a boink as he said he didn’t know what he was looking for.

Shall we get off this app?”

Translation: Let’s go on to another app that makes it easier to send dirty photos/easier to stalk you on Facebook/easier to hide from my girlfriend/F buddy that I’m still on Tinder.

*This does make it easier to send endless shit chat or photos rather than Tinder popping up on your phone during tea with Mum.

photo of disc jockey performing
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Used to DJ. Once. Ten years ago. Never let the dream go.

photo of man kissing his dog

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Dog not mine. Have an 8 year old kid though that I don’t see.

What are you looking for?”

Will you come to my house on the first date/be cautious about Covid restrictions or are you ready to walk on the wild side and go along with anything I suggest?

Do you live with anyone?”

Who will I have to make awkward small talk with/can I shit at your place/have I banged your housemate/will I catch Corona? Will you drive to my place instead?

Not into games or drama”

Just wants to keep it simple? Ha, no. Doesn’t like it when girls talk back/question/think for themselves/call them out on their bullshit. Just wants to get in and get out. Corona free. There’s many memes to explain how to ‘plunder’ in COVID times and reduce the drama of making lurve face to face. 

Who doesn’t want to play games!

food is bae wooden decor

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Add in technology burn out, there’s no way I’m sitting on the apps right now! My man is also burnt out and waiting to meet me in person…

man wearing black headset

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Good luck to the video daters right now.

He was a skater boi

It’s been awhile friends but this is a story that had to be told! Please help me out… what happened??

He was a skater boy
She said, “see you later, boy”
He wasn’t good enough for her

-Avril Lavinge

It didn’t go quite like that… I met ‘J’ at a local pub after talking online for 24 hours. (You’ve got to meet in person to see if there’s a real connection.) I was the first to arrive so I found a table inside that I could also look out the windows and see his arrival. My dating fear is that they don’t look anything like their profile so I was on high alert.

low angle view of cat on tree

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Just sitting alone casually waiting for a friend (is the air I exude). I watched a man come in and look around, look at me, do a lap of the bar and walk out again. I breathed a sigh of relief ‘that doesn’t look like him’ as this older man didn’t pinpoint me. I had a fleeting thought that he had looked around and didn’t like what he saw so had promptly left. I wondered if many people did that?

My date was 7 minutes late- I’d messaged several friends, checked Facebook, Tinder (could have studied a new online course as the time dragged)- but he finally walked up to the table as a living, breathing profile pic, phew! We had just exchanged pleasantries and sorted out our beer preferences, when that same man walks back in again. After another lap, he turns to J and says “Do I know you from somewhere?”.  J looks reasonably perplexed for a few minutes as he tries to place him and then the two of them break out into smiles. They are mates and had been drinking in this same bar til the wee hours of the morning. I look at J and now the man named Ty as J tries to figure out what to do and whether it’s appropriate for him to sit down with us. He says something along the lines of “I’m just catching up with Starfish” and I throw out an awkward offering “Give us 10 minutes.”

In that 10 minutes, J leans in and whispers across the table “Don’t tell him we met on Tinder!”. We come up with a backstory of meeting at one of the local pubs… but that’s about it before we realise Ty is sitting alone, about one metre away from us. Come on over.

I was so ameniable to his friend- this is normal, this is fun. I’m so easy going and casual… what fun.

In between Ty’s stories, I piece together bits about J and whether our ‘date’ is going well. We both like history… he likes my tattoo. Oh you have eight tattoos I say, well my fav number is eight. “Me too” he says. He plays bass guitar, so does my Dad. He skates regularly and was filming last night. I’ve got total respect for people that have practiced enough to do things on wheels. Chatter, chatter about music… I listen to Ty’s conspiracy theories as J goes to the toilet and disappears (smoking) for a good 10 minutes. J also goes to the bar a lot, he drinks fast. He gets a phone call from a mate that talks to both of them. I think I’m talking to Ty more than J.

“I like your dress. It suits your face.” Okay, one more point to J. But something has to change. Now Ty goes for a smoke and I lean over to J that it’s time to get our date back on track, “can we have some time alone now”?

We make our way outside to decide our next move and to let Ty down lightly. J asks “So are you into me? Do you want to kiss me?” So we have a little kiss. He tells Ty we are leaving…

See ya!

He’s very indecisive but we put together a rough plan of grabbing some beers from the shop and going back to his place. As we stand in front of the beer fridges his phone rings again, same mate. He mumbles to me “Let’s do this another time.” Um, okay. I’m over this! Outside he says again “Let’s pick this up again another time” and I start walking towards the bus stand, shaking my head, as he heads back towards… Ty.

WTF?!

person in front of man flying wearing hat during sunset

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Part Two

At home I’m a little confused so I message him on Tinder that it was the weirdest rejection I’ve ever had. He says “come back”. Um, what! Oh he’ll pay for a taxi if I come back and stay at his house for a snuggle. I said, no. “You’ll have to live with your decision now.” I’m trying to think of the best here. Okay, maybe we had our first date and he was trying to decide if he likes me and was a bit distracted. So we could meet up another time. He can make it up to me. I look back online and he’s deleted me!

 

Mr Big

I had my first Hinge app date last weekend with Mr Big. He described himself as 6 foot 3 inches but didn’t have many full body photos. He used words like lovely and proper sentences when chatting. The famous Mr Big from Sex and the City is notorious for being Carrie’s love of her life but also seriously noncommittal. I hoped he’d bring some excitement but not be that hard to get.

We hadn’t chatted online for long as I wanted to see what he was like in person. Earlier that day I had my nails done and therefor had nothing to do but sit and think. I ran through some date conversations and thought through some insightful answers to ‘why are you still single?’ and ‘how would you describe yourself?’, ‘tell me about your family’ and even ‘what’s it like being a teacher?’

He asked me…. nothing!

The date began finding a table in the air-conditioned pub as it was 38 degrees and organising beer. He then spent ten minutes telling me about his favourite TV show ‘American Gods’ and talking over my shoulder. Well he certainly wasn’t looking me in the eyes.

He said get me any beer. My approach was that at least I’d enjoy two beers if nothing else- I’ll get the first and then he can buy me one. If it’s not going well, we part ways. Well that’s a bit like the drunk trying to decide whether to drive or not… you think you’re not impaired and all is well. So after two, we said let’s find a spot on the water for another beer! We also need food. This is probably where it went wrong (if we didn’t already know in the first five minutes).

We surprisingly got in to Arbory, a very popular floating bar on the Yarra river but it was clear from the start there would be no seats- standing room only. I couldn’t imagine him casually standing and sipping a beer, and us both squeezing into a corner somewhere, he was big. Tall but also had quite a girth. I had a game plan. We made our way to the toilets to suss out the layout and on the way there he walked behind and placed his hand on my hip (Controlling, possessive? It was nice! Bit of a spark, of a spark). The short walk pushing our way through the crowd made up our minds that this wasn’t going to work here, let’s move on.

The problem with leaving one place on a Friday night with the after work crowds on a great summers evening is you’re pretty much shit out of luck finding anywhere else to get in. We ended up at TGI Friday’s! TGI bloody Friday’s. Clearly impaired. Hungry.

He squeezed into a booth with him remarking “isn’t there any normal tables?” We quickly ordered more beer and food. The food wasn’t good. The ambiance for a date was appalling. We were by the river but we could have been in a shopping centre. I can’t even remember what we talked about here. He started yawning. At one point he threw into conversation that he didn’t really know what he was looking for. I realised the initial excitement of the unknown possibilities had quickly died.

I walked him to his train station, possibly trying to overcome the fact that we’d just been to TGIs, and stood on my tippy toes to plant a quick kiss on his mouth goodbye. As I turned to walk away, he giggled!

broken heart love sad

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It’s been a week now and we haven’t spoken. Neither of us cares enough to even say I don’t think we should pursue another date. The whole evening, he spoke at me. I spoke back of course, but he didn’t ask me any questions about myself. I learnt about his family, his housemates, his work, his friends….  was it nerves or he couldn’t even be bothered to get to know me? Do you know what, I’ve got nothing to lose here. I’m going to ask him! This will be an interesting social experiment… stay tuned.

It hinges on this

The best things in life are free…… so they say. Well I’m now a free subscriber to Hinge, a reasonably new dating app. It’s done away with the swipe left or right phenomenon and instead asks you to like, or decline, users pictures and personal information.

For example, IF (come on Geordan, seriously) this was your thing, you would like it and can comment. I guess it’s maybe, very loosely, a conversation starter.

I in-real-life liked this topless picture but know it’s no good for me so hit x on the app.

You get 10 likes a day (America’s day time). This will be good for me so that I can’t go wildly swiping anymore – throwback to 200+ profiles! 

I reminded myself that the girl I’d hired in a moment of weakness, the bosomy, loud, tittering niece of Thilda’s, could have oiled the hinges (of the shop). Alberta… was at a long since marriageable, perhaps overripe, age, a pear just a bit too soft that would soon tumble to the ground under the weight of its own juices. She was not in possession of anything else that made her especially attractive, with the exception of said bosom. She was so ripe for the picking that she behaved as if every single person of the male persuasion that stepped in the shop was her intended.

(Maya Lunde, The History of Bees)

Is this me?????

Was the mad swiping of my past an attempt to find any male as my intended?

No, I have to remind myself there was a lot I declined and will continue to decline. But 10 likes a day will keep a lid on things and make sure I pick quality ‘applicants.’

I’m definitely bosomy too. Bosomy makes me picture chubby and very voluptuous, ney, if not, dare I say it, overweight-

But this is the ‘bosomy’ I’d like to be-

Hinge asks for your height, age, location, drinking and smoking preferences and interest in children but NOT your body type. Guess that’s why all the guys feel the need to post topless selfies, gym poses and this app even allows videos! So yep, I’ve already seen topless workouts. Thanks guys.

So I’ve turned online dating into a drinking game. Play along…

Needless to say, probably best to play on a weekend. I drank four beers playing Monday night…. happy fishing!