Call off the search

When someone goes missing, a search starts day and night. But after a few days they begin to lose hope, less people are searching, the search is inconsistent, and after a long period of time, it’s called off all together. My boyfriend is missing.

I mean, he’s non existent.

My ideal boyfriend is missing.

I’ve been searching, high and low. After searching the online dating apps, I think it’s finally time to call off the search!

My friends don’t even search for me anymore. Even they have given up. Sure it’s exhausting so I’ve gone on and off the dating sites.

I actually had two people recommend I join e-harmony only two days apart. I had a little look as I thought it could be a sign. All the ads on TV sure make it look good.

Nope.

So I joined Tinder, for fun. I’m telling myself that I can be footloose and fancy free and just enjoy myself without worrying about whether they meet my expectations…. I’ll be casual whilst I’m still young enough to enjoy myself.

First mutual swipe right- chatty chat, talk about our dogs, some attraction, try to meet up. Can’t meet in first 3 days, now no reply. It’s a 21st century, instant gratification problem. Thank you, next.

Second mutual swipe right, that messages back- chatty chat, meet up same day! I know this is casual. I feel casual. The date goes really well. Before I know it, in the next 24 hours I’ve imagined our whole lives together! How does this happen?

Iliza Schlesinger calls it Girl Logic. How our brains process all of our past, present and future experiences: “The genius and the absurdity!”

I think the guys use their hunting tricks. They’ve evolved from cave men but now have other tricks to drag us back to their caves. They must know our brains go into overdrive or have these elaborate fantasies. On my date, he threw into our conversation:

You’re cute

You’re fun

I like you

I told my parents I was going on a date… they said when are you going to settle down and I replied, maybe this one.

Is tomorrow too soon for another date?

I’ll call you, should I call you tonight?

All of a sudden, I’m wanting more already. Do guys realise the carrots they dangle that give us hope? This guy is a player….

He didn’t call that night.

We didn’t meet a few days later like planned.

I received an invite during the next week to come over and wear my sexiest underwear.

I’m going to be more aware of the subliminal messages guys are sending and the manipulative words they use. Game on!!

The challenge

I’ve detoxed off dating apps for a month. It actually feels amazing!

I wanted to work on myself without distractions. Imagine if I gave myself the same time and effort I’ve put into online dating. Let’s face it, the never ending cycle of men that don’t reply, sleazy come ons and small talk was exhausting.

Power is making decisions (The Outlaw King)

The first week off dating apps, I still needed a ‘hit’ from my phone. I was so used to checking it and notifications going off, I started messaging people more. I was proud of myself for starting conversations with people that I might not have if I was busy with dating apps. Then I realised…. I’m not chatting with ‘people’, I’m chatting with men. Single men. Single male friends. I’d just substituted Bumble for Messenger!

I eased off Messenger. Whatsapp became my next forum but at least I was communicating with girlfriends.

Matthew Hussey has some good advise on dating but also about being your best self. He set challenges for things to try….

The first time I walked past a good looking stranger- epic fail!

I found myself automatically looking down, or looking anywhere else, than directly at them.

As I live in an inner city, busy, beachside area there’s plenty of good looking strangers to practise on. Now that I’ve got my head held high and I’m trying to make eye contact, I may seem like a smiling psycho…..but I’m hoping it starts to become more natural!

I’m struggling with this one. I talk to strangers when I’m walking the dog and I’m nice but I don’t think that counts. I’ll have to keep an eye out for an opportunity.

I registered for Social Sixes (Cricket Victoria).

I didn’t go.

But I have lots of ideas for activities to try in the summer holidays.

Have I got fitter and healthier in the last month? No. I’ve drank more beer and eaten more chips than ever before.

Have I had a nice break from the dating merry-go-round, swiping R.S.I., bad spelling, mixed messages, and filthy suggestions? Yes. Let’s call it a success!

Chalk and cheese

I had two dates last weekend!!!! Go me! They were as different as chalk and cheese- what a strange expression. I thought the same as http://www.phrases.org.uk “There must be many pairs of things that are more different than chalk and cheese.” They claim it’s popularity is as simple as they are short and snappy words that alliterate. I’m going to work on coming up with another one.

Mr Suave was from an online dating app, the other was a ‘blind date’ (of course we checked each other out on Facebook first) set up by friends. Where Suave was tall, the other was short. Suave had dark hair, the other was greying. Suave had beers with me, the other coffee. Suave went halvies on the costs, the other let me pay. Suave lives within a reasonable distance, and the other is an hours drive away. Okay, it’s clear who I’m leaning towards.

At school, we teach the kids to identify similarities and differences, and usually make them put it in a Venn diagram! It’s also a reading strategy to compare and contrast which allows them to understand the book better and make real life connections. So what did these guys have in common that made them a good match for me?

They were similar in that neither of them owned a pet but agreed dogs were better. They both had their own home (whether rented or owned, we didn’t go into it) and had good jobs. Stable work that they somewhat enjoy, most days. Interestingly, I didn’t go into their family situations and neither did they. I think that’s a sign that we didn’t need the small talk about who has siblings and what age they are. Both were able to hold their own, and conversation flowed along the standard path of ask a question, respond yourself with a story, ask another……

Both were respectful- they didn’t try to touch me up or talk dirty!

But Mr Suave had it all.

He dressed well for the date and looked great in a floral (I don’t care what you think, I’m man enough to pull this off as fun and happy) shirt and nice shoes. As we sat down with our beers, I asked a bustling table and group standing if they minded us sitting down next to them. He handled it cool, calm and collected when a very drunk guy leaned in and told us with a slur and a wobble that you should just take things and not ask as he might have said no. We talked and laughed our way merrily into a second drink and then agreed to a third at a different bar he wanted to check out over the road. The third beer then turned into an espresso martini that he ordered for me as I had said I love them. We made our way over to a comfy couch and moved closer as it had got colder. Then it starts to become a blur…. We leaned in for a kiss and he suggested….. dancing! So off we went, walking hand in hand down the street and when I complained about walking in my heels, he ordered a taxi the rest of the way apologising to the driver “Sorry man, I know it’s a short trip. I’ll pay you extra.”

At the club, he paid for both of our entry costs ($20 each) and put our jackets together in the cloak room. He bought me a coke as I said I’d really had enough and we danced and made out for the next hour or so. He laughed at me as I danced to The Nutbush (OMG, I can’t believe I did that on a date!) and I laughed at him as we both enjoyed S Club 7. When I went to the toilets and realised how messy I’d become, I told him I had to call it a night and he put me in a cab home. We text all the next day… and lived happily ever after. Ha ha. No, we’ll see………

woman wearing white dress dancing on brown sand

Photo by Gabriel Augusto on Pexels.com

I didn’t put my best foot forward when I met my coffee date. I had drank too much with Mr Suave so I was still a bit tired and shaky. I’m not a morning person so I had dry shampooed my hair and I didn’t feel as banging as I had last night. Because of the alcohol, I also had a (diabetic) hypo during the date and whilst I tried to hide it, my speech wasn’t coming out the same and I couldn’t think of the right words. I might have got away with it as nervous and cute… but I probably also seemed like a downright drip! This date lasted an hour.

Chalk and Cheese.

I really like cheese- Mr Suave has to be the cheese!

My single vows

I have lost count of the amount of weddings I’ve been to over the years. Up until last night, the last one was about 3 years ago and there was not one single man there- none!

Getting ready for the latest wedding event, I suddenly thought

‘I might be the last single person left. What if the bride calls for the single ladies to catch the bouquet and it’s just me?!’

I tried to prepare myself for that moment and to find the courage to strive forward with conviction that I was single and proud. Luckily that moment never came. The bride didn’t throw her bouquet so we never had to find out who was still single. Let’s face it, why give away a gorgeous bouquet and the girl that catches it never gets married next!

I’ve written my own single vows.

I promise that I will never feel like half a person as I don’t have a partner.

I will take every opportunity to try new things, seek adventure, make new friends and enjoy the freedom that single life allows.

I will always love my baby, Sophie the dog, no matter how bad she smells and keep trying to find the source of her numerous allergies.

I will set myself up for success so that I can’t be a failure.

I’ve also imagined my partners vows! Yep, that’s what happens after hearing so many other people declare their love for each other’s little annoying personal traits or cute couple habits.

How to catch a fish

“Success is when preparation meets opportunity” (Nick Cummins, The Bachelor Australia)

The times they are a changing. Gone are the days you were guaranteed to meet someone out on the dance floor and if over 30, there’s no more single friends to introduce! So we resort to online dating and trying to get matches. Most sites are random. You throw in your fishing hook in a designated pool/area and decide whether each one you (swipe right) try to pull up or (left) let off the hook. Then you try to strike up a conversation. Hopefully make a date. See if you get along for a second date. But that fishing line can get snagged and snap at many stages.

One of Matthew Hussey’s strategies is to ask a man (in real life) to take a photo of you to break the ice and make contact. But what if you can’t see a man you want to approach? I figure that is probably still better than seeing someone you like but not knowing how to approach them. I have probably let many opportunities pass me by over the years! I’m working on being prepared.

So what are some of the options for online dating in Melbourne?

  • Bumble
  • Tinder
  • POF (Plenty of Fish)
  • Ok Cupid
  • RSVP
  • eHarmony

I’m using Bumble at the moment. The success rate seems to be about 1 in 5 matches with 50% response rate.

For example, if 100 men liked me, I would then find 20 are a mutual match. If I contacted all of them, I would get a reply from 10. From that, at the moment, I’d be lucky to get 1 date.

What are the best days to fish?

I’ve had the most responses on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as Sundays. There seems to have been a big increase of the amount of guys online since the Bachelor Australia started 2 weeks ago! (Screening Wednesdays and Thursdays but it could be a coincidence).

When you are talking online, you need to have some talking points in mind. The most responses I have received have been after saying Hi and asking them a question about something in their profile or pictures.

I got 0 replies with these lines

Hey there 😁

2 truths & a lie…. ready, set, go!

These got 1-2 responses

There’s a lot of pressure making the first move, be nice to me 🤣

What’s one destination you haven’t been to yet or that you must go to before you die?

Almost Friday, can you describe your weekend ahead in 3 emojis?

Friday nights I get less matches but it seems easier to start a conversation ….they just don’t really go anywhere. I think Friday & Saturday chats are for quick hook ups. I got 3 replies with just ‘Happy Friday 👌’

I’d really rather talk to single people in person. I heard somewhere that if you read a magazine backwards in public, it’s meant to mean you are available! Some other countries have small gestures to show whether they are available. In Samoa, if you have a flower over the left ear you are taken, right side you are available. In Ireland, if you wear a Claddagh ring on your left hand and you turn the ring pointing away from you, this indicates you are looking for love. India has different coloured bindis where single or widowed women wear black or white bindis, with red signalling married.

Apart from traffic light parties at University, what could we start in Australia?

If you have one of these customs in another country, do they work as signals?

What online chats have worked for you?

Types of fish

OK, so we all know that if we kept fishing day in and day out we would eventually hook a fish. You might have also seen that there are still plenty of fish in the dating pool. HOWEVER, you might not catch the one that you like…

Puffer fish– they blow up all the time! Quite negative- road rages, hates slow drivers, also many TV shows and songs. They like to make out that others are really stupid.

Gold fish– they forget everything you’ve told them! They also don’t think to ask you many questions. They message you with one liners such as ‘good morning’ or ‘hey’.

Flake– you just can’t tie them down to commit. They are busy or late or like to live spontaneously (always taking the best offer), perhaps prioritising mates over dates.

Mudskipper– talking to so many girls at once. You may not hear from for a week but they will skip back to you… eventually, probably late on a Saturday night.

Common cod- the blokey type, loves footy all weekend. Watches it, plays it, replays it, has to check the footy fixture before making plans. Drinks, smokes and swears, usually has an Australia flag tattoo. Will pick sports bars over restaurants.

Blob fish– loves movies, TV, collectibles, Xbox and PlayStation games, but doesn’t like to go out much.

Flathead grey mullet- doesn’t really understand what you’re talking about. Texts ‘huh?’ Or ‘what you mean?’ Needs things explaining. May be a tradie (trying not to stereotype) or not word smart. You need to meet these ones in person!

Mahi Mahi – international men that have only lived in Australia for a few years. English is their second or third language so some messages are a bit strange. They don’t have a lot of friends so message a lot. Some think us Aussie women are too feminist these days (independent).

Guppy- flashes their money or brags about their job, bonuses or overtime rates. Looks neater than you, very well dressed. Puts neatness or hygiene in their profile as a priority.

Catfish– never meets up so could be anyone! They may have a partner and just be online for fun or out of boredom but has no intention to act on anything.

Clownfish– loves Dad jokes or anything to have a good laugh. May enjoy humorous British TV shows or Seinfeld. Can recite one liners from most comedies. Good for banter but doesn’t usually develop further.

You might accidentally hook –

Octopus– they will tell you want they want to do to you before you’ve even asked or responded to the first sexual detail. Can be very handsy and may try it on in the middle of the day.

Squid– can’t look you in the eye, very nervous, trying not to ink themselves.

Penguin– not over their ex I’m afraid. They often can’t perform, holding on to baggage, still trying to talk things through or separate belongings with their ex, too attached to the past. May also still be attached to parents or living at home, can’t look after themselves.

I’m looking, looking, looking and trying to hook:

Endlers Livebearer these fish are adaptable, placid but vibrant, colourful, and popular in aquariums as good in a community.

Salmon– they’ll do the chasing as they know what they want. Active and adventurous- why else would they swim upstream? Often motivated and career driven or community minded to make a difference. Everyone loves a good salmon.

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To any men that are reading this- what type of fish would you be if you were a fish?

Ladies, what other fish have you hooked?