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

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

If only it was easy.

cheerful man using laptop for video call

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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
Photo by Mwabonje on Pexels.com

Used to DJ. Once. Ten years ago. Never let the dream go.

photo of man kissing his dog

Photo by Charles Roth on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Ola Dapo on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

Photo by @joagbriel on Pexels.com

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!

 

Girl on the shelf

 

Forget the elf on the shelf phenomenon, we are facing another world wide sensation: girl left on the shelf. Great women are still single and in this department store of life, being overlooked for other ‘toys’. Like the elf, girl on the shelf also moves around in different positions but when the buyers come along, there’s none that they want to go home with permanently. So they go back on the shelf. They’d rather be on the shelf doing funny poses and popping up in different places looking amazing!

The Bachelor Australia has just burst its way into our lives again with the social experiment that bachelor Matt has 25 girls to choose from! 1:25, yep that’s how I think it is in the real dating world too. Not only is there so many women to choose from on the show, there’s doubles of the types of women. Doppelgangers.

She looks like me!

A blonde cried out as another blonde girl walked in to be chosen from. (Nicole and Monique, Source: Network Ten)

She’s Persian!

The other Persian girl couldn’t believe it. (Sogand and Danush, source Network Ten)

Out there in the big wide world will be another version of The Little Starfish but with a flatter stomach or smaller boobs. There’s probably thousands alike. In fact, I know another great brunette, of the same age and body type, that lives up the street and she is probably swiping right on all the same guys that I’m swiping right. We shouldn’t have to compete with each other. However, like reality TV, it often comes down to ‘pick me, pick me’ or ‘why don’t they see I’m amazing’. The guys probably see these options in girls-

Rachel Corbitt, guest presenter on The Project last week proclaimed that she is 38 and single. She said that when people are talking to her about being single and not having a boyfriend or kids, they feel sorry for her. She made it clear that she doesn’t need anyone to feel sorry for her, saying “I have an amazing life.

When dating new people I get asked “why are you still single?” and I’ve tried various explanations. Everything from long rambling examples from the past few years to sassy feminist statements. A guy recently said to me “because I choose to be.” How simple and powerful is that?!

By saying no (swiping left) to all of the sleezy morons who can’t spell, I choose to be a girl on the shelf. Because I am amazing. I can only hope the 24 girls that The Bachelor says no to can hold their heads high. The selection process of finding a mate is brutal. Oh, but we love to watch it!

By a girl on a shelf.

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!!

This one time

The phone rang again. It was an unknown +227 number trying to call me through Whatsapp. I hadn’t answered so they were trying again. Two messages later, I blocked them!

I took your phone number off Instagram and I find your words very interesting.

According to google, the call was coming from West Africa. I don’t want to seem uncaring, but why would a guy reach out to me in Australia from West Africa via phone call?! What was his agenda? I am interesting, that much is true, but I’m sure there is other interesting people in Africa. If he was trying to engage with me because I’m single, there’s a lot of single people closer dude. This will not work out. I’ll never know. This one time that someone tried to contact me from West Africa, I blocked them!

This one time I went on a date in the park. We brought our dogs along and walked and chatted. It was great! No awkward eye contact as we just strolled on as our dogs ran around. They weren’t really the right size to play with each other but they were both females so everyone was getting along. At one point, his dog was playing with another Staffordshire Bull Terrier and he had to call it back. Close call, or so I thought. He text me the next day:

I’ve had to take Tara to the vet. She was bitten on the head at the park. The wound has been bleeding and infected.

I sent back empathetic pleasantries and asked about his dog again a few days later. I never heard from him again! I didn’t bite his dog…

Last weekend I was stood up!

We arranged to meet around 9pm and when I left my house I messaged my old friend that after travelling by public transport I’d get to the venue at 9:50pm. She said no problem…. yep, it was a girl friend. She knew I was travelling into the city by myself but when I arrived, she wasn’t at the bar we had planned to meet at and wasn’t responding to my messages. 30 mins later she contacted me with a reply to one of my first messages…. not answering ‘where are you’?

I text everyone else that would respond. It was a real low point as a single girl. To have gone to the effort of getting ready, head out by myself, 50 mins into the city and then standing alone at night. Luckily I had a number of friends that offered me moral support. So I had a beer by myself and listened to a busker before I decided to head home. It took my friend that I was meant to meet another hour to ask me where I was?! She was heading to a different bar now. I didn’t want to chase her around the city, I was done.

It just so happens that one of the people I reached out to that texted me back was a new guy friend. We are going to catch up this weekend…

Tell me about it, stud!

Tinder nights

Summer loving had me a blast
Summer loving it was over, oh so fast
I met a girl crazy for d!ck
Met a boy but he was a prick
Summer days drifting away to oh oh the Tinder nights

Tell me more, tell me more
Did he live very far?
Tell me more, tell me more
Was it cramped in his a car?

I lay by him, pretending to cramp
He panted by me, not even damp
I tried to give head but I nearly drowned
He showed off, was waving it around
Summer sun I wish something had begun but oh oh the Tinder nights

Tell me more, tell me more
Was it lust at first sight?
Tell me more, tell me more
Did ya get a love bite?

Took her strolling, down to Woolworths
He said better get some condoms, don’t need no births

We made out, it was a bit of a mock
But we stayed out till he was hard as a rock
Summer fling don’t mean a thing but oh oh the summer nights.
Tell me more, tell me more
But you don’t gotta brag
Tell me more, tell me more
Did you hang on tight to your clutch bag?

He faked being friendly, holding my hand
She wanted to do it, down in the sand
He had a thing for feet, anything over eighteen
Well she had good feet, you know what I mean
Summer heat boy and girl meet but oh oh the Tinder nights.

Tell me more, tell me more
How much time did he spend?
Tell me more, tell me more
Could he just do me, without asking for a friend?

The weather turned colder that’s where it ends
So I told him “I’ve got enough friends”
Then we made our true love vow
“I just don’t really know whether I want a relationship right now”
Summer dreams ripped my good jeans but oh…

those Tiiiiinnder nnnnnniiiiiiiigghhhhhhhhhhttttttsssssss!

Dating urban legends

When you are single, everyone tells you about their friend or a friend of a friend who not only met someone on Tinder but fell in love and now they are married! I think they are the exception. The ‘rule’ is that most guys are just looking for a good time and sowing their wild oats.

They are the modern day urban legends. Stories start with ‘a girl I used to work with’ or ‘my sisters friend’…. they met someone online and are so in love.

I’ve been single for 6 years. Do you think I’m not trying?! I’m not fussy but I’m not going to try and hook up with anyone.

The other urban legends are the dating disaster stories!

Here’s an urban legend for you I was just told at work. It happened to a friend of a friend.

This girl arranged a second date with the guy she had started seeing. He said come over to my place and I’ll cook you dinner. She agreed.

After dinner she felt like she had to go to the toilet and simply couldn’t hold it in, she’d have to do a poo at his place. But it was bad. Really bad. She had so much poo everywhere that she needed to change her underwear, and clothes. She felt she would need to shower there. He was so understanding! He offered to take her clothes and put everything in a plastic bag. He offered her a t-shirt and shorts.

So, so far I’m thinking this girl is a bit dramatic. How bad did she have to go to the toilet? That messy, really?! Crazy, girl. Yep, this is gross. What a disaster.

It doesn’t end there.

As the girl came out of the bathroom, she caught him holding her underwear and messy clothes up to his face.

He had put a laxative in her food.

He had a faecal fetish.

So bad!!!!!!

One of my rules is don’t go over to random strangers houses. That’s just my values. I won’t think of sleeze bags, murderers or STDs anymore, I’ll be thinking of this story.

What a nightmare!

I had a dream last night that I was so desperate for a boyfriend that I went on a date with a drug dealer (not so bad yet). He couldn’t text me back properly or respond to any questions but his sister had contacted me and I met up with her so that she could tell me he was a good guy! I got ready for a date that he hadn’t confirmed, to go to a pub near his place. When I arrived, he didn’t remember the date and was on so many drugs he couldn’t stand up straight or talk properly. He was also keen to get back to his drug production and said he was banned from the local pub.

I tried to seduce him (you don’t have to stand up then) and pushed him up against a wall where I leaned in on him and tried to have a big tongue pash.

He said he’d be into it if he didn’t have to go help the guys with the drugs and had just taken something so he apologised for the taste in his mouth.

It wasn’t working and I started to feel disgusted with it all so I walked away with my head down and spitting the taste of foam out as I went.

I walked up a long drive or road with my cardigan in my hand (I’d even taken off some clothes) as I passed all the workers and then passed the customers that had taken the drugs and stayed to play shuttlecock….with birds!

Well dream interpreters, what do you say to that?

I am frustrated with online dating (again).

Please can my next dreams be better!! I’d love some dream hunks- Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Kwanten and the late Paul Walker. I need three dream catchers!

 

 

Mr Tix all boxes except mine

I was raised with optimistic and caring parents and find I now run around with a generous dollop of positivity (life still sucks don’t get me wrong). When I tried to ‘rescue’ my ex boyfriends with my positivity in the past, it failed miserably! I wouldn’t do that again. Unfortunately one of them was an addict and looking back now, it was an incredibly unhealthy and toxic relationship.

Now what I fail at is the casual, loosey goosey approach when I find a potential partner rather than a project. But I’ve tried. Man was I a loose goose with Mr Ticks All Boxes (let’s call him Tix for short).

This time last year, I dated Mr Tix for 6 weeks and then he strung me along for another 4 weeks ‘on hold’ before he finally told me he’d met someone else.

For 10 weeks I tried to be positive. I tried to be easy going because he ticked all of my boxes.

tick symbolSocial and friendly (had a great smile and was quite positive)

tick symbol Close to his family and a good group of friends. We actually had some friends in common!

tick symbolFit-  playing sport rather than being obsessed with the gym

tick symbolJob satisfaction

tick symbolVery attractive with a great head of hair and nice, neat beard

tick symbol Easy to get along with- we laughed a lot and talked about all kinds

His story was that he had just got out of a long term relationship of 10 years with his first love. They also owned a house together but had been broken up for approx 4 months.

I was seeing him at least once a week and we grew close quite quickly. I went to his house after 2 weeks but he asked me to park down the road as his ex was quite difficult and he didn’t want to cause waves whilst they still owned the house together. Of course. I was casual, positive, easy-going.

After about 4 weeks, he cancelled on our weekend plans as ‘the shit had hit the fan’. His ex found out he was seeing someone and lost her mind. She supposedly declared her love for him and asked him to take her back. When he said no, she used the house against him. She demanded more money in the buy-out settlement, threatened he would never see their dogs again and took all the remaining furniture. Even their bed! He said he needed time to process this and sort things out. Instead of our plans, he had a few friends (that I didn’t know) over to his place to help him drown his sorrows in beer.

That week he said he couldn’t see me anymore as it was all too much at the moment. I was so understanding (casual, positive, easy going).

Two days later, he said he couldn’t stop thinking about me and we had to give this a chance. We were on again.

We kept seeing each other for another two weeks but there was quite a few nights he had to try and sort things through with his ex. They allegedly had to meet to try to negotiate the sale of the house and split assets. That’s cool.

At the 6 weeks mark, he was very stressed. He was trying to fix up things around the house to add value, clean it all, and then meet a range of real estate agents (that his ex also had to meet and approve) and then arrange for the house to be ‘dressed’ for inspections as she had taken all the furniture. It came to a head. He couldn’t see me anymore until this was sorted. We agreed to keep in touch and when the timing was right, if it was right for both of us, we could resume our romance.

We kept in touch and he text me and called me and said how amazing we were together but wouldn’t meet up.

At 10 weeks, he finally arranged a date with me!!!!!!! But I got strange texts all day. One of the last ones was worrying about wasting my time. He finally admitted, he was meeting up with me to give me the courtesy to tell me he had met someone else. I told him don’t bother and don’t contact me again.

I recently read Drew Barrymore’s book “Wildflower’ and there is chapter called ‘Door One’. She had just started seeing her now husband, Will and was over analysing everything.

Would sharing a life with someone mean I was no longer my own person but a ‘we’?….

How could I stay one of two, rather than becoming half of one…..

Just like anyone who is about to settle down, I started to examine everything.

I had already made my mind up about Mr Tix but he hadn’t and I just wanted to be in the running. Upon reflection, I think he had two girls ‘on the go’ and was weighing us up. The drinks with ‘friends’ to drown his sorrows included the friend he hooked up with. I worked in recruitment for 11 years and you always advise candidates of the recruitment and selection process, let them know of their status and provide them with feedback. Dating is the same process: several candidates, a couple are shortlisted and only one (should be) successful. But you never know the status of your application!! Its a blind process. 

Drew Barrymore’s friend, Liza, gave her this advise:

Everyone wants to overthink and analyse and take all the fun out of it and freak out, but the truth is you pick door number one. You choose the great person in front of you and you don’t play the game of Let’s Make a Deal and see what’s behind door number two because we are so conditioned to seeing what else is out there.

Of course Mr Tix was behind door number one. I was just waiting for him to choose me. Perhaps I was behind door number two and he wanted to give the other girl a chance first. I suspect he kept us both in the dark til he decided. My theory is that girls give door number one a chance and guys want multiple doors to open and like to play Let’s Make a Deal!

What’s your thoughts?

 

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

Photo by burak kostak on Pexels.com

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!

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!

NO-vember

I’ve had three serious relationships in the past but they all said no, no, no.

No, I haven’t started dinner even though I’ve been home from work for three hours before you.

No, I haven’t brought the washing in or done anything with it as my Mum always did that for me.

No, I can’t go out with you and your friends because my footy team is playing.

No, I won’t see you much this weekend as cricket is life.

No, I don’t feel like going for a walk with the dog.

No, I don’t want to go to the beach. I want to watch the game on replay.

No, I’m tired.

No, I don’t know how I feel anymore.

No, I don’t want to be with you anymore and I’ve cheated on you.

Recently, I hit it off with Mr Suave (before he ghosted me) but he was also a ‘no’ man!

No, I don’t like dress up parties.

No, I don’t like fishing.

No, I don’t like dogs that bound up to me as they get in the way. (WTF?!)

No, I would never catch a bus.

No, I don’t like historical fiction, just documentaries.

No, I don’t like walking along the street when it’s busy, they are all tourists and need to get out of my way!

Now, I’m saying ‘no’! I want a yes man.

I want someone that says ‘yes’, I’ll do that. Yes, I’ll go there. Yes, I’d like that. Yes, that would be fun. However if I put that on my online profile, it sounds a bit kinky.

Jim Carey is a bit annoying when he’s being overly dramatic but I like the idea of the movie ‘Yes man’. He has to say yes to everything!

It would go something like-

Yes, let’s get tickets to that festival.

Yes, I want to play tennis with you.

Yes, let’s go for a walk along the beach with the dog.

Yes, I’ll make you dinner.

Yes, you are an amazing little starfish!

And Zooey Deschanel would play me in the movie.

I went on the Bumble dating app to read a few profiles for ideas and in less than five minutes, this is how many guys said yes to me!

With no info (at all) on my profile and only one photo, they must be saying yes to everyone. So I really need a guy that says yes to me, but no to everyone else.

I have swipe fatigue- I’m tired of trying to figure out whether to say yes or no and whether they will then say yes or no to me. When I’m ready to swipe again, I’ll try to find my yes man.

NO-vember = no swiping.

What do you wish a man would say ‘yes’ to?

Catch of the day

I was giggling with my colleagues at dinner after work about the sexy waiter serving us when my male colleague asked ‘hang on, aren’t you taken now?’ Taken?! I’m more likely to be kidnapped and taken away, than a man taking me to be his girlfriend!

I haven’t made this statement because I’m not worthy, but I feel that we are on the cusp of a big change in social norms. Divorce rates are high, ladies are having babies later on in life, its now legal to marry same sex partners, and online dating means that men have access to thousands of women and choices. Bumble online dating now has more information on potential matches showing everything from religion, desire for children and what kind of relationship they are looking for.

I should be a catch of the day. However, 42 year old men are posting under Relationship? ‘Don’t know yet’. Children? Undecided. If they don’t know at 42, then they are either not being honest or will probably never know what they want.

I don’t know yet

Wants relationship but not kids

Wants relationship and kids

And I have to share this catch of the day with you- gross! Seriously dude, you are trying to attract a mate, not a shark.

What a catch 😬

I thought Mr Suave was a catch of the day. So I was trying to put my best foot forward. But you know that saying about the best laid plans…. On my third date with Mr Suave I forgot my bank card. On my fourth date, I forgot my insulin! He handled it all like the gentleman he is. I was so embarrassed about the big reveal I made about diabetes though.

Usually I wait for the right moment to talk about having diabetes (never), or go in with a laissez-faire attitude (let people do and think as they please). I had kept it discreet until now and went out to dinner care free, skipped off to the toilets after eating to inject my insulin….. no insulin. I handled the next part cool as a cucumber and announced to him ‘sorry, I’ve forgotten some medication and will have to go home and get it.’ No problem to him and luckily we were five minutes from my house. What I did next was not cool.

He stayed in the hallway whilst I went through to the kitchen and got out a new insulin pen. It had been after a pint of beer so I pop back into the hallway and announce…

Well, this is my big secret! I’m diabetic!

You dick head, Little starfish. Luckily the rest of the date went well and was incident free. But it didn’t come up again which was a bit strange. He was also very quiet over text message for the next few days. Hmmmm, maybe he no longer thinks I’m a good catch. I ended up texting him..

Hey, diabetes isn’t my big secret. It just hasn’t come up before.

Mr Suave came over for Netflix and chill for our fifth date.

He said goodbye with ‘I don’t know when I’m going to see you again. I won’t be able to see you for two weeks.’

‘That’s fine’, I replied politely with a smile.

F.I.N.E

Feelings in need of expression.

You didn’t ask what I have on in the coming weeks, so maybe I don’t have time for you!

I’m not interesting enough to slot in on the weekend?

In fairness, he had told me earlier that he’ll be working late or long hours for his new job as they undertake on-the-job-training for the next two weeks.

Time will tell if I get thrown back into the ocean. And if he is the one for me. Part of me says if he isn’t interested enough to ask me more about diabetes, he isn’t that interested…..

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!

How to lose a girl in 7 days

There’s a major disconnect between men and women’s expectations and how we communicate. When my first relationship was struggling, I read ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.’ It was so insightful, I asked my partner to read it so we could discuss it and understand each other better. However, when we talked about it, he had interpreted it entirely different!

Craig David sings ‘7 days’ and the song starts off like he’s picking up a ‘lady of the night’ off the street but then he sings about caring for her, she’s a special lady, and can call him any time ”Cause I’m a man who’ll always be there (oh yeah)”.

“I met this girl on Monday.

Took her for a drink on Tuesday.

We were making love by Wednesday.

And then on Thursday and Friday and Saturday.

We chilled on Sunday.”

Women hear things like this and might think If I sleep with him, he will start to care for me. (Even though he’s said he just wants something casual.)

Men hear things like this and might think She’ll be happy to jump into bed with me even if we’ve just met and know nothing about each other. 

Online dating turn off’s:

  • Bad photos– no smile/no teeth, not showing your eyes (the eyes are the window to the soul!), photos are 10 years old and you no longer look like that, photos of so many men we don’t know which one you are or photos of photos (what the?).
  • Messaging multiple times before receiving a reply
  • One word answers
  • Not asking us any get-to-know-you questions
  • Telling us how you like ‘IT’, without being asked (this includes unsolicited D pics)
  • Work cover injury (The assumptions are that your job is unsafe, you are unsafe, or you are a con artist)
  • Gambling debts (you can’t manage your finances or are addicted, you won’t be able to care for someone else’s life if you can’t manage your own)
  • Living at home with your parents because there’s no work available ‘at the moment’ (as above)
  • Lack of effort and poor first impression- no eye contact, very casual clothes. A friend once cut off a guy as he wore thongs (flip flops/jandles) to a date.
  • Taking more than 3 days to reply. If you are interested, then respond to her messages in a timely manner!
  • Anti-Feminist comments such as

“Girls are still single as they are far too independent these days. My (Italian) Mum takes care of the cooking and cleaning and looking after us as she loves it and has good family values.”

*It’s fine if a woman CHOOSES to look after a man. But she can also choose not to. My second relationship failed as I refused to do all the cooking, cleaning, wash and fold his clothes. I didn’t want to be like his Mother. I wanted a partner.

What turns you off??

Speed dating

Online dating is starting to wear me down so I challenged myself to consider 200 guys in 7 days. My version of speed dating. One last energetic foray to see if I can burst through some of the barriers and get any results.

With a 25 km radius and age range of 35-42 years on Bumble, there seemed to be plenty of guys to look through. These guys had already looked at my profile and swiped right (yes) so if I liked their profile it was a guaranteed mutual match.

However, I was only into about 1 in 4 and swiped right for 54 of them.

Out of the 201 I said ‘no’ to, I had seen 23 of their profiles or chatted to them before! Two of them were in open relationships and stated that they were poly so there was no misunderstandings. As I continued on Sunday afternoon, I noticed that the distance of the matches grew significantly. One guy was 1 hour and 42 mins drive away in a place I’d never heard of! Bumble must expand the location so that you have always got matches. It’s kind but inconvenient.

That should have left me a lot of guys to talk to and plenty of dating options. Bumble requires the female to make the first contact and then the guys have 24 hours to respond or the match expires. Well, that meant that many of the matches disappeared. By Sunday night, I’m left with 13 that I have been talking to, and another 14 pending reply.

I’m talking with a puppy dog that I asked on a play date today, but he was busy.

I’m also talking with a (very well versed) 35 year old guy that I’ve planned to meet next Friday night for a drink in the city. This one excites me!

I turned down the guy who asked me over to his house on Thursday night to ‘play games’. Sometimes they turn me off straight away if I think that’s their M.O and don’t really care who I am. But this time, I tried to give him a chance. I get that the sexes communicate differently, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. You really need to stay true to your values though. I stand strong that I’m not going to go to a strangers house. If they want to meet me, then date me.

I feel confident that I will have two dates out of these matches. Let’s see what happens next…

Yes No
Monday 10 23
Tuesday
Wednesday 7 41
Thursday 8 33
Friday 7 18
Saturday
Sunday 24 86
TOTAL 54 201

Finding Nemo

For the school holidays, my goals were to go to the beach every day and do some writing every day. Instead, I have found myself on apps for hours at a time! The apps that sucked me in the most was Airtasker, Instagram, and Canvo. There’s some hilarious tasks on Airtasker and some really promising odd jobs to get some extra cash. I found myself applying for:

  • Type up some old letters
  • Write a timeline (A couple’s history)
  • Letterbox Distribution
  • Babysitting
  • Resume and interview preparation
  • Transcribe 30 one hour interviews

I had a great laugh at:

  • Remove dead mouse- $50
  • Buy me cigarettes- $30
  • Buy and deliver Coles shopping – $5
  • Buy and deliver Coles shopping (with the 17 specific items listed)- $30 and only offer made was $50!
  • Write key selection criteria for a government job (spelled incorrectly) – $50
  • Puppy time – $25
  • Unload 40 foot container of noodles – $260
  • Wait in line at the MCC for AFL grand final tickets from 4-7am- $100

I vowed to set myself some screen time rules and stop applying for these tasks as none of them came to fruition. After being ‘recommended for tasks’ and proceeding to the next stage, messages back and forth, three jobs were cancelled. I had rearranged my day for these. The ‘Letterbox distribution’ had me drive to a warehouse to pick up flyers that had never arrived! ‘Typing up old letters’ never responded even after I was shortlisted and we discussed the days and method for completion. The other two tasks remain unknown in status. Just like online dating, you need to put in significant time with no reward. It was like Finding Nemo– setting off on an adventure with many obstacles along the way, even with a goal in mind. In this case, I’m going to have to leave Nemo out there for someone else to find on Airtasker.

I’ve been undecided if I need a break from online dating as well. Finding ‘Nemo’ online has been unsuccessful for over 5 years now. I go on and off dating sites with FOMO (Fear of missing out) and then get over it and get on with real life, then I think I’ll try again for fun and thus goes the vicious cycle. It’s like I turn in to Dory, the character with short term memory loss. I recognise guys that I’ve matched with previously but can’t remember what went wrong.

I’ve paid for a Bumble subscription for a week that lets me see who has ‘liked’ me so I don’t have to scroll through the ones that aren’t interested. I’ll then decide if I’m interested to make it a mutual match. I’m calling it the 200 guys in 7 days challenge. Let’s see if I find ‘Nemo’ this week…..

clownfish under water

Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

Fishing for information

I currently work as a Primary Teacher but my previous career was in Recruitment and Human Resources so I can talk to anyone, about anything! However it’s not a good sign when I hold up the conversation from both ends during a date. Maybe I over talk because of nerves. I think it’s also an indication that my date isn’t that into me. It’s certainly telling when they don’t ask me as many questions or can’t be bothered asking me anything!

I recently met a man for a date in the park walking our dogs and conversation flowed as we got to know each other. However I realised I was doing it again. I was asking all the questions. Telling him things without being asked.

We were talking about street art and making connections, I offered up that I have two tattoos. Let’s think about the art of conversation….he might ask….

Where are they?

What are they of?

Why did you get them?

But instead….. nothing!

The date continued on and we had a few beers but afterwards, I didn’t hear from him again. So to me, who is asking the questions is important.

A lot of online dating and apps now don’t have forms that you have to complete with information to join. The disadvantage with that is that it leaves all the questions to when you match with them!

However the apps that only match you based on questions don’t necessarily find people that you’re attracted to.

Common questioning is

Where do you live?

How long have you been single?

What are you looking for?

Do you want to come to my place or I can come to yours? (Stranger danger)

I’ve also been asked

Do you live alone? (Creepy!)

I just joined Plenty of Fish, POF (again) to see if I would get more conversations and dates than Bumble. POF doesn’t have a location filter but the age range can be applied as well as a lot of fields-

  • Height
  • Body type
  • Wants kids, has kids, does not
  • Ethnicity
  • Job title
  • Income range
  • Religion
  • Intent (casual, dating, relationship, marriage),
  • Education level
  • Smoking status
  • Drinking habits
  • Personality type
  • Star sign
  • Eye colour
  • Pets
  • Language
  • Longest relationship
  • Ambitious-ness

It also shows ‘about me’ and ‘conversation starters’ that they’ve come up with.

I think that soooo much information is supplied, it’s almost harder to start a conversation as you’d look a bit stupid if you ask a getting-to-know-you question about info that’s already been supplied. So does it overcome the basic small talk for status info that Bumble and Tinder takes hours to determine they are the wrong type of fish, or does it create a different problem for conversations? Hopefully it does alleviate the small talk and can fast track to the important stuff.

It tells me that in under 24 hours that 160 guys are interested in me! None have sent me a message to say hi or ask a question 🤔😫😭

With all these info fields available, these 99+ guys are just using the Russian Roulette type swiping feature. Come on guys, put in some effort to getting to know us. We are worth it!

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?