At the end of 2022 I decided to dip my toes back into the dating pond as an experiment. Both my mother and my daughter had uttered their concern for my ever-growing collection of cats and lack of a male companion. So something had to be done, it seemed. I wasn’t really in the mood to kiss a whole bunch of frogs in order to find that solitary prince (or knight, or whatever) on a white steed. My intent was mainly to highjack the horse and flee.
My sister had a very novel idea as to where and how to start practicing socialisation – she opted to join MENSA. While it seems a clever (hahaha, pun so intended) way to meet new people, I, first of all wasn’t so sure I would pass the test, and secondly, they sound slightly too social for my liking. I can only be fun and adventurous about once a month and then I need to recover for the remainder of it. Even then, I need to start slowing down around 10pm unless I want to be broken for the next three days. This realisation struck me full in the face on 1 January this year when I, for the first time in many years, had bothered to stay awake and welcome in the New Year. I am apparently not 23 any more and I felt every one of those 43 years acutely!
Too old to start clubbing again – the flashy lights give me migraine and the kids’ newfangled music make my ears bleed – I thought the safest thing might be to sign up for a dating app. Since I am well versed with the online world of social media I thought a little foray into digital dating might be exactly what I could handle.
Trying to find the appropriate app is rather a big task in and of itself! There is so much research that needs to be done before you even sign up. What sort of people might use which app? Where are you most likely to meet like-minded people? Then, only once you are signed up, can you see exactly how far you can go before they demand money. Incidentally, it’s not very far at all. I opted for two very different applications. The one never brought forth anyone of interest. It must be a collection of the world’s ugliest, most boring men. I didn’t feel like I wanted to connect to a single one. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to know which one it is. It could also be that I’m just a bitch with unrealistic expectations?
The second one, had a few more lively males that tried to connect, although within three days I was running scared and thought that perhaps I had started this whole trying-to-meet-people-thing too soon and that I should give it another year before I try again.
Number one on the list was a sad sack. He whinged. From the first sentence he proceeded to tell me exactly how sad and sordid his life was. He didn’t have a job. He lived with friends. He didn’t have transport. It was emotionally draining from the first second. He never bothered to ask me a single question about myself. I’m not sure what he was hoping to get out of the interaction, but he wasn’t getting it from me.
Number two was a bit of a shock to the system. In his profile photos he was absolutely gorgeous! A hot Italian stallion! Each of his three photos contained a different girl which he just blurred out. Bit weird? He doesn’t waste time and after telling me how beautiful I am, wants to go for a drink. But I have to drive to where he is. Errrm, no. Then only does it occur to him to ask me what I am looking for on the app. When I say “definitely not just a bit of fun” he unmatches me and disappears straight away. It’s a good thing, I guess, because at least he was clear about what he wanted!
Then, there are all the youngsters that liked my profile. I am not rich enough to have my own little Ben10 and I am not patient enough to hand rear one for future use. I really don’t know what 19- and 20-year-olds thought I could give them, but hey, it’s very good for your ego nonetheless to think that you are still attractive to boys that could in theory be your son, or his friends! MILF status achieved! Go me!
Then, there was a guy who started chatting to me about my cats. He liked the picture I posted with my cat. But the conversation was hard going from the start. It also turned out that he lied about his age – he was ten years older than his bio stated! If I can own up to my real age, so can you, buddy!
There was also one super pretentious guy who wanted to date and astrophysicist and was only interested in my Master’s Degree and academic accolades. (Of which there are none, really!). Now, while I enjoy the mental stimulation of a lively debate as much as the next person, it is a bit exhausting to do all of the time. Cheers, guy!
Then, of course, there are the wanking fuckheads – one of whom was actually quite the expert at the unsolicited dick-pic. I had to look really closely to see what the fuck was reflecting in his sunglasses and recoiled in instant disgust when I realised what it was. I am still not sure how he managed the angle of that photo.
Ah, and then, last, but not least, the wanna-be Don Juan, who tells me in the second sentence that he is a “Dom” in the bedroom. Geez, buy me a drink first! Thanks dude, I read 50 Shades. Not quite that much kink in my cable! Also the fact that he failed to grasp that small children need adult supervision even after I explained very nicely to him that sleeping over at his place while the kids were with me was simply not an option. So clearly a winner of the IQ lottery…eye roll
All of this transpired in exactly three days. I figured I had given it a go and it clearly was not going to work out for me. I had already cancelled my subscription, when I came upon this:
Well, well, well…An intelligent man, with a sense of humour and seemingly some serious life experience. If this one is about to drag me off into a deep dark wood to murder me, at least I will be laughing until I get there!
I take this screen shot and send it to my sister saying I think we have a potential lucky winner. Little would I know that I would be the ultimate winner here!
The initial message exchanges leave me with no doubt that even if we don’t hit it off romantically, this is someone I want in my life. But we do hit if off – with a bang! I like him. My kids like him. They think he is “cool”. (I didn’t even know kids still used that term – or maybe it’s making a come-back? I can’t keep up!)
So, 2023, here I am. After five years of travelling that well-intentioned paved road to Hell and back a few times in my bare feet, I am ready to step off that path now and let the quiet stream of life wash over me with new hope. My whole being is aglow thinking that there are still good men out there, even if it means working your way through a few frogs first! I feel cautiously optimistic that St. Valentine’s ass won’t kick me in the teeth at the first bend in the road.
Saddle up cowboy, let’s ride! Off into the sunset we go…