“Don’t worry there are plenty more fish in the sea”. These were the words my father said to me when I arrived home in floods of tears after breaking up with my boyfriend of two months at the age of 17. I was inconsolable, sobbing into my pillow every night for two weeks. After all, I believed I had lost the one true love of my life!
Sound advice in some ways, although I thought a tad harsh at the time. This was to be my official entry into the cruel, amazing, harsh and yet mind-blowing world of dating.
Pulling myself together I headed out into the big wide world and entered into a string of unsuccessful medium to long-term relationships. Friends were getting married and having babies, yet I found myself in my mid-thirties, living with the folks and once again dipping my toes into the dating ocean in the hope of hooking myself the ‘perfect’ fish.
Meeting people when your single in your 30’s sucks…just saying. Yes I believe there is someone out there for everyone, but getting to meet that magical person when you’re heading towards 40 fast, and your mates are already coupled up really isn’t that simple. So I decided, after much deliberation, to follow my fellow singletons and download the popular dating mobile app Tinder. A few people I know have met “the one” this way…what could go wrong?!
For those smug coupled-up and marrieds, the site is simple to use. You upload pictures of yourself and a short description of what you like doing (trout pouts and boobs on display optional) for potential partners to “like” or “dislike” by swiping the photo right to like and left to dislike. You then search through the selection of potentials in your area and swipe. If you both swipe right you get a “NEW MATCH” and you can message each other.
Simple I thought. And what better way to get over yet another break up than meeting someone new. I needed a distraction and admittedly bit of an ego boost, so I uploaded a few snaps, typed up a quick profile and started to swipe…
After a few minutes I was feeling less confident. Most of the men pose with fish they have caught (why men think women want to see this is beyond me. Does it have any bearing on the size of their rod?), in groups with their fit mates (leaving you guessing which one they are only to be disappointed), hugging ex-girlfriends (really) or naked (no need to try before you buy!). One guy was just wearing a sock on his dangly bits. You get the idea…
After swiping left to all the men in a 50 mile radius with 0 matches, I gave up. But with the help of my good friend wine, decided to give it another go. This time not being quite so picky. I began swiping right and after a while matches appeared and I began getting messages.
My first conversation seemed quite normal. Aside from him being about 10 years younger than me (hey well if men can do it! Just call me a cougar). We talked about our jobs and what we liked doing. Then swapped mobile numbers and began texting. After a couple of days sharing messages about what we were doing and eating and normal stuff, without request (I might add) he sent me a picture of his naked headless torso, along with a message asking me to send one back.
Now it might just be me, but I wasn’t prepared to take part in this game. Instead I did what any other self-respecting lady would do and showed it to my friend. Her response was brilliant “He could have taken his jumper off first!”
She was right, he was pretty hairy.
Once I stopped laughing I decided to share this entertaining moment with more of my friends (yes guys be warned – we all do this). I clicked on the picture to forward it on, and then it happened…without realising I had been sent MY FIRST COCK PICTURE!!! Needless to say I blocked him.
Determined to actually go on a real date with an actual person I tried again. This time we bonded over our love for the TV comedy show ‘Flight of the Conchords’, communicating using only lyrics from their songs. To give you an idea our conversations went, here is a snapshot:
Him: “When you’re on the street, depending on the street, I bet you are definitely in the top three, good looking girls on the street…yeah? I’m not just wild, I’m trained, domesticated. I was raised by a rapper and rhino that dated”.
Me: “Je voudrais une croissant, je suis enchante. Ou est le bibliotheque?”.
At least he made me chuckle, that’s always important right. After two days constant Googling of lyrics to send him and giggling like a school girl at work, we arranged to meet at my local for drinks. Following quite a bit of Dutch courage to settle my nerves (I haven’t been on an actual date in years!) he walked through the door. I recognised him straight away. Although again he was younger than me, he was good looking in a quirky way (just my type), kind of geeky, tall and had beautiful eyes.
Several drinks later after lots of laughing we decided to go to mine to watch the Flight of the Conchords. We watched the first episode, then the second and before I knew it midnight was fast approaching. We snuggled in on the sofa and he leaned over, we kissed…I got butterflies in my stomach! This was amazing! Finally I had found someone I liked who liked me back! We put on the final episode and snuggled in further, spooning (fully clothed) and smiling so much my face ached.
As the episode ended I told him how amazing I thought he was and made it clear I wanted to see him again (I was fairly drunk by this stage and needless to say probably not quite as smooth as I thought in my words). He said he felt the same and we mentioned meeting up next week. As I walked him to the door we had another amazing kiss. My head was spinning. How could I have found someone I liked so soon? Then after reluctantly closing the front door behind him I excitedly ran to tell my housemate how unbelievably perfect this guy was.
I never heard from him again. Bastard…
Was it me? Was it something I said? After a day or two of moping and receiving well thought out Tinder messages late at night such as “Are you horny?” I decided to check my profile to see what it actually said, as something can’t be right.
It didn’t take me long to spot the problem. You see I had written this wine assisted when newly single after not dating for almost 12 years. It read:
“I am a social person who likes trying out new things. I am not a fan of a cheeky Nandos meal, more of a Netflix and chill type”.
The Nandos part I stand by, I can’t stand the place. My thinking was to prevent people suggesting it as a date. The other part, well… I work with people in their early 20’s and had heard them mention the phrase Netflix and chill a few times. My innocent (OK well old then) brain thought it referred to watching films on the sofa with someone. It turns out this is not the case. I have now deleted my account pending a rewrite of my profile.
For those of you who don’t know what Netflix and chill means, here is the Wikipedia explanation (the Urban Dictionary one is a bit too rude to print).
“Netflix and chill is an English language slang term using an invitation to watch Netflix together as a euphemism for sex, either between partners or casually as a booty call.”
The moral of the story is:
Even if you do like dating younger people and you want to try to use their language, please for the love of cheese, look up what the phrase actually means first. Otherwise you could have bare* problems on your hands. #notetoselfdateolderpeople.
*“Bare (taken from the only dictionary of all: The Urban Dictionary)
A lot of; very; an exclamation used in disbelief.
E.g. The woman had bare cats; I was bare tired; “I have a new car!” “Bare!””