As we know, the online dating world is tough. Toughest game in the world.
‘Nam? For pussies.
Running a marathon under 2 hours? Try fighting a battle against the Persians first, big boy.
Brexit - difficult? Try negotiating a date on Match.com
Both sexes have dating urban myths. About how they are manipulated online.
Unfortunately, what we’re talking about is a hyper exaggerated version of biological and sexual differences. (Yes, I was born into a world where there were just two genders. Apparently, in the last few years, this has increased. Who knew.) Anyway, to sum up profiles and longer arguments: men want to screw anything that moves and women want a relationship. We act out our assigned roles. Clearly there are large areas of overlap between the sexes but, in a brutal market like online dating, it seems it is the differences and not the similarities that get amplified.
We all have our war stories.
Close your eyes. Picture this…
Tim arrives for a date. (Girls; linger on this image for a while. Take your time. Go on - indulge yourselves. You’re worth it!)
So, I’m showered and smelling of - I dunno - David Beckham deodorant and Obsession. Wearing jeans and jacket. Smart shoes. You lucky girl whoever you are! We do the get-a-drink thing and sit down. We talk about our day, how we got here, some random observations about the bar we're in (for it will be a bar). And then. And then.
Well apparently, there's websites out there that supply approved first date questions. If you run dry of conversation, you're supposed to throw one of these into your date to get things going. For example: -
· Who is the biggest influence on your life?
· What was your favourite movie / song of all time?
· Who is your best friend and why?
· What were you like growing up?
· What's your goal in life right now?*
· What's your bucket list of places to go to?
· Blah - fucking - blah
It's rehearsed spontaneity, the wisdom of a parrot, the 'I'm mad me' humour of the unfunny. In other words, nothing - nothing would turn me off more than some lady asking me to discuss the greatest influence on my life.
Of course, I accept that someone who reeled off some bollox question has probably put some thought into our date which in itself is charming. Or an indication that she goes on a lot of dates and is on auto-pilot. Or boring.
The point stands for blokes though too. Boring bastards with no wit but tall enough to get some girl to agree to a date. If you then rely on pre-scripted bon mots, well I’d have to put you to the sword like Stilicho in Ravenna. No mercy ladies.
This somewhat reminds me of the ‘Chechnya’ scene in Brigitte Jones where Brigitte – in order to impress upon Hugh Grant her seriousness – intones ‘But what about Chechnya’ and he responds ‘I couldn’t give a fuck’ and asks her to talk about her lesbian experiences (or just make shit up).
And the purpose of this curmudgeonly ramble? Advice to a perspective girlfriend? Advice to nervous dates that they just be themselves and let the god of wine be your guide? Perhaps, snidey bitching from life’s sidelines? Yeah, that’ll be it.
So, let me leave you with some real advice:-
No-one regrets what they did. They regret what they didn’t.
Vegetables, mannequins and thieves.
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* This one always amuses me; what’s my goal in life, right now… Mmm, let me think. Single. On a date. What could I possibly be aspiring?