We were having a discussion in the pub last night. In Clapham. Balmy weather. Barmy people. Nice food, good conversation. Wine flowed. Will Young was in the corner. Thought about being a hero to my kids and asking for a selfie but, decided not to. He's got his own life and shouldn't he be asking me for my autograph anyway? Should be dancing.
The discussion turned to dating in 2016 and the benefits or not of online dating websites. It was a great discussion; wide ranging, robust, interesting. However, my natural tendency towards discretion and good manners means I won't be delving deeper into the view points raised and asserted at our table.
Well... Possibly I was pissed and the forgetfulness fairy sprinkled her 'no memory' dust over the evening. So I may have forgotten the ebb and flow, the nuances and the, no doubt, many good points I myself made in this vital discussion. But hey! Broad brush strokes are my thing, anyway.
I have views about online dating; namely it is just like real life dating but, more restrictive. Whilst in person I might be able to - through my verbal fluidity and natural exuberance - convince a lady that Tim may just be the one, online, this isn't the case. We're all too picky and the internet's ability to filter potential partners against so many criteria works against philosopher/king/poets like myself.
There may be a backlash however against the Corbusian brutalism of the internet... For example, if you read many female profiles on dating websites, especially those who have been online dating for a while, a great number spend an inordinate amount of time detailing exactly all the negative things about men they have been dating and how they don't want that experience again. For some it seems like a shopping list of negativity. "You mustn't be this, this, this, this. I hate this, this, this. Don't apply if you are this, this, this."
How very reductive of the human experience. I'm sure there really are plenty of crap men out there. My advice? Don't date them, then. Re-appraise your filters. If some good-looking guy meets up with you, flatters you, does the deed and never calls again, perhaps you should look to yourself as much as the man-whore.
"How will I know?" as Dame Whitney of Wisdom once opined.
Dunno. Not my job. But, I sense that maybe, the old fashioned way of real life interactions, random, spontaneous, drink fuelled, using friends of friends, is not such a bad way after-all. Go out for a drink with someone all night and you'll get a pretty good idea of their personality. The good and the bad. And you can do a runner when you like.
Me? I can trace the arc of an evening's progress by the stories I tell, the points I make, the suggestions I think need to be explored. If it's ten o'clock then Tim is probably telling his Lisa Stansfield story. Or the Madonna story. Or the Will Young story. Some people like this. Some don't. But it's a good way of seeing who the hell I am.
There was some guy at an industry event last week. Chatting to everyone. Very serious. Boring in fact. Lots of wine was flowing. Mainly into my glass. But even I noticed he carried a glass of water. Calculating. Stay away from him girls. He plays with a mask.
"Never trust any bastard who doesn't drink," as Bogart said. Before dying of alcoholism and cancer.
But it's a good general rule. Avoid getting pissed with someone and you miss out on the various stages of personality change a person goes through as they progress though the evening. You get to know a person. Potential partner. Light and shade. Humour and personality. The whole nine and a half inches. I also do marriage counselling down the pub and couples therapy in a club.
Surprisingly, I am - however - and given my advice above, on the diet/exercise/non drinking thing. Well, tomorrow.
"Lord, make me chaste - but not yet!"
I have no current online dating profile. It's a loss. But not a real loss. Just content yourself with my picture below. Will Young not pictured. Buy me a drink and take your chances.
Tim of Hippo