This dating malarkey aint half hard is it? Not that of course I am playing the field again. Sadly not. Or rather, happily not. The other night I spent the evening vicariously living through a good friend of mine, sifting through the oceans of men out there who have bitten the bullet and decided to give on-line dating a whirl.
As we began our trawl I was excited - some of the blokes were surprisingly hot. Hot and funny too. Where were they all hiding when I scoured London in my twenties, having more dates from hell than Brigit Jones in all 3 books? However, after a couple of hours, my enthusiasm began to wane as a pattern emerged: most men mentioned how odd it was to have to list their qualities but then seemed to do so with ease - who describes themselves as 'a nice guy' and 'kind' and 'good looking'?? All made some dodgy joke about having their own teeth, flat and car - still assuming that women want more cash than dash. They had to give themselves a name - no easy task I grant you - but 'Bass playing veg grower,''Anarchy,' 'Man trapped inside a man's body,' 'LookingLuke' and my favourite 'reeranter' (really??? rear entry... you are so going to score with the ladies with that opening gambit) - are these the best you could come up with lads?
Whilst we could all endlessly drone on about ourselves at parties, it isn't so easy in the cold light of the internet but lines like: 'I enjoy mental acrobatics and verbal pyrotechnics' or 'If you want a serious and funny, certainly not to dumb guy (scientist in the end...)' (replete with spelling mistakes) made me realise why they are in fact on a dating site. One guy - trendy type - wrote the below paragraph: 'I am an interesting date. I have performed at Glastonbury, both when open to the public and not. I have been on TOTP. I have been on Radio 1,2, and 6. I have done voice work for television and ...' Did he confuse the website for the jobs page perhaps, so keen was he to spout forth his CV?
As we sank further into our bottle of wine the bad jokes just kept a comin': '6"1 with a great smile and a body like Beckham… it's not surprising my mate is happily married then is it? As you can tell, I don't take myself too seriously and love to share fun, laughter ...' Boom Tish! I'm here all week, try the chicken...
Obviously my mate K and I poured over the photos to begin with - something in his eyes or smile or stubble has to attract you enough to read on - but faced with the below paragraph from Mr 'I'm handy at everything' - it made me want to just want to throw the laptop out the window:
'I'm a bright, active, pretty capable, professional guy. I stay healthy, work hard, love eating and have a magical ability to stay in shape. Some things I do... I run half marathons and I play competitive tennis. I used to row but ditched it for cycling, I got the bug when I rode up Mont Ventoux after a wedding and found that I was quite handy at it. The hills and river around Henley are great places to cycle, run and walk. I started snowboarding a few years ago, got quite good at that, can't wait to go again in January.I think it's really important to keep learning, be open to new ideas and never get too bogged down in what you're doing.
Is there anything he isn't 'handy' at?
By the time the tag lines read 'mega fauna seeks beautiful flora' and (*wretches*) '*Special Offer* - Get one cuddle - get one free' it was time to call it a night. There was me thinking internet dating was a breeze. Time consuming, head screwing and utterly devastating (when you don't get a reply from 'AnotherMatt')- isn't it just easier to go to a dodgy club and flirt like your life depended on it? Even with the barman - which come to think of it, is how I met my Husband... I admire anyone for having a crack at finding love on line, (we even discovered a rock star had signed up and had carefully avoided mentioning the fact he is famous) but since Husband told me he knows two guys that go online simply to find women to shag - rather than looking for ever lasting love - I now subscribe to K's beautifully put view that it is less 'Guardian soulmates' and more like 'Guardian Soul destroyer.'