The Dating Game 2009 – 2011
This post was inspired by a post written by Paula of Light Motifs II – Misty Reminiscing… which did make me chuckle a little at my own memories of what l refer to these days as the Online Cattle Market.
But first a small conversation l had with a woman roughly about two years ago when l walked into a shop, and held open the door for the person behind me. I didn’t know who it was at the time, just that there was a presence walking behind me that was coming through the door as l was. I was brought up to be respectful of people whoever they are, it matters not and it costs nothing to be polite and courteous to people, so instead of just letting the door go and slam into people l tend to hold it open. If l am with Suze l will always open up a door for her and if we are walking Scrappy together l always walk on the outside edge in the path of oncoming traffic … l was brought up this way, in the age of the forgotten yesterdays when chivalry and being a gentleman was not considered an insult to anyone, however … things change.
I didn’t know who it was behind me, l simply held open the door for them out of politeness, so was somewhat confused when l received a shove and the door was thrust from my hands. This voice suddenly barked “Who do you think you are? Do you think l am not capable of opening the bloody door by myself?”
I turned around to see a young woman of perhaps 25 maybe slightly older looking at me with pure hatred in her eyes.
“Sorry? What do you mean, l am a little confused, have l offended you somehow?”
“Yes you have you are a sexist!”
“A sexist? How do you mean a sexist?”
“You held the door open for me assuming that as a woman l cannot do it myself!”
“No, l just held the door open for whoever it was behind me, it is actually called politeness. I wasn’t expecting any thanks for doing so, but l wasn’t expecting to be insulted either!”
“Oh so you are one of them are you? Think it is going to cut you some favour with me eh? so a chauvinist as well!”
Well l have to concede to my readers at this present time of being more than a little baffled by her reaction. “What’s one of them?”
“Old fashioned, think you are a gentleman do you, mm? You are probably gay as well!”
“Not that my sexuality has got anything to do with regards holding open a door for and please bear in mind that turn of words, l held the door open for someone, l didn’t open the door for you specifically. You could have been a gorilla, zebra or Mr Blobby it would make no difference, when l am holding the door open for someone. But if l was gay, why would that matter?”
“Do you have a problem with people that are gay then?”
“Good grief, there’s something wrong with this situation, l am going to say this and be done and get on with my shopping. If l have offended you somehow, then l apologise but also l think it is somewhat offensive of you to presume you know people when it is clearly apparent you don’t! Good day to you!”
Well the stream of proffanity that followed me saying that was loud enough for most of the store to stop dead in the age old tradition of ‘fight, fight’ syndrome, and watch the ongoing developments. She shouted to the point that l thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head.
“Sexist, racist, fascist, homophobe, chauvinist queer!!” Were the exact words she shouted at me. Clearly this girl had a few issues to deal with l thought and tried to walk on, however l was stopped by the security staff and ushered out of the building for upsetting the customers!
NO, don’t even ask … l was more than a little pissed off.
However as l walked into the next shop, l made bloody sure there was no one behind me when l entered the building and casually let the door shut by itself. To say it had unsettled me was an understatement.
For the rest of that week, l did some very serious thinking about who l was. i knew l was none of those things, but wondered if perhaps this was the state of play in the world we currently live in? When being polite and courteous was seen as a huge no no!
It took me back to my days of dating, and quite recently reading Paula’s post, l rekindled this tale.
I am perhaps a little old fashioned, l don’t deny that to be a truth, l still even today hold open doors for people – all people, and l still open the door for Suze and other people and allow them to enter the area before l do. But equally l am fairly modern in my thinking, l am an open person, and l am not judgemental of others – as long as people are happy with who they are so am l.
In my early to late teens l was horribly and stutteringly shy around the opposite sex, l was clueless as well, and many a time didn’t know if l was being chatted up, which according to witnesses even at that age, l just looked blankly at the girls and smiled like Igor. As l got older things changed and by my mid twenties or say 25 to my early thirties or 31 l was a very different person indeed. In fact from late 24 – 30 l was a very different man. I was more confident for starters, l had had a few nasty turns in my life already, but hadn’t been burned at the stake, so cynicism was not part of my daily life as it soon came to be in my mid 40’s as an example.
I did things and lived the life of a bachelor in my middle twenties. Whilst l was never as outrageous a flirt as many described me and they used the term incorrigible all l knew was that l could make women laugh, and that l preferred to be in the company of females more so than other blokes. So l learned things about women, and the more l learned about what they wanted from not just men, but from life, the more l built into my repertoire when it came to dating women. I didn’t think it was anything special, just what every bloke did. I have never denied l was remarkably promiscuous, l was, l thoroughly enjoyed sex, that’s not a crime.
Nor is it a crime to become good at what you are passionate about. I was good at sex, it’s that simple, and the bigger bonus was l enjoyed it and so too did my partners. I had more one night stands in one year than l had hot cooked home dinners, and why not, l worked hard and partied harder, so l wasn’t at home or any place where home cooked hot dinners were on offer. I wined and dined each night. I was on a salary that allowed me the freedom to do as l pleased. I was never a terrible person to women, l respected them, it was that simple, but dating back then as in the later 80’s and early 90’s was much easier and more so l personally believe when you haven’t been married and as such become both routinalised and institutionalised.
Back then you could chat up girls and you could openly flirt, l not saying you could get away with murder, but it was easier to get to know people, to take themfor a drink or a meal and yes sure the 80’s for me were like the 60’s for some of the older generation today who lived through them, or the sexual revolution, sex was available. I wasn’t looking for a long term committment l was happy to be young, free and carefree and l lived during those years to explore, discover and experiment sexually and that’s exactly what l did, but it was much much easier that it was in later years to come.
I was married for 14 years to the wrong person, we loved each other at first, but then we stopped loving each other and instead of divorcing when the realisation became apparent there was no further progression for our love, we stayed together. Then because of certain quirks of mine, and by this l mean the unknown disorder of Aspergers started to rear its head and made me look like a complete buffoon in terms of other people, especially fellas, we started to hate each other. So that by the time we did divorce my partner would have jumped on board the ship of ‘You can kill him legally’ if it was offered to her as a choice! But the autism, wasn’t diagnosed at that time, so neither of us knew the truth.
A relationship that followed my marriage of just over two years separated again because of the Aspergers, but also towards the end of that in 2008 l was formally diagnosed, that answered a lot of questions. So in May 2009, l had split up and then entered a very strange phase in my life of rediscovering who l was.
Now because of an incident which happened in my very early twenties, which short of it as a tale is that l lost someone very close to me, in 1987 after l recovered from my own injuries, l had had a wake up call, an awakening if you wish, and that then gave birth to the new sexually adventurous me, but by 2009 l was an absolute husk of my former self. I had lost my confidence, my self belief and worth and pondered on who the fuck l really was, and more importantly how did l move forwards from that person?
In December 2009, it was 9 years ago last Tuesday, a friend of mine had suggested l needed to put myself ‘out on the market’, and the best way to do that was to join a dating site! Which l did and the one l joined was called Plenty of Fish [POF], it was with this, that l was to soon come to understand, just how very much the scene of dating had changed!!!
I was on that site for a two full years, l had one date! One! I simply could not understand how l was to ‘sell myself honestly’, in a world that seemingly lied about everything. I must have written in those two years perhaps forty profiles. After a year of POF, l then decided that maybe l was simply too much of an Aspergian, so sought out other dating sites like ones for animal lovers, one for gamers and even one for Aspergians! I even joined one site that l had to pay £30 per month!!
Nothing worked at all!!
I had a couple of my friends come over one day and help me write out profiles, they were filled with lies. They told me to say this and write that, to not say l liked animals to l loved animals, to say nothing of my dogs, to say nothing of my living accomadation, to say nothing of my hobbies, to writing about my hobbies. To pretend to not be as geekish as l was, to come across as suave and sassy, and the lists of ideas just went on and on, and on, and on.
They told me that l had to work towards a goal of having my messages to women, read and responded to, rather than , unread deleted, read deleted, read unanswered or blocked. It was a nightmare. I was told that l had to be realistic in my goals and that pretty girls don’t answer stupid messages, that l was to not flirt or appear funny, that l was not to come over as cocky or too confident, that l was to show my caring and emotional side, to agree with everything that was either written about or said.
The biggest advice l was given was to lie about who l was, and so l even had a profile that suggested l was a diver who swam with sharks! It was at this that l told them to ‘fuck off’ l would sort it out myself!
After 2 years l was convinced l was the ugliest duck going, l was depressed and horribly demotivated, l simply could not write a short but witty profile, add appropriate photos and by this where l am not fully smiling, but partially smiling. If it wasn’t profiles l then had to make sure that my opening gambit to anyone l wrote to was equally as short and witty and displayed l had read not just the lady’s profile but between the lines to boot!
Just when l was about to give up everything for good, in July 2012 l had a hit, someone started chatting to me and a month later we went on a date! All was going well, until she saw where l lived which was a fiorty foot caravan in the middle of the fens and l never saw her again and she blocked me to boot!!?
It was then that l stopped, determined to never use dating sites ever again and accept the fact that l would be a bachelor for the rest of my days and not much more different to my Father!
When l moved away from the caravan in August 2012, l was introduced to Suzanne by a friend of a friend, ironically we talked online for months, as l was way too cynical to believe anything anymore, before we met for the time in real time in June 2013. We have been together as a couple ever since, thank goodness because l know as sure as the air l breathe, that if l ever had to use a dating site again, well these days as geeky as l am, l would be a bachelor for the rest of my days!!!!
There is no true joy in it anymore, words are great, writing is brilliant, but when it comes to meeting members of the opposite sex, nothing replaces the ambience of actually meeting a person out in the environment and allowing that mystery of the moment to see that person for who they are.
Providing witty profiles, and heavily edited selfies of all your adventures are nothing, they can’t replace that spark that two people can ignite for themselves, and they are nothing when it comes down to the fire of the real dating game.
How about you? Had any great results or deadly jinxes with online dating sites?