I was browsing my Happy Humping Ground dating website in the middle of 2014 having just ended it with Busty Blonde when I spotted a face that equalled perfection in my mind. It was desire of all kinds at first sight. Her profile was short but enticing, I just knew that I’d be seeing her one day…I just knew. However, always the pragmatist I told myself that the likelihood of her writing back to me was small because she’s new on the site and probably swamped with emails from guys. I’ll give it a little time and then make more of an impact once she’s dealt with the clowns that descend on a new profile like piranhas to a swimming tapir.
I then become embroiled with The Brazilian, The Saffa, The Busty Czech and The Cockaholic and go on other dates. Time flies by and I still think of her every time I think of that dating site. Over Xmas 2014 the site gives me a free weekend of messaging and I decide to make contact with her. I was disappointed to see that her profile had disappeared. I make contact with a few other prospects but nothing comes of it.
It doesn’t matter because I’m still bewildered by my experience with The MILF of Xmas and all my raunchy but soul-sapping dating experiences before that. I drunkenly step up to verge of suicide and in splendid isolation fight my own demons for a while.
I forget about her and the site until one night at the end of January 2015 I spot her on Tinder, but we didn’t match. I’m surprised to see her on there, but I guess Tinder is mainstream now.
It’s now late February 2015 and I’m disenchanted with online dating, especially the free sites. Looking at my spreadsheet of my dating history, I can clearly see that 80% of my dates off free sites were bad ones and 80% off paid-for sites were good dates. I hide my free dating site profiles and unhide my profiles on Happy Humping Ground and the national newspaper’s dating site.
On the Happy Humping Ground I’m pleased to see that the profile that captured my attention is back online. I notice too that the website has introduced an innovation whereby users can ‘like’ each other’s photos. I ‘like’ her main photo, the one I find mesmerising, add her profile to my ‘favourites’ and leave it at that. There’s no guarantee she’ll notice my attention nor even act on it. I go exploring other profiles on the website, not expecting to hear anything from her.
A couple of hours later my blood turns cold and my face drops when I see that she’s sent me a message, but I can’t read it because I’m not a subscriber. I instantly decide to subscribe, but first I do a search to find a discount code because this site is getting pricey. I can’t let this opportunity pass me by. I’ll always wonder what could have been.
Her message simply reads, “Thank you for liking my photo.”
I find it underwhelming, but I haven’t subscribed for nothing. I want to at least meet her, I’m that taken with her. I do a Google Images search and find out her name, her job and her Facebook account. She’s almost five years younger than me. A photo on Facebook hints that she has enormous breasts, g-cup minimum. All her photos of herself are of her with a tight-lipped smile. Does she have bad teeth, I wonder? Something that bothers me a little is that her eyes are almost lifeless and sad if I really study them. I think they suggest a history of hurt, so I know to proceed slowly with her. Is she another Misery?
I find out what kind of art she specializes in and it’s not too far removed from my own passing interest in that genre. She even lectures on the subject in London. So, she’s a teacher of kinds; that means she’ll be a bit intense if my other experiences with teachers are anything to go by. I decide to message her and ask what art she is into and tell her of my passing interest in something similar.
I think of her as The Artist.
My ruse works, she’s intrigued and a flurry of messages ping-pong across the internet all Sunday afternoon. Every time one of her messages comes in, my heart skips a beat. It feels almost like I’m starting dating again and it feels good. I suggest meeting up and she agrees, so we fix a day and swap phone numbers. I send her a text message and she quickly responds. We’re set to meet on Wednesday, which feels like an eternity away. Conversing with her feels good. I can’t wait to meet her.
On Monday morning I get the idea in my head to talk to her on the phone. I’m aware that I might be getting carried away here so I want a reality check. I send her a text message suggesting that we talk in the evening. I’ve never been a fan of a so-called ‘screening call’. In my dating experience nothing good has ever come from it, yet I feel the need to do so with The Artist.
An hour later she responds with a firm “I’m not a fan of phone-calls with strangers.” Her response surprises me and reminds me of Baltic Babe in its directness and frankness. Not necessarily a bad thing in my book as it shows some strength of character. I back-peddle, make a joke about wanting to see if she had a deeper voice than me and press on with fixing a place to meet on Wednesday. Have I blown it?
No, she’s still interested and asks me to suggest where to meet. I take the lead and suggest my tried and tested spot outside Tower Hill Tube station. I’ve taken so many other dates to St Katharine Docks, why not her too? It’ll help my performance if it’s on familiar ground. I respond with, “I’m going to take you to my favourite place in the world…”
Her response starts with “That sounds exciting…”
Is she as sweet as she seems or is she bored and just using dating as a social outlet, pampering her ego by having men buy her meals and drinks, like many women on the dating scene seem to do? Time will tell.
Am I seeing what’s there, or am I projecting what I want? In recent dates I’ve paid more attention to the build-up to the first date. I’ve tried to make it feel more like a romance that is is unfolding, trying to make a fairytale come true, just in case whoever I’m interacting with is The One.
I keep telling myself that she’s highly unlikely to be The One, that she’s too artsy-fartsy for me. That she’s too high-brow for me and I’m just a bit of rough in her world. However, the heart wants what the heart wants. The last time I was this excited about meeting someone was Krazy Girl, almost two years ago to this day.
It feels like I’ve come full circle, going to the dating website where it all began 32 months ago. I’m concerned that I’m becoming desperate to find love. I know I’m in the danger zone where it’s easy to make a mistake, a mistake to get involved with somebody all wrong for me or a mistake while pursuing someone so right for me. I know that tomorrow I’ll need to draw on all my skills and experience to deliver the correct image of a polished man. I must at all costs avoid coming across as desperate.
For some reason this feels like a date with destiny. It’s possibly desperation on my part kicking in, but I like to think that I know a good thing when I see it.
Could she be The One?
To be continued…
I’ve been seeing someone I haven’t told you about, someone I used to know. Over the course of just over a year my ex-girlfriend (Exgf) and I have met for coffee and a chat; that’s all. It has always occurred at her request and I’ve always gone along with it because I still have a lot of money tied up in the house we used to call home. I’ve given of my time because it has been in my interest to do so, in a vain, almost desperate hope that one day that money will be returned to me. I’d rather have nothing to do with her, but our catch-ups (as I think of them) has turned out to serve the purpose of furthering my education about women, relationships and myself.
Ever since the date with the English Shrink and the resulting epiphany that my ex-girlfriend is the archetypical psychopath I have seen her as something of an experiment, an opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of a psychopath by being able to go behind the scenes. I have been careful to not let her unpredictable appearances influence me in any way. My seeing her as a stone-cold manipulator makes it easier to feel nothing for her and believe very little that she says. I’ve been pleased by how little sway she has had with me, especially when I was having serious doubts about Busty Blonde or absolutely single.
I was seeing Busty Blonde until June 2014, then a plethora of short-term flings that you have read about in detail afterwards. Not once did I initiate contact with Exgf.
Here’s what transpired in that year.
17th February 2014
Just had my Exgf on phone telling me that a boyfriend from when she was 21 has made a reappearance and wants to see where things lead. I offered to check him out online for her, but I find very little. I feel she deserves happiness like anyone else. I happen to know what happened when they were a young couple; it all unravelled because of her. My concern is that the leopard has not changed its spots. She tells me that he has just come out of a long-term marriage. To my mind he’s on the rebound and regressing emotionally, hence seeking her out. Nothing can come of it in the long run because both their motivations are bad and not the same.
My Exgf called me up at lunchtime, just like she did the day before. The previous day’s call had no real point to it other than to chat it seemed. Today’s call was to suggest meeting up in my town for a quick coffee. Out of curiosity I oblige and we meet outside my apartment and go to the local Costa. She is chatty about her new job and the training she has just started. I’m paying close attention to what questions she asks, and unsurprisingly, it is about Busty Blonde. I can’t believe my bad luck when my nosey ex-neighbour walks into the coffee-shop. The neighbour’s face when she sees with my Exgf is priceless.
The discussion turns at my Exgf’s insistence towards women and their sexuality. She asks me how I reconcile myself to the fact that I want to do nasty things, like have a woman use a bottle as a dildo on herself, but am disapproving of a woman who has done such things with another guy. It’s a fair question and one that I do not answer because I am more curious about why she is asking this. I don’t ask about her motivations nor did I give the answer to her question. The unspoken answer to her question is thus: I feel no desire for a defiled woman, but I do feel attraction for a woman that I can defile and defiling her is an exquisite sensation. Why? Simple, just like so many sexual encounters, there is a transfer of power, from the one allowing herself to be defiled to the one in control of what is happening. It’s a glorious ego-trip, plain and simple. That good ol’ male ego is alive and well within me still.
My Exgf told me that she had two platonic male friends, both of whom have recently tried their luck with her, but she swatted them off. She tells me that she is still holding out for an encounter with her ex-boyfriend from over 20 years ago. I feel nothing emotionally upon hearing that, whereas I think she was checking me for a reaction. My Exgf and I went for a walk around the high street and then go our separate ways, neither of us making noises about meeting again.
My Exgf phones me, telling me that she started her new job as a flight attendant and then drops by innuendo the fact she has started seeing a guy – an Irish hotelier – and it involves sex. I feel absolutely nothing. I think all the negative feelings that I harboured for her are gone. She is truly nobody to me now. If she was hoping to hear a jealous or shocked response from me she must have been bitterly disappointed.
1st June 2014
My Exgf phones me out of the blue; her usual work situation had come about. After only two weeks as an air stewardess she was at odds with everybody and going to senior management about it. She’s a very slow learner; this happens wherever she works. It’s all part of her psychopathic being in that everything is always someone else’s fault.
She tells me that she hadn’t seen her new boyfriend in over a week. They had been on five dates and slept together on one of them. The most recent date was a breakfast meeting only because she was summoned to work at short notice after having invited him over. Less than an hour after arriving at her place she had to go to work. She hasn’t heard from him since and can’t figure out why.
He mentioned to her that he was going to a jazz club in London that week, but that he only had one ticket which he was grateful to have got. Exgf didn’t believe him and phoned the club, asking about the ticket sales for the event that he was attending. The club confirmed that ticket sales had been brisk and sold out quickly. She’ll never change, her own tricky nature causes her to see the same in other people.
17th June 2014
Just had Exgf sitting on my sofa telling me about her new shitty job and how good her new boyfriend is in bed but how ugly he is. Listening to this shit I wondered to myself, “What the hell did I ever see in you? What was the massive attraction? Why did I feel the things that I did for you?”
If I were to come across her profile today I wouldn’t even read it. I really can’t remember why I felt that she was The One; the person I would spend the rest of my life with. Tonight I couldn’t wait for her to leave, so much has my disdain for her grown.
I think that with time we all move on emotionally, imperceptibly, but we do. I now seriously doubt that it is normal for a couple to have a permanent relationship that lasts all their lives. It’s just not natural.
11th August 2014
Whenever I interact with Exgf via my phone, to me it feels like I’m dealing with a prostitute. I was curious to hear what she had been up to, a form of cheap thrills for me and more lessons in my never-ending education about women, love and relationships.
2nd September 2014
I get a call at ten in the morning from my Exgf as she woke up. She has a hair appointment in my town and wants to catch up. I’m suspicious about her motives but wonder if she is bringing me a birthday present. She comes to my place and uses the toilet, making mention of all the long blonde hairs that are on the bathroom wall. I made a mental note to wash those walls down before another woman comes to visit me.
We go to a Costa Coffee and I’m happy to let her buy me the biggest coffee I can order. It is nice to get some money back off her. Exgf sat and ate while I regale her with my shenanigans with the Busty Czech and The Saffa. I do this to tease her, toy with her, like she used to with me, except I was too blind to see it when we were a couple. Then it was her turn to tell me of her dating exploits. The Irish hotelier was still on the scene, but she knows it’s never going to amount to anything. After a bit of badgering by me she agreed that, in effect, he was just a friend with benefits.
When Exgf arrived, it was obvious to me from how she was dressed that she was on her way to a date. So I chide her about it. She tells me it was indeed a date, happening in a few hour’s time. It’s with a guy she has seen twice before. She likes him as a person but wouldn’t have sex with him. I pointed out that her boobs were noticeably on display, to which she responded, “Well, that’s just to show him what he won’t be getting”.
Even now I find her breasts very attractive. I’ve forgotten how they felt in my hands; it’s been almost a year. When I’m feeling horny, instead of watching porn, I watch the two videos I made with her. I still find them incredibly arousing.
Exgf tells me more about her date, speaking glowingly about their common interests, how loaded he was, how he had rich family in my town, how we was a prize catch for someone who fancied him. It was interesting to see her speaking of this guy in terms of being a material prize. She was more about the money than I had realized. Exgf claimed that her issue with him was that he was somewhat low-class and not very intelligent, but she enjoyed his company nevertheless. She says that, but I could see her letting him fuck her anyway; a pity-fuck. Perhaps she’d let him finger her; she always liked that. In a reciprocal gesture she’d probably suck him off because she wouldn’t think twice about doing that. I know her better now.
We parted ways and to my surprise she hugs and kisses me. A couple of times earlier, walking from my place and in the shop, she had made unnecessary physical contact. My hours in the gym are having an effect; she likes my muscles, but they’re not meant for her.
Back home I later started baiting her with suggestive text messages. I suggested that she was very welcome to come back to avail herself of the champagne bottle that she had used as a dildo the previous year. Her responses were one of indignation, but I know that they had an effect, not that she liked them, but that she would be thinking about it for days to come. After our years together I know how to turn her on and it involves days of planting naughty ideas in her head that she eventually had to fulfil. Turn a woman’s mind on and her body will follow.
I asked her what show she would be giving me this year for my birthday. Would I want to watch her doing something sexual with an object or another man – and film it? Yes, such is my disregard for her and showing just how much I see her as merely a sexual object in my world.
Exgf and her Irish boyfriend had met the Queen at Windsor castle at a soiree there. Exgf told me a few months earlier that once this event was over that she would dump him. I reminded her of this and she replied that things were getting interesting and that “he knew many, many people”. I chided her with, “So you’re using him for contacts and he’s using you for sex?” She replied with “what makes you think I’m not using him for sex too?” So, she doesn’t fancy him and knows that there is no long-term future, but she’s still shagging him and looking to exploit his contacts. Charming.
After that conversation I sat thinking of my experience with The Brazilian and how disappointed I was with that outcome. I wondered if she was just using me for a quick roll in the hay; probably. Is The Saffa doing the same with me?
As usual she comes to my town for a plausible reason which I suspect is one of her endless lies. She can not get through a day without telling a lie, whereas I go years without lying. We go to a local pub where I buy us pizzas and beers. We sit on a sofa and chat like a normal couple would. She tells me about her money troubles and problems with colleagues at work; some things will never change with her. She has always chewed the skin on her thumbs to pieces when stressed so I try to take a thumb in my hand. I was expecting her to pull away or look shocked, but instead she turns and looks at me with tenderness in her eyes and grips my hand affectionately with hers. She quickly lets go when she realizes what she had done. “I just want to look at the state of your thumb,” I said. She still wants me, but I don’t feel the same way. She’s just a source of amusement to me now.
Later in the encounter she proudly tells me that she is seeing four guys, but only sleeping with the Irishman. One guy she fancies, one she likes as a person and the other gets no mention. She asks me if she still gives the best blowjob in my opinion. I find that question strange.
She phones me to say that she’s down in the dumps and can do with some cheering up. We meet outside my block and walk to a nearby coffee shop. She’s tense, but I know she’s stressed, as usual, so I decide to be polite and civil. I have no agenda for the encounter. We talk about nothing in particular, I think she badly wanted to be distracted; she gets bored very easily. I think it’s a contributing factor to her promiscuous past. She tells me that she finally dumped the Irishman.
We end up back at my place where I make us lunch because she had mentioned not having any food in her house. I feel sorry for her, for a variety of reasons. She wolfs the curry down and I can see that she’s intent on just wasting time with me, while I have work that I’d rather be getting on with. I orchestrate movements such that she feels compelled to leave. If she wanted to suck me off, I would have let her, but she’s made it very plain that that’s “never going to happen again”. The way I know her, the fact she keeps saying it, means she’s thinking about it.
Later in the day she sends me two text messages, “Thank you for cheering me up. I do appreciate it,” followed by, “But you’re still not getting in my knickers”. I respond with, “You need to get yourself tested and ask me for it before you get that privilege,” which I know will focus her mind. I know it also gives me the upper hand.
The next night, a Friday night, she phones to ask if I’d like to go away to Sharm el Sheikh with her. She can get very cheap flights and knows how to get cheap hotels there. If I wasn’t keen on The Cockaholic or seeing anyone else, I’d be tempted. I know we’d end up fucking but that would complicate life between us. So I decline her offer, citing a lack of money, but I can hear that she’s disappointed. She retorts by saying that she’ll ask the guy she dumped a few days ago if he’d like to go.
4th January 2015
The past few months have seen little interaction with the Exgf, which has suited me. I’m finding each encounter with her increasingly pointless other than to remind me of how wrong about someone I can be. She comes around randomly when she has time off and probably bored. She kept seeing the Irishman with connections, using him, not ever feeling anything for him. They were just friends with benefits. She valued the fact that he used a condom when fucking her, but moaned about the fact that he refused to manscape and would often just lie there and she had to do the work.
She stayed on several dating sites, notably Plenty of Fish (PoF), which she claimed just kept options open and gave her something of a social life. I can see the similarities with her early adult years in that she loved the attention. She kept dating a guy who was a keen gardener, something that she appreciated, but wasn’t attracted to him. She dated several other guys at the same time, but was just being fucked by the Irishman and enjoyed the company of the gardener.
Eventually she tired of both of them, citing incompatible work schedules with the Irishman and lack of desire with the other. She said that she did get off with the gardener a few times and would feel his cock, but it was too small for her liking. She claimed only to have felt it, never more than that. I don’t believe her; she’ll have sucked it, especially if he fingered her. Apparently he was quite upset when she ended it as it came as a total surprise to him. What drove matters to a head was him suggesting that they go away together.
Then she came across a guy on PoF who seemed to tick all her boxes. Let’s call him ‘Dick’. She was quite taken with him and told me that he was the first guy that she ever felt anything for since me. It occurred to me that it is in my interest to see her happy and matched, perhaps her new beau will buy me out of the house. I encouraged her to see where things led with her new flame.
They had been on only a couple of dates before Dick suggested that they go away together. She was coming up to the busy time of the year doing demo work in shops now that her air stewardess days were over. She wanted to know if they were sexually compatible; time was a factor in whether or not she wanted to keep seeing him. So a few weeks later they went to a hotel in Stratford-upon-avon where they shagged the night away. Apparently as first times go it was good.
A few weeks later she starts telling me of her reservations about Dick. He doesn’t like holding hands, something that she expects to do and it really bothers her. He is quite selfish in that he always expects her to fall in line with whatever suits him. The thing that bothers her most is that Dick doesn’t lavish her with attention. She likes and wants a man to pursue her, to send her text messages and emails every day. She tells me that she doesn’t want this because its romantic, it’s because it tells her that he wants her more than she wants him, a feeling that gives her a sense of power. I find her honesty refreshing and I also pause to remember that that was exactly how our early days together were.
She says that she’ll give it time, something I encourage her to do because it’s in my interest that she finds someone as foolish as me. Apparently Dick’s a fitness fanatic and fucks her for hours on end. He can cum once an hour, which I find impressive as does she. He must be enjoying fucking her and sucking on her big fat tits; I would if I were him.
Monday 5th January 2015
At 9pm she phones me; her car’s has broken down. She’s sitting in the car park of a pub waiting for a tow-truck. She starts telling me as usual how shit her life is and the topic wonders over to Xmas and New Year’s. She tells me that she’s “met somebody”. A Spaniard off Tinder who, on the third date, came to her place and cooked Xmas lunch. I ask if Dick is history and she says ‘no’. She’s keeping him around because the sex is great. I ask if she’s slept with the Spaniard and she says not. I ask why and she says it’s because he hasn’t made a move on her and she’s on her period. She doesn’t find him physically attractive either and says that he’s a little pudgy. She did spend a night in bed with him on New Year’s, but nothing happened. She’s concerned that he has sexual hangups and won’t be any good in that department. So, just like the MILF of Xmas, she wants it both ways.
Tuesday 11th January 2015
She phones me during the day, just before noon, asking for advice about a software problem. Then she gets choked up and starts crying on the phone, telling me she’s struggling with life before ending the call. She calls back later at 3pm asking if I could come around and help her move her desk and computer to another room of the house. Out of kindness, feeling sorry for her and with no agenda whatsoever, I go around after 6pm. As I go about moving everything and fixing her myriad of problems she tells me that after she rang off she sent a booty call to her stud. He came around, they fucked and she swallowed his load. After he left is when she phoned me. Charming.
She tells me that she has felt so guilty about stringing along the Spaniard that she is avoiding interacting with him. I find that rather prescient because that’s probably what has happened with me and the MILF of Xmas. She’s hoping that this Spaniard will stop sending her flowers and messaging her. I remember her saying that that is what she wants, but seemingly only from a guy that she wants. I ask if the turn-off is that he is too keen, to which she agrees. She’s hoping that he just gets the message and goes away.
Exgf is still intent on keeping Dick around, but only for the sexual benefits as he can shag for hours she says. She knows that they have no long-term future together because she finds him totally selfish.
The conversation gets heavily sentimental and we reminisce about us. She tells me that she has come to realize that I’m the only man she has ever loved, but has resolved that she’ll never allow herself to feel that way again because the pain afterwards is just too much for her. A back-handed compliment that I find tinged with sadness.
More than anything else, what I got from this interaction, is a stark demonstration of how she uses men. It also shows that a man can be too nice to a woman and can get kicked in the teeth for it. I include myself still in that category; I won’t be helping her with anything again.
End of January 2015
Exgf tells me that she has no trust or respect for the guy she thought could be her One. She does enjoy sex with him because it’s raw. He also does as she asks and uses a condom every time. Then she tells me that she’s seeing the Spaniard on the weekend.
After the weekend she phones me up to pick my brain about something to do with psychometric tests for a job application. Then she tells me that she saw the Spaniard on the weekend, but didn’t sleep with him and has no desire to do so. He seems unwilling, unable or too inept to make that happen. She says that she’s happy to keep seeing him as a social outlet. The user keeps on using.
I loved her intensely. Every day my heart pounded from my feelings for her. It was an illusion and the illusion was all mine, but carefully crafted and delivered by her. The reality, a hard, cold reality of what was really going on was all hers. The person I loved became, when the illusion was shattered, somebody that I used to know. Of course that person didn’t really exist.
If I were to meet my Exgf today, not that I would ever even approach her on a dating site, I would not think her anything special, nor would I find her that unique.
My Exgf is living proof of my now-lost naivety.
Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
“Excuse me, sir, but I’ve had a complaint that you’ve been aggressive toward this gentleman,” I hear the venue manager say as I turn to face him. Next to him is the drunk who only minutes ago was making peace with me. I’m astounded, but before I say a word, half a dozen people spin around and start pointing fingers at the drunk, all talking at the same time telling the manager what had happened. Rarely have I felt so supported by total strangers. I didn’t have to say a word as the manager was filled in, who then turned to the drunk who started arguing with the manager who in turn eventually pulled a funny face and walked off.
I turned away from this lot, knowing that the less attention I gave this twat, the better for everybody. Why me? I was starting to wonder if he was jealous of me because the prettiest girl in the place was totally into me while no woman would even talk to him. He obviously has no idea what to say to women, thinks that splashing cash around will compensate for what he lacked (a personality) and has no self-control.
Conversation with the two sweet ladies before me resumed but they were nervous about his presence, their eyes constantly darting in his direction. They were not going to relax until he was gone. I was racking my brain about how to get rid of this guy.
The drunk slams a bucket of ice with a bottle of Moet champagne on the table.
“Here you goes. Have this on me!” he bellows.
People turn to look, concern on their faces. I make make eye contact with some of them and smile, hoping it disarms them.
Again the drunk starts talking to me, saying I know not what because he can barely stand without swaying now. I’m not going to provoke anything, I’m going to let this play out and hopefully he gives me enough cause to get the manager to throw him out.
Instead he adopts his conciliatory tone again and keeps shaking my hand. “I’ll see you here in twenty years time,” he says again, but I don’t think anybody else watching understood a word that came out of his mouth. Eventually he stops repeatedly shaking my hand, grabs his bag and saunters off. Everyone around me heave sighs of relief, smile at each other and let their shoulders drop. People come up to me and congratulate me for keeping my cool. All I can think about is how the stunner feels about all this.
The good-hearted strangers leave me alone and I turn to my companions, half expecting them to have left amid the hubbub. They were still there smiling at me. The stunner’s eyes were twinkling. She’s lovely. That arsehole might actually have done me a favour of sorts.
A sense of normality returns to the night, to the table and the stunner is leaning in as close tot me as she can. After all the years of dating more women than most men ever dream of doing, well, I can read the signs when a woman is into me. The thing is that her being a smoker is a big obstacle to me. Maybe I can help her kick the habit by providing a little motivation?
The stunner starts hurling more probing questions my way and almost every time my answer results in her friend making an approving face as she turns to the stunner. The two of them live together and seem to know each other quite well. I’m enjoying their company. This night is starting to feel good again.
Out of the faceless crowd a drunken Irishman steps up to the friend and starts talking to her while pouring her a drink from the bottle that he has thoughtfully brought along for the glasses he’s carrying. The friend is shocked at his brazen audacity, her face screaming, “God no! Not another one!”
Is this the done thing with idiotic knobheads nowadays? They throw money and alcohol at disinterested women? I can see why so many of the women that I have dated have said that most of their dates have been horror shows. Ever since that very first ‘comedy night’ all those years ago it seems that my competition has not cleaned up their act. I feel sorry for women on the dating scene.
The stunner starts talking to her friend, in an attempt to rescue her from the unwelcome interloper. The guy’s speech is slurred and the friend has a new boyfriend. I feel sorry for her because she was being a dutiful wingman friend and was suffering for it. The stunner stops talking to her friend, leans over the table to me and says, “Please talk to her. She’s trapped.”
I think quickly and come up with a better solution.
“Now what would your boyfriend say if he saw you now?” I say loud enough for the latest drunken fool to hear.
My words hit him like a bolt of lightning, he seems to instantly sober up and stiffens his spine, collects the glasses and without a word walks off. At least he had the courtesy of leaving without any fanfare, pretty much like how he arrived.
The friend opens her mouth in amazement and we high-five. What is the stunner making of me I wonder.
I excuse myself and go to the gents. The guy standing next to me at the urinal starts complaining about how “hard these London women are”. Now that I know of which he speaks. My occasional peeks around the room showed me that some women had gone home first to get dressed up, which is not a bad thing, but it shows me how serious they are taking this event, like it’s a competition. I noticed very little hair flicking going on. I’ve only seen one woman making unnecessary physical contact with a guy by occasionally touching his shoulder if they laughed about something. I’m not getting the impression that any serious relationships are being forged tonight, which surprises me. I think it’s that ‘abundance’ thing of big cities, where people always think that they can do better than the person they have in front of them.
Returning to my table I’ve barely sat down when the stunner hits me with her latest question.
“Are you kinky?”
What?! Did she just ask me if I’m kinky? No, surely not. Did she say ‘thinking’? No, that makes no sense. Did she say ‘sinking’? No, that makes less sense. Her friend is looking at me with very serious eyes. This one matters; got to get it right.
“I’m sorry, it’s getting noisy in here. Can you repeat the question please?” I say.
She leans forward and says, “I want to know if you’re kinky,” with a deadly look in her eye.
Shit, I did hear right.
I think of a joke as a response. “Do you know the difference between kinky and perverted?”
“No,” they both say.
“Kinky is when you use a feather. Perverted is when you use the whole chicken,” I say, to which they laugh raucously. Job done?
“No. You’re not answering my question. Are you kinky?”
Bloody hell, she’s an intense little thing, but that means the sex will be good too. This is why I don’t drink much when on a date because it allows me to think clearly and quickly. I come up with, “I’m as kinky as you.”
That nothing answer seems to please her and she says, “Good, because I’m not kinky.”
I quickly introduce a new subject and lively banter between the three of us ensues. After a while the stunner looks at me and says, “So tell me, which one of us are you interested in?”
My strategy of giving most of my attention to her friend has worked perfectly. She can’t tell who I am interested in, which heightens the sense of intrigue in her. Seeing as her friend had a new boyfriend and would not be interested in me, it was illogical that I would be interested in the friend, but my deception was so complete that she couldn’t figure this out. I have learned to play women at their own game. The most important thing, however, is the fact that she asked this question, which confirms to me that she’s interested in me because she wouldn’t want to know otherwise if she wasn’t feeling some attraction to me. Right or wrong?
I look at her, I look at her friend, then say, “Well, she’s not available, so I guess I must be interested in you,” and look the stunner deep in the eye. In that moment all sound disappeared and everything that had transpired before in the evening was forgotten. We looked at each other like two tigers coming across one another in a clearing. Bubbles of oestrogen and testosterone collided and fused invisibly before us.
The friend then looks at the time on her phone and it’s almost 11pm. It’s been quite a night for all of us. Despite the drunken arseholes, it has turned out well, or so it feels. Now just the matter of closing the deal.
I say to the friend who is checking her phone, “Do you want to take my number down?”
The stunner immediately intervenes and says, “No!” so emphatically that I’m taken aback. The friend’s face falls and her eyes go big, she says”Whaat?!”
The stunner looks at me and says, “I’m old-fashioned. You must take my number.”
“Okay, I respect that because I’m old-fashioned too,” I say as I reach for my phone. Typically, for the first time ever, my phone’s battery is dead. I show this to the stunner and I say to her, “Sorry, but you’re going to have to take my number.”
She gives me a stare and I just smile back. Eventually she relents and gets her phone out. I give her my number and ask to check that she got it right. She phones it and gets my voicemail.
“There. Now you have my number too,” she says haughtily.
We gather our belongings and get ready to brace ourselves for the cold that is waiting for us outside. I lead the way, intending on walking them to their nearest Tube station. As we make our way through the crowd, strangers are patting me on the back, shaking my hand and saying nice things to me about how I handled myself earlier with the drunk. I’m not used to playing the conquering hero, but the timing is fortuitous because I’ve just met somebody unique who I am already looking forward to seeing again.
I feel a sense of appreciation towards the dating website because despite my years of subscribing and only having a few dates, they laid on something that I feel I got more than my money’s worth. I had a memorable evening for good and bad reasons, but I have no doubt that the good will be the prevailing memory.
Outside I offer to accompany the two ladies, but the stunner asks me, “Where is your station?”
“It’s one block behind me,” I say.
“No. Then you must go to that one.”
“I’m kind of old-fashioned too,” I respond, looking deep into her perfect eyes.
“Thank you, but it is not necessary.”
“Okay,” I say and watch them walk off.
The way the interaction ended, with her asking me not to come along tells me that I’ll never be seeing her again. I have enough experience now to know that somewhere towards the end she decided that she was no longer interested in me.
Was the evening a disaster and a total waste of time? No, I’m actually glad that I went. Firstly, I got to see what one of these events is like and although I’m no longer intimidated by such a setting, I have no interest in experiencing it again. Secondly, I got to see just how far my people skills in terms of conflict handling has evolved. Thirdly, I got far more attention from women than what I was expecting. Over the course of the evening I did notice several women repeatedly smiling at me, a come-on-over signal, but I wasn’t too interested because the stunner had my attention. There was a short, chubby little blonde who in particular stood out as being desirous of my attention. I’m still marketable, which is good to know.
The next day I go onto the dating website and find the stunner’s profile. Notably she has the premium subscription which tells me that she is being very picky and perhaps has trust issues because she has chosen to hide her online activity record so that nobody can see when she was last online. Why do that? The only other person who I knew did that was my best friend and he certainly was not relationship material. She has also told a few lies on her profile, such as her age and nationality. In truth I find her profile boring and uninteresting. If I was after a brunette, no matter how attractive she is, her profile would have put me off.
Nevertheless I send her a text message inviting her out.
She never replied.
Roxy Music – Same Old Scene
I have a dentist appointment in London in the late afternoon and just before leaving home I got an email from a dating site. It’s advertising their monthly singles evening in a pub in central London. I buy an off-peak train ticket to save money, deciding to kill time after the dentist at their ‘event’.
You can not imagine how far out of my comfort zone it is to walk into a setting like that, all those single people, oestrogen and testosterone in the air, booze-fuelled antics, all sorts of crazy people, knowing full-well that I never hit it off with anybody on that dating site, all the women off it who I had taken on a date were hard London women with clear agendas involving money.
I decided to push my boundaries as part of overcoming my Avoidant Personality Disorder. Having time to kill I tell myself that it’s okay to just sit quietly in a corner and observe the shenanigans. Treat it as research for my blog. Yes, research, there that feels better. I won’t strike up a conversation with a single woman. I’ll just sit and analyse the rabbits during mating season. I’ll leave at 7pm.
I get there just after the doors open at 5pm and there are three other women already there sitting chatting. I buy a cider from the bar and find my ideal spot where I can see everyone arriving and do my voyeur thing. I start thumbing my phone.
A few minutes later a voice asks if the seat opposite is free. I look up and there’s a cute little 30-something girly with light-brown hair blinking at me. She starts talking to me. We get along fine. She starts playing with her hair. I notice that she has a tongue-stud (which means cock-sucker extraordinaire). Despite sounding thoroughly English, she’s German. She has even lived in South Africa for a while and loves Cape Town. She wants kids. I’m actually not that attracted to her, good banter, but that’s all.
A fat, ugly English guy in a grey suit arrives and he buys a bottle of wine and stands at our table. I find that odd. The whole place is empty and he stands on top of us. He makes no effort to talk to us nor makes eye contact. Within 15 minutes he finishes the bottle of wine and goes back to the bar. The German girl says to me, “Did you see that?” and we laugh. I don’t want to spend the entire evening talking to her; it’s not what I came here for. So I decide to test something. I start telling her about my blog.
She asks me more probing questions about my blog, so I tell her, not really sure how she’ll react, but I’ve learned that women don’t like the idea of possibly being an entry in somebody’s public diary. I sense her withdrawing and it doesn’t take long before she says that she has to go home. I ask her her age and she tells me 33. By now other people had arrived and she could have tried her luck elsewhere in the room, but she left. I’m disappointed in myself that I might have ruined her evening.
As she’s leaving two other women come up to her and ask, “Are you leaving?” She says she is and they take the two seats opposite me. The one woman is a mixed race brunette and the other is a stunning milky-white-skinned brunette. The latter gives me the look women make when they fancy a man. I’m surprised. This isn’t what I came here for; I just want peace and quiet.
I ignore them and they start talking to each other. As they get seated the English guy returns with a bucket of ice and Moet champagne. Nobody says a word to him and he just stands there, but by now the place is nearly full so I excuse his presence. I notice the stunning brunette occasionally looking at me, smiling and then looking away. She is easily the most attractive brunette I have ever seen. She has beautiful blue eyes.
For more than two years all I have been interested in dating is blondes. It’s the default filter on all the dating sites that I’ve used. Now Life is teasing me with a beautiful brunette.
I’m intrigued. My people-watching idea becomes an afterthought. Has Fate handed me an opportunity here? Only one way to find out. How do I do this? A plan comes to mind.
The mixed-race friend is telling the stunner about her new boyfriend’s latest text message, complaining that she can’t figure out the sub-text to it. I see my chance.
“Excuse me, but if you would like some help in translation, I can help. I speak Man,” I say.
“Do you understand Australian Man?” The friend asks.
“Almost. I’m South African,” I respond.
“Oh my God! My best friend is South African!” exclaims the stunner.
From that moment on the three of us engage in good banter. I make a concerted effort to deliberately address the bulk of my interaction to the friend. I want to build anticipation in the stunner, who I am interested in, as well as not come across like any other guy by showering the prettiest girl with all the attention. She’s probably used to attention from men. I’m playing subtle. The friend leaves to go buy drinks and order food.
The Englishman to my left is making his way though his champagne and tries to strike up conversation with any woman who passes by on the way to the bar. I don’t know what he’s saying to them, but they all stop, pull a funny face, either say nothing or utter something short, then continue on their way.
Conversation with the two ladies in front progresses at a pace and the stunning brunette hangs on my every word. We swap names and she struggles with mine. She looks a bit young though. No more than 33 I surmise. It doesn’t matter to me as it’s not likely to lead to anything. This is just fact-finding of some kind, I tell myself. As we talk the stunner starts asking me all sorts of personal questions such as why did my last relationship come to an end, etc. I feel like I’m being interviewed for a job. I give the friend a bemused look and she just smiles knowingly.
I then turn the tables and start asking questions of my own, but being more indirect. I start guessing their nationalities because I detect an accent in the stunner. I start with the friend, making the stunner wait for my attention. I guess the Caribbean influence correctly but am off the mark; she’s quite a mixture. The stunner I initially think is Czech, which she instantly rebuffs, but I’m convinced of it. So I suggest Polish, to which she has an offended response. (Polish women have a bad reputation as sluts amongst the Eastern European women). Only someone from that part of the world will know that and react as she does, so my initial region is correct, but I still think she looks Czech. Then it dawns on me and I say it, “Slovak!” and her face lights up. The friend smiles.
I’ve been on dates with two Slovakian girls before and I found them delightful. Their culture is considered as stuck in the 1930s by the other Eastern European cultures (I’ve worked with many people from that part of the world.) I find that appealing, because my mother brought me up to be a 1950s gentleman. Only someone equally old-fashioned would appreciate my manners.
After a bit more of a grilling by the stunner do I realise that her and I are actually a good match in many ways. She doesn’t want kids, loves travel, has an intellectual/cultural bent, is amazingly 43 years old (the same as me)…and we fancy each other, but I’m trying hard to not let it show. I find my thoughts wondering if there is relationship potential here, after all, happiness is not a hair colour. The now-drunk Englishman lurches forward and says something to the friend. She pulls a quizzical face and moves back away from him. We resume our conversation.
I get a tap on my shoulder and turn to see the Englishman shouting at me, “You, sir, are a user!”
“Sorry, what?” I retort, shocked at the insanity of this intrusion.
“You’ve only had one drink the whole time you’ve been here. Look what I’ve bought in the same time. Don’t you know how to socialise?” he bellows at me at the top of his voice.
People around us are shocked and things go quiet.
“I don’t have to be drunk to have a good time. Now leave us alone,” I say as calmly as I can.
No, he won’t quit. He keeps ranting about how little I have spent compared to him. I realize that every women he has tried speaking to has rebuffed him. His ego can’t take it. His sense of failure compels him to assert himself somewhere, somehow and he’s seemingly chosen me because I’m close at hand. He keeps going on as loudly as possible about my ‘bad form’ and I can see that he’s not going to stop any time soon.
“Mate, what are you trying to do here? Are you trying to provoke me into going outside with you?” I say. That makes no difference and he keeps sounding off like a little baby sitting alone in the middle of a room all by itself. He keeps going on and on. You can’t reason with a drunk; my father taught me that.
In front of me is the type of guy who would have been a bully at school. Bullies only respect someone standing up to them. I’ve never been afraid of a bully, so I lean over into his face, our noses almost touching and say as menacingly as I know how, “I used to be a bodyguard in South Africa. You can’t imagine the things I can do to your corpse.” (Which I mean. Gore does not shock me; I’m desensitized to it from all the things I’ve seen in my life.)
I turn away from him and try to resume my chat with the two sweet women before me. Their faces portray absolute horror at this arsehole’s behaviour. I notice that people around us, men and women, have now scattered, anticipating a fight. This guy is big, but I’m taller, stronger and I’ve never lost a fight in my life because I’m always willing to go that one step further than the other guy. However, that’s not what I came here for. I’m not going to let matters degenerate into childish fisticuffs. I’m getting too old and wise for that shit.
He starts saying all sorts stereotypical rubbish about South Africans, being a bigot, revealing to all and sundry just why he is single. He’s making a complete arse of himself and some people are starting to laugh at him which makes him think twice.
People resume talking and his audience is thus gone, so he simmers down and finishes his last glass of champers. I’m keeping half an eye out for a glass or bottle coming my way from my left. I try to carry on as if nothing has happened, but the two women in front of me are in shock, their faces ashen. What was a pleasant evening for some is now destroyed. The stunner gets up and runs away. The drunk slob moves off too.
The friend says to me, “Jesus, that was intense. She’s gone off to have a cigarette now.”
My pumping heart slows down upon hearing that the stunner is a smoker.
This is how life fucks with me.
I think my facial expression showed what I was thinking and feeling because the friend says, “oh, she’s not a heavy smoker, only two or three a day.”
Her words don’t change my sense of disappointment. I make small talk with the friend, trying to calm her down which I succeed in doing. The stunner returns, reeking of smoke and visibly shaking. I succeed in calming her down too. I leave them to finish their food in peace and go to the bar to get myself another drink. While I’m standing in the queue, I feel a hand getting slapped down on my shoulder. I turn and its the drunk, argumentative Englishman; I’m ready to duck a punch.
“Mate, I just want to say, no hard feelings, heh?” he says with a bad slur.
He’s more drunk than I realized and he stammers so badly that I can’t make out anything he’s saying to me, but the tone is conciliatory. I discern him saying, “I’ll see you here in twenty years time,” which makes no sense to me, but I just smile, agree and make appeasing, passive overtones. He shoves a twenty Pound note in my hand and drawls, “Here, you’re a good chap. Buy yourself a drink on me,” to which I say thank you. He’s such a fucking idiot I may as well take his money. I don’t think he has much idea of what he’s doing or saying, but eventually he staggers off.
I return to the table and the ladies look pleased to see me. I guess they were checking out my body while I was standing in the queue. Until now all they could see was my torso and they had no idea how tall I was. The stunner gives me a beautiful smile and I look around the room of at least 200 people, mostly women and realize that she is the most attractive woman here. How lucky am I ?
Not so lucky.
To be continued…
I’m taking an hiatus from online dating until someone remarkable catches my eye. I’m reflecting on my two years on the dating scene. Two years of drama, craziness, varying degrees of sex, times of learning, episodes of amazement and downright determination.
I have some tips that I’d like to share with you. This is going to be the first of some of the lessons I’ve learned about modern dating. Today deals with dating profiles and the build-up to a date.
Online dating has a visual bias, there is no denying this. With just one look we can form an impression of someone, or worse, an attachment. We are likely to click on someone we like the look of because that is how we are attracted to someone in the real world too. It is no surprise then that people whose profiles have no photos included have a quieter dating life. That’s to say I’m talking about a conventional dating site and not esoteric sexual niche websites. If you are on a regular site and you never get messages, then you might get the impression that nobody likes you.
It might be that your profile isn’t working for you and it needs some attention and thought. A sense of rejection on a dating site should not discourage anyone or give them reason to embark on desperate measures to entice someone into their life.
Once you’ve spruced up your dating profile you’ll start to get attention and eventually somebody will seem worthwhile to meet for a date. You’re not attracted to everyone so don’t expect everyone to be attracted to you. Attraction isn’t a choice and you might be surprised by who finds you attractive. An open mind is key.
It is vital to project the correct image, so give some thought to the photos you’ll be using. Often your favourite photo might send out the wrong message if you’re not careful. Many people like to include their cherished pet in their photos in a hope to attract someone who has a liking for the same creature. Sometimes this can backfire.
At the same time it is good practice to scrutinize the photos that someone has chosen to post on their profile. Look away from their face and see what the surroundings can tell you. You might spot a few warning signs. For example, they claim to be a non-smoker but all their photos show them holding a cigarette.
As a general rule I would advise against meeting someone if you don’t know what they look like. This applies to men and women. A look of surprise or disappointment on your face might not be the best start to the date.
Because of the nature of the internet being a relatively anonymous medium, there are people who abuse dating sites for their own ends. Occasionally you’ll encounter people who are not even the gender they claim and often they are after money.
If you’re a guy looking for a gal, with time you’ll learn that there is a code that women use in their dating profiles. Their narratives after a while start to have similar terms. With a bit of dating practise you’ll crack the code.
If you’re a lady then I must inform you that, sadly, not all men on dating sites are as they portray themselves to be. Men are likely to lie about their jobs, height and relationship status. This is not the norm, so don’t let a few bad apples spoil the cider.
I have noticed that there are far more attractive women then attractive men on dating sites. That can work in a chap’s favour, not because he might be handsome, but because he has the confidence that women appreciate.
I have it on good authority that modern online dating is also prone to some rather unusual behaviour. Sexting, the swapping of intimate photos, is becoming commonplace, so much so that some men consider it standard practice. Don’t let anyone intimidate you into doing this.
In the same vein there are women who are pretty explicit about what their needs and wants are. A camera-phone and mirror is often involved.
It’s a common and easy mistake to develop an online crush on someone before you’ve met them. Don’t spend too much time swapping messages and phone-calls because you might create a false impression of someone who is radically different in real life.
What matters most when going dating is having a clear idea of what you’re about and who you want to meet. Keeping that in mind should keep you out of trouble…unless trouble is what you’re looking for.
Just please be careful not to fall for someone on the basis of just one look at their dating profile.
The Grey Knight
Doris Troy – Just one look
I came across a pretty face on PoF, read her words then laughed to myself. I was having a moment of deja moo: I’ve seen this bullshit before. First I’ll show you her words, then I’ll show them again with the subtext garnered from my years of experience. This might be shocking to some but these are the things I’ve learned after having conversed with hundreds of women, dated almost fifty and tried to have a relationship with a few.
I am here beacuse my friend says it’s fun. We shall see.
I am looking for someone who doesn’t like to make drama.
I ride my blue bike wearing my Vans shoes and my Burberry trench coat on my way to work, I hate public transport!
I always say what I want in general but sometimes I think first.
If all you can talk about is sex or if your lookig for a booty call, don’t even bother to message. I will find you boring straight away.
I work for a luxury fashion retail. I love good food, movies and talking to intelligent ppl.
Out for a drink or dinner when we could have a proper conversation.
Seems sweet, fun and harmless, right? Not so. Here’s what two years of interacting with women like her has taught me what lurks beneath the surface of her hastily contrived online facade.
I am here beacuse my friend says it’s fun. We shall see.
[Spelling error indicates her disdain for all this; can't be bothered to check her writing. Doesn't really want to be doing this; it's half-hearted to appease a friend. The only way people get her to do anything is to nag her. Willing to deceive a friend. Judgemental – will swap endless emails with a guy and never go on a date with him. She will be picky and high maintenance.]
I am looking for someone who doesn’t like to make drama.
[Because she'll provide it all, I assure you. Has a turbulent history with men. English might not be her first language.]
I ride my blue bike wearing my Vans shoes and my Burberry trench coat on my way to work, I hate public transport!
[Fashion-slave; abhors practicality, snob; likely to die in cycling accident on way to work because she's always right.]
I always say what I want in general but sometimes I think first.
[Tactless, outspoken loudmouth who will embarrass anybody and everybody anywhere. Opinionated and headstrong. Major reasons for her being single.]
If all you can talk about is sex or if your lookig for a booty call, don’t even bother to message. I will find you boring straight away.
[She's getting irritated by having to write this, it's so beneath her, hence another spelling error. Eventually finds all men boring, another reason she's single. Hasn't had sex in a while, hence her bringing it up and being on this site. Probably needs a regular good shagging to calm her down.]
I work for a luxury fashion retail. I love good food, movies and talking to intelligent ppl.
[I'm demanding, hard work. My job defines who I am. Social status is important in my world, so you better have a good job. She doesn't earn that much hence being on a free site. Will ultimately be disappointed by calibre of men on PoF and will speak badly of online dating because of it. Bad grammar and text speak confirm her not being English. If you're good-looking, have money, can cook and are intelligent, I'll spread my legs for you.]
Out for a drink or dinner when we could have a proper conversation.
[You're paying mister but only after countless silly emails spanning weeks but will dash off to meet a guy if he's really good looking because she's shallow. She loves getting stuck into a good debate, probably likes to argue as a form of foreplay. On the positive side, she's clearly a sapiophile, so a brainy hunk will get her wet in a matter of minutes.]
Her only email setting contact criteria is that the man has a photo; looks matter a lot to her. This setting also hints at her not really expecting a long-lasting relationship, just a fling. This superficial airhead has no redeeming value to men other than as a brief sex toy, which will quickly become predictable and boring because she knows what she likes and that’s all she’ll do. She probably won’t give oral but will gladly accept it.
She has eight photos to her profile; the typical woman has just four. The more photos a woman has the higher the opinion of herself and vice versa. Self-esteem has bubbled over into self-obsessed with this girl. Any kind of relationship will be all about her. She’s a classic Taker.
Two years ago I would have thought her a sweet-hearted neophyte gingerly feeling her way through the world. She’s probably a recent arrival in London looking to broaden her social circle. Her job and its trappings have wowed her and she’s revelling in the experience of luxury. She knows what she likes and won’t be easily swayed. She has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid of expressing herself.
Such a naïve outlook has been replaced by my current more educated view of a woman such as her. There was a time when I would have approached her, but I’m wiser now and give such women a wide berth. Depending on the website, a quarter to a half of profiles will be like hers. This is not indicative of womankind, but says more about dating sites because women like her linger longer.
She’s becoming a typical London girl, portraying herself to anyone who will listen that she’s a “strong, independent woman.” There’s a special aisle in a supermarket designed just for her. It has wine, ready-meals and cat food, all located together for her convenience.
If I woke up next to this girl and she was sleeping on my arm, I would rather gnaw my arm off than wake her.
I find it interesting that the same world I have known for so long I am now seeing through different eyes. My education continues and I know it’s not complete.
Depeche Mode – World in My Eyes