Tag Archives: online dating

So f*cking depressed

I’m thoroughly miserable. Nothing gives me pleasure and I don’t yearn for anything, not even kinky sex with a new lover. I’ve lost my spark, my drive, my interest in everything. I don’t see the point of any of this any more. I’ve not had a history of a life-long battle with depression like some people have. Yes, I had some ups and downs as a teenager, but who didn’t? I’m feeling things that I’ve only ever felt once before.

I was on a 5-star luxury tour of Italy with my ex-wife and we were both between new contracts. On the last day of the tour we got an email from our landlord in which he gave us a month’s notice to vacate our home because he was selling it. The news hit my soul like a fiery sledgehammer and I was lurched into a deep depression that lasted for months. It was the feeling of vulnerability and helplessness that dragged me under. It was a paralysing Novocaine for my soul. Until then her and I had been through a lot of challenges together and we came out smiling every time. This time was different. What snapped me out of it was seeing her collapse to the floor, clutching my jeans at the knees, sobbing her eyes out as she begged me to get a job, any job. We had just finished moving into our new home, a rented one again and it had been an exhausting process for both of us. I did as she asked and things got better from there. Now that feeling was back and with a vengeance.

I think it’s only when we’re depressed that we see things clearly. When nothing and nobody gives us pleasure only then can we see what’s really going on around us. There’s a simplicity and clarity that is lacking at other times, those times when we’re like everyone else. We can see the everyday, mundane things and question their validity and usefulness. We can look at things we’ve repeatedly done and ask why we’ve done this, for the first time thinking about it, really thinking about and seeing the familiar in a new way. It’s not necessarily a better way or just an alternative viewpoint, it’s seeing everything in a different context that makes it all seem illogical to the point of insane.

You see people mindlessly, cheerily going about their lives, doing the same things over and over, hardly ever thinking about it. There is much to be said for blissful ignorance, for it frees you from the burden of true consciousness. Being fully aware of the absurdity of modern life can drive a thinking person crazy.

If you were to think about it, you would realize that there is no point to life. That realization hits us all at some point, but how we react to it is what matters. It can paralyze some people, liberate others and do absolutely nothing either way for some of us.

Life is the biggest joke going because no matter what you do, you die. Nobody survives life. Whether you do or you don’t, it doesn’t really matter because the end result is the same. You dream, you struggle, you sacrifice, you suffer, you hurt and, no matter what, the result is the same for all of us. It’s a difficult phase, that bit between birth and death.

The problem comes when you believe everything is futile, that there’s no point. Nothing gives you pleasure and nothing matters. That’s when a negative spiral kicks in and you get dragged under into a world that feels lonely, cold and overwhelmingly intense.

What has brought this on in me this time?

First, I’m feeling angry towards women. I feel that they’ve been toying with me, using me, wasting my time and money, exploiting me. Some of their bad ways have rubbed off on to me and I’ve hurt two good women: Busty Blonde and Busty Czech. I feel that my dating experiences have degraded me, made me into a worse person than I was before I started out. If I knew that things were going to turn out this way, would I have bothered? Probably not.

This latest episode with the MILF of Xmas is yet another disappointment in what has proven a lengthy procession of disappointments. It feels like the Cunt Carousel has spun me around one more time and thrown me off into a puddle of mud, a puddle made up of dog faeces, pussy juices and urine. It’s the type of puddle that dries in the park, then families come and sit on while I watch them when I’m in the gym. Shit everywhere; it’s all just shit.

Second, my working life is a disaster. It’s been almost a year and a half since I walked out of my job. The duplicitous nature of everyone I worked with has scarred me. I have no faith left in people. Mark Twain said, “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog”. I agree with him although I don’t have a dog. I have no desire to get back into the so-called “formal” workplace. The thought of sitting in an office surrounded by snakes in suits makes my stomach turn. I’ve half-heartedly applied for dozens of jobs in the past year because I need the money but haven’t been called for an interview once, despite reworking my resume several times. It feels like my industry is done with me, more than I feel done with it.

On the back of that, while the job search was running in the background, I decided it prudent to start building a business of my own. Working for a salary provides a living, but making profits can lead to a fortune. I’ve poured my energy into resurrecting an online business, but that effort didn’t result in a fraction of the money that I am beginning to need. I had an idea for an eBay business that I threw myself into, but that also proved a fruitless waste of time. A sense of desperation started creeping in and I resorted to an old hobby of mine that has proven a financial roller-coaster: day-trading. I may as well have blown that money on Lotto tickets.

Women perceive themselves through all the roles that they fulfil in life and chastise themselves about the one that they are doing worst at. Men are very different. We largely see ourselves through our work. That thing we spend most of our waking time doing is what defines us. If we’re unhappy in our work, then we’re unhappy in our life. I’ve realized that many of the dates that I went on were doomed because I was using dating as a crutch for a frustrated working life.

Third, which is related to my aforementioned second point, is the fact that my finances are running low and I’m starting to panic about it. I’ve been living off my savings as frugally as I can since the day I quit my job because I knew it might be some time before I had money coming in again. That “some time” has proven longer than I can afford. I’ve only got money left to last me for a few months. The pressure of this is starting to rot my brain some days.

Fourth, I’ve had a falling out with my best friend. We’ve been the best of buddies since we were fourteen, or so I thought. Then one day I saw a posting on Facebook about fake friends. You might have seen it, it starts with “friends don’t get jealous…”. That stunned me because it encapsulated his behaviour towards me over the years. He was never to be seen or heard from when I was having a rough time, except the time I left my Exgf and he let me stay for two months. Other than that he was visibly missing when my life was shit. He is also the biggest liar I have ever known, a side to him that has grown over the years and has increasingly bothered me. In recent years the friendship had degenerated into him being an ask-hole in which he would phone me up to debate a problem he was having and then he would do exactly what I suggested should not be done. When his son was kidnapped a year ago by his ex-wife (the boy’s mother) I volunteered to fly at my own expense to snatch the boy back, then drive across two continents to return him home. That was the plan if the various legal routes failed, of which one didn’t. My “friend” would never have even thought of doing that, let alone have the balls and brains to make it happen. The final straw was an incident just before Christmas which showed me his true colours and his attitude towards me. This acidic revelation about his true nature felt as great a betrayal as my ex-wife’s lies. It has rocked my faith in all people. It has shaken my faith in myself because how could I have been so blind for so long?

True friends
True friends are never jealous of each other.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, I’m now seriously doubting that The One exists. Why should she? Is it all just an illusion, a foolish notion that I’ve allowed to take on life-consuming importance? If I didn’t have this quest, what would I have applied myself to? I honestly don’t know. Trying to find Her gave my life some meaning. It gave me a reason to get out of bed each day. Scouring screens of pretty faces was often the highlight of my day. Now I don’t see the point in all that any more and I’m left feeling empty. My dating life has been a crutch to lean on when what truly ails me was left unattended. All along my life has lacked purpose, I can see that now, but I don’t know what to do about it. It’s hard to find a purpose when nothing gives you pleasure, people are a source of pain and you’re about to run out of money.

I’m tired of living a life predicated on being too dumb to steal and too proud to beg. I’m tired of aspiring to things that are not likely to happen for me. I totally get why some people resort to a life of crime, but that’s not for me. Apparently “hope to a man is like winding is to a clock”. I’ve run out of hope. This clock is broken. There’s no helping hand to put it back to working order. I feel totally and utterly defeated by life and now I hope for nothing.

I’ve hit an all-time low.

Today I bought boxes of ibuprofen after doing a circuit to the supermarkets in my town. Collected into a neat little pile they stand proud on the stool in front of my sofa, the stool that I’ve fucked so many women on. I’ve lost count of how many it was. What does it matter? What does all of this matter? If I do something or I don’t do something, what does it matter? It’s just me, this tottering tree in an unfeeling, deaf forest. Nobody cares. I don’t matter to anyone. If I’m here or not, it doesn’t matter; I don’t matter. I won’t be missed. I don’t think many people will attend my funeral.

I’ll leave my front door unlocked. The smell will eventually become too much for my neighbours. No, that’s not fair to them; they don’t deserve to find me like that. I know, I’ll leave a cryptic message on Facebook after midnight. The next morning somebody will figure it out and come around. Should I be like Benny Hill and surround myself in money or some things equally garish? Unused condoms? Should I be well-dressed? A gentleman should always look his best.

The boxes of pills before me silently shout at me, crying out for attention, imploring to be used in one reckless gush. They seem stronger than me.

Scraggly birds outside in a naked tree start making a noise under the dark sky. An angry magpie is arguing with an indignant pigeon. They must have an IQ of what, three? Collectively? What do they have to look forward to? Why do they bother? It’s near to freezing now and icy drops of rain are spitting on them, but they don’t notice or don’t care. They too seem stronger than me.

The boxes clamour for my attention…

The Wanted – All Time Low

Online dating profiles

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.

Nobody likes me.
Nobody likes me.

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.

Van for offine dating. Sweets optional.
Van for offine dating. Sweets optional.

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.

First date potential.
First date potential.

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.

A man's favourite pet.
A man’s favourite pet.

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.

Check details in photos.
Check details in photos.

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.

Your next blind date?
Your next blind 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.

Anybody can pretend to be somebody online.
Anybody can pretend to be somebody online.

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.

Women code for dating profiles.
Women code for dating profiles.

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.

Some men lie on their dating profiles.
Some men lie on their dating profiles.

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.

Nobody is out of your league.
Nobody is out of your league.

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.

Sexting extortion
Sexting extortion

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.

Lick it. Women can be explicit too.
Lick it. Women can be explicit too.

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.

Not everyone on the dating scene is sane.
Not everyone on the dating scene is sane.

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. 😉

Your self-perception is vital.
Your self-perception is vital.

Just please be careful not to fall for someone on the basis of just one look at their dating profile.

Happy dating!

The Grey Knight

Doris Troy – Just one look

Bitch profile dissected

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.

—————————————————————————————–

About Me

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.

First Date
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.

—————————————————————————————–

About Me

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.]

First Date
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.

Undateable singleton aisle.
Undateable singleton aisle.

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

Decision Time

I can’t continue like this. I feel that I’m being dishonest with two women who deserve honesty. I’m sneaking around behind their backs and I don’t like how that makes me feel. This is not me at my best, more like me at the worst I’ve been with people. I’m looking for love and this isn’t the way to find it. I have to make a decision before one of them finds out about the other and I might lose what I’m looking for. It’s decision time.

Busty Blonde: She is very considerate and sweet. I trust and respect her. I have a wonderful sense of tranquillity when I’m with her, a calmness that feeds my soul. Does she feel like “The One”? No. Well, not at the moment. However, on paper she is almost everything that I need: positive, fun, devoid of drama, same taste in almost everything, gets my humour. The only thing “wrong” with her is that she isn’t as pretty as I would like. With time all our looks fade, so I’m not letting a fresh face influence me like it used to. I know and accept that there are imperfections about me in her mind too, but she’s decided to live with them.

Travel Gal: Her positives are that we share a love of travel and dogs. She’s a great cook and I enjoy eating good food. I feel intellectually stimulated when I’m with her. I trust and respect her too. However, her negatives weigh more. Her way of speaking irritates me. She’s starting to feel like a ‘Misery’, someone prone to being down in the dumps. Our last date was no fun at all; I drove for two hours to be bored for over a day. I sense that her mask reserved for early dates is starting to slide and I’m getting to see the real her. A major issue for me is that she just won’t suck my cock. I love getting a blowjob and a lifetime of no suction would feel like a prison sentence to me. I think that most men would feel that way.

There’s something else going on inside me that is influencing my thinking. I’m tired of reading women’s profiles that bear little resemblance to themselves in real life. I’m tired of meeting women who are more than five years older than their photos. I’m tired of wasting time, money and effort on oddballs, baby-brainers, gold-diggers, Miseries, psychopaths, confused cuties and emotional black holes.

I’m tired of internet dating.

I’m tired of a dating life that feels like an emotional roller-coaster. Yes, it’s given me some great life experiences, taught me necessary lessons and delivered good and bad sexual adventures, but I’ve had enough of it. I really want to lose myself in the warm, fuzzy cocoon of a committed relationship, especially one characterized by mutual love. I want to hold hands with and face the same future with someone who, for once, has my best interests at heart. I want to feel like I’ve found the best person I could be with. I want to share life with someone who would push me around in a wheelchair if need be and wouldn’t abandon me, because she’s with me for who I am and not what I can do for her.

Worryingly I suspect that I’m not entirely ready for what I seek. My trust issues have abated but are still present. I feel somewhat brutalized by my online dating experiences. Baltic Babe and Krazy Girl were massive disappointments to me. I was falling for both of them when it abruptly ended and the surprise of that exacerbated the pain. I’m concerned that in some ways I might be on the rebound. My shenanigans with other women has rocked my faith in womankind. Country Girl and Musician Gal were bitter experiences. Realizing that my Exgf is a cold-hard psychopath was a stunning revelation that has made me doubt my ability to know what someone is about. Feeling emotionally safe with a woman is something I yearn for but am finding increasingly rare to experience. I’m terrified of being taken for a ride by another woman. I’m scared of making another mistake; I don’t think I can deal with that. I need someone who can be patient with me. I’m not sure of much in the relationship department at the moment.

Yet a life without love is a life not worth leading, that I am sure of. I’m just not a selfish person and perhaps that will always be my undoing. I have to share my life with someone because any other kind of life is just not good enough. In order for that to happen I need to be with someone who wants the same things as me. I need to proceed with caution, I need to be with someone who makes me feel safe.

Busty Blonde is the most honest, decent and positive woman I’ve met through online dating. She is remarkable for that alone. Is that a good enough foundation from which love can grow? Perhaps. I need to be patient for that to happen because I know that love can’t be hurried. Patience, yes, that’s what I need…and also have to give.

Decision made: I going to see where things lead with Busty Blonde.

I phone Travel Gal, emboldened by my decision, but I still hate this part of dating. This crazy little thing called life is so much easier when you have a plan because you know what you need to do and you know what doesn’t suit the plan. Sometimes other people are not part of the plan, I know this, but it will always pain me to tell them this.

Travel Gal answers in a demure tone. Has she been expecting this call?

“Are you feeling better today?” I ask because of her cold, trying to soften the impending blow with a bit of common courtesy beforehand.

“No. I had to put my dog to sleep today,” she answers.

Instantly I feel like shit. I’m calling to dump her and she’s upset over the death of her loyal companion. He’s been more faithful to her than I have been. There’s no way I can dump her now. I’ll give it a few days and then try again. Maybe I’ll just make myself scarce and let her phone me when she feels better?

“I’m sorry to hear that. He was magnificent, possessing the sweetest personality I’ve ever encountered in a dog,” I say, meaning every word of it. Shit, that’s going to make her feel worse.

Travel Gal starts crying. I fall silent. Idiot.

I hate it when a woman cries. It takes me back to when I was little boy and I’d catch my mother crying after yet another fight with my father. Acidic, sepia-coloured memories of those dramatic days of my childhood mix with my feelings about having decided to dump Travel Gal, then they blend with the sound of her snorting back tears over the phone. I get a lump in my throat and my bottom lip quivers; I fall silent again. It’s the best I can do right now.

There’s no way I can dump her on this call.

After a minute of stifled sobbing Travel Gal regains her composure. I’m struggling to think of ways to make this call more pleasant for her without raising her hopes about me. My brain has slowed down too much under the weight of her news. I’m struggling to think of a way out.

“I get the impression that you’re calling me for a reason of your own,” Travel Gal says, breaking the heavy silence.

Shit, is she a mind-reader? I’ve hardly said anything. What does she mean exactly? Have I missed something?

“Uh…uh…,” I stammer like a horny, virgin teenager arriving at his date’s front door only to have it opened by her father.

“C’mon, out with it,” Travel Gal orders.

Wow, is aggression part of her grieving process? Fuckit, this is awkward. I don’t know what to say right now. Shit, let’s get this over and done with.

“I’ve been thinking about us. I’m sorry to say but I’m not convinced that we’re right for each other,” I say as compassionately as I know how. Well, she asked for it.

“Why?” she says directly without any hint of tearfulness. I’m surprised by her sudden change in attitude.

“Um, I think that we’re in different emotional places right now. Being more than two hours driving time apart is proving more of a pain than I had anticipated. I also think that in bed we’re not that well matched,” I say.

Too much honesty? I hope that she doesn’t ask for details. This could get messy. I’ve given her enough truths and more will only add to her hurt. Please don’t say “why” again…

“I see,” she says icily.

I don’t know what to say next. This call hasn’t gone anything like what I expected or am used to. I’ve still got so much to learn.

“Can I tell you something?” Travel Gal says after a few seconds of silence.

“Sure.”

What the hell is coming my way now?! Am I about to lambasted with a verbal tirade of man-hating nonsense? Is she going to tell me something that will crush my world? Is there another guy on the scene? Has she seen me with another woman? Did she crack the password on my phone?

“You need to get some new underwear,” she says snottily.

“Sorry, what?” I blurt out. Where the hell has that come from?

“The first time we got intimate I was put off by your undies,” Travel Gal says.

“Well, they weren’t brand new and I wasn’t expecting anything to happen between us that day so I didn’t give it much thought” I say.

“That’s good to know,” she retorts.

Silence.

“I guess there’s nothing much else left to say,” I proffer.

“Yes, you’re right. Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”

That was unpleasant but I don’t deserve better. I’ve been a shit with her although she doesn’t know this. I must and can do better in my conduct.

Deep breath.

Okay Busty Blonde and patience, over to you…it’s time for a relationship.

I must be patient…

Take That – Patience

Loneliness and The Wanderer returns

Late at night, not every night but only some nights, Loneliness takes me by the hand and drags me silently into a cold, dark, murky corner of my world. There he beats me up, brutalizes me with words that hurt my feelings. His intent is make me give up, to forget about finding love, but I don’t break. Instead I shout back that I shall find Her, that She does exist. I tell him that it’s just a sick game our mutual master called Life is playing and that, if I stay the course, I shall be rewarded. That belief grows in my chest and shines like a bright light from my heart out through my rib-cage. A light so bright that it dissolves that bully called Loneliness and the darkness releases me, falling like shackles around my feet. I defeat him every time. I do not fear Loneliness, because every time he comes to visit, I feel better for it.

I have no problem with being alone. Lately, however, I’ve begun to feel lonely. I’m starting to suspect that it’s more than that: I’m starting to feel unloved. I’m not one for day-dreaming or living in a fantasy; I deal in reality. My reality is that nobody loves me. It’s the focus of every day for me to find someone who loves me as much as I love her. I go about my days doing the things I need to, but that feeling is always with me.

All I want is a cute, pretty, younger blonde, non-smoker who doesn’t want children and is baggage free. All I seem to attract is chain-smoking, cat-hoarding, single mothers older than me of various shapes, sizes and colours. Finding someone that I share an incredible connection with seems like a far-off luxury right now.

Wherever I go, I see them, the women I like the look of. At train stations, on trains, in shopping centres, in the streets, everywhere I go, they’re there. It’s pretty much every second young blonde. I cant help it, attraction isn’t a choice. I see them, but they don’t notice me. Almost never do I catch one of them looking at me. I’m invisible to them. I’m like a ghost, moving about in lonely isolation, devoid of meaningful interaction, bereft of recognition. I’m amidst a whirlpool of women that I want to get to know better, but when I reach out to one of them, they recoil disdainfully with a feminine shrug of a shoulder and carry on spinning around me, teasing me, toying with me, hurting me.

I now have the conversational skills and confidence to talk to any woman, but I know that I’m almost certainly wasting my time. I’m fighting Nature in that I don’t want to have children, but almost all women do. A random stranger in the street is not a good use of my time and emotional capital. Online dating is my best avenue for love because it does all the filtering for me.

I’m starting to think that the woman of my dreams lives exactly there, in my dreams. Life for me revolves around working long days and then spending weekends meeting women who turn out to be just more hay in my haystack. That needle has to be in here somewhere.

The optimist in me has also been thinking about what a relationship will be like. I have some reservations borne out of my new-found view of women. I have questions that I would like answers to. 1) Do good looking women gravitate toward a man with money as a deep-seated seating way of dealing with the inevitable fear of what would happen once their looks fade? 2) Are all 9 and 10s stuck-up, snobbish little bitches? 3) As much as I want to share my life with someone special, I know that I value my sense of freedom that I’m enjoying at the moment. Do I have to trade one for the other? I’m in no hurry to want to live with some, but do want to spend a good amount of time with her. Do we have to live together? I think not. I hope She’s of a like mind.

I also have some new shifts in my paradigm that I’m coming to terms with. 1) I’m realising that a woman having the perfect body but defective personality will not work. A great personality and okay body will last longer with me. 2) I’ve realized that many of my dates were unnecessary. My inner-saboteur was at work. I went on some dates because I wanted something fun to do and, more importantly, it was providing a measure of positivity in my life at a time when I was unhappy at work. I need to be more selective in my dating. 3) I have noticed something else about myself. If I’m with a girl on a date and I catch myself checking out another woman, then the one in front of me is obviously not attractive enough for me. I know that if I’m with someone I do fancy, then other women become invisible to me. I literally only have eyes for her.

The problem is that it feels like I’m entering an emotional Winter. I just don’t feel ready for a relationship any more. I find myself contemplating another Xmas as a singleton, afraid of becoming a charity case again. I’m happily writing away, recounting my experiences. Perhaps the cumulative effect of doing so is the cause of that feeling. However, the experiences of the past year have drawn in to perspective how long my road has been so far and the end is nowhere in sight. It might take me several more such years and so be it. I think of it as a marathon, so it’s okay to take a breather surely?

My dating site subscriptions are starting to mature and I feel no desire to renew. One by one they feel like weighty doors closing to me, noisily and emphatically slamming closed, followed by resounding echoes that shout out my failure. Well, for the time being at least.

I know that in the new year that there will be a deluge of women who have made a New Years’ resolution to “get back out there”, some egged on by well-meaning friends, some fed up of having been the spare wheel at the Xmas dinner table. I know the feeling.

Perhaps I should be like other people and lie about my age on my profiles? I don’t look my age and often get told that I look 35. If I was a real bastard, I would say on my profiles that I am looking to have children. I could have my pick of women by comparison. Then when I grew tired of their nagging for children or their looks faded or any reason good enough for me, I would say goodbye to them and find a replacement. However, I’m not like that.

I am so not the person I was before I began online dating. Who or what am I these days? Am I a player? Am I hopeless romantic? Am I a modern-day Mr Darcy? Am I all of these things…or none? What am I becoming? I’m not sure. The pointers on my moral compass are bent; I’m not sure what is right or wrong any more. On top of that I feel like I’m perpetually in the shadows, observing, rarely seen and never acknowledged. It can’t carry on like this.

The Wanderer contacts me from the icy confines of left field. Her plans for a new life in London haven’t worked out and she finds herself on the brink of being homeless. I take pity on her and let her come stay with me for two weeks until she returns to her native Ireland. She’s wandering again. My kindness is also driven by a sense of guilt because of how things had turned out between us. She was taken with me, thinking me to be her ‘The One’. I wasn’t of a like mind and had to let her down as gently as I knew how. I know that I hurt her at a time when she couldn’t handle any more pain.

I fetch The Wanderer with my little car and load her worldly possessions into it before driving back to my little shag-pad where I unload it all into a now impracticably crowded apartment. She has a back condition and I’m too big to fit on my sofa, so we have to share my bed. I know that I can resist the temptation to have sex with her. I’m now big enough a person to realize just how much that would complicate matters between us. She makes no approach and nor do I. It’s cold and we feel asleep spooning, sharing body heat. I’m not at all tempted to rekindle a romance with her. My mother used to say, “You only know someone when you live with them,” and her words are proving true. I’m an early-bird while The Wanderer is a night-owl. We’re chalk and cheese in so many ways. A relationship between us would never have worked. I feel vindicated in my decision about her.

Unexpectedly some new faces appear on the radar screen that is my preferred online dating websites. It seems there might be some hope after all. A busy run-up to Christmas is in the offing and I’m excited again at the thought of finally finding Her. This Grey Knight is going to be stepping out of the shadows.

The Rasmus – In The Shadows

Date #36 – The Irish Rose

On the national newspaper’s dating site I feel like a kid in a playground. There are so many attractive and interesting women on there that I don’t really know where to start. A profile that piqued my interest is of a 39 year-old Irish woman who has recently arrived in London. She is quite attractive and her profile is witty and no-nonsense in tone. Half her narrative describes the man she is looking for and I fit it exactly, well, to my mind at least. She stipulates that her man must not have any children and that stands out for me. At this stage of life most men have children, so her pool of potential suitors is small.

There were two things on her profile that do make me pause. One was her stipulating that her ideal man had to be financially comfortable and that he had to be an atheist. I’m agnostic so that is close enough, but it was the money thing that bothered me. Is she a gold-digger?

Everything else in her profile checks out in my mind, including her being divorced. That doesn’t bother me at all, not only because I’ve also been through a divorce, but it shows that she still believes in love even after a big disappointment. Of course I’m assuming that love is what she’s after.

I send off a carefully thought-out approach email that makes mention of something specific in her profile to show that I’ve read her profile and that we have something in common. A couple of hours later she responds and we start swapping humourous messages before I suggest that we meet up. I craftily suggest the coming Wednesday evening because I’ve already arranged to meet the Cat Lady at lunchtime. She agrees to meet on the same night that we first started exchanging messages; I like her decisiveness.

Could she be The One?

It’s now that Wednesday evening and I’m standing on Oxford Street in central London waiting for the women I’m thinking of as the Irish Rose. It’s rush-hour and unfulfilled office workers are pouring out of their daytime prisons and are scurrying about like chickens released from captivity, occasionally bumping into each other, such is their frenzied haste. My thoughts are dominated by my lunchtime meeting with Cat Lady, which was a pleasant and positive encounter. As I’m learning first dates are not of much value because people are on their best behaviour. I’m now of mind that first dates are only really good for is ascertaining physical attraction. Second dates you find out if you have anything in common and can sustain a conversation. By the end of the third date you decide whether you want to keep the conversation going. I force myself to stop thinking of the previous date and focus on the next one.

Irish Rose arrives and I’m immediately struck by how tall and slender she is, bordering on too skinny for me. I like a woman’s body to have something for me to hold onto, not being so delicate that I might break her when I’m on top of her. Nevertheless she has a cheery smile and despite being in work clothes, she’s tastefully dressed in a light blue suit under a light brown raincoat. Autumn is approaching and it might get cooler later, so the raincoat tells me that she thinks ahead. This is also London after all, you can have all four seasons in one day.

We smile at each other and her eyes go wide momentarily; she fancies me. I like the look of her too; her blonde hair rests effortlessly on her shoulders. I kiss her hello on each cheek, French style and she almost blushes. We exchange pleasantries and she too has a squeaky high-pitched voice, just like Cat Lady of earlier today. That’s going to take a bit of getting used to.

There aren’t the stairs of Tower Hill tube station to use as an excuse to offer her my arm, so I don’t do so. Instead I gesture with a hand the direction in which we need to walk and she follows my lead as we engage in light-hearted conversation.

I think that women on dating sites are incredibly brave meeting a total stranger, especially a man who can overpower them. I can only guess that this aspect of modern dating puts some women off so they avoid online dating. Perhaps for some women it’s an exciting adventure, complete with a frisson of sexual adventure. Perhaps for some women it is a painful but necessary evil that they tolerate and they come into their own after a couple of hours once they feel safe in a man’s company? I don’t know but I always assume that it’s the latter so from the outset of my dating days (as I now think of these times), I’ve made a concerted effort to keep in mind a woman’s sense of personal safety. Letting a lady know at the outset of the date where we’re going and what we’ll be doing sets their mind at ease, which also allows them then to focus on me instead of being plagued by a nagging sense of personal security that needs addressing.

“Tonight we’re going to a casino, but first we’ll be having dinner there. Is that alright with you?” I say to Irish Rose.

“Yes, that sounds grand,” she says in the most Irish of accents and expressions.

What I wasn’t telling her was that this was all on a Groupon voucher and it had been a battle to get a reservation for a table for tonight. My dates don’t need to know that kind of detail, but I do wonder if any of them think how much effort I put into a date.

Casinos in Britain are not like their American counterparts. Here they are small, intimate, quieter and classier. Jeans are forbidden and being under the influence of anything results in polite expulsion. It’s the sort of place James Bond could feel comfortable in, martini in hand. The casino that Irish Rose and I are visiting has a quaint, dimly-lit almost romantically quiet restaurant on a floor away from the noise of machines and punters.

At our table I take her raincoat and hang it over the back of her chair which I slide in for her. I sneak a peak at her chest and she’s flat-chested. No matter, not the most important thing; chemistry is. She makes no mention of my taking care of her raincoat nor pushing in her chair for her. That tells me that she’s used to being treated like a lady and/or has the class not to talk about something so mundane.

We settle into polite small-talk and after a while I don’t notice her squeaky, mouse-like little voice. Conversation between us flows easily and smoothly. Her eyes sparkle when she looks at me, which is nice. However, I’ve spotted something which makes me raise an eyebrow. Her throat seems a bit too weathered for a woman her age, but I put that down to the copious amounts of sunshine she has had in her travels around the world. It could also just be the dim lighting in the restaurant.

Dinner is better than expected and the night is going well. We go to the main hall of the casino, taking in the buzz, sights and sounds of this spectacle. Irish Rose seems unimpressed or even moved by it all. I suggest we find a quiet table in a corner and I go get us drinks. I see her fiddling with her handbag as I leave; reaching for her phone to send off a safety call to a good friend I tell myself.

Over drinks we make idle chit-chat, getting to know each other better and providing entertainment for each other. Her laugh is short but hearty; she gets my sense of humour. We get carried away and only have eyes for each other; we could be anywhere in the world, we are so oblivious of our surroundings. As the evening approaches its end I realize that I can’t make up my mind about her, which is unusual for me. Yes, she’s quite attractive and I can see myself sleeping with her. Yes, we match intellectually and conversationally. Yes, we have a similar moral and religious outlook (some serious topics have been discussed).

What’s bothering me or the piece of the puzzle that is missing is whether she’s a Giver or a Taker. Normally after a couple of hours of banter I have an idea about someone, what they’re about, just how selfish they are, but Irish Rose is a closed book in this regard. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not been sitting only answering when spoken to, quite the contrary. She’s been confident and comfortable enough to raise new topics of conversation on her own and asked innocuous questions in diplomatic ways, such as about my previous marriage and its demise. I just don’t have an idea about that side of her. On the basis of that I decide that another date is required.

She’s currently living with friends in a country town outside of London whilst trying to find a place of her own in London. Irish Rose tells me at 10pm exactly that she needs to get going to catch her last train home.

“May I escort you to your preferred Tube station, ma’am?” I say in a fake Southern drawl that makes her smile, drawing on her telling me earlier about her desire to want to visit that part of America.

“I’d like that,” she says with a smile and a mock gesture of fanning herself like a Southern belle.

As we leave the casino I see my opportunity for my cheesy test.

“Do you like chicken?” I ask.

“Yes, why?” she says with a little frown.

“Take a wing then,” I say with a grin to which she guffaws and couples her arm with mine that I’ve extended her way.

As we walk along Oxford Street to Bond Street Tube station, we have to wait at a pedestrian crossing for a light to change. It’s dark and only a few people are wandering around. I turn and smile at her; she smiles back.

I don’t know why I did this but I leaned towards her for a kiss. Before I got a change to stop just short of her face to see if she would reciprocate she leans towards me and our lips lock. I put a hand on her hip and she lets off a little breath. She feels delicate and feminine; I like that.

Her lips are soft and small, her head shudders for a split second and she lets off a sound of satisfaction as we kiss. I sense that she wants to keep going, but as I’ve learned, it’s best to leave a woman wanting more. I pull away and after a couple of seconds she opens her eyes. I say nothing and just smile slightly at her.

“Well, I guess that’s the first kiss out of the way,” she says with a twinkle in her eye.

I escort her to the platform she needs in the Tube station and while we wait the few minutes for the next train we stand kissing like teenagers.

“I don’t suppose you’re free this Saturday?” I ask.

“Yes, I am,” she replies as her train approaches.

“Would you like to get together again?” I ask, pretty much knowing her answer.

“That would be grand,” she says in that innate Irish way and she boards her train.

That was an interesting date because she was enigmatic to me. Then I remember that Irish Eyes and The Wanderer are Irish too. I’ll ignore that fact for now.

So I’m seeing Irish Rose on Saturday and Cat Lady on Sunday.

I’m starting to think that there is nothing as exciting as the promise of a new relationship, but perhaps two relationships even more so…

Catching Catfish

It is a necessary evil when online dating to have to spend more time in front of a screen than what you would like. I spend a couple of hours each night swapping emails with women whom I would like to meet. More often than not it turns out to be a waste of time as the other person is not really interested in meeting me and seems more interested in using emails as a means of socialising. Some people use dating sites as a means of feeding their fragile egos, either by meeting others and playing the field or by hiding behind a screen.

Occasionally you will run into a most nefarious creature: the catfish. This is someone who is pretending to be someone whom they are not, usually someone pretending to be an attractive woman. The agenda for a catfish messaging a man on a dating site is invariably money first, then a visa secondarily. I have had several experiences of this odorous denizen of dating. My first turned out to be a female dwarf sitting in Ghana, while another notable one was a 19 year-old homosexual boy in London getting his kicks.

From talking to female daters it doesn’t seem common for women to encounter a catfish, while it seems that men are far more prone to be dealing with them. The reason for this is that men tend to make contact online with women first and it is the norm for men to receive no response. Women who do respond to a man’s online advances get taken very seriously, whereas women are flooded with emails on dating sites so they just don’t have time to answer. A frustrated male dater is ripe for a catfish, especially if the “woman” approaches him first.

In my experience a catfish sitting in West Africa, almost always either Nigeria or Ghana, is after money. After grooming their prey they will spin a story that leads to the hapless desperado sending money off to the aforementioned countries. The fraudster could be cheeky and keep trying to wring more money out of their quarry or they just simply disappear, moving onto the next victim. The sums of money involved range from hundreds to tens of thousands of Pounds.

Catfish that are looking to secure a visa to live in the West tend to come from a former Soviet republic and to a lesser degree from South-east Asia. Their objective is to marry a foreigner, moving to his country then eventually divorcing him and getting what they can out of him once they have a Western passport in their name. The time-frame for their game is longer and thus their modus operandi is different. The tone of their messages are more subdued and less pressured, more in keeping with what you would expect on a dating site with someone looking for love.

I recently got an approach on HotOrNot from a profile calling herself Theresa that quickly struck me as an catfish trying to lure me in. The picture was of a pretty blonde who claimed to live in Brussels but spending half her time in London. I’ve learned to do a Google Images search on profile photos and with this profile found that the young lady concerned actually lived in Perth, Australia. I decided to deceive the deceiver and have some fun. Here’s what happened:

Theresa
Hi there?

11:15 AM
GreyKnight
Hi Theresa
How are you this wonderful Friday? My name’s Grey

11:19 AM
Theresa
Am fine and you?

11:25 AM
GreyKnight
I’m good, thanks. I’m looking forward to the weekend. What are you up to this weekend? I’m playing tour guide to a friend who is new to London doesn’t know where anything is. 

11:26 AM
Theresa
Hum well but am now in Ghana studying to be come a nurse

11:27 AM
GreyKnight
Why in Ghana?

11:28 AM
Theresa
Am study here

11:29 AM
GreyKnight
How far into your studies are you?

11:30 AM
Theresa
1 month more to finish my study

11:31 AM
GreyKnight
Then what you going to do?

11:31 AM
Theresa
Nothing but i love to find my true love who’s going to decide me to come back..

11:33 AM
GreyKnight
Back to where exactly, If I may ask?

11:35 AM
Theresa
To my my future partner place

11:37 AM
GreyKnight
So where in the UK are you from originally?

11:38 AM
Theresa
London

11:39 AM
GreyKnight
Cool. I love London. I lived in northwest London for 8 years. What part of London was home to you?

11:39 AM
Theresa
Well i was there when i was a young

11:41 AM
GreyKnight
So do you have any memories of London or were you too young?

11:42 AM
Theresa
It was a year have been to london

11:43 AM
GreyKnight
I like your pictures. You’re very pretty. Where was the second pic taken?

11:44 AM
Theresa
Ghana

11:45 AM
GreyKnight
Accra?

11:45 AM
Theresa
Yes

11:47 AM
GreyKnight
What’s Accra like? I’ve met and worked with several Ghanians in London and find them to be very humble, gentle people.

11:49 AM
Theresa
It look good here

11:49 AM
GreyKnight
You wouldn’t want to stay there?

11:50 AM
Theresa
Of course

11:52 AM
GreyKnight
So I’m a little confused over here. Why if you want to stay there are you writing to someone sitting in England?

11:52 AM
Theresa
No i am not

11:55 AM
GreyKnight
Sorry, misunderstanding here, I think. “Am not” what?

11:56 AM
Theresa
Nothing

11:59 AM
GreyKnight
So at what point are you going to ask me for money, or tell me a story about a sick relative? Do you really think that whatever it is you’re trying to do is going to work for you? Are you even female? [ I had become annoyed by this pointless chat over nothing and decided to go on the offensive.]

12:00 PM
Theresa
Am female

12:02 PM
GreyKnight
I’m surprised. Have you heard of the Metropolitan Police’s “Operation Catfish”? Your ip address has been traced…

12:03 PM
Theresa
don’t mind

12:03 PM
GreyKnight
Wait for a tap on your shoulder…

A catfish profile has a few hallmarks:
1 – One very pretty picture (usually lifted from Google images) or no picture at all.
2 – If you make contact, they tend to have no or limited subscription (or its running out soon) or some other excuse and will ask that you write to an email address that they cleverly provide in a fashion that avoids detection by the site.
3 – Correspondence will be short and they won’t even bother signing off with their name, or if they do, they are careless and the name they sign off with does not match their screen-name.
4 – The email address they provide will usually not match their screen-name either.
5 – The age-range that they state they are interested in is unusually large, e.g. 25 to 55
6 – They rarely use your name because they are juggling several people at once and don’t want to slip up by mentioning someone else’s name, so they to make their game easier by not using names.

A giveaway that someone is a Catfish is that they will not want to meet you in person. They will offer endless excuses as to why they can’t meet. A Catfish’s callousness is often matched by their creativity. If brazen they might agree to interact via a webcam, but most will be reluctant to because it will become obvious that they don’t look anything like their pictures, especially if they are after money. Beware someone constantly making excuses as to why they can’t meet.

Don’t pursue a long-distance relationship with a stranger online. Staying local drastically reduces your odds of being scammed, since most scammers target victims outside their areas to avoid being caught or prosecuted. Never reveal personal data to someone until you have met face-to-face and developed a sensible level of trust. While it’s tempting to share every detail of your life with a person you think you could be in love with, that is exactly what the fraudster is counting on.

Pay attention to their English language fluency. Many catfish who commit these crimes are from West Africa and the former Soviet republics. If their command of English is poor, that’s a ‘big red flag’. Stick to paid online dating sites because if members have paid to register it means credit card details are on file. However, don’t assume paid sites are free of predators; they just have fewer of them. Free dating sites are far more likely to have catfish lurking amongst legitimate members. In my experience Badoo and HotorNot have the highest incidence of catfish. These sites are aware of this and provide online facilities to report and block such profiles. I have also encountered catfish on PlentyOfFish.

Make the effort to find their online presence by searching for their profile on Facebook, LinkedIn or other social media. You will almost always be surprised by something you find, even if they are a genuine dater.

My friends have often told me that they find my looking up a potential date’s Facebook page a bit odd. They tell me that I’m creating an impression or an expectation that will be different from the person in real life. I understand what they’re saying and agree with it to an extent, but the reality is that they have never known the sense of bitter disappointment of having gotten their hopes up about someone who turned out to be a catfish. That experience is a bit like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – you only really understand it when you have it.

Remember: Our greed for love can blind us to danger.