There’s no two ways about it online dating is an odd concept. Talking to someone online and trying to condense your life values into sound bites makes for an odd face-to-face meeting when it finally happens.
For starters you have a kind of pre-conceived false intimacy that you know who you are going to meet, which of course is rubbish and this soon becomes apparent when you turn up for the first date and shake their hand, because the real living breathing organism is always light years from their cyber self and they even look different to the picture in your head or on their profile.
But the common thread for me is the weird truth-telling that goes on, I think it’s something to do with the awkward first chat. It seems to prompt a fight, flight or truth response in men and so they choose to get loose of tongue. While you are both in the cold, death grip of nerves and before the alcohol hits the spot and tames the hormones, grown men blurt out the damndest things!
Point in case my very first online date. I was so naive about the whole thing, we got on so well I thought it was a done deal, I skipped all the way to the pub convinced that this was the guy, badda-bing, first time lucky – just like that! We’d been texting (yes texting not messaging) and he had been very flirty, dirty and over familiar with me. It was all sexual tension and teasing and I had a picture of him as a strong, capable, gorgeous, Alpha male. I turned out he was young, spotty, kinda square and obsessed with drinking and going out and ‘getting trashed’. Oh dear. This was not what I was expecting. But worse still he proceeded to tell me in a half hysterical state that he hated his job as an Optometrist and that when his elderly patients complained of poor sight he dreamt of taking them to a ‘kill room’ and putting them out of their misery. Gee, there’s a conversation stopper. Was he being funny or serious? Seeing my confused look he explained that most of them had inoperable cataracts and that this was his black humour to get him through the day. Really? Too late mate.
Next up was the mountain climber who ran his own business designing and manufacturing specialist climbing pants in Thailand. He was a good ten years older than his profile picture for starters, optimistically he insisted on meeting in a darkened pub, but then he went on to tell me about his last buying trip in Bangkok which involved taking a prostitute out for a night on the town and then paying her money because he felt bad about not sleeping with her. Ahem, sorry, come again? I’m sure he did.
Then there was the guy who upon my walking through the door announced that he was pleasantly surprised to discover that I actually looked like my picture and was a slim lady after all. He went on to explain that because of his profile picture (which featured him on a boat hauling a catch of crayfish) that he was “a fat bird magnet”, what a nice change he told me earnestly, looking me up and down, not to have to explain that he doesn’t actually have a freezer full of free seafood. Oh bully for you. And finally my pièce de résistance the guy who’s opening one liner was “So how do you feel about a guy with two kids, each from a different mother?”. Funnily enough I haven’t really spent that much time pondering that one…. but oh look I think there goes my bus, bye.
To coin a much used phrase WTF?! Whatever happened to the art of conversation? I don’t want a man to lie to me or hide stuff, absolutely not, but I do appreciate a true gentleman who can charm and perhaps create an air of mystery. What’s wrong with wanting a man who has old fashioned manners in a modern casing? I don’t want to see or hear about your dirty washing, I want you to impress me with your best, pressed, bib and tucker please.