Tag Archives: online dating

Online Dating is like Twitter

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When you’re setting up your profile on Plenty of Fish, it’s pretty hard to know what to say. I’m not sure if it’s just a British thing, we can find it really hard to sell ourselves as we’re a modest lot and it’s seen as pretty rude to brag. But that’s what online dating, and Twitter, is all about.

If you have a poor dating profile, you won’t get the messages and you’re less likely to find someone you could see yourself being with on the long haul. It’s all a bit messed up really, we don’t know what we’re doing to start off with. Which pictures are an accurate representation of me, but are also truly flattering? How do I not let on that I’m possibly the most boring person in the world without actually seeming to lie? Should I say my favourite pastime is chilling to Netflix? If I do I might be bombarded with first date suggestions of ‘Netflix and Chill‘ and the compulsory dick pics to show off their wares. Maybe not.

It’s not always about constructing your own profile either, it’s about looking at other profiles subjectively and working out their euphemisms for ‘most boring person in the world‘ or ‘after a quick shag in the back of my Corsa but I really do want a relationship (lulz)‘.

I’ve had similar reservations about setting up my own Twitter account (@soddinl – shameless plug over, thank you!) to promote this wee blog a little bit more seriously. Finding who to follow, trying to get others to follow you, the etiquette of tweeting and retweeting, getting everything I want to say into 140 characters, and oh, the hashtags *sigh*.

I’m sure we’ll get there in the end, it’s just a steep learning curve. The best part is, you can change your online dating profile if it doesn’t get you the attention you want, and similarly with Twitter you can change your tactics to find something that improves your visibility.

We’re not stuck in the marshlands of online dating and Twitter, it’ll just take a while for us to learn how to go with the flow. Positivity WIN!

 

 

 

To Respond, or Not to Respond…

I’m sure you like to think you’re a polite person; if someone walked up to you in a bar and said ‘Hey, how’s it going?‘, you wouldn’t turn around, give them a once over and go back to chatting with your friends without so much as a second thought, staunchly ignoring the person who approached you. Because that’s ruuuuude.

So why is it different online? I’m sure there must be some people out there who take the time to respond to EVERY message they receive through their dating accounts, whether it’s to pursue a meet, or to kindly let the person messaging them that they’re not interested…But I don’t know who has the patience for that.

Why? Because on our beloved t’internet, things can get messy. Fast. An instagram site Bye Felipe is largely made up of men abusing women for exercising their right to have preferences, either by rejecting them, or by ignoring them which is essentially rejection without the message.

That’s not the only one! A sub-reddit, CreepyPMs, regularly has online dating conversations uploaded, again largely men berating women for rejecting them, with the help of a message, or without.

They all seem to go through the same motions;

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  1. Poor opening message.
  2. Rejection.
  3. Mental gymnastics asserting he wasn’t interested in the first place because either the rejecter is A. Too fat B. A slut, or C. A stuck up Ice Queen Bitch.

On the flip side, you could remove the effort of trying to be polite (because, it’s not always good for you to be polite) and try to avoid the confrontation that might ensue, assuming you were messaged by some strange man-baby hybrid who throws all the toys out of his pram because he has no chance in hell of seeing, let alone being anywhere near your glorious lady-bits, and ignore the people you’re not interested in.

Gosh you’re wrong again! You still might be in for some abuse! Lucky you!

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Okay, okay. Not all guys respond like this when rejected or ignored, and I’m sure women can throw a shit fit or two as well, the point of this article is, there’s more than one way to skin a cat (is there really? Who would skin a cat? And why? Why would you need more than one way to skin a cat?). Some guys prefer a rejection, some prefer to be ignored; unless you ask specifically, you’re not going to know! So do whatever you feel like doing. Helpful blog is helpful.

Me personally, I choose to ignore the people I’m not interested in. I can’t be dealing with boys throwing their rage at me because I’m too fugly to reject them, or that I’m shallow because they’re 40 years out of my age range, or a closed minded bitch because I couldn’t find anything to interest me in their profile.

I also preferred being ignored if I sent the first message. It was less of a waste of time than getting into a conversation with a guy who had no intention of meeting me and honestly, when I didn’t get a response I shrugged and moved on. There isn’t only one person you might be interested in on a dating site, you rarely find one person to message at a time, so why throw a wobbly over the few that don’t find you compatible?

If you don’t get a response, just keep one thing in mind, guys; She’s just not that into you.

Expect Nothing!

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Online dating is hard. Really, really, ridiculously hard. You have to sift through a lot of shit before you end up finding matches you’re willing to have a conversation with online, let alone meet up with in The Real World. However I think online dating should be taken with little expectation one way or the other.

So you have a date lined up, you have compatibilities, you’re getting dressed, doing the make up, choosing the heels…What are you thinking? “This guy could be the one!”, “He’s so sweet!”, “I hope this is the one that takes me out of this world of fuckbois, players, creeps and losers!”.

No. Don’t do it to yourself, just don’t! Expect nothing!

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OK not nothing. Expect to meet a random stranger and get to know them. Don’t expect that this date will be the last first date, that you won’t come home at 8.30 and log straight back onto the dating site and look for more matches. Expect online dating to be your future for at least a year, and (I know this bit is hard) try to enjoy it!

When you change your expectations from meeting a potential boyfriend or future husband, whatever you’re aiming for in this crazy world, to just meeting someone new for a chat…expectation causes a lot of problems.

When you don’t already have this person tagged with a potential boyfriend label, it’s much easier to see the guy for what he is; player, manipulator, ‘Nice Guy’, fuckboi, or someone with potential. You can leave the nerves behind and be a little more blase, reserved and careful with your own heart.

Online dating can be soul destroying if you let it, so protect yourself and don’t have too many expectations. Doing this is difficult, it might take being chewed up and spat out as it did for me to take a step back and tame my expectations. But maybe being played was a blessing in disguise…

“We’ll See”

I wasn’t in the mood for a date. It hadn’t been long since I’d been played but I hurled myself back into online dating; if you don’t get out and mingle, you’re not gonna have the White Knight turn up on your doorstep with a cheeky grin and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.

I was running late so I text him. It was time to meet and I hadn’t even left yet. Sometimes I find it difficult to drag myelf out the door when I’m in a mood like I was in that day. I didn’t want to play act and present the Good, Clean Version of the Truth as you have to on first dates, what I wanted was PJs, shitty Channel 5 documentaries and alone time to recoup.

Bless him, my date arrived early and I wasn’t even ready. I decided to go for sexy-casual, a cute, bold colourful printed, extremely short shirt-dress I bought from a vintage market and a pair of hotpants to cover my dignity. It seemed appropriate for a lunch/beach date in the height of Summer. I slapped on a little eye make-up and headed out the door.

I saw him waiting outside the cafe we arranged to meet as I drove past and I felt a pang of guilt. 15 minutes late and I still had to find a place to park and walk around to meet him. He waited though, which showed me he was really interested. I thought it was a little odd that he didn’t find a table and get started on a cuppa while he was waiting, but it seemed respectful that he chose to wait outside.

I parked up and as I rounded the corner to the cafe, I got a closer look at him before he saw me. I like to see people behaving naturally; he was leant against the wall smoking. Self assured and bored, can’t really blame him! I’d kept him waiting 20 minutes now.

I saw his first glimpse of me, and I loved his reaction. His bright blue eyes flashed wide and his jaw practically fell open as he immediately flung his cigarette. He gave me a big smile and greeted me with warmth and palpable nerves.

I was pretty calm. I liked the guy from chatting on Plenty of Fish and our few text conversations, we had a lot in common and he held a conversation well on those platforms, but I’ve done online dating before. I wasn’t expecting much. He was a strange mix of confidence and nerves, it was sweet and strangely comforting.

We had good conversation, bloody unusual conversation but I have to admit unusual is my forte, and I didn’t feel I had to ‘perform’ as much as I’ve had to previously. Few awkward silences plagued our lunch and we made each other laugh, so I thought it would be good to carry on to the next loosely planned stage, to the beach.

He didn’t exactly have on beach attire, trainers and jeans, but it gave us something to giggle about. We carried on chatting bullshit and nonsense and he complemented my legs just enough to let me know he was interested but managed to avoid being creepy.

I had an excuse to cut the date short lined up, a nice endorphin blast at the gym, but instead I let him buy me ice cream from his favourite parlour and we carried on with our banter; I was feeling comfortable and enjoying his company. I let a few entendres drop and revelled in watching my gentleman date blush and fluster.

I had planned on staying an hour or two, but after 4 hours he walked me back to my car and we parted with a hug. I wasn’t sure how I felt, I liked the guy, he had a lot of attributes I was looking for; funny, confident, outgoing, cute and interested enough to be adorably nervous…most of all I was surprised just how comfortable I was with him. I wasn’t drained or disheartened, tired or emotionally shrivelled. I didn’t need the gym induced endorphin high as I anticipated I would, I left the date feeling happy, open and positive.

When I was asked how it went by my family, I hedged;

He was nice…we’ll see.

NEXT!

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Some women seem to love arseholes. The “Nice Guy” population can’t fathom it. It’s hard, when you’ve not been the situation before, it’s hard to understand even when you HAVE been through it!

Arseholes aren’t always arseholes. Scary, right?

Sometimes, the arsehole is hiding behind a “Nice Guy” facade; they say all the things you want to hear. They might show a few red flags but, he’s a nice guy right? And he’s interested in you! Awesome! Let those red flags be forgotten and they won’t come to anything…

It’s important in dating to delve into it with a little bit of a guard and a healthy dose of cynicism. Don’t necessarily close yourself off from your date, have fun, relax, enjoy meeting a new person! Exploring all these new and exciting prospects should be fun!

However.

Don’t let yourself be sucked in. He might say he’s a nice guy, he might act like a nice guy, but always be aware of the possibility he might just be ACTING like a nice guy until the ‘fun’ starts.

Don’t dismiss the Red Flags, depending on the severity, collect them. See if it builds a bigger picture. If the picture ain’t too pretty, it’s time for you to move on.

I’ll give some examples;

This guy I dated. I asked, before I slept with him what his aims were in dating. He told me “If I met the right girl, I could settle down“. He wanted me to assume I was quite possibly the right girl, and being a wee on the trashed side, I did. Don’t drink and date, I learned from that one!

This guy kept talking over me, ignoring what I wanted to do in favour of what he wanted to do, then called himself my boyfriend without discussing anything of the sort with me. He was a nice guy, people kept telling me, and he kept telling me. I should’ve trusted my gut earlier. I cut him loose way too late, after 2-3 months. The picture he painted was a control freak which he proved during our little break up chat, and thereafter.

Another guy I know, calls all of his exes pyschos. Gosh, well, I can only assume that as he’s the common denominator in these relationships, it might be something to do with him…Red. Flag.

Your Red Flags might be different to mine, however I think a few should be pretty major whoever you are and no matter your preferences;

Controlling behaviour
Planning a date is great, but perhaps taking you to a gore-porn flick when you’ve made it clear you can’t stand horror films, or even ordering your food and drinks at your dinner date shows they can’t really give a rats ass about your preferences. It can only go downhill from there. NEXT!

Flaking on dates
If someone’s in A&E, it’s probably best to let this one slide, but backing out of a date half an hour before you’re supposed to meet for any other reason is a big NEXT. He’s well aware you’ve been getting ready for an hour and you might even be on your way. Unless someone’s dead or in a coma, there’s no excuse for this disregard of your time. NEXT!

Negative outlook
This might be more of a preference, however I find people with a negative outlook tend to drag you down to their level. People are supposed to be on their best behaviour on dates, and your date is whinging about the food, the wine, the weather, the month…oh dear god. Good luck to you if you want to pursue those with a negative outlook, but for me it’s NEXT!

Insults, thinly veiled, back handed or otherwise
OH Hell no. A bit of banter can be fun, I love a bit of back and forth trading playful insults, however there is a trend of ‘negging‘, giving a girl a backhanded compliment in order to ‘bring her down to your level’; to wound your self esteem, essentially manipulating you into clawing for their approval. Oh what fun. NEXT!

Boundary pushing
Not into having another drink? Tough, date over here wants you shitfaced so they’ll coerce, manipulate, whine, insult, harrass, nag or even guilt you into having another drink. Not into making out? See Above. Not into having sex so soon? See above. NEXT!

No interest in you
Yeah people love talking about themselves, but dating is about finding out about each other to see whether you’re a good fit, compatible, don’t want to kill each other, all that romantic jazz. It’s not for the other person to monologue about themselves and forget all about you. You’re there too, do you really have nothing interesting worth talking about? (Hint, you do: It’s you!) NEXT!

To much, too soon 
Dropping the L bomb after spending 2 hours in each others company might not happen, but they may well blow up your phone with calls and texts, making incessant demands on your time, they might push for an exclusive relationship quickly i.e. before you actually know anything about each other, and they might make a lot of ‘us’ statements about the future. It can feel great, but this level of obsession with a basic stranger is pretty extreme. Maybe don’t NEXT! But take a big step back and proceed with caution.

Have I missed anything? Which Red Flags have you come across on dates?

 

 

The Thrill of the Chased

I’m not used to being chased…it’s definitely a new, interesting and quite frankly enjoyable phenomenon that has come with increased confidence, and a loss of approximately 5 stone. Which the winner is here, is anyone’s guess. Confidence is attractive I agree, but I’m leaning towards the more aesthetically pleasing svelte size 10 figure…I digress.

As I was saying. I’m not used to being chased. I was the one chasing for many years, it was a role reversal I was not comfortable with given my extremely fragile ego and a phobia of rejection. The chase was not thrilling for me, at all. It would often end in tears, whether I was successful in my pursuit, or not.

If I was unsuccessful for whatever reason, I took it very, very personally. I felt humiliation, bitterness and utter self loathing. No one liked me because I was fat. I was destined to die alone with a houseful of cats.

I didn’t get it. I get on with men famously; I have a lot of male friends…was I always going to be friend zoned? Even the men I knew who would rather be with the wrong person than be alone, chose to be alone rather than be with me. I know, such self pity…it’s not attractive, is it?

When I was successful in snagging a man for a night, it was equally destructive. I won, but I lost at the same time…the guys were just using me. I knew it, they knew it…but I always hoped that it wasn’t the case. That he’d see that inside the squishy, buxom exterior I was actually awesome; funny, smart and caring. But they never did. My ego got a stroking when I managed to capture a man that was way out of my league for the night, but shortly after came more self loathing and more self pity. They took me home because I was their best offer that night. Some were nice enough to keep me as a friend with benefits; they threw me a bone and I was happy with the scraps.

I was ‘seeing’ one guy for an entire 3 months before he finally told me he simply didn’t fancy me. He didn’t even like me. At all. Never did. Three months. Can you even imagine how strong my denial was to get through 3 months without really realising I was being utterly taken advantage of? How deep in the gutter my confidence was? Perhaps I did realise, I just couldn’t accept it. Wouldn’t accept it. Without him I was truly on my own, and there was no worse punishment then spending even more time by myself – I hated myself. My looks, my personality, my weight, my life. All of it.

It was all a vicious cycle, and eventually it broke. I decided enough was enough, I was tired of being mournful and cynical and hateful. I was sick to death of hating myself and everyone else. In counselling I had a breakthrough; I realised I used my weight as a big, massive size 18 barrier against the world. I craved closeness, but I was sabotaging my chances of being happy with myself and sabotaging the chance of finding someone who could love me by getting heavier and heavier and eating more and more. It was a mental buffer made physical.

So after having a serious 3 hour sobbing session, I joined the gym, I put myself on a diet and I finally after many ups and downs and a couple of years of plateaus, I hit my target weight. My confidence, although not sky high, has reached levels I never thought were possible whilst cowering in my deep, dark pit of despair.

And now, the men are the ones doing the chasing! I can sit back and enjoy having drinks bought for me. I had dates with 4 different guys one week and all of them wanted to see me again. What a weird experience that was. Very weird, very unusual for me, but very awesome. I can pick and choose who I see again, who I like enough to consider a second date with, and who’s worth my time as it’s pretty precious these days. It never crossed my mind I’d be able to pick from a lineup of guys, never. And here it is. A shedload of weightloss and a huge helping of personal growth along with it. Life can be kindof awesome these days.

Getting Over It and Moving On

I’m talking about the short term romances/disappointing dates/one nighters that turn into maybe 7 nighters…not relationships where big investments are involved, emotional, financial…that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

Me? I’m a moper. For a while at least. I over-analyse, I wonder what the hell happened and what went wrong, why did he behave the way he did, was it my fault? Or is he just a massive raging dick?

More often than not, all the questions don’t get answered. You can only glean so much from the brief contact you had with the person in question so at some point you have to come to some sort of half baked conclusion, get up, dust off and move the hell on.

Moving on means different things to different people, but for me, it seems the best tack is learning a bit from the situation and getting back on the horse. You don’t necessarily have to view dating as all sunshine and roses especially after a knock back, but being brave enough to fling yourself back into the pit is often good enough.

Shortly after my miserable disappointment I moped for 2 or 3 days. I was frustrated, obviously. I didn’t want to go on more shoddy dates with unsuitable men and deal with the social awkwardness that meeting complete strangers involves. But if you want the hope of a shiny new relationship you can’t just sit in your flat and watch an inordinate amount of Netflix, eating an incredible amount of cake, smoking an insane amount of cigarettes drinking an inconceivable amount of alcohol and expect Prince Charming to knock on your door…it could happen I suppose but it seems rather unlikely. Especially unlikely if you answer the door in those godawful pyjamas you’ve been wearing for 3 days…

So taking Garth Algar’s profound words “Get over it, go out with somebody else!” to heart I resolved to get back on it; I bit the dating bullet and signed back into my online profiles. I wasn’t expecting much and didn’t have much hope that I would find someone as compatible as the previous guy…But not too long after signing back in I had a few dates lined up, and with that hope renewed itself!

Maybe thanks to a little dogged determination the right guy wasn’t too far out of reach, but he would have been had I sat moping and clinging onto the failure of the past hook ups, continuing to try and figure out why, spending way too much energy on a guy who made it clear he wasn’t prepared to give me what I needed to succeed in a relationship. Amen Garth!

Garth Algar: Love Guru

REJECTION – Y U NO WORK??!

How is it best to reject somone? It’s been likened to taking the plaster off a wound before; rip it off quickly and the initial sting is quick and fades quickly, or peel it off slowly, each hair follicle being torn out individually. The sensation lingers longer perhaps, but it’s less of a shock with each prick of tingly pain.

Until fairly recently, I haven’t had to reject anyone really. The guys took the burden upon themselves to reject me for the most part, so it’s been a bit odd that I’ve had to dive in at the deep end with rejecting dates for a variety of reasons; we just didn’t click, I didn’t fancy him, he had the personality of a loaf of bread…among a few reasons.

I’ve attempted to reject guys both ways, figuring it’s something that should be worked out on a case-by-case basis.

I figure if you’ve been out with someone on more then 2 dates in a brief space of time, the slow fade is a bit mean, but one date? Meh. Sporadic e-mail contact before or after a date? Meh.

I’m not here to debate the morals and ethics of each mode of rejection though, I wanted to share with you the efficacy. Straight up telling the guy “you’re clearly a good bloke but I’m really not that into you” (in a nicer, more fluffy way of course) should be the end of it, really. You don’t feel the thing, time to move on with no hard feelings, end of. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Remember this guy? There was another who, despite it being pretty obvious I wasn’t into him, decided to be petty, passive aggressive and whiney when I told him I didn’t see us going anywhere (not surprisingly, one of the 23 year olds).

The other route is equally flawed. I have slow burned a few, and to be honest, it has a better success rate. It’s not foolproof, but most guys send a couple of texts or emails, they don’t get a response and they move on. Magic!

The reason I decided to write this post now though, is a slow burn is currently epically failing. I had a date with a guy, my needs were not met and his were. Typical. We e-mailed back and forth a bit, we both failed to respond to e-mails within a decent time frame and quite frankly, I couldn’t be arsed to carry on. Geographically, there’s a pretty large wedge between us as well as the rest of the gubbins I didn’t particularly want to deal with.

I stopped responding to his e-mails. I got a couple from him; ‘hey how you doing, lets catch up, blah blah‘, which you expect using this method. Except, this carried on much longer than it usually does. Much longer. Months longer.

Then I finally recieve the email that indicates he’s cottoned on, at last, but of course rather than sucking it up and moving on, he employs the ‘I’m going to manipulate you into writing back to me by expressing my concern that you’re ill/injured/dead in a ditch somewhere‘ technique. Which fails. He drops in the old ‘unless you just don’t want to talk to me 😉 lol!‘ and adds the bonus manipulator of ‘if you don’t, just say so!‘ because that’s just another way to open up a dialogue, which I don’t want. So I don’t respond to that either.

He keeps this up for a good few e-mails over a few weeks. I feel I should point out, he’s e-mailing me more now than he did when we were having an actual e-mail conversation. Hooray for extinction bursts!

He then sends me a text with the same ‘concern’, before reverting back to e-mail, dropping the ‘dead in a ditch‘ technique and carrying on with the ‘hey how are you, lets catch up‘ stuff. It’s never ending. He’s not giving up.

I don’t feel bad for him. It’s been made clear in previous e-mails he really isn’t all that concerned about my welfare, which is part of the reason I stopped responding. It makes it all the more ironic that he expresses his ‘concern’ that I’m not responding is because of something more drastic than just not wanting to talk to him any more.

For now, I’m keeping up the ignoring; if I responded, even negatively, negative attention is still attention – I don’t think he would be deterred. I could block his e-mail address, but I’m (morbidly) curious as to how long he’s going to keep trying…

I’m happy to take bets in the comments.

23 is NOT the Magic Number

When I first started the whole internet dating malarkey this time around, I thought ‘I might be a little closer to 30 than 20 these days, but fuck it, I can still hang with young ‘uns‘.

Staunchly ignoring the fact that I call 20-25 year olds ‘young ‘uns’ in my mental dialogue, I truly believed that to be the case.

Wrong.

So very, alarmingly wrong.

My first date was with a whippsersnapper of 23. He was gainfully employed, had a degree, we had a good banter over t’internet so I had no reservations meeting up with him for a date.

To be fair, it wasn’t exactly a horror story. At first anyway…the real horror here is suddenly realising, fuck. I’ve gotten old. How the fuck did that happen? When the fuck did that happen?! I was truly and utterly convinced my mental age was 23 and here, on this date, the catatonic coma inducing realisation that actually, no, I do not have the mental age of a 23 year old.

Thankfully, apparently I still look like a 23 year old….sometimes. I thank the people who ID me for fags these days. (It’s dawned on me that is NOT how a 23 year old behaves when being IDed. Next time I might pretend I’ve left my driving license at home and skulk off with an exasperated Kevin-like flair. I hope there’s a next time anyway…)

The kid was nice enough I suppose, but he was a puppy. Overly enthusiastic, pawing for reassurance and basically just trying to impress too much.

I’m not the most confident of people, but as I’ve apparently matured (sob!), I’ve grown into myself. I pretty much know who I am, know what I like and know that I definitely can’t be arsed wasting time with people who I don’t like or who don’t like me so I’m pretty much myself, or at least a Good, Clean Version thereof. I don’t consciously set out to impress, and honestly, I think that’s an attractive quality. It’s a quality I like to see in the men I date at any rate.

I wasn’t entirely put off though. Apparently I’m quite a hit with the young lads, especially 23 year olds (about 4 different 23 year olds contacted me! Get me and my fiiiiine self!) so I thought it would be best to just make sure the younger option was not entirely full of puppies.

The second one appeared more mature on the surface but there were some glaring indicators of inexperience. We met for ‘coffee’, not particularly wanting to be stuck on a night out with another immature youngster. When I bought my own drink, and the chocolate brownie we shared (no offer to even split the cost of the brownie), conversation was incredibly stunted. I had to work my arse off to try and find something he would talk about. He asked no questions leaving the conversation ball entirely in my court. Sigh. I left after an hour, but the level of conversation we did have was ‘mature’ and somewhat intellectual…by my gauge anyway, probably not by the majority of others’, ha!

After our date I was considering going on another date with the guy, until…well, until he started clumsily and overtly flirting with me, before I even confirmed I wanted to see him again. Honestly, it felt a bit uncomfortable – I don’t remember exactly what was said, but it started off with nice compliments which I appreciated but essentially brushed off, and they became more and more sexual without indication that I would be interested in anything of the sort.

I gave up on that guy and added Rule 6 to My Internet Dating Survival Guide: Don’t date boys under 25 years old. They don’t have a clue how to handle me.

Date ALL the Boys!

Some people do it one at a time, others need a little more variety. I need a little more variety.

There’s a vast array of potentially suitable men out there for us ladies, so why not go a little crazy and date them all at once?

A few people might disagree with the idea of dating as I see it. I like the idea of American style dating where you might line up dates for the Thursday, the Friday and the Saturday taking the Sunday as a day of serious R&R – pyjamas, trashy films and chocolate binges, obviously.

Other women might be a little more conservative, getting to know one guy at a time, arranging a date, having the date and all of the gumph that follows…debating whether he liked her or not, waiting the ‘traditional’ two days before following up in an effort to not seem too needy (if you feel the woman should even contact the man at all), arranging another date and waiting for that…if he even wants to. If she even wants to…all of this is assuming the woman actually liked the guy. It could be she met him, there was no connection and she couldn’t care less if he called her again or not.

For me, all this is far too time consuming. I don’t want to spend weeks arranging first, second and third dates with a guy who turns out to be someone I can’t see myself being with for the long haul, and having all that time wasted. If you put all your eggs in one dating basket, you might put more pressure on yourself to like the guy and force a match with a guy that isn’t right for you. I’m no ugly stepsister, the glass slipper has to fit!

At one time I dated 3 guys. It wasn’t as complicated as you might expect and it gave me the added bonus of not feeling too bad about rejection, whether I liked the guy or not. I managed to meet more men, mostly unsuitable, so I shrugged and moved on to the next date a few days later. I wasn’t hanging around by the telephone waiting for the kindof alright guy I had a date with a week ago to call, I was too busy checking out the next guy who could possibly be a superior dating candidate than the previous, only kindof alright guy. This helped me to keep the pressure off myself and off the guy. It also helped to build that apparently charming aloofness that men seem to find captivating.

It’s fun and I don’t really have any qualms about it, especially with online dating. You can chat online and get on like a house on fire, but in the real world it could be about as enthralling as waiting for your freshly painted nails to dry and be just as frustrating after a week or two of getting to know the guy online.

I do have to think though, is there a double standard when it comes to dating multiple people between men and women? I’d like to think if a guy told me he was dating other women as well as me I wouldn’t think too much of it. But when it comes to finding relationships, particularly when meeting people online, I think perhaps men have to be a little more careful; the majority of men may well end up coming off like players, out for everything they could get. After all, spring for a couple of drinks and behave like a gentleman on the first date…sometimes that’s all it takes.

As much as I like to think otherwise, I think I would be a little more careful dating men who are dating other women as well. I would be a little more careful about showing my own hand, be more reserved about making an attachment and much more conservative when it comes to taking the next step. Especially if he hadn’t agreed to exclusivity beforehand.

It’s an interesting quandry. I’d like to hear a few more perspectives on the potential double standards for men and women in American style dating, feel free to add your opinions in the comments!