I is for Imperfect

I’m Imperfect and I Make Mistakes

I’ve not just learnt about others through dating, I’ve also learnt about myself. It turns out there’s nothing perfect about me and I make a lot of dating mistakes.

I’ve already confessed I’ve ghosted people and I’ve been online while being in the rebound phase. I’ve also secretly talked to several guys at once and avoided some guys in the hope that they’d get bored and move on. Dare I admit that I’ve even checked out other guys while on a date and sadly been caught out.

I could give you an exhaustive list of all the mistakes I’ve made and things I’ve done wrong, things I would do differently if I could, but instead, I’ll share some stories.

In the early days of online dating, I had no idea what I was doing. I would encourage and welcome the sexual messages early into chatting and I would share way too much information about my own personal experiences. Not only was this completely foolish because I was trusting guys I had no knowledge of, it was also allowing myself to be vulnerable to guys who might be skillful in the art of manipulation. Massive mistakes! Thankfully, I learned quickly, becoming more adept at working out the guys to stay away from and, as a result, I met nicer guys. They still had their baggage but it was nothing compared to some of the earlier weirdos.

Mistakes and datesBefore the nice guys came along I started chatting with Dipstick Den. I still remember sitting on the sofa one evening and glancing over his profile that read “Match with me. What’s the worst that can happen?”

The worse included him being the first and only guy I know of to call me the C-word in anger and really mean it.

Dipstick Den appeared funny and chatty. I didn’t give him my mobile number immediately, something held me back, but the next day he still seemed keen so I threw caution to the wind. There was a lot of texting and soon sex was slammed into the conversation. I was learning about guys and had decided the more sexual the conversation the less likely it was I’d actually meet the man. Those that tended to thrust sex into their messages were looking for a hook-up and presumed I was too. They were frequently adamant that I was a sure thing.

I’m nobody’s sure thing

During my conversations with Den, I decided to explain brazenly that the more we talked about sex the less likely we would be to meet. What followed that statement was a long and detailed conversation on why. I started to open up, telling him about my limited experiences and what I was looking for. I told a man I didn’t know, way too much about myself and, I think he was excited by the prospect of what would happen between us.

The conversations started to go from fun and exciting to concerning relatively quickly. Unsurprisingly, he wanted to go on a first date as soon as possible. One of my personal rules is that I don’t rush into a first date, especially not on the same day that I start properly chatting with someone. I also had things planned, I was applying for new jobs and that weekend I was preparing for an interview. Den wasn’t happy and eventually talked me down from waiting a week before we met to four days.

On the evening of our first day of texting, I had to do some interview prep. I got the following message.

Den: If I find out you’re going out with someone else tonight and not doing prep I’m going to be really angry with you.

ALARM BELLS!

I continued prepping that evening and asked if we could stop the messages for just an hour so I could focus. Eventually, he relented but made it clear he was pissed off. Den must have been checking when I was going on Whatsapp because when a friend messaged me some information helpful for the interview and I checked it I got another message.

Den: I thought you were meant to be doing interview prep

MORE ALARM BELLS!

I ignored the message but later when we chatted different things niggled me. Firstly he wouldn’t tell me much about what he did for a living.

Den: Don’t worry about it, babe. There’s plenty of time to get to know each other later.

Making mistakesHe also didn’t have any friends, preferring to spend all his time alone and playing computer games. Den would regularly ask me for suggestive photos and then get annoyed when I refused to send them, becoming angrier when he couldn’t talk me around to his way of thinking. Clothing became a topic of one conversation. He’d found some unsuitable clothes and shoes that he wanted to buy for me. When I was less than keen he explained, “Every relationship involves compromise”. The more he pushed, the more stubborn I became.

We hadn’t even met!

The whole of the second day of messaging was spent with me trying to work on interview prep and him trying to stop me. Den would question why I was choosing it before him, becoming increasingly annoyed with me and trying different tactics to make me feel guilty. Eventually, his mood became sullen and he wouldn’t give more than one-word answers to my questions. By the end of the second day, I’d stopped hearing from him and made no effort to contact him again. Honestly, I was relieved. I was beginning to realise he was controlling and bad news. A date with him would be a massive mistake and laying myself open to a danger I wasn’t sure I’d be able to avoid.

Although we’d decided the Tuesday would be the day for the date, we hadn’t agreed a time or location. When Monday came and I still hadn’t heard from him I was a bundle of relief and fear. Obviously, he’d moved on and that could only be a good thing. Maybe I was safe. The fear was still there, though. What if he suddenly messaged on the day to arrange the date and didn’t like the answer, “I’ve changed my mind”? I hadn’t got as far as sharing my surname with him but he could find me if he wanted to.

Then the day came and in the early evening, I convinced myself that I must be safe…until I received his text.

Over the course of that evening, I was called some of the most offensive names I’ve ever heard. Den was vile and vicious. Insults from the personal and private things I’d told him were slung my way. When I tried to explain myself he cut me short with a torrent of abuse. He told me, among other things, that he hoped I died with the limited experience I had.

It was a massive learning curve. I knew never to be so open, honest and dismissive of my instincts again. I shouldn’t have given him my number and I shouldn’t have given him personal details. Also, when I knew he wasn’t the right guy for me, I shouldn’t have been gutless. Instead I should have called time on the situation early on.

Thankfully, I got off lightly. Hideous names and insults were nothing compared to what could have happened if we’d met.

In my next post, I’ll share another story about my own imperfections when dating. There will even be a story about a situation I could have handled better. In the meantime, if you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences then please comment below or visit my Facebook page or Twitter page.

H is for Heartbreak

Heartbreak doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies does it?

With online dating, there will be heartbreak and it doesn’t hurt any less because it started virtually.

Mr Fumble was my first significant heartbreak. The name wasn’t a product of my experience with him. There was nothing fumble-like about his skills. The name arose when I chatted about him to a particular group of friends. I didn’t want to tell them what we really got up to so I said we fumbled and let them decipher the rest. This is the first time on this blog that I’ve relinquished my tell-all policy but with him some of my experiences will be remaining private.

Mr Fumble wasn’t always the easiest guy to message. Getting information and casual chat from him was akin to getting that last drop of ketchup out of a nearly empty bottle. He was reluctant to share too much and shy with the deeper stuff. Many weeks later, I realised why. Mr Fumble had been badly hurt in the past and to say his fences were up and high would be a massive understatement. The guy was damaged and wasn’t letting anyone in. The messages usually involved me asking questions about his day and what his work involved. The answers were short, surface stuff but he continued to answer, encouraging me to ask and revealing a little each day.

sexting heartbreakThe evening that the messages neared dirty, flirting territory I was so taken aback I thought I was reading them wrong. When he talked about the gooey centres of the cookies I was baking, the moistness of my brownies and how firm my muffins were, it was fiercely against character and anything we’d discussed previously. I genuinely thought he was a massive fan of baking. Eventually the sexual tease behind his words were revealed and flirting continued in earnest.

One evening, I passed on my number but he was reticent to use it, blaming phone signal and a crap phone.

Maybe as you read this a thought has arisen, “Come on Rebecca, there’s clearly something fishy about this guy.” I suspected the same, there seemed to be something crucial about him I didn’t know and couldn’t work out. I hope even now that he wasn’t married or a compulsive liar because I can’t be sure.

One of the problems with internet dating is that there are some things we may never know about the potentials we like. These things may be as significant as their real surname or past/current relationships.

When online dating, we have to trust our instincts and the advice of our wiser friends. We also need to remember to NEVER send money. There are some untrustworthy people out there and if something seems off then it probably is. If someone we’ve never met is declaring their love for us while asking for us to send money then we move on. I know, from experience that when our hearts get that fluttering, glowing feeling and excitement seems to be a daily thrill that we thought we’d never feel again then our judgement can be as useful as a chocolate condom. But having a clear head is a sad necessity.

Players and scoundrels don’t just frequent the online dating scene. I’ve also met some male and female villains in real life too. People who seem less than genuine are everywhere. Maybe you can think of those you know in your work or social circles who’ve cheated on their partners and have secret addictions to gambling, drugs and illicit encounters. It can take years for you to learn these secrets. Just because you meet someone online doesn’t mean you have to be ruthlessly suspicious of them but trusting your instincts is important.

hot guy heartbreakLet’s get back to Mr Fumble. Eventually, he did use my number and we began to text every day; during the day and a lot during the evenings. It wasn’t long before he was the last person I said goodnight to before my head hit the pillow and the first person I hoped for a message from when I woke. He almost always delivered. Messages included anything from cheeky thoughts to our deepest issues and life experiences.

The day he broached the idea of speaking on the phone I freaked out. I was too terrified and adamantly declined. The phone isn’t my ally at the best of times. I’m the kind of person who accidentally says “Kind Regards” at the end of an answer machine message then calls again to apologise for being an arse. But things changed. The decision to speak on the phone needed to be mine. After some days of consideration and no pressure from Mr Fumble we finally spoke. Hearing his voice gave me a smile that rose from my stomach up, eclipsing my entire body with a glow that had no chance of leaving. It was everything I’d been scared of hoping for. Within a couple of hours I was as happy as a teenage boy at a porn star convention.

A meeting after that was inevitable. In his typical closed way, he dropped some hints and in my excitement I welcomed them with open arms.

The day of our meeting started as a normal day for me until I got a text asking if I was still free because he could be there in two and a half hours.

Me: Yeah, sure. That would be great. See you soon.

AAAGGGGHHHH!!!!

I did the usual; shower, shave, moisturise, try on about forty different outfits, perfect make-up, sweat all the make-up off with stress and then attempt to apply it again. I was so nervous I thought I might vomit before he arrived. A massive ball of stress that resided in my intestines was growing at alarming rate. God forbid I’d have to speak to him!

The moment the doorbell rang I swept open the door and saw the coolest, dark haired epitome of sexiness standing in front of me.

Excitement exploded.

I was disarmed too. A date with Mr Fumble was something I should have prepared myself for mentally as well as physically.

kissing heartbreakAfter getting this far into the post you may have an image of me in your head. There may be some pre-conceptions about my personality and my behaviour. I shall leave you to them, I’m not keen to find them out. But my date with Mr Fumble will remain between me and him and the couple of people we may have told since.

All I shall let you know is that Mr Fumble arrived at midday on one day and left at midday the next. Over the course of that 24hour period, we had coffee, chatted, laughed, went for a walk, had dinner, chatted some more and spent the rest of the time…fumbling.

For those twenty-four hours, I was beaming with joy. I felt like I was at the start of something special.

But twenty minutes before he left I watched his fences go up. The Mr Fumble I’d spent the last day with disappeared and was replaced with a closed off, unrecognisable man. Walking out my house he politely said goodbye and promised to text when he got home. Just like that he was gone.

You may think I was the most gullible, naive idiot that ever walked the earth. I have thought that often enough myself. You may be certain that the contact was over, while secretly hoping for a happy ending. But H is for Heartbreak after all…

Locking the front door with a shaky hand and a heavy heart I thought I would never hear from him again. Mr Fumble was out of my life and would never be a part of it. I was wrong, to some extent. The messages flooded my phone as soon as he got home. We texted non-stop for the next two days.

Sadly, over the next five months his texts got more sporadic but never stopped until I told him to leave me alone. I was struggling to move on and he clearly didn’t want a relationship. On occasion, for about a year after, I continued to hear from him, until I decided to block him for a couple of weeks. I have no idea why he stayed in contact. It could have been a keenness for more fumbling or because he was bored. Whatever the true reason I never learnt it because I wouldn’t agree to see him again.

However much he annoyed and upset me, I will always have a fondness for Mr Fumble. In his defence, he never promised anything he wasn’t willing to give. Everything he gave me was incredible and life-changing. If I could do our initial texting, call and meet-up again, and I was still single, would I? Possibly. Being full of regrets is a fruitless experience.

I shed a lot of tears over him when he started distancing himself and then several more over the next months. Maybe my instincts and lack of experience did betray me. I guess only Mr Fumble knows the answer to that.

There has been heartbreak and many tears shed since him.

Friends wondered in the past, “How can you stay hopeful that you’ll find what you’re looking for?”

After my heart was broken my hope seemed to die for a while too. I have been left wondering what’s the point, how can I find what I’m looking for? Is there something wrong with me? After heartbreak, I used to stop dating and reassess because I don’t do rebound dating. But that’s a personal choice I made. I was told once, by a colleague, that rebound is the best time to date. I’ve seen people get hurt when we date on the rebound. It may give us validation and help us move on in the short term but it usually comes back to bite us on the arse.

After Mr Fumble made it clear that a relationship wasn’t going to happen I went straight back online. As a result I made some reckless and nearly dangerous decisions.

People jump back on to the apps and sites for many reasons, sometimes because it’s a simple need to get their end away. Sexual need is difficult to ignore especially when you’ve been getting it regularly. But if you just want to get your end away then be honest about it. Don’t deceive people into thinking you’re looking for more.

When I started writing this a while back my hope took a beating. It was inevitable after recalling and revisiting these experiences but then I met up with some friends who had met through online dating. They told me of their experience. There were familiar situations, for example one didn’t reply initially and distance caused a couple of issues. But a relationship slowly developed over chatting, meeting up and dating.

So, when I asked them, “How can I still have hope when I have heartbreak inside me?” I was told that you have to prepare for heartbreak when you date but then sometimes you get lucky and it does work out. At this point, they gave each other such a grin of nauseating joy that had I not been sticking my fingers down my throat I would have got caught up in it. It was a smile that only genuine, caring love lives in and was the display of encouragement I needed.

Fight for meSo, heartbreak does happen and it can temporarily destroy us. But H is for Hope too because online dating does work out, people keep trying and they enjoy themselves in the process. And one positive from Mr Fumble is that it gave me my love of men in military uniform, which helped inspire my erotic romance short story Fight For Me, which is available to download.

I’d love to know how you’ve dealt with heartbreak in dating. You can share your thoughts or experiences by commenting below or visiting my Facebook page.

G is for Ghosting, part 2

My name is Rebecca and I was ghosted… In my last post, I shared the many reasons why people ghost others and explained that I had ghosted men myself. It was usually when I was too scared to admit to the guy that there wasn’t any chemistry between us.

ghostedMy own experience of being on the receiving end was a shock for me in my newbie naivety. John Hoe was the first guy I chatted to online that I had chemistry with. An older guy, attractive and funny. The sort of man who you might find working in your office. Think about any of the offices you’ve worked in. Was there that guy that the ladies tended to swoon over? Did he charm all who met him, flirt easily and have a smile that made you want to run your lips across it before tasting his mouth and seeing if he kissed as well as you imagined?

That was John Hoe and I thought I was the luckiest lady because I was the focus of his attention. I was incredibly inexperienced when it came to being chatted up. I foolishly thought constant texting always meant an attraction that would lead to more.

After what was in fact a pretty short time conversing online, we swapped numbers and texted constantly. For a week, it was several hours during the day and then non-stop after work before finally dropping off to sleep and starting again the next day. The laughter from both of us seemed non-stop but it wasn’t just surface chat, we shared times we’d been hurt, our hopes and dreams and the events of our day. The photos messaged were relatively chaste, after all I was a newbie, but still flirty.

On one of the days spent messaging I broached the question of “Would you like to go on a date some time?” My heart was in my mouth. I trembled as I pressed send. Then I waited. Would he respond, would I ever hear from him again? I had no idea. I sat at my desk, anxious for a reply, keeping an eye on my phone, desperately waiting for that tell-tale vibration that would signal a new message.

People who tried to enter my office were forced to depart. I didn’t have time for any of their shit. I was asking a guy out, something I’d never done before!

And then the reply came.

ghosting“Of course I would.”

I shimmied around my office, nearly twerking with excitement. The smile that was plastered across my face refused to leave its new home for days. In hindsight, I was desperately naive but I’d never asked a guy out and I truly believed that things might finally be going my way.

The texts that brought smiles to my face continued to go back and forth but there was no mention of the date again, no agreed time, the location wasn’t even a topic hinted at. But the chemistry between us, even via text, was still undeniable.

After six days of solid texting his messages suddenly reduced significantly. We communicated via Whatsapp, sometimes a useful message app. Although, sadly, it’s also a useful tool for men who want to send me pictures of their rock-hard tools.

John Hoe went from a message virtually every minute to maybe a couple of messages over the course of a day.

What had I done wrong? He was the cool, older, experienced guy, it must have been me who made the mistake, surely? But now, with the benefit of hindsight and experience I don’t believe I did anything wrong, he just moved on. He’d ghosted me. I continued to wait to hear from him. I didn’t want to put pressure on him and what I still, again naively, thought might grow into more. But the messages dried up and over the next couple of days I didn’t hear from him at all.

So, what did I do?

I’m cringing as I write this. I sent him a message that I wish I hadn’t. Maybe I should have been dignified and walked away but I was hurt and confused. I couldn’t understand how what had been great chemistry could suddenly become, at best, something insignificant and, at worst, rejection.

I don’t remember exactly what I sent but it could have been worse. Can you tell that I’m trying to justify myself? It was something like…

Me: I’ve really enjoyed chatting to you and I was surprised I hadn’t heard from you recently. I hope you’re okay.

Suddenly I was back to anxiously waiting in my office, wondering if I would get a reply, waiting for that phone vibration. I hoped against hope that he’d tell me that he’d lost his phone or had been really busy with work. But that didn’t happen.

No reply materialised and when I went back on Whatsapp I could see that he’d read my message and then, from what I’ve learnt about the app since, I’m pretty sure he blocked me. I was horrified and left questioning everything I’d said and done. Personally speaking, I don’t block people unless something significant has happened. In fact, I’ve only ever blocked three people, and that was for substantial reasons.

I wouldn’t have texted again, the lack of reply to my last message was enough. But he didn’t know me really, even after all our chatting.

So, what went wrong? I confess I got my friends to check the messages I’d sent, just to make sure they weren’t freaky weird. According to my experienced, knowledgeable friends they weren’t odd at all.

Maybe he just moved on to someone new, maybe I wasn’t what he wanted? I’ll leave you to mull it over because I’ve done enough of that in the past. I’ve seen John Hoe on a couple of sites since but I’ve never been tempted to speak to him again.

I reiterate a previous point, you never know what someone else is thinking.

But ghosting, especially after prolonged contact or dating, is unnecessary. Maybe in those situations tell the potential there’s no chemistry, you’ve met someone else or things have changed. Be as honest as you’re willing to be but still polite and if possible avoid the ghosting tactic because it hurts. You’d hate for it to be done to you.

On the flip side, you shouldn’t let someone who has ghosted you get you down or ruin your enthusiasm for dating; they were probably an arsehole anyway. It’s their problem not yours. Thankfully, I got “back on the horse”, moved onwards and upwards and eventually met other guys including Mr Fumble and Stallion Stan.

You can find out more about them in my blog post on H is for Heartbreak.

G is for…Ghosting

What is ghosting? Have you done it?

Have you seen this word before in the context of dating?

ghostingIf you’ve tried online dating in the last couple of years, even for just a short time, then you’ve probably been victim to it. The act of ghosting has been around for years. But with the rise in popularity of dating apps, messaging strangers before meeting them and the increasing numbers of those who are doing it, including married people, ghosting is all around us.

In August 2015, The Guardian reported on a survey completed by GlobalWeb Index. The survey found that globally approximately a third of dating app Tinder’s users are married. Tinder hit back in a Twitter frenzy with their own data which said that only 1.7% of Tinder users are married. Whichever piece of data, survey or opinion you believe it doesn’t stop the fact that there are all sorts of mysteries to be found via online dating. But how does this relate to ghosting and what is it?

Ghosting is when you’re chatting to someone, maybe even going on dates with them, and suddenly all communication stops. Messages are no longer replied to, future dates and any form of politeness or chemistry is quickly forgotten. The person being ghosted may initially wonder if the other person is okay but after a while the hint is obvious. Something you thought was going well has ended in a cowardly, maybe even cruel, way and you have no idea why. I’ve seen for myself that ghosting can hurt.

Ghosting may have been orchestrated for many reasons:

  • they’ve found someone else they connect with better
  • you said something they didn’t like and instead of explaining they’ve moved on
  • they’ve decided they didn’t have much of a connection with you
  • you were a time filler and they’ve found a different way to spend their time
  • you met and they didn’t fancy you but they don’t know how to tell you
  • they expected you to be more physical or less physical than you were
  • you did something really weird
  • they’ve found someone physically closer
  • an unwanted dick pic was sent
  • they’ve found someone easier
  • they were married all along and they had the online fun they were after
  • the mother ship returned and beamed them home to another planet!

ghostingThe possibilities are endless and that is part of the problem. You’re left wondering but never knowing what has changed. You could be considering the worse, questioning yourself and everything you said and did. Ghosting can consume us and leave us with more baggage than we started with and inevitably our fences go up.

If you started online dating because you were looking for some form of validation or you were desperately looking for a way to raise your confidence, then you need to be prepared for the possibility of getting hurt. A certain level of confidence is required to get through the arseholes that litter the corridors of your dating experiences.

Okay, it’s confession time readers. Feel free to judge me, I’ll take it like a reveller wearing Pikachu fancy dress in town on a Saturday night.

I have ghosted guys.

I could throw myself on your mercy but I don’t have any reasons or even an excuse. All I can say is that I too have had my gutless moments. My lack of experience didn’t help but, ultimately, I can be a massive chicken. I should have treated guys better and now I can say that I’ll never ghost a guy that I’ve been on a date with or given my mobile number to. I also no longer give my number out to just anyone.

I’ll tell you about my own experience of being ghosted in my next post. In the meantime, if you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences then please comment below or visit my Facebook page or Twitter page.

F is for Fences, Barriers and Baggage (continued)

f is for fencesIn my last post, F is for Fences, I shared my own story of coming up against someone with baggage whose way of dealing with it clashed with my own feelings and experiences.

Everyone has varying sizes of baggage and different heights to the fences they have built, as a result. In my online dating history, I’ve come into contact with former alcoholics, divorcees, single dads who have their kids 24/7, those in their thirties still living with their parents, men with body dysmorphia, guys who’ve been cheated on, guys who’ve done the cheating, those who only want to talk about their exes, people with low self-confidence, men in love with their best friends, and guys who adore Star Wars more than their grandmas.

What is baggage to one person isn’t to another and one day we’ll meet someone who’s more important and bigger than our baggage. A potential who over time will help our fences come down by knocking each panel of wood out, and hopefully we’ll do the same for them. It might be something big or an issue that takes a long time to dissipate, but for us they’ll be worth it. And it’s our prerogative what is worth it. Other people’s judgements aren’t relevant.

F is for Fences

I’ll finish the letter F with a story about my experience with Boris Pecker. I met him on one of the more reputable dating sites. Eventually, after a couple of weeks of messaging, we went on a date. Boris met me at the train station, he seemed a bit tipsy but was understandably nervous. Sadly, by the end of the date he was as drunk as nun on communion wine. But the date was still enjoyable…mostly.

To me the expected chemistry had been lacking but I know, from experience, that people get nervous and sometimes things take time. “I’m torn about a second date but I think it’s worth a go to see if I do like him. Sometimes second dates are needed.” Before I got as far as texting, I got a message from Mr Pecker.

Boris: In the interests of being honest I’m going to say that your height threw me a little and was a bit odd for me. But I had a nice time anyway.

FencesWhat I haven’t told you is that I’m on the short side but I’ve always been very honest about this on my profile. Boris was also one of life’s diminutive people. In fact, the first thing I mentioned when I told my friends about the date was that he was the shortest man I’d ever met. Maybe Boris’ height was his own baggage and therefore he couldn’t look beyond other people’s height. Maybe Mr Pecker was looking for the perfect specimen of a woman. I’m more than just a collection of feet and inches and so when Boris mentioned a second date I politely declined.

I want someone to enjoy spending time with me, not tolerate it in spite of my height. I want someone to see me as a whole package.

Be Mindful of Your Own Baggage

If you do have baggage about particular things, then you can save yourself some trouble and read the potential’s profile. If you don’t want kids then you don’t have to date a potential that does. And if you can’t do long distance relationships then make it easy and set your filter to local. In the long term, you’ll save yourself and someone else a lot of unnecessary heartache.

In the next post, I’ll cover Ghosting and the hurt it can cause – often building those fences even higher! Meanwhile, if you’ve missed any of the previous posts from my A-Z of Online Dating, click on “Select Category” in the right-hand column and select “A-Z Online Dating.” If you’d like to share some of your own dating experiences, add a comment below or visit my Facebook page.

F is for Fences…

fencesEveryone comes to dating and relationships with baggage. As I get older I find that people seem to be carrying a massive suitcase of pain and past hurts and experiences. Baggage is rarely just one bag, there’s usually lots of little carry-on bags in tow too. But if we all have our own baggage why does it feel like a struggle at times to find someone with tolerance for our problems?

Baggage can create fences. Fences stop us getting close to someone. It might be that the potential we want to date has their fences up because they’re scared of what might happen. Maybe we remind them of someone who has hurt them in the past or they have issues they’re not ready to deal with.

Fences… Barriers and Baggage

It’s real life story time. So, settle back and get ready to hear about my dates with Dry Humphrey. I should probably warn you that this story doesn’t have a happy ending, which is the sort of ending he was hoping for.

Dry Humphrey was a nice guy, easy to chat to and early-on it became apparent that we saw the world in a similar way. His goal was a relationship that might one day lead to marriage and kids and not just one night of hot, steamy passion. I was looking for the same. I still didn’t want him to get too carried away, after all we had to meet first. What if we came face to face and realised the attraction was as dry as a lesbian at a sausage buffet?

There was no denying that Humphrey was excited and reining him in was an impossible job. Within forty-eight hours of us chatting, he’d cancelled a date with another woman because he already liked me too much. Talk about pressure to bring the goods when we did meet! We decided that until we met we wouldn’t chat to anyone else online. It seemed a bit of a reckless strategy and not something I’d done so early with someone before but I went with it.

My Baggage

My own baggage contains some issues that have developed since using these sites. I can find it difficult to trust when I know I’m not the only one residing in the guy’s little black book. But that’s the nature of online dating and I’ve got used to it. Still, for some reason I trusted Humphrey and it was a refreshing experience.

The day of the first date came. I drove to the pub in my “first date dress” that hints at my figure but doesn’t lay it out on a silver platter. Excitement clenched at my stomach but I desperately tried to push it away. Would this be my “last first date”, or would I be bolting from the pub?

fencesThe biggest surprise of the date was that he brought his dog with him. It was a real dog, not a metaphor for his dick. An unlikely sidekick for a date but it gave a semi-relaxed state to the evening. The date went okay. It wasn’t a bolt of lightning but we chatted for a couple of hours, kissed goodbye and overall I had a slight glimmer from the experience. Feelings grow and just because there isn’t instant inner glow doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider a second date. So along came the second date. This one was at his house. I’d prepared dinner and together we watched shit television. Again, it was mostly a good evening. We even fooled around a bit.

Getting Past the Fences

Reader, I doubt you won’t be surprised to know that I’m not chaste but I didn’t want to rush into the physical side. I didn’t just want a quick shag against the wall. Based on my own dating experiences, I have some fences up and I didn’t want to regret moving too fast. The kissing and other things were pleasant, but there were also long periods of time where his hands were constantly on the move, trying to find ways of reducing my clothing, trying to push me further than I was willing to go. But he was still generally patient when I said stop. Dry Humphrey was a horndog and eventually gave up when he realised his cock wasn’t welcome in the location he wanted. And so, we chilled out for a bit, continued to get to know each other and made plans for our next date.

Another date at his house began. I guess the signs were obvious that this evening he was aiming for the same desperately needed conclusion. I had a foolproof plan. I was wearing jeans that were like Fort Knox. There was no way he could get them off. I was wrong! You can’t thwart a man with a boner. Male soldiers should go to war like that. Countries would be conquered in mere seconds so that the throbbing squaddies could rush home to their willing partners.

Even the Dog was Unimpressed

The date made me feel like an unyielding piece of meat. I did everything to distract his attention because he only had one aim, and foreplay wasn’t it. Even his dog was unimpressed by his seduction technique. That’s right, his dog was in the room too. Thankfully, I left his house with my dignity and knickers still intact.

Things changed after that. The idea of getting to know each other better became superfluous. He even texted to cancel our date to a restaurant because he was too tired to go out and the next time he saw me at his house he wanted to “go all the way.” My first response was, “What thirty-year-old says that?” My second was, “When did I just become a hole for him to fill?” It appeared my personality and anything else that made me a human were unnecessary. I was a glory hole now.

Strangely, I wasn’t motivated to contact Dry Humphrey so when he didn’t reply to my last text I was relieved. A week later, I got a text. It turned out Humphrey had been in a couple of sexually incompatible relationships and he didn’t want to end up in another. In my aim of getting to know him better, I’d shared information from my own past. Ultimately, he wanted to check we could have “penetrative sex” before we got into anything further so that he could “gauge the scale of the problem”. From what I could see, Humphrey’s baggage ruled his cock and as a result impassable fences were erected.

Fences Built Higher

baggageThings between us ended there and sadly my fences have got a little bit higher, as a result. In another place at another time, when our fences hadn’t been built with others in mind, maybe it would have worked between us. But personally I wanted to see we were compatible in lots of different ways, including sexually. I’ve heard the phrase “try before you buy” but in that experience it felt more like shoplifting. Potentials, just so you’re aware, sex is more than just shoving the penis in for quick satisfaction.

This is a big topic so I’ll talk some more about baggage and the fences we all build in the next blog post. If you’ve missed any of the previous posts from my A-Z of Online Dating, click on “Select Category” in the right-hand column and select “A-Z Online Dating.”

E is for Everyone Knows Someone Who…

Any time I’ve spoken with groups of mainly female friends I hear the same stories. At first there might be some encouraging words or curiosity about the guy I’m chatting to. But eventually I hear: “I know a couple who met online and now they’re married.”

Online dating works…

online dating worksPeople do fall in love with potentials they meet online and some even get married. It’s the selling point for many online dating sites. For example, each say something along the lines of:

  • they have more marriages than the other sites
  • they have more enduring marriages
  • they have more meaningful matches
  • they have more relationships than other sites.

Even the sites that seem to be based around hook-ups appear to have had people meet and marry. I read last year about an Olympic gold medallist meeting her soldier husband on a site that is renowned for its casual dates.

You Have to Take the Bad…

As I said, everyone knows someone and these happy marital endings do exist. But they’re not the only experiences people have. I suspect that for every marriage there is also someone who has seen a dick pic they didn’t want, chatted to a shithead or psycho, been on a date with a weirdo or had a second date they sincerely regret. However, these experiences aren’t only reserved for online dating. There are freaks and weirdos all over the place.

I recall a guy from university at our summer ball. I was sitting in the corner of the hall, looking bedraggled and exhausted, and he obviously thought that I would be easy pickings. The dude had misread the situation and so, when he invited me outside for some “fresh air,” he got a knock back he probably wasn’t expecting. Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t drunk but completely sober and suffering with a throat infection. I can safely say that no amount of alcohol would have been enough for me to spend time alone with him. Not only did he have a worrying resemblance to a rat both in looks and personality, he had a reputation for being a complete prick and doing whatever it took to get laid. The rat is probably torturing women via online dating sites as we speak.

…With the Good

But, in case you were looking for a bit more hope from this chapter, then I can tell you that I know of at least eight couples who met through online dating, all long term and most of them now married. The sites they met on were as varied as their personalities and they were well suited to each other.

One couple’s story brings a smile to my face rather than a harassed eye roll. We’ll call them Summer Breeze and Hugh Lovin. Summer was a slightly older lady who had been cajoled by friends into trying online dating. Her husband had died when she was younger and although dating, especially online, terrified her she eventually built up the courage to log on. The massive glass of wine she downed beforehand helped too.

Hugh, a guy who’d split up with his wife years earlier, was the first person that Summer spoke to. Almost immediately they were enamoured with each other. They had loads in common, even their “baggage”, and what started as two people casually chatting on opposite sides of the country quickly became emails back and forth sent throughout the evening. The next step was a phone call, which quickly turned into three-hour phone calls every night. This was leading up to the inevitable first meeting. After all, they couldn’t spend all their evenings chatting, they had to go into the big wide world sometimes too. Did they dare meet or were they going to run scared at the possibility of finally seeing each other face to face?

They did meet.

The day of the meeting finally arrived. Summer stood nervously on the train station platform, fingers trembling and her heart beating erratically. Watching Hugh stumble off the train she realised two things; her first date in an age, the man she’d been chatting to and silently pinned her hopes on, was nervous and he was tipsy. Would she walk away despondent that he’d arrived a little sozzled before lunchtime and potentially ruined their first meeting? No, it gave her the perfect opportunity to suggest heading to the nearest pub so she could relax her own quivering nerves.

everyone knowsFrom that day, they knew they’d found someone special. But what next? One of them had to move and the deliberation was difficult and tearful. But, one of them did, and two years later they had a beautiful wedding in the highlands of Scotland. I was lucky enough to meet Summer, hear her story and share my own online dating woes. She’s a fantastic listener. I can say for sure that there’s hope out there. I’ve met Summer and I’ve seen it exists. There are many more who have stories like hers.

Sometimes the crap may just be worth it.

Of course, not everyone is looking for marriage, some just want a bit of fun. I can think of lots of people who’ve found that via online dating. It’s out there and easy to find.

If, however, you’re interested in the long term then remember that’s your focus when you’re getting giddy from the interest you’re receiving. It’s easy to become like Slick Dick and believe your own hype. If you’re looking for the long term then your aim is to find the right potential for you. This may not mean the one who is best at charming you, flirting with you or only talks about sex.

A potential with the body of Taylor Swift or Chris Hemsworth is great but if there’s nothing more behind the picture or they never seem to want to go on a date then what’s the point? If you’re looking for someone you can share the best and worst of yourself with then the guy with the biggest cock or the woman with the banging boobs may seem like an exciting prospect. But they’re only worth your time and effort if they have a personality you like too.

Don’t Give Up

And the next time someone drones on about that wedding of two people who met online, take a moment to wonder to yourself, like I do: “Would I marry them?” It’s probably a “no.” So, let’s not waste time wishing you were in their shoes; instead hope the right person for you is just around the corner and that it’s someone you can be your real self with.

D is for Dick Pics

dick picsThe weirdest thing I found during my foray into online dating was that even the sweet guys send dick pics. One guy I was particularly fond of sent me a picture of his cock with a dickie bow around it because it was nearly my birthday. That’s taking it to a whole new level…to the dizzy heights of a dickie pic! It was a level no one has come close to since. He certainly knew how to stand out as did his very hard “little” friend.

So why do guys send pictures of their cocks to unsuspecting online potentials? I’m pulsating with ideas, they have penetrated my mind and filled my consciousness as they pound me endlessly. But if you throb with excitement too then don’t feel shafted. Make sure you plunder my twitter with your own thoughts.

Why Do Men Persist in Sending Dick Pics?

Here are the ideas I’ve banged out (and please accept my apologies for the puns, I couldn’t resist whacking them out):

  • They’re looking for validation. We all need to feel attractive and wanted at times. For me, that means wearing a stunning dress and being told I look beautiful. Maybe some men get the same glowing feeling by sending a picture of their cock and waiting for the compliments to roll in.
  • The guys want you to see how hard you make them. It could be that they’re surprised at just how quick and rock hard they’ve become and want to share that. One guy used to tell me frequently “I adore you and you make me as hard as hell”. The compliment being that not only did he think I was great but he was also taken aback at how hard it made him to speak to me. The picture could be the guy’s immature way of paying you a compliment.
  • Mr Dick Pic wants you to imagine what sex with him would be like. He’s a visual guy and so this is how he translates his thoughts to you. He’s been thinking about sex with you; he wants to have sex with you. The part of him suggesting that you should have a nice date where he tries to woo you has gone from his head. It may have taken a permanent holiday while he thinks about sex with you.
  • The fella is trying to charm you and make you smile. A joke would probably go down a lot better. Unfortunately, the sensible part of their brain that tells them that one of the most unattractive parts of their body isn’t going to win you over is being drowned in horny-ness.
  • They want a picture in return. This is the most likely reason, in my opinion. Think of it as tit for tat. They’ve shown you their tat so now they want to see some tit. However, I’ve been sent many dick pics and I’ve never sent a tit pic, or a fanny photo. So, to say it’s not a winning strategy is a massive understatement.

Stay Safe (and Anonymous)

In the next blog post, I’ll talk about the ways you can send an intimate picture that will protect your privacy and, hopefully, provide the intended turn-on rather than sending the other person screaming into the night.

Meanwhile, let me know if you’ve ever sent an intimate photo or received a really funny or unusual one. Add your comments below or share it on my Facebook page.

C is for…Casual Sex and Condoms (Continued)

casual sex and condomsIf you don’t want casual sex how do you avoid those who do? In my last update, C is for Casual Sex and Condoms, I talked about being honest about what you’re looking for from online potentials. Personally, I’m not looking for casual sex or one night stands. So, I tend to avoid guys that include semi-nude photos in their profiles and those that have dodgy user names or taglines.

What do I mean by that?

Here are some names that got a no, even though they did amuse me:
• teasetoplease
• spunkmonkey
• mingelover
• iknowhowtouseit

And profile taglines:
• No fanny too big or too small
• Good body and with a big tool for hard and hot work
• Looking for hook up for me and another woman

Douchebag Deidre

It’s safe to say that whatever we want we can find it online. The skill is trying to separate the liars, psychos and dickheads from those that are looking for the same as us. They are out there too.

This brings me to Douchebag Deidre and my friend Horace. Horace and Deidre were in contact for a month or so and he was smitten. Chuckles were as frequent as the multitude of texts they sent each other. They had a lot in common. Even the things they bought when they went junk food shopping matched like a game of snap. I could see Horace was quickly captivated and the conversations they had that he dared to share with me were sweet and lovely. Had Horace finally found someone he could flirt with and be in a relationship with?

textingNot long after they started chatting, Deidre explained that she hadn’t been separated from her husband for very long. Together they had joint custody of their young daughter. That wasn’t an issue for Horace and so they decided it was time to move beyond texting and set a date for meeting. The planning wasn’t easy because Deidre had just moved to a new place, which was an hour away. And obviously the daughter was staying over some nights too. But eventually the hopeful first meeting was set in stone.

The texts continued.

Some of the texts sent by Deidre included “I wish you were here with me right now” and “Please don’t go to sleep yet, I want to keep texting.” They seemed happy chatting to each other like this and all was going well.

Three nights before they were due to meet, Deidre had a bit too much prosecco. The truth started to reveal itself, with a bit of cajoling by Horace. Apparently, she was drunk and feeling sorry for herself. It didn’t take much for her to confess she wasn’t getting on well with her parents because they were on the side of her ex-husband. She had a history of dumping men when life got difficult. Deidre confessed that she’d split up with one long term boyfriend in the last couple of months, been married twice and had only left her husband six months earlier. The numbers didn’t add up.

The words continued to pour from her slightly sozzled mouth. When sober, Deidre had mentioned that marriage still appealed to her. In her drunkenness she admitted that she had no intention of marrying again.

“I’m not sure if I can treat a man properly again because my daughter is the only thing that matters to me. That won’t change. No man will ever matter to me again”.

The most shocking aspect was when she presumed their upcoming date would involve sex because she “could do better” than him.

Honesty – the Best Policy

Horace was stunned and spoke to me at length about what had happened and how he should respond. Over their entire conversation his feelings had waned and, although the idea of no strings sex appealed, it wasn’t what he wanted. The next day he contacted Deidre and explained that maybe she wasn’t in the right place to be dating and certainly not to be dating him. It was Deidre’s turn to be surprised, although not particularly bothered.

Maybe she couldn’t remember what she’d said in her alcohol fuelled state or maybe she was just unsure what the problem was. After all, she was of the opinion she was out of Horace’s league so why wouldn’t he want her? Had Deidre been honest at the start then it would have saved Horace a lot of time and energy.

Casual Sex and Condoms too

But this section of the A to Z isn’t just about casual sex, condoms are a feature too. Whatever your “thing” is, whether casual sex or sex in a relationship, always use a condom. I’m not going to beat about the bush, I’m sure your Tinder date will beat your bush a lot better than I can!

At the end of 2015, doctors were suggesting that dating apps were causing an increase in the rates of sexually transmitted diseases. I’m sure we could debate this endlessly but, ultimately, people have unprotected sex with people they meet and nowadays they often meet via online dating. Save yourself some awkward trips to the STI clinic and use a condom. You don’t know where the person you’re sleeping with has been, no matter what they tell you. It takes ages to get to know someone and people do lie, as I’ve already proved.

So wrap it up or make sure he does because the consequences aren’t pretty. Googling pictures of STIs will convince you of just how ugly it can get.

Coming up, D is for the dreaded Dick Pic! Meanwhile, don’t forget to “like” my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter for regular updates.

C is for…Casual Sex and Condoms

casual sexSome people do casual sex and some don’t. Whether we do or not it’s no one’s business but ours and the person we may or may not be sleeping with. Casual sex is a personal choice and will be based on many factors. These can include the person you’re considering doing it with, your general mood, the level of affection, what location is available and how much you’ve had to drink. It can be a well-planned military operation or as spontaneous as turning up at an airport and buying a ticket to the first location you see.

I know people who’ve done it and people who haven’t. If you want to do it then jump right in, preferably not feet first as that makes it a bit more complicated. But make sure that if that’s your choice, it’s the choice of the person you’re sleeping with as well.

Casual Sex is Not An Excuse for Lying

Maybe your aim is to screw as many people as possible and hit some round numbers. It’s good to have a goal in life, but be honest about it. If that’s what you want then you shouldn’t pretend differently. There’s lots of people out there of both sexes who are looking for casual sex. So, let’s do the world a favour and not mindf**k someone who’s looking for something longer term. In the same way, if you’re looking for long term don’t pretend you’re fine with casual sex and then turn into a psycho when casual sex is all you get.

Online dating doesn’t have to be a game. But if you’re doing it at someone else’s expense and enjoying hurting people in the process then maybe you need to see a counsellor and not the underwear of someone who is looking for marriage and has been led to believe that’s your aim too.

Let’s Be Honest

I recall a couple of years ago when I had my first foray into app dating sites. A pleasant guy and one of my matches started chatting with me. It went something like:

Seymour: Hey. Hope you’re having a good night. What sort of thing are you looking for on here?

Me: Probably just dating and then seeing how it goes. Maybe a relationship eventually. How about you?

Seymour: I’m hoping to find someone that I can have sex with tonight.

Me: Ah okay, I’m afraid that’s not me but good luck.

Seymour: You too. Laters!

We then moved on, hopefully to others who were more what we wanted. In my innocence I was surprised at his brazen and candid reply but now I wish all the guys I spoke to were as honest as Seymour.

On one app and website you can specify from a drop down list what you’re looking for. This includes, “is looking for a relationship” and “is looking for casual dating/no commitment”.

Thank goodness for these options, although they’re pretty pointless unless you’re honest. So, just be honest!

In my next post, I’ll share some of the ways you can spot those guys that are only interested in casual sex and, as promised, we’ll touch on the very important topic of condoms.