Posted by: peterhact | August 9, 2012

The good old dating scene…. where did it go?

I have mentioned that dating is pretty cut-throat these days. I have mentioned that online dating is a scary place, especially when you find that the nice girl you have been speaking to turns out to be a hairy bloke, who thinks that your parents mis-named you and your name is actually the female version of your name. (there are more worrying things that surface when you find out that you have both been chatting to a bloke, eg. how do you exit stage left)

What I have found particularly confusing is that, once a site matches you to another person, it is not as simple as catching up with them and off to your new happy life. Oh, no. That would be really easy, wouldn’t it? The reality is that before you actually meet with the person, you have to answer several questions, explain your turn ons and turn offs, (although the longer I am single, a turn off is when they turn out to be a bloke, (aaargh) and a turn on is that the girl has a heartbeat) and finally, if the negotiated pathway to love hasn’t ended in you being chucked into a blackberry bush, left sitting like a fool in a cafe because they came in, saw you and chickened out, you get to meet a possible new partner.

Before there were the kids, it would have been a lot simpler. It probably would have involved a pub, lots of alcohol and waking up next to a woman that for whatever reason had chosen to stay, or (more realistically) had been so drunk that driving wasn’t an option, nor was coherent speaking – taxi drivers love the woman who cannot speak, they have to play 200 questions to find out the basics, like at least the suburb. Many have been disappointed to find that they live a suburb away, but what woman wants to walk home alone in the dark?

Not to say that my friends aren’t trying to help me find my next love of my life. Of course, I have no intention of dating anyone’s sister, co worker or their wife’s best friend – nice try guys, but there has to be more fish in the sea than people that if I was dating, you’d get to see more of. (mainly without upsetting your partner – ogling a bloke’s girlfriend is ok, if in the case of a co-worker; your sister, on the other hand, that is just wrong. eeew) The kids are just as bad. “What bout her, daddy, you like her don’t you?” Nine times out of ten, the person is obviously married – the 9 foot tall man mountain is a dead giveaway, or they are very, very young. (kids operate in the assumption that if you are over ten, you are old. Daddy isn’t that old, grandpa is much older, so these people are ok) There is an excruciating moment of embarrassment as daddy turns a shade of pink, which is seized on by small helpers. “are you excited daddy? why have you gone a funny color?” this only makes the blush worse, and probably creates a small amount of mirth for the person at which the small helpers are directing me.

Then there was the case of the nice lady at the nature park, the volunteer who was very happy to assist us with learning about lizards, gave her binoculars to my youngest son (a bad move, he was smitten) and explained to the kids all about the animals they might see. She was a nice lady. So nice, that every weekend after that was an opportunity to meet her again. (the kids wanted to go there every time. It was cute, but devastating as she wasn’t there every time we went back, maybe she could see the signs of small boy infatuation)

That was the olden days, as I explained to my kids. You saw a nice lady, asked her if she was seeing anyone and if she wasn’t and was interested, maybe you would have a coffee and a chat. Those days have been replaced by the internet, chat, confusion and the fear that the nice lady turns out to be a hairy bloke, just as confused as you by the whole new dating scene.

Then there is the whole rejection by a “match”. There are subtle ways to let people down easy. Many ways to say no. unfortunately, getting a rejection online is just as soul destroying as it was in the olden days. You pick yourself back up, and try again. This is worse than selling – the number of “no” should be 9 in 10 times, recently I have noticed that it is more like of the 30 women you approach, 29 say no. the other one finds out you have kids and is washing their hair. permanently. I am surprised she has any hair left.

Here I am, Divorced, I can cook, I can clean, I have kids and it seems that the perfect match is the one person out there who wants me to send money so she can come to Australia to meet me. Shame. I have no money to send. Looks like I will be alone for a while longer then. At least I have the kids.

I am not depressed. I am disappointed. How is it that for the recent census results, women outnumber men in canberra, but I can’t find one to be my friend and partner? drop your standards, ladies. The Hairy bloke and I deserve a chance to speak to a real woman, not other blokes, missing the good old dating scene, stuck in the new dating scene and confused as hell as to why we are continually being matched to men, when there are less men than women here. Oops, got to go. just got a message from a new person, named Steve. Looks like a new one. Time to explain that my name is spelled correctly, I don’t like blokes in that way and sending an email to the dating site probably gets lots of laughs in the office.


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