I had dinner last night with my DFL friend. It had been some time since we'd caught up with each other, so I updated her on my dating progress over the summer. I knew that it had been entertaining (to say the least), that I hadn't found the man of my dreams, and as I told her all about it, I saw her eyes get rounder and rounder.
"Old Girl", she said, "you really should put this on your blog". So, blame her for this.
I joined a couple of dating sites in order to try and find an ordinary man. I wasn't looking for anything too special - someone who could string together a couple of sentences, read the odd book, someone who could be my friend and (as they say on the sites), who knows what after that? Being over 40, not slim or glamorous, my profile didn't attract too much attention - and there are far more women on these dating sites than there are men - so I have to say I didn't get a lot of choice. But I met up with a few, and these are they...
First, there was The Geek. He works in IT, in the hardcore techy end of IT, and he was just as interesting as he sounds. He's only about 52, but my goodness he seemed older than that. I almost gave up at this point. The second meeting (I tried to give it a chance) was a disaster - I just wanted to run away...
There was The Scammer - claimed to be in the US Air Force posted in Iraq, and a widower, who after two IM conversations told me that he thought that he was "ready to love again", and that I could be the woman for him. None of it rang true, but the criminologist in me got interested, and I continued the IM conversations gathering information as I went. When he finally asked me to "donate money to a charity" that he contributed to, I contacted the police on the grounds that this was an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. They took it very seriously - which is nice. I hope that they catch him and that he doesn't get any money from anyone.
Then, there was The Doctor. Or, at least that's what he says he is. I met him in a bar in a neighbouring seaside town. He was charming. Actually, he was waaaayyyyy too charming. I'm not used to being told how beautiful I am (I'm not - except in a certain light), or to being told on a first date what our long term future holds, and he kept stroking my hair. Weird. Just weird. And he scared me a bit. Also, wouldn't accept that I didn't want to see him again.
I also met a Perfectly Nice Man. He's older than me, and I didn't fancy him in the slightest, but I enjoyed his company. I might meet up with him as a friend (he appears to be happy with this), so I may have made another friend, which would be nice.
But, the one that's really put the tin lid on my dating adventure is the Randy Old Goat. I met up with him once and he's a very attractive man, very nice to talk to - witty, intelligent and good company. I was hopeful of this one, I really was. But as our phone conversations developed, his proclivities truly became apparent. I'd never experienced someone having phone sex on the other end of the phone before, and while the experience was 'interesting', I'm not sure that it's for me. I have to be honest, I spent most of the phone conversation looking at shoes on eBay while he was doing whatever he was doing on the other end of the line. At least he was honest - and a purely physical relationship might have been pleasant - but he lives a couple of hours away from me which is too far to drive for what Erica Jong might have described as a 'zipless fuck', and I've got a thesis to write. I don't have the time.
So, that's it. My internet dating days are behind me. As term starts, I'm not going to have the time to expend on this kind of lark. I'd just like to meet someone normal. Is that too much to ask?
I'm working on the 'lost key principle' now. You know what I mean - if you lose your keys, you can never find them while you're looking for them, but when you stop looking, you realise that they've been there all along. I'm hoping that the principle works on men.
So, as my grandmother used to say, "Men? Give me alligators...."