Adventures in Online Dating. Part 1.

The relationship which was supposed to “the one” ended in such a way I now know how the dinosaurs felt when that fateful meteor hit down all those years ago. Too early after that flaming disaster I briefly had another relationship, but at that time I wasn’t ready for one and my focus was needed elsewhere, so it fizzled out.

I’d then been single for a while, about two and a half years, I had figured that “single” was going to be my official Facebook status for the long-haul and I had accepted it, I was mostly OK with it too. Weekends where I am not spending time with my daughter are spent playing video games, watching movies, eating things I probably shouldn’t be and every now and then, even being social.

One day my brother told me about an abscess he got on his ass. Not just any old abscess, this was the King Kong of abscesses and right near main street. It was a monster and caused him epic discomfort. It was portrayed in a comical fashion, but you could tell, this was a man unhappy with life. There was a picture, I don’t think I will ever be able to un-see for the rest of my life, of the offending body sore which apart from showing just a little too much of my brother from the back end, looked like something from a horror movie. I possibly showed a few folk I shouldn’t have this picture, resulting in more comedy, but still this was not a good thing. I remember the day it burst, he was seriously plucking up the courage to lance it, I figure he would have needed to rent one off a group of live action role players that specialized in the medieval period, but before going that far, it burst.

He described the scene as basically a large bloody rag which when turned over looked a lot like a brain. A picture arrived. This really was the stuff of nightmare! It really did look like a brain, one which had been dipped in custard and then dropped from a great height. A little while after this I remember him telling me that not only had his girlfriend (now wife) been super supportive, she even held his ‘cheek’ and applied the bandages and cooling pads to sooth the area, that is pure love right there!

All this got me thinking, I had from time to time felt a little on the lonely side and something about this tale kicked it off again, that’s what I want! #relationshipgoals and all that. I want to be in love with someone so much that we can get through something like horrific ass wounds or worse together, I want to find myself a wife.

I’m aware that I’m probably a bit of a tough sell, if I was a car it would be a used advert with a body needs work label, I decided to give internet dating a try.

I started off slowly, giving the apps Tinder and Badoo a go. I set up my profiles with a quick “Hi I’m Simon” and selected a few pics from my gallery and away I went. I spent a week swiping left and right with abandon. Zero matches. I’m not going to lie, I felt a little disheartened. I’m not that much of a swamp donkey, am I? No matches?! Ouch. Feelings were hurt. Then I paid I think 99p to give me profiles each a boost and I then got a few matches, things were looking up! I went through my matches and, well, I am quite sure some of these people were being a little less than honest. A quick google image search confirmed this theory. I had a large selection of fakes profile matches. I did also get a few genuine matches; however, most were from the US and I was looking for someone a little closer to home. I also saw some ex’s pop up in the list, which was interesting as I’m quite sure one is married, I did then get one match, let’s call her Jane Doe. We had a few common interests, liked the same moves and games and a few things so we got to chatting. It transpires that Jane already had a husband. Not only did she have a husband but also a boyfriend, Jane suggested that maybe I could be a standby boyfriend. I politely declined as my interests involved being more than a third on-call sort of person.

This put me off the whole thing so, only a week and a half in, I deactivated my accounts and sought solace with my Xbox.

A little while after this I decided to again dip my toes back into the pool of taking a look to see what’s out there, but this time I decided to do some research. By research I mean I googled “dating sites for nerds”. A few options were presented but one stood out to me above all the others, I decided to install DragonFruit.

I really like the DragonFruit app, I liked how to setup the profile and the questions, I liked the shared interests idea, I was really happy when my profile was completed and I had a really good feeling about it, that is until I went to try and search for other people. To start with is was completely, totally and utterly dead, there was no one, not a soul. I increased the search radius to 100 miles and all of a sudden, lots of smiling faces appeared in my little search window. I then adjusted my filter again to just show me woman.


Nine women within 100 miles for me to try and woo, or at least make friends with. I then adjusted the age filter, I think a guy my age messaging anyone under a certain age is just weird and a little creepy. I decided 28 was my age floor, I don’t know why, just a number I went with. I then upped it to 29 and looked again.


Ok, five women over the age of 29 within 100 miles. I went through each of the profiles and actually, with all five there was good enough reason to at least friendzone each other. I decided to message each of them. It was at this point I found my other problem, I have no ‘game’, none, #deadfish. What do you say to people online nowadays? Most of my previous meeting the ladies attempt’s usually started with me saying “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to step on your foot” or, back when I was a smoker, the classic “have you got a light”. Now it was all online with no interaction. I read each profile and wrote a message that started by greeting with name, where possible, mentioned something about the profile I had a common interest with and ended on a question about something else mentioned on the profile, for example:

“Hi Jane2, How’s your day going? I saw you liked Altered Carbon on Netflix, I thought it was great too. Who was your favourite character from the show?”

Reading it back, well 5 minutes after typing it out, I’m still cringing. You will be shocked to read that I got zero replies. For those wondering, I really liked Poe. I did get one message from a very nice sounding lady in the US armed forces, who very politely asked if I could send her some money so she could buy a plane ticket to get back home to her son. This app was not working out for me, which was a real shame as I liked it.

I then thought I would give the OkCupid app ago. Top tip with this app, when you get the message asking if you want to be admin some pics to make sure they follow the guidelines, unless you want to see a lot of naked men, don’t look, it’s a plethora of penis in there. Seriously guys, from actually reading a lot of women’s profiles, I’m pretty sure they don’t want to see it until the time is right, keep it in your pants and off the internet, when they want to see things, they will ask!

I started speaking to another lady, let’s call her Jane3. Our chats progressed to whatsapp then it became a constant request for money. I’m not a bank. I’m not going to be loaning people money, I want to get to know someone, not so much just give them money. Money is a tricky subject but shouldn’t be an issue until you are living with someone right?!

I had my first glimmer of hope around this time too, I was speaking to a nice lady, Jane4, little bit younger than myself, we had multiple similar interests and things were looking positive. We spoke on Instragram and started to talk about meeting up following her upcoming birthday. We were due to meet and funnily enough around this time my bank account had been cleared, I’d used my bank card in a place where I knew at the time it was a bad idea and was right.  I was unable to meet Jane4 and unfortunately her alternate choice swept in, I wished her happy (which was mostly true) and contact ceased shortly after this. I then got my money back from the bank.

It never really dawned on me but I guess when you are speaking to people there are lots of people speaking to that person too. Although it appears there are a lot of people messaging the ladies for… well, lets just say probably not to settle down, there are also lots of people about that are actually looking for someone. Odds are slim, I wish all those not really looking or married and all of that, well, bugger off!!!! The ladies are getting wary!

I then had what counts so far as my most controversial moment on this zany adventure. I stated speaking to a new lady. Jane5. The conversation was easy and fluid, we liked the same sort of video games, movies and general entertainment and had a good few conversations, it was like chatting to an old friend a lot of the time. We decided to meet, however right before we were due to meet I received a message saying, “Before we meet, I feel I should tell you that although I am living as a woman, I haven’t completed the transition yet, I hope this isn’t a problem”. I pondered this message for a little while before settling on the rather simple reply of “What, have you got a knob?” I am aware that this was an insensitive comment, I am not defending it, but I was quite surprised. It was another little while before the reply came in, the conversation continued at this point, however, it went somewhat downhill. The fact of the matter is, yes, the penis was a problem for me. Call me old fashioned but to me men have a penis, woman have a vagina. I know that this could be considered out of date thinking, as argued to me the world has indeed changed and things aren’t the same as they were in say the 80’s, but to me, these basics still stand, sorry. I was told I was a homophobe, out of touch and that I will die alone. I know a lot of attitudes have, rightfully, changed and I personally have no problem with it, I think it’s a good thing. I have a few gay friends, to be fair, I just call them friends and that side of them never comes up in conversation, or very rarely, but I have never spoken to a transgender person before, I almost certainly handled it badly, and I am sorry for that. That said, a penis isn’t what I am looking for as part of my future relationship, I mean what my girlfriend had a penis that was bigger than mine, how awkward would that be?! It would not make me feel warm and fuzzy that’s for sure. I didn’t meet with Jane5 and contact ceased. I do wish Jane5 all the best as I know what she is going through must be very difficult for her and the last thing she needs is an ejit like myself not being sensitive to it, am I out of date on these matters, yes, I hope should anything like this happen again I find it within myself the handle the situation a little more delicately.

I finally decided to give Plenty of Fish of fish ago. It was interesting that within a few days I was inundated by women wanting to meet me. This was an interesting turn of events for me to be honest, I’d not really done a search or anything but apparently 23 women wanted to meet me. Of course, I couldn’t not see this list of potential wives for me without paying. I debated for a bit and parted with £19.99 which was the lowest amount you could spend to get access to anything. Apparently, you can put a price on finding love. I eagerly went to the list of women wanting to meet… I went through each profile and one thought kept playing through my head, I don’t think this is a real person. Basically, they all broke down as follows:

A picture or 4 of a good looking young woman.

Status would be single and the intent would vary a bit.

About me, well would usually point to a website, ask for an email address, speak in broken English about fun and sexy times.

These meet me requests would keep coming in and all fall into the above category. I also spent an additional £16.99 for 10 “boosts” where my smiling chops would pop up on ladies searching on meet me. I am quite sure the only people on meet me are the people setting up the fake profiles as all that seems to happen is that I will get a few “soandso wants to meet you” and usually by the time I decide to look the account have been removed. I find this deeply annoying and this app seems to be the worst for it.

I did do a search and got a few conversations going, I noticed a good number were deleted before being read, I also received some nice “you aren’t my type but thank you” and “I’m looking for someone without a child” type messages These apps can be quite demoralizing you know! I had some friends look at my profile and they said it was ok. I was about to give up then I started chatting to Jane6.

After some conversations and having a laugh, we decided to meet and I went on an actual date! It had been a really long time since I’d been on a date, as in years. I remembered this on the drive down and then all I could think about was how blank my mind was! The date itself was actually quite lovely, we went to a beach getting slightly lost on the drive there, walked up and down for a bit and had dinner before dropping her home and then myself driving home. We had a second date shortly afterwards where we went to Frankie and Benny’s. Top tip, avoid the meatballs! I love a good meatball and the first one was nice, after this it became a lot like eating rubber balls. I poked my finger into one of them and it reverted to a round shape almost instantly. My stomach was a little unhappy about this and let’s just say I had to grab some Imodium instants during my drive home. There was a third date where we had a Chinese which was absolutely delicious but then things started to fizzle out between us. The main issue was that the drive was an hour and a half each way for me, not including traffic, and she didn’t drive. I have my daughter on alternate weekends so free weekends are every other, one weekend I had to help my parents and I had a few chores to deal, so a weekend date would have been 4 weeks away as heading down after work in the traffic wasn’t really that viable to be honest. We chatted for a little while further and decided to end contact, it was a shame, but was for the best.

I then had short conversations with Janes7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14 but none of it really went anywhere. One of them did note however that she thought my pictures weren’t of me and that I was fake. I just remember thinking if I was going to do that, I would google up something a little better than my mug, moving on!

I hit google again looking for another nerdy app like DragonFruit as I still liked the idea of that one and I came across Cuddli. I signed up, set my search criteria and again hit zero. Again, I was being too picky asking for a single woman aged 29-39 within 25 miles. I upped the mileage to 50 and sent out a few match requests. A couple came back and I started a conversion with Jane15. The conversation was fun and quite nerdy and we suggested that a date could be had. I then got the following message:

“my name isn’t ***** I’m not 35 and I don’t work for a charity. There I said it. Oh f**k it feels good!”

“Nearly forgot and I’m into forced sex, love it, as long that is fake that is”

This did all take me back a little and things did not work out and the conversations stopped shortly after this.

I looked at the Blendr app but to me it seems to be Badoo in a different skin, really does look to be exactly the same app… with the same results.

My ongoing attempts at “romance” have been of interest to a few colleagues at work and one in particular has suggested using “a proper” site for some time. I looked at both Match and Eharmony and have joined the latter for a 3-month period. Nothing so far, but early days yet.

This year I finally attended TFNation 2018. About half way through the day it dawned on me that if ever I was going to find me a wife, this would be the place! Tinder then basically refused to update my location. Thanks for that Tinder! So as part 1 draws to a close, I’m still single, I’m still looking and I still hopeful. I’m hoping part 2 whenever that will be, will be more happy ending and less Empire Strikes Back!

Time will tell.

*yes, I am aware I chose the name Jane for all, I was going to use different names but it turns out I needed a lot of different names and every time a name popped into my head I knew someone of that name that made it inappropriate to use in my head, I don’t actually know anyone called Jane, so the placeholder ‘Jane Doe’ stuck!

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