I used to, and I think at times I might even have enjoyed it. S from Tinder is smiley and chatty with faultless social skills. Wine with M from Lovestruck – the first date I’ve really enjoyed, and the first woman I found attractive just by looking at her photo.
But after one romantic disaster too many, I reviewed my dating history and concluded there was something wrong either with a) every girl I’d ever dated or b) me. R from Lovestruck is Japanese – lovely, totally incomprehensible. When she was a baby she was kissed by Marshal Tito. She’s Italian, sort of like a sexless Sophia Loren. The algorithms that sites such as Lovestruck use to match people seem somewhat redundant post-Tinder, where appearance is everything. After a couple of false starts, I unwittingly use a blinding opener to attract C: “Nice bracelet.” This half-arsed hello is, remarkably, golden.
There are sites that are specifically about that kind of thing, so why you would waste time and money on sites or parts of websites that are not about casual sex is baffling. BUT WE’RE MARRIED AND HAVE HAD A LOT OF SEX WITH EACH OTHER ALREADY. What if you read her profile and discovered what she was interested in, as well as what she wasn’t up for, and chose who to connect with based on that?
Not only are you wasting your time, but you’re wasting the time of other people and coming off as a total creep in the process. Did I say anything remotely sexual the night we met? What if you, based on reading her profile, opened the conversation with something you know is interesting to her rather than just “Hey,” or some cheesy pickup line?
Nothing is more annoying than a guy who takes shortcuts.” She cites the following example: “Say I spend an entire paragraph talking about how one of my loves is spending time with my sister and rolling around with her two boys. ’ I’m like, ‘Can’t you even be bothered to read the whole profile? If the other person’s profile says, ‘I’m looking for long-term,’ and all you’re after is hooking up, give it a pass.
For the next month, I’m going to date as many women as possible. I’m met by E at a Tube station on a freezing Sunday night. She’s from Lovestruck, originally from Riga, and works in Mayfair for an oil company. I suspect she would put out if we met over wine, rather than coffee and cake. Sublime planning means I only have to walk 100m to my next date, B from Lovestruck, who sadly hasn’t walked 100m herself in quite some time. Delightfully dim but, that apart, she’s not my type.
I met my wife at a concert on campus and managed to not creep her out in the first five minutes, so she was willing to keep talking to me. I have thousands of Facebook friends and have lost count of how many discussions I’ve seen about how creepy men act on dating sites.
Alas, it appears many men struggle with not being creepy while looking for love online. Time after time I see a message that boils down to this: My profile clearly states I’m not looking for casual sex. What I mean is, I showed her I was a good and interesting person who liked her, and she realized she liked me, and that led to the bedroom.
There’s been a revolution in sexual practices that passed me by (have you seen Tinder? I’m a dinosaur – a missionary man in a reverse-cowgirl world. Inane openers do break the ice, but stop you from reaching anything deeper. I crave male company so go home and watch Expendables II. I discover that coffee dates can work when you’re not in the office headspace. I tell her I was running late and had to elbow a granny out of the way to get off the train. The scatter-gun concept works: by the time I meet my fourth woman, the jitters that can ruin a more conventional date are gone.
I meet a former colleague, C, who I’ve been lusting after for years. It’s a pretty good pie, too, but she doesn’t go over.