The Blind Date.

A few weeks ago I went to a fabulous restaurant for dinner on a blind date paid for by a national newspaper. Both of us had been matched by someone who was running a feature about older daters and of course I was looking forward to it, as anyone who has agreed to go on a blind date must have something about them already.

A photographer came round to my place 2 hours early and had patiently been waiting for me to get home so he could set up, but he then had to wait for me to get ready. The dress code is quite strict with photographs especially where colour is concerned so the outfit I’d originally planned to wear for the photos was considered to be too dark. White was also a non starter as were certain patterns so the end result was probably the only outfit we could use,(didn’t wear it on the date though) so luckily it turned out alright.

It’s always strange meeting someone on a blind date but I like the fact I don’t know anything about them, there’s been no interaction so I have no expectations. Colin was the perfect gentleman, was easy to get on with and had plenty to say, although that didn’t seem to stop him drinking most of the wine. He told me a couple of things that made me think he was  probably not for me but he was in fact good company but it wasn’t long before he made it quite clear that he liked me, and I mean REALLY liked me, so much so that after telling him I was off to Ibiza on holiday that coming weekend he said that he could probably come out there himself and where was it I was staying? After laughing it off and saying he was joking (he so wasn’t) he decided to try and show off by talking Spanish to the Italian waiters who obviously couldn’t understand him. On that note we left the restaurant and made our way to Piccadilly Gardens.

Once outside Colin tried to link me, then he was rubbing my back, pawing at me and generally trying to pull me close to him until I told him to stop it. Once we got to my bus stop he insisted on staying with me until the bus came and thought it would be an opportunity to pull me close to him even though he says in his interview he knew I was uncomfortable with it. He gave me his number (no intention of using it) and that was that. The journalist doing the feature rang both of us to ask how we got on a couple of days later and she mentioned that Colin had said I hadn’t been in touch.

Two days and Colin said I hadn’t been in touch.

I told her all about the date and about how he was way too keen and how off putting it is and she agreed before saying “Why don’t you just text him to thank him for the date?” But I did that on the night, he knows, I don’t want to encourage him, I know EXACTLY what will happen. “To be polite”, she said. Hang on a minute, I’ve done my bit, I’ve been polite enough putting up with everything that happened on the way back to the bus stop, Colin’s had a good night let’s just leave it. “Just be polite” so I messaged him.

What a mistake that was.

I was bombarded with messages every day while I was on holiday, I didn’t even reply to most of them but that didn’t stop him. He wanted to know which hotel I was in, he could come over and stay, (this is the problem with retired guys too much time on their hands) we were going to have such a good time, apparently. This after just ONE DATE. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, I’ve been on enough dates to know when something’s not right. Because I didn’t reply the messages stopped apart from Thursday mornings when I’d get told who was in this week’s feature of Blind Date in the paper.

Until today.

Today it was our turn to be in the paper with our blind date and I think some clarification is needed to explain the difference between a “good date” and a “good date” where you want to see someone again.

1, I didn’t fancy him, if I did that would have gone a long way to wanting to see him again.

2. The fact you have something in common doesn’t mean it’s going anywhere. In our case our common interest (apparently) was the fact he lived in Spain doing dodgy dealings and I lived in Gibraltar at a completely different time drinking too much vodka that put me off for life. Enough to ride off into the sunset?

3. Just because we’re older doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be as picky. I’m still working, most guys I date are retired which means that they will be sulking as I don’t have the time they need to be at their beck and call and even though they’ll all say they love the fact I have my own life they don’t like it at all.

4. People can lose their confidence when it comes to dating and I understand that, being too keen can mean they’ve forgotten what the rules are and if that’s the case then it’s fine, but don’t push it when someone says “No” that’s just being an idiot.

5. When you’ve been dating a while you’ve been on enough dates to know the difference between a “good date”and one that means you can’t wait to see them again. How many people do you see on First Dates who after the date say they want to see each other again but then don’t?

6. Chemistry. End of.

I had a nice time, we had a good date but it wasn’t enough, just couldn’t see myself with him no matter how hard I tried and a goddess won’t settle for second best. To add insult to injury after I’d been on the blind date when I got off the bus near home I crossed  the road, tripped, and fell head first along the pavement which resulted in a damaged knee ligament.

No Colin. you weren’t worth that.

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Tinder Problems

I’ve not yet had one single date from being on Tinder, not one. I turned up for one but my date didn’t, only to be told (after I’d messaged him that I was at the designated meeting point and I couldn’t see him) that actually, something had come up so he’d have to check when he was free again and let me know.

Good luck with that mate.

I’ve had a few conversations, but no one I’m remotely interested in especially after the couple of happy go lucky souls I’ve been chatting with this past week. One of them “B” seemed a bit quiet, a bit shy, (fine) and during the day we didn’t communicate much as we were both at work but later on in the evening I’d get what he probably considered to be flirty texts, but in fact were inappropriate and offensive, and I told him. “Oh it’s just my sense of humour love.” And that’s the problem. A lot of older guys don’t realise we are now in the 21st century and humour acceptable in the 1970’s is now inexcusable. The same thing happened a couple of times, this guy didn’t get in touch until late evening after he’d had a couple of drinks which made him brave but totally offensive. “This isn’t working B, can’t get a decent conversation out of you until you’ve had a few drinks  and then I don’t want to hear what you have to say”. He explained that he couldn’t relax until he’d put his 11 yr old daughter who lived with him to bed.

What??

Not only had he dug his own grave with the offensive “jokes” he’d now flung himself in it telling me he had a young daughter who lived with him. I expect the guys I date to have grandchildren, not younger kids who still live with them. I’m not a single person in my 20’s/30’s or even 40’s where I would expect that, this guy is 61 and I for one am not signing up to be someone’s step mum. He also had three daughters, and we all know what happened one time I went on a date with another guy who had three daughters, he left halfway through the date after receiving a phone call from one of them for some “emergency”.  But B knew his days were numbered and in a last ditch attempt to change my mind he said ” I’ve lost weight since those profile pictures were taken.”

Game over.

Another guy I was chatting with went straight in for the kill, no messing about, no chat, just when and where should we meet but “Not on Tuesday as it’s my mother’s funeral.”  Personally I’d have thought he had other things to worry about other than chasing dates but there we go. Tinder problems. I also had the same problem on Match though, not a single date from that, just guys too lazy to message even and just send a “wink” to let you know they’re interested. Sorry guys, no effort, no reply. And let’s not forget all the matches made, only to be unmatched an hour later for whatever reason I will never know.

Tinder problems, who needs ’em.

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Ask A Stupid Question…

One of the things I love about Twitter is having a ringside seat at some of the spats that go on between total strangers, (and I have been known to get into one or two scuffles myself) but time and again, especially when everyone’s watching any current dating programme on TV, the same question gets asked of dating/relationship experts who do it for a living.  “How can you possibly know what you’re talking about if you’re single?” A lot of people seem to think single people are a failure with bad advice to give if they themselves haven’t managed to find the Holy Grail.

I beg to differ.

I for one would rather take advice from someone who’s still on the playing field, still in the game who can offer advice on how to play. Someone who knows how much the dating game has changed in the past few years, it wasn’t that long ago when there was a huge stigma attached to online dating, now there’s hundreds of apps to choose from and it’s where most people will find what they’re looking for. I would rather take advice from someone who is also going on the bad dates, who is also getting ghosted, breadcrumbed, benched, catfished, who knows how absolutely exhausting it all is, but keeps on doing it anyway. The reason these people giving advice are single, is probably the same reason we all are. We know what we’re worth so won’t settle for second best, won’t put up with drama, the “not sure what I’m doing that night”, the cancelling of dates 2 hours before you’re due to meet up, the chasing after you and saying all the right things until you finally give in and agree to a date only for them to lose interest. The guys who say maybe you’re the one but then you find out they’ve been seen out with someone else, or the ones who want a relationship but all on their terms.  I want to hear advice from someone who still knows how hard it is, not someone who’s been in a relationship forever and hasn’t a clue how much things have changed.

It’s a little bit different for me as I’m in the older dating puddle (certainly not a pool) but I have a lot of the same problems as everyone else, so I’m always open to any good dating advice, especially coming from someone who is single.

The struggle is real guys.

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Close, But No Cigar

There was me getting all giddy about a second date, purely because I haven’t met many men that I would like to go on a second date with, and the ones that I have wanted to see again haven’t wanted to see me so this was exciting to say the least. Within a few days of chatting with “B” we arranged to meet up on Sunday for a couple of hours, both of us agreed there was absolutely no point in endless messages only to meet up and find that actually, we have nothing in common so I met him close to Piccadilly station, on the day that the EDL decided to have a march through Manchester and as it was kicking off we ended up in a lovely hotel bar.

There I learned that B had been married twice, and had spent the last few years in France with his second wife before she left to come back to England after one of her children had had a baby. “Do you have grandkids?” he asked. “No not yet, do you?” He answered that no he didn’t but he was glad that I didn’t have any as apparently he believes that if you’re with someone then that person should be their number one. This works perfectly well when you meet when you are young, no kids, no distractions, but life changes as we all know. ” Yes but surely you know that you’ll slip down the number one spot at some time if kids and grandchildren are involved? There will be times when you are needed to give your attention elsewhere.”  “Maybe, doesn’t mean I like it.”  So I let that one go, for now. It was nice to hear that he liked going to watch live music and he said that he’d been to watch a Pink Floyd tribute band the night before.  “Not for me I’m afraid, never liked  prog rock could never get into it.” I told him. Two hours flew by and it was one of the best dates I’d had in a long time so I was more than happy to meet up again.

The next day I had a text asking did I want to go and watch the Pink Floyd tribute band with him on Friday as he was going again? “Not really, going to pass on that, pretty sure I told you I didn’t like them.” “You did but thought you might appreciate some musical education.” I declined and sat back waiting for an alternative that didn’t arrive. In the meantime I had noticed that in nearly all of our conversations he turned it around to sex which was really beginning to annoy me and make me feel a bit uncomfortable, I don’t mind a bit of banter but this was something else. So, we managed to arrange a second date and both of us agreed we were really looking forward to it.

Which should have been today.

Having arranged to meet at around 4 this afternoon I had a couple of texts this morning. ” Will have to drive but not sure I can see you without having a drink, maybe we should meet next week around 12 and then we have all day.” All day for what? To drink?  I don’t think so. This is in between getting texts saying ” Really looking forward to seeing you but not sure you are feeling the same as me.” Oh come on now B let’s not start sounding needy, then I remembered that this guy likes to feel special, to know he’s number one but this was only a second date after all. So, around 1-30 I had another message saying that he wasn’t seeing me today after all he’d rather wait until next week when instead of a few hours we could have all day. Talk about being indecisive.

I didn’t reply.

He then found me on WhatsApp and an hour later sent me a photo of himself with two ice creams saying ” Not had a mega ice cream for ages.” “Mega as in two?” I replied. “Oh the other is for a mate lol.” I don’t know if it was or maybe he’d double booked himself today I really don’t know, all I know is that we’d arranged a date and as far as I’m concerned I was given not very good excuses as to why he didn’t turn up. But here’s a tip, don’t be the idiot who sends a photo through social media saying what a good time you’re having after you’ve  cancelled a date.

Bye Felicia.

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Sorry Not Sorry

Now and again I ask Twitter to stop recommending that I follow other dating bloggers, as I have now reached my absolute limit of following so many women in their 20s/30s who all have a tale to tell but which inevitably becomes the same one.

I’ve been where you are, dated the same guys with the same bad result. The narcissist, the commitment phobe, the guys who have already got a girlfriend, the ones who are on a rebound, the ones who want you back when they hear you’ve found someone new. The insecure ones who are controlling, abusive but it’s all because they love you so much. The ridiculously good looking ones that rely totally on their looks and have the personality of a cobweb. The charming ones who always have a really good story as to why they let you down big time by not turning up for your sister’s wedding/nephew’s christening or Christmas day at your parents. The cheats, the liars, the ones who say you’ve got issues when you try to confront them with the latest Facebook message from some girl you don’t know telling you bad things about your guy and what he’s been up to. I’ve dated them all at some time or other and as you get older you’ll realise that there are certain things you won’t put up with anymore.

As an older dater you probably think we don’t have much in common but believe it or not, some guys don’t learn lessons. I’ve been breadcrumbed, ghosted, catfished and been let down at literally the last minute on the way to meet up. It would seem some things don’t change and as we all know the problem with dating apps/sites is that guys are not willing to commit in case there’s a shinier prettier, funnier younger version of you just around the corner.

I totally understand why some women a lot younger wouldn’t feel as though they could relate to an older dating blogger, how could we possibly be on the same page? I’ve had my family so the pressure is off for me in hoping to meet someone to start a new life with, so there is that difference. But no one gets married to get divorced, you just never know where life’s going to take you so all of us on the dating scene is actually meeting the same guys, they’re just called different names but at my age mine are certainly not known as “the boy”.

So here’s the thing. As much as I’d love to read each and every blog it does become a bit like groundhog day where I feel as though I’m reading the same story all the time, and sometimes it’s a bit like all the teenage angst we all went through. Does he like me? Should I have said that? He’s seen my message on Whats App 5 hours ago and not replied? What if he thinks this that and the other?  Was going to tell him I love him but not heard from him for 2 weeks? The ones I end up visiting on a frequent basis are the ones that tell me about other stuff that’s going on in their lives as well as all the dating drama. Sorry ladies but there it is.

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I Don’t Need No Bad Advice

If you’re a regular on any form of social media then you know that sometimes not everyone will agree with some of your opinions, which is not really a problem if everyone agrees to disagree but sometimes I have had unwanted, unasked for advice from so called “dating experts”. Looking at my profile you will see that I’m an older dater, a little bit past my prime, but trust me I would have given any of you younger ladies a run for your money back in the day. Anyone who’s out there dating and trying to find someone will know how hard it is no matter what age you are, and some of the problems are ones we can all relate to, but I seriously didn’t know how hard older dating is until I tried it myself.

Not so long ago I tweeted about keeping the conversation going in the time between arranging a date and actually meeting up as I’ve been let down a few times (usually the day before or on my way to meet up) when there’s not been much contact. Imagine my surprise when a so called “dating expert” tweeted back to say that there should be no contact once the date is confirmed. I beg to differ, that leaves the way open for Sexy Sally who’s profile pics are of her sprawled across her bed/car bonnet/sofa in her Primarni underwear promising all sorts of things. At least if you’re keeping up the banter with your date he might decide to at least meet up with you before he goes off into the night with S.S. This expert also advised to maybe try to meet up as soon as soon as possible (maybe the next day) if  there was a chance the guys were going to get cold feet. Listen love, you’ve probably advised all us singletons to have busy social lives so which one is it? If I and all the rest of the dating world have arranged to meet a date in a few days it’s because of work commitments/social commitments and I for one am not prepared to cancel a “stripping for beginners” class and to be fair I would hope that my date wouldn’t cancel his “how to assemble flat packed furniture” class either.

Another gem was being told not to be on any dating sites/apps on Friday and Saturday evenings so that it looks like I’m too busy being out and about. Let’s face it, older daters are very likely to be home Friday or Saturday nights baby sitting the grandkids and if single, would probably appreciate a couple of chats with other singles on dating sites. I for one enjoy being out Sundays to be honest, late afternoon until around 10/11 pm because on Sundays there seems to be more of a mixed age group around. But it all sounds too much like game playing, to be told not to be available at weekends, by someone who’s probably not going to be in my position for at least 30 years if ever. Stick to what you know love because  older dating is certainly not one of them. I’m always interested in what someone who supposedly does this for a living,  has to say to someone like me as I’m all for getting some tips and good advice, and from a couple of more well known dating experts I actually have which I’ve appreciated.

But I don’t need no bad advice.

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Dating Is Exhausting

So Valentine’s Day has been and gone and I’m still single, just like I am the rest of the year. In a way I feel sorry for all the couples who feel under pressure to declare their love for each other on a particular day of the year, I would like to think I’d get flowers, chocolates and taken out for a romantic meal any old day of the week instead of being in a restaurant on February 14th with all the other couples trying to prove to the world how happy they are. But hey, I’m single, what the hell do I know?

What I do know is that a couple of weeks ago I was getting a couple of dates lined up with a couple of guys who seemed to be just what I was looking for. One of the guys was a bit younger than me (bonus) and he seemed really keen, a lot of texting, couple of phone calls and because all us single people like to make sure we have busy lives we arranged to meet a few days later. The day arrived when we were due to meet and as I hadn’t heard from him I didn’t get ready. Later that evening I had a text saying “Sorry, been really busy with my daughter, can’t make tonight.”  No I wasn’t impressed to say the least, because since the day we’d last spoken to arrange the date there had been no contact at all. I’d text him a couple of times and he’d replied but nothing like it had been so I was a bit confused.

Confused but bloody fuming.

The same thing happened with guy number 2, really keen and once we’d arranged a date all contact ceased, radio silence, nothing but apparently he’d been “too busy”.  I for one like to keep the communication going because I’ve been here too many times when just before I’m about to meet a guy he’s text (too scared to phone) to say he’s met someone else. Let’s be realistic here, we all keep our options open and I still chat to other guys when I’ve arranged a date with someone so it doesn’t surprise me if they do the same but I do think it doesn’t help if all communication/banter stops before you meet as guys are easily distracted by bright shiny things half undressed so I say keep talking.  Having said that, guy number 1 had the audacity to text me on the morning of February 14th to ask was I free that evening? Not for you love, no.

Dating is exhausting no matter what age you are, but it really is different when you’re older as everyone is bitter and cynical. I’ve heard too many stories of an ex wife/partner who took all the money/cheated and now these guys are really wary and I’m sure some women must have the same story. They tell you that they can have their ex back any time they want, even though that ex has been married to someone else for 20 years.  They tell you that their kids prefer them (as though it’s a competition) and they tell you that no, they don’t really want to find someone but they’re under pressure from the kids but they wouldn’t mind someone to go on holiday with. They tell you that they’d prefer you to be thinner, taller/shorter and with a different colour of hair. I could say the same as I’m sat across some bald fat misogynist who still doesn’t realise we’ve entered the 21st century. Dating is exhausting, time consuming and soul destroying, You have to keep hoping that you’re going to meet someone who you just click with, someone who you want to spend more and more time with, and who feels the same about you.

And don’t even get me started on the guys who slide into your DM’s on twitter asking for “fun and cheeky stories.”

Maybe I’ve reached the limit of stones unturned.

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The First Date Of The Year

There’s a reason I only meet for coffee on dates, and today was a reminder of why I do it. It’s not always possible of course for one reason or another, but I’ve learned that for me, meeting for coffee is the best way purely because you can put a time limit on it if it’s not going well.

As a seasoned dater it’s easy to become jaded, I’ve been on so many dates now that it’s hard to get excited any more but last weekend I was given some good advice. Last Saturday I moved into my new place and later in the evening after everyone had gone (and there was nothing on tv on Saturday night) I decided to listen to the London radio station Talk Radio as Dr Pam Spurr was on and she was going to be talking about online dating. Now I’ve been dating a while, I know what to do, where to go to meet people, how to keep safe but I was curious to see if an expert could give me some advice that I hadn’t heard before. It had been a long day, I was tired, had one glass of wine too many and thought it would be a good idea to ring the radio station. Within 5 minutes they rang me back and I was on air listening to the fabulous Dr Pam asking me various questions about dating apps ( dating apps? You’re joking aren’t you? Older men like to stick to what they know so let’s just stay with the usual shall we, over 4000 dating apps and I’m only on 3 or 4 of them because there’s no point when guys my age won’t be using them) and do I go anywhere to try and meet guys? After answering the usual questions I was then given what I consider to be good advice.  “Always turn up for your date expecting to enjoy it and have a good time as your body language will give you away,” and that is true. It’s easy to turn up not expecting much when your last couple of dates were rubbish, so if that’s what you expect then that is probably what will happen. So with that in mind I was really looking forward to meeting the first date of the year today “D”.

We had originally agreed to meet in the evening but I changed it last minute to just a coffee date in the afternoon.

Thank god I did.

It was easy to spot him as thankfully he looked like his photos (always a bonus) although he was shorter than I expected and from the minute we sat down until he got a red card from me an hour later I think I only spoke a handful of times. I had a full hour of him telling me about every confrontation he’s ever had in work, about his ex wife stashing away money that he knew nothing about, his daughter’s problems with her ex boyfriend, his daughter’s current boyfriend and the problems she has with her future in-laws, the problems of all of his ex wife’s boyfriends thinking he’s a threat ” Because I can get her back any time I choose to.”  and to top it all while we were sat there he answered phone calls from two different people. I could feel the will to live slowly but surely slipping away. As we walked out of the place he said “I enjoyed that” and I’m sure he did, I of course couldn’t say the same.

What can I say? I tried Pam, I really did.

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