I *HATE* online dating, but it seems to be one of the only ways that I can meet men these days. I meet a lot of people in my job, men and women, some of which are actually quite attractive, but they’re always married, taken, not interested, or gay. It’s not exactly the right kinda setting to be exchanging phone numbers, and I’m also fairly certain that I could get fired for hitting on someone while at work. It’s there in the handbook, I’m sure of it.
I find myself increasingly reliant on internet dating sites and apps to meet new people. Mostly men, but I’m not averse to the idea of a relationship with a woman. I’ve just never met a woman that I wanted more than just sex with. Yet.
My experiences with internet dating haven’t been great, to be honest. From the age of 14 right up until I was 25, I was in one long-term relationship after another, with just brief intervals of singleness in between, so I never really went out and met people, online or otherwise. And I was never really short of interested sexual partners when I was single. With a little black book full of booty calls I could rely on, I feel like I missed out on the whole going out and looking for partners business.
Until now, obviously. It’s really not that much fun, is it?
I first signed up to Plenty of Fish when I was on The Other Side of the World. Big Love and I had found ourselves in this make-up/break-up cycle, and every time we were broken up he’d go looking for sex and affection elsewhere. It didn’t take long for my gal pals to persuade me to do the same, and it was as I was sat in the bath one day, alone in my little duplex, that I got my first date request. I immediately let out a squeal and text my best gal pal over there.
“Oh my gosh, I’m talking to someone online … on Plenty of Fish!”
“Oh no, you are NOT!!!”
“I am … and he’s asking if I want to meet up tonight.”
“How long have you been talking to each other?”
“A couple of hours, fairly constantly.”
“Do you want to meet him? Are you going to? Don’t forget to shave your legs!”
We laughed and joked for a while, and I ummed and ahhed about meeting the intriguing guy on the other end of my conversation. As I drank a glass of wine, I took a peek through his photos one more time. He wasn’t the type of man I’d usually go for. He was bald and short, but he looked pretty cute in a hat. I decided to be rebellious and throw caution to the wind, and as I shaved my legs in the bath and sung out loud to Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA, we made our arrangements to meet later on that evening.
I wanted to prove that I still had ‘it’.
Sadly, I didn’t still have it.
As I climbed into his big truck I realised I was seriously overdressed. He was wearing jeans, hiking boots, a puffer jacket, and a beanie. I, on the other hand, was wearing knee-high boots over skin-tight jeans, a partially transparent knitted sweater, and a sexy lingerie combo underneath. My hair was down, my accessories were blinged, and I was in no way prepared for his rather casual version of a first date …
“Let’s go to this place I know. I figured we could get a coffee, have a chat, maybe have a smoke. Do you smoke?” he asked.
I told him I did, and I also agreed to the coffee-and-chat idea even though I was fairly certain already that we had nothing in common. The night absolutely did not go according to plan.
He drove me to a place called “the lookout”, which is actually code for where teenagers go to make out. We got coffee on the way (he made me pay for my own), and I tried to ignore the fact that he had a massive Alsatian dog sat on the back of his truck, probably freezing its ass off. I did ask if the pooch would be okay out there, to which he replied, “yep”, and that was that. I got a lot of one-word answers out of him. No questions in return. And he mumbled a lot. It was the least communicative first date I’ve ever had.
I tried to have a proper conversation with him as he rolled his joint, but it was like trying to get blood out of a stone. And once he started smoking, his voice was barely even audible. After a while, I gave up, took a big hit of the joint he kept trying to pass me and figured it would all be over soon. Unless he killed me and threw me over the massive cliff at “the lookout”, obviously.
We’d barely finished smoking when flashing lights started heading our way, and we both shit ourselves as he tried to frantically hide his drug stash somewhere they wouldn’t find it as I tried to blow and wave the smoke out of a wide-open window.
“The cops regularly check around here,” he said.
“Why the bloody hell would you bring us here to SMOKE then??” I almost shouted at him in return.
Half an hour later, we almost got arrested for the very obvious plume of cannabis-scented fog that was lingering around the truck, and that was before the big-ass Alsatian in the back started barking his head off and tried to bite not just one, but both of the officers.
“I suggest you get her home,” the male cop said, noticing me white-faced and almost crying. And as we drove back to my home in silence, I thanked every God I could think of that I hadn’t gotten myself arrested. Calling my new ex-boyfriend to bail me out of jail following a date with a man I have no intention of ever seeing again just wasn’t a thought I relished.
He made no effort to hug or kiss me at the end of the date, just pulling up outside of my house and waiting for me to get out. I didn’t want to hug or kiss him. In fact, I wanted to forget the entire night had ever happened. So much for getting back on the horse and having a good time dating. My first foray into the internet dating world had been an absolute fucking disaster, and I had to lie to Big Love when I let myself in.
“Where’ve you been?”
“Just out with the girls.”
And I ran downstairs to the spare bedroom (my room since our most recent split) to avoid having to look him in the eyes. I’d probably have cried. Or laughed. Or maybe both. Either way, I didn’t want to have to retell the tale of my shitty first date.
I heard from the almost-arrested guy once that night, when he told me he wasn’t interested in seeing me again. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of a response, but I decided to be polite and go with a friendly: “The feeling’s mutual, but I hope you find what you’re looking for!”
Two weeks later, he text me asking if I was up for some casual sex. I blocked him. My pride had been dented by such a shitty first date, and if our date was that bad I could only imagine how bad it would be if we got in bed together. There was ZERO sexual chemistry. He must’ve been running out of other booty calls to have text me that night … or he was really, really, really drunk.
And that’s the story of my first internet date. I almost got arrested, I did get very stoned, and my very low expectations of online dating were set.
It was definitely a sign of shittier things to come.
To be continued …