Let me tell you something that’s really super-duper annoying: It’s getting 13,000 words into a 30,000-word project and then losing the entire lot because Pages on your iPad is a complete and utter cunt and never works quite how you want it to.
Do you want to know something else that’s really super-duper annoying?
When you hear of yet another man taking a whole bunch of fucking awesome women for a ride. It seems to happen a lot. It makes me grateful to have Bear. I’m not gloating or anything, although, I don’t think anyone would blame me really. You’ve seen my track record with men … It’s been emotional, to say the least.
As up and down as we are, one thing is most definitely certain; Bear and I were fucking made for each other. No one else fits like he fits. He’s a controlling, angry, spiteful son of a bitch sometimes, but I accept that about him. I should probably open that whole ‘controlling’ door a little more some time. Maybe I will. I’m kinda scared you’ll all judge me if I write the blog post I really want to write. Which, for the record, would have a title that goes something along the lines of, “How Bear is Controlling, But Just the Type of Controlling I Need”.
I know, I can hear the gasps of horror now. Feminists around the world will be pulling their hair out with fury, I’m sure.
I don’t know if I’ve got the patience to date anyone else now. Taking Bear on was a risk, but it’s a risk that appears to be paying off for me. I’m not counting my chickens already, but we’ve been to hell and back together. We’re doing pretty good. I’m content. It’s a nice feeling. He’s a pain in the ass and I want to rip his throat out sometimes, but this generally-content feeling is glorious. I certainly wouldn’t want to go back to the dating world now. Na uh. Noooooo.
What was is that Charlotte in Sex and the City said? She wasn’t happy with Harry all day every day, but she was happy every day. That’s how I am. I’m happy every day. He makes me laugh every day. He makes me happy every day. Not all day, every day, but every day.
Anyway, I digress slightly, but what I’m trying to say is that I think I’ve learned a thing or two in all my years of failed dating. I’ve dated a lotta wrong’uns. I’ve been fucked over. A lot. Too much. I’ve learned a few signs. I’ve learned some lessons, many of them the hard way. I know some stuff (I think.). So, I’m going to share some of my knowledge (seeing as I no longer need it*). It helps on those days when I *kinda* miss being single … Oh, the reminiscing!
Let’s get things started with this:
Ask to see his driving license.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask to see such a thing in this day and age. (I’m also assuming that you aren’t already doing this.) I actually make a point of joking about dodgy driving license and passport photos relatively early on, in a bid to see what he’s got hiding away in his wallet.
I don’t think so. Here’s why:
There was some guy who thought he was something special, who went around dating and screwing over a whole bunch of girls. Wife. Girlfriends. Lovers. Kids. The LOT. What a scumbag. From what I can make out, he even went as far as to make up entirely new personas for himself, calling himself a different name and everything.
There are some really dodgy fucks out there. Like, super dodgy. Men who will fuck you over just because they can, like it’s a fucking hobby. Men who think it’s funny to make a ton of women feel like absolute shit like they’re playing some sorta game. It’s fucking barbaric. The world is filled with narcissists like that. I can’t fucking stand them. (Reason #1085756 I’m glad I’m not single right now.)
But, how do you know if the person you’re talking to is really who they say they are, especially when the two of you met online? If they are as old or as young as they say they are? If they really have the job they said they had, or if they live where they say they live? If she’s married, or if he’s lying about a girlfriend?
Here’s a little something I do …
I asked to see Bear’s driving license photo pretty early on. He didn’t have one (lost), but after I pointed out that it was weird, he got himself a replacement. And then proudly showed it off to me.
I asked to see Brown Eyes’ driving license too. In fact, I’m pretty sure I told him that I wanted to see his driving license to make sure that he wasn’t a crazed serial killer who’d made up a fake name and address. I also wanted to check that he was the age he said he was. (The Director lied and said that he was younger than he actually was.) Brown Eyes not only showed me his driving license, but grabbed my phone, took a photo of it, and then sent it to Bestie to make sure I felt safe and Bestie’s cautious nature was tended to, if only for a while. (Probably not the best move in the world with a girl you’ve just met, what with ID theft and all that, but just pretend that I *don’t* have the potential to be a fucking maniac with a guy’s personal deets.)
The Director — he was just as free and easy with his information. Too much, considering his job. After he admitted lying about his age, he showed me a driving license, a passport, and even a payslip to prove that he wasn’t some lying scumbag really.
Jock was just as willing to show me his driver’s license, mostly so that he could see mine and rip me for the dodgy as fuck photo.
Number 33, also known as a total fucking wanker, was just as happy to prove that he was who he told me he was, showing me family photos in his wallet alongside all the ID he could muster up, whilst propping up the bar. He had such potential. But then I got drunk and went home with him on the first night, he couldn’t get a hard-on and called me a bunch of names because he saw my self-harm scars. Oh, and then I ran away from him in a public shopping centre, a few months later, because I genuinely didn’t know how to handle seeing him again. As in: threw my shopping basket down on the floor in Boots (loudly), ran away as fast as I could (loudly and dramatically), and hid in the toilets of my place of work, which just so happened to be right around the corner.
Safe place. Safe place. Safe place.
I still can’t believe he had the fucking cheek to say hello to me.
What a total fucking wanker.
What’s your point here, NSSITC?
My point? It’s very simple.
If he’s got nothin’ to hide, he’s not going to be overly worried about flashing you his ID.
If he HAS got something to hide, he’s going to be super weird about showing you ANYTHING personal.
I wouldn’t advise letting ANYONE take a photo of your ID to send to his/her friend because that’s not smart at all. But, you know, just that little bit of reassurance is sometimes a really good place to start. I might even suggest making a joke about it, right at the beginning of the date.
“Hi, my name’s John. It’s nice to finally meet you. Here’s my driving license, just so you know I’m not a total catfishing nutter, can I please buy you a drink?”
Hey, it would make me laugh. And it would reassure me. That’s all I’m saying.
You could always play it straight, of course, perhaps going with something like this:
“So, yeah, this guy strung along this group of women and I’d rather not fall foul to the same games. Any chance you could show me some ID so that I know you’re not married/a wanted serial killer/a lying douchebag.”
If he says no, acts offended, or puts up a fight, he either doesn’t have a sense of humour … or he has something to hide. Or he’s SUPER security conscious, I suppose? Either way, it would make me feel weird. You’re expected to flash your ID to some random woman behind the till at Sainsbury’s so you can buy a bottle of vodka … but you won’t show me to reassure me that you’re not a nutter?
Why’s that then, huh??
I reckon, with a bit of detective work, you could find out a lot about the guy you’re on the date with just from a few snippets of information that you might remember from his ID (if he’s happy enough to show you). I know that’s super creepy and weird, but you must remember something: we gotta protect ourselves in whatever way we can. That applies to both men and women; I’m not saying that one gender is any worse than the other. But, I managed to figure out that Simple Simon was married after I ghosted him by accident and then he ghosted me on purpose right back. It took just a few details. Thankfully, I didn’t need to see his driving license. I didn’t need to meet him at all. He was just a waste of a few blog posts and WhatsApp messages.
All of these men I’ve just presented as examples had no problems whatsoever offering up that ID reassurance, just to make me feel comfortable, safe, and at ease. (With the exception of Simple Simon, who was married and super vague and sketchy about everything.) If he refuses to show you or acts like you’re weird for asking to see it (like Simple Simon did), I reckon that says something pretty loud and clear, don’t you?
Why wouldn’t you want to make sure the person you’re currently getting pissed with or having dinner with *is* exactly who they said they were?
And You, Men:
I don’t think men can afford to ignore this advice either. This is a sensitive subject and I have absolutely no clue how to broach it, so I’m just going to say it in exactly the same way that I said it to Bestie:
“If she won’t show you her ID, she’s too young for you, bro.”
I know a few men who have been lured in by this trap: the under-16 girl who accidentally found herself in an over-18 nightclub, went home with some over-18 dude, and then advised that over-18 dude that he’d slept with a minor the morning after.
It happened to Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting — and it can and might happen to you too. In fact, Ewan’s character got away lightly; the underage girl that you wake up next to might press statutory rape charges.
It’s an absolutely shit world out there now, for men and for women. I don’t really think ANYONE would blame you for wanting to cover your bases.
I predict that women will be less inclined to hand over their personal details, such as address, phone number, date of birth, etc. than men are. (Sorry, but I’m going by experience here.) I still think you should bring it up though. If she looks young enough to be in her early twenties, I’d make sure. You know, just to be sure. If you can’t be sure, you might just find yourself in handcuffs and facing charges of statutory rape.
Dating for Men – A Checklist:
✔ Is she old enough to take home? (How do you know?)
✔ Does she want to go home with you? (If she’s pissed out of her nut and/or passed out, how do you know that she wants to go home with you?)
✔ Do you have condoms? (If no, don’t go there. Babies. Diseases. Awkward.)
I *don’t* think that asking to see ID is asking too much, but I’m aware that there are thousands of people out there who will probably be quite happy to argue against my advice. He (or she) could be carrying a fake ID too, admittedly, or lying about information that a driver’s license wouldn’t necessarily carry (or it could carry old info). But I know that I wouldn’t be so keen to go on a second date with a man who would deliberately avoid showing me some identification, or whose information didn’t tally up with the ID he had in his pocket.
Seeing a driver’s license wouldn’t have helped all of those girls who found themselves taken in by that narcissistic scumbag or other narcissistic scumbags, but it might have helped one or two of them. It might also have helped my male friend who came far too close to being charged with statutory rape, as well as stopping me taking home that 17-year-old virgin from the bar when I was only 18 myself, well and truly taking his virginity. If I’d known that he was only 17, I would never have slept with him. I’d never have dated the Hubby if I’d known that he was actually two years younger than he said he was. I could have saved myself a lot of heartache there too.