Saturday, 1 April 2017
Apparently, a new study has found that women prefer to split the bill on a first date and would rather calculate who ordered what, than let the man pay for everything
Women in the same survey also revealed that would-be Romeos should avoid discussing the weather or suggest watching a horror film if they want to progress beyond a first date.
The 2,500 women interviewed for the study said that kindness and a sense of humour are the top characteristics they are looking for in men, and that confidence trumps looks every time.
Well, ain't that the truth!
I put this splitting the bill theory to Agony Uncle when we eventually met up for our posh supper. He poo poo'ed the idea and said he would be most uncomfortable with any woman who sat and calculated the bill in order to split it fairly so that each paid for their own items. He went on to say, which I know from experience, that as a gentleman, he always picks up the bill on the first date, yet he is often asked by the woman if he expects anything in return for the meal. How rude!
I told him that I even say in my profile that I always offer to split the bill on all dates so that blokes know that I'm not looking for a free lunch, yet I still have little or no interest on the sites.
By the time our own bill arrived, I already had my purse out on the table and it felt perfectly natural to offer cash to Agony Uncle when the waiter presented him with the bill. Agony Uncle suggested the amount the bill should be rounded up to and I agreed, and passed him my crisp notes. It all felt perfectly comfortable and natural
I told him about my forthcoming meeting with the broker from the introduction agency next week, and he wished me well. He knows from his own experiences that we have to trawl the sites daily so as not to miss that one Miss or Mr Right when they appear. His determination has certainly paid off and he has now been with his new lady for 5 months and still cannot believe he has found The One after all these years of searching, but he did let it slip that before he found her, he was on the sites daily, and at all times of the day, including when he should have been working. Such was his quest to find someone. I don't think/I hope I am not that desperate.
As we said our goodbyes in the car park, he left me with his usual pearls of wisdom and chastised me for returning the RSVP for my daughter's wedding, in which I advised I would not be taking a guest. He said a lot could happen in the next 3 months and I should always keep the door open.
It was good to have a morale boost, especially as the sites have gone quiet again.
Tipperary Man must be spending a lot of time in the Quiet Carriage of trains as there has been no more contact from him, after he suggested we postpone our meeting until after the Cheltenham Festival which according to my diary finished 3 weeks ago.
I've heard nothing more from Richard. I think I lost him when I mentioned clothes shopping for an outfit for a friend's son's wedding last weekend...
The self-confessed idiot whose wife and partner took all his money and properties and who asked for a second chance to rearrange his date with me, and who I forgave, suggesting he used the mobile number I'd given him to let me know when he would like to meet, has, unsurprisingly, not been in touch.
PC Plod texted me his number and I replied, saying I'd enjoyed our chat and hoped to speak to him again soon. He then replied by return, commenting on the weather and wishing me a nice weekend. That was a week ago. Hmmm!
All other contacts have dried up completely. There have been no more messages on either of the sites, so I must have fallen to the bottom off the heap again. All my hopes are now pinned on my meeting in the lobby of a swanky hotel in London next week with a lady with a swanky double-barrelled surname who thinks she can broker a match for me through her swanky introduction agency. For a large fee. The meeting, however, is without obligation, and she assured me when she phoned me to arrange our meeting, that she doesn't pressure clients into joining her agency.
At the moment, this is all I have to look forward to in the dating world. But I am definitely looking forward to it.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
The emails on the site continue to trickle in.
PC Plod messaged late one night to say that someone he was interested in has disappeared without explanation. His message is full of sad face emojis 😞. He says he was chatting to someone who he thought was the answer to all his emotions and concerns, only for them to disappear without any explanation. I'm relieved I didn't accept his suggestion to meet at my beach hut on Friday else I'd have been complicit in him double dating!
Instead I went into Agony Aunt mode and suggested that endless messaging wasn't a good idea and that I thought phonecalls were a better way of gauging someones authenticity, so he sent me his land line number! He'll have to wait.
Someone called friskyboy messaged a one liner which doesn't merit a reply. Nor does the message on the hoodie he is wearing in his profile pic which says Keep Calm and Stuff The Turkey. He's either been on the site a while or he is somewhat premature
I am however now enjoying chatting to Richard. Richard's profile says his personality is Humanist My profile says I'm Professional. Professional dater?
Richard is interesting, despite owning a ruddy red motorbike. He talks about his garden, and his family. He says he's funny and engaging and likes fireworks and thunderstorms, skiing and sailing. He sounds a good prospect for my Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, especially if we can time it at New Year
There is still no contact from the self-confessed idiot whose wife and partner took all his money and properties. But then I'm not expecting anything Not money. Not property. Nor contact.
So this evening I picked up the telephone and rang 999. I mean PC Plod. He sounded very nice indeed and told me about the mystery lady who caused him such a lot of sad emojis 😢
Apparently they had met, 3 times in all, the last time for a wedding which he invited her to. The following day she emailed to say he wasn't the right guy for her, then disappeared for a week before telephoning him to ask for a lift to Gatwick Airport. He refused, and has not heard from her since. I expressed horror, saying her behaviour gave genuine women a bad name, to which he replied that he is sure men are just as bad, and I suppose he is right.
He tells me he has been married twice, the second marriage lasted only 5 years. He didn't say how or why either ended, and I was too much of a lady to ask
As I had rung his landline using my dating mobile, I ended the call saying I would message him via the site with my number in case he wanted to stay in touch, which I did. He replied immediately saying he would text me this evening so that I have his, and, for a change, he added a happy emoji 😊
Over the weekend I decided to abandon my quest to find a +1 for my daughter's wedding in July. I have RSVP'd saying I will be attending alone. I'm happy with my decision. I really don't believe that even if I should meet someone now, it would be appropriate to take them along to a family event, as we simply wouldn't have known each other long enough to share such an intimate celebration. Something PC Plod knows all about
In other news, I had a surprise telephone call this morning from the owner of a London based Introduction Agency, following up my initial enquiry from a number of weeks ago which I had completely forgotten about after an interesting pop up appeared online. With a company name totally unrelated to it being an introduction agency, I was curious and clicked on to the website and realised this was a high class and discrete agency. With a milestone birthday in just six weeks time, this is my last ditch attempt and a present to myself.
While I don't mind living by myself, supporting myself, and going to events alone, there are times when it would be good to have someone to share really happy occasions such as the arrival of a new grandchild, family weddings etc. All the happy moments we will never have back but which are made better when shared with someone. But it needs to be the right person. The wrong person could spoil an event, or make it a non event.
So instead of renewing my subscriptions to the dating sites I am investing big time in myself by engaging an introduction broker. The lady who rang me this morning sounded extremely grand and has invited me to meet her at an equally grand hotel in central London in April for an initial consultation without any obligation.
Perhaps my lovely friend is right and the dating sites aren't the right place for me to meet someone. Its time for me to think outside the box.
I don't know what Agony Uncle will say, but its a blessed relief for me to know that I now have an excuse for not trawling the online sites until my fingers bleed..
Friday, 17 March 2017
I should have had a date today. The man whose wife and partner took all his money and properties emailed last week saying that if I told him when and where to meet, he'd be there.
So I suggested Friday at 11am, sent a website link to the beach side restaurant I recommended for coffee, and gave him my dating phone number, should he like to chat beforehand. Chatting beforehand was on the advice of Agony Uncle after observing some of my disastrous dates in the past. He now insists I speak with any date by phone before agreeing to meet. I almost got it right.
No reply to the email, and no contact via dating mobile so I guessed the date wasn't going to happen and messaged at 7am this morning via the dating site to say as I'd not heard back from him, and wouldn't want either of us to have wasted journeys, could he please text or phone if he was still wanting to meet. Zilch.
Quite apart from the total lack of good manners, what is wrong with these men??
To be fair, he did eventually reply later in the day - of the morning we were supposed to meet - saying:
"I am such an idiot, I thought I'd put the ball in your court and was waiting for you to suggest something, forgetting that you had. I've let work get the better of me this week, dare I ask for another chance and time please?"
Correct. He's an idiot.
I've replied, briefly, saying he has my number and he can phone any time.
Talking of phones. Tipperary Man had left another message last week and when I returned his call, he told me he was in the Quiet Carriage of a train bound for Shropshire. He once again said I was the only person from the ghastly dating site he had spoken to (I'm now convinced this is all part of his chat-up line) and he suggested meeting, after the Cheltenham Festival, where he was heading to, after Shropshire. This tells me I'm not as important as the other nags in his life. Sadly, from my point of view anyway, this has now gone cold anyway.
Agony Uncle bailed on our posh nosh date this week, but he is forgiven as he's had a family bereavement and after taking 2 weeks off work to organise a funeral and deal with family matters, he's had to go away on business. It buys me some time as I have little dating news to report back with.
But I have hope. I am suddenly receiving a lot of messages on the site which means my subscription must be about to expire and they want me to renew in order to continue communicating. This will please Agony Uncle as my fingers should very soon start to bleed.
Someone whose username I cannot remember, and who I haven't replied to, but was local said he liked my profile and photos and asked me to take a look at his. I lost interest when I saw the one of him astride a shiny red motorbike and then lost interest big time when I read that he doesn't own a TV, has a couch but never sits on it, doesn't own a mobile phone but has a push bike
Another one emailed with a one liner and his profile photo shows him cradling a model aeroplane.
Someone not too far away began emailing yesterday. His profile says he is ex police force, and has taken early retirement. He has a great sense of humour and we are doing a lot of flirting by email. He told me it was his birthday yesterday so this morning I messaged to see how his day went. We're batting and balling a bit and I told him I was probably going to bunk off down to my beach hut for an hour or so later. He came back asking if he could join me. Eeeek!
Since we only began exchanging messages yesterday and haven't yet spoken by phone, (plus it is very close to the beach side coffee shop I had suggested for the meeting with the man whose wife and partner took all his money and properties, and it could have been a bit tricky if he had turned up too), I avoided replying. When I do reply to PC Plod I shall have to confess that I didn't actually make it to the beach as the weather changed. In any case, we hadn't spoken by phone, so would have been breaking Agony Uncle's dating rules.
As it happens, I have other things to think about. This weekend I'm off to my first Hindu wedding, as a guest, minus a +1. Commencing with breakfast at 10am, two ceremonies, an Indian feast, and an invitation to the evening reception afterwards, this event is causing me quite a bit of stress, mostly because of the numerous outfit changes.
But I am in wedding mood more than dating mood.
And I have hope. Jilly Cooper apparently is now on Tinder. Blind Date is to make a comeback on our TVs later in the year.
And Agony Uncle has promised to buy me a Big Mac on his return.
Monday, 6 March 2017
I've been away for a few days, staying with my daughter to help with her wedding planning. Thankfully she didn't ask me who I would be bringing as my +1, which has bought me some extra time... I have even begun to think of several girl friends I'd love to invite so am also considering that option if I can't come-up with a traditional +1 of the opposite sex.
During my travels, I unwittingly encountered Storm Doris, having booked my flights long before the storm was forecast. My outward flight was cancelled altogether as the the small airline I usually use was grounded pending an investigation by the CAA. During a previous flight they had taken off during 85 mile per hour storm force winds, were unable to land and had to be turned back, where they found the winds too strong to taxi along the run way on landing. To my knowledge, they are still grounded. This made alternative airlines extra busy which meant I couldn't get a seat on another flight until 48 hours after my original timed departure. It was all very stressful and expensive, incurring 4 flights instead of 2, transfers and taxis and lost me 3 nights with my daughter
Anyway, eternal optimist that I am, I saw this as an opportunity to meet new people. On Monday evening, I was travelling on the commuter flight back home, along with besuited gentlemen carrying lap top bags and briefcases instead of cabin bags and rucksacks.
I dressed appropriately, in full make-up, and colourful jacket to get me noticed, and carried my smart handbag and laptop bag over my shoulder, disinheriting my enormous bright pink designer suitcase which on checking it in to the hold had incurred an excess baggage charge of £40!
I thought I recognised one of my fellow passengers as the husband of friends we had some 25 years ago but as I haven't seen him in as many years, I wasn't sufficiently sure it was him, as he was now white haired and leaning on a walking stick, but we did lock eyes from a distance and I sent a smile his way in vague recognition. I now await a reply to my email from my friend, asking if it was indeed her husband on the same flight as me
There was a lot of hanging around between transfers, giving me plenty of time to eye-up the other peeved passengers, and observe how they dealt with the inconvenience. Most males rarely looked up from their laptops and mobile phones. One was reading a large textbook which pages of graphs and figures (no, not of the female form) Others were travelling with male colleagues and spent the entire duration of the flight gossiping about other colleagues. And I thought only females gossiped!
I did have some competition from another female passenger who I heard flirting with a very distinguished male passenger with collar length hair, swept back in a Tarzan sort of way
I had the misfortune to be seated next to a scruffy boho female wearing a beanie hat, who seemed to spend much of the entire flight rummaging in her scruffy back pack for a scruffy looking pot of healthy snacks of nuts and dried fruit which she had presumably bought from home. Having pre-booked myself a window seat, I was able to ignore this middle-aged nervous flyer by looking out of the window. In the dark.
Once the plane had landed, most men hastily switched on their phones and began making calls to wives to confirm that they had landed and to inform them which terminal and gate they could be collected from. No such joy for me, as I had to wait for my checked luggage to arrive on the conveyor belt and wait for the unidentified driver I had booked in advance to collect me from the airport and drive me home, thus avoiding the extortionate cost of parking my own car at the airport.
So, my little adventure was no more fruitful on the dating front than the websites have been, which were notably quiet throughout the time I was away.
On my return I contacted the man whose wife and partner had taken all his money and properties, to let him know that I was home, since he had suggested meeting up early this month. He has replied, expressing surprise that I had remembered our arrangement, and has suggested meeting up ASAP.
Much to my annoyance another month's subscription was automatically taken from my bank account while I was away which I was helpless to do anything about.
And I found a voicemail from Tipperary Man on my dating phone, which I keep forgetting to check, telling me he would be in the UK this coming week and he'd like to meet me. He goes on to say that he hasn't married since our last conversation and I'm still the only person he has spoken to on the ghastly site which he has now left. Interesting that he refers to not marrying, as this is the bloke listed on the peerage website as having 4 marriages to date, something he eludes to mentioning on his dating profile
I think I will go along and meet him, purely for the experience and to be able to add to my claims that I have briefly dated a peer.
I continued to read the weekly newspaper dating column for amusement and/inspiration. Their couples are having as much luck as I am, but at least it is keeping the Dating Doctor in work.
And Agony Uncle has sent me a long cheery email telling me all about his holiday on his Scottish island with his new woman, He's still loved-up and insists their visit to Gretna Green was one of historical and educational interest only Attached to the email is a photo of them both, smiling happily and draped over the Gretna Green sign,
I hate him!
Monday, 20 February 2017
I replied to the one whose ex wife and ex partner took all his money and houses. I'm not sure if they were accomplices or if it happened at different times, but he's obviously not happy to have been a victim of financial and property rape twice.
I said I'd be delighted to meet for coffee but mentioned I was going away later in the week to visit my daughter and help with the wedding planning, giving him the option to meet this week before I go, or in early March when I've returned. He suggested the latter. I expect this is to give him time to draw up the prenup...
Overnight I reflected on Sad Long Face and decided that if his only conversation is "Where do we go from here?" he'd be no good doing the Dashing White Sargent on the dance floor in July. I decided not to reply, even though he is on my doorstep. It's a mystery why he made me a favourite if he cannot engage in conversation with someone who expresses an interest in him I shall let him stew.
I did however find the good manners to reply to the one who lives 200 miles away but who liked my profile - Wow! I sent a similarly short message saying the feeling was mutual and what a shame we lived so far away.
Strangely, he replied. He's a competitive cyclist and knows my town because he holidays here twice a year, usually bringing his bike and cycling along the prom Ah, so now I understand his contact. Not quite a girl in every port but perhaps he is looking for a convenient someone when he comes to stay. On yer bike, sunshine.
So, as it seems I may have date with a prenup early next month, I have turned to my Ladybird book of Dating to prepare me
"Getting ready is part of the date. Michele's fried Allanah has been doing Michelle's hair since Wednesday.
Michelle's date, Chris, is still a home. He has prepared by doing up most of his buttons on his shirt and tidying his fringe with spit.
He is finishing a mission on Call of Duty and will be twenty minutes late.
Bernard and Gail are on-line friends who have finally met. They know they have a lot in common and are going for a walk.
All Bernard can think about is checking his telephone. All Gail can think about is how she is going to describe this date in 140 characters when she goes to the toilet."
Ouch! That brings back a few memories of a date who kept checking his phone throughout each meal....
I wonder how Agony Uncle is getting on in Scotland and whether he and his new lady have got any further than Gretna Green. I'd better start trawling the sites until my fingers bleed. I think he's due back tomorrow ☺
Once again, it was another quiet weekend on the sites, perhaps because I am disobeying Agony Uncle and not logging on to browse or trawl the sites until my fingers bleed....
We have arranged to meet next month for a posh nosh supper half-way between our two homes and I know he will want to inspect my hands for tell-tell signs that I have been trawling. I don't think I can carry off wearing gloves while eating so am psyching myself up for the daily trawl...😜
I do believe there is something to be said for logging on daily in order to get noticed.
At 10pm last night, he of the longest, saddest face I've ever seen, replied to my email.
I had thanked him for making me a favourite and said I'd read his profile with interest and did he know that Cancerians (him) and Taureans (me) are reputed to make a perfect match.
He has replied. without any pleasantries, saying "Where do we go from here?"
Give me strength! Since he took 5 days to reply to my friendly, chirpy email, sent out of pity for his sad, long face, I shall delay replying, while pondering his question.
In search of inspiration, I turned to the next page of my Ladybird Book of Dating which, if you are all sitting comfortably, I will share now
"Men's brains and women's brains are different, Even as children. Boys like to knock a Hula Hoop off an After Eight with a cocktail stick. Girls prefer balancing a first class stamp on top of a Mr Man's bowler hat.
To get along, men and women pretend not to mind those little differences.
Or they become homosexuals"
During Sunday however, things became a little livelier and I received two messages. One was a reply to mine sent in the morning to someone not too far away who had a long, but eloquent profile, talking a great deal about wealth, but that it wasn't important to him. He mentions that his wife and ex partner both took money and property from him and he doesn't sound bitter at all....
He has said he would like to meet for coffee and a chat. I imagine I will need to sign a prenup before accepting the coffee invitation.
The other simply said "Hi. I love your profile. Wow".
I shall try and think of a suitable reply to him, as well as Sad Long Face, while imagining each of them knocking a Hula Hoop off an After Eight with a cocktail stick.....
But the best message of the evening came not from a dating site but was a personal message from a friend I've known for about 10 years. He told me he was enjoying reading this blog and that it had encouraged him to dip his toes back in the water. I think much of the encouragement probably came from a 7 day free membership to one of the sites that he mentioned in the same message! He says as he knows I like happy endings, I might like to know that before his 7 days expired he has managed to contact 5 women locally, exchange messages and phone numbers, meet for a coffee, a dog walk and a possible cinema trip. He doesn't say if this is with the same lady or with several but I'm pleased for him.
And I take great comfort from knowing that he has not become homosexual!
Friday, 17 February 2017
Its been another quiet day on the dating sites. No emails. No new viewings since my expensive "profile boost" has expired. I have another missed call on my dating phone from Tipperary Man but no message since I have deactivated the voicemail facility on that phone. Tee hee!
He is persistent, but obviously not so keen that he can follow up with a text or email via the site.
So today my resource material comes from the Ladybird book of Dating. Yes. I treated myself to this essential little handbook when out shopping for a birthday present for my son. It is a hoot and I'm expecting great things now after reading it from cover to cover while drinking a cup of tea.
Here is an extract from the first page:
"Dating is a fun way of meeting someone who is as terrified of dying alone as you are. Finding this person takes time. Cupid's arrow can strike when you least expect.
Angela has been struck by Cupid's arrow and is going to live happily ever after.
Lonely people know "the One" is out there somewhere. They search the whole world for them. It is surprising how often that soul mate turns out to not be on the other side of the world but fairly nearby, and reasonably drunk. The perfect match"
And, in the extra time I have on my hands through not having to reply to dating emails, I've worked out how to upload a photo too so I may well occasionally post mug shots of some of the ghastly fellas I am obliged to turn down or block.
This is going to be such fun....☺ Oh and I've found the emojis too ☺👀👍