Manners Maketh a Man

As I’ve said before, my mother instilled good manners into me at an early age. That goes for dating too. I’m not just talking about “elbows off the table” and “don’t speak with your mouth full” type manners. I’m talking about consideration and respect for another person.

Women will also bend over backwards to make themselves presentable for an evening out. Men however, are a different matter. To be frank, if you turn up late, looking like an extra from Grizzly Adams, she’s going to wonder whether you could be bothered to make an effort in a relationship, and write you off before you even started.

Here are some tips for men on first date etiquette. She just might be the girl of your dreams so you’ll need to impress her. Even if she’s not, you’ll go right up in her estimations and give her hope that there are decent men out there if you put in some effort! She might even have a friend she’d introduce you to, but not if you have no manners and look like an old vagrant!

1. Send her a text in the morning along the lines of “looking forward to seeing you later”. Not essential but a nice thing to do. If nothing else at least she’ll know you’re planning on turning up!

2. Make an effort with your appearance. I’ve had a few dates with men who were smelly and dishevelled (if only HeBay had a smell-o-meter). Women invest time getting themselves ready and looking good. You need to do the same. Putting a jacket on as you leave the house is not the same as getting yourself ready. In case you’re really clueless here is what you should do:

Beforehand:

Make sure your nails are clean and short. I work in a job that makes mine filthy and if I can manage to clean them, so can you!

Get rid of hair that shouldn’t be there. I’m talking ears and noses. It looks disgusting and if you need a Flymo to cut it, you’ve left it waaaay too long. I once spent the evening with a man whose ear hair was longer than the hair on his head. Actually he could have tied it in a knot on top  for an instant toupee!

Decide what you’re going to wear and wash your clothes. Yes, even the ones that don’t show! A sniff under the armpit or crotch of something you’ve been wearing for two months and a “that’ll do” isn’t good enough.

Clean your shoes. My mother was right, you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes! If the eyes are the windows to the soul, shoes are the windows to general cleanliness!

Just before you go out:

Have a shower. Yes I know you had one this morning/last week/three months ago but it’s time for another one! If you’re going on a date straight from work, freshen up at least and put on a clean shirt.

Shave. Three day stubble makes you look like a tramp, not a rock star! If the date goes well she might want to give you a kiss goodnight. Believe me, she won’t want to kiss you if you could sand the floor with your face!

Put on aftershave (it’s designed to make you smell nice and desirable, not to mask nasty niffs)! Oh and please don’t use Lynx, you’re not a spotty adolescent and it smells cheap and disgusting.

Put on clean clothes. No, not the ones in a ball on your bedroom floor, I mean the freshly laundered ones.

Comb your hair.

3. Don’t be late, better still get there a few minutes early. For a woman there’s nothing worse than standing round waiting for someone and looking like a lemon. If you’re stuck in traffic, call her. If she can be there on time so can you and if you can’t even manage it on a first date, it doesn’t bode well for any future ones. Unless you’ve called, my waiting time is 10 minutes and then I’m gone.

4. Attraction can take time to grow. Chances are she won’t look like Demi Moore or Sharon Stone. If she doesn’t, try not to look as though you’ve just been introduced to the Bride of Frankenstein.

5. She has a head and that’s where the talking, looking and listening comes from. You might be ok with a woman who stares at your crotch all evening but she isn’t comfortable with a man who stares at her breasts and can’t make eye contact. Keep the eyes above the neck!

6. Don’t drink too much.

7. Pay for the drinks and/or dinner. You asked her on the date, you pay! There’s nothing worse than a scuffle over the bill and if you pay it will show her you’re generous and that you may be interested in her. She’ll return the favour another time. On this note, paying for dinner doesn’t mean sex back at her place afterwards. No decent woman will have sex with a man just because he’s paid for her meal, that’s prostitution!

8. At the end of the evening, if you’re not interested or need to think about it, kiss her on the cheek and thank her for a lovely evening. DON’T tell her you’ll call. If you tell her you’ll call, she’ll think you’re interested and that’s not fair if you’re not.

9. If you’re interested, DO tell her you’ll call, and make sure you do the next day! We all know about the three day rule but let’s cut to the chase here. Men are biologically wired to pursue and women like to be pursued. The ball’s in your court and she’s not going to call you! If you’re interested, let her know…she’ll be flattered. Unless she’s Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, she’s not going to book the wedding on the basis that you called her the next day!

10. Women won’t sit by their telephones waiting for you to call. However, it’s polite and considerate to let her know if you don’t want to see her again. You should tell her by text the next day, she’ll know where she stands, and she can get on with her week with no hard feelings.  Oh and if she texts you and says she doesn’t want to see you again, just take it on the chin, it’s not the end of the world. Texting back along the lines of “fuck off then you stuck-up cow” is just nasty. She was just being polite!

Guys who have a “can’t be arsed” attitude towards dating go right down in my estimations. I really do believe that the internet dating world would be a much nicer place if people were more honest and showed more consideration and respect to each other.

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Actions speak louder than words

With three years’ online dating experience (I’m not proud of this, just thought I’d throw it in yet again!) I’ve developed a feel for whether someone is genuine or not. I don’t always get it right of course, and I’ve learned the hard way at times.

I went out with a man a while ago whose behaviour was so odd I still can’t believe I went back for a second date!

Date Number 1

Ralph was fifteen minutes late and I was already in the restaurant when he phoned to tell me he was running late because he was lost (he lived about 10 miles away). When he arrived he looked flustered but was very apologetic. He said he was 53 but looked much older and he was much shorter than he’d said in his profile.

He asked the barman where the loo was but the barman didn’t hear him. Ralph then shouted “TOILET” at him at the top of his voice, causing the whole restaurant to stop eating and turn around. Although this was Red Light behaviour, I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he seemed so flustered at being late. When he came back from the loo Ralph told me that he was very easy going and didn’t usually behave like that. However, it was enough for me to put the Amber light on so that I could watch and learn.

These are some of the things Ralph told me during our first date:

He was Austrian and had won a rugby scholarship to an English public school.

He spoke with a Cockney accent and there was no trace of an Austrian or public school accent.

 

He was an orphan and had no surviving family at all. He lived alone and had no children.

“Really? No aunts, uncles, distant relatives?”

“No, they’re all dead”.

He had a very important job which took him all over the world and he had worked previously for the secret service.

I watched Spooks avidly and even I know that agents’ close friends and family thought they were estate or insurance agents, not secret agents. 

He had lived in every country that I told him I’d visited, in fact I made a few up just to see if he’d lived there too and he had!

He didn’t seem to have any knowledge of the countries. He couldn’t tell me where he’d lived in Morocco but told me in graphic detail (just as I tucked into my patatas bravas!) about the public beheading he had witnessed. He had left one country because he had been shot at and listed several where he would no longer be welcome! Totting up the number of places he’d lived in and the amount of time spent there, he should have been 103, not 53!

He used to live in a £1million house but his ex-wife had sold it while he was on a world rugby tour (oh yes, he was also an ex-world-class-rugby-player, diver and golfer).

I asked him if the house had been in her name then, since she wouldn’t be able to sell it without his signature and he told me that she had told everyone he had died.

 

My spidey senses were tingling by now though and I had a gut feeling that Ralph wasn’t all that he said he was.

I must say that aside from shouting at the barman and his unconvincing stories, he was very charming and good company. This must have been why I agreed to a second date!

Date Number 2

We’d agreed to meet at another restaurant and Ralph rang me an hour before we were due to meet, telling me that he was already there and could I get there earlier. I told him that would be impossible so he said he’d wait for me in the bar.

When I arrived he was looking agitated and was sitting drinking a glass of red wine. It was obvious that he’d had several others while he’d waited for me.

He’d had a dreadful row with his landlady, apparently because she hates him. He wouldn’t elaborate about why she hates him but he did tell me that he spent most of his time in his room. Room??? On our previous he’d told me he lived in his own house! More alarm bells began to ring…if he was a successful businessman/secret agent/international man of mystery, why was he living in a bedsit?

He told me that he was looking for somewhere new to live and could I contact some estate agents for him so he could find another room?

Yes of course I will. Better still, why don’t you just move in with me…….NOT!

He was getting drunker and drunker and louder and louder. He was dribbling a bit, his speech was slurred and he kept repeating his story about his landlady hating him. I asked him several times to change the subject but he kept on and on about it.

By now he’d had five more glasses of wine and was so drunk that I could barely understand what he was saying. When he went to the loo I thought about making a run for it but I was concerned that he’d get angry and that I wouldn’t get far enough away and he’d see me and follow me.

When he came back I made my excuses about “an early start tomorrow”. We left the restaurant and he was barely able to walk. There was a police car parked outside and he said “fuck, now I’ll have to sit in my car for an hour”.  An hour? More like all night to sober up! He certainly wasn’t coming home with me!

I made my escape but kept looking over my shoulder as I walked home in case he’d followed me. It was the first time I’d had a date where I felt scared and vulnerable. I mean, I’ve been out with some idiots but at least they were harmless/misguided/brain-stuck-in-the-willy idiots!

The next day I texted him, saying that I thought it best if we didn’t see each other again. His reply said “OK”.

A guy can tell you anything he wants, and will sometimes tell you what he thinks you want to hear, but it’s your choice whether or not to believe him.

Don’t just listen to what he says, watch his behaviour!

Let me put it this way…

More wonderful excerpts from HeBay profiles.

“dont message me if you have put : “Must not have messaged users looking for intimate encounters or sex”. sounds a bit snotty to me”

Yes it may sound a bit snotty to you and I do have that written on my profile. That’s because half of the men on here are looking for sex and I’m not (not without a relationship anyway).

 

“i like to enjoy myself i like nights in watching tv and go visit my parents especially my dad.”

Oooh I just love a wild night out at my parents’ house too! You really know how to let your hair down don’t you?

 

“ I own a residential home in Eastbourne so spoiling you won’t be a problem.”

I can’t wait for my meals on wheels and cup of horlicks before bedtime. Early nights will take on a completely new meaning with you won’t they?

 

“I don’t no what to put down on here I don’t think any one is willin to have a date with me or even read my profile but if there is a woman who might be interested please ask any thin. I have a sense of humour its a little weird.”

I read your profile Eeyore! What sense of humour is that?

 

“As Mick I’m into live music, I play the guitar a bit, juggle a bit, I’m handy with a camera. As Natalie I’m into clubbing, looking glam and being the centre of attention!”

Sounds like you spend your whole life juggling. I’m not sure I could cope with not knowing if we were going on a date or a girls’ night out.

 

“I am perceived as erudite by those who know me, follow me and have equivalence, where they equate with me.”

You had a dictionary for Christmas didn’t you, but one only containing the letter E. Bet you can’t wait for your birthday when you receive the letter F!

 

“love my music too love my trance but got headfones so yo redaall pinkfloyd the who to name fewe hloveorror fill like all sorts reall ur safe lol lile all sorts”

You lost me after the first three words. You’re writing all the right letters, but not in the right order. It must say something funny though because you LOLed!

 

“iam looking for some one no older then me who i fancy fat and ugly not apply !!!”

I was bowled over by your profile picture, and I can understand that a man with your physique and good looks can afford to be really choosy.

 

“They broke the muld when they made me so as for what makes me unique thats it. I am not fussed by appearence as I am no oil painting and haveing once been a nurse, I know that it is what is inside that counts.”

You’re right, it is important to know what’s inside a person. Since reading your profile I now insist on seeing a recent MRI scan before I date someone so I can have a good look at his vital organs. It can tell you a lot about a man!

 

“I don’t like people who smell like old corned beef”

I don’t either, although since leaving my job at the corned beef factory, I don’t come across quite as many.  I know this can be a real problem when you’re dating but personally I’d rather they smelt of corned beef than a week old trout. Each to their own eh? 

If he won’t respect NO, it’s time to GO

At what point in a date is it OK to leave if someone displays Red Light Behaviour?  The answer is at any time. If you feel bad about the way a man behaves then you should leave.

It’s absolutely fine not to trust somebody the moment you meet them. Remember that you’re meeting a complete stranger. You know nothing about him, other than what he has told you. Of course he’s trying to impress you but it’s highly unlikely that he is Brad Pitt’s stunt double, given that he is 5’3” and built like a brick out-house. I’m not suggesting you scream “LIAR” every time he opens his mouth, but a little healthy scepticism (kept to yourself) isn’t a bad thing.

I’m probably the last person who should be dishing out this advice. At times I’ve been far too tolerant of unacceptable behaviour. I blame my mother’s insistence on politeness at all times!

When I started dating I’d just come out of a 25 year marriage, and the last time I’d been out with someone I was a mere slip of a girl! I was a bit naïve to be honest, not a terrible trait, but one that has put me into some difficult situations. I’d love to say that all people are decent and nine times out of ten they are. Sadly though, there are people who will take advantage of your good nature and the internet makes it easier for them.

Roy and I had been talking on the phone for several weeks. He was Hungarian,  lived in London, and seemed interesting, well-mannered and distinguished on the phone. He suggested we go out for the day, take in a few galleries, have lunch and dinner, his treat. It seemed a little full on but I agreed and felt flattered that someone was lavishing attention on me.

I took the train and he met me at the station in London. He was so unlike his photograph that I didn’t recognise him but wondered why there was a small, slightly demented looking man waving at me and grinning like a Cheshire cat. He wore glasses with lenses that resembled milk bottle bottoms and had a mop of hair which was clearly dyed, far from the debonaire, sophisticate I’d envisaged. As I came through the barrier he grabbed hold of me in a bear hug which nearly knocked me over. As I regained my balance he attempted a  full-on tonsel tickler of a kiss but I managed to head him off by slipping under his armpit.

He took hold of my hand and didn’t let go for the rest of the morning. We visited a gallery but he didn’t seem particularly interested in the art and tried to kiss me again in the lift. Over coffee I told him that I’d need to get to know him a bit better before I kissed him (we’d been together for about an hour) but as we left the café he put his hand on my bum.

He took my NO to mean YES and I spent the rest of the morning trying to keep his hands in check. Not since teenage fumbles behind the bike sheds have I known a man to have hands in so many places!  It was like having a date with Squiddly Diddly!

By now I was feeling really uncomfortable but it never occurred to me to leave. Maybe I felt that I owed him in some way, because he was “treating” me. Perhaps I’d given him encouraging signs by holding his hand but I honestly didn’t see a way out.  Looking back I must have taken leave of my senses!

Roy had booked a table at a swanky Sloane Square restaurant for lunch. Apart from him playing footsie under the table, things settled down a bit and we chatted like we had on the phone.

Over pudding he told me he had a proposition for me. It went like this:

“I’m very happily married but my wife isn’t interested in sex. She lives in the country and I go to see her at weekends but during the week I’m in London on my own. I don’t want a long-term relationship with you but I’ve been looking for a mistress and I think you’d be perfect. Obviously you’d need to be discreet. You’ll come and see me once a week, we’ll have sex and I’ll pay for your train fare so you’re not out of pocket. How does that sound?”

How does that sound? The words rang in my ears. Had I heard him correctly?  For a moment or two I just sat there with my mouth open.

Suddenly I came to my senses, stood up, grabbed my bag and calmly told him this:

“I’ll tell you how it sounds but let me clarify what you’ve just said. You want me to give up a whole day of my life for you, a complete stranger, every week, so you can have sex with me. You don’t want a relationship but you’ll pay me twenty quid which technically would make me a prostitute.  I think the rates for hookers at Ipswich Docks are better than that and I could be there and back in an hour and not waste a whole day with you!”

As I walked out the door I heard him calling after me “I’d buy you lunch as well”!

So there you are. It seems I did have boundaries after all but at what point should I have left? Nowadays it would be the moment he tried to stick his tongue in my mouth at Liverpool Street Station!

He took advantage of my good nature to get what he wanted and, for the most part, I went along with it. I couldn’t believe that I’d been so stupid, but that doesn’t excuse him, because he shouldn’t have been behaving badly in the first place. I’m not saying that the situation was my fault, but I clearly didn’t make it obvious enough from the outset that his behaviour was unacceptable.

Your thoughts?

It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it

 

 

I love to read men’s profiles. They’re a real insight into how useless some of them are at making themselves appeal to women.

Here are some corkers from HeBay:

 

“She’s got to like animals, especially dogs as I have two. They should also love good food and like to cook as I am total rubbish in the kitchen.” 

I’m a dreadful cook too. Fortunately my dog is a cordon bleu chef and is willing to do all the cooking.

 

“ihave changed my profile due to woman on here getting the wrong idea”

I’d love to know what was on it before, do tell.

 

“i dont mind big girls but if you cant fit into my plane lets not waste our time”

Oooh it’s just like Cinderella. The girl whose bum fits wins Prince Charming!

 

“Would one of you lot tell me where you buy your magic mirrors?? you know ones where you look at it and see gwenith paltrow looking back!!!”

In the same shop you bought your Gorge Clooney mirror from.

 

“I like to play bowels which I have done for the past 17 years.”

Aha! That would account for the painful looking expression on your profile pic.

 

i like to dress casual but will put a suite on if needed”

Why buy furniture if you can wear it?

“I live alone with my beautiful big dog.  Looking back I guess I’ve always had more affiliation with animals than girls”

…and looking forward that’s likely to continue. I hope you’ll be very happy together.

 

I don’t know anybody and I don’t have a social life”

That’s ok, I’ll introduce you to all my friends and take you to parties. If we go to your place we can just cuddle on the sofa with a dvd and a bottle of wine.

 

“I am very partial to a generous chest although many features can be attractive not least confidence and a smile.” 

You’re going to talk to my tits aren’t you?

 

“Not wantong anything serious just discreet meetings every now and then with no strings attached and marital status doesnt matter as long as your not a drama queen cause im not looking for trouble just some hot sex from time to time.” 

Translation: “I’m a married man looking for a bit on the side. I don’t want you turning up at my house and my wife finding out, I just want a shag when I feel like it.”

Anyone using the word “discreet” in their profile is married.

 

“if your name has a Z in it , dont bother unless your names Zoe, (or Zeena) ,” 

Aren’t you narrowing it down a bit? Would you consider a Zelda or a Zara?

 

“laugh an the world laughs with you,fart an your on your own. thought i,d add that as no one reads these. p,s i was jokeing with the above.apparantly some don,t get it.(yes i don,t do gammar or spelling,just humour….?)”

Actually I do read profiles. Yours had me ROFLing! I’m astounded that some women don’t understand  your humour. I can see that you don’t do grammar and spelling but you more than make up for it with your hilarious wit. (Note to self: must start telling more fart jokes).

 

If you’ve come across any smashers like this, do share, I’d love to hear them.