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!

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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 you, it’s him

Sometimes you can go out with a man and the chemistry just isn’t there. You can spend an evening with the nicest man in the world and you just don’t click. It happens! It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either of you, you’ve chosen each other from a picture in an online catalogue after all.

I had a date a few weeks back with a nice man (yes it does happen sometimes). Neil was polite and nice looking but I think we both knew within about half an hour that we weren’t attracted to each other. Nevertheless we spent a few hours together and at the end of the evening we kissed on the cheek (no tongue tiddlywinks!), said our goodbyes and that was that.

As I’ve said before, if a man shows any red light behaviour then you’re perfectly at liberty to leave early. In this instance, two polite people decided to “see it through” even though they both knew it was probably going nowhere. Why?


1. It’s the decent thing to do! Some people would dispute this and say it’s a waste of time spending an evening with someone when it’s not likely to go anywhere. However, you’ve both invested a certain amount of time getting ready (in his case he’s shaved and sprayed himself liberally with Lynx!) and you can still have a really good time.
2. Love doesn’t always smack you around the face the moment you set eyes on someone. There’s always the chance that attraction will grow when you start to get to know each other.

3. It’s an evening out and even though you don’t fancy each other, maybe you’ll become friends. I’ve become good friends with a few men that I’ve dated.

From what I hear and have experienced, men are less likely to see a date through than women. I’ve had several dates that lasted less than half an hour with lame excuses such as “Oh no, I left something in the oven”, sorry, I’ve just remembered I have to go to work” and “I’ve just realised I’m supposed to be at Dunwich beach to see the full moon, you don’t mind if I just go do you?”. Actually yes I do bloody well mind. I had a 45 minute drive to get here, I haven’t eaten (because you invited me to dinner), and I endured the agony of having my moustache waxed for the occasion! Actually though, you’ve shown me that you’re a complete wanker so clearly you’re not worth getting to know anyway!

My friend Susie arranged to meet a man outside a bar. He’d suggested a drink and dinner so she’d dressed up to the nines. He was late and she was standing outside the bar on her own, but surrounded by other people. Eventually he arrived, looked her up and down, said “nope” loudly and walked away. The poor woman had to endure the stares of other people and feeling utterly humiliated. Add to this the cost of her taxi fare, babysitter and having her hair done, not to mention the time getting ready, and she’d invested quite a bit on this date. Worst of all it completely crushed her confidence and she didn’t date for ages afterwards.

Another friend, Natalie, agreed to meet a man, Dick, at a local bar for a drink. She could tell that he wasn’t interested by the way he looked her over but he suggested that they went inside for a drink. At the bar Dick hardly spoke to Natalie and sat with his back towards her, giving the impression that they weren’t even together. He went to the loo and a minute later his pager bleeped (she thinks he paged himself).  He made the excuse of a “construction site issue” (on a Saturday night?) and hurried out the door, never to be seen again.

If you’re unfortunate enough to meet someone like this, it’s important to remember that this is HIS wankery behaviour and it has nothing to do with you. Both Susie and Natalie are gorgeous, articulate and intelligent women.

Some of these 50+ men are on their own for the first time in 20 or more years and carry on as though they’re testosterone charged teenagers with no social skills.  They treat dating sites like an online candy store, rich for the picking! They’re probably looking for sex and their shag radar has developed just enough to sum up the kind of woman you are within the first few minutes. In their eyes, if you’re not going to give out, it’s not worth the effort. If they leave now, there might be time to get in with their back-up plan! In a way it’s a compliment because you’re far too good for them. Perhaps they should think about how their sister or daughter would feel if she was treated the same way!

All right, so maybe you’re not his type, but unless you’ve behaved in a red light manner a decent guy will stay and go through with the date, at least for a couple of hours.  It’s possible that he might enjoy your company if he tried to get to know you!

Just remember that you’re gorgeous, fabulous and a real “catch”. Carry on being yourself, enjoy your life and believe that there are truly decent men out there! The old adage is true, you’re going to have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet a prince!

Talk to the face cos the tits ain’t listening

I recently read an article about a man in New York who kept a detailed Excel Spreadsheet on the women he’d been out with. Stupidly, he showed it to one of his dates and she posted it all over the internet! Of course she did you silly man, I would have done too! http://deadspin.com/5902760/

While I wouldn’t advocate anyone creating anything like this to keep notes on dates, I have a traffic light system (red, amber, green) when I start dating someone. It remains in my head, not on a spreadsheet, and I don’t take a tick list  with me or type up the details when I get home! It’s just a way of noting something to myself if something doesn’t feel right and reinforces my values.

Green Light  = GO GO GO!

He looks exactly as he did on his profile.

I haven’t walked past him three times, looking for a 6’2” curly haired 45 year old only to be faced with a 5’3” wrinkly with no hair.

 

He has a good sense of humour.

He’s clean, polite, respectful and attentive.

His eyes never wander further down than my chin.

Nails and shoes are clean…a good indication of personal hygiene!

His aftershave isn’t masking something unsavoury.

He has good manners.

He doesn’t shovel his food or speak with his mouth full.

I feel comfortable in his company.

Nothing weird or wankery so far!

He’s trying to impress me…

but not in an “I can balance a dessert spoon on my nose” way.

I’m getting good vibes and feel really positive.

I like him! I may even fancy him! Things are looking up!

Amber Light = Uh-oh!

 These are things about him that I need to store away for further clarification. There are probably perfectly reasonable explanations but I’ll watch and learn!

He’s fibbed about his age, weight or height on his profile.

If he’s prepared to fib about these, what else will he lie about?  Age is tricky to gauge unless he’s taken 10 or more years off, but did he really think I wouldn’t notice his height, or that he’s 20 stone and not 12? Some men suffer from reverse anorexia, where they look in the mirror and think they’re thin!

The barman/waiter greets him like an old friend.

He could be a serial dater or he could be an old friend.

He keeps looking over his shoulder.

Possible explanations:

He’s an International Man of Mystery on a secret mission.

He’s scared one of his friends will see him and tease him.

He’s scared his wife/girlfriend will see him and kill him. (In the case of my ex serial-cheater boyfriend it was the latter).

His phone rings and he jumps out of his skin. He doesn’t answer it but takes it with him when he goes to the loo two minutes later.

He shouldn’t have it on when he’s on a date!

Something’s not quite right about him but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Proceed with caution.

He calls me “babe/baby/hun”.

I’m 53 and I have a nice name. Please use it.

He’s told me something that “doesn’t add up”.

I’ll store it away in my head for later regurgitation.

At the end of the evening he suggests going back to my place for coffee.

My definition of coffee=coffee. A man’s definition of coffee=sex.

I never tidy up before a date so that, even if I was tempted, the appalling squalor would stop me from taking anyone home!

Red Light  =  NO! NO! NO!

These are “deal-breakers” that compromise my “standards”. A red light isn’t always axe-murderer behaviour, but things that I’m absolutely NOT prepared to settle for.

He talks about his ex constantly on a first date.

He’s not over her.  A first date is for us to get to know each other, not to talk about the past. “I’m divorced” is enough information. If he can’t stop talking about her, he’s not finding out about ME! If he starts to cry when he talks about her RUN!

He forgets my name, or calls me by someone else’s name.

He’s probably married or seeing someone else.

He’s 55, still lives with his mother and keeps a photo of her in his wallet.

These guys are difficult to spot on HeBay. They only reveal their true selves when you meet. They’re usually fastidious about their appearance and are very clean but remember that their mother chooses their clothing and tends to dress them head to toe in drip dry beige. As he left the house this evening she will have spat on the corner of her hankie to clean his face. Why is this a red light? Mummy’s getting on a bit and he’s looking for a replacement.

His pet, Tigger, is a reptile.

Unless you’re a 10 year old, dogs and cats are normal pets, anything in a cage or tank isn’t.

Behaviour that will make me run for it at the quickest opportunity!

There’s no eye contact because he’s staring at my boobs, he has wandering hands, he’s drunk, he’s rude to me or someone else, he expects sex in return for dinner, he makes sexual innuendos, he’s smelly, he’s disrespectful in any other way, he tells me he’s married, he tells me he loves me.

 

We women can be unbelievably forgiving of bad behaviour. We have extraordinary powers of intuition but don’t always trust our instincts. We often brush off  this intuition as mild paranoia, but if your gut instincts are telling you that something is wrong, you’re probably right! I went out with someone once who shouted at the barman about two minutes into the date.  This should have been a red light but I put it down to him being nervous and flustered because he was a bit late!  His behaviour later on reinforced my instincts.

If someone is rude and disrespectful, you don’t have to be polite and accept their behaviour. If they don’t have the social skills or manners to behave, that’s their problem, but it’s absolutely right for you to leave if someone makes you feel threatened, uncomfortable or embarrassed.

I don’t always get it right of course, and I’ll be talking about dreadful dates in future posts.

Do you have your own Code of Behaviour?

6. Thanks But No Thanks

When I first started online dating, I would religiously write back to everyone who contacted me, even if I didn’t think they were for me, believing it was a polite thing to do. Not wanting to hurt people’s feelings, I’d send a courteous and sensitive reply saying that I’d enjoyed reading their profile but they lived too far away/didn’t share the same interests/weren’t my type.

These emails reminded me of the thank you letters my mother made me write after Christmas when I was a kid. Faced with a hideous hand knitted hat, a pac-a-mac and a pair of enormous knickers that I’d finally grow into in my twenties, I’d manage to write something so gracious that distant aunts would believe I’d been thrilled with their presents.

Although I’m often tempted to write back just to correct men’s spelling and grammar, I’m feeling a bit jaded nowadays and I’m afraid I rarely reply, particularly if it just says “hi” and their profile isn’t very interesting.  If they have put some effort into writing (they’ve written more than one sentence without including the words babe/hun/chick), I’ll send one back politely saying “thank you but no thank you”.

As gracious as my emails are, some men have taken exception to being turned down and I’ve received a few replies, like this one from HotCobra:

“No Worries hun, if you can’t hold a conversation ,then good luck , your loss ,Passion’s Fruit, cum’s to mind”

 

or this one from BigBoyDave:

 

“You think your so special. Well I thought you looked fat in your photo but I hoped it was just the angle it was taken from.”

 

Ouch BigBoy!!!  If anyone can enlighten me on what HotCobra’s talking about I’d love to know!

 

One of the “best” emails was one I received after a date.

Geoff had been looking at my profile on HeBay for weeks, but never emailed or nudged. Eventually I sent him a nudge because I thought he looked rather interesting.  After a week of nudging we played email pingpong for about two weeks. His emails were articulate, talking about his interests, places he’d been to etc. etc.

Finally he said that he’d like to meet up for a drink and “?”. I took that to mean “let’s have a drink and if we get on we’ll have dinner”.  He asked for my phone number and when he rang, we chatted for a while before arranging to meet at a local hotel bar.

The hotel is quite smart so I put on my favourite Paul Smith dress, not too tight, not revealing, and my beloved high heels.

Geoff was nice looking, well spoken and he looked clean. A little rotund perhaps, not my usual type, but not bad for a man in his 50s. He wasn’t 5’10” as he’d described on his profile which was a little disappointing as I towered over him in my heels, but I quite fancied him actually!

We drank G&Ts while he spoke about his job and asked intelligent questions about mine. We talked about our families, friends, places we’d travelled to. He seemed very nice and normal.

When I excused myself to go to the loo, he said “hurry back” but when I returned he seemed to change. He got fidgety and announced that he had to leave, he was tired. His exit was worthy of Steve McQueen in the Great Escape, I’ve never seen anyone move so quickly.

Possibly our wires were crossed. I was expecting dinner but I think he was expecting something else and realised he wasn’t going to get it. I rather suspect he may have had a backup plan and got a better offer while I was in the loo.

All dressed up, starving and with nowhere to go, I got KFC and returned home.

 

After two days I received this email:

“Thanks for Saturday evening. I enjoyed talking at you, cross examining you, possibly confusing you with schematics of [my job]! Most of all I remember trying not to stare at your magnificent bosom (it’s a guy thing).  I had to sleep on you so-to-speak!  

It’s like everything on the menu is good, but its so hard to make a decision …. “

 

Remembering my mother’s advice of “always say thank you even if you don’t like it”, this is the email I sent back:

 

“I too enjoyed Saturday evening. However, if I’d realised you just wanted to drool over my breasts I’d have worn a low-cut top so you could get a better look, and dispensed with the conversation. If you’d said you were only interested in me from the neck down I could easily have slipped a bag over my head. I kept crossing and uncrossing my legs so you could see up my skirt too, but maybe that was too subtle for you.

 Oh you men and the “guy thing”, that makes everything ok! In my limited experience most men keep those thoughts to themselves and don’t reveal them to a woman after one date, so I’m especially flattered that you decided to share them with me and not just with your male friends.

It must be really difficult to make a decision about whether or not you want to see someone again, especially when you haven’t been paying attention to their conversation. Again, thanks for sharing that with me. I’m touched that you’ve been trying to make up your mind about me for two whole days, and it’s really sweet that you’ve been thinking about me at all.  

 It seems that you still haven’t made up your mind and I’d love to say that I’ll just hang around until you do. In this case though, it’s not really your decision to make, since the dish of the day is off.

Rubarbs

PS. Following on with the hilarious menu analogy in your email, I was trying to take a sneaky peek at your packed lunch all evening, but it was hidden by your belly of pork. “

 

An overreaction? Maybe. Perhaps I have more in common with HotCobra and BigBoyDave than I thought. I was incensed though!  Geoff  turned out to be another numpty showing his true colours! Definitely a 10 on the Wanker Scale.

It seems to me that although men have a brain and a penis, for some there’s only enough blood to run one at a time.

5. How to e-woo a woman….

As discussed in my previous post, it can take weeks of email pingpong to get to a stage where you arrange a date.

A man’s first email would be an introduction, where he says a little about himself and perhaps what attracted him to you.  Using the analogy of meeting in a bar again, it’s the equivalent of him coming over to you and chatting you up.

Unfortunately some men who’ve emailed me are clueless about what to write, even on some of the more “discerning” websites.

Here are some tips on what not to write:

1. Talk about your favourite food.

“You look delicious! would love to have you for lunch.”

Wow thanks Hannibal. With fava beans and a nice chianti perhaps?

2. Compliment her on her looks.

“I have not had much luck on here and I have started to target what I consider plainer girls”.

I’m not sure what worries me most, that you think I’m plain or that you used the word “target”.

 

3. Compliment her figure.

“Hi Sweetie,Lovely pics of you! Did you know that you are sitting on a GIANT MUSHROOM!!”

!!

 

4. Cultivate an air of mystery.

“Betchya wanna see a picture? Well, maybe not but if you’re curious, I’ll put one up. Nothing special but then again nothing to frighten you or make you go yuck!”

I can’t think of anything I’d like more than to see a picture of you to go with your eloquent prose, although funnily enough I can conjure up your picture in my head!

 

5. Be self-deprecating

“I wanted to say “Hi” even if you were to take one look at me and fall onto your back with your legs in the air laughing uncontrollably saying to yourself “he’s got no chance!””

No you haven’t. That’s because your photo is of you asleep on a sofa, balancing a pint on your belly and with a worms eye view up your boxer shorts.

 

6. Talk about your pets

“i see u have a dog like me ive got a laso apso lovley like her dad lol how about a stoll by the sea the dogs can meat each like wise over a chat and a drink or what ever u would like so hope to hear from u soon lol xxx”

I don’t have a dog like you. I have a dog similar to your dog. I don’t think they would have much to chat about over a drink, even if they were to “meat” while you and I have a “stoll”.

 

7. Check your spelling, especially with one-liners.

“hi u lok lovey”

Yes I am a bit of a drama queen at times, especially when I’ve had two late nights in a row.

 

8. Try to sound as normal as possible.

“Here in the surroundings of the Andes-mountains there are very few people I can thrust ,in spite ot the fact they talk a lot of “God” and “Bible” ans so on … don’t be afraid, I’m not the kind of person looking out on bothering you somehow, by sending you this “wink” I just wanted to show you apreciation, and sympathy.”

You’re probably quite harmless but I am ever-so-slightly afraid.

 

 9. Talk about where you’d take her for a first date.

“we will just do wot comes natural like goin to the pub,, or the next best thing………lol lol”

What comes natural is that we will never meet!

 

“if we get on an the vibes r right we will have a riot!! if not hasta la vista baby.”

Sorry Arnie, I won’t be back.

 

“Pie and a pint and think yourself lucky. Don’t want to be out of pocket if we don’t hit it off.”

Don’t forget to bring your club so you can hit me with it and drag me back to your cave.

 

“Meet up at a recommended dog-friendly pub, have a short walk and a meal.”

A walk and Winalot?  I’m wagging my tail just thinking about it!

10. State what you’re looking for in a relationship.

“aint got many interests these days, i aint got time, i go to work, come home, sort animals, feed me, wish i had a cuddle but go to bed alone. im a bloke if i get wrong tell me, if you dont tell me i’ll assume ive got it right & probably do it some more”

I bet your house is down a track, in the woods. Please read your email again, then ask yourself why you go to bed alone.

 

“looking for a nice lady that when you are apart from you cant wait to be next to and see again she must have no hang ups and who is definetly looking for longterm and not someone who will mess my head up again ( lol )”

Yes I was lolling too!

 

“To be up front about it, I have messaged users looking for sex. This will put you off I’m sure. However, its not the be all and end all. The urge happens from time to time.” 

Yes you’re quite right, it did put me off! I too get the urge from time to time but I don’t email strangers asking  for sex. I find a bar of chocolate and watching Embarrassing Bodies puts the dampers on it!

 

“Without appearing to be rude, may I ask you not contact me if you are financially strapped, thank you. Conversely, if you are very financially stable, then I am sure that I could make the transformation into being a kept man, lol.” 

Ok, I won’t contact you. Not because I’m financially strapped but because you’re an idiot. lol.

 

These are all excerpts from emails I’ve received, from freebie sites to those run by broadsheet newspapers!