Reflecting on positive aspects of online dating

Spring is here again bringing with it feelings of optimism which leads to a renewed focus on making the most of life.  While this year’s focus is on improving my work situation and figuring out options for being able to see more of IT Guy, last year I was more interested in reassessing my approach to online dating and trying to be more social.

Online dating has a rather bad reputation but like many things in life there are positive and negative aspects.  The fact that many sites are all about looks gets a lot of press but let’s be honest most guys will only talk to a woman in a bar if he likes how she looks.

Part of the challenge is approaching online dating in the right way and knowing when it is time to take a break.  You need to accept that a lot of your time will be spent dodging wierd people and scammers.  There are a few examples where I decided to have a bit of fun with romance scammers as a way of staying sane.   There are others who have turned this into an art form.

Spring seems like a good time to reflect on the positive aspects of online dating.  I have met a few interesting people and had some interesting experiences.  I have met a few reasonably decent guys even if there was no chemistry and they did not know how to express this in a good way.  I met someone working in a similar field to me and while we have never met he is useful to know and has contacted me a few times for information.  Online dating provided an opportunity for career related networking.  I have made friends with one of the guys I met through online dating.

There are also benefits with a slightly more distant link to online dating.  Import-export guy making me feel like I should be doing more around the time time as my preferred sports class kept getting cancelled led to me finding a nice local Pilates class.  An old school friends also attends the class.  We have been out a few times and making plans for tomorrow gave me the inspiration for this post.

Perhaps most importantly of all is the fact that all of these experiences and the related decisions to make the most of life is what gave me the confidence to ask an old friend for his number.  I thought it would be nice to try and stay in touch even though he lives in Dubai and look how well that is working out.

So what I would say to anyone thinking of trying online dating is that you should give it a try.  There are blogs and websites which offer some great information and advice, I recommend starting here.  Just try to keep a positive outlook and an open mind.  But above all stay safe and don’t give anyone any money.

 

 

What makes a good Tinder profile?

I know I have been rather quiet lately but there has been a lot going on.  I have busy at work trying to get my project back on track.  (There may be rant about what happened today but right now I am not in the mood.)  I have also been doing some job hunting.

Also things are going well with IT guy.  A few days after the Dubai trip he asked me to be his girlfriend.  This means there are not many crazy online dating stories to share.  So I thought I would cheer myself up by going through some screenshots of various amusing and wierd Tinder profiles.  It is amazing how few guys seem to understand that if you want me to swipe right on Tinder then you need to sell yourself with a good Tinder profile.

I think the first one is a textbook example of a bad tinder profile.  Clearly stating what he is looking for is a good start.  Then we get to the part about WhatsApp.  As an educated and independent woman I have my own views about when to use WhatsApp and expect potential boyfriends to respect my views and concerns.  The rest is just very negative.

Grumpy Tinder profile

Perhaps someone should remind the above guy that if he wants to make me swipe right then he needs to sell himself.  This could be done by showing that you are lots of fun but perhaps this guy went a bit too far.

Tinder profile

There are those that consider Tinder a hookup app.

Tinder hookup app

At least this guy understands the idea that if you want me to swipe right then I would like some idea of what you look like.

Tinder hookup

In contrast I have no idea why anyone would choose this guy.

creepy Tinder profile

This collection is of course mostly bad Tinder profiles but maybe it will provide some clues about what would make a good Tinder profile.

 

 

Relationship Exclusivity

There is loads of advice dedicated to the topic of exclusivity and relationships, how best to have “the talk” there is even an acronym for this DTR (define the relationship).  Plenty of advice to women about not treating a relationship as exclusive till it actually is.  This idea has challenged me before or there are the guys demanding I only talk to them way before they have done enough.

As I have gained confidence and experience in this online dating journey I have come to realise that I really should trust my judgment more and do what is right for me.  This generally reflects my approach to life and is one reason I have not followed a conventional path.

I have recently come to realise that it does not suit me to juggle multiple romances especially when there is one that shows potential.  I’m sure this is how many people know they have found someone special because the others fall away naturally.

This is where I find myself with IT guy.  I have completely lost interest in online dating or meeting anyone else, but things have not progressed enough to be considered exclusive.  He has made his interest very clear.  The challenge is that we live in different countries and it is going to take time for things to develop.  So, the real question is how to cope in that undefined space where mutual interest is clear but we need more time together to be really sure where things are going.

I think this is part of the reason I got myself in a tailspin a few weeks back.  Work was stressing me out.  But no it is not realistic to ditch everything and move to Dubai to be with IT guy, especially when he has been a bit quieter than normal.  Then that evening he messaged and after sharing some details of my day he was quick to ask what was bothering me and offer some advice.  Just what I needed.

Then work settled down and sanity returned.  With a clear head I was able to reassess.  I really like this guy and I want things to work but it’s not gonna happen if I go batshit crazy and get super needy.  Ironically it seems the best approach is to reduce dependence on this relationship working.  One reason I think a lot of advice is centred around advising women to date more than one guy.  But I am not a stereotypical woman.  I do not need a man in my life to be happy.  I prefer to wait for a good one.

I have done single and happy before and I can do it again.  For now online dating holds no interest for me but there is so much more to life.  I need to figure out my next work move.  I keep finding good stuff to do in Cape Town and more people to do it with.  As for blogging, well if I can’t blog about online dating well there are many other stories to share.  Stories I hope you will also enjoy.

I met a guy offline

After a nearly a year of online dating I was starting to despair of meeting anyone sensible.  There was Import-export guy who showed so much potential and then ghosted.  This was never going to be the last ghosting.  Then there were a few examples of a nice guy but no chemistry.  Then most unexpectedly, I met someone in an offline setting.

I debated even going to the funeral on the Friday.  I had a lot of work to do and I was not sure it was really necessary, especially when it it seemed my sister wasn’t going.  She arrived after the service with her kids.  I knew it was right that Mom should go and the deceased came to Dad’s funeral.

Both Mom and some friends we went with, commented on the fact that the sons cheered up a lot when they saw me.  They told me later that they used to look forward to coming round to our house.  My sister and I were a lot more fun than the children of their Dad’s other good friend.  With hindsight I guess there were additional reasons why the older son cheered up.  I will call him IT guy.

I can’t explain why I asked for his number as we were leaving.  I thought it would be nice to stay in touch and I could not find either son on facebook.  I knew Mom had the email address of the younger brother.  IT guy messaged later in the evening to make sure that we go home safely.  He also thanked us for staying late.  I think it made the situation easier for both sons.

On the Saturday Mom went on a mission to dig out some old photos and I ended up taking photos of a few and sending them to IT guy.  He thought most of the photos of him were embarrassing and laughed at one of his brother.  He mentioned that they were going up Table Mountain on Monday night and this would be followed by a meal.  Would I like to join them.  We had strawberry daiquiris and watched the sunset.  It was a lovely evening.

The following day he returned to Dubai but the messaging continued.  It became more flirty and within a few days he made it clear that he was interested in more than just friendship.  It turns out that he has fancied me since we were kids.  So much for my determination to find someone in Cape Town and avoid another relationship by text.

 

Trying to break-up nicely

I finally accepted that things with Artisan guy could not go any further I’m not sure that break-up is really the right word because things never really progressed as far as a relationship but I can’t think of a better description.

Another round of silence coincided with me meeting someone new (but that is a story for a later post).  I was glad of the silence because it meant I could focus on the new guy.  After nearly two weeks he texted me and we spoke on the phone.  It turns out his latest phone was broken and he was waiting for payday to buy another.  I had warned him the phone was faulty when I gave it to him.

We made plans to meet for drinks.  Something that had been half arranged a few weeks earlier.  It was late and I was tired so I agreed even though my head was spinning.  Even with the new relationship, little more than a week old I knew that it would be unfair to let Artisan guy think that things could progress any further.  The main challenge was figuring out: What is the nicest way to break-up with a guy?  In the end I send a text cancelling the drinks and explaining that I did not have strong feelings for him so it wouldn’t be right.

It took him till lunchtime the following day to respond.  He thought I was joking at first and I had to explain that much as I thought he was a great guy I did not have the sort of feelings required for a relationship.  I felt really bad because I do think he is one of the good guys.

He is looking for his forever girl but I couldn’t see that working for me.  We are very different people.  I have a PhD while he left school early to attend a technical college.  His version of travel is places in the Western Cape, while I have visited numerous countries.  He is happy with what he is achieved in life (and there is nothing wrong with that) while I am restless, looking for the next big adventure.  So my greatest fear is that unintentionally he would hold me back or in the end we would find that we could not make things work.  In the end we agreed to stay friends.

The new guy was a bit quieter in the few days after I broke up with Artisan guy and I briefly wondered if I was too hasty.  Having said that the ease with which I made the decision to break-up suggests that it is something I should have done ages ago.

For now we are friends.  I enjoy chatting to him.  My worry is that I think he still has hope that he can win me over.  Perhaps I am being selfish.  It might be kinder for me to end things completely so he can go back to looking for his forever girl.

 

I gave Badoo another chance

After Anti-Valentines I decided to unhide my Badoo profile.  It has been hidden since December.  Badoo is the first online dating platform I tried so far and based on my experience I would say that is the one of the mostly popular dating apps in South Africa.   

Certainly there is a lot of activity and I have chatted to a lot people actually looking to meet people as opposed to romance scammers.  You can use most of the features for free and combined with it being a mobile app means that it attracts a wide range of people.  Some of the most interesting people I have met, including Import-export guy, came from Badoo.  Also some of my funniest dodgy character stories. 

A hidden profile allowed me to view other profiles and continue to message people while avoiding messages from people who don’t interest me.  Nonetheless Badoo works best if you have a high popularity by chatting to lots of people.  

It was not long before a lot of people liked me and there were numerous messages.    Most of them were ‘… wants to chat’. They have not even bothered to say ‘Hi’, just clicked a button.  I checked the profiles and could not find anyone who interested me. 

There was one guy who messaged and after about 2 messages asked to WhatApp.  He sent me his number and asked that if wanted to WhatApp I should send my name and surname.  I ignored his request and after a few messages he tried again.  And no, a kiss is not going to make any difference.  In situations like this I have found the best option is to simply stop responding.   

Of course inevitably there was one whose relationship status was ‘complicated’ and when asked he told me he was in a relationship but that things weren’t going well.  So he was looking for someone to give him support as well as someone he could have fun with and explore the surroundings.  So I told him that I don’t date people in a relationship, that friendship was the only option.  This was the response:

‘We try tht no hard feelings.  Maybe sme day when get to know you may change the idea’.

So my suspicion he wanted more than friendship was correct and clearly my attempt to put him off was too subtle.  I decided to test how far the friendship idea went by asking if he would tell his current partner about me.  Surprise, surprise, the answer was no, some things should remain private, he wanted to handle things his way.

It turns out that he lives in a very dodgy part of town and works as a cashier at the local petrol (gas) station.  He claimed it was very interesting but I’m not convinced.  His world is so small he has not even heard of the shopping center near me.  At this point I figured there was not much point continuing the conversation.  I told him that I did not think that friendship was going to work and tried to ignore him.  Clearly not one to take a hint he tried to get my attention with messages such as: ‘U v gone scarce. Sadly missed’ and a few days later: ‘Am I being ignored for real’

So it seems that Badoo is still full of colourful characters.  The challenge is finding one that I actually want to meet for coffee.

Funny Tinder Profiles

I thought it would be fun to share some of the hilarious Tinder profiles that I have come across.

I think this is one of the best Tinder descriptions I have seen because at least it shows the guy is confident and has a good sense of humor.  After all who can complain when a guy compares himself to a dog?  Food for thought:  would a dog make a better companion? 

The first picture is followed by a few nice pictures of the guy who it turns out is black.  Ironic when you consider my previous comments about how most South African black guys take themselves too seriously.  Of course there is very little about his background and culture in the profile.  I like how he has overcome the challenge black men face with a profile that grabs your attention and showcases his personality before revealing his skin colour.  Needless to say this was swipe right. 

This DOG Needs a home, Cute from one angle only, loves staring out the window, See BioMore details from the online dating bioWhile the rest of the Tinder bios are witty I don’t think it will be a surprise that I chose to swipe left.  A key point to consider is context.  I like the joke in the next one and if I saw it on Facebook or WhatsApp then I probably would share it.  That does not make it a good Tinder bio.  Are you trying to say that you want children or just sex?  Will this just appeal to women who are desperate for kids?    

 

Men are the best cooks because with: two eggs, one sausage and a little bit of milk he can fill a girls tummy for nine months

I understand this profile picture even less.  Is he badly in need of the toilet?  Maybe he is just sexually frustrated.  Not surprising if he thinks this is a good online dating profile picture. 

A cartoon picture of a cross face

I like this picture.  It is a very funny drainpipe design.  I can’t understand why some friends didn’t include something similar when renovating their house. Lol. 

A drain pipe in the shape of a man peeing

I have to say this is one of my favorite Tinder profiles for men.  It is a simple, effective yet witty way of making it clear what he is looking for.  Interesting that my favorite profile pictures both have a dog related theme.

A picture of a dog holding a bone and text saying Wanna bone   

 

When to agree to coffee?

This post started out as a story about how I had to cancel a date because I forgot and made other plans.  I was going to write about the reasons why.  I matched with the guy on Tinder in the middle of January and we had a brief chat.  He seemed reasonably sensible and interesting.  He told me he was property investor and traveled a lot.

He told me his friend had suggested Tinder but he could understand my reluctance to share my number.  We chatted briefly an he asked to keep him posted about my availability for coffee near me.  I was not quite ready to arrange a coffee date and suggested that he keep in touch.

A month later he messaged to ask if I was still alive.  Then picked up the plans for a coffee date.  I’m not quite sure why I proposed the following Wednesday rather than insisting we chat a bit more.  I think I had read some dating advice suggesting that only a few messages should be traded before meeting for coffee.  Maybe it was the fact that I want a proper boyfriend and not another text buddy.

Anyway I decided to give him a chance.  But making plans with this guy proved to be hard work.  Specifically getting him to provide relevant details.  He asked to meet near his work, gave me the name of a very long road and promised directions closer to the time.  I felt the need to make it clear I was not willing to meet at his office and he responded by saying there were lots of coffee shops.  Not very helpful.  At this point I was irritated with having to keep asking questions so I simply replied with ‘cool’.

On Monday evening, without thinking, I made other plans for Wednesday.  It was only a few hours later I realized what I had done but decided the other plans took priority.  On Tuesday morning sent him a message explaining and hoped he did not think I was too flaky.  In spite of the fact that I had not heard from him since Saturday.  By Tuesday lunchtime I still had not heard from him and started working on the first version of this post describing the sort of things that would have made me excited about the date.  In doing so I reread our messages and started to question if the guy’s intentions.

He finally messaged and asked when our ‘new appointment’ would be.  I thought that was rather strange wording and told him I was not happy meeting.  He gave me his full name to google which actually did not help matters.  All I could find were two rather strange Facebook profiles with virtually no activity on the timeline.  I’m sure a property investor would have more of an online presence.  At this point he provided the name of a restaurant but I’m not convinced it was the logical choice for a local businessman.  Yet  according to Tinder his distance from me fitted with where he said he was.  Which meant I was feeling somewhat conflicted could he be honest just bad at messaging or were his intentions far more sinister.

While I was driving I realised that at some point during the day I had forgotten the purpose of a coffee date and thus dropped my criteria.  It certainly isn’t: He probably won’t rape and murder me.  The point of a coffee date is that because things are going well, you want to meet the guy in person and there is the possibility of something longer term.  Let’s be honest if a guy can’t have good enough conversation to answer my questions and convince me his intentions are honorable there is no chance of building a relationship.

So no new appointment. Lol.

 

An Anti-Valentines Round-up

I have to be honest I did not manage to stay off dating websites completely during Anti-Valentines. Admittedly it was a rather quick decision and there were a few conversations in progress which I wanted to continue.  Although nothing has come from those conversations.

I haven’t had much time to go job hunting but then February was always going to be busy. Having said that I did spot a few interesting looking jobs so I’m keen to update my CV.  I have a few ideas for changes so that my CV provides a broader reflection of my skills. I really am feeling the need to do something different.  I just need to find something which uses my skills and interests in a different way so that this move is furthers my career and increases my income.  Interesting question: How do I combine my love of blogging with a career in Engineering and research?

A few nights ago my niece wanted to know why I was out so much these days.  She was effectively telling me off for going out more often. Lol. This shows that my mission to embrace life is starting to pay off. I signed up for a local ballroom dance contest. Something that previously, I would have been too scared to even consider.  Sadly my dance partner had to withdraw but I’m actually kinda relieved. I was struggling to figure out how I would find time to practice and not entirely comfortable dancing with a boy I hardly know. He was very sweet but I felt weird.  Nonetheless it gave me the confidence to try more now things.

I signed up for a competition on the local radio. I have listened for a few years and I enjoy playing along, so when they advertised for competitors I figured why not give it a try. A few weeks later they phoned me and asked me if I wanted to compete that day. It was rather stressful but also rather fun. I didn’t get through to the next round but I answered a good number of questions. My Mom, my sister and my niece gathered round the radio to listen and my niece was super excited. Scary to think what she would have been like if I had got through.

Then a few days ago I was talking to someone where I work and we realized that we were both keen to visit some of Cape Town’s fabulous rooftop bars so I suggested we make a plan to go. We have a weekend in mind.  Until recently I would not have dreamed of suggesting we go somewhere as she is a long younger than me. But we get on well and we have some common interests so why not. I invited one of the ladies from my office and somehow that led to plans for this weekend as well.

So all in all I am feeling very positive. I haven’t given up on dating. I want to fix my profiles on a few sites before I reactivate them and my plans for the following for weekends might create opportunities for getting some good profile pics. Also making plans to visit places which really interest me is the right formula for meeting someone who is suitable for me. Having said that I might try to keep the online dating at a slower pace and keep doing other things.