The Latest Incarnation of Hell on Earth
I have neglected you my dear reader, it has been nearly two weeks since my last post.
I am sorry and equally I also know you are not sat there wondering where I am or worried that I may never post again.
Here is another snippet of the life of your author, away from the main purpose of the 11 Year Plan, which you can read about here, https://www.my11yearplan.com/post/i-have-a-plan
start with that post and work your way up through the posts, who knows, you may even enjoy it.
But read this one first, you are already here, get comfy, stay awhile, its dark and cold outside, pour a glass of red wine, I have and on a school night too, why not?
In fairness, not a huge amount has happened, I have settled back into my old/new job - you can read a little about that here https://www.my11yearplan.com/post/i-have-had-an-amazing-week
The investments are doing their thing and I have more money in the account to put into the next company, I am just undecided - waiting on my financial guru's guidance - which one yet.
I have been out for walks, only locally, been to the cinema and theatre and also taken myself out to lunch the last two Saturdays in a row.
I know! How avant-garde of me, dining alone in some lovely local restaurants, or is it pitiful?
Lets read on together and then you can decide.
This is going to sound horribly arrogant and I am not going to apologise for that, as I am simply writing the facts as I see and have experienced them.
I have always been very fortunate when it comes to being attractive to ladies, even when I was at school, with my terrible mullet hair, being skinny and all awkward and desperately lacking in self confidence. I wasn't part of the cool gang at all.
Yet, I still managed to garner the attention of some of the prettiest and popular girls in school, I had no idea why, I still don't.
Ok, maybe I have an inkling.
Yes reader, I was painfully shy in my younger years and those that know me now may find that hard to believe, but it is true, it has only been in my later years that my confidence has grown, some may say it has overgrown...
From 1996 to 2019 I was never really single, I went from a girlfriend, to my wife, to an ex girlfriend and then a new girlfriend, with no real breaks between. I am not proud of this, it is simply the way my life went, the truth, and much more importantly, history.
That period and the resulting ending of those relationships is in part why I am, where I am and why I need the 11 Year Plan, I explain that in more detail here;
In November 2019 I found myself single for the first time in nearly 24 years and as I have explained in https://www.my11yearplan.com/post/the-van-months I went out to Javea to see my cousin, she is a lady and has lots of lady friends.
A quick aside, my cousin met her now husband through a dating app.
Now this isn't a 'wahay I shagged my way through Javea in a week' post as I didn't and that wasn't my intention.
My point is that these lovely ladies insisted, actually forced to some degree, that I get back on the horse and join some online dating sites... They even stole my phone and set profiles up despite my protestations that I wasn't ready yet!
OK, I may have let them, just a little. I am weak, leave me alone.
Up to this point I had never been on a dating site, as I explain above I hadn't been single since 1996, so I had no need to, I was meeting partners naturally and as a matter of course through my life.
Now, it is 2019, I am single, in Spain and in a matter of moments I had a Tinder and a Happn profile.
Here we go.
You all know Tinder, its the go to for online dating, like Google is the go to for search engines and Dyson for vacuum cleaners, but there are loads of others;
Happn (not a typo)
Plenty of Fish
Veggly (for Vegans)
and numerous 'specific types' Apps
even Facebook has a dating element and it is truly horrific.
You get the idea dear reader, I was going to be spoilt for choice and I was going to meet the next one, hopefully the last and forever one, or so I thought.
I dove in, I was swiping left and right, I was reading profiles, I was getting matches and even started chatting to a few ladies, I was getting 'Super Likes' and, of course being asked to pay to see who liked me, which I had no intention of doing.
I decided that I would let fate deal my next hand.
Initially it was addictive and in a way a form of flattery, albeit false flattery as it transpires. I had a couple of dates, and they went OK, but no Four Weddings and Funeral moment;
[after running into his second cousin once removed, Deirdre] Tom : Golly! Thunderbolt city.
I put it down to being early days, the need to test the waters, the law of averages and accepting that you are making a decision on a few images, a profile that is not always easy to write - I mean, who likes writing about themselves... - and of course the whole Covid situation didn't help.
It turns out that these apps are quite difficult to navigate, I naturally assumed that you matched with someone, you would have a chat via the app and decide if meeting was an option, if not, thank them for their time and move on, easy huh?
OK, reader, you know I am not that naïve, but even I was taken aback at the way people act on these apps and the new terms and ways I was learning.
Ghosting, wow, now there's a thing.
You match, you say 'Hi', start the chat and get a response or two and then with no warning radio silence for days, even weeks.
Have I been 'ghosted'?
What do I do?
Do I keep messaging and seem overly keen/desperate/pleading for them to 'please love me'
or do you wait and give the benefit of the doubt that people have lives and are busy?
Hang on, 'you' are on a Dating App and, I assume, are there with the hope to maybe meet someone, date and who knows what from there.
My pics and profile clearly sparked your interest and responding to a message takes seconds, I suspect you are writing many texts a day, this is no different.
Ooooh, I was ranting, sorry dear reader, I won't do that again, reminds me of The Exorcist III (great and underrated film, by the way and Brad Dourif is sublime!)
[Abruptly calm and composed]
The Gemini Killer: Gracious me. Was I raving? Please forgive me. I'm mad.
I have matched, chatted, un-matched, been un-matched with, generally with no reason or explanation.
I have deleted the apps, reinstalled them, started again and almost each and every time get the same result, a feeling that this is quite hollow and very clinical.
It became perfunctory, the same as opening Facebook or Instagram and swiping for the sake of swiping.
I did it as part of a routine, for I am sure, like me dear reader that at certain points of the day, early morning or evening, you go through your 'socials' in a certain order, mine are
Roller Coaster Tycoon
Always that order, maybe I have a 'syndrome'... Nope, not going there just yet.
The heady days of feeling flattered soon dissipated as I realised that this was not going to be the way to meet someone, I decided that I would wait for the world to fully re-open and meet someone naturally, eyes across a bar type thing, like the old days.
But until then, lets keep swiping.
Then out of the blue. Golly! Thunderbolt city!
No, she isn't a second cousin once removed or any sort of relative, I will leave that to Tom.
We matched, we chatted, we swapped numbers (ooof next level) we met for coffee, we agreed to meet for dinner, then met again and again, she came to mine, I went to hers, this was going great, really great.
Amazingly I had met someone through a dating app who is stunning, funny, likes me, really likes me (she is clearly mad) and we share similar interests, yet equally have differing ones too, this is looking good and I was falling, hard and I was ready and I was excited. I screwed it up.
Well, if you know me reader, maybe not so much a shocker.
We are still chatting, but it has been months since we saw each other and I know neither of us is sure what we are doing or where this is going, but we are chatting. I went back to the apps a few weeks ago, I am not even sure why, they are soulless and I am simply not ready, I am confident that I never will be, for that way of meeting someone.
I have had my one shot at the title via that medium and I blew it.
The apps are deleted as are my profiles on them and that's how I intend for them to stay. I thought being single in the 90's through my 20's was difficult, it is ten times worse in your late 40's, mainly I guess because, I don't feel 49, I know I don't act it, as do you, my faithful reader. I don't want you to think I am moping around and am unhappy, I am not my dear reader, I promise, as I said in https://www.my11yearplan.com/post/i-have-had-an-amazing-week life is good at the moment, very.
I have enjoyed getting dressed up and going to a lovely restaurant for a late and slightly boozy lunch on a Saturday, it is liberating dining alone and not as strange as it sounds.
Although that little cherry on top of having someone sat across from me to chat about the week behind and the one ahead, would be amazing. Fancy it? But not via bloody Tinder!
Although, that said, would you swipe right if you saw my profile dear reader?
Be honest now...