Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. I want to tell you a story. Well, three actually and they all pertain to a certain, free dating site. I’d say the most popular one. It rhymes with Benty Od Lish.
Too Good to be True?
A guy got in touch with me this week. He was really good looking and so I checked his profile out (obvs.) In fact, he was so good looking I was immediately suspicious. Now an unseasoned dater would have read his profile and not seen anything remotely dodgy in it – he was a teacher, a music teacher (so he likes kids), 32, originally from Scotland but now lives in London. His profile photos ranged from one with his sister (aah, he loves his family right?), to an outdoorsy type pic (at one with nature ‘n that) to a casual one of him with just looking normal.
So far so good.
His first message was extremely polite. He was new to online dating, had heard the horror stories about this site but figured there had to at least be one normal woman on here. We laughed. Oh, the irony! We continued to message each other that night and I asked him outright if he was genuine. I said he’d understand that question the longer he was on the site and he didn’t seem offended – in fact, he reassured me that he was very genuine.
I remarked on his politeness. He remarked on my red hair and blue eyes. He asked me what I was looking for in a man. I told him in six words. He told me what type of woman he was looking for. We seemed so, so compatible.
It was almost too good to be true.
He then asked for my number. Now I very rarely give my number out to men from dating sites – trust me, experience has taught me to be very careful. But he’d reassured me he wasn’t one of the ‘mental ones’ on here, that he was normal.
He seemed genuine.
Instead of giving my number, I asked for his … which he gave immediately. I reiterated with him that before I gave him my number I wanted him to be sure that I wasn’t looking for anything casual. That I was on Benty od Lish to date seriously. He said he was too.
So I gave him my number.
We struck up a conversation on Whatsapp but before it went anywhere, I just wanted him to send me a photo to confirm it was him. I just had this feeling that something maybe wasn’t quite right. On the surface, if you were an outsider to this ‘meeting’ of two people, you wouldn’t notice something was up. But I’ve dated for two years now and believe me, nothing shocks me anymore.
So I asked for his photo and he said, “Sure, just hold on 1 minute whilst I take one.”
I never heard from him again.
And not only that, he immediately blocked me on the dating site so I couldn’t message him again.
I’m not hurt, or surprised … but I am in a perpetual state of disbelief when things like this happen because I just don’t understand what the point is? An ego boost? Boredom? Someone is perhaps a little on the … odd side?
And the reason I don’t take any of this personal is because I know it’s not just me that this happens to.
A good friend of mine is also on this dating site which is great for several reasons. We can make sure we don’t date the same men, we can swap horror stories and we can look out for each other.
She told me about a policeman she was talking to and showed me his picture. He was good looking but I did mention to her the reputation that policemen have – I should know, I dated one (very, very briefly!)
Anyway, I figured she’d go out on a date with him and she had nothing to lose really. He seemed keen, she’s a bloody great catch after all, so they went out for a drink.
The date went well. He messaged her afterwards to say he’d like to see her again. She was pleased because she liked him.
And then he sent her a text that went along the lines of: “I’ve just been on a second date with another girl and I really like her so I’m going to have to bail out on us now. I’m gutted because you’re beautiful and I’ll probably regret it, but I’m not a player so I wanted to be honest. I’d like to keep in touch???”
So he’d like to be honest but keep her on tap, you know, just in case.
A friend of a friend is on this dating site too and my friend often regales me with stories of what this woman gets up to. Apparently, she came into work today with her dating story. She went on a date with a guy last week – they got on well and he wanted to see her again, mentioning his home town by the seaside. So she happened to talk about this date to a work colleague because that’s where this work colleague lives and the colleague turns to her and says, “His name isn’t Dave is it?” She replied, “Yeah, it is, how do you know?” Turns out this guy went out with the colleague’s friend for six months and fleeced her out of thousands of pounds.
He’s a known conman. So that’s nice.
A resilient woman, she went out with another guy this weekend. Turns out he forgot to mention he’d walked out on his previous partner and their very poorly child, leaving them with no money.
I don’t know what to say about these stories really other than myself and my friend aren’t on there anymore and it’s left a bad taste in our mouths. Again. But I honestly don’t know what the answer is when it comes to dating because two years ago, that site (and others like it) were a lot more genuine than they are now. I’m not sure what’s happened but it’s a paradise for chancers, losers and morons. A cesspool for men that need to get a kick out of dicking innocent women around.
Isn’t that a weird concept? To you and me, as ‘normal’ people.
Ho hum. Another lesson learnt and I remain undeterred … the stubborn bugger that I am. But it’s awfully tiring you know – for me and for my friends. We’re just normal, genuine girls that don’t really deserve to be messed about. Low maintenance women with awesome senses of humour and modesty!
I wonder whether the answer is in setting my own dating site up for woman (and men) like me who are tired of this game playing … I often think about whether I could offer the market something that it is sorely lacking right now.
Who knows? Watch this space. The cogs are turning but something’s got to change.