I mentioned last year that I’ve been writing a book about dating in your 40s and beyond. Someone asked how it was going, and I launched into a massive tirade (not just a rant) about the state of dating right now and explained that the book has stalled. You see it’s hard to write about something that makes you so angry. Well, it’s not hard, but I doubt I’d sell many books if it was just me moaning in every chapter. So in order to catharticise (that’s definitely a word) the whole issue – aka get shit off my chest, I thought I’d explain to you the abuse I’ve received online this week, on one dating site, in just one week, just so you can see where I’m coming from.

 

For the record, none of my profile photos are suggestive, remotely … saucy or, I would argue, particularly sexy. I mean, I’m in my gym kit in one photo, jeans in another, there’s one of my face, and one of me in a red dress. No boobs, no pouting, no layers and layers of make-up, just me. To add to that, my profile states that I’m not going to talk to anyone that doesn’t have a photo, and I suggest that men don’t call me babe or hun if they want an answer.

 

The first message that stands out is one from a man who lives in London, who says he’s 42 (but I think he’s younger – a lot of man say they’re older so they can talk to older women), and, from the photo, he looks mixed race. I mention that for a reason. His first message said, and I doubt he’s going to win any Pulitzer prize soon, “Sexy.”

 

OK. Thanks?

 

I never know what to say when guys just give you their opinion of you. I mean at least it’s positive and not “Too fat”, which I’ve had before, but still, what on earth are you meant to say to that? So I said nothing.

 

Three days later, he messaged me again … something slightly more direct. “Wanna black man in you?” And they say romance is dead. And also, I sincerely hope my Dad isn’t reading this.

 

I replied, somewhat restrained, “No, I’m good thanks,” and hoped that would be the end of it.

 

He replied:

 

 

So that’s nice. Now firstly, bearing in mind my own child is mixed race, I’d say that I’m probably not the first person that could ever be considered a racist, but because I’d deigned to say no to him, race was brought into it. And secondly, I’m a ‘slappa’ because I said no? I think the poor bloke is a little confused.

 

I won’t lie, even though this person means nothing to me, and he was easily blocked, it’s hard being called names, even by strangers on the internet. I’ve now been called ‘too fat’, a ‘white slappa’ and the next person I’m going to introduce you to went on to suggest something entirely different.

 

He had no profile photo so when he messaged me, “Hello Kate,” I didn’t bother replying. Just like I said in my profile. He left it a while and tried again. Actually, I tell you what, why don’t I just show you what he said. In all fairness, I shouldn’t have replied in the first place, and then autocorrect changed the word ‘you’ to ‘yourself’, which is what he’s wanging on about, but here it is, in all its glory – (be warned, use of graphic language):

 

 

I shouldn’t have replied in the first place, but I’m so tired of the bullshit on dating sites. And the fact is, I don’t deserve to be spoken to like that, I really don’t, especially from a 54 year old bloke that really should know better. I’m tired of it. But then I’ve been saying, “I’m tired of it” for years haven’t it?

 

It’s difficult, nigh on impossible, to even have an adult conversation on dating sites without it resorting to insults because some men can’t get what they want. It’s juvenile, disgusting, and yet they continue to do it because it’s anonymous.

 

I still don’t know what the answer is. Do you?

 

kate sutton

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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18 Comments

  1. I joined match after a sneaky advertising genius marketing campaign, christmas day, about 4pm I got an email offering a discount. I signed up only for a month. Similar types of pictures. Not quite so much abuse but one very insistant man who sent about 25 messages, even after I asked him to stop and attempted to block him. One ‘serial shagger’ a beautiful looking eastern European man in his mid 20s (I am almost 40) and one person I worked with for 18months who evidently didn’t recognise me. My push to delete my accoubt came when a school friend of my ex husband viewed my profile. He lives round the corner and will have recognised me. I panicked as he slowed his car outside. I did meet one person though and early days but he seems really nice and genuine, there didn’t seem to be many of them around.

    1. Blimey Emma. Your experience seems very similar to mine over the years – I’ve often received message from men saying, “Were you in Argos earlier?” … not that I go to Argos a lot lol, but local men see you around and then it all becomes rather creepy doesn’t it? Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve had any cars slow down outside my house (yet!) I’m so glad you’ve met someone nice though. They’re in the minority it seems x

  2. All men are knobs I’ve decided. I split with my hubby last year after 23 years together and I’ve been on a couple of dates since. The first wasn’t over his supposed ex wife and the second was going really well introduced him to my daughter he was talking about a future together all going great. Then he told a pack of lies about his family members being ill then his father dying and he’s miraculously disappeared off the face of the earth not even dumped via text just nothing. I give up. Don’t let the shits get you down hunni your fabulous just the way you are.

    1. Oh Suzie, I’m so sorry you’ve been treated like that. That’s awful! Some men just don’t have the courage to be truthful in the first place or, at the very least, be honest if their feelings have changed. If I find the answer to finding true love (although don’t hold your breath), I’ll let you know! x

  3. I think my answer to it would be to come off dating sites, but that is easy for me to say as I have never been on one, have been married for 35 years and have absolutely no intention of ever getting involved with another man ever ever again should the unthinkable happen. Not because I love my man too much to not do it, but because I couldn’t be arsed with trying to housetrain another one to my way of thinking!.
    You are an amazing woman, who doesn’t deserve all this crap and I wish I knew an amazing man to introduce you too, but the only ones I know/knew are either dead or gay. The single blokes I do know are complete and utter idiots who deserve to be single and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone!
    If there is someone out there for you, to bring you co-codamol when you ping your back, then I am sure he will turn up. I hope he doesn’t take too long or let you down,

  4. This is most of the reason I left all online dating sites. People (not just men, I’ve had exactly the same bs from women) are awful. It made me angry, it made me hate humans and society, it made me question my worth, it was every kind of awful.
    I am honestly wondering if another decent human being exists in the world! Even friends I know online (and in real life to be honest) are cheating on their wives, trying it on with me behind their wives backs, or treating me like a sex object and ignoring me when I don’t respond to their ‘compliments.’
    God I hate people!

    1. I think that’s how I feel about online dating right now – as if everyone on there is an awful person, and it’s not fair to tar everyone with the same brush, but I’ve not had one ‘normal’ interaction on there in months. They’re all horrible people. I’m sorry you’ve had the same experience, both on and offline. Just awful. x

  5. I met my hubby on a dating website, and we have been together 4 years now and have a daughter together. I do believe that he is very much in the minority, on these sites. I had other ‘matches’ introduce themselves and within 3 or 4 messages, they were asking for indecent photos etc. Ummm, no love, go on a porn site if that’s what you’re looking for!! Deary me. No class!

  6. The post from that man who corrected your grammer in such a rude way made me laugh…does he not realise it’s “we’re” not “were”?!? I think you’re totally justified in your response.what a bunch of idiots!
    Sorry,I love reading your blog 🙂 xx

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