Anyway, two magnificent ladies in particular, whom I have never met, have taken the time to tell me their experiences of Guardian Soulmates, and I've published their stories here - as promised - verbatim:
The bloody fantastic alcoholic
I could not sleep the night before my first date due to a mixture of excitement and nerves. We had had an absolutely bloody fantastic email exchange prior to meeting and I had very high hopes about this one. However, I took one look at him and could tell from his ruddy complexion that he was an alcoholic. He then proceeded to work his way down the wine list, and we ended up doing shots. On a school night! Unfortunately, in trying to keep up with him I ended up seeing double and telling him my entire life story. But it doesn't matter because he won't remember anything anyway. I am still a little bit devastated about that one :-(
My second date wanted to bring his dog with him so we had to find somewhere dog-friendly (not easy in Central London). I had a nice time, we met for coffee on a Sunday morning and had a good old natter about anything and everything. However, afterwards I received an absolutely filthy text from him which actually made me feel sick. Delete delete delete.
The old man
We met at a lovely restaurant but within about 5 minutes of meeting he asked me to take my hair down (I had it in a ponytail). Is that not a bit of an odd request from someone that you have just met for the first time? He also admitted that he had lied about his age by a whopping 10 years - he was actually 52 and not 42. When I asked him why he did it, he said that if he had put his real age I would not have "come out to play", which just sounded a bit creepy.
Sshhh... keep your voice down!
Something strange happened to me today. I went out for dinner with a friend and when I got home I had an email from a man who had been sitting on the next table to us and had recognised me from Soulmates! He said that he had overheard our whole conversation, so he didn't need to ask me any questions if we ever went out! That was very bizarre. He also added that I was much prettier than my photo, so of course I have forgiven him for listening in to our conversation.
The shaggerman hazard
A final word of warning to the ladies out there. A male friend of mine who is doing internet dating told me that he usually doesn't like the women but he sleeps with them anyway. So please be careful!
Goddammit – I was expecting AWESOME!
This chap randomly sent me the below mini-lecture a few days after we met, unprompted, just completely out of the blue. He apologised later, and it turned out his reasoning was because I was 'a cool girl not interested in him'. So he thought he'd have a thinly veiled sort of go at me and place blame, instead!
"You are such a shy thing. The blind internet date scene isn't easy at first, I'll admit, but really all you have to do is talk about yourself. What you like; what you love; what gets you out of bed.... if you or your date don't like what they hear, enjoy their company (if they're not knobs) and politely move on. Not talking just undercuts yourself. Personally I thought you were pretty hot. But I've little idea of who you are. You said you are awesome. It's probably true. Project it."
Let's talk about sex, baby...
This is a text message I got from someone the day after I met him. It's hilarious:
"Morning. Nice to meet you yesterday. I got the feeling you would like to try some of the sexual practices I was talking about? If I'm right let's sort a time when I get back."
If we'd talked about sex I'd have still thought this pretty arrogant and charmless, but the thing is, we hadn't! I'd mentioned my insomnia and he started talking about buddhism, telling me I had to reconnect with my body and place myself in my stomach. I tried and described the feeling, then he said that was related to tantra and it was the same principle, except applied to your genitalia. That's the most we talked sex as I didn't particularly respond to this, as by then I thought he was full of shit anyway—not to mention leery, the way he was examining me from different angles, literally– and about 10 minutes later I ended the date. Anyway, I responded to that text with a polite thanks but no thanks, and he told me to take care and wished me luck. At least he's honest about what he's looking for, I guess.
There was a guy I walked out on because he was the argumentative type who likes to debate every little thing. The line for me was when he wanted to argue about what my body type is; apparently a lady of my stature cannot have curves, and this person I'd only just met, observing me in clothing that didn't give much away, knew better than me what I look like naked. That's how important creating and attempting to win an argument is to this person. The look on his face when I said I was leaving was a picture.
Somewhere... out there...
My work life makes it next to impossible to meet new people, so I figured this would be a good way to massage that bruised ego, remind myself I'm attractive again. This has worked to a degree, but the problem is that it also reinforces the idea that I might not ever meet someone lovely to be with at all. The more I meet people, the more I know I want more than just that alone, and the more I do so, the more aware I am that I'm not finding it. I'm painfully aware of this every time I log on, and it's pretty horrid... I've been lucky and have at least been getting some attention on there so I dread to think how it feels for some of the people who've also commented on your blog, who aren't getting responses.
If you've read this far, I invite you to tell me your story.