Dating Experts and the Industry.

Apparently it’s not enough these days to just put a profile and a couple of photos on dating sites like everyone else,you need the help of a dating expert, dating coach,matchmaker, and various other people. There are also people out there who will take the photos for you and people who will help you to write that “killer” profile. All for a price of course.
I somehow managed to write one all by myself and it must have been good as someone nicked it. A guy got in touch after reading it and asked would I mind if he used it himself? I replied that yes I would mind as it had taken me ages to think of a good profile and maybe he should try that himself? A couple of days later he messaged to say “Look at my profile,what do you think?” and he’d taken mine. Tweaked it a bit so it was about him but was definitely mine.I was furious so I reported him to the site but they weren’t interested. So after that I was a bit loathe to go all out and think up another really good one so I’ve played it safe ever since, maybe that’s where I’m going wrong.
There are loads of dating experts around but I can’t see how someone who won’t be in my position for at least another 20 years, can possibly help me and others my age group when they do not have a clue as to what it’s like. Older dating is harder, and that’s a fact. Someone a lot younger will not realise that even in this day and age older men are homophobic, it’s a generation thing. And the ones who think that they’re funny are still telling you old jokes they’ve remembered from lolly sticks.
Bloggers who write about dating will sometimes be asked by an “expert” to write a guest post for a  blog or newsletter. All of a sudden someone will get in touch with “I love your blog!” and then ask if you’d write a (free) piece for them. I’ve been asked myself a couple of times and twitter seems to be full of them,
.Watching an episode of  First Dates a couple of weeks ago I was involved in a conversation with someone on twitter who was on an episode of this series.”I should have been on it but they couldn’t find anyone for me and I’m not surprised as I can’t find him either”.I said. Next thing a “dating lifestyle coach” tweeted me.”Maybe I can help you there”.”Really? Not sure if you realise the challenges of older dating but if you can find me a normal man with hair and a sense of  humour, who’s not looking for someone younger,who’s not looking for someone “to do stuff with” who’s not homophobic,or a bigot then yes you can help.” I didn’t get a reply and I would have been surprised if I had.
I’m not knocking all the dating industry as I would actually use a match making service but that will be a last resort,  it’s just that on the whole, it seems that there’s a lot of money to be made from some people who might be at a vulnerable time of their lives. Having said that please let me be the first one to take it to the next level and actually charge people to go on a date instead of them. Let’s see how long it is before that happens…

Mutton dressed as lamb? Hopefully not dahling….

Last week I received an invitation to attend the wrap party of the Channel 4 programme First Dates which would be held at some celeb hot spot nightclub in London.After the initial excitement had died down I started to feel a bit anxious about what the hell was I going to wear? A woman of a certain age has limited options and as I was mentally flipping through my wardrobe discarding everything I owned I decided to do some on-line shopping. After a couple of hours I hadn’t found anything mainly because the dresses I was looking at, when I had put the entire ensemble together, made me look as though I was going to a wedding. Definitely not the look I wanted but this was the problem.T his nightclub was going to be full of bright young things under 25 and I was going to stand out a mile by being twice their age for a start so I didn’t want further proof that I shouldn’t even be there by wearing something ridiculous.
If I had been going there 25-30 years ago it would have been no problem as you just wear whatever is in fashion at the time but we’ve all heard that saying “If you wore it first time around then you can’t wear it again”. At the minute the shops are full of jumpsuits, all-in-ones, boiler suits call them what you will but that used to be my trademark at one time. At 20 yrs old I was strutting along in a bright yellow one with a red belt and red shoes thinking I was all that, yes I was that canary. I also had a skin tight denim one that I wore to death that eventually got nicked off the washing line (so I know I must have looked alright in it as someone clearly wanted to look the same).
Living in Gibraltar I had a lovely lilac one which was covered in zips which I used to wear with suede lilac ankle boots. At the time I was working in a hotel and as accommodation was included I ended up sharing a room with a girl who worked in the nightclub that was underneath it. After wearing this particular outfit to death I put it in the bin and then got the shock of my life when I walked in the nightclub one night and my room mate was wearing it along with the boots! What could I say? I’d thrown it away and she’d fished it out and kept it. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that but for god’s sake find your own style!
Which brings me back to shopping when you’re older. Your body shape changes especially after having kids and you want to cover up more and let’s face it no-one wants to see ageing flesh on display so it`s sometimes difficult trying to find a happy medium.I still want to be able to dress with a nod to fashion and look smart but definitely no short skirts/low tops/backless numbers. Might have to try Bon Marche as I hear David Emmanuel does a designer range for them but we all remember a certain wedding dress he made so maybe not.

This Ain’t a Love Song….

People often say “How did we meet people when we were young?” Well I’ll tell you, when we were 16/17/18 we had a wide circle of friends and every weekend we all went into the town centre and went into all the pubs at the same time as the rest of the 16/17 18 year olds who lived in the same town. So everyone the same age was out at the same time so it was really easy to meet guys(or boys as they were then). Fast forward 40 years and obviously we’ve all come out of marriages, maybe moved away to live somewhere else and probably lost touch with a lot of friends on the way so for a lot of us it’s now the internet which is our new best friend. If we go out it’s either a family get-together (usually a meal) or out for a drink with a couple of friends and let’s face it, there’s probably not that many people our own age who are in that restaurant/pub at the same time that we’re in it. So we join these dating sites hoping we’ll meet someone but it`s difficult when you are talking to someone on-line and you don’t have your “wing-man”.
Back in the day everyone thought that they were in the top clique, there were different groups of people and each one thought that they were the top one and it wasn’t just the girls either. The guys were just as bad and each weekend they were stood at the bar watching all the girls strutting their stuff on the dance floor but 2 guys in particular stood out more than the rest. J and D dressed to impress every weekend, wearing their sharp bright suits and hiring a Lotus Elise just for the weekends. The rest of the lads hated ’em, but one night J came in useful. One Tuesday night my wing-man M and I went to the only pub that would be packed that night and walked up to the bar. At the time I was sort of seeing someone “P” but M really fancied his mate and this particular night they were both in the pub.But so was a group of girls who also had their eyes on these guys.
As we stayed at the bar J came in and came straight over to us. He knew what was going on and said “Just laugh at everything I say”so we did. P and his friend kept walking past but made no attempt to approach us as by now they’d sat with the other girls who were doing a lot of hair flicking and leaning forward to listen intently to what they had to say,(which wouldn’t have been a lot let me tell you) As the night wore on J stayed with us and when it was last orders he said “Let`s just walk out now.Each of you link me on each side and as we walk out you have to laugh your heads off.” M wasn `t too sure.” Oh no! That would be curtains for me! He won’t want to know!” But J was insistent, As we walked up the road a car pulled up along side us and P had his head out of the window with his mate sat beside him.”Get in!!” J winked at us as he walked away,he knew exactly what to do to wind them all up.
It wasn’t long after that when me and P parted ways because as much as he was a looker he just didn’t have the personality to go with it, and as for his mate it would seem he was far more interested in his clothes than what any girl had to offer.

C’est la vie.

Full Moon……

And don`t we know it…..I don`t care what anyone says some people DO act differently when there`s a full moon so it was only to be expected when I got a message from “P”…..”Hi, we have actually spoken some time ago. Just thought I`d let you know I`ve had a stroke recently”. Right…..first off, I don`t remember him (and I`m good with faces) and secondly what response is he looking for?? Here goes.”Sorry to hear that, you ok now?” And then I get “Ish…” Hmm….well I`m truly sorry to hear that but to be fair I`m not getting into a conversation about it so I didn`t reply, obviously I wasn`t Florence Nightingale in a previous life.But the big surprise this week was from “A” who I was speaking with a few months ago who thought he`d try his luck once again.”This is just a rhetorical question.What would you like on a first date?” Well now.A has asked me out before and when I turned him down he got a bit nasty so naturally I was a bit wary but I replied “I would like someone to take charge just once and tell me what they`ve got planned”.It wasn`t long before I got a reply…..”Oh if I could take you out I would pick you up and we`d drive to Wales and look at some gardens”….WHAT?? Wales? Gardens? “Thank you for your kind offer but (a) I wouldn`t be getting in a car with a stranger and (b) it`s a long day if we don`t really like each other.” He soon replied. “Oh of course I was only joking. Would just meet for a drink.” No A, you weren`t joking but let`s play……..
After a couple of conversations we had a chat on the phone and that`s when I heard all about his daughter who seems to rely on her parents for an awful lot even though she  left uni a while ago.We arranged to meet a couple of days later and then the next day I got a txt.”So, I know you live near Manchester centre so how about you sort it out?” My heart sank.He clearly had not listened to a word I`d said but I had noticed that had asked me the same questions more than once which could mean either (a) he wasn`t listening or (b) he was in a conversation with a few other women.(my vote`s on (b)) so I sent this txt…….This is what I put on Twitter….”Just for once I`d like a guy to make the arrangements for a first date…I`d be so impressed, instead of the usual “Oh you live near the city centre you sort it.” and you wonder why I`m not in a rush to meet you”. Didn`t take long.”Out of order! I`m in Bury so never get to  Manchester!”….Really A? Never? Says it all, one tram…..anyway…..”You live near the Quays so I`ll meet you there at 8″. Which got me thinking….Thought it was me reclining on this rock? I`m a mermaid,I`m NOT supposed to be swimming out to you guys dragging you by the hair….(oh that`s right have none)!!
But do you know what really got me? After I`d agreed to a date, every night on POF he`d send me a message telling me about ex-girlfriends who`d been in touch ,usually asking him to meet up for whatever reason….(tax returns,problems with an ex boyfriend)  but he didn`t realise. I`ve had a relationship with someone else who felt he had to prove himself, back in the day….When I was with idiot D ( back when I was 18/19) who, wherever we went, always felt the need to prove himself by picking out the most gorgeous girl and telling me that he`d had a relationship with her. One night we were in a nightclub on a Wednesday night not far from where I lived and as we were on the balcony looking down I was waiting for the inevitable pointing out (from D) to the most gorgeous girl when I saw that it was actually someone that I knew…….so when he did the predictable I said “Oh my god! It`s Chris! Let`s go down and say Hi!”…he did exactly what I knew he by this time the blinkers were off….”Oh. Hmmm…oh no it`s not who I thought I was.”…. so I`m sorry A, if you`re going to be a player (at 58) you`ll have to do better than that…….

“Go and drink your saucer of milk”……

What feels like a bit of a car crash week on POF hasn`t ended as badly as it could have as I`ve made a new friend…..the lovely “C”.Hopefully a few of you have been watching the Channel 4 dating show (which I applied for) “First Dates”. C was due to appear in the last episode this week and unfortunately at the last minute there was a bit of a problem with the guy they had matched her with, in that he was a reporter/journalist and no-one could be found as a replacement at the last minute so we`ll just have to wait and see if she appears on the next series. But let me just say C is a very glamorous 50 something lady with (her words) porn star boobs so you can imagine the type of messages she gets! She did say that she`s actually had a guy turn up for a date in trainers and bicycle clips but she didn`t hang around to get to know him and one guy who was taking her out for a meal had vouchers… that doesn`t surprise me.
For the first time ever on this site I was actually blocked by some-one this week.”M” had been messaging for the past couple of weeks and I wasn`t quick to answer as it soon became clear he didn`t have a lot to say. He `s a widower which didn`t help as I`m a bit reluctant to date widowers (future blog post) he`d been married 33 years and thought he was ready to find someone else. Reading between the lines I don`t think he knew what he wanted as he had no friends due to the fact he and his late wife had done everything together…..I know,not good……so this particular fish was feeling out of his depth I think but it still doesn`t excuse what actually happened……
I hadn`t replied to a couple of his last messages hoping he might just disappear but no, he sent another one.”Getting fed up with people on here.A couple of ladies I`ve been chatting with sound really old, like they`re just waiting to meet someone to actually do things with. They don`t do anything!” Now this surprised me as this is exactly what M himself was doing… I replied. “Well what interests do you have?”  “Nothing really, just hoping to find someone to do things with”. For god`s sake. “So maybe these ladies are in the same frame of mind as you then?” Oh he didn`t like that. “I`m not old! What are you saying? Anyway maybe we could meet up for a coffee?It`s ok if not”. It was time to tell him. “To be honest I don`t think I`d be right for you, I don`t think you know what you want.” This obviously didn`t go down well as he replied “You could have f*****g told me this last week instead of wasting my time!” Oh……..”You never asked me last week and we were just getting to know each other but it would seem I was right to refuse”  He was fuming. “Who do you think you are?”   Enough`s enough. “It`s hardly my fault that you are so boring” I said. I think he nearly broke his fingers trying to type quick enough with his reply.”Says she who`s been too busy working for the past 2 weeks to meet up” “I`ve had time….just not for you”. I didn`t have to wait long for the next message “Go and drink your saucer of milk”, I chose not to reply so he sent another message so this time I replied. “The fact that you`ve got no friends says it all to me” “What? I have 2 cousins who I see every week and we go for a walk round Bury market then go for something to eat so you don`t know what you`re talking about!!” I couldn`t resist “So your relatives are your best mates. can you hear that sound? It`s duelling banjo`s…I rest my case” After sending me one last nasty message I found that I was blocked. Just as well, really I was gearing up for all out war but clearly I`d had a lucky escape. A day out round Bury market…..I wouldn`t have been able to contain my excitement……