As one gets older, there are certain things one feels are no longer necessary in one’s life. Alcopops, 18 to 30 holidays in dubious Mediterranean locations and social networking sites such as MySpace, for example. There are, too, certain things that one feels very much compelled to start including, a warm coat when there's a nip in the air, slightly more expensive wine at dinner and regular gym sessions, to name a few.
When it comes to relationships, the concept of dating men I have absolutely no intention of sharing a future with is something I prefer to leave in the last decade. For example, whereas I spent many a blissful night with the local bouncer I dated when I was 17, far less concerned with intelligent conversation than I was with the bonus of free entry to the local club, I, now, prefer that my suitors can at least keep me intellectually stimulated for the duration of a dinner.
Likewise, I would profess that the idea of ‘game playing’ is something I don’t relish the thought of. That is to say, that when dating a man in his mid 50’s I'd hope that our connection represented something deeper than a competition to see who could hold out on sending the next text. Of course I recognise that an element of chase is necessary in any blossoming romance and no man is too old to fall for the ‘you can’t have me’ school of thought at the beginning. However there is a limit.
On this theme, I had a most interesting conversation with a gentleman recently who took this theory to quite a new level.
As research for the new matchmaking service, which I have recently launched, I have been using, infrequently, an app called Tinder. For those of you unaware of said app, it works by listing local singles. An online dating site without the drama and headache of filling out a profile, listing your favourite animals/countries/sports. It is certainly not somewhere you are likely to meet your husband but may well be somewhere you will meet a local bouncer for an alcopop and free entry to the local club. (Yes, I'm too old for it.)
I rarely use it, but, noticed recently that I had been matched with a gentleman in my area. He texted me and asked to speak on the phone.
After a brief conversation, (one which helped me to decide that we definitely were not compatible) he ended the conversation with this corker ...
‘Great to talk to you, actually you’re the first girl I've spoken to on here. I can’t believe what a connection we have! Now that I've meet you I’m going to come off Tinder.”
Now, before you condemn my cold heart and mean spirit, could I just emphasis that I'd never actually met, nor had any intention to meet, said gentleman. We had absolutely no connection, nay, he spent the best part of the 10 minute conversation telling my about fibre glass boats (his business) and what a cunt Janice was (his ex-wife).
That day I received no less than 7 ‘daily update’ texts and 3 missed calls.
Deciding that it was best to nip the ‘romance’ in the proverbial bud I text him to explain that it had been nice to chat but felt that we should leave it at that.
I was met with the following -
WHAT!!!????? why would you lead me on and then say you didn’t want to see me, I thought we had something together and suddenly you’ve gone cold!!!!? I WON’T bother you again. Maybe you should stop treating people like shit!!!! Thanks for nothing.
Now, forgive me, but, at what point, did a 10 minute conversation constitute ‘something together’ and, pray tell, and I'm genuinely interested, how one should ‘end’ ‘something together’ in a way, other than a polite text to SOMEONE YOU HAVE NEVER MET BEFORE that doesn’t constitute ‘treating someone like shit’.... Flowers? A notice in the local paper?? A barber street quartet!?
Men, some advice, take it gracefully. If a girl isn’t interested, and politely tells you so, accept it. Yes, we all profess to hate game playing but, please, at least meet the girl before you ask her to move in with you. Playing it slightly cool when you first meet someone (anything under 7 texts in one day is a good start) doesn’t mean you’re a game player, it means you’re an adult who has more important things to do than obsess about a girl you have never met.
Saying you don’t like game playing and then stalking your intended for 24 hours is like saying you don’t like foreplay then coming before you’ve taken your trousers off. There is a middle ground.
Oh and that thing with the exclamation marks? yeah, don’t do it.