It’s not you/them; It’s me.

It’s been a while since my last update so just had to check where I got to last. And it was before I met up with the bearded cafe owner. The all important question for the night was going to be whether he liked the taste of beer – because this is supposed to be the indicator for good sex to come – so of course I asked this question and he said he did like beer 🙂 And then I realised, actually, I myself don’t like beer. I leave the rest of the date to your imagination.

And last night’s date ended in a most unpredictable fashion. I walked The French Man (note the change from “MPFM”) to the train station in Brighton so he could get a train back to London, and somehow I ended up getting on a train home to Hove while he turned back towards the seafront to go to a Brazilian night which I had invited him to.

There were signs before this second date with the French Man that it wasn’t going to work out. The biggest thing was his complete inability to plan anything in advance, meaning it was a whole three weeks since we last met up. Even on Thursday, 24 hours before we were due to meet, he wouldn’t give me an idea of what time he might arrive. “I go with the flow” was all he would say. I got somewhat irked and had to restrain myself from going writing a message back about how I needed to know so I could figure out if I could go for a drink after work, go home to get changed, needed to eat dinner first etc. I instead politely insisted on needing a rough idea. And then once he was supposed to be on his way, he texted to say he would be late, followed up an hour later to say he would arrive in 30 minutes (how on earth is that enough warning for me???), then said he actually didn’t know what time the train was due to arrive, or what time it had left, or whereabouts on the journey he was at that present time. 

Thankfully he was very sweet when he finally arrived and I forgave him. We went for dinner and during the course of the meal he talked about how bad he was at planning, which explained why he had promised to send me a suggestion of a place to stay in Paris when I last saw him, but only sent it to me last weekend once I’d already been in another hotel for a night. I told him that I have my weekends planned ages in advance and that right now, they were all planned until the end of May, with the exception of April. His eyes nearly popped out of his head – it was like he didn’t know such things were possible. He asked me what I was doing, so I told him about every weekend one after another, but after four weekends, he stopped me in awe to say that not only had I planned them, but I could remember them too. Hmmm, it was starting to make me think maybe I was the difficult one.

I didn’t make things any better when he started recounting a story of how he’d had a chat with one of his students that day who was having a difficult time coming out, and then asked me what I would do if my son told me I was gay. I took this as a very serious question that required much thought. In my head I went through what I would do if my nephew was gay, what if my son was gay, what if I had more than one child, but how could I know what I would do or say as a parent when I don’t have any children, what would the child want me to do, would I have to talk it through with the kid’s father first, had we ever talked about sex and emotions with our kids…The French Man was clearly troubled that it was taking me so long to say anything. “Just what would you do, or say”, he asked again. Thinking I better say something quickly, I just came out with, “Well, I would just tell them that as long as they were happy, that’s all that matters”, thinking it was such a lame answer. “Exactly!” he replied. Oh dear, I just made myself look like quite uncomfortable with the idea of having a gay child due to over-analysing the question he’d asked me. Not helped by the fact that he then told me his brother was gay.

After dinner, we went for a drink. The cold that had been lingering all week then started to come out in full force. The last time I saw him, I was really tired and low in energy, and this time I was sneezing and crying. Not good. If first impressions don’t count, surely second ones do. I had to say it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to go to the Brazilian night, which was the whole reason I’d invited him to Brighton that particular night, and he seemed happy enough to just head back to London. Except that when we got to the station, he’d missed the last train. I said he could stay in my spare room, but he said he’d rather go to the Brazilian night on his own. And that was that.

Round 2

It’s been a week since I had my date with MPFM and it’s proving hard to find a time when we’re both free to meet again. It could actually be a few weeks.

In the meantime, I have Tuesday’s Man to amuse me! Yes, by popular demand I am going on a second date with the bearded cafe owner who wears a trilby. Although I’ve noticed that he’s changed his Tinder profile since I last saw him. Not just new photos but also a few lines about himself. I can’t tell if he’s sarcastic or confident – it’s his own use of CAPITALS:

“EXTREMELY adorable. Very good sense of humour! GREAT kisser. Energetic and love to travel”.

Well, good kissing is always important, and as he’s taking me to one of the poshest bars in Brighton, I’m hopeful for a good night! However, in one of his columns, the psychologist Oliver Burkemann reveals that statistically the one thing that is likely to lead to good sex at the end of a date is if you both like the taste of beer. Now, Tuesday’s Man suggested we meet in a French pub the first time because of their bon vin, and wants to go to this posh bar tonight also cos of their selection of wines. I am clearly going to have to ask him about beer…

Where to next?

Well, MPFM was everything I hoped for: good-looking, charming, sweet, thoughtful, caring, open, chatty, smart, world aware, lots of interests, plus a scooter to boot! We were similar in many ways, not just interests, but also our outlooks on life, our lifestyles and our priorities. So all in all good.

I just wasn’t sure though if we could be more than just friends. We clearly good be great friends, but I didn’t feel a spark on the first date. And to be honest, this left me feeling quite sad. But hey, many of my crushes have been on people that I’ve got to know over time, and I do want to see him again, so there is hope still for MPFM.

I decided I would cheer myself up by looking for more funny profile pictures or statements on Tinder, and of course I found a few gems, including one guy who had written just one straight-to-the-point sentence about himself, “I’m married”. Hopefully soon I’ll have enough funny profile pictures to share them with you as a new post 🙂

And of course, one benefit of spending a lot of time browsing the shelves of Tinder was that I got quite a few more matches…

My Perfect French Man (MPFM)

It hasn’t taken me long to forget about the men from last week and start focusing on someone who could be my perfect man – or even perfect FRENCH man (MPFM). This guy is definitely the best match that Tinder has found for me:

  1. He’s French. 80 percent of the men I fancy are French. It doesn’t matter what they look like – tall, short, blond, dark, long hair or bald – I fancy them. No idea what it is. Is it their posture? Is it the way they tie their scarves around their necks?
  2. We speak four of the same languages! Someone asked me what use that could possibly be. Stupid question really – obviously it means that we can always talk about other people.
  3. He speaks two languages in addition – I love languages so it’s exciting to find someone else who does.
  4. He does capoeira. I do capoeira! Or, maybe, rather, I did a few classes of capoeira on the assumption there would be some fit men there…
  5. He skates! I skate! But he was like some cool kid skating on the streets of Paris and started teaching it, while I look like an old woman and screw my face up to concentrate, and occasionally bash into trees, barriers and strangers when I can’t stop. 
  6. He does salsa. I do salsa! In fact, I do salsa better than him I think *smug*.
  7. He’s a teacher. I approve of that. No questions asked.
  8. He’d like to find a more meaningful career. Music to my ears!
  9. He seems to spend his free time doing the things I do: going to exhibitions and museums, reading more than one book at a time, seeing friends who are visiting from another country…
  10. Best of all, he’s really into travel and getting to know other cultures 🙂

We’ve arranged to meet on Friday. There were so many things we could do it was hard to choose! Go to a club that we both really like? Roller disco? Salsa? In fact, we haven’t yet decided.

There is a dose of reality to this: the chatting hasn’t been loads of fun like it has with almost everyone else I’ve met up with. Hopefully we’ll gel better in real life – now that would be exciting!

I’ll let you know how it goes! xx

My feedback on the first round of candidates

Well, this is the moment you’ve all been waiting for! 😉 Verdict time on my week of five, six or seven dates (I’ve lost track now!).

So, Monday’s Man was very, very clever. We talked economics vs politics as if it were the chicken and egg dilemma, if animals could be superstitious and whether religion is just a way of explaining the weather. Definitely a stimulating conversation. But we had to change pubs because the one we met at had run out of cider and that’s all he drinks. And I think he might have been looking for a debating partner rather than a lover.

Tuesday’s Man on the other hand suggested we meet in a French pub where he could enjoy some fine red wine.

He had a beard.

Nevertheless, we got on well and even went to a second pub! Rather awkwardly, there was a singles party taking place there at the same time, and we both knew the woman hosting it. When she came over to talk to us, I cringed feeling it like Jane Austen’s Emma.

Tuesday’s Man had trained as an architect – I have a soft spot for architects. Then he worked in Australia starting bush fires – I have a soft spot for traveller types. The he came to Brighton and opened a cafe – I have a soft spot for cafe owners. And now he’s selling it to set up a new company that will allow him to work from anywhere in the world – I have a soft spot for people who’d like to work in other countries.

And usefully, he helped me decide what to cook for dinner the next night and inspired me to make my first ever Thai curry. If I don’t see him again, at least I now know a new recipe. If I do see him again, I hope he doesn’t wear his trilby – I couldn’t take him seriously wearing that.

Wednesday’s Man cancelled cos he had to work late in London. Unfortunately, I now have a date or a class or am seeing friends every day for the next few days, so not sure when we’ll get the chance to meet.

Thursday’s Man was cute! For once, I was on time and got to the pub before he did. When he walked in, I looked over and wished I was on a date with him – and I was! His hair was slightly longer than it was in his Tinder pics so I hadn’t recognised him.

Thursday’s Man was a police officer. I had hesitated about meeting up with him for this reason, but decided I shouldn’t judge a man by his job (unless he drills for oil in the Arctic) and I’m happy we met. We were both fascinated by what the other person did, except he might have been disappointed that working for an international NGO and lobbying governments didn’t mean I was an international spy. Turned out he’d been with the police since he was 18, after giving the army a go first.

NB: This is why Tinder I love Tinder. On a dating site, I would have ignored all police officers and anyone without a degree, and been too shy to contact anyone that cute, fit, fashionable and active. I even forgave the fact that he had more than one shirt button undone.

So, as I was saying, he’s in the police and works in the helicopters. Sounded very exciting to me! The only awkward moment was when he said he’d done a short stint working undercover purchasing drugs from dealers, and I questioned why drugs can’t just be legalised. I’m not sure this thought had ever occurred to him.

Friday’s man I have nothing to say about. Nothing. It was just such an unremarkable night. I can’t remember much about him or what we talked about, but it wasn’t particularly boring either. Oh, there was one thing. I had previously referred to him as the Hunk from Hove. But he’s not; he had a side parting.

Saturday’s man was good-looking, sexy, fit, well-dressed, funny, intelligent, well-read, caring and interesting! The date got off to a great start! Unfortunately, these first impressions faded a bit as he started giving me his opinions on Putin, Mark Duggan, promiscuity and HIV and didn’t really listen to anything I was saying. He excused this by saying that he talked a lot when nervous (I told him he was a good lier, cos he actually seemed super confident).

And he also said he was taking on negative counter-arguments to me to see if I could argue back. “I don’t like dumb women” were his words. I might have passed the dumbness test, but I’m not so sure on the attractiveness test. “You’re OK-looking,” he told me. “OK-looking???” I replied. He corrected himself – without making eye contact – to say I was good-looking. In true Tinder-man style, he also told me I had great tits. Seriously, why are all men on Tinder so obsessed with breasts?

Sunday’s man I decided to cancel. After a week of dating, I just wanted to catch up with a friend. So I’m saving Mr Finance-in-the-City-guy-but-still-Attractive-cos-Irish Guy, for another time.

Now, who’s worthy of getting through to round 2? 

What does my nose say about my breasts?

In my first blog, I mentioned an artist who told me I looked great when I sent him a photo of me on New Year’s Eve FROM BEHIND. Other than that, he seemed pretty normal, but gradually things have got more and more, well, funny – in both meanings of the word. Some extracts from our conversations so far:

The Artist: You look like you’d be really good to draw.

Me: Why would I be good to draw?

The Artist: I just think that there’s a good balance to your features.

[Me, to myself: Well, I do have an eye on each side of my nose, and an ear on each side of my head.]

The Artist: You look like the Mediterranean women in most of the paintings that I like most in the world.

[Me, to myself: Oh, here we go, just cos I have dark hair and eyes it doesn’t mean I’m Spanish or Italian.]

The Artist: And I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you’d be good to make a carving of.

Me [out loud this time]: LOL. Sorry, you probably don’t mean to be funny, but that does sound very funny to me…What are these paintings of Mediterranean women that you so love?

The Artist: Mattisse, Delacroix, Goya.

Me: Didn’t Goya paint ugly people?

……..A few days later…..

The Artist: Have you watched any more Game of Thrones? Who do you think is the hunkiest character?

Me: Ooh no, all the characters are horrible. Do you have a favourite hunk? Or pair of breasts? [Reference to an earlier conversation about the amount of nudity in the show].

The Artist: I think that…Actually I’m not sure that I can remember…There were so many breasts and of such variety! I think that there’s a redhead in the 2nd series. Otherwise it would be brunette boobs, rather than a blond (they’re always different). On reflection, I think that the men are much less attractive in Game of Thrones on the whole.

Me: Are you serious about blonde vs brunette breasts?

The Artist: Yes! The colouring is different. I think that all kinds of things related to the different types of breasts (bosoms/boobs/tits…Every word [sic] has a different weight, shape, colour, type of nipple)…Lips tell you a lot. Anyway I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. And I’m sure there are equivalent  secret equations for boys’ bodies.

Me: Sorry?

The Artist: I think that you can tell a lot about the way someone is without their clothes on from their face. Don’t you?

Me: OMG. Um, no. We might as well just walk round naked then.

The Artist: Really? You should think about it! It’s usually true. And yes, if you spend time looking at people closely, everyone may as well be naked.

Me: Good job I spend most of the day looking at a computer.

The Artist: I would hazard a guess, that there are very few women in the world who have full lips without large nipples. Or darkly coloured lips without darkly coloured nipples. Or men with very big noses – not many of them would have unfortunately sized willies. And eyes are informative as well.

Me: I’m not sure about this.

The Artist: I’m right aren’t I?

Me: What do eyes tell you?

The Artist: Again about size, shape and the distance between the breasts…But I admit that it’s a less scientific reading. Unfortunately this is quite a difficult thing to prove to you. Also girls with pointy noses usually have smaller breasts. Hands probably tell you something to, but I’ve not worked that one out yet.

Me: I have a big nose. What does that mean? [No answer]

The next day:

Me: I’ve just checked and my nipples are not the same colour as my lips.

The Artist: It’s more the tone than the colour that should be the same. And I would expect yours to be more than an inch and a half in diameter if my theory is correct. Have a good day.

How should I respond dear Friends?

Quantity not quality

Mid-week and I managed to increase my number of dates from Monday to Sunday from three to SIX! I’ve never been so popular! But then again, Wednesday’s Man did cancel, but I’m not counting that 🙂

Having so many dates lined up means that some of my friends have begun to question how I’m choosing these men. I’ve been accused of focusing solely on quantity at the expense of quality. But this is not true! All that you have to help you decide whether to say yes or no to a man on Twitter are his photos, name, age, distance from you in miles, if you have any mutual friends or interests on Facebook, and a few lines about themselves if they’ve bothered to write anything. This might not seem like enough for most people, but trust me, it’s so much more fun than dating sites! Who wants to know someone’s job, religious views or height when really, it’s their photos that we really care about?

So here are my criteria for “swiping right” (saying yes) or “swiping left” (saying no) to men on Tinder:

  • Nobody with a picture of themselves kissing their girlfriend
  • Nobody with a picture of themselves on their wedding day
  • Nobody with a topless, headless photo as their main photo
  • Nobody who is topless in every photo
  • Nobody with a selfie of their tattoo
  • Nobody with a selfie taken in the gym or on the toilet
  • Nobody with more than one shirt button undone
  • Nobody in military uniform
  • Nobody holding a gun
  • Nobody smoking
  • Nobody who’s drunk in every photo
  • Nobody with a beard
  • Nobody with a moustache
  • Nobody with designer facial hair
  • Nobody posing with a car
  • Nobody driving a car
  • Nobody who isn’t smiling in a single photo
  • Nobody who doesn’t look good when wearing sunglasses
  • Nobody touching a woman’s arse.

Nor am I impressed by an of the following, due to their proliference in profile pictures:

  • Sky diving
  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Stroking tigers
  • Petting lion cubs

I am highly discerning.

Anyway, once this week’s run of dates is over, I will update you on each of them, like when you discuss the candidates after the first round of job interviews is done.