When I met my now-husband, it was over a decade ago on an online dating site. This was well before Tinder and the like and right in the middle of the time that internet dating was kinda new. New and regarded with suspicion. We went to a party once and people asked us how we met. He said “Actually, we met online.” The silence was deafening. People looked shocked and kinda uncomfortable. I said “We’re gonna come up with a better story than that, though!”
Over a decade later, we never did come up with a better story. Not a credible one, anyway. And nowadays, online dating is pretty standard. What can I say, we’re early adopters. So when my friend, let’s call her Jane, decided to dip her toes back in the dating pool, I was all for it. Jane left an unhappy marriage several years ago. She focused on raising her kids, relocating and finding a new community. And recently, she decided she was ready to maybe meet someone new.
Jane isn’t naive. She knew there’d be an assortment of men on the website she chose and was ready to delete and block should it be needed. She’s had the usual gauntlet of unsolicited dick pics, requests for nudes and even a few messages composed almost entirely of acronyms that required extensive googling to translate. And the profiles- good grief! She sent me a couple of screenshots that I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t seen them myself. One was a long, barely-punctuated, expletive-ridden litany of complaints about women. An excerpt:
In among all the profiles like this and questionable messages, one guy seemed okay. Internet dating is hit and miss, sure, but he seemed pleasant and interesting. Chat messages were exchanged and Jane decided to accept Peter’s invitation to meet for coffee. Obviously, Peter isn’t his real name!
Getting Out There
A daytime date in a cafe. Ideal for a first meeting; nice and public. Jane said that he seemed nice and normal, so she thought she’d give it a shot. It’s hard to put yourself out there after a few years; I had nothing but encouragement.
She’s my friend and I love her to bits. If anyone deserves happiness, it’s Jane. She’s the most kindhearted, generous and excellent person you could meet. I told her that Peter was lucky to be getting to meet her. And then I waited to hear how it went.
Jane met Peter in the agreed on cafe. It didn’t take long to set alarm bells ringing. One of the first things Peter told her was that his ex-partner was a “slut”. The red flags kept coming as he bragged about drinking 3 cartons of beer a week.
Do the maths there. 24 beers in a carton, so a staggering 72 beers a week. If you split that over 7 days, that’s over 10 beers a day. Alcoholism is a serious illness and Jane began to feel quite sorry for his liver.
The Icing on the Cake
Cake was one of the side-benefits of a coffee shop date. Jane and I were philosophical; if there weren’t any sparks, at least there could be baked goods. Luckily, she stuck to coffee initially to give her time to see how things went. And this is where the title of this post comes in. Of course, not all men are trash. Not all men, but definitely this one. My beautiful friend Jane, who had the courage to put herself out there and meet someone new, almost choked on her coffee. Why? Because Peter asked, in the middle of the cafe, if he could (excuse the crudity) “finger” her. His words.
In the middle of a cafe. Day time. Over coffee. I mean, at least he asked first. Props for that, I guess.
Sympathy for Peter’s liver had long since gone out the window. The bragging about drinking and bitching about his ex was bad enough, without the bizarre offer of a finger-bang over a cappuccino. I asked Jane what she said. After recovering from the near-choking, she said “Does that line EVER work? No thanks!” I was super curious as to how he answered that. Jane said he smirked and said “Yeah, sometimes!”
What the actual? “I call bullshit!”, I said to Jane. Jane literally said the very same thing to his face before gulping down her coffee and making a hasty exit.
Guys, stop being such fucking grubs, honestly
If you are only interested in meeting people for casual sex, that is totally fine. There are plenty of people out there looking for that exact same thing. And there are apps and websites aimed at that market. But if you are on a dating site and looking at the profile of a person who is interested in a relationship, believe them. They know what they want better than you do.
Some rules to internet date (or any date, really) by:
- No one ever wants a picture of your junk unless they’ve explicitly said otherwise.
- Some people might be down for sexy conversations. If they are not, stop it.
- No one is obliged to send you nakey pics. Don’t pester them.
- Long, bitter rants about women are, surprisingly, not attractive to women. Avoid them in your internet dating profile if you actually want to meet someone.
- Don’t spend dates complaining about your ex-partners. Very off-putting. Deal with your baggage before you start seeing other people.
- Listen to your date and try to gauge if she is actually interested in you before offering to perform sex acts in cafes. Just a thought.