Kissing frogs in 2018

Where does the time go? In October I promised you multiple updates, and I am still to deliver on those I had planned… So, I decided New Year was a good time to write an update on one of the ‘developments’ of 2018.

First, a few retrospective glances are required. September 2014 saw the break up of my marriage of 18 years, and regular blog visitors will know that divorce negotiations took their toll in time, effort and money. April 2016 saw decree absolute, which certainly drew one line in the sand, but the ongoing joint ownership of the marital home meant that it wasn’t really until September 2017 that I really felt that I had regained independence and the ability to move forward.

The question of getting back out on the dating scene was more frequently raised by my friends than by my own volition. I really wasn’t sure this was a horse I wanted to get back onto… You may recall the hilarity of speed dating back in April 2016, which was enough to convince me that there were plenty of frogs and not many princes out there!

This sentiment was further confirmed when I ventured into the uncharted waters of online dating. I’ve tried a good number… eharmony (trying to be scientific, and failing); Elite Singles (trying to be upmarket, and failing); Plenty of Fish (knocking shop); Tinder (dick pics unlimited); Match (downmarket).

I chatted to a couple of blokes on PoF, and met one or two for coffee. I declined one proposed ‘date’ when the guy’s idea of where to meet for coffee was at a service station on the M4… “I’m not a service station kind of girl”, I told him… and delete. I met one guy at M&S for coffee and it was like a date with my grandad… not looking for a sugar daddy thank you! I also corresponded briefly with a firefighter in his late 20s, who even offered me to slide down his pole… but I’m not looking for a third child either and am certainly no cougar!!

I ventured to a couple of Match social evenings, the first accompanied by Jo and the second by Linda. Thank you ladies, at least you can back me up when I say that they were dire. Funny… but dire!!! (OK if you’re looking for a fake-tanned Jon Bon Jovi lookalike from the Valleys… but I’m not, eh Linda!!) That said, at the second Match night we got talking to a group of women almost equally disillusioned as ourselves and compared notes on which dating apps were worth the effort. “Bumble”, said one lady. I had never heard of it. “Bit like Tinder”, she continued. That wasn’t much of a recommendation. But the key difference between the two is that on Bumble once you swipe and match, only the woman can send the first message. This added element of control means (a) you can swipe right as many times as you like and once a match is established, you can review the profile close up and decide whether to message or unmatch, and (b) it seems to eliminate the propensity for dick pic profiles/messages…

I thought it was worth a shot.

OK, so let’s get the ‘bad’ out of the way first. There are one hell of a lot of frogs out there, on Bumble as well as on every other dating site. Married frogs (“my wife doesn’t understand me” – DELETE); never married frogs (of which I am inherently suspicious… why start looking for ‘the one’ at 50+? DELETE); separated frogs (for which often read married and too afraid to leave). Even many of the divorced frogs are divorced for a reason!!!! Profile pic with a big fish? – DELETE; pic at the top of Pen-y-fan? – DELETE; pic with your (ex-)wife and children’s faces scribbled out… or worse, NOT scribbled out – DELETE. It’s a minefield. Add to that the million messages I sent with no response, and despondency was creeping in once again. I decided it couldn’t get any worse, and on one drunken evening decided to change my profile write up…

‘Total bitch looking for a mug to wine and dine her. Must also like housework as I can’t stand it. I will treat you like shit and always put myself and my kids first. Work part-time and am pretty lazy, so you should be a high earner willing to splash the cash. GSOH essential…’

That should do it. Losers need not apply. Those with sense of humour bypass would obviously swipe left. The wall was up.

What I wasn’t expecting was for a tall, dark and handsome South African (you know who you are 😉 ) to see past the bullshit and swipe right! An enforced month of chat due to holidays and work, before we met up in September for a first date… which turned into a second and third…

As I wave goodbye to 2018 with all its frogs, I find myself smiling and happy. I’m not sure if this is Mr Right, but he’s definitely Mr Right Now… and he’s definitely NOT a frog. I know… I’ve kissed enough 😮

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