Oh hello there! You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here and soz but there’ll probably be a Part 4 in the next few days. Enjoy! -DD
7. An afternoon drink with a Perfect Match
We had a 96% match on OkCupid. He was a ‘writer’ who liked the theatre and bushwalking. His profile pics included him with a pot plant and in fancy dress. He requested the date be close be to his bike route home from work. On paper – a perfect match. You can read about this bloke here. Spoiler art: he wasn’t a perfect match.
Look, there are a lot of really nice guys in the world and probably a lot of really nice girls who just want really nice guys. I wish them all well. I ain’t one of them. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t wanna date an arsehole! I’m an optimist who believes most people are generally ‘nice’. But if the first thing someone says about you is that you’re ‘really nice’ then you’re probably not one of my friends or family or valued colleagues. They’re all really nice people sure, but that should just be a given – everyone should just be really nice, but then they should some other more interesting shit going on. If anyone comes to my wake and says I was a nice person, please ask them to leave and stop eating all the Jatz and cheese, because clearly we were never close.
8. A gig with a Bundle Of Nerves
I think ‘kind’ is a more admirable quality than ‘nice’ and obvs I try to be kind whenever a date tells me he’s super nervous, or that I’m his second ever date and he’s still getting his confidence up with the online dating thing.
It’s a curious balance with Bundles of Nerves – making them feel comfortable without being disingenuous. Trying to ask enough questions to draw out their story, without making them feel interrogated. Leaving enough silences to give them time to respond or ask a question without making it totally awkward. Again, that balance between tact and honesty and integrity and kindness and courage.
Neither of us contacted the other afterwards. No pash. No second date.
9. Not really proper dates with Flakes
The next morning, two Flakes text and ask to reschedule our pre-arranged dates, without indicating the other day or time. That afternoon I wait 48 minutes for a date to arrive. I kept receiving vague text messages that he was going to be there soon. I felt like the biggest desperate dill for not leaving, also for having a holiday schedule less full than these blokes who had better things to do. Do I want this more? Does that make me a total loser? In addition to being a Flake, the late arrival turned out to be an Orator, who tried to tell me that because he moved share-houses each year he was a nomad. “A nomad of Melbourne’s northern suburbs you mean?” I clarified, resisting the urge to let him know that I was actually the last person in this city that he should be trying to play the nomad card with because I HAVE LITERALLY MOVED INTERSTATE EVERY THREE YEARS TO A DIFFERENT REMOTE LOCATION YOU BERK. Good grief.
After a string of boring dates and a day of reschedules and late arrivals, I woke up one morning and didn’t get out of bed for ages. My mate reckons that “If you’re the kind of person who likes to believe that the world is a fascinating place and that everyone has a story and is inherently interesting, boring dates would really dampen your faith in humanity.” Yep.
Online dating sure is a numbers game, Readers. For every bland man I meet there’s no doubt some other woman who will find them interesting, who will draw out their story and be coaxed to tell theirs. We’re all just trawling through bland dates, scrolling through profiles on apps, trying different banter online until we all hope we strike gold. We make snap decisions and develop our own criteria to increase our chances of getting lucky. People who are happily in couples get curious, asking “Isn’t it a bit superficial, judging people based on their photos?” No more judgemental than what we all do in bars and cafes and trams and offices and classrooms every day.
In my search for less boring dates I matched with a self-professed ‘psychonaut’ who had a bio that read: “communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.” Turns out all he owns is a feather necklace and a didgeridoo.
I pointed out that he also owned a smartphone, for Tindering purposes. No response. I asked where he learnt to play the didgeridoo. He replied, “In the NT with The Indigenous.” I told him I used to live up north, and again asked where he learnt. No response.
Did I mention he was a white dude with dreadlocks? I made some snap judgements, but I wanted my suspicions of cultural appropriation to be proven wrong. I wanted him to tell me someone in his family taught him to play the instrument that he knew the significance of. Yet I assumed his ‘connection’ with Aboriginal culture went about as deep as one weekend up at Rainbow Serpent festival and a tourist shop in Darwin full of cheap imported imitations.
I made all of these assumptions about him, based on a few photos and a brief online interaction. He probably made assumptions about me based on my photos and brief interaction. A few photos and a few words of text on a screen.
It was enough for me.
10. A storytelling show with a Wild Card.
I start to question my strategy of not judging men by their profession. Perhaps the unfortunate stereotype about bankers being boring was unfortunately true. Perhaps education level was also no indicator of conversational competence. I therefore gave my number to a carpenter and convinced him to come to a storytelling show with me that night, instead of going to the Night Markets as he’d planned. You can read about him here.
A carpenter! “Just like Jesus!” said a mate upon finding out he was also aged 33. Just like that German carpenter who instigated this whole blog back in the day. Except he’s nothing like him. And I’m a grown-ass woman now.
These Wild Cards who I didn’t know well, or talk much to online or arranged to meet up with in short time spans were proving to be a winning strategy. Minimal investment = low expectations + high hopes = pleasant surprises. If I’m really looking for someone with whom I can laugh and think and talk shit and talk real with, someone with whom I can feel things and have a connection with – some kind of chemistry, then surely you can’t suss those things out from a few pictures, some text and a bit of online banter. Right?
11. Three evenings of online banter with a Wild Card
Wrong. Of all these potential suitors, the one I’m most excited about is one I haven’t met yet. We moved from talking shit (truly natural and easy and hilarious shit) on Bumble to talking by text message pretty quickly. We got philosophical pretty quickly. Then we got steamy pretty quickly. We both went interstate for Christmas family times but had conversations by text message three times last week, each time for between 1.5 to 3 hours.
I’ve never connected with someone in this way before. I don’t know where it’ll go, but I’m so intrigued it’s ridiculous.
I just want to screenshot our sensational dialogue and publish that shit but suffice to say I’ve saved him in my phone as the fire emoji and whenever I see a text from him I feel it in my whole body.
No pash (in real life) (yet). No date (yet).