Adventures in Dating: Bobs Ideal Woman

12 Mar

As the months tick by I’m growing more and more used to being alone (again). I’ve thrown myself back into my work and making progress with a number of projects that have effectively lain dormant the last couple of years. And my social life has improved considerably. I’m based in Belfast for my course, which means I’m back in the heart of the city most days, and with that comes the increase in opportunity to attend events, meet people, and reconnect with old chums (though a few remain disappointingly off the radar). And while I’m enjoying living off a micro-budget and still engaging with the world (Late Night Art offers opportunities for an inexpensive night out and both social and professional intercourse), every now and then I do think it would be nice to be sharing some of my time with someone else that I was, well, a bit more personal with.

I’ve spoken previously about Tinder on here, and I continue to be disengaged by it. Three months of use sparked four ‘matches’, two of which promptly deleted their profiles, and the other two of which, well I think they may have been errors. I’ve reset my account anyway, so get to start again. I’m still fussy though, I resist the temptation to swipe right for everyone and just see if anyone matches. I come across those profiles full of matching interests and as much as they sound like they might work, the reality is the app is based on a visual connection and I just don’t feel it most of the time. Mind you, judging by the dearth of responses they feel the same way.

Early on when I explored the dating sites and apps for the first time I sent messages to those people who both visually attracted me, and who had a profile to stimulate – though frustratingly perhaps many of them lived far away. I have little doubt that I came across as a complete tool. I was still going through that ‘my gosh, there are women out there who like the same things as me’ phase. If I could take each of those messages back I would. Its why I’ve been more passive since.

Occasionally a considered message does come through, and I find myself agonising over how to say to the sender ‘thanks, but no thanks, I’m simply not attracted to you visually’. I’m too nice you see. It appears that when a man sends a message to a woman who isn’t interested she simply ignores him.

And there are those profiles I end up looking at repeatedly (often they’ve changed a photo and I hadn’t realised). I’m evidently attracted by something, some combination of words and images, but the prospect of the blank response should I drum up the courage to email is a little soul-destroying. Occasionally I will chance my arm. Perhaps because I expect nothing more than a possible friendship it never goes anywhere. I doom myself from the start. Or maybe they just read ‘separated’ and think “too messy”. Well, at least I’m honest about that bit. Many aren’t.

And then there are the few people who make it through my filters and who I start having conversations with. Only a couple of them have spilled over into the real world so far, but they’ve become friends. Let’s be honest, its not like I’m difficult to locate, or my contact info isn’t available. So there’s no point hiding things.

So, while I concede I’m fussy, what am I looking for in a partner?

Rummaging through my Twitter archive I found a set of guidelines I’d posted back in March 2010 under the #bobsidealwoman tag. Its a useful reminder and I stand by it. As an ideal at least. I found myself breaking several of the rules in the subsequent 12 months, so am aware that this isn’t a set of hard guidelines. Still, lest a potential partner has taken the initiative to google me and is looking for some pointers, here’s a refresher.

[I advised one commentator at the time that the list is about balance, and that the list is not concrete. My new 2014 annotations in square brackets – each number in the list hyperlinks to the original Twitter posts for clarity]

1) Smokers are a complete turn off. Sorry. I can just about deal with my friends smoking, but not significant other. Uggh.
[my conflicting responses to pipes and cigars are taken as read]

2) also no drug users please. Occasional herbal use passable, but no pills (legal or otherwise) or chemicals.

2a) its different if you have a genuine medical problem, I’m talking ‘recreational’ here…

3) I can’t do cats. I love em, but am allergic. They make me real sick. If you can’t live without em, I can live without you.
[No indoor only cats. Tried it and ended up hyperventilating.]

4) Must be tolerant of my old man interests – history, ancient film and television, Edwardian dresscode.

4a) which means, they must understand why for three months a year I have to be sat in on a Saturday night watching BBC1
[well, three months *most* years. Its not the same on iPlayer]

4b) and can tell me what’s wrong with the statement ‘Vincent Price was great in all them Hammer horror films’

Ladies – I’m not complaining if you want to watch Strictly, but I’m not going to sit in EVERY week for it!
[Insert programme of your choice if you don’t like Strictly]

5) I have no intelligence restrictions, but academics be warned – don’t take your work too seriously.

6) must be prepared to be quizzed on thoughts/beliefs/ideas. I may even disagree. In fact I will over some of them.

7) Must have own teeth. No falsies please. Must also have own breasts.

8) should not be married to someone else whilst we are romancing. That’s a whole heap of potential trouble I’d rather avoid
[erm… well, yes, I appreciate right now I’m legally married… what I mean is illicit affairs while you are still living with someone as husband and wife]

9) should be prepared for my lengthy sojourns in the bath (weeks at a time), and occasional insomnia

9a) in return I wont complain about your monthly mood swings and wasted hours in TopShop
[Or whatever other shop you insist on living in]

10) I don’t drive. If you do, you may need to provide transport. I’m a modern man. I believe in equality. I also hoover.
[I come equipped with my own Dyson]

11) I’m undecided about vegetarians. I eat meat & will continue to do so. If meat is murder we have a problem.

11a) I’m also very fond of leather. [stop it!]. And other animal based products. See 11)

12) Fake tan is seldom appropriate. If you can’t be seen without it, I’ll be seen without you

13) The only clubs I can do are 1940s/jazz clubs. If you want someone to ‘large it’ through the night, keep looking

14) are you a vinyl or a leather girl? Leather is for shoes, troos and armchairs. Vinyl is for records, not for wearing

14a) You will be expected to tell the difference between an LP an EP and a 7″ single by sight.

14b) you may also be tested on the difference between Betamax and VHS, Laserdisc and DVD and other antique formats

14c) and you’ll need to be patient when I get annoyed at poor projection in the cinema

15) I don’t expect you to do all the cleaning, but you will have to take the bin out every other week.

15a) and rinse the bath out after you’ve dyed your hair/shaved legs/gone ape shit with the Mr Sheen

16) I believe in treats, but I believe in economy. If we’re on a joint holiday, you’re paying your way.
[I’m sure that should have read ‘equality’ not economy… I believe in that too]

16a) If you like, you can pay for me to join you somewhere nice. As there will be no sex, that isn’t prostitution.

16b) Be prepared to accompany me to nerdish events. This includes 1 trip to Bradford and 1 to London annually.
[sadly both these regular events are no more… However, I forsee new events in the future, and you need to brace yourself]

17) I don’t do water sports. Piss on me and I’m switching on the electric blanket. Mwah ha ha.

17a) I don’t have an electric blanket. But I will go and buy one just to turn it on should things take this turn

18) I am partial to Coco-Pops and Shreddies. This is not kiddy food. This is a normal adult breakfast. OK?
[mmm, haven’t had coco-pops in months…]

19) Have you ever seen a film with subtitles? How did it make you feel? What, it makes you uncomfortable? Oh dear! my dear

19a) I would subtitle this to help you understand, but I fear your attention has already wandered…

20) No tramp stamps

20a) I’m divided when it comes to tattoos generally. If its an all-over-body-experience its probably a no.

21) Piercings I’m not against generally. Volume and location and size may be taken into consideration though.

Any takers?


2 Responses to “Adventures in Dating: Bobs Ideal Woman”

  1. Kitty March 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    Wow that is a huge list! Maybe you should focus on the positive qualities? Have you tried ok cupid? Tinder is mostly chavvy I have heard.

    • avalard March 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Ha ha! You are of course quite correct – concentrating on the positives is a very good idea. But then it is so easier to rattle off a list of no-nos than yes-yeses. And this is an old list – a straight lift from my Twitter feed in 2010, a hashtag that earned a fair bit of positive response. I will of course entertain the possibility of just about anybody who shows an interest in me… Should I be selling myself instead of picking my list from others?

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