See, 2017 had been one f***ing hellish year of online dating for me and I was broken,tired and just plain done.
I wanted you more than my own soul but the sheer effort it was taking to meet a mostly decent, straight, emotionally and financially stable, quirky, interesting, well traveled and good man was killing me.
Just reviewing my top horrible online dating experiences of 2017 was nearly, but not quite enough, to put me off men forever:
The Oversharer 2 who not only initially tried and succeeded at putting me off with his neediness but then had the f***ing audacity to bodyshame me six months later. Asshole!
The Bad and the Ugly online daters who were either propositioning me for a three way or repeatedly asking for nudes when I had already said hell to the no!
Kids, on a cold Spring Saturday evening in Cape Town in 2017, I found myself waiting in gale force winds for yet another no-show online date.
Joe (31) , a lawyer from Tinder, had aggressively pursued me online the week before and, after moving to Whatsapp, asked me out on a date.
Safe for work photo-exchanging occurred quickly:
Him: “Wow! You’re really attractive!”
Me: rolls my eyes but blushes because: “Awwww”
During the course of our conversations, he revealed that not only was his name Yusuf (already a red flag for me because as you guys know, my type was most definitely more the blue-eyed, agnostic, tall and handsome kind); he’d unknowingly had an affair with a married woman (another red flag for me since infidelity is a major trigger point) and he was looking for friendship fun (his definition of going on dates and kissing… right, brother man, that’s swell but I date with a capital D).
I know, I know… why the f*** did I agree to go on a date with someone who was obviously so wrong from the get-go?
Well, because after Brazil and Argentina, I’d rediscovered my sensuality and wanted to test it out on the male species. Also, I hadn’t been on a date since the catfishing episode. A girl has to get back on the dating horse sometime and Joe , though flawed, seemed like a good practice buddy.
After confirming the day before with messages in which he genuinely seemed excited for our date, I spent the afternoon taking in the Cape Town Buskers Festival at the V&A Waterfront before meandering down to the Green Point Lighthouse.
Our date was supposed to be a walk along the Promenade before getting ice-cream.
I arrived 10 minutes early and texted Joe to let him know I was waiting just beneath the lighthouse.
10 minutes after our agreed time, I called and left a voicemail…
And still the wind blew with a mighty force. I began making alternative plans, thinking we could move to Caffe Neo across the road and still admire the sunset while getting to know each other.
20 minutes and another text….
30 minutes later and I realised that this f***ing coward wasn’t going to show at all. I’d been stood up AGAIN!
Look, we all get nervous about meeting new people but what grated my tits was that he didn’t have the f***ing decency to call or text and say he wasn’t coming.
You know things were bad when my Uber driver had the grace to let me know he was running late to collect me but my goddamned date did not.
Women were screwed because 21st century men had no f***ing manners! It was unacceptable!
After sharing my shame at being stood-up with your Spirit Mom, Uncle T and aunts Yoli and Lutfia, I went home and cried.
I cried because dating was hard, Kids. Putting myself out there, time after time, only to be catfished, rejected, stood-up, felt-up inappropriately, time after f***ing time by cowards was demoralizing and for what?
So that I didn’t have to listen to family and smug marrieds ask me why I was still single? To have to nod politely at their god-awful comments on my life, attractiveness ,personality and being too damn fussy?
Kids, in the winter of 2017, I was dipping my toe back into the online dating pool after the disastrous ankle-interruptus incident when I “e-met” haagen_dazsmania on OkCupid.
From his profile photo, he looked like a South African version of the red headed Montague cousin in Romeo& Juliet:
Red heads weren’t my usual type, unless you count Tom Hiddleston (and Hello Love, who wouldn’t want a piece of that?!), but I was trying to date outside of my comfort zone so I entertained haagen_dazmania and his many, many messages online.
A cheese producer, my new suitor was into books, fantasy series, chocolate, cats, shopping with his sister, big romantic gestures ( asking me at one point how I’d feel about a massive chocolate bouquet delivery at work) and leaving me rhyming couplets via voice notes daily ( his voice sounded sexy so I was really looking forward to seeing the face behind it).
After a week we moved onto text messaging and phone calls. I was initially annoyed because he seemed to need a lot of attention and you guys know how I felt about selective social interaction. Texting me incessantly throughout the working day and up until after 11pm at night was NOT the way to winning my heart.
Fast forward to our first date and after my initial reservations, I was excited about getting ready for the date, Whatsapping photos of my outfit to your Spirit Mom and Uncle Tendai.
I didn’t have too many butterflies floating around in my tummy whilst waiting for haagen_dazsmania to arrive at the Stacked Diner in Tamboerskloof but I was pleasantly nervous.
This could be the start of something new – I felt like a High School Musical cast member:
When will I ever learn that online dating is a pitfall of liars and crooks?!
The man who showed up for our date was at least 10 years older than his profile photo , overweight and way shorter than he’d indicated online!
I was not so shallow as to judge men on their looks (ok, who am I kidding? My dreams were filled with a naked Alexander Skarsgard!) but haagen_dazmania was balding, wearing a peak cap, his shirt buttons were about to pop and his teeth needed a whitening badly.
This was not someone I could envision sharing a bed with, never mind cursing you, my future babies, to share a genetic pool with.
His appearance, coupled with his need to text me while I was in the ladies for two minutes and his critique of my looks and personality made me want to dash and run at the speed of light like a female The Flash:
But, because I had promised myself I was going to give guys more than one date to impress me, I sat through two hours of him talking about himself; making shocking comments on the state of the security in South Africa;his friends’ wealth and emigration plans; how I seemed to be very busy and how could I possibly balance my extensive love of movies and books with my constant socializing.
The entire time, he was reviewing my looks ( “Nice dress, it really compliments your brown complexion” – are you f***ing kidding me?!); my expressions and eyes ( “You have a smirk on your face , is that how you usually look?” and “Your eyes are really brown. I’m sorry, I am totally mesmerized by them” and my personality ( “You’re hot and scary and so direct about what you want”).
The final straw for me was his views on how travel and children just took too much effort and were expensive undertakings. I’d been very upfront online and in person that seeing the world and having you were my top priorities. These were non-negotiables and I needed a partner who not only wanted these things, but was passionate about making them happen.
After politely ending the date on the pretext of collecting your Spirit brother and sister in Hout Bay ( I didn’t have to get them), I left in a hurry.
Which didn’t stop him from trying to call me and sending needy texts about how he was worried he’d scared me off. Dude, learn when to back the f*** off!
A few days and another goddamn 11pm text later, I released him back into the online wild. Go well, Sir, and cat-fish someone else with your old photos.
Kids, you remember The Oversharer 2, right? Mr I have no confidence, I am broke and I still live at home with my mommy and daddy? Well, in the winter of 2017, he also became a rude online dater which provoked my inner Daenerys Targaryen.
He made me so angry I wanted to burn down his house, Khaleesi style… but I am getting ahead of myself.
The fool must have been suffering from some kind of convenient amnesia because he slid into my DMs with a “Hey! How you doing?”
Remembering how unbelievably needy he’d been before and that he did not seem to be a good match, I replied with a curt “Not interested”.
To which he quickly replied:
“It was mistake, you fat bitch!”
Are you f***ing kidding me? This neurotic, Failure to Launch type asshole who was the last person to talk about looks considering what he looked like, was body shaming my curvaceous, beautiful self? Oh f***k no!
As the iconic Bette Midler once sang, “I’m Beautiful, dammit!”
How is it that guys think they shit ice cream and are above being rejected so they turn abusive? Not on my watch, they don’t!
No one disrespects me like that and lives to tell the tale:
I blocked and deleted him with a long email written to OkCupid to complain and ban him too.
Enter michealallthetime, a 31-year-old account manager for petrol giant Engen from Goodwood, on OkCupid.
Great start but Mister doesn’t even have a profile pic of himself, just a wide shot of the beach – red flag number 1.
Within two messages of not introducing himself as it were, he’s asking if he can be really honest and forward with me…
Since your momma wasn’t born yesterday, I could see that this was a prelude for being sexually inappropriate but to mess with this idiot, I was like “Sure, but how about you start by telling me your name?”
I swear it’s like giving a bull the go ahead with a red scarf, the way the Spaniards do in bullfights.
Off he goes with the name details and then hits me with:
“I’m in the mood to be super naughty. I’m looking for a girl for long term too but for now, I wanna get dirty.”
Sweet Mother of God… why, WHY did I seem to attract these horny fools?!
Fed up with the sheer audacity of some jackass who was too ashamed of being online to post a real profile pic but seemed to think it was perfectly OK to make me feel like a digital whore, I needed to school this fool and school him hard.
I channelled my inner Beyoncéand levelled his stupid ass with this:
“Look, Son, good on you that you want to be dirty and all but, as per my profile, I am a grown ass woman who dates. If that’s not your deal, and clearly since you’re hiding behind silly pics, it isn’t … get stepping right now.”
To the left, please, and stay there!
Brother man got the hint and there was radio silence forever after.
Kids, in the autumn of 2017 I was MORE than ready to treat myself to another dating pause because gods be damned, pickings for suitable men were drier than the Sahara.
Nightly chats with your Auntie Yoli reassured me that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this phenomenon but nevertheless, in the interest of educating and certainly entertaining you, here are two occassions when I became well acquainted with the ol’ block button:
Whilst watching your Spirit Brother take his well earned turn on the cosplaying stage at the FanCon masquerade, I was joined by what on the surface seemed like a cute photographer named Cole *** ( name changed to protect the idiot’s identity).
It started out with that most perfect of rom-coms lines: “Is this seat taken?”
I was sure that finally, FINALLY my luck had turned and your Spirit Mom was right, I was meeting my Superman at a comic book convention. Here was someone who took an interest in me, my geekiness and was quite keen to get to know me.
While Cole initially charmed me with how uber excited he was to be there and cooing over the cute kids dressed in costume, he quickly disgraced himself in my eyes.
Not only did he quickly fill me in on the politics of comic book convention photography and the perverts that take models’numbers and details to stalk them with, but he then kept yelling sexist and inappropriate cat calls at the Masquerade MC ( and I quote : “OMG, you’re so hot…DO ME already!).
I shit you not.
As I hurriedly whisked your Spirit Brother off the stage and away, Cole yelled out to me:
“Invite me on Facebook!”
Hells to the f*** no! BLOCKED!
Another month, another comic book doos who thinks he has superhero player powers…
With two busy months of magic PR and mountain socials ahead of me, I was adamant about taking a break from dating… then Mo*** (again, for his own safety, let’s give him a different identity) slid into my Instagram DMs, as the cool kids (obviously not me!) would say.
This too-cool-for-school jackass managed to get in a couple of half-assed messages asking about my TV series, movies and comic book interests before throwing the “Come and give me a back massage” line at me.
What the actual f***?
We, and I stress this again, were not having a sexual conversation of any nature.
In fact, he hadn’t even made any mention of trying to chat me up, up until this point. I thought we were just having a general “Hey, we’re comic book geeks together” conversation so where, in all of Krypton, did this idiot get the idea that I wanted to be his masseuse or call girl?
I want to say I blocked him after that but sadly, when I didn’t respond to his request, he sent me another message a few days later, asking me to come and nurse him back to health because he had the flu.
Kids, every good writer and singleton looks to their peers for inspiration – others who were in the embattled trenches of dating in the 21st century and understood how hard it was finding love in the difficult hook-up culture we lived in.
In 2017, mine came in the form of the following three incredible dating bloggers:
Not only was your Auntie Yoli my gorgeous and amazing birthday twin, she was also a published author of the incredible We Write What We Like book AND she was sharing her dating woes online on the All4Women site.
A fabulous Capetonian, Yoli was tackling the ups and downs of the single life in sunny Florida and regaling international audiences with her often funny but always true stories.
We traded horror stories via WhatsApps and Twitter quite often but none of them made me spit my tea all over my phone like the one with the dodgy and cheap baseball player.
Confession time: in 2017, I had a MAJOR online crush on the ridiculously handsome and sweet James .
As I followed his dating advice, fitness adventures and move to Hollywood on Instagram (and no, I was NOT stalking him …that behaviour is reserved for your future daddy Alexander Skarsgard!), I thoroughly enjoyed getting the male perspective on the dating scene.
This hottie (again, did I mention I was crushing hard???) posted fantastic video tips, inspirational quotes and adorable photos of his dog that gave me hope when I was in the dumps about bad online dating experiences.
I’d been addicted to Violet’s quirky musings about sex, love and the single life since seeing a live performance based on her blog and performed by the sexy Lynita Crawford at the Kalk Bay Theatre in 2015.
Reading the “real” Violet’s side-splitting tales online brought me many laughs and comforts on a daily basis.
Laugh out loud with the beautiful Violet Online here.
Kids, as hard as I tried to avoid it, sometimes I unknowingly fell into the non-date trap and each time, I swore it would be the goddamn last!
Gather around and let me tell you about the loser who wasted my time in 2017…
Mr Church Spin Doctor was a 31-year-old good-looking guy, who worked as a communications officer for the Catholic Church. He’d travelled the world over and even lived in Japan for three years.
He loved reading and initially contacted me to trade favourite books and author stories. I liked his style because unlike the previous airheads/sex crazed online suitors, Mr Spin Doctor seemed to be worth talking to.
When he quickly moved to wanting to meet me, I was a little hesitant but he followed up with a “this is how I read people” track.
Now, and I f***ing stress this, he asked me out on a date, as evidenced from the below exchange:
To further stress my point, the Wkipedia dictionary definition of a date is as follows:
A first date is any type of initial meeting between two individuals, whether or not previously acquainted, where an effort is made to ask, plan, and organize some sort of social activity.
Then, who pays for said first date, is defined by UK.Match.Com as:
Fast forward to the agreed date (which he started with a big body melting hug) and things were progressing well at The Village Idiot in the City Centre.
We laughed and chatted a mile a minute about anything and everything over a few drinks: travels, family, Game of Thrones, comic books, movies and work.
I may not have felt an instantaneous convergence, as that previous non-date of mine pointed out pointed out, but I liked Mr Spin Doctor enough to consider a second date. Especially, considering that according to him, this was a first date, right?!
Somewhere between me excusing myself to go to the Ladies and coming back to the table, Jackass Deluxe decided that this wasn’t going anywhere and called for the bill.
Which he then looked at closely to calculate how much he owed (because, “Fazielah, I only brought enough for my own drinks and yeah, I drank the most”) and passed it over to me for my portion.
I refer you back to the definition of a date as above. May I also point out here that social etiquette dictates that when you invite someone out, you, the inviter are responsible for the payment of the bill?
I wasn’t so furious about the money ( because I always carry enough cash to pay for emergencies) as I was by the utter audacity of it. He explicitly called it a DATE , for f***’s sake and now he was pulling the “let’s go dutch” card???!!!
Hells to the f*** NO!
As if I wasn’t humiliated enough, the brother takes it up another notch by… wait for it… seeing me off with a wave!
A f***ing wave, guys!
Never mind the time I took out of my very busy schedule for this non-date, I’d dolled myself up in a dress and pantyhose.
Not to mention, when I realised I’d forgotten my make-up at home, I rushed back to my apartment after work to splash on some lipstick and mascara. I f***ing put effort into the this non-f***ing date and the jackass had the blatant nerve to stick me with the bill and send me off with a wave.
This shit, Kids, is why I was single for so goddamn long.
As I complained and bitched to my friends Yolisa ( who told me to ditch all the el cheapos and wait for someone worthy of me) and Lee-Anne ( who pointed out that this fool realised he wasn’t getting laid that night and therefore didn’t feel the need to pay for drinks) , I resolved that this would be the last bloody time I dressed up for a non-date.
Kids, unlike that siren of the noughties, Kelis, my milkshake did not, in fact, bring all the boys to the yard …
Nay, in typical Bridget Jonesesque behaviour, I brought all the crazies to your Nan and Cape Town’s nether regions … wait, stop snickering, let me re-phrase that. I tended to bring forth the definitely unhinged to the shores of my home.
In January 2017, I hit the jackpot of crazy online daters: Mr Love Boat!
We swiped right on each other and in the space of a day and half had worked up quite the repartee.
A newly retired cruise barman, Mr Love Boat was a 39-year-old conversationalist who had docked permanently in Franschhoek. So far, so good.
Here was a man who was well-traveled (he spoke of unbelievable vistas in Portugal, regaled me with funny stories of patrons in Spain and seemed to have the travel bug as bad as I did). That he now lived with his parents was questionable but excusable because after working on the high seas for the better part of 15 years, he hadn’t needed a permanent residence before.
When he jokingly ( or so I assumed) told me about the few very drunk guests he had to get physical with on-board his ship, a warning light sounded in my mind but not enough to stop chatting to him.
I really needed to start listening to my inner voice of reason…
By Day Two, Mr Love Boat had a mild bullying tone going on, and refusing to express an interest in asking me any questions about myself, even though we’d spent most of our conversation talking about him.
Kids, generally I took a break from online dating in February each year before I met your father, because the month of love tended to bring out the crazies.
Unfortunately, I didn’t heed my own sage advice in 2017 and so I was confronted with the good, the bad and the downright ugly of online dating:
MusoSuperhero (31) was a comic book lover who enjoyed playing in a band on his off weekends. He was fun, keen to chat to me daily and was always texting me when he had a moment to ensure I didn’t think he was neglecting me.
With his quirky sense of humour and dedication to his family, we seemed to be a good match and I couldn’t wait to meet him. More about him in a future story!
Sigh…. for every good online dater, there are the bad apples. Like FratBoy24 who, after assuring me left, right and centre that he would NOT ask me for nudie pics if I gave him my number, promptly did so.
Boy, don’t make me slap you:
After refusing to send him photos of my lady pillows steadfastly over the course of Valentine’s Day, the asshole started ghosting me.
F*** it! NEXT!
The downright ugly:
In this category we have two horrible contenders. Let’s start with Turkish Delight.
A halting banter, because of his broken English, ensued for the better part of a week and we’d agreed to meet the following week.
In the middle of a standard “how’s your day going” conversation, Turkish Delight hits me with: “How big are your bum and tits?”
Nothing in the conversation leading up to this was sexual in any way so where the hell did that come from?
After berating him for treating me like an online escort, I blocked his ass faster that he could say “Güle güle”
If I thought that was bad, OkStupid dutifully spat out this gem:
I kid you not!
Gods, why was finding someone to date so bloody difficult?!