Kids, in the summer of 2018, I was taking a bit of a break from Tinder while I saw where things would go with Jet. In the interest of online dating research, though, I turned to my friends for their hilarious #TinderFail stories.
Faye had been chatting to *Greg*, a 39-year-old lonely boy on and off since March, consoling him when he claimed he wasn’t meeting any quality woman on the app and suggesting ways in which he could improve his conversational skills to help me with the ladies.
Fastforward to December and Greg was once again bemoaning how lonely – and for the first time- how horny he was.
At this point, Faye, exasperated at this man child’s inability or willingness to help himself, suggested he hire an escort to help with his needs.
Silence from Greg until…
He texted her to tell her he was, uh, getting himself off to her messages while she was online with him.
Uhm… motherf***ker, WHAT?!
There had literally been NO sexy exchanges of any kind in the conversation leading up to this. Faye had been telling him gently to get off his f***ing ass and do something about his loneliness and he took it to mean he had to give himself a happy ending WHILE talking to her.
Kids, in the lead up to Women’s Day 2018, I matched with a visiting American tour guide, Mike*, on Tinder.
After a brief hello, how are yous , how’s your day going and a “Your gorgeous” (I’d over looked his atrocious spelling when I really shouldn’t have!) compliment, Mike asked me out for drinks and dancing the following evening.
Since I was already going to be at the Station on Bree for a night out with your Aunties Cynthia and Gloria, I told Mike he was welcome to join me there.
The next night…
Wednesday evening, whilst sipping on an Elizabeth Daiquiri , I waited for Mike to arrive.
A tall, hot guy walked in and started searching around the bar. I gulped a few times, slid down in my seat and tried to hide.
There was NO way I could have a blind date as it was with this Adonis! I swung from desperately wanting him to be Mike to not wanting it to be him because I, for sure, would be awkward AF if he was.
Gods, help me:
The McHottie turned out be the DJ… and Mike turned out to be the back-to-front baseball cap-wearing, earring stud-wielding, crazy pattened shirt-donning guy behind him.
I masked my disappointment to say hello with a handshake, while Mike leaned in for a hug.
Right… so let me very clear here: I do not hug people I’ve just met. My personal space is my personal space and I don’t care if you are the Queen of England, Barack Obama or a guy I met online, I am not hugging you.
Awkward non- hug out of the way, Mike and I got to talking about him. He was in Cape Town on the tail end of a 20 day trip to South Africa which he’d won through his travel agency.In addition to being a tour guide for senior people, this Boston native was also a hockey referee.
This was his last night in the Mother City and he was keen to see more of its nightlife. Considering I was in tourism, I was happy to oblige.
When your Auntie C arrived 15 minutes later, she picked up that it was rather awkward and Gods bless her, came to my rescue with her usual awesome badgering of questions.
Fast forward through Gloria arriving, us barhopping all over town, including a stop at our local Mitchell’s.
We had a great time, at least I thought so, talking about travels, books, Women’s Day, Boston, New York etc when…
Mike would randomly scratch my shoulder.
Your Auntie Lee says he was flirting and announcing his interest in me but if so, what a weird f***ing way to do it!
Look, I was not unfamiliar with a straight, hot blooded man displaying his intentions – from Americans who ran their hands down my back on nights out to Monroe and the work colleague who gave me extra long, hard, body consuming hugs, I knew when I was being hit on (occassionally!).
This chicken scratching shit was not it.
I flashed an awkward smile and carried on talking. There was a brief awkward pause when he tried to short change the others on the bill after but we merrily moved on from that and to our next stop, The Dubliner in Long Street.
Here is where things went downhill.
While we danced awkwardly, had another drink and hung out, Mike scratched my shoulder again.
This time I was not ok with it… as I have mentioned before, I do not like people, especially men touching me if I haven’t asked for it. Maybe this was an American thing like the other doos from Philadelphia who couldn’t keep his hands to himself but just because I was on a date with him, didn’t mean he had the right to grope me.
I gently moved away from him and tried talking over the music to him instead.
Two songs later, Mike turns emo on me with:
“I don’t think I am what you were expecting”
Me,totally confused at why this man was turning girly on me: “What? Why? We’re just hanging out, aren’t we?”
He excused himself to go to the loo and the next thing I know, he’s walking out of the door of the bar, never to return again.
No goodbye, no “I’m sorry, this isn’t working out”, just a straight walk out!
Your Uncle T says it was a classic case of Mike thinking he was going to get laid on his last night in Cape Town and it clearly wasn’t going to happen so he bailed.
Cool – I can understand the wanting to leave part but for f***’s sake, have the goddamn decency to at least say goodbye instead of hightailing it like a petulant child!
Could I have handled this better? Probably. I know I am awkward AF and a little shy andI probably should have spent more time talking to this guy online before meeting him. That still doesn’t excuse him having a bitch fit and running away, though.
It was a blessing in disguise because after Mike the coward left, Glo, Cynthia and I tore shit up at the pub and danced the night away with so many other people which lead to many more cool stories.
I was young,single and free, out with my amazing friends and having the time of my life:
As I was lazily scrolling through potentials one cold winter night, I swiped right on a visiting Italian. With the matchmaking gods ever in my favour (not!), he swiped right too and we were a match.
Almost immediately he slid into my DMs and the following exchange occurred:
Him: “Hi, I’m Andrea from Italy and I am looking for a lady to share sensual times”
Me (taken aback by his utter forwardness): ” Hi, I’m Fazielah from Cape Town and I am looking for someone to date and get to know with the possibility of it leading to sensual times”
Him: “I’m only here for few more days. If you are feeling spontaneous, maybe we can meet at the V&A?”
Me (rolling my eyes, because seriously, who the f*** just agrees to a hook-up like this?!): “Sorry, I am out with friends this evening and fully booked until the weekend. So it looks like I’ll miss you.”
Him: “Change your plans. Meet me for sex. You will enjoy it””
Uhm…wait, what the actual mother f***ing f***?!!
This asshole , whom I have never met, wanted me to drop everything I was doing and meet him in a public space to go somewhere else and just give him some, just like that?!
When I did not respond, he quickly unmatched me and that was the end of it.
Gods, Kids, 2018 was the year where romance and chivalry went to die.
Kids, in the winter of 2018, I decided to give online dating one more shot (yes, I know, how many f***ing times have you heard that one before?) with the Bumble app.
This one, unlike the others, gave women the option of making the first move without any shame – as in, in order for a guy to have a conversation with you, you had to swipe right and if you matched, send the first text.
I liked the power that gave me – I didn’t have to be chosen by anyone, I did the choosing.
I should have learnt by then that anytime something looks like it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
“Connecting is the hardest part of this app. Thanks for swiping on my face.The pace on this app is atrocious.”
Giggles and enquiries about what he was enjoying most about my fair Cape Town followed before he struck out with this:
“I’m running out of time. I’d like to go to the Cape of Good Hope tomorrow or Sunday. Are you interested? Do you drive?”
Dude, we literally just “met” and you already want to go to an attraction that is 90 minutes out of my way with no reception and looking for a ride for our first date? in an age where women get killed in derserted places all of the damn time?
I could practically hear my mother shout at me to not let a potential date get away so I reined my inner feminist in and regretfully told him that I couldn’t make it to Cape Point but how about ice cream along the Sea Point promenade instead?
He shut me down with a “Well, I’ll be at Cape Point then, won’t I?”
I was just about to hit reply as I read his message whilst at a magic show, when, and I f***ing kid you not, I looked up from my phone and who was standing less than 5 metres away from me?
Dan the f***ing man!
Of course … of course this bloody shit happens to me because the dating gods, the Universe and the world hated me!
I gasped out loud and filled my friend Tania in what was currently happening on my phone and right infront of us, showing her Dan’s profile photo and subtly looking his way.
Dan did a double take when he saw me and then spent the rest of the evening pretending not to look my way but regaling his mates with tales of online dating, which Tania overheard.
I know, I know, I could have gone over and said Hi but the man had rejected me online and looked like he may do it in person too …my bruised ego could only handle so much.
Also, he totally could have come over too – there were ample opportunities to do so, especially when Tania and I got drawn into a circle of spectators with Dan to watch the magician perform some close-up tricks.
Ain’t nobody got time for international user losers… F*** it! NEXT!
Glo met *Kevin* on Tinder in March 2018 and they hit it off right away because they both had a passion for soccer,staying fit and wine.
A few flirty texts later and wanting to see if their rapport would carry over in real life, Glo invited Kevin along to join her on her usual Wednesday 5km run along the Sea Point Promenade.
Even though he was more of a Crossfit fanatic, he readily agreed to the date.
As Glo tells it, the run itself was great -Kevin was fun, friendly and interacted with her and her running group in a charming manner.
After the run was over, they bid their farewells and went their separate ways.
Later that night, he sent her a text, demanding to know why she hadn’t invited him back to her place for sex.
How did a first date, one that involved running with other people no less, imply that there would be sex at the end of it and why, in the holy f*** did this guy assume it would?
More importantly, did he just feign interest in her likes and over-eagerly agree to a running date because he expected to get laid after?
Same month, different jackass. A year after T had broken up with 40-year-old serial cheater. *Gerald* , and he’d subsequently hooked up with a 27-year-old, she got a call from a concerned “friend”, wanting to meet with her to discuss something disturbing about her cheating ex.
What he told her STILL makes my skin crawl…
Turns out that Gerald and his fellow 40-something year old friends were running a WhatsApp “”who can bang the youngest chick” betting pool, exchanging photos and sordid tales of their younger conquests.
What’s more, they then proudly displayed their catches for all to see on their fridges, like f***ing hunters!
Are you f***ing kidding me?!!!
In this day and age and in Cape Town? How can something that sounds like the plot of a horrible 90s comedy actually be real?!
Kids, the Autumn of 2018 was SO not a great online dating period for me… not only did I get unsolicited nudes but I also got catfished AGAIN!
To add insult to injury, in the space of a few days, it happened not just once, but f***ing twice!
It felt like the love gods hated me:
I’m getting ahead of myself… let me tell you about the two jerkfaces who lied to me…
Mr Big Fat Liar New Yorker…
Richard (37), from Manhattan, New York (my favourite city) and I had “met” on OkCupid a year ago and his Italian looking good looks, along with a quirky sense of humour, had me eager to continue the conversation offline – or at least on Hangouts, since he didn’t have WhatsApp.
We exchanged photos, naturally, and when I initially questioned the almost too-polished look of his, he said he’d done a professional photo shoot recently and wanted to share them with me.
I let sleeping dogs lie and we continued to chat.
After a year of texting, sexting (something I had NEVER done with anyone until that point) and a promise that if we are ever in each other’s cities, we’d get together, we were about to have another “adult” chat when I stopped it short and asked for an updated image of him.
Richard: “Why now? Don’t you trust me? LOL”
Me: “No, actually, I don’t… your last few bottom pics don’t seem to match your profile photo.”
Richard: “Haha… you caught me! Let’s just say they don’t match because I didn’t think my real looks were worthy of you””
I’d opened up electronically and intimately to someone who looked nothing like what he said he did and he was being flippant about it?!
I voiced my hurt, my concerns and my outrage that he would knowingly catfish me like that and his response was:
“Well, if you cannot accept me for what I really look like, then you’re shallow””
F***er no! You lied and deceived me and you wanna call me shallow?!
Time to block your lying, cheating ass, motherF***er!
Mr I Love You Too Soon Changes Names…
After two months of silence from Clifford, he of the I Love You Soon declarations, and after I’d deleted Tinder, OkCupid and every online guy’s numbers from my contact list. I got this text:
“Hello my Princess. How are you today?”
I was confused AF as to who this could be because the number was unsaved so the following exchange occurred:
Me: “I’m sorry… who is this?”
Him: “Oh wow! You don’t remember me? It’s Charles.”
Now I was even more confused because I definitely had never chatted to a Charles and wasn’t in the mood for games.
Me: “Charles who?”
Him: “Oh, sorry… I forgot I didn’t use that name when chatting to you before. It’s Clifford”
F*** a f***ing zombie! Why the f*** do men lie like this?!
Aside from his super irritating pre-mature declarations of love and calling me Baby, he had also lied to me for four months about his name?! Are you f***ing kidding me?!
I took him to task about lying and he turned around and said I was a hateful person.
No, that was the last goddamn f***ing straw… I’d had it up to here with men online!
Kids, in the Autumn of 2018, I was having a particularly shit time with online dating… the liars who catfished me and then blamed me for believing them I could deal with (more about that later).
It’s the goddamn asshole who sent me unasked for nude photos and then shamed me for being a “prude” that I couldn’t deal with.
No, motherf***ker, just NO!
Let me backtrack a little…
On a sunny Sunday in Cape Town, whilst waiting to watch The Greatest Showman at my favourite arts cinema The Labia, I started chatting to one Andrew Wild on OkCupid.
Conversation was flowing quite well, even if I had to steer it from becoming too sexual at times ( i.e. when I said I am free for brunch, he wanted to know what about dinner and breakfast at his place instead… uh, no, Dude, not for a first date!).
When I called him out on it, he said he didn’t mean anything untoward by his comment.
“I’m here to get to know you and possibly build something real”, he assured me.
Great. so no f***boy behaviour anymore, right?
Over the next four days, texts about movies, comics, work etc flowed back and forth until…
Andrew complimented me on my tasteful black and white swimsuit Whatsapp profile photo.
I thanked him but ignored him when he said he hoped to see more… again, Brother Man, what I post for my own self image is not an invitation for you to be leery.
Trying to remain positive, I asked Andrew to send me a photo to help me recognise him on our upcoming brunch date.
He promised to send a few when he got home ( this right here should have been my warning of things to come!).
A few hours later he sent… nudes.
What the actual f***, Bro?!
It would be one thing if I had asked for naked photos and he actually had a body to be proud of, but I did not ask for them and what they showed left a lot to be desired…
“Can we take a moment about how this entitled f***boi is sending you topless pics but has the body of a Pillsbury doughboy?”
I wished I’d sent him this:
Instead, when I dared to tell Andrew that not only were his naked photos unnecessary but also inappropriate to send to a stranger, he responded:
“I wanted you to see all of me. They were not nudes. If you think a man who sends a photos of himself without his shit on is disrespectful, then you have issues..Jesus, if I had known what a prude you are,I would never have started chatting to you!Your loss, chick””
Excuse me? In the era of the #MeToo movement, I ,as a woman, have the full f***ing right to speak up and out when I am being accosted by unwanted photos.
To voice this right is not being prudish… F*** you!
I blocked Andrew’s non-appealing ass so fast and reported him to every dating site. Take that, Pillsbury Doughboy!
Kids, after the Kevin Hart lookalike who caught feelings because of my amazing “Indian Malay” looks in 2017, I thought I’d put the Fetishism shit behind me.
2018 brought with it Mr I am a low-key racist and freak on Tinder.
Meet Steve,30, a brunette and newly returned to Cape Town from London. A Saturday morning of back and forth texting unfolded as below and nearly caused me to chuck up my well-earned post-fast walk breakfast:
Him: “So, I must be honest. I’ve been away for 10 years and I have no non-white friends left”
Me (confused because up to this point we’d merely been exchanging pleasantries and race hadn’t even been a topic): “Uhm, ok, but what has that got to do with anything?”
He sent a LOL which immediately annoyed me because WTF,Dude? A) race is no laughing matter and B) why bring it up in an otherwise normal conversation with a woman you may or may not want to date?
I ignored him and tried to steer the conversation into more acceptable topics with the help of my tried and tested 20 questions list.
The problem is that creeps always boomerang to their default settings:
Steve followed up his earlier racial blunder with this charming (NOT!) one liner:
“I have to say I am into the natural tanned look and you fit the bill ;)”
Uhm, no Motherf***er, NO!
My friends and family circle is all kinds of mixed – I love every single colour in the f***ing wonderful rainbow that the world has to offer and I will be Gods-damned before I let anyone objectify me simply because of the colour of my skin and my mixed heritage.
Men like this asshole assume that women of colour are sluttier and more likely to put out and think that saying so in a round-about way is going to get them laid sooner…
Newsflash, Doos, I am not and you won’t.
To quote the wonderful Clive Owen:
The sad thing is that this racial fetishism is apparently the norm.
I loved my brown skin the way the amazing India Arie taught me to and that was what I chose to focus on:
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?