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, 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:
Kids, in January 2018, I was back on the online dating grind… even though the 2020 deadline of having you had nothing to do with finding your father, I still had to get back out there sometime or other, right?
For this new foray into the murky online waters, I turned to Tinder, thinking that I hadn’t given it enough of a go back in 2016/2017.
My first week yielded two vastly different suitors.
Bachelor Number 1: Mr Send Me Shady Photos:
Razvan was a 33-year-old Romanian financial manager who, apart from apparently being an admirer of my considerable curves, was also a nude photo enthusiast.
He pestered me for days to send him a photo because he wanted to “further enhance the image he had of me in his imagination”
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?
“So, I take it you’ve seen I like to be dominated by women, right?”
This, Kids, was the hot, abs-to-bloody-die-for Jeremy’s opening line to me, after we’d swiped right on each other on Tinder in August 2017.
Had I just stumbled upon Cape Town’s Christian Grey? Oh my…
Actually, I hadn’t see this particular kink of his. I, unashamedly so, had swiped right based on his hot AF profile photo without actually reading his profile.
Yes, yes, I was a wanton hussy, falling for physical appearances.
As I may have mentioned before, I have control issues and I have always thought of myself as a female Christian with singular tastes but this interaction with Jeremy was making my inner Ana tremble in… fear? Anticipation? I don’t know!
Biting my bottom lip, I replied to his message:
“Well, I do now…”
Jeremy clearly found my dominatrix skills lacking and vanished from my inbox, never to heard from again.
This, Guys and Girls , is my first forage in to the world of blogging about my life ’cause this shit is real and somebody has to hear about it…. The voices in my head can only do so much before they start turning on one another.
First and foremost, call me Lilu. It’s short and somewhat cute, just like me. Back in 2017, I’m a 31-year-old woman who has been single on and off for two years now and man, have I seen some M Nightshamalamadingdong crazy out there.
I’m not your typical single woman of what people discern as a “Certain Age”. Yeah, Bitch, it’s called 31 and although I don’t eat this fast food – the slogan fits ‘Mmm, I’m lovin it” cue Justin Timberlake intro…I wish.
And as always, I’ve gone off track. What I was trying to say is I’m not looking for a guy to marry, I’m looking for a partner.
I need a good relationship before I can think of marrying anyone because some of these men out there are like Freys at the Red Wedding…if you did not catch that…Child, you need to watch some Game of Thrones.
What I mean is I’m not desperate or constantly looking at who’s eligible.I don’t go out with the purpose to just meet a man so that I can have this Jerry McGuire-you-complete me-moment.
Don’t get me wrong :I was that for a hot minute. I believed this perfect moment would come and the sparks would fly and we would fly off to our castle on a magic carpet ride…. I dreamed of a Ferrari but got a Uno fire with a very good paint job.
After being in a long-term relationship where I thought I was happy and safe in this bubble of codependency and comfortable silence (in the wrong way I might add), I both revered and feared singledom.
I kind of knew I needed to get out but I was afraid to no longer have the label of girlfriend so I stayed in an unhappy and more importantly unhealthy relationship much longer than I should have. When I finally plucked up the courage and walked away it was the most terrifying thing I had ever done so far in my short life (no pun intended).
I went through every stage of grief you could go through because I lost a part of me that had always been there …well to me,anyway. I lost what I had come to know as home and all I could see was the loss of what was and not the potential of what could be……and oh.what potential turned out to be.
There have been tears, laughs, denials, super idiotic choices to please somebody because I wanted their approval. There have been friendships found and lost, family gained and what was shattered shards of myself put back together again.
Not in the way I was before, in a different kind of way, not better or worse just differently, stronger, better equipped to leave when a situation is bad and more confident to let someone know I like them when I do because ain’t nobody got time for high school yes , no and maybe games.
My stories are many, and the people in them a colorful array of crazy and fun, sometimes more Norman Bates-like crazy than I would like but hey, sometimes you gotta roll with the punches.
As I went through all of this and still go through the surprises that life brings me, there was one I was not ready for.
There is a difference between having life and living it and enjoying life and watching it pass you by. Once you start living it, there’s no going back..
Also…..why is Kale a thing like it’s nice and all but does it have to be everywhere??
Kids,every so often online news agencies and magazines picked up on my never-ending hilarious tales to you. In February 2017, your aunt Nadia convinced me to share some of my horror dating stories with her.
No, I’m not referring to the delicious American Southern deep fried fish. For those not up to speed with the neologism here’s the Urban Dictionary’s definition:
“A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other Social Media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.”
The term was coined by the critically acclaimed documentary of the same title in 2010.
Now a MTV television series, filmed by Yaniv “Nev” Schulman whose own online love drama was the subject of the original film. He and fellow filmmaker Max Joseph now travel all over the USA to tell stories of these hopeful online romantics who meet in real life for the first time…more often than not some are met with shocking revelations.
In today’s fast-paced digital world where most of us are plugged in, logged on 24/7, time becomes a rare commodity more precious than gold.
Many new millennials are keen entrepreneurs, which leaves very little free time to none at all. This doesn’t bode so well for the love life. So how do singletons in the new millennia find their ‘soulmate’ without wasting time?
The answer may seem surprisingly simple, but gets a little more complicated as we go along.
Thanks to websites such as eharmony.com, match.com, Tinder app and countless others, why waste your time with endless dates to find out if you’re compatible when you can just login and after a few swipes left or right your “dream” match is at your fingertips?….or is he/she?
There have been a few matches made in (online) heaven – hurrah for them! But let’s get real for a minute the majority of people hooking up online do not end in happily ever afters.
It’s human nature to preserve the ego and what better way to make oneself appear to be the ideal mate/lover than from the comfort of behind your own computer screen?
No one knows who you really are in cyberspace right? So if you could be anyone you wanted to be, why not choose to be the perfect mate? Whether it’s a super fit, toned, bronze, tall, perfectly white Chiclettoothed hero or a blonde bombshell with the perfect 363436…No one’s going to know that your gym membership expired a decade ago and the closest you’ve gotten to sports is watching Wimbledon from the comfort of your armchair.
Naturally, it all starts with playful banter and a few witty posts. Likes on every picture you post, flirtatious innuendos soon follow and then the conversation swiftly moves offline to whatsapp or sms.
Depending on the individual’s need for the next fix of attention from their cyber infatuation, these lines of communication can rapidly progress to phone calls.
You rack up the phone bill whilst having endless discussions of the sun, moon, stars and everything in between. This has got to be ‘The One’. You inevitably share your secrets, desires and maybe a nudie pic or two.
If you’re lucky you may get a skype video call here or there, but the true catfish never ever reveal their true identity and will leave you dangling on a wickedly tempting string…always wanting more.
Here’s the catch, after a period of time you decide you want to meet Mr X or Miss Z and attempt to set up an actual real-life, in-the-flesh date.
You thank your lucky stars that at last they agree to meet with you. You set up a date or meeting time, but predictably the person of your dreams at the last minute cannot meet due to family emergency/car broke down/ world falling apart …you take your pick from any of the countless excuses.
All the while knowing that should you actually meet in person, that 1.7m blonde haired blue eyed Nordic prince charming whom you’ve shown your tatas to is none other than your geeky 15 year old teenage neighbour with braces. Who wouldn’t actually even know what to do with your tatas should he be so lucky to even see them in real life!
From my own personal experience I know people aren’t who they always say they are online.
A past flame was really witty and enigmatic on Twitter, in real life he was no player at all but rather an awkward introvert.
Now I know this might sound clichéd to some, but I’m the kind of person who falls in love with the mind and not a person’s physical appearance. If you don’t believe me just take a look at my track record, they were not all lookers but they were perfect in my eyes.
I travelled halfway round the world once to visit a myspace crush only to find he wasn’t exactly as I had imagined. His profile picture was several years old for starters, but he was a perfect gentleman and to this day we remain good friends.
Online romances always seem so much more mysterious and exciting, where you can imagine any number of things about your would be future partner.
Alas, they do not always meet your far away expectations and leave you disillusioned and jaded instead.
I have forged firm friendships spanning a decade from the days of Myspace, crossing over to Facebook and now eventually Twitter.
In Cape Town I’ve met several bloggers, Twitter pals and Instagram friends in person and thank goodness they’ve all turned out to be exactly who they said they are…no psycho killers or creepy peeping toms.
As a busy singleton in my 30s it’s very tempting to log on to Tinder and find my “dream” date at the touch of a button. But the inner paranoid cynic inside my head screams loudly to heed the warning signs.
Does that mean I’m going to stop chatting to the charming, older guy with the handsome mug on Facebook (oh Lord I hope that profile picture is real)? Probably not.
It just means I am going to be wary of letting my feelings run away with me until we’ve met for real in a well lit public place. Safety first ladies ;)
Now don’t get me wrong, not all people who go online to seek love are false some of them are just as real as you or I.
I just don’t think I’ll be signing up to Tinder or any match sites anytime soon. I’m not in any hurry to find ‘anyone’, but if they find me…well that’s an entirely different story.
In the end, ladies, whether you’re looking for Mr Right or Mr Right Now, via the online romance route, don’t get catfished and don’t say I didn’t warn you ;)