The Dating Game… a ‘no score’ draw?

Tinder, Match, speed dating… less a game, more a minefield I tells you.

I’ll be honest; I’m as bad at dating as I am with job interviews.

I’m one of those people that looks good on paper, rarely in reality. I don’t just mean when applying for jobs, either. Years ago I was on a dating website, and had lots of complimentary emails about my profile from women, none of whom actually wanted to meet me.

You’d have thought I worked in public relations and knew how to write a good ‘sell’…

Not with speed dating, of course; three minutes just isn’t long enough. Anyway, I had to give that up because I kept meeting women I already knew… including from school days.

But I’ve been thinking about this dating malarkey for several reasons recently, none of which are related to eating dinners for one and crying myself to sleep at night.

An interesting article appeared in The Guardian yesterday, about dating in the age of Tinder. Now: I should say here and now that I am not, never have been and never will be on Tinder (although that doesn’t stop women swiping left when they see me). It was bad enough when I was on the dating website and it sent me matches with whom I worked. Three times.

But the article did give a flavour of how dating has changed now that no-one ever goes out anywhere – and if they do, they tweet, IM, Facebook or Instagram their progress to their friends. That social aspect of being out with people, seeing someone who catches your eye and trying it on seems to be disappearing now that we have Apps to help you get laid. Which is apparently what ‘dating’ means these days. And I’m just not that sort of bloke.

It was through a social event (two events, ten months apart) that I recently met someone. Unfortunately, despite several emails to set a date we have yet to actually go out. I think they call it ‘ghosting’ although as we’re friends on Facebook it probably isn’t. The point is, we first met in real life, not as hard-to-decipher electronic profiles. It always amused me that some women would list their eyes as their best feature, but then use a photo of their pet cat or dog as their profile picture.

Would you… um…?

A second article – published earlier than the first, and which I tweeted a link to saying that this blog post was on its way – was about asking people out.

Confession: I have never successfully asked anyone out. Ever.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t dated, it just means that whenever I ask a woman out she says no. So I have to be sneaky, work my way into her affections over a few lunch dates or some mild flirting, until we’re properly dating before she realises it. Okay, that only happened once.

I’ve never been asked out either. Got taken home for a one night stand once… by someone from work… which was every bit as awkward later as it sounds.

On the one hand that makes me sound like a bit of a loser; but I was at least asking women out. A friend from school (he may be reading this, so I won’t name him) used to chicken out at the crucial moment so many times we gave him a nickname I won’t repeat here. Then again, he’s been happily married for over 15 years, so I suppose he had the last laugh. Unless she asked him out, in which case all bets are off.

And it is perhaps by having given up on the asking out that I have so many female friends, including ones to socialise with over film, food and drink. Helps to distract from the fact that the women I meet around the same age as me invariably have grown-up children, which is fun up to the point they casually mention what course one of them is studying, and you realise you’re giving a talk to said child on ethical public relations at their University the following week.


Is there one (alternatively: do you have any, and how loose are they)? Oh… I dunno, something about not wasting what little time we have by not asking out that one person you really want to, even though you’re pretty certain you’re not her type, you’re not six feet tall and you’ve got the got the kind of face that doggy style and power cuts were invented for.

The worst they could say is…

Anyway: here’s a cartoon to wrap things up.