Dating has always been a minefield. Where once you regretted marrying the girl next door, now there are too many options. And as anyone who’s faced the full colour palette from Dulux will know, human beings aren’t designed for too much choice.

Modern dating is basically being told that the perfect evening, followed by the shag of your life, wasn’t actually mutual, and that her asking you to never text again isn’t playing hard to get. So little’s changed there, but plenty has. The same people (i.e. everyone) who ten years ago would have blanched at using Internet dating now embrace it as an unlimited resource to meet people they’d have previously waited for the next bus to avoid. Now, the dating game makes your average minefield look like a post dinner promenade.

There are few philosophical chasms like the one between your expectations of a date and the reality. My heart bled, which I know is what they’re designed for but we’ll let that slide, at a Twitter picture featuring a picnic, over which was written: ‘The only thing missing is you’. The picnic hamper is well stocked, but he still comes across like a cannibal, which is not a high hitting Tinder swipe. He also needs to be told that like tug of war, picnics can involve groups, and that a couple doesn’t define a picnic. Perhaps he’s simply announcing that he’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but it’s unclear.

A friend recently had a suitor encouraging her to ask him ‘anything’, before admitting that he had ‘found his princess and was looking forward to becoming great lovers, good friends, a happy aging couple with a home, children dogs, cats and birds. This is pretty much the dictionary definition of diminishing returns. You can ask him anything? Is he referring to financial advice, pub quizzes or is it only related to intended bird ownership, and why it’s so hard to find mating couples of Red-Whiskered Bulbuls. To be honest, he should probably be more worried about mixing cats and birds.

Talking of minefields, some suitors identify targets with the subtlety of a D-Day flailing tank, by basically ticking ‘Anything’ in preferences and mailshotting a cut and paste of the only funny paragraph they’ve ever written with the optimism of a football team playing speculative long balls against a team that has already beaten them. (My blog regulars will know that I only understand 60% of this football reference. see earlier Blog: Football)

Talking of philosophical chasms, there is a similar discrepancy between profiles and the reality. People who claim to be six foot wouldn’t be 6 foot on stilts. Far too often close friends and parents wouldn’t even recognise the applicant. It’s a bit pointless describing how you’d like to be. The popularity of Kite Surfing as a hobby in male profiles is particularly prevalent. Claimants are either lying, or British Kite Surfing should have the largest governing body outside FIFA. The closest most men have come to being hauled around in a wheelchair at the mercy of the wind, is watching others do it while they are stuck on the A2 across Blackheath. Mind you, those few practitioners do all appear to be single.

Perhaps more honest profiles should be considered, something like:

I spend so much time on Facebook I have no real friends left. I’m better at buying books than reading them. I rebel by using shower scrub in the bath. I say to myself ‘for fuck’s sake’ every time I see litter, and ‘that’s a nice tree’ every time I see the Horse Chestnut walking back from the station, and still have unresolved issues about which is the better helicopter: Blue Thunder or Air Wolf.

Sometimes honesty is the only policy. Besides, relationships are always best approached with low expectations, while discouraging any questions, much less about anything.


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