So I wiped my match.com profile in May or June, having completely had it with online dating for a while, and specifically with that website. I probably ranted about how I was never going back and “it’s enough to turn you gay” and other such things. I ended up going back, I always do. Partly because every time I go on there to cancel my subscription, I realise that they fucking auto-renewed it about two days ago for another 6 months at a cost of about … 12 prostitute blowjobs.
The last couple of weeks have been as infuriating as ever, and reminded me of all the things that internet dating, and match.com in particular, has taught me about women, about dating, and about myself.
Firstly, online dating has taught me what “league” I’m in. You know what I mean by leagues – when you say someone’s “out of your league”, and if you don’t say that you mean she is by default “in your league”. My league, based on the women who contact me, “wink” at me, send me “icebreakers” or otherwise initiate contact, is the obese 40-something with two or more kids. If I’m really lucky they live in London, but more often than not they will be in Birmingham or Norwich or Leeds or somewhere else impractical. It’s gotten to the stage where before even clicking through on an e-mail I get from someone, I know I’m going to be greeted by someone weathered and exhausted from child-rearing and holding up a Gregg’s loyalty card in her profile photo.
They contact me because they look at me and they think I’m probably not getting anywhere with girls my own age, and I’m on this site because I’m desperate for a glimpse of a vagina, however mangled and worn. And I’ll travel the length and breadth of the country for a night of passion tinged with the aroma of gravy, and an awkward moment of putting my clothes back on in the morning while she watches Jeremy Kyle and halfway through remembers that her kids were supposed to have gone to school.
This appears to be the league I’m in. I have a lot of female friends who have told me over the years that there’s no such thing as leagues. And I’ve pointed out how, in general, when you see a couple, most of the time they are roughly about as respectively attractive as the other. There’s the odd exception, but in most cases, people are with people in their league. The stereotypically “hot” guy is with the hot girl. The kind of average guy who looks a bit funny for some reason but you can’t quite put your finger on why, he’s with a girl who also has some kind of intangible flaw with her that puts her in the same bracket.
Time and time again, girls tell me this is wrong and there are no leagues. You know what kind of girls? Hot girls. Yes, big fucking surprise, hot girls do not believe that leagues exist. Because for them, they DON’T! There’s never a guy who’s too far out of their league, and for the guys who are in leagues beneath them, well, of course, they don’t want to go out with those guys because their personality doesn’t fit, or they have different goals and values – no girl is ever going to say “I’m not interested because he’s too fugly and I can do much better.” But that’s more likely to be the truth.
Now, you’re probably thinking I’m some kind of beauty Nazi who expects to only go out with super-hot girls. And you’re probably looking at the photo of me on this site with the octopus hat and thinking, “mate, you should be grateful for what you can get.” Beauty Nazi I am not. Only the other day, I was being abused by colleagues for thinking half the girls in the company are cute. Apparently it’s not normal to think so many people are hot, but what can I say there are a lot of cute girls out there, cute in different ways, and I am not “throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks” as my colleague suggested, I genuinely find something beautiful in most girls.
Here’s a few examples of girl attributes that would traditionally fit into one of my “types”:
- Horsey face
- Massive Jew nose
- Pear-shaped (flat-chest, big arse)
- Pale skin
- Facial piercings
- Chubby cheeks
- Bushy eyebrows
I’M CASTING A WIDE NET HERE; surely there are girls out there who fit these criteria (not all of them at once, that would be monstrous) who might be interested. Girls should fucking love me, I find their FLAWS attractive! I should be surrounded by eligible, genetically-wonky women just lapping up the attention.
No, instead, on match.com I get this:
What’s worse is this was on a featured banner, meaning she paid extra to get this wonderful profile out there. What the fuck did I put in my profile that brought this up as a match? “Um, my match should be 5ft – 5ft8, around about my age, professional … oh and ideally with a face like a battered testicle.”
It get worse. Match.com has a “Daily 6” – perfectly-curated matches delivered to you every day for you to peruse, and you can say if you are interested and if they are too, the site will hook you up. Sounds great, right? Takes the hassle out of finding a match, right?
Last week I had this come up in my Daily 6:
Brilliant, we can spend a romantic evening together watching Philadelphia on DVD, then I can grab my titanium condom and we can head to the bedroom. There actually ARE specialist sites for people who are HIV+, I’m not saying that they deserve to be alone because of it, but seriously, I don’t think anyone on match.com looking for Miss Right is after someone with HIV. And as is often the case with such profiles, there are no redeeming features either. There’s no photo, there’s no quirky one-liner to start the profile, nothing to get you interested. Just like the battered ball in the previous photo, it’s just “this is it, now date me or fuck off.”
Imagine if my profile was just “Hi, I don’t drink because I’m a recovering alcoholic, I’m very unsuccessful with women, I don’t own a house or a car, or any of that. Get in touch.”
Now, I’ve bitched and whined about the complete lack of interest I get on dating sites, but maybe you’re thinking I should be more assertive and I should be the one who makes the first move. Well, I tried that too…
The first obstacle to overcome is the one mandatory requirement that seemingly all women need to stress. Must. Be. Tall. I didn’t realise till I started online dating that I am a stunted fucking pygmy at only a measly 5ft 8, and that I really should be looking for love amongst my own people, the dwarves, midgets, halflings and Krankies. But no, pretty much every woman specifies 5ft 10 or above; not just a random number picked because they have to choose, no no they mean it and they enforce it. And they’re not being shallow, no no no. Even though they are restricting their matches based on physical height, no that’s not shallow. What is it ladies? It’s “genetics”.
The amount of fucking times I have heard women say they are “genetically predisposed” to be attracted to tall guys, or guys like this or that; “oh it’s just genetics, we can’t help it.” Bollocks, genetics is just the female word for shallow. Us guys don’t get away with “must have gnorks the size of fucking zeppelins” do we? No, we’re being shallow if we mention anything physical, girls are interested in your personality and more high-brow stuff than that, oh but if you’re a few centimetres lower vertically than my genetics have programmed me for then I’m afraid we can’t date.
A few days ago, frustrated with constantly finding I was not tall enough for the girls I was interested in, I decided perhaps I needed to lower my own standards. Perhaps the girls I liked were indeed out of my league and they were being so shallow – sorry I mean listening to their genes – because their attractiveness brought them a lot of attention and they could afford to be picky. Fair enough. As we have already established I find a lot of “quirky” things cute, so it shouldn’t be too hard for me to find someone who might not be conventionally attractive but might have enough of these things that are “my type” that I still think they’re cute.
I scoured through pages and pages of roadkill and eventually found someone who was pretty ugly, but in an acceptable way to me. Now I said I liked horsey; horsey (as in long face) is really one type I go for always. This girl was not horsey. She was a horse. She was too equine even for me. You could have painted her black and used her to advertise Lloyd’s Bank or Guinness. I don’t mind a little bit of horse, even a lot of horse can be OK depending on the rest of the goods. She was all horse. If she broke her leg I’d have to shoot her.
Perfect I thought, not many guys are going to look at her profile and think “wow she’s hot” but although she was too much horse, she was probably still tolerable for me. I’d have a chance here. I was in with the height restriction too. She didn’t mind shorter guys. Of course she likes short guys, she’s a horse, she’s used to them.
However, she had one restriction. She was 30, and she was only looking for guys up to 32. I didn’t think much of it, and it gave me the chance to use a line I’d been waiting to use for ages (quite literally, for “ages”).
I asked her a few questions based on the crap she’d put in her profile about her interests or something and then said “I see from your profile I’m a little older than what you’re looking for, but trust me I’m really immature for my age.” I thought this was a nice little way of saying I’m young at heart and probably not what she might imagine from an “older” guy. I didn’t go as far as to tell her about the cuddly toys in my bed, or the fact deep down I am still basically a child, so I figured this might get a good response.
A few days later I got a response with some bland answers to my questions and then “Yeah you are a bit too old for me sorry, but thanks for your e-mail.”
Yeap, I am now both too short and too old for online dating. I am too ancient and wizened and frail to even date a horse. I guess there’s still hope. Maybe there’s a really fat horse with horse-AIDS out there, a few little foals to feed, living in Bradford, who fancies a bit of romance for a guy who’ll treat her right and spare the whip.
This dating thing is supposed to be about finding “the one”. I thought that meant finding that one person amongst many who is your soul-mate and just right for you. No, seemingly, finding “the one” means “the only one”. The only one who will even consider dating you. There’s supposed to be some choice in there, but rather it’s more like the throwing shit metaphor my colleague used earlier. I don’t want to feel like I end up with someone because she’s literally the only one interested. I think I’d rather be single.
I’ll close on this final point, because it really gets on my nerves. And that’s when my female friends moan about what guys are like on dating sites. Seriously girls, you have no fucking idea how much worse girls are. Guys may be shallow. “Oh they’re only interested in one thing!” You know what, that one thing is one thing that ALL of you are equipped to provide. That’s quite egalitarian, that’s quite fair. Guys aren’t insisting you all like one specific kind of fucking yoga and if you don’t you’re crossed off the list. Guys don’t bombard you with a mix of utterly shallow and spectacularly specific things that you must be before they’ll even talk to you.
And if guys are shallow, well let’s face it, they’re interested in anything with tits. Again, that’s pretty fair, you all have them. Even obese girls with their cumbersome, table-clearing mega-jugs, they’re in with a chance. Guys aren’t sitting there going “Oh she’s 5ft 3 and I prefer 5ft 4 if I date this girl my genetics will never forgive me.”
Lastly, no guy has ever said “Oh there’s this amazing sweet girl who adores me, she’s really lovely to me, couldn’t be nicer, but instead I’m going to go out with that absolute fucking nightmare bitch who treats me like shit and makes me feel like shit and then I’m going to complain to all my friends about why can’t I find a nice girl.”