Rough Guide to Internet Dating Part 4 – Grand Finale…..

Dating Acronyms – GSOH – good sense of humour, MWC – married with children, N/S – Non Smoking, LTR – long term relationship, NSA – no strings attached, SGL – Single

You may recall that just as I was about to give up internet dating, the cockroach inspector popped up and you will probably be wondering whether I stayed resolute and cancelled my membership? …No of course I did not!
…he looked me straight in the eye and demanded, “Where’s the pudding?”

Anyway, as I explained, he looked presentable, he had a pulse, and his profile was very funny – even if he did live about 80 miles away so I thought I would have one final roll of the dice.

Here is how the first online “chat” went:-

Me: “So how are you getting on with the site then?”
Your message is waiting to be read
CI: (eventually): “Dunno, I only joined yesterday”

Me: “Oh what made you join then?”
Your message is waiting to be read
CI: (eventually): “Split up with someone I really liked”

Me: “(thinks… oh bum!) “Your photo is a bit fuzzy”
Your message is waiting to be read
CI: “Is it?”

Me: “When was it taken?” (Suspicious as always!)
Your message is waiting to be read
CI: “It was taken in Australia earlier this year“

Me: “Oh I’ve been there a couple of times”
Your message is waiting to be read
CI “I’m talking to some woman who lives near me – she’s 6 foot tall”

Me: “(thinks… oh bum!) “Oh well gotta go”
Your message is waiting to be read
Your message is waiting to be read

CI: (almost immediately) “Oh dear have I upset you”
Your message is waiting to be read
Your message is waiting to be read
CI: (realising that I was not about to hang around all night) “Only you left now have got rid of the others”!

Me: “OK let’s chat then – Your photo is a bit fuzzy”
CI: “I have sunglasses on my head”
Me: “Oh good – not a wig then”

Well it was something along those lines. I like to think that I didn’t point out that it’s rude to keep a lady waiting but I probably did as I was a bit fed up with the whole dating /online deal by then anyway so had nothing to lose.

The chats and emails continued – along with a couple of wine fuelled phone calls and a fortnight later a date was arranged for the Friday as I was going to get some sun during a long weekend to Majorca starting Saturday. Now, as he lived a fair distance, what would happen at the end of the evening in terms of driving or staying was a bit of a tricky one but was certainly up for debate.

However, I had taken the time to validate his credentials: – I had Googled him and found evidence that he was indeed an Environmental Health Officer. I had called his home number and his daughter had answered, he therefore seemed genuine so I was not too concerned.

The master plan was that I would cook dinner and my neighbour would be on hand with a Colt 45.

The night loomed and for some reason I was more nervous than usual. I tidied the flat (threw everything in the airing cupboard). Then washed my hair and dried it so badly I had to wash it again. I put on my make up, which slid off my face as I lifted the lid of the curry so I went back and did it again by which time my hair had frizzed out of control from the steaming soup. I found a spot, realised the fat fairy had been that week and shrunk my favourite trousers, and I finally tripped over the cat as I hurtled (nonchalantly) to the door.

He was due to arrive at 20:00 hrs so arrived at 20:30 just as the curry was sticking to the pan. I should have realised then that if he had his own website it would be www:// Still he did bring flowers – except they bore the label “In loving memory of Aunt Ada” – but I always think it is the thought that counts after all.

He did not resemble in any way, the fuzzy bloke in the photo- it may have been the lack of sunglasses on his head but I suspect not. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise – he was still presentable and had a lovely smile but I think the photo had been carefully selected! Having said that – he was probably thinking the very same thing about me, as I had been very careful in the photo-choosing department as well.

Dinner was a pleasant affair. The Tam Yum soup made his eyes water and the Thai Green Curry probably took the skin off the roof of his mouth. Just when I was thinking how nice it all was and what a good date he was turning out to be, he looked me straight in the eye and demanded, “Where’s the pudding?”

“Pudding? Pudding?” I shrieked (laughing hysterically to cover up the embarrassment of not having considered dessert) “do I look like a person who does pudding?” Well in truth, I do look like someone who ate all the pies, but that’s not quite the same thing. I think the same comment may have been on the tip of his tongue (right next to the curry blister) but I managed to rescue the situation and unearthed a fluff covered after dinner mint from the depths of my handbag which had only been there for oh… about 6 months or thereabouts.

The conversation went steadily downhill from then on. There were a few other odd remarks and I realised that the very friendly, funny man I had been speaking to on the phone was actually a tiny bit arrogant and getting increasingly obnoxious. It reached a point of no return when I moved Oscar the Siamese from his side and he asked if the cat was trained to sit by him as an excuse for me to get close?

The wine and tense atmosphere got the better of me and I decided enough was enough so let rip with a haughty speech which went something like.

“Listen you idiot (or something a little less ladylike if I am honest), I appreciate that you have driven all this way to see me, but in turn, I have cooked you a lovely meal, made you very welcome and your response is to be totally obnoxious and annoying. So if you can’t be nice then you can get in your car and bugger off back up the A12”!

There was a stunned silence – a red face – a shocked expression (mine) followed by a spluttered apology. Without going into details, he confessed to being extremely nervous and that had manifested itself by his temporary metamorphosis into a prize arse.

He stayed and we sat and talked – for hours actually and discovered we had a lot in common, one of the main things being a shared a sense of humour. That and a confession that we both had nightmares about losing our teeth – dreams like that happen as you get older… just wait!

When he left – I watched him drive away and thought for the very first (and not last) time “I don’t want you to leave”. Underneath that arrogant exterior was a lovely man with a wicked sense of humour.

So are we still together? Yes we are – it’s about 6 weeks off a year. We have had our ups and downs like most couples (although not many it has to be said) but we are happy.

Of course, he is a man and therefore can be a pain in the butt, while I am of course, perfect.

Is he kind and considerate? Well when I slipped down the stairs carrying his washing and broke two ribs, he delayed some work he intended to do so that he could get the shopping bags out of the cupboard for me and he did say that if I had been carrying more, it would have cushioned my fall.

Then, when we had a car accident miles from home this year and I came out of it with a broken nose and black eyes, he made light of it by asking at the hotel whether we were in the right place for the battered wives convention.

I think it’s the thoughtful things he does that keeps us together….

So no, I didn’t meet my 6’3” divorced, non-smoking, British Airways pilot, without children, who lives round the corner. What I got was a 5’10”(ish) cockroach inspector with three children, who lives an hour and half away and spends half his life worrying about almost everything – but mostly where the nearest loo is!

He can be infuriatingly thoughtless, is always “running a bit late” and would watch a game of tiddlywinks on telly if it were billed as “sport”. However, he’s so laid back he’s almost horizontal whilst I am like a kid on cheap lemonade who can’t sit still for 5 minutes. He has a lot of good qualities so what more could a woman want from an investment of 24 quid and a broadband connection!

Incidentally, one of my pals joined a dating site and excitedly called to tell me that she had met someone too. During the normal interrogation that we women like to inflict on our friends where men are concerned, we got round to the subject of what he did for a living.

Oh she said “Didn’t I tell you? He is an Airline Pilot”… at which point I should have rugby tackled her to the ground for his phone number but oddly I didn’t.

I don’t regret internet dating one bit. I was lucky – I did not meet too many stalkers – I just met or chatted with some very nice men who are simply looking for a partner. There were admittedly, a few frogs along the way but fortunately I didn’t kiss them.

So before I go off to (hopefully) live happily ever after …here are a few “Do’s and Don’ts”
  • Don’t sign up to a free dating site – it’s probably full of losers
  • Do ask around your friends and see who has had success and what site it was on
  • Use Google to see what people think of the site you intend to use
  • Try to make your profile funny and interesting
  • Be realistic with your wish list
  • Use the chat function on the site if there is one
  • Don’t be disheartened
  • Be prepared for the onslaught when you first join (and when the pubs turn out)
  • Don’t believe everything you read
  • Be honest with your description
  • If you want to give out an email address – sign up for a new one that you don’t need to use again
  • Find out as much about the person you are going to date if that is possible
  • Never trust a man that won’t give his home /work number or is cagey (doesn’t matter that you are not giving yours!)
  • Ignore those men who send you their mobile number before you’ve even exchanged half a dozen mails
  • Make sure you meet in a public place if you are concerned
  • Take friend with you and have them close by
  • If you get an inappropriate mail, block the sender
  • Don’t give too much personal information away about yourself
  • Don’t expect that any man you meet will be your perfect mate

I think you girls can look after yourself in the internet dating area now.


Tracy is our Rough Guides Dating Blogger. Check out her hilarious journey through the world of online dating.

Tracy spent many years working in the City for UBS, MLIM & Blackrock (with our founder) and Barclays GRCB running helpdesks, IT Security and Customer Service before throwing in the corporate towel for a life in the country with the cockroach inspector. She now heads up the Customer Service team for Software solutions provider Access UK Ltd and is very happy thank you!

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