• neil

Day 37 (23 April): Dating Sights

Following on from yesterday’s glance at societal change and the internet I thought we might look at dating today.

Most of my generation’s parents married and spent the rest of their lives together. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.

In contrast, many of you youngsters

(It is becoming many. Confinement is on my side)

will have been separated or divorced once or more.

And what do we do in those circumstances? Apart from cry, panic and jump off the balcony. Most of us look to the internet and the dating services best suiting our predispositions and lifestyle. Remember when we had a lifestyle?

I have tried several of the better known brands: Tinder, Bumble, DreamPenguin, Happn and Parship. I made one of those up to see if you were paying attention. Unfortunately it wasn’t Tinder.

The various apps are all pretty similar with little of significance to distinguish one from the other. Some of traits they have in common have become my pet hates.


If there is one photo and the person is stunningly beautiful, half your age, but very interested in you - you are dealing with a scammer.

If this isn’t true I just screwed up badly.

Seriously though, send your money to Nigeria by Western Union and move on.

Photos with filters

Filters are for pre-adolescents. I do not wish to see a prospective date wearing Elton John spectacles, sporting 15 centimetre eyelashes or with cartoon birdies around her head.

I have a particular dislike of soft filter photos which remove clarity. It is the dating equivalent of a bank robber putting tights on his head.

Photos with animals

Many are the punters who, out of five photos, show three photos of their cat. What am I to do? If we meet for coffee and she doesn’t look like Tiddles can I leave?

Holiday snaps:

It happens a lot, as I’m sure you have noticed, you little flirt. One photo of the candidate with a unicorn filter followed by four scenic holiday snaps - in which she does not even feature. “I’m sorry Miss, but you don’t bear any resemblance to a Vietnamese street market. I must let you go.”

Photos with other people

On more than one occasion I have thought “What an attractive woman! But why is her mother in every photo?” Only to realise, of course, that it is mother who is the customer. Using your daughter is simply weird.

Accompanying texts

Many people do not write an accompanying text. This means they are entirely reliant on their photos; judging by some of the photos misplaced confidence is rife. Those who do write something frequently limit themselves to a shopping list of likes.

A typical example would include travel, concerts, salsa and yoga.

I’ll pass on the yoga. It is something I practice, albeit in a way which would be unrecognisable….well, to anybody.

But I do have something to say about travel, concerts and salsa.


It is almost obligatory to love travelling. Initially, I fell in with this until I realised I don’t travel much - which is a giveaway.

I’m the same person in place Z as I am in place A, except that in place A I don’t queue up to feed mange-ridden monkeys, wash depressed elephants, join a line of gondolas or take selfies as if I discovered Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat.

I have not yet discovered the âme soeur whose idea of pure contentment is to walk for week after week quietly being part of the landscape and then return home to beekeeping and gardening.


I did go to a concert in about 1989. It was to take our son to see a child entertainer. Since then I have limited myself to recorded music while working out. I would prefer the real thing but The Rolling Stones expect you to go and see them rather than performing in the garden while you do your abs. I’m not playing that game.

Worse. Going to a concert means going into the big city. Why would you want to do that? I admit I like a cold beer on a sunny terrace and it is very touching that humanity has bust a gut building cities so I can do that. But there are no horses, cows, fields, woods or streams.

Yes, there are shops, but who needs those? The internet also gave me Amazon.


At the end of my last long-term relationship I decided to work on myself. I was to become more outgoing (we just saw how that worked out) and master new skills. One of these was to learn salsa. I hired a private teacher for three one hour lessons per week during some six weeks. At the end of this period the teacher stopped answering the phone. She had decided she would rather go without the new pool than repeat the introductory lesson for the nineteenth time.

So Alfie. In spite of the internet it's just you and me. Unless you know any penguins.

We are all doing very well. Let's give ourselves a big hug!



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