I deleted my profile on Plenty of Fish after my dramas with Daniel, because even after I blocked him, we could still see when each other were online, which made me feel weird.
One of my work friends said she liked OkCupid, so I thought I’d have a look.
I liked the fact you had to put more information about your actual personality than on other apps, and there were interesting questions to answer. Although, having said that, my profile probably looked pretty curt; I was used to PoF and Happn, where you put almost nothing. Also, I wanted to go away and have a proper think about things like ‘6 things I can’t live without’, but then I never came back and finished it.
One of my colleagues implored me not to put anything about being a therapist next time, to reduce the risk of attracting people who clearly need therapy, and I think she was right.
Back when I had created my Plenty of Fish profile, I had wanted to attract the maximum amount of men, to reassure me that I’m OK-looking and there’s still hope of me not dying alone.
This time, on OkCupid, I decided to focus less on quantity; I put more niche, obscure information down, knowing it would appeal to fewer people, but hoping the ones it did attract would be more like-minded.
It’s pretty pretentious actually, but I put a line from a song in my ‘self-summary’, because when someone likes the same music as me, it often ends up that we have more than just music in common. I wrote ‘I’ll do graffiti if you sing to me in French’ which is a line from a Maximo Park song. That song wasn’t even exactly mainstream when it came out in 2005 – God, I’m such a pretentious cock.
I went with this because I think that line is really romantic, in a cool, gritty, urban way, and Maximo Park were my favourite band for a long time (why not put something more up to date? Like maybe about my current favourite band? Because now I’m in my 30s I’ve completely lost touch and don’t even know what that would be. I wanted to convey that music is really important to me, but not important enough to have listened to anything new for about 10 years).
However, because I knew no one would know what the fuck I was talking about, I added “I won’t actually do graffiti. I’d be too scared of getting into trouble, but I liked dancing to that song when I was young person”.
I got one message from a guy seemed to be a police man and said “hi. Graffiti is criminal damage”.
I got a few messages from men sending me French song lyrics.
I got some messages from people in places like Tunisia proposing marriage (east London feels like a long distance relationship, so Tunisia is probably a bit far).
Number of messages from people who knew what song I was talking about: 1.
One. Precisely one person.
Initially, I put my lower age limit on dating apps as 28. However, by the time I made my OkCupid profile, I’d had a nice time snogging a few jolly 25-year-olds in clubs, so I decided 25 would be my lower limit this time.
Thank CHRIST I did that.
The message I received from the solitary person, was perfect. He told me he had recently seen Maximo Park at a festival, he put the next line in the song (‘what are we doing here, if romance isn’t dead?’) and called me beautiful.
But he was 25. I’m in my early thirties. Part of me thought ‘is he a bit young?’. It’s all well and good having a nice kiss with a 25-year-old in a club, but if we actually spent time together, would we find we were at different life stages? Would it matter? Probably.
But on the other hand, he was really fit.
Fuck it. I just was so pleased he knew what I was talking about and seemed nice, so I replied. I had a look at his profile, which was a bit random in an adorable way, and he had mentioned hating Philip Schofield. In my reply, I confessed that my first crush was on Philip Schofield.
A few messages went back and forth about things like the best bands we’ve seen live, and then he asked if I wanted to meet for a ‘drink or 5’. I said yes. We moved across to messaging each other via WhatsApp instead of OkCupid.
We started messaging each other once or a few times a day, and he seemed really lovely and very cheery. He seemed to be a very generous laugher – whenever I said anything that was very mildly amusing, he put ‘HAHAHAHAHA’ in capitals in reply, which made me feel like the most hilarious person on earth. It transpired we had the same political views, which is always relief, and he made talking about the little details of our days really fun.
But it was coming up for 2 weeks since he had first suggested going for a drink, and no one had got their diaries out. Was it going to happen? I was waiting for him to bring it up again, as he was the man (I am a feminist but sometimes I do like the men to do the leg-work).
My friend said I was being ridiculous and should just bring it up, especially as he had brought it up the first time. So, in a series of messages that made me screw up my face with cringeing fear every time I pressed send, a date was arranged for the Tuesday of the next week.
I was really looking forward it, and had stopped thinking about the age gap that much.
Then, he cancelled a few hours before we were due to meet. I was torn between just taking it at face value and thinking he was a flaky time-waster. When we arranged the date, he did say there was a slight chance he might have to work late, and then it turned he did.
I decided to back off a bit, so I didn’t end up looking like an over-keen dick, but he seemed keen to reschedule, so we re-arranged for the following week.