Giving up on dating

Recently I had another False Start date, and I concluded I need a break from dating.

This guy was a year younger than me, and had a job involving writing. We met on OkCupid, and arranged a date for just a few days after Rockstar-Film-Guy.

He suggested we meet in Soho, about 50 metres from where I met Rockstar-Film-Guy, which made me laugh.

From his OkCupid profile, he looked like he might not be super-hot, but his face certainly wasn’t a deal-breaker and he had a nice smile.

His messages were good. He seemed interesting and interested.

After my recent disasters, I kept my fingers crossed for a guy who seemed vaguely heterosexual and wouldn’t violate my hair.

We met outside a pub he had suggested, but it was too packed inside, so we walked to a Dutch pub in Piccadilly instead.

He looked just like his photos. He was taller than me, slim, had a nice face but very slightly big ears and not 100% perfect skin.

The conversation was reasonably easy as we walked down the street. He seemed warm and polite.

We reached the pub, found a table upstairs, and he got us some drinks.

When he got back, we chatted about our jobs.

He had a lovely demeanor. He seemed simultaneously serious and amused.

He seemed serious in the way he intently listened. He seemed amused, like he was being reminded of some in-joke and deciding whether to share it.

He paused a lot, like the Pauser. They both did jobs in editing – maybe it makes you subconsciously edit yourself. However, whereas the Pauser seemed like he was losing interest in his sentences, this guy’s pauses made it seem like he was choosing between three amazing anecdotes – like he was thinking I’ve got one story that I won’t share as it’s too filthy, one story is hilarious but you had to be there – I’ll tell you this one though…

Quite early on we realised we went to the same university, so we spent ages talking about that – the halls of residence, where we went out, people we knew.

We talked about music and football.

Halfway though the night, I went to the toilet and blew my nose, and suddenly lost my hearing in my left ear. I had some slight cold symptoms so I assumed it was related to that.

I came back and sat down. He said something that sounded hilarious but I couldn’t hear so I did a fake laugh.

We had some dinner. The rest of the night was just as good – or at least, the bits I could hear were. I kept trying to point my right, good ear at him.

We were the last to leave the pub’s upstairs, when it closed. We walked back to the tube together, and said goodbye at Piccadilly Circus, where we had to get different tube lines.

We hugged and I said “I’d be up for doing this again, so… keep in touch!”

I didn’t really fancy him that much, but I enjoyed his company and sometimes I fancy guys more once I get to know them.

However, that was over a week ago, and he hasn’t texted me.

It’s made me lose faith in dating.

Since the Whippersnapper, everyone I’ve been on dates with has either been

  • someone I definitely don’t want to see again, or
  • someone I’m lukewarm about but open to, but they then don’t contact me.

The only people I’ve actually liked (but even then, had some reservations) were people I met outside of dating apps – Mike, Bearded South African Man and More Than Average Joe.

I had Beginners’ Luck with dating, which has now worn off. At the start, everyone wanted to see me again:

  • Daniel
  • A guy who told me lots of facts about pineapples who I never got round to writing about
  • Young Jaguar
  • Open Relationship Guy – we still meet up regularly and I have a slight feeling he’d be up for more than friendship if I was
  • Whippersnapper
  • Whippersnapper 2

Now, it seems like they don’t want to see me again, or the rare ones that do (Joe-Kay Cupid, CAPS LOCK GUY) I really don’t.

I’m not sure what’s happened – maybe I’m coming across differently. At the start, I hadn’t been single for long and thought it might even too soon for dating. Now it’s the longest I’ve been single in my adult life and I’m lonely for a relationship. Maybe that comes across and I seem less lighthearted and more desperate.

Conversely, as well as possibly seeming desperate, maybe I seem disinterested and lukewarm. I was making progress getting over Whippersnapper, but recently a few things have shaken the snow globe – the birthday of my dead ex-boyfriend, the CAPS LOCK GUY incident, and the exact anniversary of when WS and I met. Deep down, even after all this time, I’m still a bit in love with him, and maybe that comes across.

I do think Beginners’ Luck might be a thing in dating. At the start, you’re more excited about each date, and you explain everything – what your job is, your backstory, your best anecdotes – in a fresher way.

It reminds me a bit of being a therapist – one of my heroes from CBT said “you should always explain things in CBT like it’s the first time you’re saying it.”

I think it’s true – I trot out the same metaphors all the time, but sometimes I explain something in a brand new way that has just come to me there and then, maybe related to something they’ve just said, and it’s always much more engaging.

And I’ve seen it when I’m supervising new trainee therapists – at the start, when they don’t totally know what they’re doing, they seem to get more presents from patients. Maybe they’re more engaged, enthusiastic and try harder and it pays off, even though they’re a bit more crap technically.

On my good, first date with Joe-Kay Cupid, I liked that we talked about different things to my usual first-date repertoire. Maybe now I’m saying things less enthusiastically, more out of a habit and seem less engaged.

Or maybe I’m not doing anything wrong and it’s just bad luck I’ve had recently.

Either way, dating is making me bit miserable at the moment, so I’ve decided to have a break.

Although this blog is about analysing my dates, the break from dating won’t mean I stop writing.

I’m going to focus on other things that are fun, but could be alternative ways of meeting guys, like clubbing and going back to Salsa. Also, the saga with James continues, so that will give me plenty of material. And I still have a few dates and hot takes on dating to write about.

So, I’ve logged out of all my dating apps. And I’ll tell you someone else who might be having a break from dating:

The Whippersnapper.

He said that before he met me, he had been dating for 2 years but never got past the 4th date. After we broke up, he said he was going to have a year off dating, to sort out his body image problems, but then a few months later, I noticed he kept changing his profile picture on OkCupid, so I assumed he was back in the game.

The other day, I was pining for him and decided to torture myself by looking at photos of him on OkCupid. When I found his last message to me, it said “This user no longer has a profile.”

Shit. I might have had something to do with this. 

A couple of weeks after I found out he lied about his age on his profile, I considered reporting him on OkCupid.

It felt unsavoury and unsettling that a sexual decision I made was based on lies. I may have decided to sleep with him anyway, if I’d known he was 22. However, I might have assumed he was too young and not replied to his first message if his profile said the correct age. And if I’d thought being 22 would make him too immature, he’s really proved me right since we broke up.

After having a week of feeling a bit distracted and strange, I kept seeing he was online on OkCupid, and thinking I didn’t want other women to feel like this.

I thought about it for a while, and asked my friends’ opinions. Mostly, they thought it was a good idea.

I’m sure normally in this situation, the revelation about the age would come out in person, or at least in a normal text message, and it would be his word against mine if I tried to report him to a dating site. However, in this case, he told me over OkCupid.

You can report individual messages on OkCupid, e.g. if they are offensive or harassing, so I knew it was an option to report his message which said “and another thing, I was only 22 when we were dating, not 25. I’m 23 now, not 26” and that would draw OkCupid’s attention to the lie on his profile.

I decided I probably wouldn’t, but I thought I’d get more information. I read the general pages on OkCupid about what happens when you report someone, but there wasn’t anything about this exact situation.

I went back to our conversation and found the message where he revealed his age, and I clicked ‘report’, to see what happened. I knew that was only the first stage, so this alone wouldn’t do anything.

A window came up with various options you could select for reporting a message. Options were “this message is offensive” or “this message is a scam”. There were about 5 options, and none of them were “this message reveals the little shitbag lied about his age” but there was “other”, where you could type into a box to explain it.

I thought Ok, I’m pretty sure I won’t, but at least I know, if I were to do it, this is how. Cool. I probably won’t though. 

Then, I clicked on what I thought was ‘cancel’, to close the window.

I gasped in horror.

On my screen, it said “your report has been submitted. Retribution will be swift!”


I tried to find a way of calling it back, but of course, there wasn’t one.

I went into the bathroom, and saw in the mirror that my face was bright red. I felt sick.

Maybe nothing will happen because I didn’t select an option. 

Over the next week, I looked back at his profile, but it was still active, and it still said he was 26.

Oh well. Probably for the best. I wasn’t sure I wanted to report him anyway. 

I forgot about it, until I saw his profile had been deactivated the other day.

One possibility is that it just took a bit of time for OkCupid to respond to my report – maybe they gave him a deadline to correct his age, and he didn’t.

Another possibility, is that my report didn’t go through, and he deactivated his own profile. There was the thing he said about needing a year off dating, and then in one of his last messages to me, he called OkCupid a ‘fucking horrendous website’, so I assume his experiences hadn’t been 100% successful.

It is possible that he deactivated his own profile because he has got into a relationship with someone else, but my gut instinct is that isn’t the case. I think if there was even a possibility, my brain would really run with torturing me about this, but my brain knows it’s unlikely.

For one thing, even when he and I were close to being in a proper relationship – he didn’t deactivate his OkCupid profile, he just stopped logging in.

Last time we spoke, he said he loved me, and that he didn’t want a relationship, and I don’t think he’s capable of being in one currently, so I don’t think he’s suddenly shacked up with someone.

Either way, he doesn’t seem to be on OkCupid, trying to score some geriatric fanny anymore.

Of course, right now, he could be on Tinder, claiming to be 45.


15 thoughts on “Giving up on dating

  1. I commented last on the Caps Locked Guy. Since then I went to a weekend self defense workshop and can highly recommend it as it teached me to defend my boundaries. Honestly it was eye-opening. It was held by a trainer for the police and he had so many insightful things to say and he did a great job to empower all of us women. And on the plus side I learned to fight as well which is a good feeling. I would recommend doing it to every woman at least once in her life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t worry to much about the report – don’t think it would lead to any long lasting damage and I assume it would be very easy to create a new profile anyway. It does seem like your intentions in making / thinking about the report were noble but I am not really sure what it achieves. People lie about all sorts of things and are rarely held to account. If you had met him offline and he had lied about his age (and it seemed credible) you would not have had anyone to report him to. Obviously if someone is committing criminal offences then the website has an obligation to assist however I think any other sort of vetting puts them in complex territory!

    Totally understand your need to take a break. When I was had a similar spell of bad luck a reminded myself that I was only really looking for ONE person (or maybe a few across the course of a lifetime!). I guess if every date with someone you found reasonably attractive and entertaining potentially led to further dates and a relationship then finding somebody exceptional would sort of become harder (if that makes any sense?)

    Anyway I really enjoy your blog – so nuanced and a great balance of funny and profound. I am glad you are going to keep writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I completely understand wanting to take a break from online dating. I’m starting to feel the same way. And I too think I may have had Beginner’s Luck that is now all dried up. It is rather depressing and does mess with the self-esteem.

    I hope you continue to have good dates even if they don’t come from online. I’ll still be reading! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with the lovely peeps above about the vital necessity of giving up on dating occasionally. I am only very recently back on the horse. I would like to suggest that you read my series of 3 articles about women and ageism in online dating. It might open your eyes to the reasons why we might choose to lie about our age – in the name of opportunity and privacy if nothing else. And also, statistics show that high numbers of people lie about their age – but somehow we don’t expect people in their 20s to do it. My ex (who was 27 when we broke up) used to do it because he likes cougars and felt that if he declared his true age, he wouldn’t have the same success in talking to us older women. He used to say he was 31 which was ridiculous, but who knows how many women bought it? I must admit that when I met him (he was 24 then) I discounted him as too young, and also outside of my boundaries. So I guess in closing I’d say that lying about your age is *almost* a given in online dating, and certainly not a reportable offence! Hell, lying about your marital status isn’t either – and that’s more significant don’t you think? Thanks for another brilliant post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Psychology of swiping right | Dater Analysis

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