On occasion, the phenomenon that is being online turned Cat into a swipe-frenzied, fickle fecker. And she hated herself for it. In the real world she would be attracted to a person, whole and true. Online, however, her instinct was to judge a chap solely on how well he takes a selfie; how great he looks in that angle and how exotic their photography portfolio was, especially if said portfolio had a few topless shots of the ‘artist’… The online world sure was a shallow place. Swiping a man, solely based on his looks, made Cat feel completely superficial. It’s a world built and designed entirely on instant attraction. So, by that measure, by actually reading their profiles, Cat felt less like she was ogling men and more like she was attempting to get to know them.
Some stood out, though. The first profile she took any stock of was Leo’s.
A bit young but obviously hot and Cat had no intension of being ageist here, even if this ‘Leo’ fell slightly outside of her someone only 5 years either side of me rule.
Local was always good. Then again, London’s a big place. He’d have to have abs of solid titanium for her to endure an hour of public transport torture.
Job: Have one!
‘Have one?!’ Was this humour or a blatant lie? Why do people write this? In their heads they probably hope it reads as “yes, I have a job but it doesn’t define me,” or “my job is super mysterious—you’ll have to have dinner with me to find more…” But if either was true, why bother writing anything at all? Why not just put “…am a pretentious bollock with muscles,” she thought. Still, at least he hadn’t answered with ‘Entrepeneur.’
Looking For: Dating and who knows
“Who knows, this could turn into lifelong bliss,” Or perhaps, “who knows, I could introduce you to some special friends of mine; helicopter you away to a world of creepy luxury and lavish orgies with oligarchs and their mistresses. Have you seen Eyes Wide Shut?” Then again ‘…who knows’ might just mean ‘…anal.’
Personality: Class Clown
“Oh, he’s funny. Or he thinks he’s funny… ‘Have one’ popped back into her head. None of this boded well for his comedic skills. Of course, it could mean he’s a bumbling idiot with a tiny car.
Not bad. She and all five feet, seven inches of her could wear heels with this one.
Perfect. A man who understands the tribulations of juggling life with children. All they’d have to do is sync calendars, meticulously plan every free moment between them forever, and accept that for all their planning and syncing, logistical weekend nightmares would be inescapable—pretty much sapping the lifeblood out of any chance spontaneity.
Well, that’s good. Right? Definitely no danger of being lured into a Gatorade-drinking-spaceship cult; no handmaids’ tales with Leo, no sir. Surely, it was worse to join a cult than go on a blind date with, say, a serial killer. Gruesome death would be inevitable with a serial killer, of course. But an overzealous religious type with their higher sense of being, with their judgement, their straw hat and pitchfork—surely, having your skin re-purposed for fashion and your organs harvested for decoration around the skull-trophy cabinet would be more tolerable than tediously awkward conversation on an excruciating date with a person who already looks at you, comparably, like you’re Satan’s milk-maiden. In this case, Cat would be praying for her serial killer in shining armour to gallantly whisk her away to that spooky cabin in the woods…
Something they had in common then; Cat drank ‘occasionally’ frequently, she liked a glass of wine at the end of a long day when the kids were finally tucked up in bed. Sometimes it was even a large … admittedly a very large glass!
Brilliant. She could avoid those naughty temptations. She hoped.
Mini Bio: I like a natter over drinks about the world and a kick in the park with my kids. Kicking a football I mean, not the kids! Lol. I’m a bit of a prankster, I like a laugh. Not that big on ‘getting rich’. I believe success comes from somewhere deeper than that. So don’t expect to be picked up in a Lamborghini or anything. You’re welcome to sit on my handlebars though.
Oh God, Cat thought, the only thing worse than a serial-killing Gatorade-poisoning zealot was a man locked in permanent dad-joke mode. Saying that he did seem like a fairly honest decent chap and had tried to make an effort, now what should she say????
“Hi Leo, nothing I like better that a good ride at the weekend” instantly sprang to mind and would be kind of funny but she would fall in to the category of cringy desperado, so maybe best not! Instead she typed…
“Hi Leo, you seem like a busy man, but if you get some free time for occasional drinks and fancy kicking back with me, love to hear from you” – Send. These first messages were tricky and there was a formula to follow if you want to be noticed, you had to say something more the “Hi”, had to reference the profile, be original and if possible a little bit witty.
The profile that followed left Cat wondering if this guy was slightly mad or ridiculously honest, she couldn’t help but laugh in absolute bemused horror.
Age: Not 27
Clearly much older
Location: His Mum’s house
Rally, who admits that?
Job: Not at the moment but I don’t scrounge of the benefits system, just my girlfriends.
Looking For: The super orgasm, non comitial ladies and the occasional cuddle
Was twat-faced tosser not an option?
Height: Not a Hobbit
Bet he plays Warhammer and World of Warcraft
Kids: Terrify me more than anything!
Possibly because he still is one
Religion: Jedi Master
Actual proof he was in fact a geek
Drinker: All YOUR booze
No you bloody won’t!!
Smoker: All YOUR fags
Mini Bio: A goofy shitbag, you can expect oodles of fun as long as you avoid any attempt to discuss politics, the evils of social media or marriage. These conversations reduce me to quivering ball of anxious mess. Occasionally pretends to be a vegan for whatever reason. Will offer zero benefit to you in a relationship.
That was a no, then. Next.
Perfect. Only a year apart. They’d understand each other’s pop culture references.
Even though Cat was at the arse end of London, it was also the bit that for all intent and purposes may as well be in Surrey it was so close. The location was good.
Job: Sales Manager
That could mean just about bloody anything. Though, the title did imply a man who was ambitious and confident; both great qualities if not in abundance.
Looking For: A Challenge
This was the first time Cat had seen this as a profile answer. It made her chuckle.
A dedicated man was a bonus but she hoped he wasn’t the kind of ‘personality’ to put work above everything else.
God she loved a tall man. It wasn’t that she disliked shorter men, if the right one came along. Cat liked to think she’d give him half a chance at least. Having said that, being one hundred percent honest with herself, it was possible she was afflicted with a tiny touch of heightism. After all, there was nothing quite like being wrapped up in the perfectly sculpted arms of a big burly bloke. A complete submissive type she was not, but big guys set her feminine senses ablaze; the prospect of being with a man who could manoeuvre Cat with all her curves around the bedroom set her knickers alight.
Is there ever a right answer to this? No kids makes the issue of logistics a little more agreeable but if you don’t have children at nearly 40, it raises other questions. Like, WTF not?! And what if he doesn’t want any? What if he doesn’t like kids? What if he doesn’t like her kids?!
She kicked herself, again, for mentally sabotaging any potential future dating prospect before even engaging with this man. And besides, not having kids in this modern world is becoming way more common, she told herself. It’s even an environmental life choice for some!
Cat’s mind drifted a moment, and she found herself pondering the probability that this might, in fact, make him an extreme environmentalist—FFS, STOP OVER ANALYSING EVERY SODDING ANSWER AND SEND A BLOODY MESSAGE!
Hopefully not too Christian. There was only so much Gatorade Cat could drink before throwing up.
Excellent answer; worthy of another chuckle. It also made every previous answer better.
Brilliant. Someone she could share those naughty temptations with. Then again ‘occasionally’ normally means they smoke but no more than a ‘forgivable’ few a day. I should probably let the gentleman lead, she thought.
Mini Bio: I love nothing more than sitting by the river with good company and great conversation. Fully house trained from an early age, I can whip up a meal without using the microwave, iron my own shirts and I even know where the washing machine is. Bit of a gym bunny but not a slave to it. My diet includes plenty of ice cream unless it’s cold, then maybe we can switch to hot chocolate… with extra marshmallows???
It was a short bio and kinda fun. The profile pics certainly showed just how much he loved working out. There were several photos of him in gym gear, but not the standard, exceptionally off-putting bench press poses. More him in shorts with his bag casually thrown over his shoulder. There was one of him mountain climbing, one of him and his mates and finally, a stunning portrait: Nick suited and booted at a wedding (not his, she hoped). Most importantly he was smiling; mesmerising, warm and inviting.
So, Cat started typing.
“Hi Nick, super refreshing to see a guy with such a great smile! I think we would be highly compatible. you like love the gym and I love watching hot guys IN the gym. It’s a perfect match ☺️ “ -Send.
Hopefully he would see her attempt at humour and not think it was too cringy. This first messaging bollocks really was painful. How do you write a great opener without it being cheesy and, well, shit? It reminded her of the show Blind Date, where the contestants had to outdo each other with excruciating one liners and mozzarella dipped come backs, in a soul destroying battle to win a date. Well you never know, with any luck on this occasion “Cilla” could finally get a hat!
Two messages was all she had the energy for, 20 minutes had been the perfect distraction and she hadn’t thought about Tony once! First contact initiated, Cat decided it was time to turn her attention to more pressing matters. Like online shopping.
If you would like to catch up with Cat and join the adventures as she bumbles her way through single life, then here’s the story so far…