In six or so months online dating, before everything with Henley Boy , I had only met up with one guy for a date. Henley Boy was the second ever guy from a dating website I gave my phone number to. And knowing that two close male friends of mine, both of whom I consider normal, sociable and attractive, found girlfriends on Plenty of Fish, the free dating website seemed like an obvious choice. But the problem with Plenty of Fish, is that it serves two purposes. There are people on the site, like my friends, genuinely seeking a relationship, but there are also a LOT of people who use the site just to get hook-ups.
The site costs nothing to join, and is one of the most popular in the UK. Why go clubbing to find a shag, if you can go online from the comfort of your home, and check out hundreds of times the number of suitors than you could ever meet in one night in a club?
So, for six months, I was pretty careful to try to seek out the eligible guys looking for a relationship, as opposed to those simply looking for another notch on their bedpost! Those of you following 30dates on Twitter will have seen the calibre of some of the messages I get. Ironically, this technique is pretty obvious if you send the same message to the same girl every couple of weeks! I think my record so far is receiving the same message four times from a guy over a two-month period.
The majority of the rest of the messages are cliched comments about my eyes or smile again probably cut and paste jobs to multiple women! Topless photos, self-taken mirror shots, photos with babies are all pretty quick ways to make me decide the guy is not for me. Most guys are pretty upfront about what they are looking for. None of my photos are topless! Unlike the average online dating user according to recent statistics at least all my pictures are less than three years old! And the majority were taken in the last few months.
In fact, on my first date with Henley Boy even though we chatted every day for a week before meeting up he admitted to not having properly read my profile, and just looking at the pictures! However, seeing as I have to arrange thirty blind dates over three months, I decided I needed to be a bit less picky on Plenty of Fish. To be honest, after that first date, and its stark contrast with my second — The One with the Sign — which was set up by a mutual friend, I began wondering if I should bother trying to find anymore dates online.
What a way to re-instill my faith in the male sex, after the Henley Boy dramas. So, until I have thirty concrete dates booked into my diary, and probably realistically a few back-ups too, I figured I better stay on POF.
Normally I would just delete the messages, but when I began the Challenge, I restarted conversation, and began being a little less discriminatory when deleting messages from guys on the site. One guy just turned out to be plain weird.
It just sounded like a live peep show waiting to happen! His profile was nonchalant. His profile name was his real name and the year of his birth. His photos seemed honest enough none obviously stolen from modelling websites or photoshopped! We chatted briefly, and then when he asked for my phone number, I threw caution to the wind and began texting him, again more quickly than I normally would have agreed to.
He was on a cricket tour in the same village I live in, so we chatted briefly about the cricket match. He made a few odd comments — slightly overly cheeky considering we had only been texting for about an hour. The next evening, conversation was pretty similar. It started off polite and innocent, but he quickly managed to twist the conversation into something just a little bit seedy.
Not enough to insult, but enough that I would normally have stopped chatting. I called him up on it, but carried on talking. Had a good evening? He apologised, and told me he was going to a wedding the next day. And this is not what I signed up for!
He literally texted me three times in a row, with no response, then rang me at 1am, and then sent another text at 5am? Maybe my original super picky net was sensible? And so the search continues ….