When I first started using dating apps to find women I was all about the looks. I’d go for the drop-dead gorgeous pouty, booby, leggy, throbbing sex-on-a-sticks that I invariably had nothing in common with and most of whom never spoke to me anyway. I discarded the lovely, smiley women – the women with substance, character, smarts and a blistering sense of humour who deserved a first, second and third date.
Friends told me that I was “superficial,” “deep as a puddle,” “a dick.” They told me that love is about so much more than just tits and arse and I’d nod along – yes, yes, I love ze brains – but I couldn’t get enough of that wonderful (waxed, scented, possibly vajazzled) muff. I wasn’t interested in love, marriage or happily-ever afters. I wanted happily-ever morning afters.
As I’ve grown older (definitely) and wiser (debateable) I’ve started to realise that maybe I need more. I see through the glossy hair, posing and natty outfits. I become more discerning in my swiping. I make rules: If a woman says nothing in her profile, I assume she has nothing to say in real life. Cleavage shots, endless selfies and sex faces are all out. Women who seem funny, kind, warm and witty are all in. I read profiles first – then check out the photos.
I tell my best mate, puffed up and proud, about my new strategy. Look how much I’ve grown!
“Well done,” she says sardonically “you’ve figured out what we literally all realised when we were 16.”
I arrange a date with a woman who’s, on paper, bang on the money. Old me would have probably uhmmed and ahhed, but if I’m ever going to find something real I need to date out of my superficial comfort zone.
It’s one of my best dates ever. She’s take-no-prisoners smart, tackling Trump, May, Merkel et al without breaking a sweat. She runs intellectual rings around me whilst I desperately try and keep up, panting and wheezing and clutching my sides. She’s spent most of her adult life abroad and has stories that will make your knickers curl. She eats heartily, smears ketchup on her chin and guffaws. She’s perfect – tick, tick, tick – but fuck, bugger and damn it to hell, I just don’t fancy her. I try, Lord knows I try, peering at her through my Campari haze and willing the attraction to materialise but…non.
I give her a squidge goodbye and head home feeling deflated. Tonight, I got a glimpse of what life could be like with the right woman and I want it. I want it bad.
Here it is: I’m done with three night stands, mindless chit chat and not feeling anything from the waist up. It’s no fun anymore. I look around at my friends, settled, happy, and I feel a pang of envy. I don’t want to be the sad, single friend, chasing tail in dive bars. It’s like being the last one at the party, nursing a bottle of Martini Rosso and thinking it’s because you’re the most fun when actually it’s because you’re just bloody lonely.
I want to meet a woman with something to say, who can challenge me, inspire me, call me out on my bullshit and leave me begging for more. I want a woman who’s brave, ambitious, gutsy and unapologetic about who she is and what she wants. I want laugher – all of it, all the time, till my tummy hurts and my eyes water. I want beauty, yes, but the kind of beauty that starts as a whisper and builds to a roar as you freefall into love.
So, a message to my future girlfriend: that’s enough. You’ve had your fun – huzzah etc! – but now it’s time to hurry up and find me so I can get on with making you wildly happy. Peru next year? Toodle pip xxx