10 guys you will meet on Plenty of Fish

As a journalist, I come into contact with all kinds of people. Nice people, interesting people, people who call me at 3am and ask me to pay the interest on their Wonga loan. So when I first joined Plenty of Fish, there was definitely a morbid curiosity as to who I would end up speaking to.

SPOILER: I deleted it after a month because I was absolutely deluged with weirdos.

But in between, I spoke to some really nice guys and even met up with a few. From my short-lived foray into online dating, I think I have a rough idea of the kind of men out there. So I have compiled an advisory list of the 10 guys you will meet on Plenty of Fish:

1) Guys who are one more ‘Sorry, I have a boyfriend’ away from becoming serial killers

These guys have been cheated on. They have been rejected. They have been conned and swindled and left a shrivelled prune of the man they used to be, and good Lord, do they want to tell you about it. Every time you try and initiate a conversation, they will spin a tale of woe. You will end up wanting to shake them and tell them the reason they’re not getting laid is not because women are evil, but because they suck the life out of you like a Dementor and they need to stop being whiny.

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2) Guys who seem to have learned how to speak to girls from an 18th century manual

‘Good evening, Madame,’ these guys type. ‘Might I interest you in an evening exchange of intellectual rigour?’ Eh? You will squint at your phone while you’re trying to simultaneously cook dinner and bid on something on eBay. Wot u chat bout. I get the impression these guys are trying to mark themselves out from the ‘Hey how r u’ tribe, but after a long day at work, I just want someone to tell me I’m pretty and offer to take me out for dinner.

3) Guys who say: ‘Don’t message me if…’

Don’t message me if you’re not interested in meeting up. Don’t message me if you’re only interested in my wallet. Don’t message me if you want a baby daddy. Don’t message me if you look nothing like your pictures, these guys will seethe in their profiles. Well excuuuuuuuuuuse me, Mr BanterNFootie_87.

4) Guys who are douchebags but you kind of dig it

Maybe they told you they’re a fireman. Maybe they’re a bit older than you. Maybe they live in a remote cabin in the woods where they could either a) show you a good time or b) kill you and then taunt the local police force with letters and bits of your skin. But either way, when they make some sultry suggestions, a tiny part of you considers it.

5) Guys who are so nice that you end up messaging them purely because you’d feel abusive if you didn’t

These guys are so lovely, so thoughtful and kind. They think up intelligent conversation starters that they have personalised from your profile just for you. They ask you how your day has been. They ask about your ambitions. They want to know you as a person, rather than as a vagina with arms and legs. But there’s just no party in your pants*. You message them back not because you want to, but because not doing so would be like punching a puppy in the throat. Eventually emailing 16 people you don’t fancy becomes too arduous and you disappear into the shadows, knowing you are a terrible person and this is why you will die alone.

6) Guys who send you well-intended but decidedly odd first messages

Like this guy. I get it. I put in my profile that I like hairy chests. I see what he was trying to do. I feel you, SingleGuy1986. But it was just a smidgen too far with the ‘you can walk on it if you like’. And a second guy who pointed out I was older than him also cracked a joke about me shaving my fanny a few messages later. But when I met him in an EXTREMELY PUBLIC PLACE, he was lovely. Some guys just have no idea how to text.

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7) Guys who message you 187653 times if you don’t reply within five minutes

I am super ignorant. I can go for two weeks without speaking to my family. So when some randy little s0-and-so triple-texts me because I haven’t responded immediately, it gets right on my tits. But a lot of guys seem to think it is their God-given right to get a swift response, and if they don’t get one pronto they succumb to a complete breakdown and send a squirrel emoji.

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8) Guys who have one thing on their minds…as long as you live within an 18-mile radius

This was the one thing I was expecting when I joined PoF. And I received a lorra lorra explicit messages. Personal fave: the guy who called me a cunt after I said no to meeting up with him half-way for sex since he couldn’t be bothered driving for 18 miles. Read my post on this here.

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9) Guys you’re not interested in, but they have a really cute cat

These guys don’t float your boat, but OH MY GOD they have a cat. As you message, you begin to plot ways in which you can nudge them out of the picture and hook up with the cat instead. “Maybe I should meet the cat by itself the first time,” you suggest casually. “You know, just to be on the safe side.”

10) Guys whose profiles are so terrible that you feel it is your duty as a fellow human being to help them out

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* ©Nicola Moors 2016

The Con Artist

“You are brought here today accused of a wicked, heinous crime. A crime that has shocked and appalled in equal measure. A crime that has sent a shiver down the spine of every right-minded person in this community.

“You stand accused of defrauding countless men across the UK. You stand accused of deceiving men with your lies, your illusions, and your deliberate concealment of your true nature.

“In your wicked pursuit, you have left hearts shattered, Oyster cards used for no good reason, and haircuts purchased in vain. You have cheapened saucy Snapchats, invalidated tentative sexts, and nullified restaurant reservations.

“In your heartless mission, you have wasted WhatsApp messages and hours spent carefully evading the Friend Zone by concocting the perfect formula of exuding sexual dominance without seeming like a complete a-hole.

“You have quashed men’s hope of finding The One. You have made them feel used and vulnerable – mere shells of what they once were. You have left them devoid of trust, no longer knowing whom they can believe.

“Lauren Alisha Williamson, you are hereby charged with the crime of looking absolutely fuck-all like your Tinder pictures. How do you plead?”

THE END

First date nerves and being yourself

I had two Plenty of Fish dates this weekend. TWO. I am a sexual predator. I am going to end up on Crimewatch, or in Closer magazine.

Having little to two Tinder dates worth of experience in this respect, I was understandably fairly nervous. All of the usual thoughts were buzzing around my brain as I prepared for my first date at a local bar on Friday night. What if he doesn’t like me? What if we have nothing to talk about? What if I stand under a certain light and he spots my moustache?

So after defuzzing, I had a couple of pre-drinks to calm my nerves. Unfortunately, the result of this was that I was a) already slightly drunk by the time I got to my first date and b) really hungover on my second date the next morning. Because that is how much I have my life together right now.

To make things worse, the second date was at the King Richard III museum in Leicester (who doesn’t love looking at skeletons of 15th century monarchs when they’re hanging), which meant that not only did I have to get up early and catch a train, but also shuffle nauseated around a building where fucking everything is white and historically significant.

At first I tried to style it out, but I eventually had to concede defeat and diverted us to a café for an XL maple spice latte. I may have been hungover, but I am always #basic.

There are loads of rules for first dates. Don’t sleep with them. Don’t talk about exes. Don’t eat their food when they’re not looking. Don’t turn up in a Chewbacca costume. Don’t repeat everything they say back to them in a robot voice.

Clearly, some of these are blindingly obvious. Like bitch, don’t touch my food unless you value your fingers. But a lot of them, I think you should ignore.

Think about it. What is the point of acting like a different person during a meeting designed to assess each other as potential partners? It would be like buying a chicken and mushroom bake from Greggs and then it turning into a sausage and bean pasty half-way through.

Yes, I did just compare myself to a Greggs pasty.

So I decided to be myself. I admitted I was hungover, told him about the time I had to go to my birthday spa day with tramp sick in my hair, sat in awkward silence a few times, and made him wait for ages while I chose three psycho killer books in the 3-for-£5 deal at The Works. And he still asked me out on a second date.

I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t worry if you are weird and can’t handle your drink and have no idea how to act on dates. Be your own pasty.

If you think you may have an alcohol problem, visit www.drinkaware.co.uk

I got called a c*nt on Plenty of Fish, and it was liberating

A week ago, I joined the online dating website Plenty of Fish.

For those who don’t know, it’s a site where single people upload a couple of pictures of themselves, an insufferable ‘About Me’ biography, and statistics such as their height and religion – all in the hope of finding Mr Don’t Worry, You’re No Longer Going To Die Alone.

I’d always been a bit skeptical about joining. Partly because I’ve done a couple of stories with women who have been brutally attacked by guys they met online, and partly because it felt a bit too ‘officially looking 4 love’, a bit too ‘I’ve exhausted all of my other options and the panic has well and truly set in’.

Of course, I’d heard the horror stories. Policemen who turned out to be married with kids. Funeral directors who were 1ft 8in shorter than they’d indicated in their profiles. Dick pic after flaccid dick pic. But I’m a journalist to the core, and to be completely honest, I relished the idea of meeting some weirdos.

And I wasn’t disappointed. Within hours, I’d been snapped up by this delightful gentleman. Let’s call him Jack. Now Jack had a lovely little profile. Everything spelled correctly, no pictures of him on the toilet, no mention of bodily fluids. Plus he’d included a charming sentence about how he wasn’t on there for ‘fun’, and it was ‘time for mortgages and babies’. So when he messaged me, I replied.

But what initially started off as polite chit-chat rapidly turned into him trying to order my fanny off the internet like a £20 Pizza Hut meal deal. With nothing to do of an evening, I decided to play along:

pof-convo

For my efforts, I was called a cunt. Not a bitch, not a slag, but a cunt. LOL.

Because I wasn’t willing to hand over my genitals like a free cracker sample at Morrisons, I was deemed a cunt. Because I wasn’t up for bumping uglies with someone who couldn’t be bothered driving for half an hour to see me, I was decreed a cunt.

It’s not even that he was trying it on that annoyed me. Trust me, there’s been a new prime minister and an EU referendum since I last got my leg over: I know the drill. It’s that he thought it would be so easy. Like mate, I didn’t spend half an hour crafting a witty About Me section and uploading pictures of me looking swotty at my graduation to get prodded in a Premier Inn just off the M5.

I should probably be upset that a complete stranger called me a cunt, but if anything, it’s given me a bit of a buzz. Emboldened by my new title, I have begun parking across two spaces and talking loudly on my mobile in the quiet zone of the train.

Determined not to let my encounter scupper my Plenty of Fish experience, I have matched with some other guys and hope to have more stories to tell soon.

Cunt over and out.

What being single is like when you are really, really awkward

Cosmopolitan would have us believe that being single is one long, sassy roller coaster ride of disastrous dates, tumbling into bed with dishy strangers and hilarious escapades to be cackled at over raunchily titled cocktails with the girls.

It isn’t. I couldn’t be less sassy right now if I tried. My legs look like two stollens dipped in cat hair. My duvet is 40% cotton, 60% crumbs. I can’t tell where my chins end and my neck begins.

Tinder

In the last 15 months of singledom, I have gone from being hopeful that I will find The One to accepting that I will probably have to leave my life savings to an animal charity. I joke about dying alone purely so other people will reassure me that I won’t die alone. That is how disgusting I have become.

Okay, so I’m only 25 and being absolutely ridiculous. But it doesn’t help that everyone on the planet (Facebook) seems to be having babies or getting married. One by one, my single friends are being picked off. I imagine this is how people felt during the Black Death.

Following the demise of my only, very long, relationship, I have been flung back onto the dating scene and to be quite frank, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing.  The last time I had to worry about getting a boyfriend, I was 17 and all I had to do was write him a rap (see below).

Dan Dating Rap

Now with Tinder and Bumble and eHarmony and Nando’s and banter and Netflix and chill, it’s all a bit overwhelming. How does one go about procuring one of these elusive boyfriend things? Does it need feeding and watering and stuff?

“But you’re funny and you’ve got a cool job and you don’t look like something that has crawled out of a swamp,” everyone (my mum) tells me constantly. Well, a fat lot of good that is doing me. Aside from a couple of Tinder dates, I have been perpetually alone, unwanted, undesirable, like a Revel left to languish eternally under a cinema seat.

Being a very awkward, anxious person probably doesn’t help. I can write, but I will openly admit that talking to me can be like trying to squeeze the last remnants of toothpaste out of the tube – with my input in date conversations going something like this:

MOUTH: Hmm yeah maybe.

BRAIN: Is it my turn to start talking? Have I just butted in? Does he think I’m rude? Is he going to tell other people I’m rude? What if that person then tells a future employer? What if I am then blacklisted from all companies in the United Kingdom? Will I have to go on benefits? Does he want to leave? Am I looking him in the eyes enough? Am I looking too much? Does he think I have something wrong with me? Do I have something wrong with me? Are we getting starters?

It’s weird, because as a journalist, I speak to people every day. But I don’t need the people I interview to like me – I need them to trust me. So I don’t get nervous. Dating, on the other hand, is another slippery kettle of fish.

No one new

Plus even if someone does fancy me, I never, ever, pick up on it. Like the time a guy asked if I wanted to go back to his to watch a DVD and I said yes because he said he had Confessions of a Shopaholic, and then he took all his clothes off and I didn’t have a clue what was going on and had to leave abruptly. Or when a guy insisted on buying me a drink as he had ‘spilled’ his on me, and I argued until I was blue in the face that it wasn’t necessary because he had barely got anything on me and I was wearing black so it would be fine on a 40°C wash.

Even if I do cotton on, I instantly assume that it is some kind of cruel practical joke, and Ashton Kutcher is going to jump out with a camera crew and scream “Gotcha!” in my face.

I think what this reveals, apart from my crippling self-esteem and need to get a grip, is that perhaps I’m not ready to get into another relationship. So, for now, maybe being an awkward little weirdo is the best thing for me.

In the meantime, if you are interested in dating a slightly neurotic 25-year-old journalist, email me at charlottebrazierblog@hotmail.com.