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

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As the door blew open, a blast of cold air engulfed the coffee shop. Customers looked up from their chai lattes in surprise, teaspoons tinkling, biscuits crumbling.

But their surprise soon turned to terror. For the wind had brought an unwelcome guest into their safe little village.

The only person on Facebook who wasn’t engaged or pregnant had left her lair.

Fathers covered their children’s eyes, pensioners crossed themselves and mothers stifled their sobs.

Since time began, the villagers had appeased this evil entity with sacrificial offerings of snacks and a Netflix subscription. Every year, they held a Yankee Candle vigil outside her cave to ward off her malicious spirit. Every Halloween, teenagers dressed up as her and told her chilling tale around a bonfire.

“Many moons ago,” they whispered, “she was a perfectly normal girl in her mid-twenties with an okay job and no insanely gross attributes. But try as she might, no-one wanted to put a ring on it. In fact, no-one wanted to put anything on it. She might as well have sewn up her vagina. Things got so bad, she even tried Tinder.”

But now here she was. She hadn’t sizzled under the sunlight. She didn’t have hairy palms. Her eyes didn’t glow red. All of the scriptures and Channel 5 documentaries had been wrong.

“Can I have a hot chocolate, please?” she asked the cowering barista.

It speaks,” the town busybody spat through a mouthful of brownie.

Families huddled closer together as she grabbed her hot chocolate and a muffin and left the coffee shop. Either to eat children, or join Bumble. One or the other.

 

THE END

It’s OK if your 20s haven’t gone to plan
kid

So young. So full of hope.

Being 26 is a curious thing. And by curious, I mean bewildering, soul-destroying and occasionally absolutely terrifying. It’s a ‘nothing’ age. You’re neither young nor old. You’re like an awkward fringe you can’t quite grow out.

When I was younger, I thought that people in their twenties were adults, they had their shit together, they were O-L-D. But now I realise that they weren’t old at all. They were like me. A child trapped in an adult’s body, squeaking desperately for someone to come and rescue them.

Over time, I have learnt that life isn’t like one of those Goosebumps books where you can sneakily flick to the alternative endings and pick the one where you don’t get eaten by a mutant sponge. It’s scary and unpredictable, and you just have to roll with it.

So here is a list of 7 things I thought I would have going for me in my mid-20s that I seriously, seriously don’t:

1.I thought I would be married with at least one kid by now.

I used to think that people who were still single in their late twenties had some kind of icky, gross malady that prevented suitors from wanting to put a ring on it. But sometimes relationships just don’t pan out the way you hope they will. And sometimes it’s for the best. Plus I am definitely not ready for offspring. I had to hold a baby at a wedding last month and I hated every second of it.  Between trying to look maternal, all I could think was ‘why won’t it blink?’ and ‘why does it not cry when people pick it up by its armpits when I cry if I catch my bingo wing on a door frame?’

2. I thought I would be a sex goddess by now.

I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing. It’s like trying to assemble an IKEA wardrobe. WHERE DOES THIS BIT GO? WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS WEIRD LITTLE LEFTOVER THING?! My predicament is not helped by frantically reading bizarre sex tips in women’s magazines. Instead, I am left with further performance anxiety after discovering that I can’t quite pull off rubbing cocoa beans over my lover’s scrotum while in the Grab Your Coat You’ve Pulled a Cheeky Flamenco position.

3. I thought I would understand bills and general life crap by now.

I do not understand bills and general life crap.

4. I thought I would be a stunnah by now.

The one thing I clung to when I was a teenager and my hair was greasy and I had no boobs and developed a moustache was that one day I would be peng. One day, puberty would wave her magic wand, release me from this sarcophagus of 4-out-of-10-ness and rebirth me as a beautiful butterfly. But if anything, I am grosser now than ever. I have fat in places I didn’t even know you could have fat. I am spottier. I am hairier. I am scalier. I am basically turning into an armadillo.

5. I thought I would be on the property ladder by now. 

One of the many perks of being a journalist is that I earn way below the average graduate salary. Like if the graduate salary was a bus, I would be running after it panting. If the graduate salary was Leonardo DiCaprio, I would be being restrained by a security guard after trying to stroke its face. If the graduate salary was a Snitch, I would be chasing it on a mop. So unless I immediately marry a Russian oil tycoon, I shan’t be owning my own house anytime soon.

6. I thought I would stop getting ID’d by now.

When I got the A Level results I needed to get into university but couldn’t celebrate with my two friends at Ko-Ko’s in Rochdale town centre because I didn’t have ID and had the face of a Cabbage Patch Kid, I was fuming. “You will pay for this,” I vowed, as thunderstorms cracked in the midnight sky. I considered writing to Parliament. I considered a dirty protest. I considered launching my own charity to help other victims. But now, it’s the opposite. As I inch closer to 30, looking young is a compliment. In fact, I am offended if people don’t ID me. “Wait, don’t you want to verify my age?” I want to cry indignantly. “Don’t you think I’m too young-looking to be purchasing this alcoholic beverage?” I reach into my bag. “I have ID. Check my ID. Please,” I beg, before slamming my driving licence, passport, birth certificate and 22-week ultrasound scan onto the counter.

7. I thought I would have outgrown my ‘awkward phase’ by now.

Chink chink. The sound of glass tinkling, a champagne cork popping. Laughter. Schmoozing. Another glamorous cocktail party organised by yours truly. So, this one didn’t pan out. Mainly because I don’t live in the 1980s, but also because I am still super awkward.

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The day had finally arrived. The day that Julia was going to tell her husband that she was an alien.

Some might say this was quite a big secret to keep from one’s spouse – on par perhaps with an unannulled marriage, or undisclosed links to organised crime. But some did not know what it was like to be a Gleekon from Jupiter living in disguise in a three-up two-down on the outskirts of Chorley.

Plus technically she was only half alien – her father having relinquished the throne of Clajanka to abscond with a human back in 1979. Her alien heritage, if anything, was merely exotic – like an Italian accent or a rogue red hair gene.

Julia had imagined telling her husband the truth on many an occasion. He’d chuckle, shaking his head in disbelief. “Oh, you,” he’d say, prodding her stomach. Then they’d laugh, put a load of washing on, take the chicken nuggets out of the oven and coo over the drawings their son had scribbled at nursery.

You see, Alfie was nearly three now and the signs of his alien ancestry were beginning to show. The blue skin that had thankfully skipped a generation for her had blighted him with a vengeance. She’d been fake-tanning him for two years, hiding the St. Tropez bottles in a gap under the bedroom floorboards.

But people had begun to get suspicious. Doctors, specialists, Hell even a medium had tried to diagnose the biscuit-y scent, but she had cold-facedly lied. Now there was talk of skin grafts. She had to say something – not just to save her own skin, but that of her son.

“Mark?” Julia coughed as she entered the front room. Mark was sat on the couch with his back to her, his curly brown hair poking over the couch.

“I have something to tell you.”

He didn’t reply, engrossed in the cooking programme on TV.

“Mark, there’s no easy way to say this. You know you and Alfie mean the world to me. I’d do anything for you. We’ve been through so much. And I love our life, our home.” Her breath caught in her throat. “But I’ve been keeping something from you.”

Julia stepped closer to Mark, stroking his hair softly. “Mark, I’m an alien.”

Overwhelmed by the silence, she continued. “I know you’ll need time to think this over. If you need a few days, if you need to stay with your parents, I’ll understand. Mark, please, talk to me.”

She grabbed Mark’s shoulder to spin him around, gasping in shock.

It wasn’t Mark at all, but a load of Waitrose bags with a wig on top.

THE END