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

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.

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It was Adam and Georgia’s first date. They’d chosen a cosy little Italian in the exclusive district of Kensington, London. They’d cracked a joke about oysters, Adam had done his spiel about being different to all the other guys, Georgia had made it clear that she wasn’t the kind of girl that slept with men on the first date but had trimmed down below just in case, they’d shared a slightly cold garlic baguette. Now it was time to get down to the nitty-gritty.

“Can we have the bill, please?” Adam asked the waiter, leaning back confidently in his chair.

Georgia smiled coquettishly, fingers stroking the flute of her wine glass. “I’ve had a great time, thank you.”

Their eyes met briefly over the flickering candlelight.

The waiter appeared between them both, coughing politely. “The bill.” He cleared a space between them, clutching the paper in his slender, tanned hands.

Adam and Georgia both paused momentarily.

The waiter nodded knowingly. He’d seen this scene play out more times than he could count.

Placing the bill flat against the table with his right hand, he felt under the table with his left – hesitating when he felt the lever. With one firm twist of his fingers, he yanked the lever down.

The table creaked and shuddered before the centre rose majestically to reveal a glass case of weapons.

Probably should have mentioned this earlier, but it is now the year 3067. Men and women fight to the death for the bill, for their honour, for the love of their countrymen.

As trumpets sounded and diners pushed their chairs back in anticipation, Adam and Georgia lunged forward and grabbed their respective weapons. Adam went for a sword, whilst Georgia rather twistedly selected a flail.

After a gruesome seven-hour battle it was pronounced a draw and they coughed up £46.80 each, including a tip.

Adam and Georgia now live in Surrey with their four children and a Labrador Border Collie cross named Oscar. They laugh about their first date now. Oh, how they laugh.

THE END

 

 

 

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When Julian’s tomato plant told him that his wife was having an affair, it was a bit of a surprise.

For a start, they’d just been on a glorious cruise to the Mediterranean, where they’d spent two weeks eating shrimp and making frantic love to the sound of the ocean. They’d met a cracking couple from Ashton-Under-Lyne – Peter and Sue they were called, proper smashing pair – and exchanged email addresses. They were planning to meet up at the Cheshire Oaks Retail Outlet not this Saturday but the one after. Everything was sorted. The revelation couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“I’ve seen them,” the tomato plant leered down Julian’s neck. “You know. At it. Doing sex stuff.”

“No, no, no,” Julian said, shaking his head. “Alison’s been distant recently but she’s just stressed out with work.”

“Why would I lie, Julian?” the tomato plant said smugly. “Ask yourself that.” Then it kind of retreated silently on itself back into the wall so it got the last word.

*

Later that evening, as Alison lovingly served out hand-made steak and kidney pie at the dining table, Julian took a long, hard stare at her.

Her temples had begun to grey, her hips a little wider than when they had married, but she was still a solid 7.5 out of 10 and he reckoned most of the guys at their book club would definitely give her one.

Alison had been a loyal wife for 28 years. She had made his breakfast every morning. She had put her career on hold to raise their four wonderful children – three of whom had gone to red brick universities, plus one who had recently dyed their hair purple, pierced their lip and was squawking about becoming an artist like an angry, spoiled grape. Alison had ironed his shirts and trousers, renewed the insurance on their shared Vauxhall Astra, and lied in court when he failed to correctly disclose his income for tax purposes.

But as much as he didn’t want to believe the tomato plant, the seed of doubt had been firmly planted in his mind.

“What are you gawping at?” Alison said, settling into the chair across from him. “You’re giving me the creeps.”

“How did you get those scratches, Alison?” Julian nodded at her arms. “They look nasty.”

“Rooting up the sugar snap peas,” Alison said casually. “Almost did my back in.”

“I bet you did,” Julian whispered tearfully. “I bet you did.”

*

The next day, when Alison had nipped to the post office, Julian went back into the greenhouse.

“Right, you,” he said, squaring up to the tomato plant. “Tell me what’s going on, right now. No details spared.”

“As you wish,” the tomato plant said.

*

Thus it transpired that Alison was knobbing one of their neighbours. Julian kicked her out of the house and then ate the tomato plant.

THE END