Written by Susan Hanks

Voices

You’ve got male

Susan Hanks (GSOH, FWIW) WLTM a date who isn’t going to wee in her wheelie bin. Too much to hope for?

Illustration by Claire Jones.

Illustration by Claire Jones.

I’m 35 and single. I like my own company and space but, naturally, there are times when I’d like to double up and share. I’ve neglected this part of my life for quite some time and thought I should give it a little TLC (quietening my mother is a bonus).

Filling in the format for your online dating profile is the only bit you can really control. But what happens when you ‘go live’ is a test of your gut.

THE PROFILE

What friends say about you: That I am not outspoken but if people ask for my opinion, I offer the truth. I am not bubbly. Nor am I morose. I might not be the life and soul of the party but I’m the ‘gin in her handbag’ ‘dances when hammered’ ‘always wants chips on the way home’ kind of party girl.

Have you got a GSOH? I have. I can laugh at myself; I laugh at popular television programmes. I laugh at unpopular television programmes. I delight in topping a joke made in conversation. I used to write jokes and tell them on stage. Yep. Funny’s covered.

Do you take pride in your appearance? I wash and everything. Sometimes I wear lipstick, sometimes trainers, sometimes both and I like wearing fancy frocks.

In order to filter out the ‘hey babez’ and the offers of ‘hooking up’ should I say that I’m a feminist? I don’t bloody know. But I know that it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I stay true to what I believe and hope that if what Daniel Craig and I have is purely physical (on my side, certainly) then somebody else will come along who wants to learn all about me without sending me a picture of their Google Image goldmember first.

(Oh, by the way, you won’t compromise my beliefs and offend me by paying for dinner and buying me flowers, I love flowers and I bloody love food. Yes, I am capable of looking after myself but sometimes I really can’t be arsed and I’d prefer you to do it. I’ll do it for you too.)

These sentiments form a fairly normal profile… or so you’d think…

THE RESPONSES

Hey pretty, wanna chat?
Yes, I’ll just call my best mate.

Mmmmmn. Those lips.
Are mouthing “fuck off” right now.

Wanna cum round for fun?
Are we going to bake cakes and eat them?

How’s you?
Tired. Must be this dull conversation.

How was your day? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Is that for your Mum?

Read my profile, tell me what you think 🙂
I think you’re an egomaniac. If you’d read mine, you’d know I’m not looking for one.

Like your pics.
Dislike your lack of imagination.

Wott you in2?
Grammar and punctuation.

THE RUNNERS-UP

Finally I make it through the bilge and get out there:

Mr Great
Funny emails. Easy to chat to on date number one, which led to date number two, where I realised it was like being with one of my mates. So we didn’t get to date number three.

Mr Moaner
He fixed a time and place and even showed up in a suit. Turned out that the suit wasn’t the only part of work he brought along. Fifteen minutes into the date (which was clearly never meant to be a shared experience) and he grumbled on about how hard he works, how much he earns and how far he travels. Asking questions about his background lit the fuse to the family-feud firework. I left scorch marks as I sped away.

“What Mr Keen really wanted to know was if I wrote about dating and, of course, whether he’d be appearing. With no surname, no hints and my attempts to steer conversation in an alternative direction he never did.”

Mr Manners
Before I dated him I struggled with the idea of losing independence. I thought that I’d always feel the need to prove that I can absolutely go halves on bills/chores/opening doors. Turns out, nope. Mr Manners showed me a bit of good old-fashioned romance, took me on dates that could have featured in your favourite romcom (I am played by Reese Witherspoon, by the way) and I enjoyed myself, a lot.

He didn’t make me feel that he was taking away my choices, simply that I was being looked after. I like being looked after. I remained cautious while we dated for a short while until he politely told me that he wasn’t over his previous relationship enough to be in one with me.

Mr Keen had read (memorised) my profile, questioned me on each point and, because I’d referred to myself as a blogger, wanted to know what I’d written. Then became obsessed with making it his mission to find out. What he really wanted to know was if I wrote about dating and, of course, whether he’d be appearing. With no surname, no hints and my attempts to steer conversation in an alternative direction he never did (FYI: following me on Instagram before our first coffee makes me suspect you’ll follow me home and wee in my wheelie bin).

Once Mr Keen and I owned up to the fact we weren’t keen on dating each other, we had an honest, open and thought-provoking chat about dating and I saw him as a decent man that just wants to meet a decent woman (I hope he does).

The thing is, if you really want to know if something is acceptable to me, ask. But only ask if you want my honest answer. That’s not the response of a ‘feminist’ by the way. That’s just me.

I haven’t crowned a winner yet but the online dating game isn’t always for losers – after all, I’m playing. But is it really too much to ask for someone who sees my picture, thinks that my face would be one they would like to see more often, reads my profile, works out that I’ve carefully constructed what I want to say in order to attract someone that likes what I say and is definitely interested in what I’ve got to say?

@susan_hanks

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Written by Susan Hanks

Presenter on Moorlands Radio 103.7FM Drive Time, weekdays 4-7pm. Join Susan in 'shaking what ya mamma gave ya' for the daily Derriere Dance. Rhythm/leotard not essential.