In which The Author changes his relationship status
This morning I did something I should have done months ago. I’ve been putting it off, mainly because I couldn’t be bothered with trying to log in via Aberdare Library’s pisspoor wifi and changing my password. This morning, after the latest junk email pinged into my inbox, I decided to go through with it. The latest bout of depression and/or self-loathing forced my hand, and I had no real choice in the matter.
I deleted my Plenty of Fish profile.
It might surprise you to learn that I even had a Plenty of Fish profile. Me – dating online! I know, it’s fucking farcical, isn’t it? Bear in mind that I’ve been out of the dating game for so long that I don’t know the rules any more.
I’m not even interested in the fucking game, to be perfectly frank. A couple of months ago, Gareth L. and I were chatting over a pint, and he said something like, ‘You’re never going to meet your sort of woman in a shitty town like Aberdare. You need to go to Cardiff.’
I replied that I wasn’t looking for anyone any more. (This was before Emma’s name came up in conversation, of course! After all, I’ve already met the only woman whom I was remotely interested in spending the rest of my life with, and she fucked off back to Australia fourteen years ago.)
I’ve had my fair share of fucked-up so-called ‘girlfriends’ and near misses in the last few years. Go through the backlist from summer 2009 to about the end of 2012, and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve dabbled with computer dating before, though. I even struck out on Bondage.com. If I wasn’t going to meet my next girlfriend there, I wasn’t going to meet her anywhere, was I?
I’ve even had robots and agents (in The Matrix
sense of the word) trying to hook up with me, as I related in Computer Love
. After getting my fingers burnt too many times, I decided a long time ago that it was safer to stay out of harm’s way.
As I told you in Half My Age Plus Seven
, I got invited to go speed dating in Cardiff by Hannah a few months ago, and very firmly threw cold water on that suggestion. Hannah might have decided to go on her own. I haven’t seen her for a month or so, so I don’t know.
Signing up for Plenty of Fish was a last ditch attempt to meet someone new, a couple of years ago when I was still interested in playing the game. I uploaded a photo, got halfway through filling in my profile, and lost interest pretty much as soon as I started getting daily emails with ‘my latest matches’.
I don’t think there was a single photo I found appealing. I’m sure they’re very nice people, but when you’re just shy of your fiftieth birthday you don’t want to be reminded of the fact by a daily gallery of ropey forty-something Valleys women – usually with at least a few kids in tow – looking for a sugar daddy. Most of them looked like the sort of women who always turn up at ‘live band nights’ and use the Kings of Leon’s best-known song as the excuse to shout ‘sex’ to try and shock everyone. I’ve met hundreds of women like them over the last twenty years or so of pubgoing.
If they weren’t the women I already know, they were usually the equivalent from the neighbouring valleys. Given that virtually all public transport in the valleys closes down after 6 p.m. on a weekday, travelling outside a very small area becomes an extremely expensive pastime. I’m fucked (no pun intended) if I’m getting a taxi home from Caerphilly or some equally Goddessforsaken place at chucking out time.
Oddly enough, women joining these dating sites usually get in free. The same racket is operated by nightclubs which let girls in free, in the hope that a plethora of totty will draw in hordes of male punters – who, naturally, have to pay through the fucking nose. If I had
spotted someone who took my fancy, I’d have to pay for ‘full membership’ (exactly the same scam as I reported in From Russia With Love
and its sequel). At least phone apps like Tindr and Grindr (I’m told) allow you to just skip through the mugshots and weed out the horrors without paying up.
There might well be plenty more fish in the sea, as that old cliché has it. But I’m not interested in fishing any more. My profile has been deleted as of about two hours ago. It’s a long drawn-out process to delete it, involving a complicated procedure of signing in, answering some questions, and then endlessly verifying that yes, I do want to delete my fucking profile, otherwise I wouldn’t have accessed this particular fucking menu in the first place!
Oddly enough, the dropdown menu to give your reason for leaving Plenty of Fish doesn’t include the option I’m NOT FUCKING INTERESTED ANY MORE.
I can’t imagine why.