Bar Cruises

January 31, 2012 § 77 Comments

An extended version of yesterday’s column in The Times:-

A friend told me that she has a plankton friend who goes to concerts a lot on her own, the Royal Festival Hall and so forth, and that she is ALWAYS meeting and having affairs with men.  She goes alone, sits in the bar and they start chatting her up.  My friend who is Japanese and hilarious – more outspoken than you can believe – said this 47 year old friend of hers is fat and unattractive and sartorially challenged (my friend is not a bitch, I promise, though I have done an excellent job of making her sound like a prize one) and she still has all these men…  The fact that none of them seems to stick around for very long – “She doesn’t seem to be able to keep them,” was how my friend put it – is something of a downer, but she promised me they weren’t married men, or goats.

I have a very ballsy American friend in New York, a single mother with grown-up children.  She is a journalist and writer (novels, film scripts) and hangs out with A-listers, shows me pictures of herself with film-stars on her phone in a way no English woman would.  We are so incredibly different it is untrue but there is a big part of me which enjoys the company of that very New York go-getting, wise-cracking, loud, ambitious sort of woman, vivacious, obsessive, and into all that all-American, “I love you, Girlfriend!” kind of bollocks which could be seen as a pain in the ass but she has the kind of spirit and zest which can be so affecting, and the ability really to laugh, not least at herself.  Anyway, she is always telling me to get dressed up and go to the bar of a particular hotel on a Tuesday night, even, and just “hang”.  She says likely men, business types and so forth, are always there and she has spent many an hour at that bar falling into conversation with them and being picked up.

A commentator wrote recently that she was meeting a mystery man in a gallery/bar and whilst waiting for him she happened to fall into chatting to a gorgeous other man, a stranger.  The mystery man was fine but it was scoring the stranger’s email address that gave her so much more pleasure and filled her with hope and excitement that has us all – well, me, at least – in a flurry.

Of the three scenarios, I know which appeals to me most.  The fat classical music plankton and my noisy NY plankton friend are of the opinion that actively hanging out alone in a bar is as good a way as any to meet men.  They are right.  But somehow I don’t think I could do that.  Something so bleak about dressing up to go out on a solitary quest which is most likely to end in the solitary journey home again feeling more miserable than when you started out or, at best, an encounter the provenance of which is decidedly wobbly, fraught with a myriad of unknowns, more unknowns even than an internet meeting.  It has to be said, this high-risk practice doesn’t seem to have done either of these plankton many favours.  (Remember, I only saw Shame very recently, and if nothing had prompted a somewhat sceptical view of the handsome charmer at the bar, that film sure sets one to rights on that score!)

The happy commentator, on the other hand, had not gone out bar cruising deliberately and I think this is enormously different for some reason, though I am not entirely sure I can put my finger on what that reason might be.  Stranger unknowns and/or dangers of the emotional sort can occur in any situation, even between two singles set up by best friends.  Of course, it is early, embryonic days for the commentator (she only met him a few days ago!) and who knows what may happen between her and the chance-stranger, and she must be cautious of course, but the way it happened, so utterly unprovoked and organic, I don’t know, I like to think it has more integrity or legs to it than the more calculated encounter of Lonely Plankton At Bar and On A Mission?

Call me a foolish romantic, because there’s nothing wrong with bar cruising – it is being bloody brave and ballsy and imaginative and proactive after all; and it’s not sitting at home feeling sorry for oneself, for sure, all of which is to be encouraged.  I just kind of know it is not for me.

It may be, one day – never say never (God, I am so comatose with boredom at that annoying phrase!) – but I am just not sure it isn’t a route fraught with disappointment, and an even more serious case than usual of the slough of dispiriting despond?

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§ 77 Responses to Bar Cruises

  • Lydia says:

    It put me in mind of an item in the papers baout aid to Africa. Everyone wants to fund water to poor villages projects as women spend so many hours a day fetching water from streams etc. Anyway they did one project and later found it had not been popular. Apparently the dating for young people there was all around girls walking to get water every morning through the village where the local single boys could see them and flirt. Taps at houses spoiled al that.

    The point of that above and the Plankton post of the day is that if you are not out there being seen or on line being seen or whatever then you are not likely to find someone as partners do not drop like manna from Heaven on people cloistered at home.

  • Barry says:

    Add Bar Cruising to the “Don’t do that” list then .

    Just wondering…what DO you do to ,actively, to find Male company…besides sending obtuse e-mails occasionally?

  • Jane says:

    Well, hello again! Oooooer Nooooo! let’s just go through that again…… you get dressed up and go and sit in a bar on your own in the hope that a chap will come and chat you up….really? oh man! do you seriously think that is not a guaranteed route to feeling like absolute shite. Sounds like the saddest most deperate thing i have heard in a long time. If you have a problem with putting yourself on the internet, this has got to be infinitely worse. Let’s be clear on this, yes all the above mentioned women pick up men,even the fat ugly one…….. for affairs. If you just want a quick romp, a ‘bit of fun’ I think is the current phrase for the reality of the situation, which is, she is looking for a realtionship and he isn’t interested but will take whatever is on offer then go ahead, otherwise don’t even give it room in your head.

  • Penny says:

    Plankton, I can’t think of anything worse than going out (dressed up) on your own to sit in a hotel bar hoping to be “picked up” because that is what it is. How demeening. As you say even worse if you end up going home without even speaking to anyone. Very depressing. I can see why any man that meets a woman like that doesnt stick around. You would have to make up a story of why you are sitting on your own in a hotel bar first?! The idea of going to a gallery is fine as you are doing something interesting anyway, then at least if you do meet someone you have something in common.

    These women talked about are very gutsy and confident, and I guess dont really have any respect for themselves. It would be a bit better if they went with a girlfriend.

  • Elle says:

    Is there a middle ground? What about hanging in a pub or bar where clever literary/media types go? You could sit at a table or the bar, drink, notebook and pen at your side, and make notes on what’s going on around you. If somebody approaches you tell them you’re a writer doing research for a book (not entirely untrue). You might attract a more compatible man in those places. One disadvantage might be that you are probably well known in those circles already.

    If you investigate further, you will see that most upmarket bars where business men hang out are haunted by working girls. The men there want to pick somebody up and if they can get their romp for free all the better for them but not the working girls. These are the sort of men you would utterly despise in the morning. Perhaps it’s different on the other side of the pond as Americans (apart from the odd bitter male blog poster) have a more open approach to meeting the opposite gender.

    • Dawn says:

      So, basically, this plan would have us working as unpaid hookers.

      • Elle says:

        One of Anaïs Nin’s characters said that every woman should be a prostitute at some stage in her life. I think it’s dodgy advice at best but the idea was for a woman to develop generosity of spirit. And, in those days, possibly syphilis!

  • Margaux says:

    I don’t think it’s a sad idea – if you have the bottle to do it. Don’t some people say that you should invest the same amount of time and care in looking for a partner as you would a car or a place to live?

    Many years ago in the 80s I had a colleague with a very wealthy step dad. His mother had struggled to bring him and his brother up as a single mum in much reduced circumstances. So around the age of 40 she decided to improve their lot in life. She invested in one fabulous second hand fur coat and some bits of costume jewellery and went and hung around the bar of one London’s five star hotels. She met his step dad that way and married him. And yes, she loved him and he her.

    He found a loyal and loving and rather glamorous wife and she found a man to devote herself to who hauled her and her sons out of penury.

    This may sound akin to some form of prostitution but there are many trade offs in relationships.

    However, as Lydia says – I guess you have to be ‘out there’ one way or another…

    • Jane says:

      Could the key be ‘many years ago’ ? I think the goalposts have moved considerably since then. Generally, there is a harder attitude and I reckon it’s almost guaranteed that if you took a straw poll of anyone you knew, what they thought a woman who was going to bars on her own done up to the nines, was there for, it sure wouldn’t be looking for love. The internet has taken a drubbing on this site, the stories of success being held up as akin to hens teeth in their frequency – or rather lack of. By that measure this story must be somewhere in the realms of complete fairytale.

      • Margaux says:

        I don’t think so Jane. Since the 80s there are far more women staying in hotels on business on their own so could conceivably be in the bar because they don’t want to sit in their hotel rooms. I’ve done it myself when travelling on business.

        The fairytale is in the happy ending, yes, but not in the means it was achieved.

      • Jane says:

        Indeed they do Margaux and I am one of them, I travel all over the world, often, with my work. As I am always the first into the country and the last out after my team have left, I have extensive experience of hotels/bars as a solitary woman. I always go to the executive lounge if I want a drink, there I can sit in peace and have a drink, read a book or the paper, eat, or work in peace. I honestly think that there is a huge difference between women who are in a bar because they are away for work and a woman on her own picking up men. The way they look, dress and their body language and if I can see that then surely so can everyone else. Still think it’s an appalling idea

    • Elle says:

      Margaux, I don’t think that woman would get a second glance now in her fur coat unless it was from a man looking for sex. Times have indeed changed, and men like your colleague’s step dad would have women throwing themselves at him now. Even so he might decide to dispense with the hassle of local women and get a twenty-something mail order bride from Russia.

      • Margaux says:

        Fair points ladies – although I wasn’t necessarily advocating looking like one was obviously on the pull – lol! I gather from the former colleague that his mother decided to look well heeled and classy while affecting that she just happened to be in the bar.

        I guess the fur coat ( no knickers?) look may sound dated …although I have been spotting a few fur coats again here and there when out and about. ( Don’t worry, if I ever decide to test this theory out I’ll stick to faux-fur!)

        You see, I still think it’s not such a daft idea on the basis that if you want a librarian go hang around a library – if you want a man of means go hang around a 5 star hotel and so on and so on….. But hey ho – I am an eternal optimist.

        So….if any of you spot me in the champagne bar at the Savoy – make mine Dom Perignon – I’ll be the one trying to look like I’m staying there 😉

      • Elle says:

        The rich are more insulated from the rest of us than ever these days. It’s unlikely a woman would meet a man of means in a public hotel bar unless he was looking for sex.

        The rich have members only clubs where they hang out with their own kind. The Box in London is an example, apparently it’s very hard to get in there.

        Men of means nowadays are seeking women of equal means or else women of extreme youth and beauty.

  • June says:

    It all sounds very depressing to me and you certainly wouldnt do it in the city i live in, no women here would even go in a pub alone,even if meeting someone. Even internet dating isnt that bad, at least you are actually meeting someone, when a date actually happens that is. Go with a girlfriend sounds better but thats ok if you have a girfriend who is up for it, my friends are all coupled up , apart from one,and shes not type to go and sit in bars, the only other single women i know are ones who belong to this singles club and their idea of going out seems to be 6 mile rambles, bike rides, days learning ceroc, bowling and nights in obscure chilly pubs with crap discos. None of this fills me with any hope al all.

    When i lived in my small town, i honestly believed once i moved to the city my social life would improve by leaps and bounds but i still seem to spend far too many nights sitting on my own in my flat. Yes i did have hope with internet dating, i have to say P, hope if you do it, you are not as disappointed as i have been, but being that bit younger it coud be better for you, as long as you dont expect too much. . I am honestly at a loss as what to do next. Someone has told me there is a friendship website now called fish for a friend. How the hell can you find friends on a website, to me its worse than finding a man, friendship is something that envolves from school, college, work, you live in same area, grew up together, meet them at social events,through other friends, not on a website, seems extremely odd way of finding friends, has anyone encounted this website. i had a look at it but it seems a bit odd.

    • Jo says:

      Gosh June. What city do you live in? It’s perfectly ok to go to a pub alone. For a bite to eat or whatever. Even more so when meeting someone. Why would no-one do that in your city?
      Though I do agree about dressing up with the sole purpose of going to a bar, in the hope of meeting someone/being picked up. Ugh.
      Can I ask you a question June? You seem to find a negative in absolutely everything you write about. Even if it’s in response to something positive posted by someone else. Really.
      Is there anything you feel joyous about?

      • June says:

        Rosie i think if you lived in my area of the uk and you were single you wouldn t find much to be joyus about to be honest. It is a very coupled up place, i do like the city where i live but socially its not much different to the small town i c ome from.A women would definitely not go in a pub by herself here. A friend of mine has just moved up north for her husbands work and she was saying other day that there its quite normal for women to go in a pub without a man, whereas here it wouldnt have been.Imagine doing it in ………she said. She has noticed she says how different it is for single women she has met there than here.

        Same with internet dating, it is very difficult to meet anyone in this area, there seem to be very few men available here and the few that there are, normally do not want to meet a women over 60,even if she looks younger,and they look a damm sight older.

        Im sorry you think i sound negative but i cant explain it to anyone who doesent know my part of the world, it is probably one of the worst places in the uk to be a single women. I know lots of women who dread being alone so, they cling on to relationships which should have finished ages ago, as they know how hard being a woman without a man is here. I assure you i am not a miserable person, far from it, i do have lots of friends but most are in couples and i am known for being quite a bubbly person, but the life of a single middle aged women here is bloody boring believe me and sometimes it gets damm hard to stay positive, Some of my friends do invite me to social events where couples are, but the social events are not that frequent and i have the odd girls night out and theatre visit . Im off to opera next week, madame butterfly with a friend, whose partner doesent like opera. But thats it,women here dont seem to go away on girlie weekends, things like that, or go on holidays with other women. I went on my own for years all over europe, and was always meeting women from other parts of uk who had partners, but had gone with friends, but i could never find anyone to go with.Here you go with your partner on holiday, and if you dont have a partner or family you go alone, and frankly im tired of that, or you dont go. Sorry ive ranted on a bit but i didnt want you to think im a miserable cow, cause im really not, its just how life is here,planktoness is not great anywhere but here it can be totally crap, and its hard to feel joyus as you know there isnt a lot you can do about it.

      • fi says:

        June. Its not possible that you’re right. Even my small town isn’t like that so your city won’t be.

      • MissM says:

        Gee Fi, that is a big assumption on your part. Your town is not like that therefore no place anywhere is like that, according to your logic. I’d say that it is not possible that you know everything about everywhere, despite thinking that you do.

  • rosie says:

    I’m quite happy to go to a pub or bar on my own during the day, have something to eat, read the paper or whatever but if you’re going to hang around of an evening waiting for every creep going to come up and hassle you (sorry, ‘chat you up’), you may as well find the poshest place you can and charge accordingly!

  • Margaux says:

    June – 6 mile rambles, bike rides, ceroc , bowling etc all sound good fun to me. Have you done any of them? If you want to make new friends then it’s worth not writing them off. And that’s the key – ‘new friends’ …

    Maybe it’s a question of broadening out your social life by trying new things and not just seeing them as a means to meeting men?

    If the singles club isn’t doing it for you there must be other activities going on where you are ? Try rambling with the Ramblers Assoc., find a bike club, film club, go to some dance or fitness classes, learn something new in adult education, find a pub quiz team to join …

    I know city life can be hard but I practice what I preach. You just have to get out there.

    • Jo says:

      I completely agree with you Margaux.
      Good on those women that June talks about, for getting out and about doing and enjoying something I say.
      They shouldn’t be disparaged so.

      • fi says:

        Yep. I think they sound quite good fun and if they were happening in my little town (too small for that) I’d be up for it

  • Sarah says:

    Frankly, would you want to have a relationship with a man who picked you up in a bar while out cruising?

    Men who cruise bars do so to get sex, end of.

    I would never ever go to a bar to get picked up and would never go out with a man who tried to pick me up in a bar. It’s so sleazy.

  • Jo says:

    P. I think Mel’s chance encounter with the man in the bar, whose email she took, was different to your 2 friends’ encounters because of what you’ve already said. She hadn’t gone out bar cruising deliberately. To dress up, go out, sit and wait…(Ugh).
    It happened whilst she was doing something else.
    Then she was open to responding to it.

    • EmGee says:

      That’s what I was thinking too, just thought maybe I’d missed some subtle form of irony.

      I don’t really have a problem with the bar scene, any more than online dating, or any ways suggested here for singles to meet – different approaches work for different people. I still favor going to events that interest me, simply meeting people, and there is always an off chance that one of those people may be male, single, and attracted to me.

  • Steve says:

    So, what everyone is basically asking is ‘where do single people go to meet other single people?’

    If anyone knows, can you please post the address? 🙂

    • Jo says:

      As a woman, not getting dressed up to the nines to go and sit in a bar all evening alone, waiting to be picked up Steve.
      There are other ‘addresses’ to try, as has been documented here many times (that people keep trying out), rather than sitting, waiting, doing nothing but advertising your wares.

      • Elle says:

        What Jo really means is that any address that ends with dot com fits the bill.

        Rugby matches (going to the game or watching it in the pub) can also be good, and rugby international season is coming up. Apparently, more women in Ireland seek the morning-after-pill on the day following the Ireland-Scotland rugby match than on any other day.

      • Elle says:

        Miss M, perhaps women who like rugby in the UK have no trouble finding men, but it’s no the case in Ireland. Maybe it’s because a lot of women like rugby and other sports and there aren’t enough single men in Ireland at any age. Seriously, rugby and football matches are our only chance to get a decent glimpse of men’s legs! 🙂 I’m not saying that sport is porn lite for Irish women, but needs must.

        Any men I’ve spoken to who come over here for rugby matches say that there seem to be more single attractive women in Ireland than anywhere else and they love the welcome they get here.

      • MissM says:

        Elle, I’m afraid I can’t speak about what goes on in England since I am in Australia. Most men here are very keen on sports, quite a lot of women are too, but I think male sports fans still outnumber the female ones. So I figure if I could somehow conjure up an interest in sport I’d be in clover. You should come to Australia, as a sports loving woman you’d probably have more luck getting a man’s attention, and if all else fails you can generally find lots of men wearing shorts to ogle (though some are not ogle-worthy). Not to mention most people would just love your accent.

      • Elle says:

        MissM, I’m in Ireland and it’s even harder here for single women than in the UK.

        Australia sounds good but I’m not free to up sticks and move there, besides your visa requirements are quite strict.

        Lots of younger Irish people who qualify for the working holiday visa are going!

    • Margaux says:

      Seconded Steve! 😉

      • MissM says:

        Thirded.

        So far all we have is the dot com addresses, even though any potential they have is microscopically small. It is akin to being given a haystack and being told to look for a needle, while keeping in mind that there may not actually be a needle there in the first place. I guess sorting through all the chaff should keep one busy.

        Rugby matches, ugh, then I’d have to feign an interest in rugby and that would be a lie of colossal proportions. I always assumed any woman who actually enjoyed rugby would be eagerly fought over and not remain single for more than a second.

        Hence why a book of stories of how couples have met would be so very good, we could look at the things that actually worked as opposed to the guesswork of people who are still single.

      • fi says:

        The things that work are getting on with your life, getting out and about, taking up invitations and being open and friendly. You’re acting as if you’re David Attenburgh – following the earlier sightings of a rarely spotted species and hanging out in their hunting grounds. Listen to yourselves. If you overheard blokes talking about meeting women in the same way – wanting to know where a man had previously met a woman so packs of them could go to the same places and meet other women there – you’d think they were bonkers. Well I would anyway.

      • Elle says:

        Fi, getting on with your life is fine, we all do that, but many of us don’t meet men in our day to day lives. This could be for demographic reasons (as in Ireland) or because they don’t meet men at work and their friends don’t know any single men. It doesn’t help that most married women (Plankton’s friends excepted) don’t invite their single friends to dinner parties. I only meet my married friends on girly nights out. Which is fine. They don’t know any single men anyway, all their husbands’ friends are married.

        No matter what activitiy one takes up in this country, it is nearly always female dominated. So yes, single men ARE a rarely spotted species here and despite having full and active lives, my friends and I often ask ourselves where they can be found.

      • MissM says:

        Thank you Elle, that was well said. Single men of a certain age are rare. Single men are certainly not found in the courses, classes, or group activities of all sorts that generic plankton are advised to go to. Yet there is always a huge number of single women to be found at these things. I can only assume that when not at work men generally stay home in front of the tv, since that would explain why we never see any. Or as you say, they don’t exist in the first place as a result of having moved elsewhere for the purposes of finding work.

    • fi says:

      They are everywhere aren’t they. Just like single women are everywhere.

      • MissM says:

        Here’s the thing though, I’d imagine we are already all getting on with life, taking up invitations and being open and friendly. In fact Plankton’s blog describes a life that is full of invitations being taken up left right and centre, I am certain P is open and friendly, yet our dear P, like many of the rest of us, is still single. So if insanity is doing the same things and expecting different results, it makes sense to me to actually look at what other things we might do in order to change the results.

        You may not have noticed this, but what you write makes you sound like a judgmental person with absolutely no empathy, since anyone not like you is pathetic, a sad sack, bonkers or a combination of the three.

      • fi says:

        Well I’ve nothing to add then. I meet loads of men either at work, at coffee shops or at any of the socia activities I do. I chat to folk, and make new friends and get invited aloong to new things that I always says yes to. At least e or 3 times a week I speak to a new bloke even if its just a smile and chat about the weather. And its everywhere, even at the train station. I get interest from blokes who pursue me maybe once or twice a month. I’m not gorgeous. I’m not in a massive city with thousands and thousands of people. If you’re doing all that too, and I’m not better looking than you, it must just be special magic that it works for me and not for you then. Personally I find it helpful to ask other people why something works for them if it doesn’t for me.

      • MissM says:

        I still think you are missing the point somehow. We can worry about talking to men or how to get a man interested in us after we achieve step one, which is to find an available man in the first place. But many of us haven’t even got to step one yet. The men I talk to are married blokes, or old blokes, occasionally an alcoholic or drug addict, certainly not anything resembling a single man of an appropriate age. If I am being stupid in not seeing men who are all around me then at least I am not the only one, since my married friends don’t know any single men, and my single friends don’t either, even when they too are looking for one for themselves. Group activities are full of either couples or single women. I have absolutely no trouble finding single women, they are definitely everywhere, but single men are nowhere to be seen.

  • Steve H says:

    Most importantly “the happy commentator” thatP mentions was from this very blog! I’m afraid I can’t remember who it was now but she gets a mention in the paper of record that is The Times!

    P -is your American friend recommending the 5th floor bar at Harvey Nicks? I’ve heard that is quite notorious for that!

  • Jo says:

    I think it was Mel, Steve H.
    And Mel. What has happened since?! Sorry to be nosy..

  • paolo says:

    Bleakness, defined: Picking up people at bars.

  • Jo says:

    Elle. That is NOT what I ‘really mean’.
    How preposterous. You are quite quite wrong and I’ll thank you not to put (utterly misguided) words in my mouth.
    Bloody rude.

  • Jo says:

    As well as patronising, Elle.

  • Jo says:

    Btw. I used the term ‘addresses’ to echo Steve’s use of the word in his question.
    By that I meant, rather than talking about one ‘address’ people have been trying or suggesting other ‘addresses’, historically on this blog. Like going to events, clubs, activities, classes, etc etc. Trying to use these things to – hopefully, possibly, maybe – meet other single people. (Men). I make no claims at all about the successes of these, but merely point out what several commentators have written here in the past. I.e. Several other places (addresses) that have been/are being given a whirl where the single have attempted to meet other singles. That was all.
    It is interesting Elle that you wrote a comment earlier about Anais Nin’s words (in that quote you recounted), were ‘an idea for a woman to develop generosity of spirit’.
    Quite. Perhaps you should pay heed, before being so hasty with your assumptions.

    • Elle says:

      Thank you Jo. I will now head to the nearest bar and take up the first man’s offer to sleep with him in order to develop generosity of spirit. Tomorrow night I will do the same with a different man. How my life is going to change!

      • Jo says:

        Elle. Eh? What an earth are you TALKING about now?!!!!
        I did NOT say any of that either!
        Blinking hell. Wtf.
        Clearly I was talking about generosity of spirit. Not her suggested means of doing it.
        Those are the words that you might like to cast a thought over right now.
        Stop twisting my words. It’s getting tedious. Fucking lay off.

      • Jane says:

        Ladies!!!! turn it in, will you? this bickering is not fun to read and does neither of you any favours, you have different opinions- best that you agree to differ and move on.

  • rosie says:

    June, I’m intrigued to know where you live, you make it sound more like Saudi Arabia than the UK! Are you saying that a woman wouldn’t go into a pub alone because they’re all full of couples or because it’s not the Done Thing? I’ve lived in the north and the south, both for long periods, and I’ve never once seen a woman sit on her own in a pub or bar all night in either (well I have, and it wasn’t a pretty sight) but it’s different in the daytime or if you’re waiting for someone. You’ve obviously got to pick your venue – there’s no way I’d walk into some dodgy hole I might otherwise be tempted to venture into with a crowd of people and under the influence, unaccompanied.

    But now you’ll all have to excuse me while I go get on with my life, being open and friendly all the way.

  • Steve says:

    You might be surprised how difficult it is for single men to meet single women. When I made reference to ‘the address’, I actually meant a physical place as opposed to a dot com. And it was a slightly tongue in cheek remark.

    Although I accept that the internet dating can work for some, it doesn’t appeal to me and I don’t want to go to bars looking for women. Just like a lot of the correspondents on here, most of my friends are married/coupled and it is no easier or more appealing for a man to go into a bar and hang around on the off chance of meeting someone than it is for a woman to do gthe same.

    I recognise that the majority of correspondents here are women and therefore write from a fermale perspective, but it’s a myth to suggest that every single man has a huge choice of potential partners. If only that were the case!

    • Jo says:

      Thank you Steve.
      I took it that you meant a physical place as opposed to an actual address. Hence my reply about various places and things a lot of us have tried. For good or ill….
      I did not mean a dot com either. Despite what I ‘really meant’ being explained on my behalf (!) by another.

    • Elle says:

      Steve, if you join any social group, class or the like in your area you should find that there area plenty of single women. Better still, take up a hobby you really enjoy and you’ll have fun while meeting lots of women.

    • MissM says:

      I agree with Elle, the whole reason generic plankton are tired of being told to do courses etc is because the courses are always full of other single women and no single men. If there is a group activity of any sort available there is bound to be a surplus of single women in it. If that is not the case please let me know where you live so I can move there.

  • June says:

    Haha Rosie, no it isnt like Saudi Arabia i can assure you, its a very nice city, but it is different to anywhere else in UK believe me. I am thinking of all my friends and what they would do and no none of them would walk into a pub here on their own, and some are considerably younger than me. Not sure if its the couples thing or just not done but it isnt, you would feel embarrassed if you did, i kid you not.

    Whoever else mentioned the joining things, i am not the hiking type, i have a plankton friend who does lots of that, and she has suggested it but it just isnt me, i do walk around the city a lot, but walking groups are just not my thing And i have to say my friend has been in them for years and has never met any eligible males, The old story, they go for the younger women., same as the social group.

    You have to be interested in activities to join groups connected with them, as someone else said,doing it for the sake of it is really pointless, you will soon lose interest and its my experience people are so intense about such activities if you are not, you will soon get cold shoulder. I was never one for hobbies, well i like opera, going to theatre, going out for meals, just social stuff, im not into anything sporty, with commutiing when i was working, until i moved, i never had time for activities, and just cant raise any enthusiasm for them now. I toy with going to pilates classes which i may do, but nothing else appeals. Retirement i didnt want, i liked my job, i kind of lived for it, having little family, but everything changed, my company wanted to get rid of over 55s and they did, Id like another part time one, have applied but get nowhere, well its hard enough for 40 yr olds, so cant expect it. My fellow plankton walking friend is same, shes tried too. She said caring seems to be our only option, and she wouldnt want that kind of employment and nor would i. Ageism may be illegal but sadly companies and organisation are finding ways around it..

    • Margaux says:

      Ok June – I get that you have to be interested in actvities to join groups ..so what about getting involved with your local theatre? Many theatres have ‘Friends of …’ societies attached to them and hold social evenings, special previews of performances, fund raising events -all this would be connected to an interest you do have- no?

      If you like going out to dinner – well, there are some dating organisations that do ‘dinner dates’ – ever thought of trying one of those?

      Pilates by the way – do try it – not as a ‘meet anyone’ kind of thing but just as a way to feel tons better about yourself. I couldn’t be without it now.

  • rosie says:

    Fi, seeing as you know exactly how it all works, you should bottle it and label it ‘Herein lie ALL the answers’. You’d make a fortune.

    And yet, despite the fact that you’ve been ‘actively looking’ for however long, you’re still on your tod. Oh, but hang on, you’re not looking are you because you have men throwing themselves at you left, right and centre and you could end your singledom any time you choose. Oh, but then again, you were on POF so you ARE looking. Oh, but wait a minute, you took yourself off POF because you’re not really looking. Jeez. Ever thought of becoming a politician, if you’re not one already.

    • MissM says:

      The real reason I suspect Fi is still single turned up via a link she herself posted on 20 reasons you are single. This was not written by me but fits Fi perfectly: “You’re in love with yourself. You’re wonderful and perfect. You don’t need a relationship because everything you do, say and have is so delightful there is really no void to fill. It must be great to be you.”
      There is a huge difference between loving yourself and being in love with yourself, the latter simply leaves no room for anyone else especially since no one will ever measure up to your greatness.

      • fi says:

        I’m still single because I choose to be – it would be easy to pretend I wasn’t if I wanted to. You both however are angry and bitter because you can’t accept that someone can be single by choice when you don’t have the choice, and to square the circle so to speak you choose to say I’m lying about wanting to be single, conveniently overlooking the fact that if I wanted to I could simply lie about being single, thereby removing myself from the path of your vitriol. You are like the ugly sisters in cinderella.

      • MissM says:

        Actually my whole post above was pointing out that you are single precisely because you choose to be. I am beginning to think you have a reading and comprehension problem.

        I actually try not to insult people on here, you however frequently favour us with contemptuous an derogatory remarks. I have pointed out that your posts seem to lack kindness and empathy, which is just pointing out an aspect that you could address. You prefer to stick to something personal along the lines of describing people as ugly sisters, sad sacks or bonkers. I am sorry if you can’t see that there is a difference.

        By the way I am not angry or bitter at you at all, just somewhat perplexed that you feel the need to put the rest of us down at every opportunity. Given that you seem unable to place yourself in any of our shoes for even a second I can only assume that the reason you frequent this site is to reassure yourself of your infinite superiority over us. Fair enough, if it makes you feel better go ahead, just don’t expect us to be delighted by that.

  • Jo says:

    God. This is all getting really very nasty now. Such nastiness. It’s truly awful. Horrible.
    I’m going to leave reading the blog/comments now and log off for today, because I can’t read anymore of this grim stuff.
    (I myself did say f**king lay off me, because whatever I said seemed to be being misinterpreted, leapt on and ridiculed. Seemed like I couldn’t say anything. However innocuous. But I’m sorry for the bad language.).
    I’m off for the rest of this blog today.
    See you all on another day.

  • rosie says:

    Fi, no one’s ever accused you of lying and, quite frankly, the only person who sounds angry and bitter is you; your insulting, derogatory remarks have seen to that.

    There are people on here with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, LIVES even, yet you seem to think we’re all beneath contempt because we’re – yikes – middle-aged women who are having a hard time romantically. Unheard of, someone call CNN!

    You’re single by choice, so you keep telling us, then in the next breath you say you go on dating sites. If you really are happy on your own, why on earth would you do that? Or are the entertainment choices where you live really so limited?

    A little humility and compassion goes a long way, ‘ya know. Calling people names (and from where I’m sitting someone who spends their Saturday evenings watching skanky old metal bands who were shit the first time round really isn’t in a position to be superior) makes you look the ugliest of them all.

    • fi says:

      You just seem to be unable to control yourself or moderate the vile insults that spew out like vomit whenever you open your mouth.

  • rosie says:

    Easy tiger!

    • Jo says:

      Girls. I said I wasn’t going to comment here again today. But on looking in at all this present stuff, I can’t help it.
      Please call a truce now. It so very very thoroughly unpleasant and doesn’t do you any favours at all.
      Please stop now. Please. It’s getting out of hand. Correction. It’s got out of hand.
      Enough already. Best wishes. Jo x

  • Margaux says:

    Yes, please girls- you are all so fantastic to read and it’s easy to misinterpret written words and the intention behind them sometimes. I am sure a lot of this is just unfortunate misunderstanding….

    Lets make Planktonia a safe place to escape to again
    Best wishes from me too x (* runs for cover for fear of offending*…)

    • Jo says:

      Margaux. *runs for cover for fear of offending*. Love that. Me too!
      C’mon girls. Bring it to an end. You’re all better than this. x

  • RS says:

    I’m appalled to see the direction the comments are heading on this post. I’d like to think it’s a one-off and a bad day because if this is the way things are going to be going forward I’ll stop reading.

    I love the comments here, usually. I like the different viewpoints and the debate. I like to read the different approaches and philosophies.

    I don’t like name calling, attacks, and people making derogatory remarks themselves while accusing others of doing the same.

    Discussion is a GOOD thing. If everyone here agreed and took the same view on everything, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.

    • Jo says:

      RS. I agree. I’d like to think this is a one-off and a bad day too.
      Sleep on it now girls. Put it behind you and start afresh, with goodwill tomorrow.
      Goodnight.

  • rosie says:

    Discussion – and debate – is indeed a good thing, just that some people confuse it with ramming their own (invariably myopic) opinions down the throats of anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

  • Twinkletoes says:

    Aw, come on ladies, stop it, please.

    I know some of us like to have the last word, but this going too far. And it’s providing ammunition for the mysogynists, or at least giving them a good laugh.

    *Ducks and runs to join Margaux*

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