“Shared Interests”

February 7, 2012 § 201 Comments

From yesterday’s Times:-

One of my closest friends says that she could not care two flying hoots for her husband’s three greatest passions in life after his loved ones: guitars, physics and astronomy.  Every Monday evening he drives off to band practice and on clear nights there is no prizing him from his tip-top-tastic telescope.  Shared interests?  Almost none.  Well, perhaps that’s not quite fair, but this pair are not wholly brimming with them and still they are one of the happiest couples I know.

It seems to me that there is a fundamental flaw with any dating system which is bent on matching people by their “shared interests”.  As I go a-trawling through various online dating sites, this is the phrase which haunts me most.  I don’t even know what my own interests are, really, let alone care about someone else’s (it’s their spirit which counts).  I guess mine are people; literature; history; the Arts?  Erm… that’s about it.  Sounds so arsey, quite apart from limited.  Sport is not amongst them in any shape or form.  The Olympics will pass by me as a mere dandelion on the vista of my consciousness.  I don’t care for computer games one jot, or even music, enormously.  Abseiling?  You’ve got to be joking.  I don’t even like going outside overly, let alone up.

And then I read about the interests of potential mates, and they are not promising.  Golf is one which manifestly doesn’t make the heart sing.  And a man who is into cars can’t be the man for me.  And yet, who knows?

I was once madly in love with a boyfriend who loved nothing more than to sit in a bog at dusk duck shooting.  I felt I’d rather he shot me than make me accompany him.  For another significant man of my past, cricket was the thing, but very much his not mine. I adored him.

This shared interest business is uncertain.  If we all only ever hooked up with folk with whom we shared interests, well, there wouldn’t be so many folk to be doing much hooking up, or anything else for that matter.

If you fall for someone, you do so for any number of complicated, often intangible reasons.  It is not about sitting together every evening and knitting guinea-pig clothes, or whatever happens to be your bag.  Of course, there are many a blissful couple who enjoy hiking together or who, like my dotty aunt and her husband, relish sitting by the fire and reading Keats to each other in important voices.

But these wretched shared interests which dating sites insist on matching are, surely, a red herring.  They give rise to false promise and dodgy hope.  The spirit’s the thing and, if you are a plankton, luck plays a huge part.   There is no accounting for either.

Advertisements

§ 201 Responses to “Shared Interests”

  • Chris says:

    Well, I am kinda gonna go ‘ off piste ‘ here, so as to speak. Did you see the piece about your fellow Plankton in the last edition of The Mail on Sunday. This woman joined some fairly pricey dating agency in London and the results were predictably grim. But some points really stood out for me. Apparently there is a growing army of Planktons out there. In response dating agencies are being set up with a fairly cynical business model that frankly exploits the expectations and aspirations these women have. Some even sign up guys on the street, offering free membership too boost the number of men on their books. They know perfectly well that the supply of quality men is very limited but always reassure the women they have loads of such guys available. The lady in question was introduced to one guy who she described as a nice decent bloke. But he had an anorak and rucksack whereas she had a designer handbag. He could not afford to run a car. He went on about his last Thames boating holiday, while she preferred St Tropez ( don’t know why, been there, ain’t that great, prefer Deauville myself ). So, nice hard working guy dismissed. Agency owner did comment about the lady that if they had had 1000 men on their books 999 would not have met her criteria. So, what does all this mean ? I don’t know, thought I’d chuck it in there to see how it resonates with the Plankton conundrum.

    • Jo says:

      Hi Chris. This very same article was brought up by a commentator and discussed here a couple of blogs ago.

      • Chris says:

        Well, I have no doubt you are right. But I am not a ‘ dedicated follower of fashion ‘ so I do not read all the blogs. On the other hand Jo, thanks for telling me know, will go back and read the discussion. Should be fun !!

  • Barry says:

    Nail hit firmly on the head for me Chris.

    I’ve been following this blog a while, and find it a fascinating insight into what some Women demand from some Men .

    I love Women, they give me a “raison d’etre ” the mere presence of Women enhances my Life.
    I count myself lucky to be programmed this way .
    That said , the mere presence of “Feminist, men hating Women” is my “Bete noir”
    If only people could just enjoy the company of a non threatening member of the opposite sex, it would smooth Life out considerably …in my opinion .
    The constant judgement of others …, called “The Class System ” in the UK , is the proverbial “wet tea towel” on relationships .

    • Jo says:

      Barry. Not sure how you’ve got to ‘Feminist, men hating Women’ from the above.
      Also. This blog may be a ‘fascinating insight’. But ‘what women DEMAND from men’?
      I think not.
      I think your choice of this word is illuminating.

      • Barry says:

        Hi Jo,
        Reading the Blog over the past months…”Demand” is , for me, as a non participating observer of Plankonism, a correct use.
        There seems to be always a demand for the delivery of a Man who is in possession of….select any twenty from 10000 … attributes, wether physical, mental,or fiscal . I have not read Male Plankton Blogs ….are the demands made of Women the same ?
        I have a Single Divorced Friend here, who just wants to Talk with Women , and for myself, Women are just People who interact with me , with all the complexities of every other inhabitant of this Planet

        i got to “Feminist, men hating Women” from sheer frustration !
        There are also ..”Misogynist , macho , Women hating men” and I don’t like them either !

        I am always leading with my mouth, but each to his/her own.
        A formula for Social Interaction is specific to each individual I have found , I just react strongly contre certain types .

        My train of though whilst replying to Chris , lead me into my “Righteous Brother” mode…oops!

        Hope this explains my unimportant position ?

    • RS says:

      Barry I’m very curious to hear what exactly it is you think a feminist is. Because to most women it’s someone, male or female, who believes women have the same basic rights in society as men do. No more, no less. I can assure you that I am one and I can assure you that certainly don’t hate men; well not ALL men but I could probably muster up some pretty strong dislike for certain individual ones. Any man I enter into a relationship with is one as well, whether he calls himself one or not. I don’t understand how a man can be a father of a daughter and not want her to have the same rights as his son would.

      • Barry says:

        Hi RS,
        I have always though the word “Feminist” described the ferocious, Bra Burning Amazons of my impressionable teenage Years .
        A person who has an extreme ,elevated sense of Victimisation and an elevated sense of superiority towards Males .

        A person who believes All People have the same rights , for me , is called “Normal”

        One day perhaps all people will be “Normal” …but the time is not upon us yet sadly .

      • Margaux says:

        Totally agree RS – it’s just about basic equal rights. That’s all.
        There are many things we think of as ‘normal’ today that had to fought for once and not so long ago …

      • T Lover says:

        RS,

        I am not sure what a “Feminist” is. Then again, I don’t care one jot what makes a “feminist”, don’t know anyone (thank God) who might be interested and have no suppressed urge to find out.

        In my social life I have come across one or two, maybe three, women who describe themselves as “feminists”. Every one a royal pain in the backside. Strident. Unable to see any point of view except their own. The type to avoid by a country mile, unless, of course, you are the sort of wet bloke who lets the woman wear the pants ALL the time.

        My perception (of a feminist) and the reality may be completely at odds who knows? So, having read your comment, I clicked the icon for the “Concise” which suggests an advocate of women’s rights on the grounds of sexual equality. A short definition not quite the same as yours.

        Anyway, in the context of the ethos of this Blog – I am a woman of a certain age and can’t find a bloke – I am sorry to say that if a female CV included “feminist” this is one male who would say “no thanks”.

        So, Barry and I share a common perception of the type that makes a feminist if not the dated rationale behind the movement.

    • Chris says:

      Yer know Barry, you are so right. In, say, Denmark a carpenter could live with a ballerina and no one would bat an eyelid. But in status ridden Britain…..yeah, quite!!

      • Jo says:

        What utter nonsense.

      • Barry says:

        Sorry Jo Chris is right on my account.
        I’m a 66 year old, divorced after 40 years, now happily married to a 52 Year old French National , with a 24 year old stepdaughter, and 5 Grandchildren back in the UK, oldest 17 today ….. OOH Missus ! ….but here, no one bats an eyelid we are just “Normal” for France .

      • Jo says:

        How lovely for you Barry.
        Your point is?

      • Barry says:

        In the UK was “Judged” as a social Leper and lied against , denied access to my grandchildren and even had the police raid my house on a “Tip Off” from my Son …because I wanted a divorce .

        Clear enough ?

        i’m not regarded as a criminal. paedophile or terrorist here simply because I found a Woman who Loves me …..

      • Jo says:

        Barry. That has everything to do with your ex – wife, your experience therein et al… Yours alone.
        It’s got nothing to do with the entire population of the UK.

      • T Lover says:

        Jo,

        Yes, it is to do with the entire population of the UK.

        Barry’s account of his marital history seems a touch colourful but the fact is it is the society in which we live which makes and breaks the rules a proportion of which are unfairly skewed in favour of women.

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      Barry: quote: In the UK was “Judged” as a social Leper and lied against , denied access to my grandchildren and even had the police raid my house on a “Tip Off” from my Son …because I wanted a divorce Unquote.
      No, this is not clear AT ALL. You must have done something very wrong for your son to ban you from seeing your grandchildren. There must be something you are not telling us. Anyway if your own son does not want to know you… well, that’s your son’s prerogative isn’t it. What’s that got to do with society or whatever you’re raging against.
      Reading between the lines, you have left your wife for a French woman young enough to be your daughter – I’m not surprised your son’s rather unimpressed.
      Another point. In today’s Guardian there is an article on page 30 written by a Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at Exeter University. Title: An Act of kindness. Subtitle (which says it all): There’s no systematic bias against fathers in family courts, so no need for ministers to tinker. Read the whole article for more info.

      • RS says:

        I hope that people like Barry and T Lover are not raising daughters to think they are second class citizens who must, if they are in a relationship, not expect equal rights under law and further, let someone else “wear the pants” as opposed to being an equal participant in said relationship. How sad.

      • T Lover says:

        RS

        There is no need to worry yourself neither on my behalf nor on behalf of my daughter.

        It might have escaped your notice but men and women are different. I have never subscribed to the theory that men and women are equal. I can’t have children.

        So, the women in my life were not expected to do the heavy or dirty jobs around the house. The burden was shared but along the lines that there were things I did better than them (or they couldn’t manage physically) and vice versa.

        The mother of my two children never had a full time job after her graduation and gave up work altogether after we married. I did twelve hour days, (sometimes) six days a week to make sure she was able to bring up the children. No palming them off on to paid carers for us.

        It had the added advantage that when the children entered their teens and she had more time on her hands, the wife was able to take up other interests. Like screwing one of my friends whilst I was at work.

        I would have liked to have stayed at home while she worked her trollies off but followed the traditional model, wife at home bringing up the children “properly”. It was the natural choice because I had a career. It was nice to come home to a waiting meal.

        But equality is going to mean that despite the fact she is now working, is living with yet another bloke (who is also working) she is going to take half of everything we have – including money I have inherited from my family.

        OK, I am deliberately gilding the picture a little to make a point. And I have two cracking, balanced children so you can put the “sad” sneer where the sun doesn’t shine but in terms of my attitude to women and what “equality” has done for me I am afraid to say I am a total cynic.

        When is it going to be her turn to keep me financially secure whilst I stay at home and screw my way through her friends? Of course the party line is that she has “worked” looking after the home and the children and she has given up her career. From where I am sitting that looks like a load of bull. She never had a career. Never had any interest in a career. Went riding most days. Coffee with friends. Etc. I am sure you know the drill.

        Hey ho. Just an old dinosaur, that’s me.

        But tell me this: do you think her behaviour might have been different if being caught with another bloke might have led to financial disaster for her? Do you think it is morally right that the man she is living with should have the benefit of my family money? The capital I worked my fingers to the bone to accumulate before we were even married? And do you think I will make the same mistake again?

        Pigs might fly. No-one with kids for me. Not getting married again. Sneer as much as you want because every time you do I have a reminder of the new reality of marital life – women have financial rights they sometimes don’t deserve- and I ain’t buying it again.

        And in the meantime the contributors to this blog scratch their backsides as to why there is a dearth of eligible middle aged men. Comical.

      • Jo says:

        T Lover. I suggest you project your virulent rage towards its true target. Your ex-wife and what you say she did to you.
        Don’t come on here and paint every woman with the same brush.
        Generalised or what?!! Wow..

      • T Lover says:

        Jo,

        The thread is/was feminists and women’s rights not my dear wife – I am well rid of her.

        The thing is, however, that no matter treacherous her behaviour (even if she had screwed the crew of the Ark Royal) up pop the legal platitudes “inevitably fault on both sides”, equal rights, starting point half your dosh. No financial incentive any more to rein in marital misbehaviour on either side.

        My conclusion (meant in both common senses of the word) is once bitten twice shy. Why risk another relationship at my time of life when there is no need to take the chance? Is that not along the theme of this blog? Hard for the single woman to find a feller?

        I am not sure what you mean when you suggest all women are not tarred with the same brush. I agree. The next one could be worse.

        And the horrifying thing is: you never find out until it is too late.

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        You and your 12 hour days to make sure she did not lack for anything T Lover… she must have been miserable with a husband who totally neglected her like you did, except to boast to his friends that he’s making enough money for the wife not to have to work.
        Has it not crossed your mind that having children ruined her chances of making herself financially independent?

      • T Lover says:

        ToneDeaf,

        Yes, it had occurred to me that she was neglected. You are quite right to make the observation.

        I, for reasons of privacy, don’t want to identify myself and so it is difficult to parade the detail on a public blog.

        The boasting to friends about income allegation is complete tosh – a figment of your imagination.

        The holding back her career argument is also nonsense. When the youngest was fourteen the wife took a part time job. She was offered a paid for graduate training course which, had she taken it and started full time work would have resulted in a starting salary of SEVEN times her then part time pay. She felt it would be too stressful. Apparently stress is something I have to put up with but not her.

        So your logic is this: I work to provide a decent family home and enable her to devote her time to the children. But my hours are too long, she feels neglected therefore she has the right to screw my mate and blow our family apart? Is that a fair summary? How do you think I felt when I discovered what was going on? Our children when we split?

        So what do you say to those women who are married, as an example, to servicemen? Oh he’s neglecting you again? Fair game to screw his friends in your home whilst he is away?

        I am afraid we are not going to agree. And you have not answered my questions. Has “women’s rights” (we never hear about women’s obligations do we?) affected the rate of marriage breakdown? The reduction in the popularity of marriage? One of the reasons you lot find it difficult to find a bloke and why you are on the market in the first place?

      • Jo says:

        T Lover.
        You are a BORE of the first order.
        ToneDeafSinger was NOT putting forward the ‘logic’ you atrribute to her comment. Nor drawing a parallel with servicemen’s wives!
        You misguidedly manipulate her actual words, to suit your own ends. BORING.
        * I standby for the inevitable, misguided onslaught.*

      • Chris says:

        The woman is not young enough to be Barrys daughter…….unless he became a father at 14 !!!! Just a pedantic I know, but it had to be made !!!

      • T Lover says:

        Cheers Chris,

        This coven would have Barry burn in hell because there is an age gap between him and his new wife.

        The point Barry was making was that in his new home in France the age difference was not an issue – he was not regarded as a paedophile because he married a younger woman.

        These lovely women, Jo and ToneDead, then turned on him inventing “facts” about his former marriage to put him down.

        Horrible. Victimised by lies. Isn’t that exactly the point Barry was making about his experience in the UK?

  • just another male says:

    So true, the love of my life and I have very few if any interests in common but we do like the same things ( there’s a big difference ) and most importantly we have the same sense of humour.

    After previous comments about when to have sex is concerned, the bad news is our initial attraction was very much sexual and I think we “did it” on about the second or third time we met. The reason I’m unsure is that it was 40 years ago. In that time its been very boring. You try going to a party and finding time after bloody time the one you fancy most is your partner.

    So perhaps the answer with internet dating is to swap jokes first and if you laugh at the same things go commando when you meet up !

    • Jane says:

      You sound lovely and I totally agree with you, all the people I hold most dear in my life, be they friends or lovers, are people that I can laugh with. I have seen some gorgeous men on dating sites (and in real life come to that) who seem to have been somewhere else when the person dishing out the sense of humour came down the queue, they just have no interest for me whatsoever. A SOH shows so much about a person, especially if they can laugh at themselves as well. It shows they are not going to take themselves too seriously, that they have the brain power to think of funny stuff, that they care enough about making an impression on you to bother thinking of something funny to say, that they can say ‘hey it’s ok, I know it’s all gone horribly wrong, but we can still get through this and come out of the other side and live to fight another day and still care about each other’ well that’s what I feel anyway

  • AnonW says:

    I don’t think shared interests are that important, but I’ve never have a relationship with a woman, who had very incompatable interests to mine. For a start, I’m an Ipswich supporter, so any lady, who supported Norwich can forget it. I’m also a militant anti-smoker and also feel that the best gardening tool is a cement mixer.

  • Indeed, I think interests are actually less important than ‘what sort of a person are you?’. Totally different approach.

    Mind you, I can see that both having an appreciation for similar music or action holidays would help create an initial interest.

    But then again you can always develop an interest if it’s of mutual benefit, like motorbiking. I’ve developed a love of being a motorbike passenger since I met my man and we go away together on his bike.

  • MissM says:

    Absolutely love today’s topic and agree with you all the way Plankton. I can’t see why on earth I would want a carbon copy of myself, and anyway, as someone once told me, if two people are the same one of them is redundant. I’d rather someone who has the right spirit as you mentioned, something which is perhaps more vague and falls under Sarah Hague’s question of ‘what sort of person are you’. What is most important to me is whether I can have conversation with them, be able to I laugh with them and find them sexy enough to want to go to bed with them. The rest is of no relevance to me.

  • Plankton-o-phile says:

    Dating, of all varieties is an art not a science, discuss?

    Sample Scientists answer – Mathematically there are lots of theoretical partners available, you have to find and connect with a subset. One is enough. Any method that brings you nearer to the one is good, by definition all the others are redundant. The cost of sifting the wheat from the chaff is directly proportional to the likelihood of success. Better to sift in a barn where the quality of the crop is equivalent to your tastes.

    Sample Artists answer – I know beauty when I see (and touch) it.

    Keep all options open at all times, until ………

  • Jo says:

    P. Keep your hair on!
    These interests are simply there as a little pointer about someone. Just to give a bit of an idea about some of the things that interest them. It’s not written in stone that they must match yours. Or that you must share them. Same as if you met someone through friends, or by some other means. It’s not crucially important. As the friends you mention can testify.
    Compatability is. But that’s quite a different thing.
    Btw. Colin Firth likes golf. And cars. You wouldn’t give him the boot if he was single and wanted to meet you. Would you?…
    Ok. Hypothetical. But you get my drift.

  • Patricia says:

    After meeting a man I once met online, one towards whom I felt no attraction after the first date: “But why not? I tick all the boxes don’t I ?”

    • Jo says:

      Patricia. That could happen even if your friends tried to matchmake you with someone at a dinner party. Despite feeling that you ‘ticked several boxes’ for each other.
      Oh come on guys. Stop being so heavy – handed about this!
      It’s only giving you a few pointers. That’s all. If you do have any contact, before meeting, (if it happens, if you want to etc), then you can find out a whole lot more than that.
      No. I’m not holding up the internet as some sort of guaranteed nirvana.
      Simply saying that applying such bashing to a few details as someone’s interests is baffling. And silly.
      *Retreats behind rock for the inevitable lashing*

      • Jane says:

        Agreed!

      • fi says:

        Jo just give up. There really is no point trying to say something that you think might be helpful to people who just don’t want to hear it. If they did they’d have heard you the first time, or even the second – you’ll just get more and more frustrated at the wilful misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what you say. Some of us like new ideas and approaches, others like to stick with what they know, even if it hasn’t worked. It isn’t what you say or how you say it – its their mindset. You can take a horse to water etc etc

      • fi says:

        Jo – I meant just give up on suggesting internet dating.

      • The Plankton says:

        No lashing from me, Jo! x

      • Jo says:

        Thanks P! x

      • Jo says:

        Hi Fi. I think you’re right. Sometimes the words can be open to baffling misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Such that I have sometimes felt that I must be writing in swahili.
        I’ve never been a trumpeter for the internet per se. No cheerleading here. All too aware of the realities for that.
        I’ve just been against any blanket, damning, unfair, generalised condemnation.
        As I would be for any subject.
        But I take your point.

  • AnonW says:

    You can alays use the car analogy. The car might tick all the boxes in the showroom, but when you get it home, it has something that you really hate.

  • Patricia says:

    Yes, you’re right Jo – I agree!

  • Margaux says:

    Lots to ponder here today. I’ve always thought of profile ‘interests’ as not so much a checklist but a starting point for conversation

    Sure – if someone says in their profile they like to spend every spare minute climbing the Himalayas when the very thought sounds exhausting then maybe it’s a non starter. But we all do that in real life too

    One for the experienced daters ( apologies if this has already been discussed)
    Doesn’t it all start with the photo anyway for both sexes? We like the look of someone – and then we read the profile?
    …and after that,what is written ( and how it’s written) can make or break our interest …?
    ( again, just like in real life if you spot someone you fancy)

    One thing that always strikes me – when I look back at some of the men I have been involved with – if I had found them on a dating site would I have picked them ( or they me?) – I have to conclude not neccessarily

    So many imponderables ! *sips tea and sighs* …

    • Jo says:

      Sometimes there’s no photo. I agree one’s first thought thereafter is probably a mite (!) suspicious. But occasionally there’s no photo but a really rather intriguing, intelligent profile. No photo, sometimes for reasons of privacy from colleagues, family etc. (There are often ones with no photo, followed by a heap of crap. Of course.).No photo? Ask for one. If you want to. If it then puts you off? That’s the reality of life isn’t? Same as if you met the person your friends had chosen for you. Only for your heart to sink at first sight. We can’t legislate for these things. It’s all too human nature.
      My own lovely beau contacted me. He’d posted no photo because he’s somewhat recognisable in his field. (Art).
      I realIy liked the profile he’d written. I admit that the suspicion that he may look like Quasimodo’s brother fluttered through my mind, but I enquired as to the reason for its absence and asked if I could see one. He sent a couple. Ooh..
      Ok. The potential for embarrassment after receiving a photo and having to gently let someone down is there. But that’s the risk. It’s also the risk you take by not trying to have a decent (not posey) photo. Simple. ‘Natural’. (I don’t mean with no slap on. C’monnn..). I cannot BELIEVE some of the photos people put up there! Would make a great book in itself. Bloody frightful some of them. What are they THINKING?!!
      Anyway. I digress.
      The profile alone can sometimes draw you in. But you’re still gonna want that photo!

      • Jo says:

        Sorry. Left for work at 5am this morning. Making silly mistakes.
        Should have been ‘….reality of life. Isn’t it’?

      • Margaux says:

        Thanks Jo. I can never believe some of the photos either! Not, looks necessarily, just plain bad photos!

      • Jo says:

        Exactly. Margaux. Yes, not the looks. (When you can see them. Sometimes it’s hard to tell..).
        Beggars belief sometimes. Ah well.

  • Jamie says:

    I agree – interests are there as a starting point for conversation and little else. As it happens my current lover and I share only a few interests and have diametrically opposite tastes in music. She had not even put her photo up on the profile. But I liked what she had to say and we just clicked within a few emails – identical SOH, very similar family background and childhood location. Everything flowed from there. So never give up, just as she didn’t!

  • rosie says:

    Jamie, it’s interesting that you say ‘she’ didn’t give up. Does that mean your girlfriend had to kiss a lot of frogs first and you got off scott free?!

    • Jamie says:

      Not being superior – the fact is that she has been divorced for many years and has had a series of short relationships since, whereas I have only just come out of a long term marriage.

  • Josephine says:

    Just loved your post today plankton, shared interests is what we are all been bombarded with, actually like you the happiest couple I know are my sister & her husband, been together 20 yrs now, not even from the same contenient, no interests in common, it just works, also I have other friends the same thing would apply to, also I think with the internet people are inclined to lie about their hobbies to make them that bit more interesting, also I read recentely that if 2 people are very much alike one
    becomes redundant, its only my experience, but I believe if the chemestry is right, everything else falls into place

  • sophs says:

    I haven’t been too enamoured with internet dating for some of the reasons discussed here. However, some of the dates I have had with people I have met out and about whilst involved in various interests have been even more horrific then those from online dating! The last man who asked me out abandoned me half way through our date (some old school friends were in the same pub and whilst I suggested he should go and say hello I thought he would come back – 30mins later I was still waiting and ended up scuttling off into the night). The one before that pursued me but did a total dissapearing act after four dates with no explanation as to what had changed. These were both people who I met through shared interests and where there seemed to be the initial spark which it’s hard to dectect online…I’m trying ever so hard not to become bitter but it’s so dispiriting to meet seemingly nice people whilst purusing one’s interests and passions but to be treated in the same sort of insensitive way which is considered to be the hazzard of online dating…

  • Omega_Dork says:

    Shared interests aren’t necessary, but you’d better agree on politics, money habits, religion, messy/clean, plus personality or spirit as you call it.

  • MissBates says:

    Shared interests: It would be ideal to have one or two that overlap, so that you could both enjoy attending the XYZ concert together, or vacationing together in the ABC destination, but other than that I think it’s great — perhaps even best — to maintain separate interests. (You don’t want each other underfoot constantly, after all . . . ) Sexual spark & compatibility, broadly similar life outlooks, attitudes about money, etc. are all more important than whether you both are adherents of the Alexander Technique or members of the James Joyce Society or the Jigsaw Puzzle Fanciers Association or whatever.

  • Patricia says:

    Jo v Barry. Thanks for saying my thoughts exactly Jo!

  • Jo says:

    My pleasure Patricia!
    Thank you.

  • EmGee says:

    I think Just Another Male nailed it with: “very few interests in common but we do like the same things”. Another thought, and opinion, provoking post, P. Thanks!

  • Margaux says:

    Not quite following your point, Barry. Your marriage broke down. You fell in love wirth someone else, divorced and remarried.Your son took exception. A story that’s happened time and again ( on either side)
    Why are you considered a criminal, paedophile or terrorist? And where does feminism/ & class fit in with your story?

    Sorry if I am being a bit dense but I am having trouble following the debate.

    T Lover – it seems to me that your definition and RS’s of feminism are pretty much the same . Not sure what the objection is there either.

    *scratches head and puzzles*

    • T Lover says:

      Margaux,

      I don’t have a definition of feminism. I took “mine” from the “Concise”.

      My principal point was that from the (thankfully limited) experience I have of women self badged “feminist” they were the sort you would keep at the end of a sharp stick. No understanding of give and take. Only one point of view – theirs.

      I cannot see why that is such a difficult (personal) viewpoint to follow. Scratch away if you will but it seems very simple to me. The few I have come across were emotional idiots.

      The other point was equally simple: our society in the UK is now skewed in favour of women.

      Barry mentions children/grandchildren. The system here is laboriously slow and inept a fact which the parent with control (normally the woman) can use to jangle the feelings of the dispossessed male.

      But what would I know? I’m just a bloke.

      • Joules says:

        Guys, my dad – who unfortunately is no longer with us, died after being taken by a cow at 78 a couple of years ago – referred to himself as a feminist and in fact was the person who brought Germaine Greer’s and several other feminist books home for his daughters from the library – remember reading the Cinderella Complex after one of his trips to the library. He also bought us “Question Authority” t-shirts when we were in our teens. Not what one might expect from a Republican-voting farmer and rancher in the mid-west of America.

        You need to get with the program – looking like dinosaurs.

      • Margaux says:

        T – Lover
        The definition you offered from the Concise was ‘women’s rights on the grounds of sexual equality’ which,to me anyway, is in keeping with the definition offered by RS. I didn’t understand why you thought it wasn’t quite the same – that’s all.
        I cannot dispute whether the perceived ‘feminists’ you have encountered were ’emotional idiots’ or not. If that leads you to assume that all women wanting the same rights as you are like that – that is your perogative.

        Here’s what it means to me – for what it’s worth. If you and I do the same job we should be entitled to the same pay. If you are allowed to sit on a jury and judge our fellow human beings so should I be.
        If you want to buy a house or land – let me have the same privilege. If you want to become an MP ( or Prime Minister !) so should I be allowed to . If you want to go to university – so should I have the same opportunity.
        All these things we take as normal these days but it wasn’t so long ago that they weren’t. If the ‘feminists’ who fought for those rights are a pain in the arse to you -I’m afraid they aren’t to me. I am very grateful.

        Barry stated that he felt that he was considered a criminal, terrorist and paedophile. I still don’t see how that fits with ‘society being skewed in favour of women’. Yes he ‘mentions grandchildren and in the same sentence he says that his son tipped off the police to raid his house ..because he wanted a divorce….
        Could it be that his son that is the father of his grandchildren?

        But what would I know. I am just a woman …

      • T Lover says:

        This is a repeat. My perception of the two/three declared “feminists” I have met in the flesh was that they would not make easy bedfellows in a relationship and without wanting to put words into Barry’s mouth I think his perception was mine.

        Equal rights for the sexes and my personal view of those who take every opportunity to ram the philosophy down your throat are separate issues .

        So too the “Manosphere”. I have about as much in common with that bunch as I do with the cat. The Manosphere – what a pathetic name – is a reaction to strident feminism.

        I struggle to understand why marriage is becoming unfashionable and why the divorce rate is accelerating. Why I have two broken marriages. My family is in bits. My parents would have been horrified. I would be interested to know your view of the effect “equal rights” have had on marriage.

        Looking for reasons why finding a man is difficult? I will have to swallow hard before starting a new long term relationship. I am not risking a third financial meltdown. “Equal rights” have made divorce financially dangerous for a bloke who comes to a marriage with a few bob – the current policy of the divorce courts is a direct result of the equality legislation.

        Men and women are different are they not? What is wrong with a women and children first philosophy? Nice people know what is right and wrong and resent having feminism rammed down their throats.

        Dinosaur? Me? Absolutely.

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        Tosh. The courts are very strict that children’s interests come first.

      • RS says:

        You’ve met the wrong sort of “feminists” then (I would argue they aren’t really such as the argument we are having about the definition has nothing to do with your experience with them) and you need to get out more. But how sweet of you to tar us all with the same brush.

        Why are you unwilling to adjust your “personal” definition and experience with so-called feminists to a more modern and sensible one? Because you love to have that label to fling around, so that the object of your ire has a tidy title.

        Why not simply say that some women – nay, some people in YOUR experience – have received, in your opinion, undue benefit by dint of their sex? Leave the label, which is being unfairly maligned, out of it.

        Dinosaurs became extint because they couldn’t adapt.

      • T Lover says:

        ToneDeaf,

        Tosh is it?

        The interests of the child are paramount. Agreed.

        My point is that the court system at Magistrates level in particular is overburdened, slow and inept.

        So a parent with control can play the system, slow it down and wind up the parent/grandparent.

        Just as Barry suggests.

      • T Lover says:

        ToneDeaf,

        Apropos what you describe as my tosh and (whilst holding my forelock in deference to your expertise in the subject) and to reinforce Barry’s complaint about his grandchildren I heard on the radio this morning that in Australia there is a statutory obligation on both parents to ensure that the other has a meaningful relationship with the children.

        That might, with a bit of luck, redress the imbalance in favour of the parent with control (custody) who, overwhelmingly, in the UK is likely to be the mother a significant proportion of whom make the father’s life a misery by being awkward about when and where he will see his children and then using the delays in the overburdened court system to their advantage.

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      Margaux, Barry is not being totally honest. He left his wife for a woman young enough to be his daughter, thereby rather annoying his son whose sense of decency presumably comes from his mother.
      This much is obvious if you read all his posts.

      • T Lover says:

        ToneDeaf,

        Now now.

        I have been a victim of one of your posts in which you have used a rather too fertile imagination.

        Can I suggest a name change? Mystic meg? Brother Grim?

      • T Lover says:

        ToneDeaf,

        Sorry, my mistake, I now see you are a Grauniad reader. I should have suggested Sister Grim.

        RS

        I am struggling to get my head round the concept of the wrong sort of feminist. What a ghastly thought.

        When did I tar all women with the same brush? Female logic runs along these lines: he doesnot want another full time/live in/married relationship because of the experience with his second wife therefore he is putting us all in the same box.

        Wrong. As a consequence of my experience of marriage and its financially unfair consequences I don’t want to RISK another even if unbeknown to me a true angel is waiting to take me to marital heaven.

        Instead of working yourself into a lather about the label or categorising types of feminist why don’t you answer my questions?

        Jo,

        the sort of women I really cannot bear is the type that has an awful lot to say,never stops to engage brain and never thinks anyone else has a point of view.

      • Jo says:

        T Lover.
        My god. You are an idiot.
        * I await the – inevitable – unintelligent, embittered backlash. Go ahead. You’re boringly predictable. I could even write it for you. Yawn….*

      • T Lover says:

        Jo,

        Thank you. Your offensive reply proves my point.

      • AnonW says:

        I wouldn’t leave a woman for someone young enough to be my daughter, as I don’t have a daughter. But I do have two sons in their early forties and I wonder what they’d say if I hitched up with an attractive woman just a bit younger than them. I think they’d have to grin and bare it. But then I probably won’t, as that woman would never have lived through the sixties, which define so many of my personal feelings.

        i know the latter, as I went to the theatre to see Backbeat on Tuesday. It brought back so many good memories of London and Liverpool in the sixties, like seeing the Beatles at the hammersmith Odeon, Clapton at The Manor house and the Who, Manfred Mann and The Move in the Mountford Hall.

        Those still are the days!

      • Jo says:

        T Lover. ‘My offensive reply’? ‘Proves your point does it’?
        Poor, oversensitive, embittered soul..
        I stand by every word.

      • Jo says:

        Btw T Lover.
        It is really very interesting that your description of ‘the sort of women you really cannot bear’ is a perfect description of yourself. Perfect.

      • T Lover says:

        AnonW,

        A breath of fresh air. A reasoned, good humoured response from a bloke.

        The biggest age difference between a man/woman couple within my own personal experience 29 years. I know of one or two more differences of 20 plus years including one instance where the man is older than his father in law – a fact that leads to endless leg pulling – and another in which a bloke (widower) has married his neice.

        Then again I know another couple in which the woman is 11 years older than the bloke – statistically the older woman/younger man marriage is becoming more common.

        Don’t you take every situation as it comes?

        But then there comes a point where the husband becomes noticeably old and suddenly the gap is obvious.

        n my case – I mean at my age – intelligence, humour and loyalty start to become more important than a woman’s age or appearance – don’t you think?

      • Margaux says:

        I know TDS 😉 I was just trying to connect up all the dots that seemed to be wandering around all over the place 🙂

  • EmGee says:

    I guess I am officially ‘coupled’; yesterday the ex bf who has been staying with me referred to me as his girlfriend in conversation between us, although it didn’t change things between us one jot. His plans haven’t changed, he still wants to find his own place, but I think it’s still a good idea too.

  • Margaux says:

    Congrats EmGee ! If you are happy with the situation, that’s brilliant ! Pleased for you x

    • EmGee says:

      Thanks Margaux ❤

      Coupled, as in 'coupled up', not coupled in the carnal sense, Ms P. Although I have hope for that too, one day again.

      Living with me was a temporary solution to finding himself unexpectedly homeless just before Xmas, he has plans to get his own place as soon as he can, and do some traveling. He's just been waiting for the wherewithal to arrive, and that should happen any day now. He promises not to go away forever, and he will be keeping his shop tools and materials here.

      I'm happy with the situation at the moment, we'll see how things work out.

      • MissM says:

        I do love a bit of good news EmGee, and glad to hear you are happy at this point in time. Any incremental increase in closeness sounds like a good thing to me, perhaps he just has to do things at his own pace and without pressure. Best wishes from me that your happiness continues.

  • thirtysomething says:

    That is interesting, EmGee. Amongst my circle of friends, we would not consider anyone/ourselves ‘coupled up’ unless it had been in the carnal sense. Otherwise you are just friends. The only difference between a boyfriend and a male friend is that one you are sleeping with, and the other, you are not. Not saying you’re wrong, EmGee – just an interesting point of view. (Then again my friends are in their 20s and 30s – don’t know if that makes the difference.)

    • EmGee says:

      Yes I know what you mean thirysomething, hence my hesitation, but then again, by your definition, if a couple is not a couple if they aren’t having sex, then there are quite a few ‘uncoupled’ couples out there I would imagine.

      Perhaps my situation is neither fish nor fowl.

      We eat together, sleep together, hold each other, hug and kiss, basically everything people in a relationship do ‘but’ have sex, since he moved back in. He just isn’t comfortable with that yet. Shortly before we broke up about a year ago (and we did have sex before that), he had uncovered a repressed memory of being molested as a child and he began to back off sexually then, which may explain his reluctance now. It may also be any number or combination of other factors, including he’s ‘just not that into me’.

      However, he’s kind, treats me well, helps around the house, cleans up after himself, takes good care of himself, doesn’t snore ;-), likes conversation…, in short, I really enjoy his company. I think people have different levels of sexual desire, just like anything else that drives us, so maybe neither of us hold that particular aspect of a relationship in such high regard.

      I’ve read a book by Dr David Schnarch, who posits that in every relationship one partner will have lower desire than the other, and it isn’t necessarily the woman (the same holds true in gay/lesbian relationships). And the low desire partner generally controls the direction the relationship goes. For some people with high desire this is a big deal, but for me, it isn’t.

      • MissM says:

        Lovely post EmGee, it illustrates that there is more to being a couple than just sex. Really it should be down to the two people in a relationship to define how they want it to be, not the expectations of society. I figure if someone’s company makes you happy, as your man’s does, and he is happy in your company, then you are a winner and I would love to be in your shoes.

        Sex is not the be all and end all of a relationship for everyone. Some couples may no longer be able to have sex as a result of a medical condition, yet they manage to carry on as a couple because they value all the other aspects of the relationship. Personally if I had to choose between a sexless but otherwise loving, affectionate, companionable and supportive relationship, and one where someone would only come in and ‘service’ me on a regular basis, I’d go for the sexless but loving relationship every time. But to each their own, others may find the use of sex workers is enough to obliterate their need for any other relationship.

        Also the world is full of people who have been hurt, damaged or with issues of some sort, and if we want to avoid all of those there will not be many people left to choose from. I think it is lovely if we can adjust ourselves a little in order to accommodate issues others may have. It sounds like you are prepared to be patient and undemanding around a man who has had a traumatic incident in his past and this may be exactly what he needs. I wish all the happiness in the world for both of you.

      • Lydia says:

        Lots of couples don’t have sex (it’s why tons of men stray of course but that’s a different topic). Some are perfectly happy with that.

        I would have thought though that this kind of thing

        “Living with me was a temporary solution to finding himself unexpectedly homeless just before Xmas, he has plans to get his own place as soon as he can, and do some traveling. He’s just been waiting for the wherewithal to arrive, and that should happen any day now. He promises not to go away forever, and he will be keeping his shop tools and materials here.”

        Would make a good few people feel a bit used – he’s there as long as it suits him, presumably doesn’t pay rent, there is no sex and he will be off as quickly as he can manage it. Not everyone’s cup of tea perhaps in a live in partner.

      • MissM says:

        Wow Lydia, someone tells us of some happiness in their life and you feel the need to rain on the parade. Nice one. Since none of us know the motivations of any of the people involved we might as well look at it from a positive angle instead of a negative one.

      • EmGee says:

        Thank you MissM! Very nice response.

        I think Lydia has a point in her own way though. I opened my home to him, he didn’t force his way in, and if he decides to leave for good, I may be hurt, but I would have to accept it. I just enjoy our time together. Some people would feel used, if their generosity wasn’t reciprocated and their expectations met. That is ‘scorekeeping’ in my book, and it isn’t fair to hold someone hostage like that.

        I think this situation also goes back to having shared, and non shared, interests. While I will miss him when he’s not around, whether it’s permanent or temporary, I have so many other things to do and friends to be with, that it is my own fault if I choose to stay home and mope. In fact, even having him around doesn’t stop me from doing things with others without him. I see too many people who drop their friends and social activities when romance enters the picture, and they then become entirely to dependent on one person.

        That leads to clinginess, neediness, smothering; all those things so many men say they fear in a relationship! And it works both ways; I have a girlfriend whose husband tries to invite himself to our lunch dates sometimes. I could not care less whether he comes or not, and I think it is charming in it’s own way, but it infuriates her. She feels that he is keeping tabs on her,and stealing her free time, which she has so little of.

        Relationships, it is a complicated business!!!!

      • MissM says:

        I really like your attitude of being generous without ‘scorekeeping’ EmGee. In fact generosity may be define as is simply giving freely without expecting anything in return, and there could be more of it in the world. Too often people do things only with the view of what they might get in return. What a horrid world it would be if everyone worked on the basis of doing something only if it were some sort of investment that provided them with a return.

        Just look at the next day’s post how a smile and a flirtatious comment can make someone’s day. Sure it cost nothing to give, but it was still done freely with no expectations, and it gave so much joy. How much nicer the world would be if there were more of that.

        Yes, you can feel used if you do things on the basis of getting some sort of suitable ‘return’. People easily build up bitterness and resentment when their hidden expectations are not met. If you don’t have expectations however, then they can never become ‘unmet’ ones. No one can control the responses of another person, but you can control your own expectations, and a person doesn’t feel used if what they gave was given freely and without the thought of a return.

        You sound like you have your eyes wide open EmGee, and have that rather nebulous thing known as ‘generosity of spirit’. I am pleased you are enjoying some happiness while it is there.

      • EmGee says:

        Thanks again, MissM. 🙂
        “An expectation is a resentment waiting to happen.” Yes?

      • MissM says:

        Oh very true, I must remember that one, it is so beautifully concise.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    To whoever’s interested: there is an article in today’s Guardian G2 section on online dating. “Love in the Digital Age” by Stuart Jeffries. It is based on a recently published book by a French academic entitled “Love online”.

  • June says:

    Yes i always think this shared interest thing a bit of a red herring, im posting late tonight as ive been to see madame butterfly with a friend who is in a very happy relationship , but her partner doesent like opera so she goes with me, nice for me. The happiest couples i know are not joined at hip but like different things, but still do some things together, a happy medium surely.. What is important are shared values, and for me a confirmed city dweller, i just wouldnt hit it off with someone who lived in country and liked blood sports.

    Had a look at My special friend, emailed them to ask what hope of them helping a woman over 60, they were very helpful actually and stated they had all ages, but mostly directed towards 25/45 age group( better get in fast P) and suggested i might have problem if i stick to my home city. Very honest and although it does make me think possibly wouldnt be worth my while, which is disappointing as i did like their attitude, it was a great improvement on most which just want your money. They did suggest i could look for free, which i have done and as they say not too many in my city and again the age barrier rears its ugly head. I did not;;like the sites for older people, i looked at, they seemed very world wide based, and very similar to the others i dont like, There seems no hope for us over 60 females til men get away from this attitude that every woman over 60 is some mad, ugly, demented, frumpish old bat, who they cannot possibly have in their life.
    ,

    • fi says:

      June – the world is what it is. What are your next steps?

      • June says:

        To be honest Fi i have absolutely no idea. My special friend looks a good site, i was impressed with the personal reply they sent. But as you say the world is what it is,i cant change mens attitudes. I will keep on it as a free member for a time, to see the lie of the land. But there is no point at all in me looking for men miles away from where i live, i have no interest in a long distance relationship.

    • RS says:

      June why would you not consider widening your catchment area? You say that the city where you live is an anomaly and that activities and suitable men to meet them at are few and far between. So why not consider looking a bit further afield? The odd bit of travel to do something with a person one enjoyed spending time with could be fun. And you can also communicate via FB, or online chat, facetime, phone, etc etc. Meet the person halfway on the weekends, or visit each other’s cities/towns. I’ve had a couple of VERY long distance relationships and while they aren’t easy, I’ve enjoyed them, and I would’ve been thrilled to have been within a couple of hours’ travel time.

      • June says:

        To be honest RS i really do not want a long distance relationship, it might suit some people it wouldnt me. I dont drive and with the not great and expensive public transport system we have in the uk i dont want to get involved in constant travelling.

        Personally i spend far too much time on facebook and online now,i actually want someone in my life fairly local i can meet and go out with, socialize with friends etc. Also i live in a one bedroomed apartment, pleasant and fairly roomy for one but not big enough for two, to spend a weekend in. If the relationship became more serious you would then have to think about uprooting yourself and i have no desire to do that, i only moved to this city two years ago, after working here for years and commuting, i am very fond of it, i feel at home in a way i never did in the small town i was born in,i have good friends here, id never move, certainly not for a man.

  • Lydia says:

    I had a boyfriend who spoke very highly of women his age. In fact two have said so. They both said plenty of women in their 50s and 60s are great, fun, sexy, pretty, well dressed. They did both talk about those who were good looking and not fat and dressed well and liked sex. I think that is the key thing for some men as well as someone they can talk to and that is the case at any age. The over weight ones who don’t dress well who are 30 aren’t going to find things easy either.

    • June says:

      Well Lydia i am slim, well dressed and not bad looking. About the sex i really dont know as it so long since i had a relationship i cant say, but i am on HRT so guess things there must be working ok.

      Perhaps as you so well informed you would like to tell me why i have such ;little sucess. if men prefer older women . I have a plankton friend of same age she is neither fat, badly dressed or ugly and she has same problem. Maybe we just live in wrong place.

  • rosie says:

    TDS, I was going to post the Guardian article but after reading it – and managing to get to the end without falling asleep, even though I like Stuart Jeffries’ stuff – decided it was just a long-winded way of saying internet dating is a bit crap, and I think most of us know that by now!

    Re shared interests, I have come to the conclusion after last night’s entertainment – courtesy of a free ticket from a friend – that any future love interest must absolutely NOT be into opera in any major way, and if he is then he must leave me out of it or go and watch it by himself or with his opera group or whatever. Not because I’m a philistine (well I am sometimes), I can do culture with the best of them, just that I can’t understand why listening to someone warbling away for three (THREE!) hours would be anyone’s idea of a good time. I’ve seen a few of the grand, lush productions, including Madame Butterfly, and enjoyed them, and Pavarotti in Hyde Park was fantastic even though it was pissing it down, but otherwise you can count me out. This one had what you might call ‘stark’ production values and could only appeal, as far as I can see anyway, to someone with a real passion for the subject unlike, say, cinema, when it has to be unbearably bad before you want to walk out, as opposed to just not your thing. The highlight of the evening was the large glass of red in the interval. Never again.

    Anyway, the new love interest is a figment of my imagination so all that’s academic anyway.

    • Jo says:

      Rosie. ‘The highlight of the evening was the large glass of red in the interval’.
      Oh that made me giggle so! Thank you.

  • Jo says:

    T Lover.
    You may have started writing about feminism/women’s rights, but you quickly moved on to a virulent rant about your ex- wife and your experiences with her behaviour.
    Indeed you devoted 7 paragraphs to that and 3 to the first part of your topic.
    But carry on with this argument, if you please.
    I’m done with it.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    T Lover should be left to ponder why has has two broken marriages behind him 😛

    • Jo says:

      TDF. Quite!
      I was going to write the very same.
      He and Barry always make themselves out to be the ‘victims’. In either sex, this is so unattractive and weak. It assumes no personal responsibility for any part of the equation. Simply perpetuates a ‘poor me’ attitude. Hard done by, by these women and ‘the entire population of the UK’!!! Yes really! See my comments to them and the accompanying responses earlier.
      One can NEVER apportion blame to one individual or to others alone. NEVER. There may be valid reasons for feeling hurt and unfairly treated. Of course. Without a doubt. No -one imagines that one brings ill – treatment on oneself. Or deserves to be treated badly. Absolutely not. But when we look at our overall experiences, we need to ask ourselves some very tough, searching questions. Difficult. But necessary.
      Two failed marriages T Lover?
      A son who tipped off the police about you, Barry?
      And all the other stuff?
      I don’t wish pain on anybody. But poor, innocent, blameless, diddums, victims?
      At the mercy of wild, banshee, ‘feminist’ women who ‘done you ill’? Poor things.
      With the whole of society putting the boot in too for good measure?
      No personal responsibility to be seen anywhere. Anywhere.
      Ludicrous. And spineless.

      • RS says:

        Brilliance, Jo.

      • T Lover says:

        Jo,

        darling, you and your pal RS know the square root of bugger all about my marriage, Barry’s marriage or, on the face of much you say any other subject to do with male/female relationships.

        Why do you feel you can be so personally insulting?

  • Jo says:

    Should be TDS! Sorry.

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      T Lover… Hark who’s talking about being insulting. It is fortunate that you will not damage any more women – you have stated you do not wish to enter into any more relationships, Thank Goodness For That.

  • Jo says:

    Thank you RS.

  • Jo says:

    T Lover.
    First of all, don’t ‘darling’ me. It’s nauseating, coming from you. Ugh.
    Secondly. You have both given extensive details about your past – marital – relationships. Chapter and verse. Packed with venom therein.
    Re- read. It’ll be illuminating.

  • Twinkletoes says:

    I don’t know how to post this to get it in the right place, so putting it here at the end.

    AnonW said “I think they’d have to grin and bare it.”

    I hope not, AnonW, they could get arrested for that. 🙂

    As I’ve said before, not being pedantic or critical, just trying to lighten the atmosphere…

  • Jo says:

    I was going to ask the very same question about ‘insertions’. (As t’were..).
    If it doesn’t say ‘reply’ under a comment, how do you post it in the right place and not at the end?

    • EmGee says:

      @ Twinletoes: 🙂

      If there isn’t a “Reply” option directly below a comment, go up to the comment that person has replied to and hit that one. It is pretty obvious when there are just a few comments, but it does seem awkward if there are a lot. Regardless, your reply will post at the bottom of the others.

      If I am directing a reply to a certain person, I also beging the post with @, like I did here.

      • TwinkleToes says:

        Thank you EmGee, will remember that for the future. Though I’m sure there have been instances where that didn’t work for others, but I’ll try it another time and see what happens.

        Jo, issues with ‘insertions’… oooo er Missus 😉

  • AnonW says:

    T Lover said

    n my case – I mean at my age – intelligence, humour and loyalty start to become more important than a woman’s age or appearance – don’t you think?

    It’s the overall package. I was once in Rome in a posh street cafe watching the girls, as was everybody else. Two absolute beauties turned up and all the men looked at them. Then one got out a pack of ciggies and they both lit up. All the men immediately turned to more important things, like their partner at the table.the food, football, their views on celing of the Sistine Chapel and the weather.

    • T Lover says:

      Smoking?

      Sore subject.

      Is it a relationship breaker if everything else is “right”?

      I can put up with the odd fag. Once or twice a week over a drink but am struggling with a new girlfriend to put up with six/seven a day.

      I don’t want to say to a very nice woman it’s spoiling your looks but it is. And her breath.

      • Mel says:

        Been there too. Initially I decided it shouldn’t be a ‘deal breaker’ but as time went on, morning pillow breath & smelly garments became the breaker – although he kept saying he would stop and I could be the one to help him. But I couldn’t it seemed. Too hard…… sadly. he’s still a friend tho’!

      • T Lover says:

        I was moaning about (her) smoking to a pal this morning.

        He said his second wife was a heavy smoker and could she drink?

        Anyway, the Pal said he was so sick of being kept awake at night by the smoking induced snoring he made a tape recording of the noise.

        A few days later when they were in the middle of a row he played the tape. Him: what do you think that noise is? Her: I don’t know. A motorbike? Him: no it’s you blank blank snoring.

        She did not speak to him for a week and they split not long afterwards.

  • Margaux says:

    T Lover -you asked me my view on ‘equal rights’ and their effect on marriage…

    Correct me if I am wrong , but I assume you feel that ‘equal rights’ contributed to how things turned out for you? Just for the record, I personally know of at least 3 women who were the ones to cough up financially when their husbands played away and subsequently wanted a divorce. So – yes, that’s pretty equal.
    I also know of women friends raising their children on their own without any financial support from the fathers who left.

    I appreciate you don’t wish to risk another ‘financial meltdown’ – but that applies to women these days too.

    You ask whether women’s rights have affected marriage in general. Yes, I think they have in that a woman now has a chance to have a bigger life other than one where all that was expected of her was to stay at home, cooking & cleaning and child rearing. My mother envied me my choices – she never had them and felt like an unpaid housekeeper. But that was ‘tradition’ then.

    She stayed in her marriage out of economic necessity. No blame on either side – they were a mismatch who stayed together because that’s what you did. My mother didn’t want to be poor and my father didn’t know how to cook, clean, iron and feed himself. In those pre -‘equal rights’ days- many women stayed in their marriages because they faced living in reduced circumstances and simply weren’t equipped to do anything else if they left them.

    The generations that come after us have a choice to adapt the old traditions of marriage to their own needs. Amongst my 30 something friends it is not unusual for the man to stay at home on child rearing duties while the woman goes out to work. Some have no choice if redundancy has been a factor. This to me seems like a postive equality.

    • T Lover says:

      Margaux,

      That is a pretty fair response, thank you.

      We have some differences.

      Every marriage is different. You simply cannot generalise as you have done. In my case I think it is fair to say the wife chose not to work. Loved the garden, horses and was devoted to the children. She could have worked. I did not say she had to stay at home. She was a free spirit. When eventually she did take a job she worked part time – completely through choice.

      But that left me with no choices, no rights. What alternatives did I have? I just had to get on with it.

      My point was rather more general. What effect has “women’s rights” had on the divorce rate? The marriage rate? And in Barry’s case I know from personal experience how rotten you feel if the children are used. It took eighteen months the first time I caught her before I was permitted to see the children on a regular basis and only then when it was obvious that she wanted a reconciliation.

      Anyway, I have been over it ad infinitum – as Jo has pointed out – so perhaps at the risk of being called a childish, spineless idiot again perhaps I can close by saying that when you work your nuts off, have introduced a substantial amount of capital into the marriage and inherited family money it is not easy to accept that your wife (who has had the life of Riley and contributed zip money wise before during or after) can habitually screw a supposedly good friend in your home when you are at work then walk away with half of everything you possess.

      Do I want to risk it again no matter how many good women there are out there?

      • Jo says:

        T Lover.
        I stand by every word, in the particular contexts where they appeared.
        To simply lump those words together, as some sort of random comment is simplistic.
        But on your past form, not unexpected.
        As is the usual victim mode.
        I’m not defending your wife here. But I will say this. Bringing up children is full of joy, yes. But it’s the hardest job in the world and certainly not all about coffee mornings or sitting around.
        There is no job more difficult. None.

      • T Lover says:

        Jo,

        I’m sure you are right.

      • Jo says:

        Thank you T Lover.

      • Margaux says:

        Thanks T Lover – I take your points. Yes, women have choices, I agree . I think my point was that once we didn’t. And it would be fair to say that men didn’t either – it was always assumed that men would be the main ‘provider’ in any marriage- especially with children. A big pressure, I appreciate.
        It’s less so these days – which I personally think is a good thing. In an ideal world, ‘equality’ should apply to both sexes, I feel.

        I think we both, and indeed all, view these issues from our own personal experiences. ( As we do generally about ‘life’) And I can quite understand why your personal experience leads you to the feelings you have about marriage. It saddens me that you are now wary about women – but I, too, have friends who are wary of men after similar experiences. Works both ways I guess.

      • Spineless Idiot says:

        Margaux,

        In many ways I don’t think we are far apart.

        But the questions remains, what effect has the right to choose (crudely women’s rights) had on relationships, marriage breakdown and society in general.

        Do more marriages with children break down because there is less financial pressure on the mother to remain with the father? I think so. If you chose to have children does that not impose obligations with regard to those children?

        How do you get couples to stay together?

        I accept Jo’s criticism that I am becoming a bore. Sorry.

  • AnonW says:

    You could always buy smokers a latex hood, as it’s very difficult to smoke in one. It also improves the look of some unfortunate individuals, provided yiu get the style and colour right.

  • Jo says:

    Further T Lover..
    Margaux was not generalising.
    As master of generalisation yourself – basically that ‘women’s rights’ have contributed to practically all the ills of relationships and the misery of (especially, divorced) men – you of all people should know the difference.

    • Spineless Idiot says:

      Now dear, my guess is that Margaux is more than capable of speaking for herself and when she does it is a pleasure to read her measured point of view.

      • Jo says:

        T Lover. My opinion is my opinion. We do it to each other all the time here btw, without getting chippy.
        I guess you have chosen to conveniently forget the several times you have ‘spoken’ for Barry in your views.

      • T Lover says:

        Yes dear.

    • AnonW says:

      For about thirty years, part of my after dinner entertainment some days, was to hear my late wife review her worst cases. Womens rights as such was never an issue, except where one partner thought everything was theirs and their partner should get nothing. One guy was particularly annoyed that his wife had gambled away about three quarters of their savings and all her salary. But he got the house, custody of the children and all she got was a council flat, a car and half of their remaining savings. The latter really annoying him. but she never even came to see the children after the divorce. Never underestimate how bitter divorce makes people. It’s generally far worse than widowhood.

  • Spineless Idiot says:

    AnonW,

    The concept of “behaviour” and its bearing on matrimonial settlements was theoretically swept away light years ago. “Behaviour” had to be extreme before it became a factor a Judge would take into account.

    Sex Equality has pushed the pendulum even further – generally away from the breadwinning husband and more towards the financially disadvantaged, child rearing, home making wife. And fair play because of school hours and holidays a wife may have to fall on low paid part time work or not work at all. And it is equally true that it can work the other way round in favour of the father.

    As Margaux says if a woman wants a career why not? That is her choice. But now we have this rump of highly educated 30 plus women who decide they want a family and time is running out. Career came first. No bloke. Want children.

    Then the children. We live in such a materialistic high cost society that often both the man and the women have to work. What price the children whose mother is stacking shelves in Tesco on Boxing Day to make ends meet? What are the obligations to the children? What choices do they have when both parents work?

    Embittered dinosaur I may be but one of my innocent questions was to wonder what the general effect of “rights” has had on marriage, divorce and families.

    Not a statement of opinion as my niece, Jo, seems to have misinterpreted it, just musings in the context of what happened to me. Wistfully wondering where it will take us all in the end.

    • Jo says:

      T Lover.
      I have misinterpreted nothing.
      Re-read your vast amount of ‘musings’.
      No ‘statements of opinion’?
      Poor misguided, misunderstood victim.
      As I said before NEVER any sense of personal responsibility in anything.
      Misunderstood. Misinterpreted. Mistreated.
      Boring…….

    • AnonW says:

      I know it was, but it doesn’t stop people behaving very badly to each other, before, during and after a divorce settlement. Children are used as pawns and the courts are powerless. Before the law was changed some years ago, the Judge had a reminder for those who didn’t obey what was agreed. It was called jail and my wife had many times got a bullying and abusive husband and ocassionally a wife locked up for various reasons. It often had a sobering effect. But then the courts got more friendly and in her view sometimes a lot worse. Politicians like to legislate and they always tend to favour the group that is giving them most grief at the time. she always quoted the Dangerous Dogs Act, as law in haste that made matters a lot worse. But in the field of divorce, she once spent a whole evening telling me how the law was now a miscreants charter. It may have got worse since. Her main area was adoption and that was close to her heart, as she had been adopted herself. But she felt that the legislation was actually non-adoption legislation and that has been shown to be true lately.

      They talk now about going to mediation before divorce. i used to work with solicitors in this field and many felt it was a waste of time all round.

      • T Lover says:

        I have a feeling I am going to find out fairly soon whether mediation is a waste of time. Hopefully not. I would like to get it over with and move on.

        I worry what the future will hold for my two. One is now married. They say they want a family but can’t afford to try because they cannot manage on one salary.

        I could subsidise them – possibly – once I have seen off the wife but, in the light of my experience, would have been happier to give money to my lad if they had not married than to both of them if they had.

        What an awful admission but that’s the way I felt. Reading the comments I still wonder whether I was right. Some of these women are frightening.

  • Jo says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is P’s blog – again, for emphasis P’s BLOG – entitled ‘Shared Interests’.
    For some strange reason it seems to have turned into T Lover’s forum for the sole purpose of debating his woes. Encompassing marriage, the inequality of divorce and children, women’s rights, feminism as a destructive force, being monetarily fleeced, sexual equality as a force for ill, giving us the collective title here of a ‘coven’ (see earlier), women who are frightening, et al.. et al..
    No idea what it’s doing here. Seems to have wandered into this topic expressly to sound off to us women – sorry, coven – about women.
    There’s many a blog where this would be welcomed with open arms and you can debate it to your heart’s content.
    ‘Shared Interests’? Seems to have taken a seat so far back, it has disappeared into the ether.

    • T Lover says:

      Yes dear.

      If the automatic counter is right 160 comments have been added to this post.

      48 are yours.

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      Jo – I have stopped posting because I think he should be left to stew in his own broth. He obviously has a massive chip on his shoulder. My ex husband went on sex trips to Thailand but I don’t hijack other people’s blogs to rant and rave against men in general … like he is doing, except against women… 😦

  • Jo says:

    That was to T Lover btw. Not TDS.

  • Jo says:

    ToneDeafSinger. Just to clarify. My two comments above, were posted at 11.34pm. In reply to T Lover’s at 11.28pm. They have come up after T Lover’s last comment here. Thereby looking like a direct comment on his question to you.
    They are not. Just wanted to clear up any possible confusion.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    That’s fine Jo. I am not minded to reply to T Lover (do you think it stands for Trans Lover btw?) as he is only an Agent Provocateur (a troll to me and you) but no worries – the order / timing of the posts is clear.

    • Spineless Idiot says:

      Timedeaf,

      The reason for the mix up was that Jo – she does get confused – doesn’t know where to stick her posts.

      I am sure that in the flesh you are a perfectly nice person, I mean both of you, but these anonymous blogs do tend to bring out the worst. Add to the mix the inveitable eMail misunderstandings…

      You got up my funnel when you had a go at Barry. Up went the balloon.

      To make you laugh can I tell you I got a text message this am from a female work colleague. It asked: which dwarf are you today?

      Dwarf-Troll not far apart but perhaps I shouldn’t use the word dwarf in the presence of a Guardian reader. Vertically challenged?

      Off for a drink so don’t torment me tonight, please.

      • Spineless Idiot says:

        Oh and BTW T Lover doesn’t stand for Thai Lover – I am with you as far as your husband is concerned.

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Do I understand that Jo, Spineless Idiot and T Lover all know each other personally?

    • Jo says:

      TDS. No.Thank god.

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        I was only asking because in a post on 9th February at 7.49pm, Spineless Idiot mentions “my niece, Jo” (his own words).

      • Jo's Mum says:

        Jo,

        Your nose is growing.

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        Is the whole family here?

      • Jo's Mum says:

        No, Jo’s out.

        At the local Tech.

        Anger management or something like.

        Can I give her a message?

      • Jo says:

        TDS. No idea what he’s on about.
        I think he’s lost the plot.
        Of course I don’t know the stupid man! I am not his niece or any such foolish thing. So just ignore that crap.
        As for ‘Jo’s mum’? The stupid fantasist is not to know, but I lost my beloved mum, very suddenly last year. So that is very very raw. As well as thoroughly unfunny.
        People should be careful what they make ‘jokes’ about…
        Ignore this made up stuff TDS.
        It’s crap.
        Along with everything else.

      • Jo says:

        One last thing on this, TDS.
        I can’t believe you would be so naïve as to believe this rubbish. Of course I do not know this idiot, as my narrative through this blog CLEARLY shows.
        It is very late now. Because I have been awake thinking about my lovely mum. Who I miss with every fibre of my being. More than my words can say…..
        Goodnight TDS.

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        Jo, sorry to hear about your mum. No, I did not believe Jo’s mum/T Lover. When I posted “Is the whole family here” I was pulling his leg. I then lost interest and stopped reading/posting.
        If Jo’s mum or whoever/whatever wants to believe that…

        Poor old ToneDeaf can’t even work out that someone is pulling her leg.

        then – let him.
        Who cares about Jo’s mum/T(rans) Lover anyway?

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        Jo – final comment – I stopped reading/commenting because (a) it got boring, and (b) I have masses to do – we’re going skiing tomorrow morning early and I had, and still have, paperwork and various bits I need to finish off, and all the packing…
        I have more important things to do than argue with the cerebrally challenged like T(rans) Lover…
        Have a good week Jo.

  • Margaux says:

    TDS – anyone can fill in any name they like when they post here ..it’s just T Lover indulging in a little multiple personality posting …

    Jo – sorry to read about your mum – I still miss mine but I carry her with me in my thoughts so she never seems too far away. Give yourself a hug from me.

  • Twinkletoes says:

    Jo, it’ll be 28 years this summer since I lost my lovely mum, but even after all that time I can still feel how you are feeling. Sending you a big hug for that.

    I would hope that the insensitive twonk that caused your pain will have the decency to go elsewhere with his inappropriate remarks in future.

    I could recount what my ex put me through in the same manner, after all the stories are not that dissimilar, albeit that the roles were reversed. I won’t because I’d just be told I was a bitter man-hater. And I’m not.

    • fi says:

      To be fair I think he thought he was making a light hearted joke and didn’t realise it wouldn’t be taken that way. I’m sure he wouldn’t intentionally set out to cause offence

    • Jo says:

      Thank you so much Twinkletoes and Margaux. x

    • fi says:

      Jo I know that’s why I put my comment under twinkletoes who said he should go elsewhere, not under you!!

      • Jo says:

        Thanks Fi.
        My reply to Twinkletoes and Margaux popped up in the wrong place too! Bah.

      • fi says:

        @jo. 🙂 what are you doing today? I’m painting my living room. In between drinking coffee and eating pork scratchings.

      • Twinkletoes says:

        fi, just for the record, I didn’t say he *should* go elsewhere, only that I hoped he would. But there’s another solution – I shall skip reading his postings in future 🙂

      • fi says:

        @ twinkletoes Sorry re hoped v should. Am typing on my phone and once you start replying in the tiny box its too much hassle to scroll about.

    • Jo says:

      Btw Twinkletoes. Your story would not deem you a man hater at all.
      Because you wouldn’t then tar every man with the same brush because of it.

    • Jo's Mum says:

      I like a bit of good old fashioned hypocrisy.

      You can say the most cruel, hateful (and in some cases, made up) things about Barry but not one woman bats an eyelid.

      Jo is deliberately abusive to/about me.

      Poor old ToneDeaf can’t even work out that someone is pulling her leg.

      But when someone says something that might, might, have hurt Jo you are all huddled wailing in a circle.

      The only one who seems to have any emotional insight, the honourable exception, is Fi.

      You may not quite be a man hater, Toes, but you lot give every appearance of assuming the worst if you think a man has caused some perceived offence but a woman can do what she wants.

  • Margaux says:

    Just trying to offer a little empathy, T Lover ( or whoever you may be today ! 😉 ) – as I did with you and your story, and with Tvmunson. If that makes me a hypocrite in yours eyes – well, you are perfectly entitled to hold that view.

    I confess I also thought your use of various names funny – but trod carefully as I realised Tonedeaf hadn’t a clue what was going on ( not everyone is net savvy!) and Jo was feeling a bit down.

    Hope everyone has a lovely day – the sun is shining and it’s gloriously crisp & wintery out there.
    Margaux ( just trying to spread a few rays 🙂 )

    • T Lover says:

      Is it permitted to brown nose you?

      I think you must be nice too.

      Remember Dan? His story was mine. Where has he disappeared to?

      And another. Barry used to comment every day. Since this blew up he has disappeared. Here’s hoping it’s not a reason connected with this row.

      Anyway, this afternoon T Lover is T Lover albeit hung over and easily recognised whatever the alias – this is for TomeDeaf who I think is sulking – by the green square what’s its name at the side of the name.

      Please forgive me Jo. I was only pulling your leg.

      Glaze your arses, the queer old Dean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading “Shared Interests” at The Plankton.

meta

%d bloggers like this: