Don’t Be Too Polite

February 21, 2012 § 110 Comments

From yesterday’s Times:-

Janey, one of my happily married friends, is on a mission to help those she knows and loves who are single and don’t want to be.  She is that rarest of creatures who really thinks about life beyond her own nose, and cares about how it might be for plankton but she’s not a busybody or smug or bossy and noisy about it.  Just quietly and generously gets on with it.  Janey plots and spins and match-makes like no one else I know.

Last week she put me in touch with a friend of hers who had been left homeless and penniless by her bully of a husband a few years ago and had hit rock bottom.  The woman, whom I do not know from Adam, has just rung me to give me the benefit of her wisdom about internet dating.

“I was thinking, what’s wrong with me that I can’t meet someone in the normal way?  Has it really come to this?  But everyone’s doing internet dating now.”

She has since had a good relationship with one online man, and is about to go to Italy with her current partner.  She had met another man she didn’t fancy but whose friendship she treasures.

“There’s a lot of fun to be had and knowing that is the difference between me now and then,” she told me.  “I haven’t found my knight in shining armour but I am with someone who I become fonder of by the day.  You have to go in with no preconceptions.  Think of it as an adventure.  Try to transport yourself to being a teenager.  Don’t feel it’s sad and lonely to be doing this.  Think, I am looking for fun with a man, hopefully a lovely one, possibly long-term.”

She came up with the obvious tips – honest profile; smiley photograph; only meet for a cup of coffee initially, and in a public place.  (She had once broken her own rule and gone to a man’s house and had to fight him off).  But perhaps her greatest tip was not to be too polite.

“When I began, I didn’t want to be hurtful so, after chatting, would always agree to meet if they asked, even if I knew it wasn’t right.  I’ve learnt since how to be polite but strong.  If they talked about sex immediately, I knew that’s all they were after.  You cannot be a pushover or too eager to please.  I don’t play games, but men do like a chase.  When I get back from Italy, I can come over because it’s such a lonely process, and we can go through the sites together.  I am an old pro and would love to help someone else because I really know how it feels.”

Ex-plankton to Plankton.  I await her visit.


§ 110 Responses to Don’t Be Too Polite

  • Jane says:

    At last, someone who has managed to make you listen and understand that the internet is not some sad cul de sac but the highway along which we all travel these days, Hurrah for X-P!

  • Chris says:

    Well, some men might like the chase but remember, it has to be something worth the effort of the chase. I have to say that as a man if I get knocked back I do not bother to chase. To me it is a waste of time and energy and at my time of life I just can’t be bothered to play silly games. Also, think like a teenager ?? Nah, long time since anyone on this blog was a teenager. Better to think like a mature well rounded adult. Nothing worse than a 40 something woman who thinks she can still play the young girly flirty chase me game. Such a bad look !!

    • fi says:

      I thought she meant have the optimism and openness of a teenager. We need a qualification. The same with ‘chase’. I’m assuming she means blokes like to issue the invitation to dinner, as long as they think you’re interested. Not pursue someone who is always out of reach. But again maybe not.

      • Chris says:

        Point taken, though you have to be terribly careful with that ‘ think like a teenager ‘ stuff as you get older. That goes for both sexes. I have seen middle aged guys make terrble prats of themselves with age inappropriate behaviour, especially around younger women who, frankly, just took the piss out of them.

      • fi says:

        Yep. Where are the normal age appropriate ones? I went to the cinema the other day with a man I know (not a date just giving him a lift – 8 years older than me) and he spent the whole time moaning about modern music. And by modern he meant anything after the 60s. The blokes I know are like grandads. My dad is more youthful. Maybe again because I’m in a little town in scotland, nearly everyone is old and unhealthy and unfit. As though a lifetime of eating from chip shops, and excessive drinking and lack of exercise has caught up with them. Particularly the ones who have always been single as I think those who have had a woman have to some extent had their bad habits kept in check. Robbie Coltrane is seen as being a fine figure of a man where I am.

  • rosie says:

    Or the 40-something man who thinks he still behave like a 20-something player. That’s not such a good look, either.

    • And as many of them think they are at the top of the sexual food chain, there are a lot of them about.

      Luckily they can be spotted a mile away by their shimmering arrogance.

      • Chris says:

        Think a lot of middle aged women suffer from the same delusion with the ‘ because I’m worth it ‘ culture. Trouble is, they’re not !!

    • Chris says:

      rosie, completely agree with you there. I have seen that and I am sure you have to. Now women are doing it to with all that cougar stuff. So many ways fpor the middle aged to make prats of themselves !!

    • J says:

      I understand why Fi used Robbie Coltrane to illustrate what she meant ie that the men in her area tend to have real problems with their weight and be rather unfit, which makes them come across as unattractive. I just wanted to say, though, that I have always found Robbie Coltrane himself rather beguiling. I can’t say that I have ever met him in real life, so I wouldn’t really know, but he comes across as witty, erudite and entertaining whenever I have heard him being interviewed. I suspect that he can be a real charmer, actually.

  • Lydia says:

    I think be very obvious to men if you want someone. Don’t expect them to take a subtle hint and if they think they aren’t in with a chance they will just move off to something else. It is much the same with women. If a man doesn’t seem very keen, that’s fine as I then find someone who is.

    The friend here was left with no mnoey on divorce presumably because she had taken poor career choices when she was younger and had lived off male earnings. We all need to ensure that our children of both sexes do not make that mistake and then life is in general a lot easier.

  • rosie says:

    After enduring some gruesome dates I second the ‘don’t be too polite’ rule. Apart from Lamp-Post Man there was the one who rang me precisely one minute after the allotted time to ask where I was (the tube was delayed), put the phone down because he was ‘running out of credit’ then spent the next hour or so when he wasn’t staring into the middle distance contradicting everything I said. And STILL I sat there. What made it even more excruciating was that he was the one to say, ‘well it was nice meeting you’ and then fuck off. Ouch!

  • Penny says:

    Hi Plankton. At last you are now listening about Internet dating. What this new friend has said I could have told you, she is right what she says. Everyone does internet dating now, it is the norm. When you meet her talk some more about it. I have had 3 dates in the past 3 weeks, they were nice men, though I didnt fancy them. But I have had two boyfriends from it. If I didnt do internet dating I wouldnt meet any single men in my life really. My single friends leave it to chance and it doesnt happen.

    Hope you are feeling better today.

  • Cindy says:

    I have recently tried an internet dating website and I find the men too picky and it is too demoralising. How many knock-backs do you need before you give up. Are all men superficial? Do they only want slim, attractive or young women? I try to stay positive and tell myself they would not be the type of guys I would be interested in anyway, if they only judge someone by how they look, but sometimes i get so disheartened. Any advice would be welcome.

    • fi says:

      They would say the same thing about us! Its just we may not place such a high premium on looks but we field men out on pretty superficial criteria too – like weight (ok that’s critical for me), height, earnings, whether they rent or own their own home etc. We all do it. I think though women are luckier as we can change our appearance to make us look more attractive. Look around at the women you think are attractive and so much of the time they aren’t really. Not their faces. Look at some of those photos of movie stars without make up and you can see how plain they really are. What makes them look attractive is their slimness, their hair, their make up and clothes. All these things are easily changeable. Men are what they are and they’re usually attracted to women who look attractive. Don’t fight it just join in. As Helena Rubenstein or Estee Lauder said “there are no unattractive women, only lazy ones”. There’s loads of help out there on looking good from overhauling your make up at a make up counter with a demonstration from an assistant, to discussing what you’d like with your hairdresser. Don’t go grey. Wear clothes that skim your body. Rather than frumpy baggy ones etc etc. I’m probably saying stuff you already know anyway but you did seem keen to know anything. Go to your library and see what they have there as mine has loads of books on how to dress for your shape, apply make up, choose what colours suit you etc

      • Chris says:

        You screen men on their earnings ? Wow, the way this economy is going you’ll soon be screening by whether they earn at all !!Gety up to speed girl, sound like you are in a pre 2008 time warp !!!

      • Penny says:

        Regarding what Chris said, as far as I’m concerned if a man has a job thats ok with me!! My ex husband from years ago, didnt have a job, he was studying, I assumed he would get a job, but he didnt, so in the end we divorced – and I had a broken heart. So if a man is earning thats fine. I would not be worrying about how much he earns. Certainly not in this present climate

        As for sending a photo of yourself with no make up on why?!!! and why have a professional photo on line anyway, they look false. The guy was wrong to behave like that, so in a way she found out sooner rather than later what he was like!

      • Brigitte says:

        A friend of mine made the mistake of sending pics of herself without makeup to man on an online dating site. After seeing her professional photo, he wanted to see the “real” her. She looked astounding in her prof photo after professional makeup and hair. After the man saw her “au naturel” photos, he sent her an angry message about how she did not look at all like her prof. photo and told her he was not interested. Very harsh, but a lesson there about looking too good in your pics and then not living up to them in real life. The man was out of line (has he never seen a woman without makeup?), but I always say, everything in moderation and that applies to makeup as well.

        A magazine recently showed a hundred celebs without makeup and I was shocked at how very plain most of them are. It’s good to know they are human too, but how many of us try to emulate their “beauty” without realising how much work it takes by professionals. I always roll my eyes when I see the young girls at my gym with full makeup (including lipstick). Give me a break! I don’t stand a chance with my bare face covered in sweat. I’m always towelling off.

      • zoe says:

        Interesting story, Brigitte. This is why I don’t like posting or sending out pics. I think they’re always misleading. And I’m always torn between vanity and honesty. Even if you look like your photo, you don’t really look like your photo, because we project so much onto a photo. I like a man to meet me without a photo. The challenge to see if I can persuade him do so against his better judgment amuses me and I like the men who are sufficiently open-minded to do that. It works for me in its own way, but I don’t think I could hand-on-heart recommend it as an approach. It definitely narrows the options. I know I’ve missed out on meeting some cool men because of it.

      • fi says:

        @chris. I didn’t say I personally screen men on their earnings (I do it on height – I’m 6ft tall and don’t feel attractive next to smaller men) but some women do without a doubt as you would have read in this blog. I was talkig about ‘we’ ie women not me.

      • joules says:

        Fi – I am six foot tall too. Not many of us about. I would consider going out with a shorter man but I won’t forego my high heels. I screen on educational achievement. That can be more of a problem than height.

      • fi says:

        @joules. I’m not bothered about educational achievement (at my age very few of my peers went to uni although I did), but they have to be clever, and have a curious mind. Qualifications I can do without though, and having a degree doesn’t make someone an interesting person to me – god what about those physicists, accountants and IT people?

      • Lydia says:

        I don’t need huge height although one last week was shorter than I was (I am 5 foot 4) and that amongst very mjuch a lot of other things put me off. We still had a nice hour’s chat. Height is a big issue for many women. In fact a sperm bank said women ask most about height and it’s more important to them than IQ which amazed me.

        I don’t find men reject at all. They may well jsut want sex and I suppose loads may not email me because of my age but I’d never know that. I tend not to email anyone. I just wait for those who email me so may be that’s why I don’t often get rejected.

        Money? It mattesr a bit. I paid a huge amount out to a husband on divorce and most women don’t make that mistake – 4 in 5 marry someone who earns more so 4 in 5 have some kind of conscious or subconscious marrying up thing going on even if they don’t admit it. I certainly don’t want a man’s money but it’s helps if someone is on a par as it makes melding two families with children easier. if his are impoverished in state schools and perhaps with very strong regional accents they are not likely to meld with and play happy familise with mine who I am sure would be polite to everyone but it would still be a harder fit.

      • joules says:

        Fi and Lydia – I am one of those science types so screening on education fits with that. Want someone who can discuss theories of some sort – relativitiy, evolution, string, etc.

      • zoe says:

        Joules, do you find the men you’re looking for? I went through a brief age-appopriate partner-seeking stage and one of the men I met up with was a leading theoretical physicist. He’s 6′ or so. You could talk string theory all night with him! It wasn’t right, but we still meet up for dinner a few times a year. He’s currently single. It’s funny isn’t it? We might all have the perfect partner for each other hidden away right now. I met him originally on Loveandfriends, which allowed screening for educational attainment. I don’t know how good it is now. It’s not a large site, and ultimately the usefulness of these sites revolves around numbers.

      • marriednotsmug says:

        I didnt have a picture on my internet dating profile as I didnt have a scanner or a digital camera at the time (it was 10 years ago) and my now husband happily met me without having seen me. He was the first and only chap I met internet dating.
        Once had a blind date with a chap (acquaintance of work colleague) who was a cross between William Hague and a leprechaun!

      • fi says:

        I don’t know…I think William Hague is very attractive. slim, clever, good sense of humour, down to earth…he’s my strange crush

      • zoe says:

        MnotS: That must count as the most painless internet dating experience ever! Not sure that’s allowed…
        Fi: Bit short for you though…?

      • fi says:

        @Zoe – the heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing…

      • zoe says:

        Evidently, Fi 🙂

      • Joules says:

        @zoe. well I have been corresponding with someone on the site my friends set me up on but when I have suggested meeting up all has gone quiet. So maybe I would be interested in your friend – at least he appears to really exist – but that is another theory… Think I might be giving up on internet dating for a little while. Searching by education attainment is possible on the site I am on but there is of course limited choice – especially as I am outside of London by nearly 2 hours. Emailed someone not that far away – about 40 miles – and they replied saying I was too far away. Interestingly I found a scientific study on the web concerning internet dating and one thing that they found was that men tend to look for women who have less educational attainment than themselves, while apparently women were less worried about whether men had more or less education than they did. I will see if I can post a link to this.

  • Suzique222 says:

    Yes to Internet dating; if you feel like finding the right man is like looking for a needle in a haystack, at least you’ve got access to the haystack! After my 17 year relationship ended at the age of 53 I couldn’t imagine starting to “date” again. I signed up to a variety of sites and met probably 100 or so men. It was a generally depressing sporadically enjoyable experience over about a 2 year period. Then, miracle of miracles, I met the most wonderful guy, we clicked immediately, no games just that exciting wonderful glorious experience of falling in love. On date #99 I definitely believed it would never happen. But I kept going because what’s the option? I do feel like the luckiest woman in the world, and there’s no guarantee it will happen, but if you don’t get out there and give it a go then how can you say you’ve really tried? After all, most people would say finding a love partner is the most important thing in life, so how much effort should you put into achieving that goal?

  • rosie says:

    Until women stop being judged on their looks we’re all fucked beyond 40, and that’s if you’re very lucky!

    • Rascal says:

      Well Rosie, technically thats an oxymoron.

      But I think you are wrong anyway. Its just who you will be fucked by beyond 40 thats the question.

      Answers that come to mind.
      Someone who loves you .
      Someone older than 40 .
      Someone who pays.
      Rod Stewart
      A Gerontophiliac – Just kidding
      Oh and me , and I tick none of the above.

      But really yours is a sweeping statement – I can remember having the hots for a 40+ when I was 21

    • Jo says:

      Oh come on Rosie. This is your usual blanket dead end answer.
      Doesn’t get anyone anywhere and is getting rather……..dull.

    • maria says:

      I agree, Rosie. Fifty years after the women’s lib and we’re more judged by our looks than ever.

      • Jo says:

        Maria. Yes. But still doesn’t mean we’re ‘fucked beyond 40’.
        Or, we will be if we persist in that thinking…..

      • Penny says:

        Agree Jo, its very negative to say “we’re all fuckedy beyond 40”, how ridiculous. I’ve had several relationships since 40. (I guess someone is now going to say “but now your on your own”, well thats my business!). Make the best of yourself, healthy living, gym, nice haircuts, make up, all that. If women dont bother they will be fucked beyond 40. If men dont bother and end up overweight and dont bother with their appeareance they too end up fucked beyond their 40!

        Positive everyone!

  • Aggie MacKenzie says:

    And I can’t wait to hear the outcome!

  • sophs says:

    On the few occasions I’ve tried internet dating I have really struggled with the lack of politeness / etiquette that seems to prevail. Friends insist that if you receive a message from someone you are not interested in that it’s perfectly acceptable not to respond but I can’t help but find that really rude! I guess you could argue that it’s worst to receive a message only to open it and realise that it’s a “thanks but no thanks” – but to be honest I think I’d respect somebody more for doing that. On the other hand I replied to everybody’s messages and ended up getting into a bit of a pickle because of that (on the occasions I didn’t reply I felt rude). Perhaps I was taking it far too seriously and maybe you just have to accept that internet interactions are goverened by a different type of code but ultimately it made me feel really uncomfortable and I gave up…

  • rosie says:

    Jo, I was going to say the same but as I believe in dissent (and not being rude) I didn’t.

  • sophs says:

    Of course i totally agree. It’s just that rudeness (or perhaps more “lack of politeness”) seems to be more acceptable or almost “inbuilt” online than it is elsewhere..

    If someone came to chat to me in a bar or at party then unless they made me feel uncomfortable I’d engage in conversation as opposed to turning away and ignoring them…I really don’t have anything against internet dating per se but I think it can encourage poor manners from otherwise polite people..To be honest though I think I’m the one with the problem – in most respects I’m modern and open-minded but when it comes to manners I’m very old fashioned!

    • Jo says:

      Sophs. Manners are imperative. Always. Thinking that is not ‘old fashioned’ at all. I’m with you on that!

    • j24601 says:

      Hey Sophs, I am somewhat old-fashioned in some ways, particularly where manners are concerned; after all, “Manners maketh man.” I’ve paid dearly for it latterly, as our culture and society have been debased, by what I’m not quite sure, but I ain’t gonna change my ways in regards to curtesy, politeness, and respect any time soon. I’d recommend all planktons to make a special effort when they witness good manners in a man, no matter who unsuitable he may be, ‘cos the world sure does need more love and appreciation, believe it or not, older men in particular.

  • J says:

    One small thing I thought I would mention about Internet Dating, P, is that there is something a lot of the sites have which they call “Icebreakers” or a similar expression.

    When I had my details on two or three sites about 7 years ago, the Icebreaker message thing came as a great shock.

    What happened was that, very soon after putting my details on them, I started getting messages – big time. I don’t mean that there was anything unpleasant about most of them, it was just the quantity. I ended up with hundreds.

    Every hour, my laptop would ping two or three times to announce the arrival of an e-mail and it would say something like “Dave from the ****** **** **** dating site has said ‘Hello’!” and I just couldn’t keep up! This wasn’t what I expected, so one evening I sat down and looked at the ones which were coming in. They were often from guys hundreds of miles away and way outside my age group; I looked at their profiles to work out why they were finding me appealing when we had absolutely nothing in common and could not work out why I was getting messages from them.

    Fortunately for me, about three weeks after I had joined and with an Inbox groaning under the weight of these messages, one of the sites sent out an e-mail to all members saying something like “Hey, everyone, are you using our new ‘Icebreaker’ message facility? It’s free!!!! No need to send personal messages, you can opt to send a bulk message out to all members of your preferred sex – just type your message and we will send it to everyone of that gender on the database!”

    That’s when I realised what was happening. A lot of the guys who were members of the site were sending out these Icebreaker ‘Hellos’ and they were going to every woman registered; I guess their hope was that some of the women might look at their profiles and reply.

    I thought I would just let you know that this can happen, as it can be quite bewildering to get an avalanche of messages on these dating websites and not understand why you are getting them.

    I’m sure, by the way, that you will also get lots of genuine, personally written messages; I just thought you should know that the Icebreaker system exists.

    One other thing I would mention are the guys who send long, witty, almost ‘crafted’ messages which make you think that it was really nice of him to make such an effort just for you.

    I was quite taken with one guy with whom I actually had quite a bit in common. His first message was just as described, witty, entertaining, a bit long and very precisely written but nice to receive, so we started exchanging messages. I can’t say I found it awfully easy as I tried to reply in kind and crafting similarly witty and entertaining replies of such length took me ages!

    I stopped messaging him when I realised what was happening. He had actually created a set of letters for sending out to all the women who were contacting him; to be honest, he was someone who was going to attract a fair few replies and he was basking in the response.

    I’ve lived in London for a long time and had told him this; I had also said that I didn’t have any children. Consequently, one of his ‘fabulous’ messages struck me as rather odd and then I realised what was going on. His e-mail contained a paragraph about how impressed he was that I was bringing up two kids and holding down a career at the same time and that kisses of admiration were on their way to ‘Bonnie Scotland’ even as he wrote!

    I didn’t reply and just let things drop as I felt a bit of an idiot getting sent e-mails which he had sent out in a pretty much identical form to several other women on the site.

    That’s just a tip for you. Some of the guys do this – they have a set of letters which they adapt slightly and send out to all the women who contact them. These aren’t the Icebreaker guys – those messages are very short – these long, crafted ones tend to come from guys who are getting a lot of attention and want to keep the messages from besotted women rolling in.

    • The Plankton says:

      Wow, J, thank you. This is incredibly helpful of you. Neither of these things were something I have heard about, so I am very grateful to you for flagging them up. I have been warned! Px

  • Erin says:

    Dear P, while the friend is in Italy, why not pour a glass of wine after the kids are in bed and start tweaking your profile. It doesn’t need to be finished in one go – you can tweak it little by little as the creativity strikes you. With your knack for writing, I think you will have a profile that easily stands out above the rest, and that will get you noticed : ) As always, best of luck to you!

  • ToneDeafSinger says:

    Hello Plankton, I would be very interested to hear any hints/advice/tips your friend has on internet dating, if you’re willing to share them.
    I am still in contact with one man from a dating website, but the last 4-5 contacts I have had, all turned out to be phoney (the website banned their profiles…)

    • The Plankton says:

      Really, what she told me as reported in today’s post is the sum of her advice so far but I am planning to meet her after her return from abroad in a week or two, so may be able to pass on more tips thereafter. There was a comment today with lots of wise warning, from J. I hope that’s helpful. px

      • ToneDeafSinger says:

        Yes I read it; J’s experience sounds very different from mine! She mentioned having lots of contacts from different men, only to find that they are “blanket coverage”, whereas I am getting virtually no messages at all…

    • T Lover says:


      “I am still in contact with one man from a dating website, but the last 4-5 contacts I have had, all turned out to be phoney (the website banned their profiles…)”

      I have internet dabbled. Every female profile contains, what shall we say, “fibs”.

      So, what do you mean: “phoney”? You can’t have made contact with a non existent person and profiles do not spontaneously emerge so what do you are you driving at?

      And how did it come about that the profiles were banned? Five on the trot?

      There is a story here, please tell.

      • RS says:

        I can tell you my experience with “phoney” profiles which is maybe not the right word but I can’t think of another one at the moment. They are profiles that are set up by people but all the information is fictional.

        i think this is what TDS means.

        I actually find it pretty funny and an interesting comment on the state of the human race.

        Married people (men, in my experience but yours would be different of course) claiming to be single, or people who put up photographs of someone else and write a profile that’s all fiction, then send messages to people to try to suck them into a correspondence that obviously gives them some titillation on some level. It’s entertainment for them.

        On some sites it’s really common. One man I know had a profile done, without his knowledge, by his daughter! She was actually pretending to be him. Her plan was to find a potential mate for her dad and then pass things over to him once it got to the “let’s meet” stage.

      • T Lover says:


        Yes, you have to giggle. Women who turn back the age clock, don’t have children, don’t smoke. “Women” who turn out to be men. Women showing photographs of someone else.

        But – as a bloke – you take it in good part despite the fact that in two cases I have been “stalked” by women. You just smile to think how barmy some people really are and then move on. I have a feeling that men tend to be more predatory (and women therefore more cautious) but that is said without proof.

        This lady claims she has been the victim five times on the trot and every one has now been slung off the site she uses. That I found very odd and was interested to know the story.

      • Twinkletoes says:

        T Lover, my experience last year from a certain site (not one that has ever been mentioned on here to my knowledge), is that they were inundated with profiles from men claiming to be in the UK but who were actually scammers from elsewhere.

        I could easily see who the scammers were from the profiles, written such that English was not their native language, mentioning hobbies that would not be prevalent in the UK, saying they were looking for a God-fearing woman and using only one photo that looked too good to be true, like it had been lifted from elsewhere on the net. Such profiles never stayed on the site for very long before they were deleted by the site administrators. Hope this explanation helps.

      • T Lover says:


        The point I was trying to nail was five on the trot and all banned. How come? How did she know?

        Anyway, here are a couple of my favourites:

        Young pregnant brunette of Bolivian Origin
        21–Single–Guildford, Surrey, England
        Seeking incredibly hygienic, elder gentlemen to make good fatherly figure. Must appreciate cleanliness, as a bit of a clean freak. Talented singer and cook. Guildford.
        She describes her ideal match thus:
        Will be a strong, wealthy, CLEAN individual who appreciates Bolivian culture and the importance of a good education. Enjoys orthology

        or try this:

        i’m a sexy beast
        27–Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
        I love talking dirty
        I have big boobs, a lush arse and at the moment i have bleached blonde hair.
        I love to sun bathe on nudist beaches so i have an all over stunning brown tan.
        I go for any type of person, man or woman i love both!
        Get to know me and i’ll show you a good time 😉
        She describes her ideal match thus:
        I love someone who can show me an amazing time!
        In bed and out of it!
        I tend to prefer people who are experienced, so then i don’t have to teach them all the best moves.
        I like it when they talk dirty to me in public and whisper dirty things to me on the phone (but its better in person)
        I don’t usually sleep on the first date, but if you show me an especially good time who knows where it might go?

      • Twinkletoes says:

        TL, never mind 5 on the trot, I had dozens of these scammers try to make contact, and they were all banned as soon as I reported them to the site admin. I pulled my profile from the site as the ratio of genuine men to scammers seemed to be about 1 in 50.

      • T Lover says:


        It’s not just a man thing.

        I think it is hilarious but sometimes sad – although I might not find it so funny if I was a woman suckered by a married man using a false name.

        I was talking to an “occasional” drinker on the ‘phone when she literally fell over with this enormous crash She blamed her daughter for pushing her. I heard the daughter say she hadn’t, “you’ve been drinking Mummy”.

        Smoking, “never” is another regular porker.

        Age is a star turn, the number of women who step into the Tardis and step out younger – up to ten years in my experience. That’s why I used to look for slightly younger women than would suit me – you never knew how old they really were!

        You take all this nonsense in good part, don’t you? And you can see unsuitable people coming a mile off. I wouldn’t dream of making a complaint.

        Which is why I was interested in the five in a row and all banned story.

      • T Lover says:


        I forgot to say that after wasting shed loads of time and some dosh on “internet dating” and on the point of giving up (sub with no more than a couple of days left) I found a woman I really like.

        Not a looker. Older than I would have preferred. Just a brilliant find. A really nice person.

        The moral of that ending is?

      • The Plankton says:

        I don’t know the moral, but are you now seeing her?

      • T Lover says:

        The moral. I bumped into someone I would not normally have looked at twice and realised how shallow I was. From this personal standpoint much of what is said by your female correspondents about the criteria by which men judge women is Henry Halls.

        Seeing her. I am not sure how (or whether) to answer that question. Yes is the literal answer but there is a string of reasons on both sides why it will not last – I feel as though I am trying to balance on ball bearings. My plan for the future is being derailed and, given my marital emotional battering, am full of self doubt.

        I don’t want to parade the detail in public.

  • Candy says:

    Oooh wherefore art thou Miss Bates…when I need one of your more eloquent responses to Lydia’s latest??

    Lydia, I too paid out money to my ex husband …not because I am some high achieving uber earner like yourself,but because the law is an ass!

    I married for love not money and supported my husband financially from being a joiner through to him becoming an airline captain..but because we didn’t have children (I thought I was being prudent to wait), the law decreed he got half the equity from the big house he wanted. By the way re your comment the other day..I also awaken to the sight of trees in my garden, mine are not ‘protected’ like yours…doesn’t make them any less pretty

    I brought more into the marriage through having had a career…(obviously not as good as yours though) for 8 years before I married him and a house of my own. He got half of everything I brought in and waltzed off with his 6k per month salary, whilst I died a death and survived on half pay through illness for 6 months.

    Coming from Northern Ireland…my ‘Regional Accent’ is obviously too distressing for your poor childrens’ ears – even though it hasn’t caused Eamonn Holmes or Kenneth Brannagh too many hindrances.

    ‘Impoverished state schools’..Oh my there no end to your snobbery? In Northern Ireland, we still have grammar schools and our education system is second to none in the rest of the UK. Paying for an education does not make it better! I have a good friend who paid through the nose for private schools in England who admits ruefully that it was a complete waste of money…Many a person has acheived great things coming through the ‘impoverished state system’

    I am sure your little darlings would be polite…as I am sure any child would be if brought up correctly, regardless of accent, education etc!!

    I just hope your little darlings grow up to be sooo different from their Mother

    • ToneDeafSinger says:

      You know Candy, I don’t take Lydia too seriously… I’m sure she is French, or not British at any rate, and I suspect she only half understands the way things are here… hence some of the statements she makes… regional accents (one of her favourites) and impoverished state schools… you really have to smile…

    • MissBates says:

      Hello Candy — I’ve been busy all day at my big high-powered well-paid job in a big lovely office with a fabulous view of a big exciting city, so I haven’t had time to post, and any minute now I’m off to an exclusive cocktail party. (So how’s that for channeling Lydia? – LOL!) In any event, I think you managed to state your case quite eloquently without input from me.

      I am very grateful indeed that I have had advantages (though truth be told it was mainly just a lot of goddamn hard work) that enable me to be independent.

      But guess what? ….and here’s the point: Still plankton.

    • Jo says:

      Candy. We’ve all heard the same tedious things from Lydia (the anathema of ‘regional accents’ and children from ‘state schools’ etc), for eons now…
      Which is why most of us don’t comment on her posts such as these anymore.
      Honestly, it’s a waste of breath. A waste of time, as they’re oft trotted out ad nauseum…
      She seems to relish the reactions that she provokes each time.
      We don’t bother now. Don’t waste your energy.

  • Caz says:

    Well said Candy – I agree with Lydia on a lot of points….especially the +ve thinking – but then she completely blows her very astute remarks by making such inflammatory comments re state schools etc.
    My three daughters went to a fabulous state school – they all work in the city with excellent jobs, salaries and prospects. The one huge gift I have tried (and I hope succeeded) to give them all is confidence.

  • EmGee says:

    @ the people who are (just a little) miffed that P took this long to really consider internet dating; she did try one site that left her uncertain when it came to filling out the profile, and has listened very politely to everyone’s previous suggestions. The fact that she now has personal contact with someone who can literally hold her hand as she gets herself set up makes all the difference.

    As far as using a pro photo or wearing no make up at all, I am flabbergasted once again that such a thing is even an issue. Having a professional take a picture is a good idea really, as s/he knows how to use lighting naturally to flatter. Having a glam shoot is an entirely different matter. If one is looking for a man to love her as she is, then why post a deceptive picture? And unless you don’t ever wear make up at all, why post a photo of yourself sans war paint at a virtual strangers behest?

    I don’t wear make up often, and when I do, it’s minimal. At least the fella has a good idea of what he’s going to wake up next to in the morning. On the other hand, it could also signal to a man that you don’t care enough about your appearance to enhance it.

    As a side note, since most men do not wear make up, they probably don’t notice the day to day make up women wear and consider them as being ‘unmade up’. Thinking a woman is “Made up” would be nearer to the extra effort taken when going out on the town or a very special occasion: going to the hair salon, getting a mani/pedicure, spending a little more on some higher end make ups, a fancy dress, matching shoes, etc. I would really like some men’s thoughts about this. If true, it could be valuable information for many of us.

    • j24601 says:

      EmGee, as a man I know that I will never understand the relationship of women to make-up. All I see is that the make-up thing can, and often does, become a tyranny in the life of a woman. Your approach to make-up seems healthiest to me.

      I do notice women wearing make-up. I do know of the financial cost women are willing to bear, and the exceptional effort that they make with the make-up thing. But, I have a sub-conscious reflex of caution when I see what, to me, seems like an excessive attention to appearance in a woman. After all, it is the natural order of things that a man will find a woman attractive; why mess with nature.


      • EmGee says:

        Great response, I too feel that women can be slaves to fashion tyranny – a very postwar phenomenon, wearing make up from the time one gets up until one’s head hits the pillow (and sometimes beyond on ‘one of those nights’) 🙂

  • Candy says:

    Thanks Caz…I tried not to post because I too sometimes agree with Lydia’s point of view re it’s all right to be alone… but my clenching teeth couldn’t stop me this time..I tried to reign my feelings in a bit

    Congratulations on your Daughters’ success and I am sure that you have instilled a lot more than just confidence into them…A regard for other people’s circumstances and to make no judgments or sweeping statements unless you have walked a 1000 miles in their shoes. I have no doubt they are very well rounded, sensible and intelligent individuals like their Mother 🙂

  • Caz says:

    …….thankyou Candy – your post has made my eve! and your 1000 mile comment is very true.
    Talking of regional accents…I have just heard Adele speak on receiving her Brit award. They are a positive advantage!

  • rosie says:

    I can’t believe anyone’s still taking ‘Lydia’ seriously either. Whoever s/he is s/he’s as mad as a box of frogs.

  • Candy says:

    Lol Emgee..

    After my last comment to Lydia re education, I was a tad worried about my use of the apostrophe in people’s that I was frantically looking up sites for correct usage of punctuation with the word people and then I saw your post….

    Sooo much more important…I too would like a male response on that one.

    You say you use minimal make up – you are either pretty enough or confident enough not to need it. I do wear make up (foundation and mascara) as a norm, in my case to cover a red nose, blondish eyelashes and sometimes purpleish skin tones in cold weather…I can look in the mirror some mornings and frighten myself!

    However, one of my best friends is a wizard with make-up and on a Saturday night out she can transform me into a Beauty…a Real Beauty

    A bit of eyeshadow which I never wear and a sprinkle of lip liner and gloss turns me into someone I don’t recognise and I have had men coming up to me and telling me I am “beautiful / gorgeous/ best looking woman in the place etc”…Aaarggh …I’m beginning to sound like Lydia…

    I’ll let you into a secret…it’s the best contraceptive ever..even if I fancied the men (very rarely), I’m terrified of them seeing me the morning after and thinking they had ‘beer goggles’ on previous night

    The happiest day in my life (many years ago) was my ex husband giving me a kiss as he left to work one Sunday after a Saturday night out and telling me he loved me…. 2 hours later I surfaced, looked in the mirror and recoiled at my reflection

    • EmGee says:

      “you are either pretty enough or confident enough not to need it.” Looks-wise I am passable, confident perhaps, but you can add heaping helpings of laziness, stinginess, and Gee, I could really use a make up wizard like yours, to the mix. 😀

      I am a fair, natural blonde, and at 49, I visit the salon every few months for highlights, as every blonde’s hair either gets darker as we age and/or goes gray. I’d use mascara more if I could find some that applies nicely and stays on – better none than raccoon eyes, and I’ve tried all kinds. When I put on foundation and blush, I feel it looks caked on, and don’t get me started on lipstick sticking everywhere but my lips. Add to that the necessity of carrying an arsenal of beauty products around for touch ups throughout the day…; mine consists of a tube of chapstick in my pocket.

      And I have rudimentary punctuation skillz. We’re not being graded, are we? @_@

      • Penny says:

        Emgee. Go and have a make up session in a store, they will show you how to put make up on, in a subtle way. As for lipsticks what are you using?! My lipsticks stay on for ages, but maybe I’m an old hand at it, I’ve been wearing make up since 18. Dont care what anyone says all women need some make up. I have seen professional women suited and booted (to coin a phrase!) with no make up on at all and they still look unfinished. Apparently (I am told!) I am very attractive, but without make up I look pale, very pale! and a touch of mascara, blusher, and lippie makes a huge difference. Lipstick is the most important! even a pale one. I love wearing make up it makes me feel good, makes me look nicer, and at my age I need a bit of help! I think a lot of women are frightened of it, how to apply it, when it can be fun to experiment. I suppose I’m a convert, and having worked in Elizabeth Arden’s head office on Reception, I learnt a lot too. Oh in my handbag? usually just a lipstick and possibly eyeliner.

  • June says:

    Im with you on the make up, but think as get older less is more,best thing ever happened for an older face, mineral make up, wouldnt use anything else, and no dark lipstick and touch of gloss. O ver made up look horrible on old or young.

    I can see how many think internet dating a good idea and probably works for many, so give it a go P. But i just dont meet anyone, and havent for months, possibly my age has something to do with it, but i think where i live too maybe, and unlike you Fi i live in a city in south of england. Not sure if is age though, maybe location more as i have a friend, very attractive, 45 years old,looks younger who stays in a relationship thats really dead, as doesent think will get anyone else, we were talking today talking about it and she said god even ive passed my sell by date, blokes can go on attracting for ever. I know others in 40s who just give up or settle for someone i wouldnt want , even at my age. I ve tried POF and paid sites, noone contacts,they just dont seem to be around, I looked at the sites for older people didnt really like ;look of them, honestly looked no more possible than POF. My Single friend did look good but only 4 in my area, 3 didnt want to go over 55. Checked other areas,many more candidates. I contacted MSF said if i wanted to meet anyone for my age group would have to expand my area quite considerably and i am not prepared to travel miles and looking at the men on them some will travel say next county but not much further.

    So would say make most of the dates you get, but if you live in a small town in back of beyond, and cant meet anyone dont think in a city you would get more chances, cause it isnt necessarily true, if you go on sites and noone replies nothing you can do, My friend and i were saying we think men here have a very high opinion of themselves and think however grotty or old can attract 30 year old glamour girls.

    • RS says:

      June – A couple of us have asked this of you on other posts, which I’m not sure you’ve read, and I am going to yet again, since yet again you have brought up location again and how you see yours as a problem.

      We have urged you to expand your catchment area a bit. If there’s no one in your immediate vicinity who suit, why not go slightly further afield? Sure a short trip of an hour or two to meet someone would be OK? I think it would be fun, too, and make it a bit more of an occasion.
      You would increase your chances a lot!! You could meet partway, and you could take turns travelling to each others’ home cities. Expecially since you’ve said before that you don’t really want someone underfoot all the time and that keeping your own residential space but having a companion that you do things with from time to time would be ideal

      I suspect I know which city you are in, and you are not all that far from London. Certainly not so far that a train trip into the city to meet someone for an outing once a week or so wouldn’t pose a problem, surely?

      If you want things to change, you have to change your thinking.

      • RS says:

        Arrgh. Am horrified at the overuse in my post of the word “again” as well as assorted typos. And that should be “would pose a problem” not “wouldn’t”.

        But you get what I mean…

      • Jo says:

        RS. We’ve been through this with June (with the same accompanying response…) time after time. The narrative neeeverrr changes. The same words, the same story (about her friend and her relationship), the same everything. I could even write it for her myself now. I feel I know it off by heart.
        *Stands by for the inevitable retort*

      • Penny says:

        In response to RS. Yes I agree in part to what you say, you have to have a large “catchment area” when internet dating. I have had 3 long distance relationships, and came to the conclusion that I would rather (if possible) date someone who lives nearer to me. You can choose when you see someone if they live closer. Less is better, you can get to know someone slowly. Have a date in the week and one night on the weekend. I’m only saying the obvious. With long distance you suddenly find you are spending a whole weekend with someone you dont know really, and have someone around you all the time. You can’t do anything on the spur of the moment. A drink after work or similar. Having said that I do internet dating and would still be ok about meeting someone who lives an hour or two away, it doesnt matter if it becomes the love of your life! Men like their space too, for their golf or football etc, so if they live nearby it doesnt mean they will be under your feet (June) I have found the opposite! There are pros and cons to both. I’m open to either but if pushed I would rather have someone live near me. Bearing in mind I dont have a car anyway!

      • EmGee says:

        @ Penny: Mind you, I am not anti make up and I am just as conditioned anyone else in the industrialized parts of the world to what is considered *normal*. I just find the perception that it’s pretty much considered unnatural *not* to wear make up, very telling about our consumerist society.

        Early on here, Ms P posted about an unannounced, eligible, early morning visitor to her flat (around breakfast time, iirc). Hair undone, face unpainted, she lamented that he didn’t get to see her at her best ‘normal self’. I found that somewhat amusing (ymmv), although not being prepared to receive guests is not funny at all.

        You are right, I should try a make up counter – part of me fears getting someone who is heavy handed, and also being obligated to buy their product. Not because I am not willing to shell out some money in return for their expertise, but I would choose the high end brands. I just don’t want to end up spending a small fortune trying out different company’s products (Hope that makes sense). On the plus side, most make up artists would appreciate starting with a clean canvas for a change.

      • Penny says:

        Emgee, glad to hear you are willing to give a make over a try. You dont have to buy anything! I’ve had make overs (before working for EA) and come away with a mere eye shadow! just dont get talked into it. Ask for a more natural look, I think its fun having a make over, you sound as though it scares you! Ask for some ideas, thats what they are there for.

        If you lived near me I could try a few ideas on you! How about trying Benefit, nice make up. Give it a go this weekend! and let me know how you get on!

      • RS says:

        @Penny – I get the LONG distance thing, having been involved in a 2-continent relationship (and a marriage with a 5-hour flight separating us for a while).
        I’m not talking about a great distance – I’m talking about an hour or so away, as you’ve said. I live in a city where I could easily take that long to get to a date with someone living in the same city, so an hour or two doesn’t count as “long distance” in my mind. You could easily travel that for a 2-3 hour date in an afternoon or evening. I’m not suggesting June has to spend an entire weekend with someone. 😉

      • Penny says:

        For a date an hour is fine, but two hours each way? its pretty daunting after a nice lunch or dinner to then have to spend two hours coming home, driving especially. Not a lot of men would do that. Thats where a weekend comes in. I hear what you are saying though.

        I get the feeling doing internet dating that men arent too keen on long distance relationships. Some of them specify they want to meet someone locally. To be honest looking at the men in their 50s on the sites, I might have to go down the long distance route again!!

    • Margaux says:

      Sorry, June -I am exasperated now.
      Once again – along with everyone else who has responded to you many times, I will say this. If you want things to change – you have to change them. If whatever you want isn’t happening ..what’s happening? Nothing. Just you moaning. It’s up to you.

      I have often suggested different dating sites to you but I don’t think you go back and read anyone’s responses or you would at least check them out. Just google ‘younger men older women dating’ for a start! ( How many times have I suggested that!)

      On the other hand – if you’re not prepared to travel a bit further, if you are not prepared to try some different sites, if you are not prepared to broaden your social options and try some local events or social activities then nothing is going to change.

      Sorry to be so brutal …but no one can do it for you. It’s up to you.

      • RS says:

        Hear hear Margaux.

        June never ever responds to us when we bring this up. I don’t think she wants things to change, really.

  • EmGee says:

    @ Penny: Thanks for giving me a clue about make up depts. My fear arises from not knowing what is expected of me as a customer. I live about 40 minutes away from Palm Desert, and there is a Sephora there which carries Benefit, as well as a Saks 5th Ave, which has a nice make up dept (which probably goes without saying). I was planning a shopping trip w/ a girlfriend down there this weekend, so maybe I’ll give it a whirl!!!

    • fi says:

      @EmGee- another tip. Check out the make up of the woman behind the counter before deciding who to go to. Don’t go near one who has too much or one whose make up you don’t like. Its obvious really but that’s what you’ll get. Also, if you buy a lot of products they’ll also give you free samples. I always ask for them even if I’m not buying anything and they always give them to me because they know that women won’t buy (or shouldn’t buy) without trying it themselves. They always have little pots hidden in drawers they decant primer, cleanser , exfoliator into for you so do ask. The ones who do me – I get it done at least once a year at various counters – love make up virgins as it gives them the chance to demonstrate what they can do so don’t pretend you know anything if you don’t. They are also really good if you tell them what your budget is and ask them which product(s) would be best for you to buy. Although I’ve never had someone act in a supercilious manner to me, or be unhelpful in anyway, I wouldn’t hesitate to walk away if they were and go somewhere else or visit another counter. What you have to remember is they want you to buy as they will get commission so they’ll be helpful, but also they love makeup and really enjoy demonstrating their skills and the transformation well applied make up brings. They should also be able to talk knowledgeably about the products and how to use them- if not go elsewhere. And lastly it is worth paying more for products that are tailor made for you and you’re shown how to apply them rather than wasting money on ones that aren’t right. I never wore make up at all till I was in my 30s and this is how I learned, and what a difference it made. Good luck and really enjoy the experience as its fun. If it isn’t then again go to another counter. I personally like Mac (for the wide range of foundation colours) and estee lauder, but they’re pretty much all the same really. Remember when you pay more for these products you’re also paying for the skill of the technician at the counter, so if they don’t meet your needs don’t buy and go elsewhere

      • EmGee says:

        Sounds like you started wearing make up about the time I stopped! (actually, I think I stopped wearing anything more than mascara and concealer in my mid 20s), so when it comes to make up for middle aged women, I AM clueless! Thanks for more tips. Between you and Penny, I have gotten more info in 2 replies than years of pouring over fashion mags and the internet (reading cosmo and vanity fair at the hair salon is my guilty pleasure).

    • Penny says:

      Emgee, hello. Palm Desert?! where do you live?! It sounds very tropical and exciting! Must be overseas, can;t be here! I’ll come over and help you with your make up! LOL! Anyway yes go with a friend and enjoy a make up experience.

      • EmGee says:

        Palm Desert is part of that Affluent Empire known globally as Palm Springs, CA. More 1 percenters than you can shake a stick at, so even for humble desert rats like me, who live in Joshua Tree, there are some opportunities to sample the good life.

        Thanks again for the advice!

    • RS says:

      Try Bobbi Brown, EmGee. Saks will carry that line. It’s really good quality and the look isn’t overly “done”. Bobbi also has really good how-to videos on her website and has written more than a few books.

      Another suggestion – check out Sali Hughes’ videos and columns in The Guardian – lots of really good advice there.

      Sephora can be scary, IMO. The salespeople there are generally very nice but they really pile on the makeup and I don’t think that’s what you want!

      • EmGee says:

        My mom used to use that brand (Maybe she still does), and I remember going to Saks with her to get some when she was visiting. Thanks for the other tips too!

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