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.