I Am Not Dead…

March 13, 2013 § 206 Comments

…though you would be forgiven for wondering.

My column seems to come out in the Times only sporadically and the rest of the time I feel as though I have said in this blog an awful lot of what I have got to say.   Oh, I suppose, in fact, my blabbering on can carry on without end.  Perhaps it’s just that I have become lazy, in which case I am a bollocks and sorry.   The happy pills seem to have, well, not worn off, but the energy isn’t quite as it was when they first kicked in.  I feel my normal self, which I suppose was their point but at the same time this feels something of a swizz.  I thought things might look brighter, and they don’t.  Marriages atrophying all about me and Still No (realistic, available) Men for a seasoned plankton such as myself.  Plus ca(cedilla, ou?) change.  There again, bit of bad news?  I feel it, but I guess if I wasn’t on prozac I might feel it all the more.

I haven’t seen the SYT for a couple of weeks and I miss him, or at least the idea of him.  As for the up-all-night-fellow-vodka-drinking fellow: we went out on the razzle at Groucho’s a few nights ago and are seeing quite a bit of each other, but in the purely pure sense.  He’s in love with an Impossible.  I still fancy, though am not in love with (have had the wit to stop myself), my own SYImpossibleT.

Any other twinkles?  Yesterday afternoon, in deep country, I met a possible one but he would be a RQALOT (Really Quite A Lot Older Twinkle), and the disparity with SYT might be too large a gap for me giddyingly to bridge.

So, no, same old fucking story.  Or, rather, ahem, same old story.

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§ 206 Responses to I Am Not Dead…

  • fred says:

    Yes, that green grass in the distance is often patchy and full of weeds once you get close up. Now it’s come to drinking vodka with men who are not interested in you just to have company and taking tranquilizers to dull the pain of it all. Sounds like it’s time to re-evaluate things and pull yourself out of this downward spiral Plankton before it’s too late.

    • The Plankton says:

      It’s not a complete downward spiral. Lots of good stuff too. Pxx

      • Sari says:

        Dear Dear Plankton,

        I hope you catch this message amongst the hundred plus other comments..I´ve been following your blog for a few months after I came across it quite accidentally while looking for something about zooplankton, the biologist that I am, and I have enjoyed the openess, honesty and sincerity with which you have shared some of the most intimate thoughts and moments of your life over the last few months. So I thought I would share a few things with you. First a resume of yesterdays evenings events that are just so typical of my dating life…I had been out with a young man, an architect, a few times. last night was the fourth time we´d been out, to a nice bar. He´d been very attentive, kind, interesting. Lots in common. Strangely, age didn´t come up, so as I suspected that he was several years younger than myself, last night I brought up the “age thing”. It turns out that he was 30 and I am 40, soon to be 41. His reaction was, one could only describe as extreme. At first he refused to believe me, went very red, stepped back a bit, moved in again, back out. It was all a bit like a fish gasping for air stranded on the riverbank. It was an uncomfortable situation, although I don´t feel bad about my age in the slightest. His behaviour fluctuated for the rest for the evening. And then towards the end, his kind, usual chivalrous behaviour dropped, he made a clumsy sexual proposition, which I flatly turned down, we parted ways and I am certain I will never see him again. I won´t waste time analysing this situation, but I will say it happens to me a lot. I mostly meet younger men. They find out how old I am and then balk, or expect easy sex. Or both as was the case last night. Or I attract much older men, who have up until now, not really interested me. I almost never meet men of my age who are unattached. I met one a few weeks ago, we went out a few times and I thought he´s too good to be true! 40, handsome, sensitive, creative. But it wasn´t long before I saw the dark side of recovering alcoholic grappling with addiction issues. Pretty obv why he was still single then. So that´s pretty much typical of my current dating life.
        I have seen a lot of to-ing and fro-ing in the comments sections about whose fault this is, the woman´s expections, or the lack of men etc. But I just know from my personal experience that the 40 something single healthy balanced man is not an easy thing to encounter. And I have many single female friends in the same position as myself. They (the available 40 something men) would really prefer a woman 10 years younger than themselves and I can understand why. They want to keep that option open on parenthood in a way that you cant with a 40 year old woman, however attractive you are or aren´t. And while I could date younger men, and even find one who may even fall in love with me to the extent that they would give up being a parent, I generally avoid this type of situation and prefer to date men my age. But hey that´s so difficult as there seem to be so few “healthy in mind and spirit” of them around!
        It is I suppose my own fault, I spent between 16-30 in serial long term monogamous relationships and then for the last 10 years have pretty much travelled the world. I have let some good men pass out of my life, because while the time was right for them to settle down, it wasn´t right for me. Now I am ready, but there´s a large part of me that feels like I´ve left it too late. I don´t rule out that I will meet someone, but it is I think very much a numbers game. In questions of romance, luck has a lot to play. And recently I´ve been v unlucky. So it leads me to conclude that maybe I never will meet that special someone to settle down with. And that leads me to the second thing I wanted to share with you. And if we don´t, what then?
        Modern society doesn´t help. We´re programmed to feel like failures if we don´t end up partnered off like swans in the winter. But it´s not an absolute truth it is just social programming. There are so many joyous things in life that can make us feel complete and give us pleasure. Human experience in all its shapes and colours is valid and emotional turmoil/discontent can even make us express ourselves in new and interesting ways. Look at how many people you have touched with this blog.
        I was a bit concerned about the tone of your last entry. The lack of humour. It seems you´ve lost your “mojo”, and you need to recuperate it. Yes, in a way you are telling the same old story, but you´re not the same person you were when you started this. So it isn´t the same story. Maybe you need some time out from the blog. Maybe do what you did before and ask for guest posts for a period of time. I would also like to suggest that you take off. Make some big changes in your life. Why not rent out the house, take the kids and spend a year in the South of France, or a Mediterranean island. There are schools the kids can enrol in, and it would be a great experience for them, to learn a new language, swim every day in the sea. And for you! You´re a writer you can do this. It sounds to me in my humble opinion, that you need a change and new stimulus, as there appearsto be stagnation in your life.
        And I have seen, through travelling how much one´s perspective changes when one does this kind of thing. Living in a new country is of course at times a lonely experience, but with skype and the internet it neednt be. And the friends they of course come and visit. You seem to have lots, so it sounds like you´d never be alone. And obviously you would make new friends too!
        Challenges, excitement is I think what you need at the moment. And this isnt the kind of funk a pottery class can help with. A life change is I think what is called for. Sorry if I sound arrogant, as if I know how you are feeling. But you have shared so much and I thought I´d give something back. My two cents for what it´´s worth. i hope you will think about it. What have to got to lose? And please let´s not forget that plankton, while it is true to say are the base of the marine food chain, are also some of the most marvellous and beautiful creatures that exist!

    • Oooh- a grey colored square tile icon- Fred, trade my blue tile icon for your grey one?

  • fi says:

    That’s a bit unfair, but maybe it is time to re-evaluate things and consider why your happiness is so dependant on getting a boyfriend. And if so, what you’re going to do if you NEVER get another.

    • Lydia says:

      And indeed if you cannot be happy without a man then I suspect people are not attractive. They need first to be happy in themselves and then they attract others. If the pills have stopped working I wonder if it is worth seeing the doctor. They are only supposed to be temporary and they seem to have worn off rather fast and drugs which aren’t working or aren’t needed are not a great thing to take. Mind you I never even took the contraceptive pill so I am not very pro pills really.

    • The Plankton says:

      Don’t think I EVER will. Signs are not looking promising. Think I’ll enjoy my daily latte instead. It’s warm and comforting and doesn’t get into grumps. Pxx

  • MissBates says:

    Well, dear Plankton, I don’t know that you’re on a “downward spiral,” as “fred” says above. And of course antidepressants aren’t “tranquilizers,” either. They just help you to see your life with more clarity. At least that’s what they did for me, the two years I was on them. Contrary to popular opinion, they don’t make things look rosy, but they help in not making everything seem completely grim, either. SO, with that rather rambling prelude, it just sounds to me like you, Plankton, are allowing yourself to enjoy life a bit more, while still recognizing and perhaps even accepting that the prospects for any meaningful romantic attachment remain as elusive as ever.

    Overall, sounds like progress.

  • Steve says:

    I think it is up to us, the Plankton’s loyal followers to help stimulate debate. Did anyone see the feature in the Times magazine last Saturday about the three men who paid £7,000 each to a match making agency to find them a partner?
    I know how the feeling on here tends to be that any suitable man is snapped up within ten minutes of becoming single but their experiences (and sadly, my own) are very different.

    • Steve H says:

      Steve. Naughty. You know the form by now.

      All blokes, whatever they look like/financial status/personality are snapped up within a nano-second of the ink on the divorce being finalised. If not sooner

      This is despite that many of us middle aged single blokes are..ummm…single.

      “Ah”.the majority report knowingly “SFAR…” And that keeps the illusion going.

      An illusion that is counterbalanced not just by statistics but my lots of people on here. But that counterview just won’t wash 😉

      • fi says:

        I have dinner tomorrow with another one that I’m afraid I’m going to reject. 😉

      • fred says:

        Depends on the circumstances, if the man was the one who instigated the divorce and was already involved with another woman, he’s already got another before the ink is even put to page. If he has been dumped and has any brains, he’ll take a while to sort through the wreakage before moving on, which seems to take at least a year to get through all the stages to the acceptance the marriage is over for good.

        For any man who has taken this time to rebuild himself physically, mentally and spirtually, his prospects of remarriage ( if he wants to) are statistically better than a woman of comparable age. Even so, I don’t know why one would want to marry again, the rates for divorce in a second marriage is even worse than for the first….

        I know this is ancedotal, but most men I know personally who have been dumped are involved with women younger than their X a year or two after the split. The majority of them that have done well after divorce have pretty much followed the same process, rebuilt their lives, gone to gyms, got new wardrobes, and became involved with community/charity events/organizations that gets them out and about. At these events men are generally outnumbered about five to one ( women to men). One man I know took up ballroom & latin dancing and virtually has the field to himself. He’s not actively searching for anyone, just enjoying their company and letting things happen when they happen.

        I would think like the men I’ve mentioned, that maybe Plankton should take some time to re-evaluate things and come up with a new plan to enjoy her life again, do up a bucket list etc. She might just find someone when she quits looking and begins to truly enjoy life again.

      • The Plankton says:

        I think I am enjoying life, on the whole. And I have quit looking, pretty much, and not expecting anything. And still nothing. I shall just have on this “not expecting” to make sure it’s completely watertight. Not that even that will make any difference. But, hey ho: got all sorts of other blessings and I count them as assiduously as if they were votes in a general election (and just as plentiful). Pxx

      • EmGee says:

        fred makes good points about getting out more, but I wonder, a s a for instance, about the fellow (or woman) who takes lessons in ballroom dancing to find someone. If they are fortunate to do so, do they keep up the pretense of enjoying dancing, or do they suddenly lose this passion after their objective is reached, and disappoint their new mate who really loves dancing?

        I ask mainly because no sooner had the knot been tied, than my husband stopped with the flowers and other little romantic surprises, never remembered another anniversary, valentine’s day or birthday, and became hyper critical of my housekeeping skills and personal appearance. Apparently he was after a domestic slave, and once he secured one, the pretense was over.

        Needless to say, I find the idea of ever marrying again abhorrent. The vast majority of marriages I see, no matter how independent the woman, she is still expected to acquiesce to her partner’s wishes, and never has an equal say in final decisions.

    • Lydia says:

      I went to one of those agencies a few years ago although I did not go ahead after my interview of them to proceed as they only offered 9 people and you could not even see the pictures before you met them. It sounded a very bad deal really and it’s pretty easy to find men on line of whatever category one might want.

      • fi says:

        Actually its very easy to meet men in the real world. If you aren’t meeting them then get out more. If you’re getting out but there’s still no interest then fix yourself. The problem is not the men I’m afraid. Unpopular as this may be to hear, its unfair to keep blaming blokes.

      • Steve H says:

        Heretic!

      • fi says:

        I know. But apart from being insulting to blokes, and unfair, it’s very very boring. Same old same old.

    • The Plankton says:

      Funnily enough, I got round to reading that only yesterday, and it did rather fuck with my worldview, but no bad thing… Pxx

      • Steve says:

        Sorry dearest P, but the sad fact is that it’s just as hard for us as it is for you ladies.
        Believe me, I wish it wasn’t true!

  • Steve says:

    Why, Fi?

    • fi says:

      Because I am happy and fulfilled in my life as it is so I don’t have the gap that everyone else seems to, I’ve been on my own for so long it would be a major upheaval and I’m not sure I can remember how to do it, and lastly I’d probably give it a shot if the right person crossed my path but he hasn’t. And I don’t care enough to go looking. I’m not actually convinced that I will meet Mr Right actually anyway. In fact its ridiculous that I even think Mr Right exists at my age. But I’ve always been like that I’m afraid. Mr Right is someone who I like as much as I like my closest friends

      • MissBates says:

        @Fi Exactly.

      • The Plankton says:

        Yep. If only some of my lovely (male) friends were available. But they aren’t. All snapped up long ago, of course. So. End of. Pxx

      • fi says:

        Not for me. I don’t fancy any of my male friends – familiarity and all that – although it would be mightily convenient if I did. Anyway I already know what would drive me mad about having them around all the time and I think it would be better for that info to be divulged gradually.

  • Cindy Gallop has still not written back to me yet. Nearly 2 months have now passed since I sent an email to her…. : (

    • RS says:

      Scott. This strikes me as the adult male version of a random 12 year old girl writing to Justin Bieber and being devastated when he doesn’t write back and want to be her boyfriend.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        T- yes, just a guess- a good guess though, most people instantly delete emails when they don’t recognize the name of the sender… In the subject heading, I did indicate that I was writing a comment about her Ted talk presentation though….

    • Scott Benowitz says:

      Oddly enough, none of you are asking what I actually wrote in the email that I sent to her… What’s that? Oh, funny you should ask, I thought that you might be interested…..

      I commented on the youtube video clip of her Ted talk from 2 years ago- She’d talked about how she likes to date men who are in their 20’s, and how she’s seeing the effects of the porn videos that they’d been watching a few short years earlier when they were in their teen years have influenced their ideas about how to engage in sexual intercourse in real life… And so I when I wrote to her, I’d suggested that if there was anyone in the world who should NOT be at all surprised about this it would be people who have worked in the advertising industry, because no one has more of an understanding of how the visual imagery that people see in television screens and in the movies can influence many aspects of the human mind, consciously as well as subconsciously…. And then I told her that I am in an amateur camera club out here in the suburbs of New York City, and I invited her to see one of our exhibits- I told her that I thought she might find it fun to see if she can guess which of our members have worked in commercial advertising before, just from looking at the pictures that they choose to display in exhibits….

      I didn’t really expect that she’d write back to me, in fact I knew that she’d probably never even read the email that I sent to her- I figured that when she saw a name that she did not recognize enter into her inbox, she’d immediately assume that this was spam, and she’d erase the email that I sent to her without ever even opening it… and that’s probably exactly what happened….

      can’t blame me for trying though….

      • T Lover says:

        Scott,

        What did or didn’t happen at the Gallop end is -as rar as you are concerned – out and out speculation.

        As far as blaming you for trying is concerned, yes I can. You must be out of your tree for even thinking about it. What “it” is I am not sure. A quick knee trembler? With a rather plain older woman?

      • fi says:

        Oddly? I think not.

  • rosie says:

    Fred, you’ve hit the nail, however inadvertently, on the head. The simple fact is that finding a partner (a suitable one, not just any old flotsam) isn’t the same for plankton as it is for men of a similar vintage. Asking P to ‘get out more and re-evaluate things’, however well meaning is, well, a bit meaningless when, like you say, any half-decent middle-aged man has a gazillion grateful females vying for this attention. Fair enough if she were a couch potato slobbed out in front of reality TV every night but her social life sounds like it would put many another to shame.

    Your Latin ballroom-dancing chap can afford to sit back and enjoy the ride precisely because he knows the cards are massively stacked in his favour. Who wouldn’t?

    As for having a ring on my finger, I couldn’t give a toss. Another living, breathing, warm-blooded presence would be nice though.

    Oh, and anecdotal evidence counts for a lot.

    • Steve says:

      Sorry Rosie, that’s not a fact at all. If the feature in the Times on Saturday (sorry to bring it up again) is anything to go by, there are just as many men as women finding it hard to find someone.
      And as for a gazillion grateful women for every man; can you send one, just one, in my direction? Thanks 🙂

      • fi says:

        Steve. Join a ceroc class. Not only are there loads of women you also learn to dance and lead a woman round the dance floor, something I personally find very erotic.

  • Elle says:

    Welcome back P. I hope you’re well and remember the happy pills aren’t supposed to be a permanent solution. Do you run?

    Maybe you should forget SYT and move on. Young men are all very fine but RQALOT (Really Quite A Lot Older Twinkle) might be worth a shot. Only consider a relationship with him if you really like him.

    I’ve been rethinking my plankton status recently and don’t feel so bad about being single. A woman in work who is in her late 50s was lamenting the fact that she is unable to retire. The reason – she has to support her 80 year old husband and pay the mortgage on their holiday home abroad. The 80 year old husband spends a lot of time in their holiday home so there is no question of selling it. Thankfully he is in good health. He had some investments but they went belly-up a few years ago when a certain high-profile Irish bank failed. So now his younger wife has to work all the hours god sends to support them both.

    I think there will be many more women like her in future – young women who are delighted to marry a man 15 or more years older, who love having the attention lavished on them but perhaps fail to see that one day they will have to take responsibility for both themselves and their older partner.

    It seems that no matter what, men win. They get a nice younger partner to look after them and support them in their old age while the same woman is just as miserable as her single sisters even though she doesn’t have to suffer the ignominy of being single. Meanwhile older men can choose whether they want a full-time partner or not but either way they don’t have to be alone if they choose not to be.

  • rosie says:

    “Sorry Rosie, that’s not a fact at all.”

    It comes down to personal experience, Steve. All I can say is that for the men of my acquaintance, past and present, it very much is a fact. A very annoying one.

    I read the Times article too and, while I can see your point, I don’t think three men (all of whom are now happily ensconced, if I remember rightly) can be seen as representative.

  • Chris says:

    Ah, I pop back again to witness the slow dying of the light…..column more sporadic now etc.. I see you are discovering the effect of the so called ‘happy pills’. Good luck with them, spent a month on them once, never again, made me feel bloody awful. Yerself and many of your accolytes ( did I spell that right….don’t care !!) still appear without prospect of finding the ‘right’ kind of man. That is because the ‘right’ kind of man is such a tiny proportion lof the male population. I mean, I would hazard a guess you would not be up for Mick Philpotts, though you may reflect that he is a man who does not seem to want for much younger female company. That such an unprepossing man can attract much younger women may of course lead us to reflect on what exactly it is that women find attractive in men. Or maybe not, perhaps such an analysis might prove just too irksome and tiresome.

    • EmGee says:

      Maybe this is a male brain thing, not understanding how women think, but the ‘right’ man in a woman’s vernacular is the ‘right man for her’. That is a man who starts a fire in her heart, not her house. Hope this insight into the female brain is helpful to you

    • fi says:

      Chris. The women he got may be younger, but they are skanky.

      • Chris says:

        Skanky !!?? Umnmm, bit judgemental that. I will grant they are skanky….but he is super skanky. Anywaym my real point is that women always bang on about the ‘right’ but he is often the wrong one for the long haul. You know, I recently met the girls I used to live next door to as a teenager 40 years ago. They told me that back in those days I was ‘too nice’…….wtf…too nice ?? Well, that figures, I seem to remember they went out with bad boy types. Nothing wrong with that…….but if that is what women want…….well, guess that explains why Levi Belfield, a revolting specimen of humanity, managed to have 11 children by 4 different women………what women want…..??

      • fi says:

        “Too nice” is what women say when they mean “doormat”.

  • nick says:

    I’m a 45 year old man, and I have read a lot of your blog, and found it very interesting. I hadn’t realized men in my age group were in such short supply. However I wouldn’t consider dating a western woman anymore.

    I find being an average guy, no kids, no divorce, average looks just doesn’t cut it any more. Even though I don’t drink or smoke, take drugs and have a pleasant demeanor…BUT…..…it doesn’t cut it any more…….

    I need to be far wealthier than I am, have better prospects, and live in a bigger house, better car…etc etc…well you know the drill….
    My friends who are doing astonishingly well from university are all married of course, they have been for some time, those are the men most women desire. There’s only so many of them around, and they have their pick and settle down.

    Yes I hate speed dating, and all those gimmicky things, dating in the dark, on top of a church tower or whatever they have now, ….and online dating is mostly appalling, filled with scammers and spammers….everything seems disposable.

    No I’ll be forgetting about western women, my age, older and younger, I’m not matching up to their huge list. So I’ll go abroad find a wife with a reputable dating site (takes much much research but it can be done). Even the cost and expense of visas and travelling to find a foreign wife is worth it. Western women are out of my reach – perhaps that’s just the way of the world these days.

    Alpha men are all married (or can do so easily), and betas like me are going abroad to find a wife /partner. We don’t cut it any more…so why try……we just take an alternative to find happiness.

    • EmGee says:

      I am sure there are many poor women in your country who would like a ‘hand up’, and poor ‘undemanding’ foreign women as well. Because basically that is what you are saying: You need to find a woman in poor enough circumstances that make you look wealthy and attractive.

      And I dare you to quote one woman verbatim who posts on this blog who says she is specifically looking for a wealthy man. A man she doesn’t have to support financially is another matter. An older man she won’t be nursemaid to is another matter. A man who can’t be bothered to tear himself away from the tv, pub, etc is another matter. A man (you I suspect) who is looking for a fulltime, unpaid maid,/cook/sex on demand object, is another matter.

      As a troll, I rate you 2/10. Thanks for playing. Enjoy your hunt for a 3rd world mate, and if you find yourself in Bangkok, make sure to check what’s under the carpet before committing yourself to any women there. And always drink straight from the bottle and use a clean straw.

      • fi says:

        EmGee – you are so funny. But to be fair to him he’s obviously a man who can’t get a woman who genuinely believes it is because he hasn’t enough money. He is simply the male version of the women who can’t get a man and genuinely believe its because they’re not young enough.

      • Chris says:

        EmGee, you are so devine and you peddle a fine line of garbage. I am with a foreign woman, she comes from Malaysia, which is very far from being a third world country. To be exact she comes the state of Sarawak in northern Borneo. Sarawak has a surplus of electricity generated from two hydro schemes and so exports power to Japan. The price of electricity is dirt cheap, as is natural gas of which there is an abundance. If the UK’s economy was in as good shape as Malaysias you would be dancing for joy. As for Thailand, that country has full employment now and is growing rapidly. Also, it is no longer cheap. With China poised to become the worlds biggest economy in 2016 I think a lot of reassessment of what is considered to be third world is needed !!

  • James B says:

    The whole point here is loneliness. Ms P is currently recovering from life re-alignment shock. But the real problem is, I think loneliness. Not an easy thing to contemplate when one has felt that one’s life ahead as a couple was clearly plotted. SSRIs will deaden the pain like an aspirin, but the pain of loneliness will rear its head again. P – I would love to hear your wit again, and it will return. Your personality, in the end, I am certain will win you a great life partner. Although no-one can predict from where that will happen.

  • zoe says:

    Actually, I think both Nick and Chris have a point. I am convinced in some ways that this is THE point.

    And, as I have to meet a girlfriend in 20 minutes, and re-posting seems to be the order of the day, here’s one I made here earlier, many moons ago:

    “…plankton are their own worst enemy.

    It used to be that women’s wealth, health and happiness depended on marrying a man of superior status. This encouraged girls to seek better educated, more intelligent, better-off men. My guess is that a significant portion of plankton dismay with available men is nothing more than a hangover from these patriarchal times. But here’s the rub. If you consider the educated and intelligent bunch that contribute to this blog – let alone P herself – that’s going to be a tough find. The more intelligent and educated and sorted you are, the harder it is to find someone even more intelligent, more educated and more sorted.

    But more sobering than that; even if all you ask for is that a man be equally educated, equally intelligent, equally solvent – and my guess is that most contributors here would claim to want something like that – it’s going to be really tough too. Why? Because men, not being in the grip of the same ideology, aren’t demanding this of their women. The average man is happy to find a woman he fancies, a woman he can have a good time with, and a woman who has sufficient emotional wherewithal to have a stable relationship with. He doesn’t much care if she has an inferior education or less money or even, within reason, less smarts – let alone give a monkey’s about how she manages her apostrophes or exclamation marks. And so it will be that he is quite likely to be snapped up – P’s narrow window of opportunity – by an “inferior” woman to those plankton of superior intelligence, education and sensibility.

    It’s a numbers game. And plankton are seriously handicapping themselves with outdated ideologically-informed “standards” as to what their ideal man is.

    I need someone I’m attracted to, but – like a man – I am open to having a relationship with someone younger than myself, less educated, and even -within reason – less intelligent. Frankly, I reckon I’m a pretty tough act for a man to follow 😉 and I’m not going to let that get in the way of having an intimate relationship with someone I like, trust and fancy.”

  • rosie says:

    “and if you find yourself in Bangkok, make sure to check what’s under the carpet before committing yourself to any women there.”

    Haha, very true. Someone I used to know failed to do exactly that. Took him years to get over it, not to mention for the general hilarity to die down.

    Actually, I feel myself taking pity on Nick. Nick, it’s not true that women are looking for wealthy men, unless they’re completely shallow, in which case you’ve been meeting the wrong women. Most of us just want someone who can hold a decent conversation, is half way sane, keeps himself clean, is reasonably in shape, is kind to animals and waiters and isn’t a racist, sexist, homophobic nutjob.

    We could also seek a mate from distant shores but what good would that do when half the world has even more unreconstructed views of women than many of our compatriots?

  • James B says:

    A very well-thought out and well written post Zoe. But the truth is that your points really apply more for men the first time around. When men mature, in the same way women do – they want a life partner who shares intellectually, culturally and emotionally.

    Men find is just as difficult as women to find partners once they pass 45 unless they are successful, rich or good-looking. All three actually. It’s the same for both sexes in my experience; difficult.

    I have lots of single male friends. I have lots of single female friends. The men think they deserve a better looking woman. The women think they deserve a more successful/good-looking male. Result – impasse.

    I am staying where I am by the way. But good luck out there. In my experience, it sorts itself out in the end and people find the right partners.

    • nick says:

      Money isn’t an essential factor I agree, but c’mon if you’re seeking a man with a good living your subtly still wanting a man with money. Your prince charming, your Mr. Big (fill in the space here).

      You assume that I want some kind of slave, which is so far from the truth. I just need someone that treats me decently, who won’t desert me if I do require a “nursemaid” should I become ill; who might treat me like a human being and not some kind of fashion accessory.

      Also because I mention a foreign bride she has to come from the Philippines ?

      Apologies if you think I’m trolling, I’m certainly not (or a racist, sexist, homophobic nutjob.). I agree maybe I’ve met the wrong kind of women, some blatantly cheated, for others money WAS a big deal. So is it so wrong if I’m jaded of western women and don’t want to go back in the dating pit.

      Of course I would like to have a great relationship with an English woman, but that’s simply not going to happen as I don’t measure up on her score sheet. Thankyou james B and zoe – great comments. I won’t post again, as I’m probably saying things you don’t want to hear – its better to sit with your head in the sand and wonder where all the good guys went.

      There’s obviously some very kind people on here, and thankyou for your comments. I guess loneliness is just something you’ll have to get used to, if you won’t invest time in people wherever they come from.

      • Chris says:

        Nick, ignore this lot, get a foreign woman. Why should you care what western women want?……care about what YOU want and focus on that…..simples !!

  • rosie says:

    “In my experience, it sorts itself out in the end and people find the right partners.”

    Gosh, if only that were true.

  • James B says:

    I think, Rosie that it does happen in the end. But it can take ages, sadly. Human relationships are complex and require a little serendipity, lots of hard work, the right social connections and is also a numbers game. Be optimistic and open to the unexpected!

  • rosie says:

    Oh, eternally optimistic, as only the eternally unattached can know.

  • nick says:

    Just a quick thankyou for those kind comments and then I’m going, you ladies don’t want me here and indeed probably resent and hate me.
    Yes I’ll be flying to the other end of the world to meet pre-vetted degree educated ladies from foreign lands. And no I won’t be drunkenly trawling aids-riddled titty bars for a future mate, – who would do that?.

    Why a foreign woman? My brother married a foreign woman 6 years ago, has 2 kids and couldn’t be happier – so whats wrong to want the same?
    I do realize the ridiculousness of the situation to goto such lengths to have some kind of family life. But what else can I do – western women are so unattainable.

    Of my 30 good male friends from university – 2 turned out gay, one committed suicide, one single and alcoholic (no its not me thanks), and the others are all married. The greater portion married foreign women – 15 I believe. So its something I’ve been considering with deep thought.

    I’ll leave you with this article – 51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse (new York times)
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/16/us/16census.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    So single ladies are in the majority – and living alone and dying alone is the new norm – which is a very sad fact. I have long suspected that the west is becoming the loneliest place on gods green earth, but it doesn’t mean single men have to grab a bottle and start downing the valium. I have to do something to save myself – but I cant save you from yourselves.
    Thanks for all the kind words, I do appreciate them. Goodbye.

    • teapot says:

      “pre-vetted”? How romantic….

    • Elle says:

      “Pre-vetted degree educated ladies from foreign lands”. Does Ireland count as a foreign land, Nick? Only joking but happy St Patrick’s day to you, Plankton and everyone else here.

      One thing strikes me, these foreign ladies are smart enough to get organised and get themselves onto the books of an agency that specialises in degree educated ladies. If such an agency were to exist in your home country would you consider finding a partner there?

      Dating agencies in the UK and Ireland are prohibitively expensive and even so the chances of finding an honest caring man are slim. Clearly these agencies are doing something wrong if men are flocking abroad to find partners. I’d like to know where these foreign ladies come from.

      A friend married a Russian girl he met this way. It all happened very quickly. They were married less than a year after they met, and she had a baby almost nine months after they married. He is supporting her, their baby and an eight year old daughter from a previous relationship. The Russian girl is lovely, but no less lovely than many Irish women who are terminally single. Perhaps we need to work out the foreign approach to dating and adopt that if we want to find a partner.

      Nick, what is the unique selling point of foreign women and why do men approach foreign dating agencies instead of local ones? Incidentally, I wish you the very best with your future partner, wherever she comes from.

      • nick says:

        Hi, just in reply to you elle. Yes I agree too many western agencies are too expensive and online dating sites make relationships too disposable and more given to flings than anything of any substance.

        Hope you have a great st,patricks day too. And by the way I think the Irish accent is the most beautiful . Yes when I say foreign I mean asia, Russia and of course some parts of Europe, one friend married a Turkish lady and is very happy – for the last 8 years. (he lives in turkey with her).

        When I say pre-vetted ladies this is to ensure they are who they say they are, are not prostitutes, are gainfully employed, no criminal past and are not already married. Men are vetted too, so we have to give credentials and they do check them. (this is not the case with all foreign agencies I’m sure as some need more men and this may put some off, and often the men are paying the fees and the women join free or pay very little). Attractiveness, kindness, empathy, and a desire to get married and be committed rather than play the field all play their part too.

        I think the main appeal is that if ladies have gone through all these checks and the men too – both parties are already in a committed frame of mind and the chance of success is good, they also have a 2 year aftercare service to let the lady settle into her new environment from other foreign married ladies in the UK. So it’s a kind of free support group. Also some men settle abroad, in the brides chosen land. Your right in many ways, the mechanisms they have in place is far more professional than the overpriced western ones.

        In the west its more disposable, with the lady picking you as “mr right now” but she already has one eye on the revolving door over your shoulder – and you’ll be dropped as soon as Mr supersonic walks in the door. Which doesn’t work for me or a lot of joe averages. We need to have a future too.

        Oh yes your kinda right, at some point Chinese men and Russian women will have to begin marrying each other as they each have a surplus and unable to find partners. A million Russian women its been said have no opportunity to meet any kind of man.

        Hope that info helps, I hope you have chance to meet a really great guy as you do sound sincere and kind. But the western dating scene leaves me cold.

      • nick says:

        also i should mention before you all move to china, i’m guessing there would be a massive culture shock firstly. plus remember women in japan will be searching for chinese men too, as around 60% of japanese men (18-35) dont have girlfriends or wifes, they are now very introverted and dont date very much – and chinese men maybe the next best alternative for japanese women.

      • Elle says:

        Nick, if you looked hard enough you could find a woman with all the qualities you seek in the UK, the US, or wherever you come from. There are lots of nice ordinary women who don’t socialise on the bar/club scene, don’t drink much and don’t know where to find a man who wants more than a one-night stand.

        If men want to go abroad to find a partner that’s their choice, but there are dozens of nice girl next door types at home if the men would care to look. I admit the nice girl next door doesn’t have that exotic factor, but she is culturally on the same wavelength as Western men. Perhaps this is the reason she gets overlooked.

      • nick says:

        Thanks elle, I agree here in the UK I am sure there are really very nice ladies – but everything’s so screwed up – the whole dating scene, the online scene, all the players /fakers/scammers out there I would never meet them if I searched for a decade. If I knew where …..I’d go look.

        Some women like a door being opened for them – others will tell you not to patronize them. Mixed messages all over the place. The British sense of humor is also something I will miss with a foreign wife.

        Its true I know that foreign women market themselves better, but that’s not enough. The women are also determined to find partners and there’s a steely resolve to meet a man that will treat them kindly and give them a loving family. They are no fools either, a drunk or a womanizer isn’t going to meet with their approval. Agencies too can’t fake anything, when it gets to the visa stage if a woman is married already or has a criminal past, the visa simply won’t get passed.

        Yes pre-nups can be arranged too, and every agency I have checked out have all asked the same question;; would I wish to live in the country of origin of the foreign lady. ? a lady would be over the moon for me to move over there and having a uk passport as the only reason for marriages is perhaps is an old argument that’s a decade old.
        However for now, I would like to live in the UK.

        You asked if the same agencies existed here in the uk, would I consider a uk wife. ? I would have mixed feelings – being from Ireland you know of the huge drinking problem here in the uk spearheaded by young women today. I’ve never even kissed a non-smoker, or been out with anyone who doesn’t have a tattoo or a piercing (I don’t have them myself). And the final bombshell came when I was taking to a french male friend of mine and they were telling some joke and I heard him say that “uk women now fight and drink like men”……..i was surprised, but not shocked…..that’s what foreigners think of us!

        Some say Maybe women hate themselves – and the hard drinking, smoking, drug use, promiscuity, fighting and so forth is a symptom of trying to be too like us- and now they have the freedoms of men, they find men don’t have it that great anyways…..lifes hard enough despite what sex you are……..

        I don’t have the answers, and I know there are decent great attractive professional women out there, but they’d never look at me as a prospect. I like your optimism, but professional ladies don’t like average guys, they marry up the scale – not down.

        So what’s to be done.? The relative assurances of a foreign wife are the best way forward for average guys. Nothings guaranteed in life, but from the carousel of never ending dating in the UK and the success rate of marriages to a foreign wife (yes I have seen the proof, and I can meet and chat with any of those that have used the service and are happily married) – the latter is the most obvious to take.

        I agree the blog is very much a brutal way of looking at life, it gets the headlines which is the reason to use such a stark narrative. I don’t think anyone wants to be alone, and we don’t make the choices we do lightly in looking for women abroad. When I was a kid I didn’t think I’d be doing what I am doing – things never pan out as you hoped.
        thankyou for your kind words elle.

  • terracotta says:

    Dear Plankton – sorry to be Mrs Gloomy – but apart from men and lack thereof a whole new sadness will come when your children leave home so I can only advise relish every current second with them …..

  • James B says:

    Gracious me. We DO need to solve this loneliness problem, don’t we?

  • rosie says:

    ” …she comes the state of Sarawak in northern Borneo. Sarawak has a surplus of electricity generated from two hydro schemes and so exports power to Japan.”

    So? Saudi Arabia exports oil.

    • Elle says:

      A day will come when women from non-Western countries will no longer consider a Western partner to be an eligible prospect. The way Europe’s economy is going this day could come sooner rather than later. Perhaps roles will reverse and young Western women will look East for a partner.

      • Chris says:

        Where do western women hope to find a partner in the East with the social attitudes they have? Trust me, western women would have to do a crash course in traditional femininity to score in that part of the globe.

      • Elle says:

        I’m not talking about women at this point in time, but maybe in 20 or 30 years time when globalisation has taken a bigger hold and people’s attitudes are more homogenized.

        Eastern men can be polite and respectful. I dated an Indian guy who was kind, intelligent and caring. A colleague married an Indian guy she met through work.

        The current generation of middle-aged Western men are on a roll, but I hope some of them don’t pass their arrogance and misogyny on to their sons as the world will have changed when they start dating.

    • Chris says:

      Exactly Rosie, do you see queues of impoverished Saudi women queuing up to marry European men? I don’t think so. So that thesis about foreign women goes out the door. But here is a sobering thought. Our children may end up as servants to the Chinese. I myself in tend to retire to Sarawak, I can see no future for the UK, or most of Europe for that matter. Her is a thought. The demand for British men from foreign women is quite high. The reason is not money, loads of countries and people have money. The reason is attitude. I used to have a Chilean girlfriend, went to Chile where I established the attitude of the local men was macho and sexist. Unbelievable rates of domestic violence. I was rated highly for qualities not appreciated in Britain, namely being a nice ordinary kind guy. Make of that what you will but when it comes to social attituded remember the UK is not the world and that other people are happy with what you do not wanty.

  • rosie says:

    “Perhaps we need to work out the foreign approach to dating and adopt that if we want to find a partner.”

    Where does that leave women who are looking for an equal partnership?

    • Chris says:

      That is what foreign women are doing right now with the men you lot dismiss. The world is changing rapidly and some people are just not on the pace. Maybe your idea of an equal partnership is just not attractive to your target group ?

      • teapot says:

        Some of these comments involve such sweeping generalisations to the extent that they are almost meaningless. Nick could end up meeting the sweetest, most feminine woman with all the traditional values he wants and who loves him for who he is. He could also end up with a financially driven gold-digger who wont show any hesitation in leaving him for a better option when the opportunity presents itself (which at the moment he only seems to abscribe to “western” women). It could be neither of those. Yes, there are demographic factors which will impact upon the dating scenes of different countries but these generalisations are misguided and seem to be more about projected desires than any reality. They also sound like they are driven by bitterness and that wont be attractive to any woman regardless of where she is from. And Chris, please stop using the term “you lot” – it just sounds really disrespectful.

    • Elle says:

      Rosie, some of these foreign women routinely wipe the floor with their men but they do it in such a way the men don’t realise what’s happening. Western women have largely been raised to be honest and upfront. Ideally men would appreciate these qualities but judging from the number of women here who are single, they don’t.

      Darwin said that those who are willing to adapt to change survive best. We can still have an equal partnership, but we may have to let one partner be more equal than the other. The male ego is a strange thing and non-Western women seem to know how to let a man think he is in charge. “Think” being the operative word with the classic iron fist in velvet glove approach.

      • Chris says:

        You are absolutely right. Asian women know exactly how to get what they want from western men without being confrontational. You will A\LWAYS get more more from a man through flattery and charm than you will through confrontation. I know I will always get more from a woman through flattery and charm than I will through confrontation. But a lot of western women seem to have forgotten this simple premise. Now we have arrived at this awful point in the west where both sexes seem to have little other than contempt for each other. Not very nice, is it? Oh, and because a lot of western guys are not used to flattery and charm from women they can be easy targets for scamming by foreign women. But that is usually when they go for someone out of their league, like 30 years younger. In truth these guys are scamming themselves by letting their little head rule their big head. Then again I have known plenty of guys who have done that with UK women.

  • I’m actually reading my first (and almost certainly my last) romance novel ever now- Admittedly, hardly much of a substitute for the real thing, but because for what is now the 4th consecutive year, women almost never return any of the emails that I send to them or any of my phone calls, I do have some time on my hands…

    And while reading this book, I thought of you, Ms. Plankton- I’m presently reading “Naked Came The Stranger” by Penelope Ashe (The Dell Publishing Company, Inc., 1970.) If you’re not already familiar with this book, this is actually a noteworthy piece of latter 20th century literary history. The writer “Penelope Ashe” does not really exist, “Penelope Ashe” is the pen name that a group of 24 very legitimate news writers at one of the New York City area newspapers called “Newsday” made up for themselves in 1969, which was 3 years before I was born.
    From what I’ve read so far, these 24 writers at Newsday had noticed that throughout the course of the 1960’s the standards of writing in the “fiction” category in many of the bestseller lists in the U.S. was simply getting lower and lower, leading them to conclude that for the most part, people were no longer really interested in reading quality literature at all. These 24 news journalists decided to see if they could write a book which contained pretty much zero (0) real literary merit on its own, but contained a lot of mindless, pointless, yet very descriptive sex scenes, just to see if it would make the bestseller lists.
    And these 24 writers proceeded to do precisely what they set out to do- Under the pen name “Penelope Ashe,” this group of 24 news journalists did write a book which is impressively poorly written- the plot, the style and the vocabulary are so simplistic that a junior high aged school student with any brain would laugh at it- And it does contain 24 successive pointless, mindless, yet vividly detailed sexual encounters (hence, the title.) And it did spend several weeks on the bestseller lists here back in 1970.
    And in 1975, someone did buy the rights to this book and adapted it into an XXX rated movie (which I have no intention of seeing, even to laugh at).
    19 of the 24 journalists who formed the writer “Penelope Ashe” are still alive and writing today, as of March, 2013….

    • fi says:

      Have you considered paying for professional advice/ help to make yourself more attractive to women?

      • Elle says:

        Don’t ask stupid questions Fi 🙂 They would rather spend the money on procuring a partner from abroad.

      • fi says:

        Sorry my comment wasa directed at scott who can’t get any interest at all from any woman, or even a response. 🙂

      • Elle says:

        Sorry. I think Scott is probably a lot more successful in real life and is winding us up.

      • fi says:

        Elle. I doubt it. 😀

      • zoe says:

        Elle, only someone blinded by the misplaced conviction that men hold all the cards would be scratching their head over Scott’s lack of success with women. I think Fi’s suggestion a rather good one.

      • Elle says:

        Scott has got to be winding us up. He’s probably having a torrid affair with Cindy Gallop 😀

        Seriously, he comes across as more sane than some other chaps here and certainly isn’t as bitter. It doesn’t figure that Scott is on his own.

    • Elle says:

      Are you sure they didn’t write the Fifty Shades trilogy as well?

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        The following year, they wrote a sequel entitled “Stranger Than Naked;: Or, How To Write Dirty Books For Fun and Profit; A Manual” (P.H. Wyden, 1970).

        And no- or yes, rather- Honest, women almost never return any of my phone calls or my emails, except to let me know that they’d like to cancel the few times that we do intend to meet somewhere for something social….

      • fi says:

        Scott, time for blunt talking I’m afraid.
        Any woman (although maybe not Elle 🙂 ) could identify why you are so unsuccessful. If you are serious about getting a woman then you need to completely change the way you present yourself . You will never be attractive to women unless you change how you appear. Not just physically (long hair tied in a ponytail and overweight if I remember correctly from a photo you posted over a year ago) but also how you come across (desperate and eccentric). You are 40 now and educated and should be at your peak of attractiveness, the world of women should be your oyster. Things go downhill for you from where you are now so either shape up and exploit your good points and get professional help to make you appear attractive in all senses to women, or don’t but you haven’t long before it’s too late.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        Ah, Fi- Thank you- I presently weigh 170 lbs. According to what I could find from perusing the worldwide web, as of 2011 and 2012, the average weight for a male in the U.S., aged 40, 5′ 10″ height is between 155 and 165 lbs, thus making me only 5 lbs above average…

        As for eccentric and desperate, I do enjoy writing in to as well as reading other peoples’ entries into a blogsite which is in fact subtitled “Life at the bottom of the sexual food chain”…

        As for “peak” and “downhill” from here, afraid that ship sailed years ago, back in the 20th century sometime ….. ……

      • T Lover says:

        Scott,

        Don’t take any notice of that Fiona.

        You need someone who finds you attractive as you are not as you have temporarily become through “help”.

        Example: the number of women on the trap who have their hair done, slim down, get a new wardrobe. If you land one of those see how quickly they revert.

        It’s like walking up the aisle with Dr Jekyll and coming back with Mr Hyde.

        The proviso. Do you really want one anyway? As Fiona admits she puts friendship before a relationship with a bloke. Unless you have the right personality (the crap goes over your head or you don’t mind being under the thumb – a personality just like mine, ha ha) women can be such hard work.

        I’ve just got rid of Miss 80%. I could pass on the number. But then again I like you and perhaps I would be sending you an unhappy lemon.

        Best wishes,

        T Lover.

      • fi says:

        Well Scott is spectacularly unsuccessful and I can’t see him ever finding anyone. I’m only saying to him what I say to women too – if what you’re doing isn’t working then fix yourself up to make yourself more attractive. 🙂

      • fi says:

        It’s astonishing that people recognise that they have to acquire skills to make themselves attractive to an employer, and present themselves in the best possible light including dressing the part for an interview, yet when it comes to looking for a mate they don’t bother. If they are rejected for jobs time and time again most people question whether they’re underqualified for the jobs, or whether they need to make changes to make themselves more attractive to prospective employers or look at different types of jobs. Surely it’s just common sense to do the same thing when looking for a woman/man?

      • T Lover says:

        Fi,

        You all mother the lad. Don’t you think Scott might be pulling your leg?

      • fi says:

        Well T I’m afraid I wouldn’t go near him, and I suspect some other women wouldn’t either from their comments, so no I don’t think he’s pulling my leg.

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        T- I’m not pulling her leg here, women really almost never return any of my emails or my telephone calls ….

        Believe me, when I do finally get some, you fellow plankton bloggers will be the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. people to know…..

      • T Lover says:

        Well Fi, that was forthright.

        A spade a spade.

        I guess I’m wasting my time suggesting you might like to shift a lorry load of floorboards on Saturday!

      • fi says:

        Don’t ask the question if you don’t want the answer. 🙂

      • Scott Benowitz says:

        What?

      • T Lover says:

        Well Scott,

        If that is the truth – which I doubt – stop worrying about it.

        Have you noticed if you have a woman, you break up, you worry if you will get another then one day, as if you have pressed a switch, several come along at once.

        Dr T Lover once told me that women have a radar which picks up male anxiety. It somehow puts them off. There must be some sort of aura which puts them on because some blokes (I am not one) seem to be inundated with the things.

        I have a mate who says if you have a girlfriend you get more chances than if you don’t. It amounts to the same thing doesn’t it?

        Cindy wot’s er name? I think you have to be joking.

      • T Lover says:

        Fi, behave. I know the answer. Was just wondering how frankly the answer might have been framed! Or to put it in fishing terms if I could get an old trout to rise to a fly.

      • T- No, I’m not joking- I did send one (1) email to Ms. Gallop, I wrote to the email address that’s on her website. no reply

      • T Lover says:

        Scott,

        Don’t beat yourself up about the likes of that American up herself.

        Fiona might be right – you want your head feeling for even thinking about it.

      • fi says:

        I’m off to send an email to Daniel Craig and fully expect him to become my boyfriend.

      • T Lover says:

        Fiona,

        Why Miss Weiss did not answer my repeated requests for a night out (at my expense I have to say) AND married him instead, only the Lord knows.

        Anyway, I too would rather cuddle Daniel Craig than Cindy Gallop.

        BTW. are the .Gallops an advanced form of the Trots?

      • fi says:

        Because that’s how normal people hook up isn’t it. Write to strangers offering themselves.

      • T Lover says:

        Fiona,

        Been in the knife drawer again this morning?

        Remember the time I offered to give you a ring?

        Scott might have written to a touch of the Gallops but he wasn’t serious.

        I was!

        Does that make me normal? Second thoughts I’ll take your advice and not ask that question.

      • fi says:

        T. You’re a normal bad tempered grouchy middle aged man.
        What happened to Ms 80 percent? Thought you’d deided to settle.

      • T Lover says:

        Fiona,

        I take the greatest exception to being referred to as “normal”.

      • T Lover says:

        Oh well, Fi that last comment didn’t spark things off again so how about: lovely weather.

      • T Lover says:

        Fi,

        How’s it hanging?

        Back at work?

      • fi says:

        T – yes I am. And it is severely impacting on my socialising as I find myself too knackered to go out as much as I was doing.

  • rosie says:

    “Exactly Rosie, do you see queues of impoverished Saudi women queuing up to marry European men?”

    That’s right, Chris, you don’t. Do you think that might be anything to do with the fact that they’re not allowed to set foot out the front door without a chaperone? But never let the facts (or ignorance) get in the way of a good argument, eh.

    “The world is changing rapidly and some people are just not on the pace.”

    You don’t say.

    • Chris says:

      Ah but I do say. Seriously, when Russia went belly up in the 90’s fat middle aged guys from the west could go over there and hook a young hottie. Now they would not have a hope in hell. It is all down to the economics. I know middle aged ladies who ‘play’ in countries like Turkey with much younger men. The men are not interested in them…..only the British passport and the opportunities that offers. Now, when that passport is no longer attractive the ladies will suddenly find ‘play’opportunities diminish. It’s like Thailand where the more honest guys wear teashirts saying ‘no money no honey’. But I would contend that is true anywhere in the world, and what guys like Nick are latching onto is that western women demand, in many cases, rather a lot of money, in round about ways like status etc., for their somewhat dubious honey.

      The other thing is rather sensitive. International demand for western women is not that high. This is down to attitude, as can be seen on this blog. The international demand for western men is rather high. The reason for this , as I have said before, is that foreign women highly value characteristics that western women do not. There is nothing wrong with western womens attitudes which are down in no small part to the welfare provision there is in the west at the moment which enables women here to make choices that would spell disaster for women in other countries. How much longer that welfare provision will survive is another matter, not long I would guess given the state of the wests finances. But my main point is, do not complain when foreign women snap up men like me that you probably would not want anyway. See what I mean?

      • Elle says:

        The attitudes displayed on this blog are very interesting indeed.

        Anyway I’m glad Russian women are getting more choosy. No doubt Far Eastern women will follow suit as their countries get wealthier.

      • Muriel says:

        Chris
        Erm I worked overseas for a few years in a very faraway country and I can assure you that the local demand was *cough* very high indeed. 🙂
        And in fact I did marry one of them and he was a good husband to me,and an excellent father to my kids for many years though we have
        now grown apart. He is several years younger than me, of course . I have to say he does knock spots off most British men in that he has a great body, a full head of hair with no grey and does his share of the housework and cooking.
        We have grown apart in recent years but are mostly amicable.
        I don’t know where you get your *information* from!

      • fi says:

        All this ‘women are like this’ and ‘men are like that’ – as though we are 2 species, with all men the same as each other and all women too, instead of individuals with different histories, experiences and desires.

  • rosie says:

    “Maybe your idea of an equal partnership is just not attractive to your target group ?”

    My target group? Well, that would be men who are also looking for an equal partnership. The inclination of some of the male contributors to this blog would suggest they are in short supply.

    • Chris says:

      Rosie, I am soorry I do not address my contributions in that kinda I wanna please women metrosexual male kinda tone. Because we might as well tell it like it is. Women like you are not interested in guys like me and Nick. Fair enough, not a problem. But what you have realise is that what you reject others will select. That is part of the ruthless Darwinism called life. At some point western women will have to learn they do not set the agenda. As you say, what you are looking for is in short supply. That gives you two options, the first of which is that there will be stiff competition for that which you seek. The second option is to change the parameters of what you seek. It is not my problem, I am off your radar

      • Elle says:

        Chris, how do you know what interests the women here? Perhaps they live in an area where there are few single men. Perhaps they aren’t into the club/bar scene and their chances to meet men are limited. Perhaps they work long hours and don’t get a chance to meet men.

        I would imagine that few, if any women here reject men for petty reasons. Loneliness affects men and women equally. Saddest of all, it can make people bitter and direct their anger inappropriately.

        I hope you and Nick find happiness with your foreign women but if you had looked beyond your bitterness you could have found it at home. Unfortunately the better women aren’t always easy to find because they aren’t marketing themselves as aggressively as foreign women.

  • MissBates says:

    Foreign mail order brides? The likelihood is that the husbands will be dumped the minute said brides achieve citizenship and independent residency rights in their husbands’ countries of origin. The husbands would be wise to get prenuptial agreements so at least they don’t have to pay alimony and half of their assets to these women, on top of being taken for an emotionally devastating ride.

    • Chris says:

      Yer right. All the foreign women I have been out with I met right here in the UK, in my own city in fact and just by chance socially. No need to go abroad, due to our wonderful governments UK is chocabloc with foreigners. All had originally been married to British men much older than them who as you rightly said they have of course divorced. Moral of that story…….never go for a much younger woman anywhere…= trouble. As an aside I know UK guys who are married to much younger UK ladies the second time around. Well, cheer up ladies, their lives are no picnic with their much younger brides. I get to hear the sad tales. Late 50’s, got young kids, having to work long hours to keep the wife happy materially, and of course that wears the poor old gits out so some of the ladies just feel the need to ‘play’ with something a bit younger. Sounds like hell to me. So, you see, some of us have more sense than to focus on much younger women. And remember, foreign woman does not always equal much younger, mail order, gold digger etc..

  • rosie says:

    Because it couldn’t be anything to do with your own shortcomings that you can’t find a woman in the UK, could it Chris. Always the woman’s fault. And not just the ones who have obviously contributed to your disappointment and bitterness, but ALL of them.

    You make my 95-year-old grandad look like a metrosexual.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Rosie……knew we’d get down to this level sooner or later. Was married to a British woman, got divorced years ago, wenty out with a few British women, then one night 20 years ago ,met a Chjilean lady at a do just down the road from me. Since then have never been out with a British woman……through choice I might add. So, have had relationships with one Chilean, one Malaysian, and one Filipina in that time. Chilean very nice but had a lot of issues through very valid reasons. Filipina….typical Filipina, obsessed with her own ‘beauty’…….got bored with that. Malaysian, been with her for years and probably foreverer. Have I had British women who were attracted to me? Yup, but I am not interested. As you can see I am not disappointed, I am not bitter and frankly I do not think I have too many shortcomings. It is not womens fault if I do not find them attractive. Their task is to hitch up with someone they find attractive, if they can. Presumably ther ones who can are not contributors here.

  • rosie says:

    “It is not womens fault if I do not find them attractive.”

    Oh, I thought it was the other way round?:

    “Women like you are not interested in guys like me and Nick.”

    “Their task is to hitch up with someone they find attractive, if they can. Presumably ther ones who can are not contributors here.”

    I think you’re probably right there.

    • Chris says:

      The point is Rosie this is just a silly blog. As you have rightly flagged up I am not consistant. I resrverve the right to be so. On here I am maybe a bit deliberately antagonistic in a way I would not be face to face. But there are an awfully lot of lonely people in Britain and maybe we all need to step back a little and ask ourselves why, why it is so many people yearn for successful relationships but so many are still lonely. I just do not buy into all this ‘I am happy to be alone’ garbage that we get thrown at us. Humans were not meant to live thus.

  • rosie says:

    “I just do not buy into all this ‘I am happy to be alone’ garbage that we get thrown at us. Humans were not meant to live thus.”

    Neither do and I agree. What saddens me is that there are so many perfectly attractive, intelligent, warm, funny, capable women out there who find themselves having to go through life alone.

    • Chris says:

      ‘so many perfectly attractive, intelligent, warm, funny, capable women out there who find themselves having to go through life alone.’ Well, if that is true, why do you think that is so rosie? Is it that men do not want them or that they cannot find the calibre of men they require? If it is the former then that is sad. If it is the latter then the answer is in their own hands…..and it would be simple……just revisit the preconceptions of their requirements in a partner and adjust. All I know is that there is lot of loneliness among middle aged and older people in this country……and the solution really is in our hands. Both sexes should just ease up a bit on their ‘requirements’. As with a truely free market, you find your own level in the dating market. What makes it dysfunctional in the UK is that people do not seem happy to accept their natural level a lot of the time. People say they will not ‘settle’, whereas ‘settling’ is actually fitting into your natural ‘slot’ in the scheme of things, bit like when I was young in the 60’s and 70’s, when the boy next door used to marry the girl next door and aspiration was more modest, i.e. realistic.

      • Muriel says:

        Chris
        What I see around me, as far as the single middle aged women are concerned, is that many have looked around, decided they don’t want to settle and effectively decided they’d rather be on their own. And many of them have good if not perfect lives, busy with work, family and friends. They may be plankton but theyre okay with it. It is NOT about the money, but about what choice makes you happy. Unfortunately the single males don’t seem to be that good at making a good life for themselves. I see that and it is reflected in the life expectancy figures; single women live longer than married women but the reverse is true for men. It’s a recipe for unhappiness to *settle* for someone who you don’t love or care for. I saw a programme on TV recently about one of those foreign dating agencies where British men were matched with east European men. None of them ended up married to the women, many of whom had little interest to begin with. I think it was pretty much a scam which had cost the men an absolute fortune.
        I think many asian women would laugh in the face of the stereotype (smiling, unconfrontational, submissive) that is being portrayed.I think if you have extreme difficulty forming a healthy relationship with a British woman then the same difficulties are likely to arise in your relationship with a woman from overseas. We all like the same things really, someone fun, kind, thoughtful and positive. A reasonable standard of personal care (exercise, diet, and hygiene). If youhave those qualities you will likely find someone nice sooner or later.

      • Muriel says:

        Yikes I meant British men were matched with east European women!!

      • Steve H says:

        Muriel. In an an earlier post you say that men from your ex- husband’s country “knock spots off British men” .”Great bodies , full head of hair and no grey.”

        Are those really important criteria to you? If that’s what you judge as important, you are going to have a long search!

        However, I’m confused because in your last post you say that people all like the same things “someone funny,kind and thoughtful and positive”.

        So if we possess these qualities, will you allow us to be without a full head of hair/slightly greying? 😉

      • Yogagurl says:

        Just wanted to add something about the stereotype of asians being smiling, unconfrontational and submissive. Awhile back I came across forums where men who had been used (quite cruelly) by a foreign brides and they remarked that a lot of these women purposely come across as submissive, because they know that is what these men are looking for but in reality, they are like sharks. They use their submissiveness to get what they want and sometimes ruthlessly so. I am not against anyone finding happiness and I think it’s good for women to be kind and sweet and femininine…just saying the foreign bride thing is not what it appears. Many of those women are far, far more aggressive than Western women they just cloak it underneath faux femininity and caring. The Western women are more honest and less calculating.

      • Muriel says:

        Steve
        That was a slightly tit for tat remark for the benefit of Chris & nick. I didn’t marry him for looks. (I didn’t marry for money either and he didn’t have any). The qualities I mentioned are the things that matter to me.

  • Scott Benowitz says:

    @ Ms. Plankton- it’s “alt” + 0231 , at least in the U.S. version of Windows 7.0 ….. ” ç ”

    (you can tell that I have a lot of time on my hands these days…)

  • rosie says:

    It might be just a ‘silly’ blog, Chris, but I think you’ve pretty much nailed your colours to the mast.

  • Chris says:

    Rosie….yer right, I suppose I have nailed me colours to the mast….and I was quite sanguine about it…..then fortuitously Muriel turned up and my chuckle quotient went through the roof !! Muriel has posted a glorious riposte to me, containing as it does a neatly encapsulated view of the Plankton conundrum. As she says, women ( presumably of her age ) are not prepared to settle….so there !! What she of course means not prepared to settle for what is available, only prepared to settle for what she wants. Puts me in her mind of a rather portly middle aged lady I saw on the telly once who said George Clooney was her ‘type’. Shortly afterwards the presenter passingly said that somehow ( yes, it was a woman ) she doubted the lady was George Clooney’s type, ouch !! So as long as women are prepared to spit their dummies out and reject the men available to them in their real time attractiveness quartile, so be it, they will remain resolutely alone. And as long as they are happy that is fine. In which case, what are they doing here on a regular basis? And with that I think I rest my case…..well, at least until the next time !!

    • Muriel says:

      Yeah
      That comment about my husband was a bit mischievous! I didn’t marry him for his looks as it happens. Just correcting what you said about British women being unappreciated overseas, not so, in my experience.
      Wow you both sound like really angry guys.

  • rosie says:

    Maybe if you modified your attitude to women they’d be prepared to ‘settle’ for you and you wouldn’t need to travel thousands of miles to find one.

    A little game for you to play: go through your comments and replace the word ‘women’ with ‘Black people, Jews, Asians, homosexuals, disabled people…’. Just a thought.

    • Chris says:

      Surely you cannot mean little me? I never did travel thousands of miles to meet any woman, met ’em all just up the road. Went to their countries subsequently to meet the family etc.. Very handy to know people in these places, you are safer and you see a lot of things tourists never see, and go places they can’t go. As for your second paragragh, I don’t know what to say.

  • nick says:

    I think men and women should ease up on each other indeed. I think women have been sold a pony with books like “men are from mars” and other books that lead them to believe that there is some giant battle of the sexes conspiracy against them. There never was one…..

    Doesn’t Beyoncé sing “I can have another you in a minute….in fact he will be here in a minute”…

    Being of modest means I won’t be entertained by the mature professional; her sights are firmly on a mature brad pit….isnt the guy in “50 shades” a billionaire? Money, power, and good looks are attractive and I don’t blame women for wanting that – money and power and good looks all fade, and whats wrong with kind and committed?

    Ok true, guys of my age do have more choices, and don’t forget foreign bride bad news sells papers, the thousands of good news stories of happily married people will get dropped in a heartbeat by the female editors – they don’t want you to read those.

    A number of men are glad that the top tier women don’t marry down and I’ll give you an example. My uncle was a widower for 20yrs, and my mother strong armed him into finding someone and in the local paper was a type of dinner club. They were forever advertising for men to go along for free try it out, and then I think you paid a small fee afterwards. Sure enough there was strong mature professionals, wealthy widows and so on.

    After a few weeks we asked him how things went, and he wasn’t going again. Being an joiner, many dismissed him as they were entitled to something better, the wealthy women were using their money to flatter him – but as he says he had his pride. In his day men his age were the breadwinners and he didn’t want to end up as an emasculated butler or personal assistant. His words not mine, so he lived alone till his death 2 years ago. He still socialized, and seemed happy enough in himself, like he said the world changed and he didn’t want any part of it.

  • Chris says:

    ‘Set on a mature Brad Pitt’, and as you infer with loads of Wonga.com? Jeeze, Nick, guys like that don’t have to look at middle aged professional ladies. They are too busy hammering off down to the cote d’azure with their latest 20 something honey blonde trophy in the old Aston. That , I can assure, is another world. Drove down there once, real eye-opener. Nick, you are better than you think you are. Man up and stop trying to please people you basically have no need of pleasing.

  • nick says:

    Your right, thai and other Asian “bar girls” are completely orientated on parting a man from his money. Many of the men are sex tourists anyways,

    but I’m talking about introduction agencies that only approach decent employed ladies – whom have never worked in the bar scene ever…..they are harder to meet of course. So are introduced via word of mouth – a friend finds a decent western husband – they in turn want the same. They approach the agency and are prepared to be vetted and know the guy will be too.

    The particular agency I am using has had over 1000 marriages since 1997 – and only 10 divorces this is all verified. And when I get over there, I’ll be meeting actual couples that are married to Asian ladies and I can grill them a little about the whole thing.

    There are tons of foreign bride scammers out there, even on match.com loads of agencies that essentially have prostitutes working for them – they get guys to send money over and use fake profiles – but I guess that depends how gullible you are.

    Most Men are not insane- it takes some time and research to find the good agencies (and they are out there) – before you start using any hard earned cash. Foreign women really are lovely and have a more realistic approach to being with an average guy.

    I know I’ll be a second rater in the UK, but abroad at least I can have the life I want. (Ok note to self – check out the cote d’azure…..)

    As I said in my first post, i’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll never please a western woman… so why try……we just take an alternative to find happiness.

    • Muriel says:

      Nick
      I suppose in some ways I did what you are planning to do, I married someone from overseas although I had an advantage over you in that I had lived in his country and therefore understood his culture and his language. However I would point out that there also a lot of issues and you seem to be living in lala land where you will have this grateful appreciative feminine woman with no needs, expectations or requirements other than pleasing you. What actual research have you carried out other than perusing the literature supplied by the matching companies? How have you verified your info? Have you taken advice from your local trading standards? Because frankly you sound so idealistic that you are ripe for exploitation, and I understand that the sums of money involved are substantial. You have mentioned too that you are not wealthy.

      • Muriel says:

        What I meant to say is that marrying someone from overseas can be much more tricky than you think – we went through a lot of heartache and trouble
        Visa problems
        Him getting very homesick
        His parents dying before he could get home to say goodbye
        Trouble finding work here
        Racism
        Cultural differences between us
        The expense of funding trips home
        Him being lonely
        I would take an honest look at why you find it so difficult to form relationships with UK women because I can assure you it isn’t about money (and after all you must be reasonably off or you wouldn’t be able to pay to find someone overseas) .

  • nick says:

    yes your right it wont be an easy.
    i am ready to embrace a different culture and the trips back home has already been mentioned. There is fortunately a support network so any future foreign wife won’t feel too isolated here, plus they advise on various restaurants, food outlets and places of worship should she be religious. Also technical aspects like visas and other documentation is also very much at the fore – they don’t sugar coat what is involved.

    I’m not too badly off that’s true, and ideally she will be able to help with my own business, so the need to find work – unless she really has a calling to a vocation shouldn’t arise. I would like a partner to be happy whatever she does . either is fine,.

    It maybe in 10yrs I may well go and live in the country of origin of my future wife – I cant guarantee it, but it is in the back of my mind. I don’t have any kids, no ex, and my work can be done anywhere in the world. The uk does make me feel isolated and perhaps when I am in my 50’s I’d want a whole new change of scene…I don’t fancy getting old in the UK.

    The racism aspect I will have to work on, I expect “it” to be honest, but people can be vile whichever part of the world your from. Thanks for the head-up on that anyway.

    • Elle says:

      Nick, it’s interesting that there is a support network for foreign partners of UK men. Those agencies really have it sussed and good for them. Which begs the question – why are we women here moaning we can’t find anyone? Perhaps there are men out there, we just have to get ourselves organized and find them. How do we do this? All agencies like Baying At The Moon want is our money and some of them exploit single women of a certain age with cruelty and cynicism.

      I often wondered if I moonlighted on a Russian introduction agency as “Natalia” would I have any more success than at present? I would put up my own age, photo, vital stats, degree etc. Perhaps by marketing myself differently I would get more interest.

      Case in point: I was out a few years ago with a large group of mixed nationality. Somebody thought I was Russian and the rumour snowballed. The guys flocked to me until I opened my mouth and the Irish ones went “Ah jaysus, we thought you were Russian, you look Russian, are you having a good night?” And off they went to the bar to get themselves another drink. If I had been Russian more of them might have stuck around. Those who did stick around weren’t Irish.

      Is it the novelty factor that draws men to foreign women? Familiarity seems to breed contempt. In a way this is good for the gene pool, but not good for those of us who can’t find anyone.

      • nick says:

        I think they realised that as they had the couples details already, and it would in fact cost them very little – plus the older married couples (their wives at least) would have some social interaction with new women from their homeland. So its win-win whichever way you look at it.

        There are only a few doing this (agencies), and its only the top few that have this sussed. The majority are garbage. I can tell you – at least 10 spam emails sit in my inbox from Russian brides today… – I know their phony’s and wanting to scam me out of money – and I do think singles of both sexes are exploited badly.

        If there was just one big website we could all go in, leave a video message on, and a few details, pics and some kind of verification we say who we are) everyone would be doing a lot better than they are…..in effect the dating agencies are hindering us not helping. I’ll give you an example, there is a huge Russian bride site –

        http://scamvictimsunited.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3359&start=15
        it’s a long post, but if you read a bit of it, you’ll understand the problem.

        Of course guys do get carried away, hey I can have this 19yr old model and I’m 55 – so they are to blame in some cases. I think women are more pro-active, as perhaps its more a social issue, and they don’t get invited to parties by their female friends in case you turn out to be a husband stealer.

        If you’re a single guy in a group of guys, its not big deal, in fact they might hardly mention it in conversation. Also men are less pro-active, were more insular, and we slack off, and sometimes need a push in the right direction. Single ladies get spammed by married men, we get spammed by scammers for money.

        True, – going for a foreign bride is like a mini adventure, with possible love at the other end. But I don’t entirely buy the familiarity breeds contempt. I think personally the irish accent is hot n’ sexy – unless you sound like rev. ian paisley of course…….lol……

        Its more something I have “resorted to” rather than being able to find someone locally. Just a few years ago I met a lady from south wales – I live in north wales, and we got on, and she made me laugh like no-one else. She had 2 disabled children, and friendship was really the “only” thing on the cards – but while it lasted it was great. And I didn’t feel I was missing out anywhere.

        I did have problems of course, her female friends convinced her I was married too – as I was pretty kind and just kinda normal I guess, with no drama….….as if someone like that could not be married…took a month to convince her otherwise…

        It could be an interesting experiment to set yourself up as a Russian woman, (let me know what the results where) – but if you also add in your profile your uninhibited and like to cook – you’ll be overwhelmed by offers!…just joking….

        Uk based agencies are awful though – lets face it as single guys and women we have currency, if we meet someone too soon, we have no value to the bad dating agencies and they like us on the carousel, so they can take our membership fees……

    • Muriel says:

      Nick
      Good luck but y’know I missed having someone who could put up reasonable opposition in a game of scrabble and knew what the magic roundabout was. That kind of thing. Sounds sooo trivial I know!
      You described yourself earlier as “a second rater” which was very harsh. The trouble is if that’s how you see yourself then the other sex will probably take you at your own estimation.

      • Chris says:

        Nick, if you go for meeting a foreign lady through an agency be very careful. Asian women are not submissive. They are very tolerant and very nice but push your luck and you will find they can flip out. My charming girlfriend has sent coffee mugs whizzing past my ear more than once. Latin women…will do anything for you but if they get a whiff of you being unfaithful, believe me ,all hell breaks out. All that stuff you heard about the Latin temprement is true. Russian/Ukrainian women ? I wouldn’t even bother with them. All the attention they have had from western men over the last few years has gone right to their heads.

        Now, to return to agencies. In Thailand there is a concept called Sinsod where the husband has to pay money to the wifes family to marry their daughter. This can be big money, but the agencies usually present you with a ball park figure. What a lot of guys do not realise is that a lot of so called respectable agencies often do a deal to split the Sinsod 50/50 with the girl. Also, never use an agency in the Philippines, mail order bride agencies are illegal in the Philippines and if you are found using one over there you could get banged up !!

        If I were looking to travel abroad for a foreign wife I would just hop on a plane and go and spend some time in the Philippines, no agencies, no internet, too many scammers on internet. You will meet young ladies going round the malls etc.. Much the best way to meet, face to face and you can get fixed up quicker than you would think. It’s risky but then it’s riasky hitching up in your own country. Good luck

  • nick says:

    yes thanks for that chris, yep i know about the sinsod, (your right it varies v.widley) — and only a few weeks ago, i was informed on the phillipines situation – that was a real eye-opener….i dont want to go to jail.!..(although phillipines is not where i was intending).
    v. true on russian women – best avoided…

    • teapot says:

      You have just insulted and dismissed the female population of the largest country in the world – how very open minded of you! You will quite happily complain about “western women” being instantly dismissive of what you have to offer though. These generalisations are ridiculous!

      • nick says:

        the reason i would avoid russian women, is not the fact they are most likely amazing loving women, it is the fact that in my experience the worst of the worst scammers operate using russian womens profiles online. its very very hard to meet genuine russian ladies. perhaps one day it will improve.

      • Chris says:

        Well, I think it is largely held that western women are dimissive in their attitude towards large segments of their own domestic males so what the heck is wrong with the roles being reversed? You know, I have read many submissions on this blog and many are very reductive in their attitude toward the AVERAGE man. The Alpha male, who is perceived as having much to offer, is of course perceived in the usual reverential manner that is timeless…….or is until or if he loses his alpha status of course. Now I realise I am going to get hammered here for the tone I have adopted but that is OK….it’s all about debate and a lively exchange of views ios it not? And it ain’t half increasing the traffic on here !!

  • teapot says:

    Fair enough but Chris’s comment was just a list of crude stereotypes and you seem to think he has helpful information to offer

    • Elle says:

      I work with Filipina women, some highly qualified and Chris insults them with his attitude. I don’t blame the authorities in the Philippines for their actions. Also Russians are now getting above themselves and aren’t worthy of Chris’s attention. It gets funnier by the minute.

      If I had a partner who regularly sent coffee mugs whizzing past my ears I would run. If I did the same to a partner he would be perfectly justified to leave.

      • Muriel says:

        Not only that but he is recommending sidling up to women in Philippine shopping malls as a wife finding strategy. That gave me a giggle anyhow. Great way of getting arrested! The only type of person who wouldnt run a mile/call security would be of the prostitute or mug throwing loony type!

      • Chris says:

        Well, have you not noticed what I have been up to here? I have used the attitude and terminology normally employed by feminists about men. I have deployed crude, reductive stereotypes and applied them to women. In the past men have had to endure being told ‘all men are rapists’…..charmining, no we are not. Then there is my favourite, ‘a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’…….what the hell does that mean? One might as well say ‘a man needs a woman like a hamster needs an atomic bomb’. Men are regularly belittled in advertising and the press. Apparently it is open season to call a man ‘short, fat, middle aged and boring’. I have yet to see a woman portrayed in the press as ‘dumpy, frumpy, flat-chested and plain’.

        As for my comments on various nationalities of women, well, that was just a snapshot of my opinion for Nick. Some would agree with me, some would not, who cares. As for educated Filipinas, I bet they did not tell you about the appalling conditions many people liove in in the Philippines. Did they tell you about pagpag? No? Well, there is a whole cottage indusrty in the Philippines where waste food is reteived from the rubbish, recooked with soy sauce and then the slum dwellers buy it for their ONE meal a day. That’s right, one meal a day….not too much obesity in that country. And consider, over half the Philippines lives below the poverty line, so there are a heck of a lot of slum dwellers in that country. But on the streets of Manila I saw people who could not even afford to be slum dwellers, they bedded down in the street…old ladies, young families with babies etc.. And then there are the street children….don’t even get me started on that…..heartbreaking. Now, I bet you those educated Filipinas did not tell you any of this…..because many people from that country are ashamed of how it is. Now imagine you are a single mother in such a place….for you that is a disaster ( and there are a lot of them). No benefits, no social housing, no nothing. Your children could literally starve. Then along comes someone like Nick. You meet him, you are literally just making it as a waitress or something, just managing to feed your kids. Her likes you. What you going to do, run to thje police, about what? No, you are going to grab that opportunity to be saved with both hands and pray you don’t lose it. You know, one of the greatest complaints Filipinas have is that western women do not understand their plight. They look at the world in a very different way. And do you know, the funny thing is I think the UK is becomming more like the philippines. Both are overcrowded islands, though for different reasons. Both have suffered from corruption. The only difference is I think the Philippines is on the way up now, and UK on the way down. How much longer do you seriously think we can afford our bloated welfare bill? And when welfare goes…..well, that is a real game changer for social attitudes. Wow, that was long, kinda took on a life of its own.

  • @ Ms. Plankton- here- http://www.alt-codes.net

    save this link in case you want to include words from foreign languages again into some of your upcoming blog posts- that is, if you’re writing using a computer with a windows based operating system- I don’t know anything about macs….

  • rosie says:

    Chris, if you took that enormous chip off your shoulder you’d feel a whole lot better.

    • Chris says:

      Hello Rosie……I guess you are referring to my increasingly incoherent ramblings here…….in which case you have a point !! I am told here I am an angry man blah blah blah. Well, I am not. I like women. I had 2 sisters, no brothers, 2 daughters, no sons, so I have spent an awful lot of time round women. But I guess that gave me a kind of impish teasing nonreverential attitude toward women. I actually like and respect women. I think it is tremendous that that my daughters were able to go to university, get good jobs and careers and buy their own houses etc.. I can rememeber back in the 1960’s when my mother had to to get my fathers legal permission on a document before she could get a mortgage to keep a roof over our heads. Absolutely ridiculous. I hope I do not sound patronising here, it is a trap so easily fallen into. But any way, as an aside, hold this thought. What do you think those incredibly tough women the Pankhursts would make of this blog, those courageous women whose struggle led to womens present day status in modern society ? I think they would be a little incredulous that their brave fight had come to this.

  • James B says:

    What we need is a free Google of (single) people. A one-stop search engine where you can indeed see many photos, video profiles and ‘reviews’ and verification of said individuals. Dating agencies and sites exist to get in the way.

    There is an undercurrent of frustration and loneliness here which is turning, sadly, into a projected bitterness. Bitterness will not get any of us anywhere and makes a person unattractive to others and is generally an unproductive emotional state. There is someone out there for all of us. Don’t give up. Be positive!

    • fi says:

      James – what makes you think there is somebody for everybody? I would suggest not.

      • zoe says:

        James B gives the impression that he’s some kind of therapist or analyst or similar. Sometimes he seems more interested in what’s helpful to think than what’s true to think.

      • fi says:

        I think you’re right, but surely a user of services rather than a provider as it can’t be very helpful to tell people things that aren’t true. And surely grown ups need reality and information rather than platitudes and fairy stories. Like when I told people I had my cancer diagnosis and some people assured me I’d be fine. “Are you a doctor?” I’d ask. If not then don’t say such stupid things. If I want someone who knows nothing about the subject to tell me shite, then I’ll do that to myself thanks very much. 🙂

      • James B says:

        Oh well. I remain optimistic!

    • Chris says:

      James, what you express is a lovely sentiment. But if you are in the UK you come from a culture that promotes gut-wrenching shows like ‘The Undateables’ on Channel 4. Yup, that’s right, people held up as basically inferior and unattractive on the basis of their appearance and /or handicaps. Nice !!

      • nick says:

        Someone would be billionaire if we could invent something solid like that – and everyone that joined had realistic expectations as well.

        we have in the uk (as well as the undateables) the simply vile “take me out” with paddy mcguiness on a Saturday night. A group of women basically sit in judgement of a single guy and they hit a red button when they are ready to dismiss him (and should that happen he then has the luxurious humiliation of walking off as they all sing “all by myself”….)…..even one tv critic described the women as shallow and self-absorbed – and a motto of “no money no likey”…..seems to be the story of my life……

        Just throwing this out there – if you have used online dating agencies, which ones have you used? I’ve used match, adultfriendfinder, okcupid and oh yes eharmony. They all follow the same pattern (for an average guy) – you put the profile up and your details, good pic etc…just as they tell you to.

        Stage1 – as it’s a new profile you get plenty of views, and a few one line emails.

        Stage2 – you reply to those emails (and I often put together a few paragraphs, nothing smutty or stupid and I also comment on their passions/interests – so they know I’ve actually read there profile). And I get a few one liners back – also I write to a few profiles I like common interests and so on – rather than the knock out models….which I get a few one liners back. I reckon about 3-4% reply and don’t keep a conversation going longer than 3 exchanges. Its all one liners, and its like I’m doing you a favor in even sending you this.

        Stage 3 – you get depressed that your putting all this effort in, and getting practically nothing back and then after a gap of a few weeks of nothing, you get the emails from Tatiana and Svetlana who have fallen deepy in love and if I wouldn’t mind sending them a few quid for their grandmothers operation they’d be more than happy to continue the relationship……at this stage you remove your profile as the spam quota goes through the roof and fills your inbox.

        The one lady I met up with on match – I did ask why don’t average guys get no more than a brief glance. She explained when she put her profile up, she was bombarded with emails, mostly married men and perverts wanting to allsorts of things (she didn’t elaborate but it wasn’t asking for restaurant date)…..

        She contacted me on the online site – as she liked the profile. I asked though what if I’d have emailed her, and she just shrugged and said I wouldn’t have noticed you in the crowd. Online dating seemed a perfect answer – and it’s just horrendous.

      • Steve H says:

        Have you actually watched “The Undateables”?

        I gave the first series a swerve cos of the dreadful name of the show, but a friend enthused about it and I watched the second series.

        I spent most of the second series in awe of people who were overcoming various disabilities and who remained optimistic enough to date.

        And, with the help of a couple of specialist agencies, dates were fixed up for them. There were quite few success stories -and bloody heartwarming(not to say moving) it was too!

        Don’t let the programme’s crap title put you off.

    • Elle says:

      James, I couldn’t agree more. People also need to come down to earth and go into the singles scene with a realistic attitude and a sense of kindness and tolerance.

      Dating agencies and dating sites exist to make money, not to make single people happy. Like the cosmetics and fashion industry, the dating industry perpetuates itself by keeping people looking for a fantasy that doesn’t exist. In the case of the cosmetics industry it’s eternal youth. In the case of the dating industry, it’s the perfect “soulmate” partner who ticks all your boxes and fulfils all your needs. Such a person does not exist.

  • teapot says:

    I think dating is hard for a lot of people. However when Im out and about for the most part I see lots of average men with average women! By definition most people are average. I also know some really beautiful girls who have had their own share of rejection and romantic disapointments. I have had some fairly confidence shattering experiences myselfbut Im not going to dismiss entire groups of people because of the actions of a few or start feeling perpetually sorry for myself..

  • James B says:

    I really do think that there is someone for almost anyone. Almost. The thing is, it’s about realistic expectations on both parts combined with the statistical pairing of actually meeting enough people. It only tajes one person after all doesn’t it?

    Dating sites cannot hope to mimic real life. The smell of someone, their smile, the matched sense of humour that belies a shared value system. That cannot work online. Particularly when people are not being honest enough.

    So yes, I am trying to be helpful, but my experience in life is that just because things are currently shit that it does not have to be that way forever. Things cannot go on well forever either of course.

    Also, Fi – you may or may not be all right, given your health problems. But – I can tell you that your positive and feisty attitude (which also allows you to see things as they are and face them head on) – will help your chance of recovery. I see a lot of that in my work.

    Finally – we are all responsible for our own happiness. If we don’t like the way things are going – we should TRY to do something to remedy it. Sorry to sound like a self-help tape. It works though. Sometimes being optimistic involves telling ourselves truths too. We may be bitter, too fat, too arrogant, too self involved. We may be aiming too high at a list of desired partner attributes. Anyway …

    I love this blog. Carry on please!

    • nick says:

      Too true – no one will come knocking on your door with happiness in a box – you have to go out or plan to find it – (or in my case get on a Boeing 747 and go find it. ) the problem I find is that I know by reading this blog there are many good women around, but no route I can take to find them; its all twisted up.

      The pub/club scene is more the younger persons thing, invited parties are mostly couples, and online its just a mess. The “good” foreign agencies make it accessible to go forward and plan a future.

      • Elle says:

        Nick, are you telling me that there are no suitable single women within a 50 mile radius of where you live? Why can’t you find them? What do you think would help you to find them?

        Men get invited to more dinner parties and “at home” social events than women. In a large city such as Dublin newly single men are in great demand socially and like in London, one only has 10 minutes to get their attention before they are snapped up again. Perhaps it is different in Wales. Do you live in a rural area?

        Perhaps it’s too late for you, but men shouldn’t give up on local women.

      • fi says:

        AND saying that a positive attitude will aid your chances of recovery is unbelievably patronising and blatantly untrue (chemo or radio anyone? ) and really gives the message to people who don’t survive it that they somehow didn’t “fight” it hard enough or weren’t “positive” enough.
        And furthermore the number of people who get cancer is so high (isn’t it 1 in 3 nowadays?) That there are bound to be people reading this blog that have it (both diagnosed and as yet undiagnosed) and have had it. I’m in the enviable position of having screening once a year for the next ten years and had it diagnosed very early via a screening programme. Some people won’t be diagnosed until they display symptoms.

      • nick says:

        Yes no women that would entertain my company anyway. I do live in a rural area of wales, and ok perhaps I am a bit shy in social situations at first. I think a womans perspective would help, as I am clueless where you ladies hang out? You’re not where I’m looking that’s for sure.

        As I have suspected going through all these dating agencies and so forth I’m on a kind of “fools errand” – I could be looking in all the wrong places, or as I suspect I’m just not boyfriend material as many feel themselves entitled to something better. That’s ok, at least if someone was honest and said — “hey buddy, look you’re a good enough guy, but you need more money, to be AAA handsome and whatever else, you don’t stand a chance in these modern times, women want more than you have to offer; I think you would do better abroad” – I’d be “ok, thanks” – at least I now know what to do.

        Maybe women don’t want to hurt some mens feelings so keep them hanging on – just my opinions.

        My welsh lady friend also said I would be snapped up – but I don’t see any interest. It’s true I was a slacker in my 30’s and should have been more active in the dating scene. All my friends are married so I guessed it wouldn’t be that specifically hard. (meet a few people with common interests, goals and things will take off from there). But I was wrong – yes of course men should try and date local women first, but when there is none – I have to try a broader perspective.

      • fi says:

        Nick. Maybe this blog could become a dating agency? Lonely women and lonely men. Elle, give him your contact details 😉

      • nick says:

        lol…your a smart woman fi 🙂

      • Chris says:

        Nick….you probably do not need to go abroad. You seem to have this thing that women in your own culture if you are the ‘rich tall handsome’ stereotype. Now, step back a minute. How many guy like that do you actually know? Exactly. As an aside, do you know that approx. 30% of guys here in UK are balding by the time they are 30? So supposing women yourself will only look at tall guys who are not balding, oh yeah, and who are not fat. Wow, they just knocked a massive percentile of guys off their dating radar. Then guys like you imagine it is easy for these women to find their ideal man and you get stressed and start feeling you have to abroad to find a partner. Well, it ain’t easy for these ladies to find their ideal….that is why this blog exists. So, like I said to you before, do not under rate yourself. Women hate that in a man anyway. They like someone who is confident in themselves and good fun to be with., They do not like boring, needy men…..and that pertains anywhere ion the world I think. The one abiding principle I have always had…..no one is paid to like me. I have to make the effort to be attractive, amusing and engaging. Just a few thoughts…..good luck !!

      • zoe says:

        “So, like I said to you before, do not under rate yourself. Women hate that in a man anyway. They like someone who is confident in themselves and good fun to be with., They do not like boring, needy men…..”

        Chris, that is the truest thing I’ve heard you say. Nick, you might want to listen to him.

      • nick says:

        Thanks chris, for those good words, indeed something I hadn’t considered. Maybe I should re-think y’think? I guess the western dating scene is more like juggling custard and the foreign bride way, gives you a logical a-b-c way…..not perfect..but….well you get the gist.

        Trouble is its not the neediness, it’s the problem I’m getting used to be single- and too comfortable with it. So on one hand you either want a logical path to follow, or pick the singledom side. I guess I’ll have to work it out.

      • Chris says:

        Whoops, few typos in the above. Me computer is playing up I think…..but you get the gist !!

    • fi says:

      Hi – I’m perfectly fine. I never doubted it actually. I just meant that it was irritating to hear people spouting platitudes at me as though they knew anything about it. And I found it really arrogant of them to assume that they could reassure me, and that I should listen to them. And patronising and dismissive. But then I’m a kind of call a spade a spade gal.

      • Can't Remember What I Was Called Before says:

        Fi, as someone who’s been reading this blog since the early days, I am very pleased to hear you’re doing well. And I understand somewhat of the patronising and dismissive attitude of others as I get it all the time, albeit that I’ve not been ill in the way that you have. I think a lot of people can’t deal with such things, so trot out the infuriating platitudes instead.

      • fi says:

        Thanks for this – you understand!!
        I much preferred the people who said treatment is very good and the prognosis nowadays is excellent. 🙂
        Actually for people who are told someone has/has had cancer DO NOT patronisingly reassure them they’ll be ok but equally DO NOT say “you may or may not be all right, given your health problems” as this is akin to saying that the cancer is an ongoing health problem and they may die from it.

      • Jo says:

        Thank you for this Fi.
        I have often read the comments directed to you, such as ‘Listen to me Fi. I’m sure it won’t be cancer.’ (It was.) ‘I know you will be fine. You are a fighter, so you’ll be alright. You’ll come out of this the other end to an even better, sweeter life’ (!) ‘You’re a positive person so it will be fine. ‘You’re a fighter so it’ll be fine. Et al et al….(T Lover. Recognise yourself?)
        Each time it made me want to gag. But I said nothing lest I be accused of pooh-poohing someone who ‘only wanted to help. Or reassure. Or comfort. Or was just being kind.’ Or shoot me down. (T Lover?) I wanted to say, “Really? How do you know all these things? How do you know? Have you a crystal ball?” But for the above reasons, I said nothing..
        As you know Fi, I have close personal experience of this. These things say more about the speaker than the recipient. It makes THEM feel better. It puts pressure on the person with the cancer (along with the many other pressures they have to bear.) Because if they find these sentiments and platitudes unbearable, then they’re somehow ‘ungrateful or unkind’ to the speaker of these platitudes.
        It was John Diamond (celebrated journalist) who said ‘cowards get cancer too.’
        You – and he – have said the things I wanted to say. Straight from the horse’s mouth.
        And for that I thank you.
        T Lover. Take note. Learn from it. Then it will be a good, positive, helpful lesson learned…..

      • George says:

        Jo – you said those comments “made me want to gag”.

        Have you ever considered that cancer as well as a range of other conditions that are quite taboo makes people tongue tied?

        Some people on this blog , may be uttering platitudes(in your opinion) but at least they are trying to say something positive!

        The vast majority of people say “Woah, not for me, walk on by”and just don’t say anything. Which is preferable to you ? The one that states something in an inarticulate sense or the other one?.

        You may feel that you are an expert as your friend has suffered but don’t castigate folk for their well meaning, if (to you) not quite note perfect expressions of sympathy and support.

      • fi says:

        Jo. You have explained it perfectly. Another thing that’s been said to me is that I’d change my life for the better and appreciate it more. What? I responded my saying I already liked my life and appreciated it very much. What if I didn’t want to change it? Why assume my life is somehow in need of change?

  • Jo says:

    George. Yes. I have long, fully and with long experience considered those responses. And always given people the benefit of the doubt, due consideration and with considerable benevolence. Why you think that I feel I ‘am an expert as your friend has suffered,’ I don’t know. How do you know what position I am coming from?
    As far as ‘castigating folk for their well meaning, if (to you) not quite note perfect expressions of sympathy and support’? That is exactly the response I referred to, when I explained why I did not comment before!
    You know nothing about me and my experience(s). Or the people (not person) who urged me to post my words. I rest my case….
    Fi. Thank you so much. You – and the people I refer to, who are better placed to comment – are the peope I listen to. Who truly know what I’m talking about. Thank you.

  • Jo says:

    George. ‘I’m sorry you are going through this. What/is there anything I
    can do to help?’ Is all that’s required. (And to listen, really listen to the answer. Which may be ‘nothing’. Or…whatever it may be…)

  • Jo says:

    Not being patronising. Just trying to pass on a valuable piece of advice.
    Straight from the horses’ mouths.

    • fi says:

      Jo is giving useful advice. It’s one of those things, like meeting someone who has suffered a bereavement, where people don’t know what to say. But interestingly nobody I met who had experience of it, including people who had friends or relatives with it, said anything foolish. It’s really only people without that do, so forewarned is forewarned and next time, and the likelihood is there will be another time as It’s so common, folk will know what to say. 🙂

  • Jo says:

    George. Also see Fi’s posts. March 21st at 1.53pm/4.57pm and March 22nd 11.10am/11.19am/10.26pm.
    A person who knows what I’m saying? Without shooting me down? (As I anticipated.)
    I’ll listen to her thanks.

  • James B says:

    Thank you Fi for this. I have learned a lot.

    • fi says:

      I think we all say the wrong things when faced with an unfamiloar situation as we don’t really know the correct response. Jo is right though, just say “sorry to hear that, is there anything I can do to help?”
      🙂

      • Chris says:

        Fi……nobody has any right to comment on your situation……..I do not want to comment on your situation…….but I will say that love can find anyone anywhere……but maybe I am a bit old fashioned !!

  • Rod says:

    Dear Plankter,
    i thoroughly enjoy your dry, witty chats with us. Despite what you actually say i think you are incredibly +ve. However i think i must point out that your website name may be grammatically incorrect, at least according to wikipedia:
    Plankton (singular plankter) are any organisms that live in the water column and are incapable of swimming against a current.

  • Sharon says:

    Dear Plankton

    Please don’t give up. I am older than you are and I recently met a very nice man on a senior dating website. There is no question of marriage because both of us have children (and grandchildren) and property, but we just enjoy the friendhip and companionship.

    Good luck,

    Love,

    Sharon

  • Steve H says:

    Before this blog expires P, how about asking for a few guest posts for us to read/chew on/debate?

  • Chris says:

    Hi Planky, have you finally given up? I mean, let’s face it, when even perfectly ghastly men like me are taken what hope is there for a girl when all that is left are the dregs even lower on the food chain than I. I am of course being particularly heavy on the irony here. I had to point that out as some of your acolytes do rather miss out on the nuances of life, being all too literal in their interpretations of what others write!!

  • maria says:

    This is it. The blog is dead! 😥

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