As I mentioned in my 2019 goals, sorting out my non-existent love life was on the cards for 2019. So how have I been finding it? How is online dating as a self-confessed militant feminist?
As a single woman in her late thirties, I decided online dating was the way forward – I live in a major metropolis and have a busy life, so it made sense logistically. I have dabbled over the years with online dating but to be honest, always found it too much effort and discouraging. I’d be keen and enthusiastic for a few weeks, then my hope would start to fade and I’d stop checking in.
But this time I was determined to make a go of it. I had analysed my previous failings and l diagnosed a lack of willpower. I sort of understood where I went wrong. This time I wasn’t going to let mean comments and torrents of messages from illiterate men get me down.
So, first things first what do I want to get out of online dating? So I asked myself:
What am I truly looking for?
Simply: A man with the same belief system that is fun to hang out with.
Things I care about
- Politics and being socially very liberal
- Understanding feminism
- Loving to Travel
- Being naturally curious
- Generally being chilled
Things I couldn’t care less about
- Perfect Body
- Having money
How hard can it be dating as a feminist?
To me, the list above doesn’t seem too onerous……but then again, I live in the liberal elite bubble. Nonetheless, as per my goal for 2019 I went into it full of enthusiasm. I made sure I kept to my criteria and was not rejecting men for superficial things – I gave everyone a chance.
The reality in Month One
But wow, the state of single men in London is scary. I could easily reject 80% of the online daters due to incompatibility. Some were openly traditional, spouting traditional values and looking for a woman to keep house, cook, have sex with and raise babies. Not exactly what I am looking for. And then there are the men looking for princesses and the men who offer compliments all the time, which again is not my thing. Not to mention the men looking for “a” woman. Basically any woman. First will do.
Moving on, and this might be a bit 剩女 (Leftover Women), but the educational standards and ambition of a lot of men scared me. As in they had none, but they seemed to think we’d be compatible? I got a lot, I mean a lot, of messages that were written in poor English and that I struggled to comprehend. I don’t believe career ambition is necessary, but a man needs to have some interests and driving forces in his life – whether that is through work, travel or hobbies.
Paedophile, Misogynist or Just Bad with written English?
And as a societal point, the number of adverts I saw where grown men were looking for a girl was frightening. “Man seeks girl” seems to be a common dating phrase, yet the underlying message is horrifying to me. Is he a paedophile, a man who gets turned on by juvenile females? Or just a casual sexist, who like to suggest that he is a grown man and women he dates are childlike girls? Or is it just such a poor understanding of the English language that the man fails to see the issue?
Either way, any man with any of this language was instantly ignored as not suitable. An easy way to dismiss most of the dating pool – I need a man to be literate and understand language. Moreover, in 2019 I don’t think this is too much to ask for. Yet even in a cosmopolitan city, this language was prolific.
Knowing that I had to put the time in, I keep going. And I managed to find quite a few men that seemed like a good match after a few messages back and forth. So, I agreed to meet them for a first date – over drinks.
The guy who only talked about himself
My first date could easily be described as a disaster. He selected a pub he claimed would be quiet when it was the exact opposite of that. Then when I mentioned it looked a bit busy, he was determined to keep to this pub. And then he proceeded to talk about himself all night and never asked me one question about myself. An experience. Not to be repeated.
And for my second date, I really should have known better, but I thought this very socialist guy was worth trying out. I thought his socialism could foray into feminism and we could be well suited. Turns out not. He didn’t really care about women, just his version of Marxism and for the many (led by males, natch).
The guy who was too clingy
Now, this guy was lovely, but clearly looking for a co-dependent relationship. Not to mention he didn’t seem to have any real passion in life and was floundering around with work etc. So he’d be a lovely catch/project for someone, but just not the right guy for me.
The worth seeing again
Now given my striking out 3 out of 3 ratio, I was getting despondent. But then something magical happened. The next guy I actually liked. The time flew and we realised we had been talking for hours. Moreover, he seemed to get me. And so, I dutifully agreed to the next date.
And that second date turned into another date. And we have a pleasant evening at the ballet. He also manages to pass my feminism test perfectly, with a better answer than I could give.
As for the future, only time will tell – I’ll keep you updated.
Over to you
- What are your thoughts?
- What do you think of internet dating?
- Modern dating – any experiences to share?