His profile said that he ‘liked to make sweeping assumptions about people based on their profile pics’. He guessed that I was Irish, liked swing dancing and vintage clothes. I guessed that he was Scottish.
We were messaging last week and he made me giggle. It was easy.
He asked if I wanted to meet up. I said yes. We agreed on this Wednesday night. He told me that he’d been in touch this week to arrange.
This Tuesday night, around 11pm, I was going to bed and still hadn’t heard from him. It was annoying. Pride meant I didn’t want to be the one to message him first but also, I wanted to know if it was still happening so I could make other plans if it wasn’t.
So I messaged him: ‘Hello Alistair, how are you? Just wondering if we’re still on for tomorrow night?’
The reply came back five minutes later: ‘I’ve been super busy with work doing early starts and working late, so won’t be that early.’
No ‘hello, how are you?’. No apology for not getting in touch. Not even a ‘Yes, I’m still up for it’.
Then another message came up: ‘Could probably meet about 8/8.30’
Oh, how very kind of you! Do me a favour, why don’t you?!
My first reaction was to just delete him. That’s my standard approach to people who annoy me – just stomp off in a ‘I’ll show you’ strop. But I knew that wasn’t very enlightened. So the NEW ME tried to be calm and magnanimous.
I replied: Let’s leave it, you’ve obviously got a lot on.
He replied: ‘Yeh, it’s a busy week.’
He then gave me a long list of what’s going on at work, how tired he was etc… I got angry again. I could not give a s*it about his office politics. I don’t even know the guy.
I know this is Tinder but surely some sort of effort is supposed to be made at this point in proceedings? Where’s the charm? Where’s the woo-ing?
When he’d finished sharing his To Do list, he added: ‘I would still like to meet though, unless you’ve changed your mind.’
And actually I HAD changed my mind.
I replied: ‘I totally understand work taking over but I’m a bit old fashioned on the manners front. It would have been nice to hear from you, even if it was to postpone. To be honest I’m probably juggling too many dates at the moment, so let’s leave it altogether. Best of luck with all your dating and thanks for the funny texts. I really enjoyed them.’
I was VERY pleased with my line about having too many dates!! Ha! Actually I was pleased with it all. I never stand up for myself in this way – with men, with friends, with anyone. It felt really empowering to say, politely, actually this isn’t good enough.
It felt groundbreaking. Funny how such a small action can feel so big. But it did.
Dating expert Matthew Hussey says that by making this stand I have made myself a High Value Woman. This doesn’t mean High Maintenance or Hard to Get – it means someone who is self-confident and self-assured, someone who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to articulate that.
In Get the Guy, he writes: ‘A woman who is certain about herself has a deep feeling of self-worth… If she is not getting what she wants or needs from a relationship, the self-confident woman will feel comfortable articulating her needs, or walking away. This is true in the earliest stages of meeting guys as well – if the man she is talking to is boring the hell out of her, or a boaster, a woman of certainty will politely extricate herself, instead of wasting her time.’
I have always been the opposite of High Value when it comes to men. I’ve tolerated crappy, lazy behaviour because ‘nobody’s perfect’, ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ etc etc. I’ve listened to boring stupid conversations and nodded in agreement with things that I didn’t agree with, out of politeness. I’ve footed the bill more often than I should have. I’ve sold myself short out of lack of confidence and fear that I don’t deserve anything better.
I’ve thought that being easy going and relaxed is a good thing – but Hussey says its the opposite. He writes: ‘…nothing snuffs out attraction faster than when a guy picks up on uncertainty. When he senses you are doing something to please him, he will sense that you feel unworthy of him…’
On the other hand, he writes: ‘Women who are certain know what they are looking for in the right man, and never settle for less than their highest standards. When a guy is around this kind of woman, he wants to bring his A-game, knowing she won’t accept less.’
Alistair’s tone changed completely after my message. He sent back several messages apologising for not messaging sooner and asking me to please not delete him, that he’d love to take me out some time… but it was too little too late. I unmatched him.
I’m sure Alistair is a nice guy – he just got complacent and lazy. And I think we all have.
That’s the danger with Tinder – it’s lowering the bar for everyone’s behaviour. I don’t just mean with casual sex/ willy picture stuff, but just the overall courting ceremony has gone out the window. We’re spoilt for choice, so we treat each other like we’re disposable. Another one will come along in a minute.
I’m just as bad. I’ve dropped text conversation, without saying goodbye, just because I’ve lost interest. I’m sending messages while I’m watching telly, eating, chatting to friends. It’s hardly real communication.
Anyway, it’s all good learning – learning what you want, what you don’t want, what you will tolerate and what you won’t. And also that age old thing of treating people how you’d like to be treated, and treating YOURSELF how you’d like to be treated.
I’m realising that I have to value myself if anybody else is going to. I might not be Kate Moss but I’m a good, clever, attractive woman who’d like a bit of old fashioned romance and manners. That might sound prissy but it’s the truth, and it feels really good to realise that… I’m quite sure there’s a guy out there who’s up to the task.
In other news, I’m seeing the Mad Scientist for date number 2 on Friday and have a lunch date with a 6ft4 management consultant on Sunday… AND I think my barman has fled the country. Every time I walk past he’s not there…unless, of course, he’s just ducking under the bar every time he sees a red head…
xxGet the Guy: Use the Secrets of the Male Mind to Find, Attract and Keep Your Ideal Man