Mar 7, 2017

internet dating support group: maybe more fun than dating?



I dated four people from Tinder in 2015. It hadn’t worked out with any of them, and by the end of it I needed a breather. However I was still glancing at dating sites, and I’d gotten talking to someone who was keeping a dating diary. Samantha sent her Diary to me — in one month she'd assembled the most bizarre, hilarious and miserable stories. Things between Samantha and Ryan had moved pretty fast online and over the phone before they’d actually met. But when they did meet up, the chemistry wasn't there for Samantha. Ryan had some issues about his body, including having had cosmetic surgery. His ringtone was a Michael Jackson song.

The internet has made it easier to meet single people, but if we met them outside of our social circle we don’t know if they’re what they seem. I thought it might be good for people on Tinder etc. to share war stories; to get advice from someone who’s been there, or support from someone in the same boat. Generally I thought it’d break down the hetero divide between the sexes. There’s so much truthiness in dating — "if only" there was a place you could be open and honest. In this way the Internet Dating Support Group was born...
 

We ran two groups, at a friend’s house in Freeman’s Bay. There were eight people at each, a few friends and a few randoms. Everyone was in their late twenties or thirties. There were gay, straight and bi people. Both groups ran for almost three hours. I was quite nervous before each group, moreso than on a first date. 

We started with pizza, before a presentation by a guest dating expert. Both experts talked about their dating history. When you’d hang out with Cass, she'd talk almost exclusively about dating. Cass began internet dating during a year in NYC. She’d been keeping an NYC dating blog, until she realised her family might read it and some of the stories were getting out of hand. Cass had recently met an Australian, who was Tindering in Auckland. She’d just moved to Melbourne to be with him, and was back in Auckland for a week.  

Jess had matched on Tinder with a guy who knew that she was a performance artist. In keeping with her art works, he proposed they go on a date and not talk at all. Jess agreed and they met up in Ponsonby. Unsure of what to do when the met up —they hadn’t made a plan, and couldn’t talk about it— Jess took charge and took him on a tour of her ex boyfriends’ house, which were all near Ponsonby Road. Not that he knew this, because... no talking. That same guy had suggested their next date could be ‘driving around playing songs off mixtapes they’d made for each other’, but still not talking. But there was no second date.  

Another guy asked Jess to recreate the ‘36 Questions’ experiment, in which two strangers ask each other personal questions in order to build intimacy, on their first date. She ended up dating him.  
After the expert’s ten-minute presentation, the floor was open. Conversation flowed, touching on different topics. I admitted that I had 400 matches on Tinder, just because I had never deleted any of them. One of my matches was in the room.  

Anna had had plans cancelled five times by the same woman; the last time it had happened her date had said she wanted to go to the gym instead. Everyone reassured Anna that it was not her fault, even if the whole thing had bummed her out.   

Samantha asked why a guy hadn’t called her back, even though he said he would. “He’s just not that into you!”, said Daniel, our host.  

I talked about how some of my partners hadn’t bothered with condoms. I asked one if I should wear a condom, the first time we were having sex. She just said, “it’s fine.” She later clarified/apologised to me that she wasn’t using contraception, it was just she figured she just wasn’t fertile at that part of her cycle. “Arrogance won’t stop STIs”, said Daniel.  

I talked about how I had been sent a few anonymous messages — photos of an ex and her new partner. I asked for advice on my Dad’s advice, which was “if you’re not bothered by it, you’re not bothered by it.” This led to a broader discussion on social media and break-ups. How it might be a good idea to unfollow exes, and that you shouldn’t have to tell them that you’re doing it — they’re big and ugly enough to deal with it. Jess shared how to get someone to unfollow you on Instagram: you block them, and then unblock them.
Daniel said he’d been talking online to a guy in France for eight years. Finally Daniel met him in Toulouse. But the guy had recently been shot!? But he still kept the date with Daniel. Dan highlighted one specific pitfall of internet dating: 'what if you're attracted to the way someone move through space?'

Samantha didn't talk about a guy had driven the 3hrs from Mt Maunganui to see her, the previous weekend. He'd ended up inviting himself to stay at her house, because he said otherwise he'd have to sleep in his car. Samantha couldn't let him sleep on the couch because her flatmate wouldn't want some random guy sleeping on the couch. The next day Samantha said she couldn't understand why he wanted to sleep with her when there was no chemistry, his sweat smelt weird.  

*

I thought some group members might fancy each other. But more to the point everyone who went to the group became friends. It’s so easy to like people who are being open and honest, but being ourselves might be the last thing some of us are doing on first dates...  

Why were we all single? Who knows. “Tonight was fun and has (weirdly) reinvigorated my desire to date”, said Anna. One of the group members later appeared on the ‘First Dates’ tv show. Chris is bi and was set up with a woman who was bi. Alas Chris’ admission that he was wearing the same trousers that he’d worn to work didn’t match with his date, who’d dressed up for the occasion.

Dec 13, 2016

Oh man! The company that has been supplying the cereal for my brekkie-in-bed delivery service has accused me of 'getting high on my own supply!' It's true that I don't have many brekkie delivery customers at the moment, and had eaten a casual bowl or two of their delicious 'choco no-grainola.'

Keep brekkie-in-bed delivery real — here's the menu, someone call me!



Dec 11, 2016

A friend asked if she could lean on me at a party, last week. Only thing is she's about 5'6" and I'm 6'4", so trying to lean back on her got me like...

Best New Friend of the Year!

The nominations are in for Best New Friend (BNF) of the year. List of categories and contenders here.

marblicious

I finally got a piece of the marble X metallic trend! You can carve yourself like Michelangelo's David with these weights...




And here's an inspoorational bathroom ornament...