The Hell Butterfly

Under Da Sea

Well, Colour Me Twitterpated

That’s right people, crack out the party poppers and punch bowls, because this little blogger just got herself a boyfriend.

I’m too excited to care about the details, but approximately two months ago I began speaking to a wonderful chap who went by the name of Bambi. Regulars at The Hell Butterfly should remember him. He was the one that challenged my writing skills, made me think harder about what I wrote and form opinions on things I’d never thought about before. He was the one that made me feel comfortable talking about so many things that I felt I couldn’t talk about with anyone else. He was the one that I may have actually passed unknowingly at London Film and Comic Con this year, the both of us having attended the Saturday convention.

He is the one who introduced me to The Voodoo Lounge bar and took me to see my first firework show in several years. He is the one I cuddled as we laughed at the small children and admired the rare red moon over The Hoe. He is the one I introduced to my Dad the evening that Plymouth won their game against Exeter. He was the one I had my first kiss with.

He is the one I just closed my Plenty of Fish account because of.

He is also the one who just helped me move into my new house. He is the one who just spent all weekend with me, rather than meeting his own friends. He is the one who just made the approval of my mum and younger sister. He is the one who stayed at my new house two nights in a row, and made me a cup of tea in the morning. He is the one who cooked us the best pasta bake I’ve ever tasted.

Bambi is the one I just became official with.

Bambi is my boyfriend. I am Bambi’s girlfriend.

It feels surreal saying it, but hell I’m going to keep saying it because it feels damn good to be able to do so without it being a lie. I am in a relationship. It took me a few years longer than some of my friends, longer than some of my family, but while I may already be 21, the reward of waiting for the right person to come along has paid off. Could I have seen myself allowing R, or T, or J, or M24 to sleep in the same bed as myself all weekend? Could I have seen myself waking up to see R, or T, or J, or M24 laying next to me as I woke up? Could I have seen myself being cooked for by R, or T, or J, or M24? Honestly, not really. I’m sitting here as I type this picturing those scenarios, and none of them fit right. Some feel awkward, some too fake, too stereotypical. Then I picture the weekend I just had with Bambi.

Click.

That fits. Bambi fits.

Now, I don’t want this to seem like I’m suddenly head over heels, and I’m going to try and control myself so as I don’t cause any problems by getting ahead of myself, but the fact I haven’t stopped smiling since my Facebook status first read “Bambi is now in a relationship with Megan” is proof enough that this is something I want.Β  And more importantly, that it’s something I want to do right. No rushing, no assumptions, just honesty, trust and patience.

It’s going to take hard work, but aren’t the best things in life worth working hard for?


The Perverts Are Coming, The Perverts Are Coming

I was beginning to wonder where all the ass-hats of the internet were. Now, a couple weeks down the line, they are emerging. In between my now more regular conversations with my peeps, there have been the regular inflow of weird and wonderful first messages. And it is only now – a small surprise – that the weird turned into the WTF.

Let’s take a look at the latest first messages I have received, shall we?

Benney: Hey,lovely pictures, you seem a decent person from your profile would love to get to know you some more. Sorry ifrtypos using phone no Internet at home just bought a house.

Hey Amy, lovely pictures, you seem a decent

Now, from the get go this felt like reproduced, impersonal crap. Imagine my surprise then, God forbid!, when I read “Hello Amy, lovely pictures, you seem a decent” … Do you want to be any less subtle about your use of copy and paste? This guy has no originality and I feel bad for the girl who falls for this bull. Benney, I don’t care about your new house, your only typo was when you said sorry for typos, and if you get any vaguer I’d mistake you for a sheet of white paper. Mate, you suck.

Oscar: Hi, I’m Italian, I’m 22 years old and I’m new in this city….can you help me to find some places for drink and have fun

Okay, so a nice cushty little intro … Oh. The dude wants directions to the local waterhole. Sorry Mr Italy, but you don’t go to PoF for assistance, you go to an information kiosk. Le sigh.

Rayman: Woweee, you’re perfect! πŸ™‚ xx

This was so hilariously sweet I saved it in my inbox a couple days. Sorry mate, I’m not going to respond to it, but it did make me smile so points for trying.

DizzyDarcy: Heya, when you’re not manically grinning, very cute smile! πŸ˜› x

Um, thanks, I think? I get the smile in my profile picture shows perhaps too much teeth, but that’s not a manic grin. You wanna see a manic grin, just check out my last art project. Stitches painted on my face, eyes so wide there was a moat of white around the irises and a meat cleaver covering half my face. That, my friend, is a manic grin. But cheers for the sort-of compliment.

AlabasterSteakHouse: What happens if you take off the hat? Is it some kind of Raiders of the Lost Ark situation?

Firstly, your username is Alabaster Steak House? I can’t even … As for the hat comment, it might have been funny if you didn’t follow it up with an Indiana Jones reference that I don’t understand. My only answer for this is that he thinks if I take off the hat it means they’re digging in the wrong place! Plus, Steak House … I’m a veggie. Goodbye.

Now, this is where the weirdness spreads into creepiness. These next aren’t in the order I got them, but in order of grossness.

AllDayTeaDrinker: So what’s your preference, boxers or briefs?

On me? Or on you? Because I don’t know you, and therefore don’t wish to even think about what underwear you have on, much less inform you of which I would prefer you in. And if you’re asking which I myself prefer to wear, that’s extremely personal and something I would only want a guy to know if, you know, we’re getting kinda intimate. That’s not something you just tell a person before you even know their name. What a creep.

Couttsey: My magic watch says u have no underwear on

…… Uhh. What? I don’t know whether to report you for inappropriate behaviour or lead you on so I can meet up with you and punch you in the twig and giggleberries. You know, on principle. Total dick move, pervert.

It was only a matter of time before the weirdos emerged from their caves. I’m not insulted, not even angry, by these types of messages. Just disappointed that these types of people still exist. Still trawl the internet thinking that their disgusting language, and worse spelling, will get them some. No-one’s gonna want to touch you with a barge pole after you ask them their underwear preference, or predict their current state of undress. Incorrectly. It is a sad fact that these people still do act the way they do, say the things they do, and hope the way they do that it will actually attract a girl. The only thing they have achieved is helping me amuse you, my readers, with a post taking the piss out of them. God bless you, idiots of the internet. Where would modern humour be without you?


More Adventures in the Pond

For a time it went quiet: no hellos, no creepy messages, no bog standard how are you’s. I was starting to wonder if the fun times were up. But I’ve struck gold. Seriously, I have hit the mother-load this last week and I have been so shocked, annoyed and amused that it’s made my choice to join the site almost worth it.

Let’s begin with the lexical-scrap I had with AviationFan. Now, bare in mind when you read the conversation I’m about to copy here that he started this. He sent the first message, and I am still, after constant reading, unable to comprehend what the original point of it was.

AF: Cringe

Β 

Me: cringe (verb): to shrink in fear or embarrassment; to cower; to behave with servility; to fawn.

Definition courtesy of The Geddess & Grosset English Dictionary.

Β 

AF: Well done, you have read my mind! That is exactly what I was saying; you’re profile picture you are doing so!

Β 

Me: Due to your inability to use the correct version of “you’re” I am unable to process this message.

Β 

AF: Blame auto correct not me! I have A-level English language!

Now, after seeing this, can any one of you explain to me what he meant? Because I’m fucked if I know what this ass-hat was trying to say. I think he was trying to insult me, but I really can’t be sure. I’m more confused than annoyed. Plus, I was too busy smirking at my retorts to put too much stock in his words. Whatever, mate. Piss off back to The Pond.

But that’s just the tip of the glittering iceberg. Today I received a message so obscure I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. My sister gave me a weird look because it was so random. I just couldn’t control it, the giggles just erupted. I have heard some strange stuff in my time in K! Dating, and some odd things on PoF too, but this has taken the proverbial cake, gold star and every other winner’s trophy you can think of. This is what it said:

hello
if u were sitting down near some broken machines and then you realized that u had been accidentally sitting on my face coz i was trapped under the machines what wud u do? wud u help me? 😦

I can’t even … Just re-reading the first few words makes the grin spread across my face once more. This is fuckin’ brilliant. I can’t even respond in a witty way because this is just too ridiculous for words. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at an online dating message, and yes I am including the bloke who liked “women who frolic in fields and wear pretty summer dresses”. I just … the tears threaten behind my eyes as my ribs strain not to crack. It’s just too damn funny!

And the fun just kept coming at me this week. I really have found some terribly good shit whilst fishing this week. The next comes as a response (I hope) to my “cheese should stay in the fridge” metaphor. The following is the only thing he sent me. No previous message, no follow up comment. Just this:

I used to live with someone who kept their bread in the fridge and their eggs in the cupboard.

How does this genius expect me to reply to this bullshit? It’s comedy gold but on a dating site, not the best way to approach a girl. This made me smile so much I kept it in my Inbox for 3 days. It’s not quite as good as the previous one, as I think that will stay in my Inbox a lot longer, but it’s still pretty priceless.

And finally, a humour-filled attempt at actual conversation that I decided to ignore, but that gave me happy feels at the idiocy nonetheless. This last one comes courtesy of Rob_In_A_Box. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Hey there!
Your profile caught my eye-I enjoy sarcasm (more funny for other people as I take sarcasm literally sometimes-still doesn’t stop me using it!) and also believe that cheese should be stored in the fridge, however should be eaten at room temperature! Not sure on your belief…maybe keep cheese in the fridge and there it should remain haha.
Anyway if you don’t mind my cheese fanatics on a slice of sarcasm then hear from you sometime in the near-ish future?

Yours from the other side of the internet

I cannot even find a statement worth enough to follow that, so I shall leave you now to contemplate these heroes of the internet. God bless you, stupid creatures.


I Regret This

My head is heavy because of PoF. Who’d have thought it? Online dating is bringing back my depression. Fuck it. Fuck being too nice for my own good. Fuck wanting to be so polite I end up in bad situations I can’t get out of. Fuck having to try so hard. Fuck dating. Fuck pretending to date. Fuck pretending to want to. Fuck keeping up 6 different conversations with different topics and different tones. Fuck everything.

I did this for fun. I did this so I could have something interesting to talk about on my blog and all it’s doing is winding me up, creeping me out, and dragging myself through shit for the sake of this piece of shit website. I’m done. I regret it so, fucking much. I have people wanting to read my blog, when I’ve mentioned them in posts. I have people assuming I’m going to trust them enough after 2 days to go over to their fucking house and jump into a relationship with them. I don’t need this bullshit.

Fuck you, Plenty of Fish. You suck so hard.


In Which I Stumble Upon The Failure of the Male Creation

Everybody has a flaw. It’s just a fact. There’s always something you do that irritates the tits off of somebody else. But the male species have a special talent for it. Obviously, I’m being satirical, but with solid evidence of the existence of the stultus masculus* it’s hard to believe otherwise. To be completely honest, it’s almost enough to make one give up on men entirely.

I’m speaking, of course, about the population of The Pond. I have been on this site but mere days, and yet I cannot help but notice how utterly pathetic some of the male members can be. There are some truly hideous attempts, some unfortunately lame-duck types, and others that, well, seem to like jumping to conclusions. Allow me to elaborate. Here are examples of some messages I have recently received:

The Lame Duck:

Hey.
What anime series are you into, and what games/ console are you into. Like my profile says I’ve recently just come out of a relationship. not really looking for anything long term yet, I really want to meet people and see how things go.
Hope to hear from you

Firstly, your opening statement should be a question. Where is your correct punctuation? Second, thanks very much for letting me know you’ve just come out of a relationship – I totally wanted to know all about your romantic fallout before I’ve even said hello. Not a great way to get me to respond. Also, you presume I have read your profile as you mention “as my profile says..” I take this as a referral to something already mentioned, ie that I have already viewed his page and he is merely referring to the past occurrence. I have not looked at his page. I also do not plan to. Sorry.

The ‘CreakyLion’: Hello there! Read your profile and thought i might say hello! Hope your doing ok this weekend =]

Halt. Creaky Lion? What kind of name is that? What, is there a great jungle cat out there with arthritic knee joints? Though this is nice and pleasant, I also feel the need to facepalm. “Hello … I thought I might say hello”. Yes, I got that. Ow, wrong “you’re”. But pros for the smiley. No-one else has used the equals sign for eyes yet. However with no question to go off, I have nothing to say back here.

The Minimalist: Hey

Hey …… *Sigh*

The Speed Freak: Hey πŸ™‚ just had a quick look through your profile and thought I’d send you a quick message. Anyway if you fancy a chat just send me a message back some time x

“Quick look” .. “Quick message”. Are you always doing thinks so swiftly? Do you have some kind of physical ailment, like Speed, where if you go below 50mph you’ll explode? I’m sorry Ramay, but if I’m going to respond to someone I would like to know they’ve done more than glance at my profile and scrawl a hasty message. Even reading it aloud sounds rushed. Go on, try it … See?

The Pessimist: Hey, so what’s the deal with the hats? What sort of films do you like? I am glad someone finds good grammar nice. I hate it when people type lik dis. Why even bother.

This is rude. Do you find this rude? I think this sounds rude. Just reading this brings down the black cloud of despair upon my brow. I do appreciate that he has standards in the grammatical sense, but seriously that it the only good thing about this. He makes it sound like my hat fetish is a bad thing and the whole tone brings me down just looking at it. I end with his own statement: why even bother?

The Happy-Go-Lucky:

Hiya, how is every little thing?

I had a gander at your profile & thought you seemed pretty cool (not to mention cute!)
So i wanted to say hi & talk a little more πŸ™‚

So, this dude is chilled. He probably wrote this lying back in a hammock on the beach, hat over his eyes and blade of grass between his teeth. What a chill bloke he is! Honestly, this guy is so laid back I find it hard to fault this. Maybe this would get the attention of other girls, and maybe if I was serious about this dating malarkey I’d even be tempted myself, but for now I’ll settle for a mental high-five and leave him to his beach siesta.

The ‘Curious George’:

Hello

I liked your profile and would like to get chatting to you, to see how we fit together. So, hopefully we can start a conversation…

So, you have food issues? What do you mean by that? I have food issues, but I am just super fussy at eating, don’t know if it’s the same or similar with you? Also, Cheese staying in the fridge, is that a saying or a metaphor? If so, what does it mean? If not, I totally agree!

Context: I mentioned having food issues, and said this sentence on my profile: I’m a stickler for good grammar and believe cheese should stay in the fridge, so make the effort to hold a decent conversation and you’re on the right track.” To explain to y’all, by food issues I mean I can’t eat in public, and can’t cook or eat in front of anyone who isn’t my immediate family. It makes living at university quite difficult, as you might imagine. My record is 12 days without a solid meal. Yes, my issues can get that bad. As for the cheese comment, it was a metaphor, meaning don’t use any cheesy lines on me. It’s old, boring, and oftentimes smells of desperation. It should, as I say, stay in the fridge, so don’t bring it into our conversations. This fellow does seem awfully curious. He asks 5 questions in almost as many sentences. And some don’t even make sense. If he asks this many questions in an opening message I dread to think what will follow if I reply. I think we’ll leave this one be.

The Back-handed Complimenter: Hey how’re you? My names aaron. I’m very nearly 20. I read your profile and it made me chuckle a bit. I also love Comics, music and films. Would love to find out more about you and get to know you more, il look forward to your reply x

You read my profile and it made you chuckle? Um, quick tip mate, it wasn’t meant to be funny …

Now, here are some awkward conversation enders:

DFer:

Konnichiwa Megan! How are you? πŸ™‚ x

Good afternoon. I’m well, thankyou. How are you?

Afternoon, glad you’re ok :). I’m not bad thanks. Just a little achey from the gym and annoyed that my kettle is broken 😦 no green tea for me today x

Um … I’m sorry for you..? Must be a huge shame to be denied your green tea after a gym session. Awkward.

Hayden:

Konbanwa! What would be your top honourable mentions for your favorite Anime’s ? πŸ™‚

I would have to go with Bleach as my number one. D.Gray Man comes in close second though. How about yourself?

I spent a whole summer term watching Bleach dubbed. I skipped about 2 Bleach filler episodes though, irritated that it’s halted production anime wise..manga shall forever woddle on. Btoom is beautiful, and so is Devil Survivor 2.

Cue the tumbleweed. Okay great, he likes Bleach like me, but there’s no need to bring halted production into the matter. And um … “manga shall forever woddle on” … What? Awkward.

And the best beginning attempt, but another awkward stop:

Michael:

Hey there Megan,
I think you are a very interesting girl and I would love to get a chance to get to know you better. So to break the ice, if you could have a super power what would it be?
Hope to hear from you.
Best,
Michael
P.S.
You are seriously unbelievably cute. [Aww, bless. Very well written. This asks for a response.]

(Cue appropriately polite response)

Hi.

Aw, thankyou, I appreciate that. I think I’d like telepathy, but only if I could turn it off. It’s always good to talk but sometimes I think it would be nice to just know what’s going on in a person’s mind. But obviously if I couldn’t turn it off I think I’d go mad. That was quite a good ice-breaker, had to think about that one. How about you?

Ha, aw thanks again. It’s honestly nice to hear you think so πŸ™‚

(And cue the less appropriate awkward following)

haha thanks, I’d go down the same sort of thing but where I could read peoples minds but also have the ability to change it too πŸ™‚ it could come in handy for everything!!! I’m glad you appreciate the compliments as there are plenty more to follow, so what sort of thing are you looking for? and have you been up to much? πŸ™‚

So, let me get this straight … you’d like the ability to change a person’s mind, just by sheer will-power? Isn’t that called manipulation? Doesn’t that give the user the ability to override consent? Perhaps he didn’t mean it so harshly, but that’s kind of what he’s suggesting here, right? Right? And to top it off, he assumes I’m going to speak to him again. Admittedly I gave him no reason to think I wouldn’t reply, but Conclusion Jumping was ruled out of the Olympics for a reason. Also, what does “what are you looking for?” refer to? I feel like I’m in a U2 song. I’m currently looking for the correct keys to type this post, earlier I was looking for something for lunch, later I’ll be looking for something to watch on television. Does this answer please you, Michael? If not, learn to be more specific. Yes, this is a dating site, but it is also true that if you “assume”, you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.

Unfortunately, the awkwardness, stupidity, and discomfort that the male race seem to emit, and provoke alike, is not limited to opening messages or short conversations. No. It goes deeper than that. Let us therefore take the following example: Snappy. Remember him? Him and the others have one commonality – they are, at heart, men.

This is the hard one. Mostly because I’m metaphorically stranded in the middle of /snappy’s motorway. During rush hour. With him, I’ve sort of accidentally fallen into a bad position that is a little awkward, and complicated, to escape from. This is, in part, my fault, but I’d like to think the main fault lies with him. To clarify, he appears to believe there is a relationship forming between us already, and that I have agreed to it. This is the last message he sent me:

Haha yeah, I’m sure we’ll get along fine πŸ™‚ [Ie. conversation will be smooth] Yes I have [been in a relationship]. don’t worry, we’ll go at your pace seeing as you haven’t been in one before, I’m not like the other guys out there (and I hope I get to show you that I’m not lying) and I’m one of the nice guys, I can only say that I know what some guys are like! Well you’ll have to show me the ones [the films] that you love one day as I haven’t heard of them! I don’t really have one [a favourite film] tbh, there’s quite a few including Black hawk down, Invincible and the Blind side, I love movies based on true stories. πŸ™‚

He uses, more than once, the word “we’ll” meaning “will” in the definite sense, and not “might” in the potential sense. By this, he has already confirmed, in his own mind at least, that we will get along and we will move at a slow pace in our relationship. There is no relationship. I do not want a relationship with him. I can’t stress this enough. In his defence, I never used those particular words with him. I should have stated earlier on that I am not interested in that way. However I also didn’t give him any indication that I was interested. He has become the second, or even third, competitor in the Conclusion Jumping Olympics. I feel a little bad, as I’m forced to imagine whether he has received any kind of positive response to his previous messages to people. Am I the only one who has held a conversation with him? The only girl to not have shut him down from the off? Because, so far, he has assumed I’ll be going over to his at some point, and that I’ve already agreed to be in a relationship with him. Hold your proverbial horses, mate. I have agreed to no such thing. And now I have the painfully awkward task of trying to explain that to him. As with everything in life, blunt honesty will be the best option, but I have always struggled with blunt honesty. I beat around the bush, put things off, make excuses or even lie. I do everything I can to avoid just facing up to hard situations. Maybe that’s why I am the way I am today.

But I don’t see it as my fault. I blame Snappy. Just as I blame DFer and Hayden and The Pessimist and all the other blokes that I’ve come into contact with because in case it wasn’t obvious … I’m a woman, and I have done nothing wrong. Every conversation has gone downhill because of the other participant: the male. The stultus masculus.

Men .. I don’t get them.

 

*stultus masculus meaning “male idiot” according to Google


Please, No More Words

All this talking is hard. I’d blame it on being an introvert but that’s probably just a cover. Honestly, I just find conversation exhausting. And trying to keep up about 6 at a time is one heck of a trial.

Of all the messages I’ve received on Plenty of Fish thus far, several of them I have deemed unworthy of reply. Some have been comically average, and a few more have proved decent. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have the heart to ignore a good attempt. Even if the profile of the other person involved holds no interest for me, if there is nothing wrong with the message I can’t seem to delete it and move on. Because of this hamartia, I’ve gotten myself into an uncomfortable number of conversations.

As it is, I can’t hold a conversation in person to save my life. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe what all my literary eloquence (that was a joke by the way, though I am proficient in the written word), but I genuinely have a hard time holding conversation in face-to-face situations. I’m much more confident having a written conversation, and apparently it shows. In my inability to ignore a well-written – or even just a polite – message, I have had about three people tell me I make good conversation. But it’s so tiring. Not the remembering of each conversation, because I can go back and read previous messages as a reminder, but sounding positive and genuinely interested in each and every one.

So far I am in communication with Snappy, Bambi, Ben, James and, if he decides to reply, Hayden. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking to all of these people in order to find a relationship or anything, I’m simply responding accordingly to their initial messages. For example, Hayden and Ben asked me about my interest in anime, and I’ve had quite a decent chat (with Ben) about it. I’ve found out he has cosplayed more than once and even discovered from him that there was a Digimon film. So on that front, it’s a great conversation with no other intent than discussing anime. James sent a nice, albeit confusing, message, to which I replied quite literally (ie asking if his typo-d question was in fact a statement) and he has sent a message or two in reply. I feel maybe I was a little blunt, but hey, that’s just the way I decided to play that one. As for Snappy and Bambi, the tone is quite different, and the direction they are taking is also somewhat opposite.

Snappy’s first message consisted of two short sentences with smiley faces and a light, jokey tone. I picked up on that and reciprocated accordingly. Since then I, even as a novice, can tell he’s trying too hard to flirt. For example, have a look at his latest message:

It’s cool, I’d just like to talk to you a bit more, you’re one of the few girls who can hold a conversation and is cute as hell, winning combo right there! πŸ˜‰ Looks like I’ll have to teach you how to use technology haha! I’ll hold you to that, I’ll teach you πŸ™‚ It’s an American football one and Al Pacino is in it, I’ll show you it if you ever come over! πŸ™‚

For some context, he had previously asked for my number so we could text, instead of his having to check his phone app for messages. I said no, as politely as I could. He also bragged about how he could teach the rules of American football to anybody, and went on to tell me he’d teach me too. In all honesty, I have no idea how to reply to this. The conversation started as a chat about cricket and ended with the above. I’m not interested that way, but it would be rude to either shut him down bluntly, or to ignore him from this point on. I just don’t like to disappoint people. Perhaps it’s just me who thinks he’s trying too hard, but regardless, you can hear the light tone, and can tell there is less pressure for perfect sentence structure. This is nice as it means I don’t have to try so hard to keep up my standard of writing. It’s a bit of a break. But it’s also a difficult situation to get myself out of, seeing the direction he might take the conversation.

On the other hand, Bambi has a much more serious feel to it. Not serious in the frowny, dreary sense, but serious in the way we both use proper grammar and use very minimal smileys. Even exclamation marks are used sparingly. But the quality of the conversation is far higher. Where Snappy talks about how he broke a rib playing American football, Bambi talks about how he appreciates a good job, and the importance of proper manners. I really do like talking to Bambi for this reason. It’s nice to be able to flex my literary skills. But it’s also one of the most exhausting conversations for that same reason. I feel that I need to keep up this standard of writing. I don’t know if he finds it as hard as me to do this, but he doesn’t seem to. Then again, maybe he thinks it’s natural for me too. Either way, with the length of our messages increasing steadily, and the number of comments about the quality of my conversational skills going up accordingly, I’m feeling the pressure.

As if it wasn’t hard enough to keep up a high standard with Bambi, I also have to switch between jokey, quietly polite, throwing caution to the wind and using more smileys and “haha’s” than is healthy, all to keep up with the various conversations I have going. I’m starting to regret signing up so lightly, but it makes for good research. I can instantly tell anyone looking to find someone using online dating, Plenty of Fish is by far the best site I have come across. There is no shortage of potential suitors, and with the range of conversational tones and topics, you will easily find someone suited to you.

I guess the moral of this post is this: don’t change the way you write/converse to fit the conversation. Always talk how you feel comfortable, how you normally would. I, myself, use too many smileys, like to add a ‘haha’ or a ‘lol’ every now and then, and – while I like good grammar – I don’t always talk like an eighteenth century gentleman. I do use abbreviations, I do use normal words, so why am I finding myself changing my sentence to fit around the use of the word “fascinating”? To anyone looking to explore online dating, this is the biggest tip I can give you. It is exhausting holding so many conversations, and it is made so much worse when you try and suit the tone. Whether you use ‘haha’ all the time, or prefer to use all the longest words in your arsenal, keep it consistent, and don’t change just to suit the individual on the other end of the internet.


24 Hours in PoF

I got ambushed. That’s what happened. Well, I joined, slept, watched Dickinson’s Real Deal and then got ambushed, but it happened nonetheless.

First thing I noticed after being logged on for five minutes, is that you get waaay more attention when you’re online. In those five minutes I received 3 emails from members. Add this to the three I’d received yesterday and some things can be noticed from the off.

I was struck by how, well, normal the emails were. There was one that set the bar quite low, and actually made me laugh out loud, but to be fair to the members of Plenty of Fish, they’re relatively average. Here are some that I’ve received in the last 16ish hours:

Chad: heya darling very beautiful lady u ok ?(: xx hows your day been hunnie? xx love your profile nd interests babe? xx drop a message?(:

I cracked a rib laughing when I first read this. Does this approach really work? Has he seriously sent this message to a girl before and ended up with a positive reaction? If a bloke came up to me in the street like theΒ fuckin’ raspberry from the Vimto advert I’d roll my eyes in disgust and walk away. Suffice to say I shall not be “dropping a message” in this lifetime.

Pondlife: Hello hows your day been megan x

Nice and simple, better for sure than Chad’s sorry excuse for an opening message. That is all the credit I can give him though, which isn’t saying much given the only point of reference. It’s polite, true, but there’s nothing to go on. My only response can be “I’m okay, how are you?” No meaningful conversation can follow this kind of introduction. I’d commend the correct use of ‘your’ except he forgot the apostrophe in “how’s”. Nice try, Pondlife.

Bambi: Hey how are you doing? You seem like a really cool, and we seem to have a bit in common such as reading, writing, cricket, and im also a fellow introvert, who can sometimes be a little too much of a recluse. If you like my profile and fancy a chat, come say hi x

This has been my favourite thus far. And not just because he insists on being called Bambi. I can tell reading this that the phrase “like a really cool” is in fact missing a word and not simply bad general grammar. I don’t know what he meant to add but I can’t mark him down for that. I cringe at the failed spelling of “I’m” however he did prove that he’d read my profile by listing interests, and went that step further to tell me which of my interests he shared. I like that he told me he can be too reclusive, because while some would hate a person putting themselves down, to me it means they can recognise their own faults and aren’t afraid to admit it. Even the way it ended was decent – it is an invitation to view his profile and to respond if I wish. There is no pressure in that closing comment. So far, Bambi has my approval.

Crazyrob: Hey, so what’s your favorite band at the moment? Staying in is all good though. Everyone should have a laugh with sarcasm, nothing should be taken too seriously. Would love to chat more. Hope to hear from you

I give Crazyrob some props for making conversation that is more specific than any other message. He also, like Bambi, picked up on specifics from my profile – I mentioned how my sarcasm can be accidentally funny – so fair play. Bad points, I don’t like the phrase “Staying in is all good though”. What does that refer to? When I make a comment about a separate point, I go down a line. This separates it out and makes it easier to follow. I am confused here as to what pat of the message he’s referring to, or whether he is actually referring to something on my profile. In terms of the phrasing itself, it almost makes it sound as though I’ve said staying in was a bad thing and he’s trying to put my mind at ease. Or is that just me? I won’t be replying to this guy. It probably didn’t help him much he had the word “crazy” in his username. And you can see the crazy in his eyes ..

Ollie: Hello u alright hope hope you dm the mail ur so really gorgeous and stunning xx

This message produced nothing from me but a sigh and a head-shake. So much wrongness. Punctuation. Spelling. Unnecessary abbreviation. Overuse of compliments. And finally, overuse of x’s. Allow me to explain. I’m a stickler for good grammar, spelling and punctuation, and even said this on my profile. So the bad use of all three on his part gets my heckles up. In terms of the x’s and compliments, every girl likes them, but for an introductory message I think these should be kept to a minimum. A small compliment is appreciated to show you’ve noted appearance, but in my mind it shouldn’t be the focus of the first message. Maybe some girls like it, but a third of his message focuses on the importance of looks. I did like the compliment, but I’m sorry mate, I like a conversation. I “dm the mail”, but I do mind your lack of literary competency.

Snappy: Hey, I played cricket in school, always had to play as batsman so I could hit the ball far πŸ™‚ I stay inside too much too πŸ˜‰

I received this one while typing up my analysis of the previous messages. I like this one. Made me chuckle but in a good way. I was laughing with, not at. I did say I liked cricket so he read as far down as the Interests section. He also made a personal comment about the subject and made it funny. It’s playful, tells me a little about him and shows me he’s paid attention. Nice work, Snappy.

Thus far I can say that the quality of members is higher than previous sites I’ve been on. There are still some obvious flaws, but a lot are to be expected. A great percentage of the population don’t know how to communicate with good grammar and spelling. Text speak is regrettably a common occurrence. I tend to let these things go – to an extent –Β  because a lot of mistakes are simply because it’s written word. Speech is generally okay. My Dad is a very eloquent man, but he cannot capitalise texts to save his life and often replaces letters with numbers, under the impression it is faster to type. So I’ll let it slide, just so long as it is not diabolically atrocious.

I will say the messaging service itself is better. On K! Dating there was the Introductory Message feature which allowed you to send a generic message to every member within your set parameters. Of the hundred-ish messages I got during my time there, less than ten were directed specifically to me. The big difference on Plenty of Fish is that if you want to send a message to expand on your profile, you must send a specific one to a member. Already in my first 24 hours I have received the same number of direct messages as I did in my entire K! Dating experience.

While typing this I got another message, this time from – and I retch as I say this – a topless individual. To make it worse, it’s taken with a phone. I hate those kinds of photos. Use a goddamned camera, mate. That’s what they’re for. Let’s read it .. it’s from Alessandro. You wanna know what is says?

Hello x

Um. Wow. Straight to the point I guess.

Perhaps I should do an experiment. It might make for good research to respond exactly as appropriate to messages. For example, to this I would reply simply, “Hello.” He’s given me no incentive to message back, but it could be interesting to play along.

For now, I’ll consider reaching out to Snappy and Bambi. I have a good idea what the next PoF post will be about, but I’ll keep that under wraps for now. It’ll be lengthy, but might make for entertaining reading. Stay tuned.