14 Dates in, why am I still single?

I haven't found Ms.Right yet, but equally, I haven't yet had another bite wound (although I have had a second injury, but more about that in a later post). For those of you have wondered why I haven't settled down with one of the lovely ladies I've met, well, a good first date, doesn't automatically lead to a good second date. I think the best story I've ever read about a precipitous drop between the expectations you create on a superb first date that are then shattered by a tragic and terrible second date is this one, by Ali Waller, writing in Jezebel.

It certainly rang true for me, especially the bit where "after the delightful first date, I decided this would be the perfect situation: we'd date casually but exclusively, I'd stay focused on my career, and we'd meet up on weekends for movies, dinners and make-outs. In this (totally made-up) scenario, he was unscathed from his divorce and I was miraculously able to sleep with him without getting attached or distracted. Also, our sex was flawless. This was exactly how it would play out." Seriously, it's great - read it - there's a link and everything.

Did you read it? Really? Good. The truth is there have been several second dates, third dates (and even one lady who I considered dropping the blog for) - but it hasn't worked out. I suppose what it encapsulates is not only is online dating a long process, but it's hard. You not only need to find people you like, you need them to like you back and want the same things, and it all needs to work physically, you need to be sexually compatible and be at the same stage of your life.

My three part criteria for what I want a woman - that she needs to be funny, sane and "not evil", are also surprisingly hard to fulfill. Why do I have those criteria?

Well, thereby hangs a tale.

It's a long story.

No, seriously. This is a proper Willard story. The sort that requires a cup of tea and a comfy chair. The sort that's kind of entertaining, but also hair-curlingly horrendous at the same time. Lots of my stories are like this if you think about it. Usually, any time a story starts with "Well, this one time in Israel/North Korea/GW Bristol..."

So get a cup of the heated beverage of your choice, and then carry on reading.

It was 2002. Combat trousers were an "in" look, The White Stripes were an underground buzz act that only cool people liked, invading places seemed to be working, and despite that, no-one thought Dubya would get a second term. I was reading for a Masters in International Criminal Justice; some of the people reading this blog were still in school.

Right, all of this aside, I was going out with this girl I met on the debating circuit.

She was pretty, and very, very clever. But, she was also mad and a little bit evil. And I know what you girls are thinking, it's not me saying "She was crazy; occasionally she expected me to call her!". She was crazy in an authentic, take off her facemask to reveal a writhing mass of tentacles, Cthulu cultist, end of the world by the power of the Dark Star-gods way.

Just so to establish her mentalist credentials, here are some examples.

She was concerned that I might not be faithful to her,so she got one of her friends to come on to me. Of course, I was a bit shocked, and rejected the friend, explaining I was a bit shocked, as she knew I was seeing her friend. However, I was still the bad guy, as when I rejected the friend, the girlfriend was angry with me because I didn't tell her the friend had cracked on to me.

Also, she used to do things like keep spreadsheets of MY finances (oh, and hers of course), so when I bought us a valentines holiday in Paris, she refused to go because I couldn't afford it and would be better saving the money. For the record, I took the money and spent it on a giant model tank.

Oh, and this is just the highlights. There were all kinds of crazy mindgames, tearful fits because I beat her on tabs at debating, etc etc She once threatened to dump me by Point of Information in the semi-final of a debating competition at the Inner Temple. Everyone in the audience laughed, assuming it was a joke; I didn't. She never joked.

So, I've established her nutter credentials, right? Ok, the other important other thing about her was she had a life plan. Her whole life was planned out to the age of sixty.

It was on a wall calendar, in her room. I didn't even know you could get ones that go 45 years ahead. In case you thought I was joking about the Cthulhu cultist thing, this one really was waiting for the Stars To Be Right.

(I realise, by now, you are probably wondering why I went out with her; the answer is, I don't really know:)

Anyway, on the calendar, she was allowed to have 8 boyfriends before she got married. Why? you ask. That's such an arbitrary number. Well, otherwise, she wouldn't be young enough to be well established as a barrister before she took a career break to have her first child. It was eight boyfriends of six months each. Six months to prove your worth.

Anyway, I got to the six month window. She walked me to a little church in her village, and told me that as a little girl, she had always dreamed of getting married in that very church. And then she turned to me, and asked me, "Where would you like to get married, Willard?"

What I didn't realise at the time was that there was a wrong answer to that question.

Unfortunately for her, my response was "Well, I'd always rather fancied getting married under the big top of the Moscow state circus, by the Arch-Mandrite of the Russian Orthodox Church".

This was my jokey way of saying, "Lets not talk about this; we're 22".

Not the right answer. She ran away crying, which was a bit of a shock; I remember thinking, "that Orthodox joke was pretty good...wasn't it?". I didn't run after her; in her eyes, this was death death Death. I had failed the final test; oh, yeah, this was the last in a series of tests including the faithfulness one; another included forcing me to ostracise a close friend.

So, she'd decided that I was not "the one", but, this put her in a dilemma. It was my finals; she was obsessed with success and exams. She couldn't imagine dumping me during my finals,but, the calendar's merciless ticktock was still going on in the background, and she had to move the relentless grind of boyfriends on.

Her solution was to start fucking one of my friends behind my back. The reasoning was she could dump me after my finals, no damage to my exam chances, and satisfying her need to keep within the strict timetable.

Sadly, there was a problem with this other wise brilliant plan.

The problem was, well, I went to my doctor with a small problem; now, bear in mind my doctor is a sweet old man with a bow tie, who I've known all my life, who used to give me lollipops when I was five, to imagine the awkwardness of this.

My doctor looks at my problem, and says "Have you been sleeping with Nigerian prostitutes?"

I looked shocked.

"Of course not!" I replied.

He looks at me, very embarrassed, awkward, very English, wearing his cheery bow-tie and says, "Come on Willard, it's important to your treatment you are honest with me..." And I reply I'm in a committed relationship, totally monogamous, etc etc.

To which he replies, "Well, she obviously isn't as committed as you are".

So, yeah, he, through her, had infected me with a rare and potentially hideous disfiguring African genital parasite. They managed to kill the damn thing by freezing it off with Liquid nitrogen; that's the stuff they use to kill the T-1000 in terminator 2. Some people say they have scars from their relationships; I have frostbite scars on my genitals from that one.

So, I was disgusted, appalled, horrified, betrayed. So, I call her, we row, and I break it off.

Now, at the time, we were the fucking golden couple of university debating. So us splitting up was massive, massive gossip and next week, at an Inter Varsity Debate, someone says "I hear you and X broke up; I can't believe it; is it true?"and I say,

"Yeah it's true." And they ask what happened.

And I tell them. In excruciating, hideous, African parasite detail.

And then, she goes totally berserk. I'm the bad guy. How DARE I tell everyone the private business of our relationship. To which I reply, how dare you have unprotected sex with one of my sluttiest friends?

So, is that the worst breakup story you've ever heard? I don't think it's a coincidence that in the aftermath, I grew an American Civil War beard, an afro that was cool on Black men in 1974 and stopped studying Law to become a music journalist.

Anyway, after that relationship, I developed a criteria for what I want in a woman. She has to be the diametric opposite of that girlfirend; that is to say, she has to be:

1.) Funny

2.) Sane

3.) Not evil

That's it. You'd think it'd be easy to find:)

Sadly, that woman has proved elusive. The trouble is, most women who actually want to date me are 2/3 at best. It's not an iron-hard criteria. It's just as soon as a woman starts playing mind games, or I realise she has no sense of humor, she becomes terribly unattractive.

Women who do, of course, meet all three criteria, are hard to find. And when I do come across them, they almost never want to date me, for some ludicrous reason, like they don't find me attractive, or I embody all they despise in society.

I'm not sure if blogging it makes it harder or easier. On one hand, I get licence to vent at you, dear reader, and tell everyone about the dates I go on, be they good or bad. On the other hand, I have to go on a lot of dates, and  while individual nights are fun, looking at your diary and realising, yes, you are going out on a date every night this week, is grinding and tiring in of itself.

Unlike most people who are doing online dating, I have to come and write notes, which I then have to type up later and then make witty and amusing. Yes, it may come as a shock, but often my first drafts are quite dull and sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself. Sort of like this whole post, really.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Gosh! I salute you for still searching after such a horrible experience! I really hope you find your 3/3.

  2. nuttycow said...

    And I thought my ex boyfriends were odd! Keep on holding out - you'll find her.

  3. The trick is to know what great women are looking for, and I can tell you exactly what that is, if you like. Advertise yourself as that and your luck will change... I guarantee it!

    If you're interested DM me.

  4. Unknown said...

    You won't like them, but you may find answers to why all this happened on sites like this: http://3rdmilleniummen.wordpress.com/manosphere-wisdom/

    I did.

  5. Anonymous said...

    You're definitely feeling sorry for yourself now. Stop it. Not entirely sure talking about your battle-scarred genitals is the wisest idea, but good on your for being honest. Come on number 15!

  6. Anonymous said...

    She wasn't the nicest but you don't come off too well in this story either. Getting an STD because your other half was sleeping around is, oddly, not such a rare occurrence. At least yours was removable and interesting, some people's are permanent and mar their future forever.

  7. Anonymous said...

    Love how you tell it warts n all

  8. Unknown said...

    Brilliant, I snorted into my tea reading about the rare african genital parasite.

  9. Anonymous said...

    Brilliant, Willard! But it is either "a criterion" or "criteria". Seems you have been spending too much time on online dating sites...

  10. Anonymous said...

    hello Willard, I love dating blogs and feel so sorry for you after your nigerian parasite story, and so grateful to you for sharing it, that I thought I would let you know that yours is my favourite, and generally one of the funniest and pleasingly written things I have seen on the internet. I am quite sorry that you are only planning to put yourself through 28 dates and hope you can dredge up some more fascinating stories from your archives to keep it going for a bit longer.

  11. Anonymous said...

    This was hilarious. Sorry, I know you're describing something painful and I feel suitably compassionate, but yeah. Please write more. Am selfishly hoping you don't find the right person just yet.

  12. Anonymous said...

    Very funny Willard! Glad I got a cup of tea for that one. Makes me think I should have gone on a date with you afterall...

  13. Anonymous said...

    Sorry to break it to you, but Date 11 should give you a clue as to why your quest is ultimately doomed. To be a tory, you have to be able to tick one of:

    1.) Not Funny (or a sense of humour based on a lack of empathy for others).
    2.) Insane (spectrum from self-deluded --> barking).
    3.) Evil (lack of empathy --> full on Thatcher).

    Would you spend the rest of your life with someone like that? (No, you already said you wouldn't.)

    ** If you tick two out of three then join UKIP, if you manage all three then get a job in an investment bank.

    All in all, it's a roundabout way of saying that you're not the perfect specimen of humanity, and nor are any of your dates. You've clearly got plenty of experience of the worst examples already, but rather than making you grateful that your latest date isn't into biting the heads off bats maybe it has hypersensitised you to the smallest of imperfections?

    Change you criteria to 'kind and doesn't spit food whilst talking over the dinner table' and see if you can find someone who might grow on you?

  14. Anonymous said...

    I doubt you are naive enough to believe in 'love at first sight.' Surely then stuff like sexual compatibility, and to some degree attraction are things that increase over time?

    It's all too easy to be put-off when you meet someone first, especially when you meet them online, rather than 'naturally.' It takes time to get to know someone.

    Also, perhaps you might have more on your list than the criteria you mention above -not that there's anything wrong with that. Maybe you need to change your tactics or something... I have got the impression in the past that some of your dates are just box-ticking exercises rather than dates for the sake of getting to know someone.

  15. Anonymous said...

    Have to wonder if, given your struggle to find a nice lady friend, admitting you had a bizarre and tropical venereal disease is the best course of action? Top marks for the blog though! Thoroughly enjoying it! Speaking as one of those who found their significant other through internet dating I would advise you not to be disheartened; she is out there; just keep trying...and writing about it!

  16. Shauna said...

    Mental stuff, loving your work.

  17. Anonymous said...

    Reading this, I realised that I have very similar criteria to yours, but am less picky. I only ask that the men I date be funny and sane. Evilness, I can work with.

    Blind date #1 - was c. four stone heavier than indicated by profile picture and had clearly had help with his profile text and messages. We ended up going on a disastrous second date because I couldn't work out a nice enough way of saying 'never contact me again'.

    Blind date #2 - came from Guardian Soulmates and insisted well into the second date that he was 'not THAT right wing' despite being called Giles, rocking up in a three piece tweed suit and, it emerged, being a Tory activist. I managed THREE dates with this one because I couldn't decide what I thought after the first date and became too pissed to say no to a third on the second. I let him down very gently, and he sent me a barrage of lengthy, abusive but perfectly punctuated text messages accusing me of having broken his heart. For three days.

    Blind date #3 - lovely, lovely man, elegant of dress and twig-like of physique. Had more jewellery than me and some pretty searching questions for himself, I imagine.

    Blind date #4 - a semi-famous singer who, close up, looked just like my brother and conveyed more information about a cappella singing in one hour than you would ever have thought possible. I'm not sure he even asked me what I did.


  18. Wow, it sounds like I have been very lucky to not get some kind of STI, parasite or very weird evil chick! I'll admit I haven't always played it safe but I have always been a one person at a time kind of guy I just get to a stage where I know she is looking for commitment and I just don't want to settle down and move in or propose yet so in essence she gets annoyed and breaks it off. This pattern has reoccurred 3 times and each relationship has been for over a year. why is there such a rush, I'm 27 not 37!

  19. How about a Chinese or Thai girl? They tend to be very tolerant of stodgy Western men, less often crazy and usually rather kind. Just make sure she doesn't have any kids already or you might end up supporting them and her whole extended family too!

  20. Anonymous said...

    What happened to the girl and her life plan? Is she married/a barrister now???

  21. This. Simultaneously horrifying (you know I went on Google in search of the parasite in question) and hilarious. Trudge on, sir, and godspeed.


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