Online Dating Photos – A “What Not To Do” Illustrative Guide

I absolutely can’t resist re-blogging Lauren’s post about the photos guys use online. Believe me, these are AVERAGE and not unusual! The below the chin one accounts for pretty much 80% of guys in online dating sites. Not to mention sunglasses. Please, common sense you guys reading this – although I’m sure none of you would be this stupid!

Low-hanging Forbidden Fruit

I’m writing this piece to digest my complex and wounded feelings because I have fallen (maybe that’s too grandiose a term) for a totally unsuitable man who seems to have ghosted me.

We’ve been chatting via email for around a month and he’s always been solicitous, amusing and erudite without being crass or pushy. Sad to say I’ve begun to take for granted his regular emails (at least once a day) to check in with how our days are going and chat about when the hell we’re going to align our diaries to actually meet up for a coffee.

That day finally arrived last Wednesday, rather suddenly and relatively unplanned, unlike our previous attempts before and after my illness, kids’ illness, work demands and his unpredictable car situation.

I might as well come to that and bite the bullet. He’s married.

He and his wife are sharing the car at present. We met on a friends-with-benefits site. My friend calls them fuck sites, which I guess is pretty accurate – although here’s the thing: I’ve been on lots of dating sites and apps for the couple of years I’ve been giving this online dating thing a go, and without exception the guys I’ve chatted with or been approached by on this particular ‘fuck site’ are far and away the most polite and respectful out of any guys online.

It’s actually taken me a while to digest that difference. Compared with actual, supposed ‘dating’ sites where people go to supposedly find a relationship (as well as hook-ups of course), the guys on this syndicated site (simpler to just say ‘group of fuck sites’) are all pretty decent.

There are no five-second text conversations followed by demands to send nudes, show your tits, send me a pussy pic ad infinitum. There are no expectations to meet for sex immediately, without even a coffee date first. There is no rudeness; in my experience in my city the guys have all been polite and reasonably friendly and none have expected to hook-up sight unseen.

How weird is that? The polar opposite of all the goody-two-shoe dating sites?!

I’m treating it as a learning experience. I’m so off dating sites that I couldn’t face going back on to see the same boring mugs, the same game-playing and expectations. So I opted to try a fuck site, based on the experience of this friend who happened to meet her new partner there. It does happen I guess, but that’s not what I’m looking for.

Right now I’d settle for half-decent sex with a guy (or guys) who knows what he’s doing and is committed to pleasing me as well as himself. (That’s another thing about guys on the dating sites in my town, I’m half-convinced they’re all sex school drop-outs.)

I’ve moved my stable of guys to kik (or in E’s case, email) and slowly gotten around to meeting and fucking them. So far, so good: a short-to-medium term keeper, an interesting distraction, a potential good ‘un, a really sweet young one – and the rogue I’ve sort of fallen for, who I will call E.

That’s how he introduced himself and his initials are all I see on his emails. He did tell me he was married and looking for some fun on the side. I kind of ignored that and opted for semi-intellectual chat, harmless jokes and banter that wasn’t really sexual so much as harmonious. It’s been pretty darn obvious that we get on. I’d only seen one photo of him and he’d only seen one photo of me. We didn’t know each other’s surnames and we didn’t share a huge amount of detail about our lives. But still.

So last Wednesday we met up for a two-and-a-half hour coffee date (we had freshly squeezed juices and shared each others). We got along like a house on fire. We talked comfortably about several aspects of our lives, a lot about our pasts and our university days, a bit about music and a bit about kids. His are adults now and were to his first wife. The woman he’s intending to cheat on is his second wife. They own a business together and, reading between the lines, I suspect he feels under the thumb and most certainly bored and wanting to re-discover lust and sexual satisfaction again.

And he’s that sort of age. He’s older than I am, in fact the oldest man I’ve ever met up with. I’m not sure exactly but I’d guess mid to late fifties. He’s still good looking and has dark hair and a sporty physique, probably down to having an active job and playing a serious team sport. He’s interesting, clever, suave, sophisticated and funny. Need I say charming?

But he’s also married. I have to keep coming back to that. However I might like to sidestep that as his business and nothing to do with me, it does have an impact on his behavior, his availability and his choices. I might like to ignore what it says about his character in favour of what I know are his motivations – to rediscover his lost youth, to rediscover sensuality and maybe to act on his desires after many years of pushing them down.

Whatever. I’m not here to defend him, just trying to build the backstory.

After we parted ways with a quick (public) kiss on the lips, we messaged later that afternoon.

“Well I had an exceptionally good time,” he said. “I’m looking forward to our next meeting – I hope you agree?” I reassured him that I did indeed agree and that I found him very attractive. This is new territory for me – both finding someone his age attractive and wanting to develop something but not quite knowing the rules, or even what that something might be.

As it happens he was staying at his business (a restaurant) near me that evening so within the space of an hour, we’d arrange to meet again at his place for a couple of hours that night to continue our chat and move things along to more intimate topics that we hadn’t felt were right to cover in the busy café. What was he looking for? What did he have in mind? How would he manage it? What did I think about it? These were some of the questions swimming in my head that afternoon as I busily attended to school pick-up, kids, dog walking and dinner.

Eventually I left my teens with an assurance that I’d be back by 9.30pm and instructions not to call unless it was an emergency. I drove the 15 minutes to his place and he came out to meet me. It was friendly and comfortable. He showed me around, got me a cold drink and we sat down on the couch in the stylish lounge room of his guest cottage at the country restaurant. I don’t think either of us drew breath much, but it wasn’t exhausting or remotely tiring because it’s so rare to meet another intellectual – someone who is well read, educated and curious – that I was lapping it all up.

About half an hour before I needed to leave, he smoothly leaned into me beside him on the couch, asking for another hug. In actual fact what he meant was a kiss, and my god what a kiss.

I adore kissing, sometimes more than air. But to be frank, I don’t often meet people I want to kiss anymore. When I was first single I was keen to try it with just about any guy who showed an interest in me. Now I am way more selective, plus the young ones (cubs) often see kissing as just a boring step to endure before they get some real action. Even the guys who are great kissers – passionate and sensual – don’t actually ‘lean in’ to the kiss as if they don’t want it to end. (Except one, and I’ll be sharing my story with him soon).

E, on the other hand, kissed me as if I was his entrée, his main course and his dessert.

No other expectations, just the pure sensuality of his mouth, his lips, his tongue, his hands on my face, my hair, my neck, stroking my arms, discovering my breast and gently thumbing my nipple. I have not been kissed like that for a LONG time. It lasted ages, maybe 15 minutes, and it was restrained but enormously erotic and filled with passionate promise.

It was also incredibly personal, the sharing of tongues, breath and air. The close proximity but unknown bodies (relative strangers). The alluring promise of what could be, and the immediate feeling of connection and magnetism. I’m shocked that I could feel so much from the cumulative effect of four hours’ conversation, a month of chatting and then that incredible kissing. If it wasn’t for the kissing I could have walked away unharmed, even a little aloof (my usual demeanor).

But that kiss got under my skin.

Later, we walked arm-in-arm to my car and kissed some more. We hugged in silence and I felt my own emotions buffeting and swelling. I think he did too, at least I read it that way and he showed all the signs. We said a fond farewell and arranged to catch up in five days’ time – my next free day.

When I arrived home we messaged again. “Thanks for a wonderful evening,” he wrote. “And a pair of eminently kissable lips. You’re delicious.” We said goodnight.

The next day, nothing. My heart was extending itself with uncharacteristic desire for him. I wanted him to message me the way he usually did, but by bedtime I was resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t. I sent him a simple “Hello – hope you’ve had a good day” email and left it at that.

The next day, nothing. Three days, then four days now of nothing. Last night I gave in and sent him an email:

No communication for 3 straight days? No big deal? Well in the month or so we’ve been chatting I don’t think a day has gone past when you haven’t contacted me to touch base – so it does feel somewhat ominous as if ‘something is wrong’. I think it’s only fair that you tell me what it is. Please do not ghost me. I consider this cowardly beyond measure. If you have had a change of heart or you’re not sure you want to proceed – for whatever reason – please tell me. I have really enjoyed our short time getting to know each other. You know I am a real person now, and you also know that we have a pretty magnetic physical connection. I want to be kissed like that again. If you don’t want that, please say so and spare me any more second-guessing. If you really have been incredibly busy and simply not had time to drop me a line or two, correct me and let’s move on. I am very willing to be wrong in this case, but my intuition says something is up.

I have not had a response. Of course, my mind is spinning through the scenarios. There could be any number of reasons why he has not responded, but I have to admit that the most obvious is probably that he’s got cold feet. He’s changed his mind. He told me that he’s been on and off this site for years but never actually met someone. So I’m guessing that means I’m probably the first person with whom he’s had an ‘illicit’ encounter, much less poured his heart and soul into 30 solid minutes of the absolute best kind of intimate kissing.

I have to admit that it hurts, being ghosted, being ignored, not being treated respectfully. You might say that’s what you expect from a married man, but I thought he was a pretty decent sort. However, I guess his actions speak louder than words, and for whatever reason, he doesn’t have the courage to tell me what he really thinks or feels or has happened.

I guess our Tuesday date is off. I feel sad, and he’s in my thoughts. I can hear you saying that it’s probably for the best, that at least I haven’t really fallen for him, for a hopeless situation. But that kiss was my undoing, and now I feel its loss.


Late postscript: I feel really silly. He didn’t ghost me; his elderly mother had a turn and he’d been preoccupied with that plus running his business. Date is back on 🙂