Pregnant and on the Pull

Proactive or Perverse? There seems to be a rise in the amount of pregnancy dating sites now broadcast on the internet.  It seems to be the next trending thing on the market.  No longer are pregnant singles content with being left to sit with buckets of ice cream and cankle city.  They are out there looking for love with Mr Right or Mr Right Now.  The sites are quite open and explain how wonderful it is to be pregnant and what a special time this is for you and your baby.  They explain how difficult it can be to meet people whilst your pregnant and this site will help you do that.  Whether it’s a baby daddy your after or something a bit more casual then these sites are geared towards that.  They are just like regular dating sites but designed specifically for pregnant women.

Now personally I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to date if you are pregnant, you still have the same desires and needs as a non-pregnant woman.  What does worry me is the type of clientèle which might be inclined to use these sites.  Men who specifically want to date pregnant women, is slightly too fetish like for me.  The men who are trawling these sites are specifically looking for pregnant women.  This is much different than meeting a woman in a bar/café and then finding out she is pregnant.  Being pregnant and single I would worry me that the men on these sites were specifically turned on by my precious baby bump.  Some men are only going to be interested or turned on while your getting bigger.  Happy to sleep with you all the time you’re pregnant and then have no interest in you once the baby is here and you are bump-less.  What would also concern me is that another man is happy to have sex with a woman who has already been impregnated by another man.  It all feels a little bit too sordid for my liking.


However of course there is always a flip side to any argument.  There are some men on the site who genuinely want to meet pregnant women because they are ready for a family.  It maybe that they have not have had any luck dating non pregnant women in the past.  It may be that they are looking for a ready-made family and are more than happy to bring up another man’s child (before he or she has even been born).  The benefits of meeting someone who is already pregnant is that you don’t need to date them for a year and then wait another year for them to get pregnant and have the child.  As a man you may be more than happy to have the ready-made family, especially if you are a little bit older and time is not on your side.

I can’t imagine this is an ideal situation for anyone, I can’t imagine anyone would want to be pregnant and single.  Being pregnant is such a wonderful time and ideally would be shared with a partner.  However not everyone is that fortunate to have that in their lives, relationships break down or pregnancy happens after a one night encounter.  These dating sites are designed to offer a solution for these pregnant women.  It’s never going to be easy trying to date as a pregnant woman, trying to detract the genuine nice guys from the freaks who just want to grab your bump and leave you once the baby actually gets here.

It’s something that’s becoming more and more socially apt, the dating sites have proved that.  I’m not sure it’s something I would delve into if I was in that situation.  I would be personally be too worried about my prospective dates intentions.  I think it’s easy enough to put dating on hold for a few months while you’re harbouring a child and just to concentrate on giving your child a good home while he or she is growing inside you.  And who wants to do a first date sober anyway.

Romance is Dead. Technology Killed It

As a child growing up in the nineties my concept of dating was peppered with long phone calls and confessions shyly blurted out after school. Then I got a mobile, along came Facebook and traditional dating went out of the window.

Before if you met someone attractive you would have to speak to them, or risk never seeing them again. Now with limited information, such as a name, you can cyberstalk virtually anyone and track them down. Convenient? Yes. Creepy? More so.

Next comes courting which takes place on online messengers. Never again will you say the wrong thing, as you can think before you type. Sounds great until you take into consideration that at the same time you are talking to various other people and browsing the web. Hardly undivided attention!

The relationship is then made official by a request to make your Facebook status change from single to in a relationship. This does save time telling everyone, but it also takes away excitingly screaming the news to close friends and removes the awkwardly sweet “are we a couple?” conversation from existence.

As the dating progresses the online conversations grow longer and transfer to texts, where you lie in bed impatiently awaiting the next message. Until you fall asleep because the signal is bad and it takes ten minutes for each text to come through, leaving your partner believing they’ve said the wrong thing. No more phone calls talking about nothing for hours, in fact phones generally mean bad news and are dreaded rather then looked forward to. The dependence on text based conversations means that you have to search the deepest points of your mind to remember what your partner’s voice actually sounds like.

Finally – now this is the worse part – the break up. No more heartfelt letters, no more teary meet-ups leaving you with a bittersweet pain. No, now you’re lucky if the break up is a phone call. Dumping can take place with a nonchalant text, or, the worst offensive, changing the Facebook status back. You are left heartbroken with a bombardment of messages asking for gossip when all you want to do is cry in peace.

Then again how can you be sad when you spent most of your relationship flirting with a machine?

Don’t get me wrong. Social networks are great. They keep us in touch with far off friends and unite us in ways not possible before. Technology does have a place in finding people whom you may go on to date, but it has no place in romance. Others may disagree but I find it all impersonal and cold, the invention of the telephone moved communication forward, whilst the invention of text messaging moved it back.

I want to hear every expression of every word because we’ve all misread the meaning of texts at least once before. I want to see people face to face so I know they are genuinely listening to what I have to say. I want an old fashioned romance, chanced meetings and thoughtful sentiments, less space aged technology, more fate and, dare I say it, true love.

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Let’s step away from the machines and find real time for each other again.

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Tinder Dating App: Light Me Up!

TinderSo… Tinder.  The free app that lets you anonymously ‘like’ people based purely on their photos, and then ‘matches’ you if you both like each other.  Online dating made incredibly simple.  No cringe-worthy profiles here, no description of personality, no ‘this is what I’m looking for’.  The only question that needs to be asked is ‘do I think this person is hot?’

I’ll admit, when I first heard of the thing, I was very sceptical.  Surely it’s just a different version of Facebook stalking?  Or just allows guys to flick through literally thousands of girls’ photos and make snap-shot decisions on whether they’re fit or not?  Well, both of these aspects are true (for both sexes), but what I hadn’t banked on was the ego boost or entertainment factor that Tinder can provide.

Having been unceremoniously dumped for no apparent reason, I was in need of a bit of cheering up, and friends (both male and female) recommended Tinder – not as a way of finding a new boyfriend, but just as a way of taking my mind off being miserable.  A little flirt, a little fun… where’s the harm.  So, moderately tipsy on a Tuesday night, I found myself downloading the app and scrolling through endless photos of guys to be found within a 5-mile radius.  This is London, and the app connects to Facebook, so it’s literally a bottomless pit of potential.

Several things became immediately apparent:

  1. Men who post ‘mirror selfies’ are an absolute no
  2. Those who are wearing sunglasses in every photo: again an absolute no (there has to be a reason why they won’t show all of their face)
  3. The guys who only post photos where they’re in a large group so you can’t be 100% sure which one he is: same story
  4. In general, there seems to be a rotation of the same 15 or so male names across London.  Tom, James, Ben, Dave, Will, Rich etc. etc.  Where’s the variety?!
  5. A lot of guys are seriously lacking in creativity when it comes to profile pictures

Not having ticked the ‘Interested In Girls’ box, I’m not sure what the female version of all of this is, but apparently the fairer sex is just as bad when it comes to awkward mirror selfies and the ‘less is more’ approach to clothing. (Ok so my profile picture is me in a bikini, somebody shoot me…)

Moving on to the next stage in the process, where ‘matches’ have begun to pop up, is where things begin to get a bit more interesting.  This is where the ego boost comes in.  Look, a hot guy finds me attractive too!  Maybe I’m not completely undesirable…  The range of opening lines is really quite impressive.  So far I’ve received messages along the lines of ‘Great rack’, ‘Come round my place this evening?’ and ‘Tip top tits’ (I think the aforementioned bikini shot might have something to do with this).  At the other end of the scale, there are the slightly more creative ones that ignore the bikini and focus on jokes, skiing banter or not sitting on chairs properly (all related to the non-bikini photos I have on my profile).  Needless to say, the latter category is what grabs my attention a little more.

Now I’m well aware of the fact that most people are on Tinder for some light-hearted fun and a few easy hookups.  For my part, I’m certainly not looking for anything serious (look how well that turned out last time…).  But there is a huge difference between looking for your soulmate and being prepared to show up to the house of someone you’ve never met for a night of no-strings-attached nakedness.  After all, I ain’t no ho.  Stories of girls who message guys with phrases such as ‘what’s your address I’ll come over in an hour’ and ‘want to give it to me now big boy?’ simply aren’t doing the rest of us who aren’t prepared to instantly drop our knickers any favours.  You can at least pretend to have an interest in what the other person does for work, what they do for fun etc, and shockingly enough you can actually have some fairly decent banter over instant messaging.  Now call me crazy, but surely this is a better way of piquing someone’s interest rather than unsolicited trouser shots via WhatsApp?

Moving onto Stage Three: the Tinder Date.  Public area, generally daylight (no excuse really, it’s summer!), and ideally a back-up plan to leave early if it all goes really wrong.  Now so far I’ve been on four TDs, three of them good, one truly awful.  The first three were all normal attractive guys, not axe murderers, all with decent conversation.  It also helps that usually by this point you’ve exchanged enough messages to know what the other person does professionally, which friends you have in common on Facebook (Tinder helps you out there), and if they’ve done anything interesting recently, so more than enough conversation starters offered up on a plate!  However, there will be various factors that you can’t be sure of until the TD actually happens.  Someone might have great banter in written form, but be really quite dull in person.  The guy might have somehow managed to look better in pictures than in the flesh.  And then there’s the height issue, which for me is a total deal-breaker.  This is NOT something you can get away with lying about.  The aforementioned awful date was a culprit of all three crimes.  Cue a fake phone call to my ‘locked out housemate who is simply desperate to get inside as she’s diabetic and needs her insulin’.  RUN AWAY!!

Overall, as far as Tinder is concerned, I’d have to say I’m a surprised fan.  One bad date out of four really isn’t bad going, and it’s certainly dragged me out of my self-pitying post-dumped ditch.  There’s a certain liberating factor to it as well: so long as you don’t have any mutual friends and you never actually meet, how are they ever going to find out you’re not French/a quantitative analyst/Australian/really rich?  You can be as flirty/weird/boring/confident as you like.  There’s no pressure to go on a real date, and if they start getting pushy you can just block them.  Simples.  It also opens you up to a whole range of people you’d never otherwise encounter from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions.  Architects, engineers, management consultants, civil servants, traders, bartenders, the list goes on.  For someone like me who is genuinely rubbish when it comes to being chatted up in a bar, Tinder is a goldmine.

This is first time I’ve done what’s I call ‘proactive dating’, and so far I’m having a lot of fun (all with my clothes staying on, in case you were wondering).  Where will it all lead?  Who knows.  For now I’m happy to just roll with it, and avoid the men whose creativity is summed up by an opening gambit of ‘nice pair’.

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Learn Your Dating Shortcomings with WotWentWrong

How would you like me to tell you that you were terrible in bed, had halitosis worse than a crack-addicted garlic farmer and your choice in footwear was less than desirable? Didn’t think so. Now what if someone who you once dated, no matter to what extent of humiliation could do the same and do it all with your consent? Why, that’s madness! Apparently not.

Australian website, WotWentWrong, is helping the dating impaired become precariously aware of their shortcomings in all affairs amour. A free web app, you can send a former date a low-key, not stalkerish at all message to request feedback on your performance. The recipient can choose to reply with a predefined list of options or can elaborate further. I wonder if comments on one’s masochism are included in the site’s next update?!

See it in action below:

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Tinder: 2 Months On

My last article saw me about a month into the ‘Tinder Experience’. Back then, it was still early days, and I wasn’t being overly selective with who I chose to have online chats with or chose to meet. Since I first downloaded the app in July, the learning curve has been steep.

Tinder was my first foray into the murky pool of online dating, and I have to admit I became addicted very quickly. I was being called ‘beautiful’ or ‘stunning’ pretty much on a daily basis, and let’s face it what girl wouldn’t love that? The great thing about Tinder is that you’re only allowed to send messages to someone if you’ve both liked each other’s profiles, so at least these compliments were coming from guys I had already liked the look of. I’ve recently joined Plenty Of Fish (aka Plenty Of Freaks), where literally anyone can message you, and some of the stuff I’ve received on there has been jaw-droppingly weird/perverted/rude.

tinder feetFor more of the same, go to

So, moving forwards: on to the dates themselves. So far I’ve been on a total of 10 first dates through Tinder with quite a varied bunch of guys. A civil servant, an engineer, a project manager, a digital marketing executive, an accountant, a portfolio manager, an estate agent, an IT sales specialist, and investment banker and a guy who’s job completely baffled me and I’m not too sure how to describe it (he was very boring so it was difficult to take in much of the drone). Out of the ten, only four made it to second date status, and fewer still to the third. Am I still single? Yes. Am I still going on dates? Yes. I think the first Tinder wedding is quite a way off yet.

What has been a complete revelation is how different can be in person from how they come across in written form. As a total newbie to the online dating scene, this conundrum hadn’t really been presented to me before. Everyone I’ve ever texted I’d met previously at least for a few minutes: long enough to get some idea of their personality. I can think of at least three dates where the guy turned out to be no way near as funny or charming or flirtatious as they were via WhatsApp. Which got me to thinking: have any of them thought the same of me?

A few dates have definitely stood out from the others. There was a first where I got so drunk that I could barely walk and had to be pretty much held up whilst attempting to dance in a bar where there is no dance floor ( And yes I did hear from him again, shockingly enough. There was the time I got taken for a ten-course taster menu at a newly-opened restaurant in Clapham, which I never would have done of my own accord. There was also the date where I agreed to go on a run with someone. Hey if a guy can still be attracted to you at the end of a 5k run then surely that’s a good sign??

There have also been the dates that never happened. By this I mean you get to the point in messaging someone where you agree to meet for a drink. One of you has to reschedule at the last minute. A few days later you’re mulling over outfit choices again for tomorrow’s re-arranged date, only to have it postponed once more. Having been through this several times now, I know that a double reschedule means you should drop the guy and move on. In a similar vein, it seems that it’s quite normal to have a ‘conversation’ with someone (via WhatsApp or Tinder) that lasts for weeks but neither side makes to move to meet up. Again, not worth the time or hassle.

Overall, Tinder’s been a bit hit-and-miss, but I’m having fun and enjoying being taken out on dates. Plenty of Fish has been thoroughly entertaining in throwing up the downright strange dregs of society that can be found on the internet, and who knows there might be a couple of potentials on there. In a less tangible sense, Tinder has done a lot more for me in that it has made me re-think my attitude towards online dating. Before the summer, I was firmly believed that places like were purely for the desperate older people who thought they were going to find The One on the internet. But now I realise that this is not the case. To put it simply: it’s hard to escape the weirdos in a bar, but it’s easy to block them on the internet. Online dating means you can filter out the crazy ones (to a certain extent), and also have that boring where-do-you-work-where-are-you-from chat without having to shout over some awful Miley Cyrus remix.

tinder cheeky