SINCE I broke up with Mr Big - it was inevitable and, really, a matter for his therapist - I have been thrust back onto the dating scene. So, from sex to singles, relationship to right-for-now.
It's all good fun, isn't it, and not as dull as a DVD on a Saturday night. But I do have one question....whatever happened to old fashioned romance? The kind my mum and dad reminisce about. You know, when guys asked you out - yes, they approached you with a charming line - or bought you flowers, or bent over backwards to win your attention and your heart.
I'm talking about soppy romantic gestures that made The Notebook a box-office hit, although let's not go into its unrealistic portrayal of the effect love could have on dementia.
I'm not saying guys have to go that far, but asking a woman for a coffee, or a drink, or giving her a gift or a compliment, in the flesh, isn't asking that much.
My single friends assure me that, while in Europe, you have to bat ardent flirters away. In Australia it's more a matter of batting them over the head. Men, in reverse, may find this female tactic a little too full-on and wonder why the ladies are being so aggressive about a date. But I suspect the failure to launch is on both sides and it's called the internet.
As far I as I can tell, everyone's on RSVP and Tinder now so there's no actual physical effort required to check out potential partners - i.e. having to go to sporting clubs, or even the pub, to do the legwork and the vocals.
Instead, you can sit at home, in front of The Block, maybe, or even Four Corners, and click through dozens of possibilities, never really having to do too much, even if you're interested in them.
Sure, once you get off your bum you might have to meet up for a coffee, and then there's the argument that you have to put up a post about yourself in the first place. But judging by the photos I've seen on line, and some of the descriptions, not too much effort goes into that.
Last week Tinder offered me a 40-year-old who said "I like to party, party, party, so sexy girls hit me up". Woo hoo. My heart was on fire. Apart from that there were a lot of guys who had forgotten they had sunglasses on their head or a T-shirt with a crude saying. I don't get offered profiles of the women so, guys, I'm sure you have your own complaints and I'd love to hear them.
On RSVP it's more about the photo where the ex has been cut out of the picture. More adventurous ones take a pic of themselves half naked - oooh, scary, even though it's top half - while the worst are shown holding an iPhone in front of a mirror or, worse, holding a beer. Yes, yes, a crack pipe would be worse, but that errant lager seems to say 'I can't be without one at any time, even having my photograph taken', and it doesn't really promise too much excitement except maybe fetching beers to go with that Saturday night DVD.
But back to guy-courting-girl. Yes, I can hear the confusion. Courting? That's where a guy pursues a girl because he suspects she likes him and he likes her but he needs to woo her a bit. Yes, woo. That rhymes with pursue and it means to seek the favour or affection of.
All girls love to be wooed by a guy they like. Guys probably like it too but, call me old-fashioned, I think most would prefer to be the pursuer than the pursued.
Trust me, a little wooing it is more effective than ticking "like" on their Facebook page or sending them an RSVP message such as "Great profile".
Then there is the phone call. It beats texting all the time.
So, go a bit retro. Put in a bit of effort besides using your index finger to flick and click. Flirt with women in person.
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