Thursday, 26 April 2012

Zohra introduces me to the art of modern dating

It's Friday evening and I'm back in London. My friend Zohra (name has been changed subject to my well - known discretion) greets me from her bed.

 'Hey dude. So I just ‘liked’ 132 guys. This is really the best strategy. So proud of myself'
'Huh? You did what?' - I am slightly confused although I kind of suspect where this is going.
'I told you! - exclaims Z. -  I am on the Guardian Soulmates!' 

Indeed she did. But after having spent a good part of last autumn listening to stories about speed - dating, I solemnly promised myself not to get involved unless I am really forced to. And to abstain from any comments. 

‘I've just lined - up two dates for the next week. Do you think I should do more? I am thinking 3 dates per week would be good, right?'  - asks Zohra.

I am forced to have a point of view earlier than I thought. Three dates a week? Seriously??? What do I know about life? I have been married for three years. In relationship for ages. Honestly ...

‘Listen, if you need your bed back this week ...' - I am trying to be helpful in my own way
‘You are a bitch!’ - Zohra exclaims  ‘Do you think he is hot?’ - she points towards her laptop.

 At this point of time I am encouraged to see around 12 photos of a guy in 12 different positions and locations. A quy and a sunset. A guy without a t - shirt. A guy with his friends. A sporty guy. Cooking guy. A guy smiling cheerfully. And a guy and a helicopter.

‘I really don’t know. I can’t say. I don't know him’ - I say with resignation. Zohra is really not pleased with my answer.
‘Of course you don’t know him!!! But is he hot???'
‘Eeeee. Is there any sort of description? So I can get to know him a little bit better.’
‘OMG, you are really boring. Here you go’.

Apparently, I am missing out a point. I am reading a description and than another one. And then another one. Everybody seems to be in the mode of ‘being interesting’. One guy even writes ‘I easily get bored with uninteresting people’. WTF? ‘Being interesting’ seems to be the new social currency. It seemed to have replaced ‘being rich’ in the demand hierarchy. Which means documentary film - making is high up, so are design and cooking - classes. All those interesting things. However, in - between the lines, the good old smell of money is smuggled in. In the section ‘irritates me’ somebody, poor thing, complains about being ‘ the slave of the mortgage’, another one struggles with finding the right colors to the flat ‘he just moved into’. But, on the surface, its all covered up in the ‘being interesting’ mantra. And being a casual ‘nice boy’ - that likes ‘cooking for friends’ and ‘occasional jumps to somewhere warmer’. Of course.

 ‘Zohra, this is depressing! This is so posed. It's like watching a really staged performace!’
 ‘Of course it is! It’s a game. You don’t understand anything’. - Zohra seems to be quite annoyed with me.
‘But look at this fucker’ - I am pointing towards her laptop - ‘and how he dislikes ‘uninteresting people’ ! How much more shallow can you be? - by now I am really alarmed.
 ‘Good God. You just don’t understand certain codes. I am sure it will also take off also in Poland! For now it all sounds culturally confusing to you’

 Right. So now I am being shown a place in the order. And I am culturally inadequate to grasp the complexities and the codes of the modern dating. I am sensing the tone of cultural superiority and I decide to shut up. By that time Zohra is already studying some new faces of boys.

 'I can’t decide if he’s disgusting- looking or ok - looking' - she hesitates - 'and I’m not asking you again' - she adds.
 'Can't say anyway. Haven't seen his shoes'.
'Shoes? What are you talking about?-  Zohra has given up on me - 'You are useless!'

I am useless. No clue about modern dating. And it sounds like I am missing out a lot. Or not.


  1. I agree about the shoes :) and yes, you're not missing out.

  2. With the introduction of the internet and weird events like speed dating, we have become WAY too picky. People spend hours trawling profiles and ignore people upon the slightest difference that they weren't to find out anyway. Meh, a relationship is between two people, not between them and the expectations of society and their friends.