Cupid Stunt

A reader sends me this article, assuming (correctly) that it’s right up my alley:

Let me explain. Matchsmith works like this.

You meet up with Holly and the two of you go through a long list of likes and don’t likes in a potential partner, any particular physical characteristics you might be after, and deal breakers. (Also, any exes who might be lurking out there.)

Then it’s onto you: How do you normally interact with potential paramours? How much information would you normally give out? How long before you normally take things offline?

Basically, Holly learns everything there is to know about YOU and your dating style. Then you give her your Tinder, Bumble, Hinge (or whatever app you fancy) login details and she gets to work.

Yes, women are now outsourcing the initial stages of dating. Remember what I said just a few weeks ago:

One of the most peculiar aspects of modern dating is middle aged, professional women citing as a priority their desire to find a lifetime partner, but refusing to make the slightest effort to find and accommodate one.

The founders of this Matchsmith app have worked out there is an abundance of wealthy women who can’t be bothered putting in time and effort on dating apps and have generously offered to do it for them, in exchange for a fee.

I can’t tell you how much of a relief I found this. My dating forays usually go like this: Swipe with glee abandon for several nights; get nice messages from nice boys; chat to nice boys; then either go on a terrible date with one of these ‘nice’ boys or they stop responding to my messages. Feel overcome with depression, decide I will obviously die alone surrounded by my towering collection of Tatler back issues and cats. Drink wine to commiserate with self.

She seems to think the reason she’s single is because she’s picking the wrong people on dating apps. It doesn’t seem to occur to her that she might be partly responsible for dates being terrible or men suddenly quitting a text conversation. This mentality rests on the delusion women buy into whereby “they just need to meet the right person” instead of sorting out the issues which are keeping them single. If women can’t find a half-decent man in New York, London, or Sydney it’s likely the problem is on their side.

(It would seem I am far from alone in this weary state of affairs. “Swipe-focused apps especially can leave you feeling disheartened if you’re coming across hundreds of profiles of people that don’t seem at all right for you,” Holly says.)

Basically, a lot of women rate themselves a lot higher than they ought to. Look at these graphs:

I’d go so far as to say the single greatest impediment to women finding a partner is they consider the men in their dating pool to be beneath them. Men, when push comes to shove, are prepared to compromise.

Which is why I love that Matchsmith – it takes that particular demoralising aspect out of modern dating.

You’ve outsourced rejection. This is not adult behaviour. Here’s how the article began:

Josh* and I couldn’t stop laughing. It was our first date and we were sitting in an inner-city Sydney pub on our second round of drinks. Tattooed and with a beard, he was definitely not the sort of bloke I would normally go for but that evening was turning out to be a delight.

So Holly’s basically matching you with hipsters.

And, truth be told, I didn’t pick Josh. My ‘dating EA’ or ‘Bumble concierge’ did. For nearly three months, Holly Barter, the genius founder of Sydney’s Matchsmith, who has been swiping, chatting and arranging my dates – all as me.

As far as Josh knew, he and I have been swapping pithy jokes and witty asides for a couple of weeks. In reality, I read ‘our’ conversation history in the Uber on the way there.

I’m just throwing this out there, but I suspect relationships which only get started thanks to contrived, professional deception don’t last very long.

After a couple of weeks, Holly messages me with pics and some details about three guys ‘Daniela’ has been chatting to and asks me if I am happy for her to give them my number.

While they weren’t necessarily blokes I would have picked, they all met my criteria (must like puns, wine and more puns) and I was open to meeting anyone who seemed funny and smart and willing to come to my postcode.

A common feature of these stories is women revealing trivial aspects of their character – wine and puns, really? – as if it makes them look fun and carefree. What it actually makes them look is unserious, shallow, and immature. You never hear they’re into something genuinely interesting, like playing the violin or sailing, things which require some degree of effort to participate in.

The first guy ended up having to go overseas for work…

The date went so well he immediately volunteered for a ten-year assignment in the jungles of Papau New Guinea.

…the second stopped returning my texts (ah, the joy of modern dating)…

Like you’ve never done that. Rather a lot of women boast about the men they’ve ghosted or blocked, as if it’s something to be proud of.

…and the third was the delightful Josh.

Who at some point will find out he’s been lied to.

(One thing I gave a lot of thought to was when and if I would tell him that during ‘our’ chats he had actually been conversing with another woman. On one hand, I did feel a wee bit duplicitous however Holly did an amazing job of being me – her puns and quips were ON FIRE. I decided that if any of these dates progressed to a second or third outing, I would explain the situation.)

How is this different from putting up a picture which isn’t you? Any man worth his salt is going to quickly realise the deluded fool sat in front of him isn’t the one who’s been sending him all the puns.

After my date with Josh, over the course of the next two months, Holly matched me with a number of great guys.

So you never saw Josh again?

I went on dates with an American businessman who has just relocated to Australia and enjoyed a lengthy WhatsApp flirtation with another that didn’t quite make it as a real-world match.

I know a chap who works in an American bank, and he told me in his younger days he used to pull a trick. He’d be sent on business trips to some town or other and would go on Craigslist and find himself a date. He’d say he was in town for a job interview and he was hoping to move there permanently in a month or so, which would make his date a lot more likely to sleep with him. When he got back to his office he’d drop them a note saying “Too bad, I didn’t get the job.” I must ask him if he’s been to Australia recently.

While I didn’t find The One (maybe starting a wedding Pinterest board was a little bit premature now I think about it), the whole experience completely renewed my enthusiasm for dating. From jaded and misanthropic, I had become more encouraged and much more open-minded about meeting boys. Each new encounter was a wonderful reminder that there are smart, kind and funny guys out there. Seriously. I have met at least three of them.

If you need professional help to meet smart, funny guys (who then don’t seem interested in anything long term with you), I’m not sure you’re addressing the root of the problem. My advice is to make yourself more interesting.

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27 thoughts on “Cupid Stunt

  1. “Holly did an amazing job of being me – her puns and quips were ON FIRE.”

    Perhaps she should just date Holly while Holly pretends to be her. That does seem like the actually desired destination.

  2. Perhaps she should just date Holly while Holly pretends to be her.

    Or Holly should date Josh.

  3. Ah, ‘Cupid Stunt’. The name Kenny Everett came up with (and the BBC* allowed), for /that/ character, after the BBC had prevented him from calling her ‘Mary Hinge’ – which was too offensive, apparently.

    I’ll read your piece now I’ve got past the headline, Tim 🙂

    *or, was it ITV at the time…?

  4. “Josh* and I couldn’t stop laughing. It was our first date and we were sitting in an inner-city Sydney pub on our second round of drinks. Tattooed and with a beard, he was definitely not the sort of bloke I would normally go for but that evening was turning out to be a delight.

    So Holly’s basically matching you with hipsters”

    I didn’t know hipsters could make anyone laugh!

  5. “Meeting boys” seems the tell,. If you’re looking for love as an adult boys won’t cut it

  6. Holly did an amazing job of being me – her puns and quips were ON FIRE.

    50 quid says her own puns are nowhere near “on fire”

  7. “This mentality rests on the delusion women buy into whereby “they just need to meet the right person” instead of sorting out the issues which are keeping them single.”

    I am absolutely convinced that a huge amount of activity people indulge in is entirely a way of masking their own mental problems. Not mental illness per se, just that they haven’t come to terms with who and what they are, have a mass of negative emotions and thoughts in the heads, and have convinced themselves if they can just get X then everything will be fine, and all their emotional baggage will disappear.

    X can be a person (‘the one’), it can be travelling, it can be acquiring stuff (‘retail therapy’), it can be sex, it can drink and drugs, it can be all sorts of things that are basically to blank out the negative stuff swirling around in their heads, rather than confront it and deal with it properly.

  8. This sounds like a great set-up for a film. Of course the go-to would be some kind of romantic comedy but actually I’m thinking something more Single White Female.

  9. “From jaded and misanthropic……”

    I think she meant to type misandrist.

    At least it is an almost certain bet that she is removing herself from the gene pool. I hope.

  10. “While I didn’t find The One”

    There is no “The One”. There’s many, both sides. I’ve met 2 women since I was married who had the same effect on me than my wife did. Where I sensed the spark. Where, I could have made a move and I knew it and she knew it (I didn’t, and goddamn it that took some resistance).

    The point is, everyone meets at least a few people who could have been their husband or wife. But once you have a husband or wife, you tend to value your memories, your commitment and what you’re building. You could have met woman #2 on a train first instead of woman #1 and she’d be your wife, and you’d meet woman #1 later.

    The idea of matchmaking like this is ridiculous. The woman on the train, the one I got a spark with, the one I’d have probably been shagging in the train toilet if only I wasn’t married? I’ve no idea if we had anything in common. She didn’t just physically attract me, but the way she talked about software project management gave off this deep level of *something* and maybe others wouldn’t get it.

  11. BoM4

    “….. but the way she talked about software project management gave off this deep level of *something* and maybe others wouldn’t get it.”

    It takes all sorts to make a world, but I’m surprised our host allows the conversation to descend to this level of smut ^winks eye^.

  12. Holly should date Josh

    Josh would certainly take that.

    all sorts of things that are basically to blank out the negative stuff

    *steadies laptop on cocaine-dusted ladyboy* – what’s that you say?

  13. Recusant,

    She could have talked about cakebaking or renaissance architecture. It’s just a wavelength thing.

  14. Matchsmith sounds like a…Cyrano de Bergeracket.

    Speaking of puns, I thought it was kind of interesting how much emphasis the author placed puns/quips/being witty. It seems like another instance of women thinking (mistakenly in my opinion) that what they’re looking for in a man is also what men are looking for in a woman. It’s like all these professional gals complaining “I’m fit, I run triathlons, I have an amazing career with a 6 figure income and I still can’t find a date!”. Well, did you ever consider that maybe guys and gals are different those things you think are great are not what guys typically value?

  15. Well, did you ever consider that maybe guys and gals are different those things you think are great are not what guys typically value?

    Such as not being a complete nutter? And then maybe one or two things to fulfill the remaining 2-3% criteria.

  16. Well, did you ever consider that maybe guys and gals are different those things you think are great are not what guys typically value?

    You hear this a lot from women who say “She’s such an amazing person, I don’t know why she can’t meet a guy.” Well, maybe because being a mate is different from being a partner and you only see the bits you like.

  17. “At least it is an almost certain bet that she is removing herself from the gene pool. I hope.”

    Nah. More likely she will pop one out from an anonymous donor and Father State will be paying the maintenance.

    “There’s many, both sides. … I knew it and she knew it (I didn’t, and goddamn it that took some resistance). ”

    Seconded. And thirded.

    “…The way she talked about software project management..”

    “I hope you’re big on hardware” she said flirtatiously.

    “Speaking of puns, I thought it was kind of interesting how much emphasis the author placed puns/quips/being witty. ”

    If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything. But yeah, not sure it works the other way around. But it helps 😉

  18. ““I hope you’re big on hardware” she said flirtatiously.”

    She wanted to see my male connector

  19. Reminds me of a similar story. So, I lived in Pattaya for a few years and was friendly with a few bargirls. You can buy these booklets in Patts that have things you can sms to blokes you are trying to reel in, very useful if your written English doesn’t match your spoken. A girl was struggling her way through some of these and I had a look and they were crap. So I wrote out some better ones and pretty much took over the conversation. As a friend remarked, you and her bloke were getting on like a house on fire.

    BTW I know a couple of English birds living in Sydney and they think Aussie blokes are all drongos. I suspect the good ones get snapped up early.

  20. If women can’t find a half-decent man in New York, London, or Sydney it’s likely the problem is on their side.

    I expect those cities are excellent for finding short-term relationships, and dating apps is a way to go for that. Not so sure about long-term ones though. Has she got no interests in life that blokes might also be interested in? I met my wife that way, by shared interest in a social hobby.

  21. Love the graph on how women rate men. The data tells something:

    Stop thinking George Clooney, and start thinking Larry the Cable Guy.

    If you are a woman that’s crested the 30 hill – or worse – the 35 hill, that guy you have in your head is long gone. He wifed up years ago. Your are now onto the second string.

    There are plenty of dudes in this category that would treat her right.

    I never tire of these “past-my-sell-date” can’t find a man.

  22. The service being provided is objectivity.

    The writer wouldn’t have swiped on Josh because he doesn’t meet the standards she wants to think she has a right to have. The service looks at Josh and thinks, “this one might be just hard up enough to give that poor girl a chance, if she can manage not to fuck it up.”

    Women are delusional about their own chances, and they’ll sabotage (er, “empower”) their friends by lying to them about their (the friends’) chances, but they can be brutally realistic about that slag over there — when their own feelings aren’t on the line.

  23. So women are ok with faking the start of a relationship but then they don’t like it when they find out a couple of years in and you’ve fathered a child, that your an undercover copper and she can’t find out where you’ve buggered off to.

  24. BoM4 , April 18 1:21 pm
    Some people dream of finding the love of a lifetime, some spend a lifetime looking for it.

  25. As far as Josh knew, he and I have been swapping pithy jokes and witty asides for a couple of weeks. In reality, I read ‘our’ conversation history in the Uber on the way there.

    Wasn’t there a French movie with this plot? Cyrano de Bergerac? This story is pretty much the same, except that the genders are swapped, and the passionate-love-unto-death has been replaced with occasional one-night stands.

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