JOURNALIST Sarah Swain has been single (but dating) for longer than she cares to remember.
That’s because it’s tough out there, as any single will tell you, so to bring hope to others across the city, she’s sharing her no-holds-barred adventures on the Sydney single scene every Friday.
“I’m in awe!”, “How about we meet?” and “You are quite a catch.”
Yes, when the pick-up artist-turned dating guru told me using his advice would change my internet dating life, I wasn’t so sure.
I mean, I’ve had more tries at internet dating than the New Zealand Rugby team has at the posts. But I seem to lose more often than England.
But this time, it was different.
Yes I’ve still received the usual strange messages — that I “seem like something from a fairytale, that I should “write me please about yourself” and that my profile is “like something from the Wolf of Wall Street,” (Erm, what? Since when was I a drug-taking, loaded stockbroker?) but those ones mostly go into my filtered messages.
However, some non-weirdo (so far) blokes seem to be tripping over their brogues to meet me.
But it hasn’t been easy. Oh no.
You see Andrew Mashiko from Core Magnetism was a bit like Madonna’s personal trainer.
You might remember he told me I had to really put myself out there — and be “polarising: to weed out, well, the weeds.
Every time I thought I was done, he wanted more, more, more! Filter, filter, filter!
He was virtually standing there with his arms folded, balling at me. He actually really was ‘cause he kept checking my profile.
He was like some movie director telling me to do it again, but with more feeling.
He told me I had to communicate what I do want (a confident, career-minded guy who can make me laugh, to name a few qualities) — and what I don’t (somebody who can’t be bothered to fill out their profile, and who can only take mirror selfies).
I also had to answer heaps of the yes/no questions the site, OK Cupid, uses to match you — the more the better apparently.
There’s some quite weird questions, like “Have you ever written something on the wall of a public toilet?” and “Would you be willing to date someone who plays video games every day for at least two hours?” (no, and no).
And I had to put across my humour and also talk about this column.
Because it’s not really something I can hide these days and if a bloke doesn’t like it, stuff them
Finally, after three edits, he approved.
And I was ready.
But some blokes who I contacted, turned their virtual noses up.
“I’m afraid I hold too negative a view of tabloid journalists to be able to engage with you.” said one.
But it was the blokes who contacted me who were most enthusiastic.
Soon I was chatting to about six of them. They wrote me nice messages, and seemed genuinely keen to meet, rather than messaging until next Christmas.
And so I followed the next part of Mr Mashiko’s advice.
I told them to give me a call to arrange, so I could get an idea of what they were like, before agreeing.
But this was the problem.
Out of four or five guys who asked for my number, only one has called so far.
And I’m still deciding whether to meet him.
The rest? Well, some have messaged. But that’s it.
One told me: “It’s a little bit odd, I’d prefer to meet in person.”
And I’m a bit disappointed.
My pal Jenna told me to just let them off the phoning thing.
But I mean, it’s not exactly a Hunger Games-style challenge, is it?
And at what point did men become too scared to phone a girl?
I asked Mr Mashiko for some advice.
He told me he often gets the same with women — but said if he agrees to meet them without talking first, it never ends well.
He advised me to make a joke of it, saying it was a “personal filter for axe murderers” or something.
And if they still don’t want to pick up the phone, say: “Well, that’s great, but I’m not sure that I want to take things there yet, so I would really appreciate a chance to talk on the phone first so we can see if we’d gel in person
And if they just message I should reply and say: “Is this a good time to talk?”
Sigh. It’s all a bit annoying, as usual.
That’s my phone. It’s a message: “When would be a good time to give you a call?”