The Seriously Single Male Perspective

online-dating_o_533911Last week I received a comment on my blog from a guy who had found it through searching for info on the executive matchmaker agency that I had all that drama with!

He said that he too has largely given up on dating as it’s just going nowhere for him and he was interested to hear that women are struggling with the dating scene too. His perception was that women have all the choice as they have plenty of men to pick from and can be very selective.

I’ve written about the man drought previously and I have always felt that men have more options than women. The way they behave (in my experience) indicates that they just keep moving on to something they perceive is a better option. There are a lot of single, successful, picky women in their 30-40’s looking for ‘the one’, but there doesn’t seem to be that many men!

I was curious to learn more about the other side of the story, so I asked him about what he is looking for in a woman and what was going wrong with dating for him.

This is what he said:

“Top 5 Qualities in an Ideal Partner

1) Obviously a nice, kind hearted, caring person
2) Someone who knows what they want in life and is doing their thing to get there
3) Fun, vibrant, bubbly and positive personality. Outgoingness would also be a plus, provided its on the same wavelength.
4) Intellectually stimulating so that I can have good conversations with them
5) An acceptable degree of physical attraction – at least some, I’m not going to lie.

Pretty generic? Perhaps. But hey, that’s just me. It really has to come down to the connection of someone I meet and a lot of the time, that’s something that’s really hard to describe but I think I’m being as accurate as it gets.

At the same time though, and I am being a bit contradictory here, I also like someone who has their own point of view and formulates their own opinions on things. I need someone, believe it or not, who I can argue with. Someone that challenges me yet is comfortable enough to enjoy being around. Can you imagine being with someone who agrees on you with everything? Boring!”

That all seems reasonable to me! I am often criticised for my criteria and told I’m too picky, mostly because I put ‘Nice teeth’ into my top 5. I’m judged for including a physical characteristic in my must haves for a romantic connection, but I think that it is entirely valid (of course). I fundamentally believe that you must find your partner attractive to have a successful relationship with them. If I wasn’t attracted to them, that would make them just a friend and you don’t make babies with friends ;p

Anyway, back to his story….

“Dating Disasters
Well that’s almost non-existent as of late! I do go out and have a great circle of friends, however meeting girls (who are single) has been a challenge.

I wouldn’t say I had to many dating “disasters”, but mine were more like realising that hey she’s totally different to me – on a whole other wavelength, or for some reason, the conversations just weren’t flowing or felt awkward – early warning signs that we just won’t ever click.

I have always though that dating for ladies would have been easy until I have read your blog and it seems your experience it is not so much different to ours. I think for guys (actually, me!), the challenge is actually meeting that someone who is willing to accept that first date invitation.

In my experience, the girls I meet always seem to have options. For instance, a girl out in town on a Saturday night will be approached by several guys wanting to pick her up. Or girls on Tinder and dating sites will have a heaps of guys reeling for a conversation going for that chance of a date. I feel meeting women in Sydney is seriously competitive as there are always several guys going for that one girl and you need to somehow stand out. I once had a female friend who told me that in the space of a few weeks on Tinder, she had something like 200 matches! Insane.”

I must say that it is easy to get lots of matches on Tinder, but it’s definitely a case of quantity over quality! It usually only takes 3 replies to work out if they are worthy of a conversation or if I should be hitting the ‘unmatch’ option!

His final words were “What about you SSiS? Any advice on what or where single guys should go looking to meet someone?'”

I wish I knew! I would be there. With bells on. Yes really, ding-a-ling-a-ling. Just so I could stand out from the crowd ūüôā

My Response to Blue Label Life – The End

This is the end of my dealings with Blue Label Life. Of course, I¬†always knew there was a risk that this idea would end up being just a waste of money. Let’s face it, you have to expect that from any dating agency based on all the negative reviews online. But I assume many people are ashamed that they got ‘done’ by these agencies and keep it to themselves. I am not that type of person!

I’m a big believer in word of mouth marketing and I recommend things to my friends all the time. So much so, that I think I should be getting commission from some companies! But it also works the other way and I now have nothing positive to say out of this whole Executive Matchmaker experience. I replied to the agency with the below….

Hi Candace,

Defamatory implies false accusation. I have been truthful in my assessment of the service that your company has provided in my True Local posts. Much of which can be verified through our communications. Even in this email you are confirming that at least 2 of your male members never replied to the match, a third that you couldn’t reach for a while, which is part of my complaint on True Local.

Your argument that you gave me 19 matches is ludicrous if you consider that to be membership activity of value.

I can only assume that you do have success with some members to have been in business for a number of years, but based on my experience you have failed to deliver the quality of service expected on this occasion. Even top restaurants serve bad meals occasionally, but they retain their strong reputation by the way they handle the odd poor performance.

Thank you for your offer to ‘entertain’ me in extending my membership, but as already stated I do not wish to continue my relationship with you as it has been full of frustration, time wasting and I do not see the quality in your service.

It is disappointing that you have taken this approach in attempting to resolve this situation and that we have now parted ways with me being an entirely dissatisfied customer. ¬†I am currently quite active in Sydney’s dating scene and I do get asked about your company frequently. There is no need for me to make false accusations, I can only speak openly and honestly about my experience and as we have discussed at length, it is not a positive story.

Regards,

SeriouslySingleInSyd

The Never Ending Story

I haven’t updated about my dealings with Blue Label Life and how they are attending to my complaint and request for a refund for a few weeks. Mostly because not much has happened. They have continued to string me along.

Last week we finally got to a point where over the weekend my matchmaker (MM) had said that they wanted to discuss an ‘amicable solution’ on Monday. I then had a lengthy conversation with her on Monday (during business hours) and the outcome was that nothing had changed. They were still persisting in saying they wanted to keep working with me and ‘find me love’. I reiterated that I did not wish to continue working with them as there is nothing in my experience so far over the 9 months that indicates they can deliver on what they advertise themselves to offer.

Mid-week I was sent an update that my MM was still talking to the CEO of the dating agency about a resolution, but in a meantime they were ‘headhunting’ to find a man for me, even though this is a service usually only reserved for some kind of premium member that must pay an alarming amount of cash for their service. The email included a picture of a man they had supposedly found that was perfect for me.

I responded that I did not want them headhunting for me. The only outcome I want now is to end the relationship with them with a 50% refund. Considering the matches I had, realistically I think it would be reasonable to ask for a full refund. I feel that I’m making a concession asking for only 50%!

My MM says she will come back to me the next day. That day passes, no contact. I email to follow up. We plan to chat the following day.

Late Friday I get the call that I was sure by this point after all of the backwards and forwards would be about the long awaited refund. AGAIN the conversation is that they will not give me a refund and they will only consider doing this if I remove my negative review on True Local. Firstly, I don’t think you can remove posts. True Local actually asked me to substantiate my negative comment by providing a copy of my contract to verify that I have been a genuine customer of them. I am sure they don’t do this with positive reviews and I certainly question the positive reviews are legitimate the way that they are written. Secondly, it feels quite deceptive to be hiding that they have failed to deliver on my agreement with them. If they truly believe that this is an anomoly and that their service is top notch, surely the best outcome is to resolve this matter professionally and not let it impact future business. I have actually offered to post a follow up comment on True Local that we worked together for a satisfactory outcome – if they ever come to the party.

Anyway, after another 30 minute phone call late on Friday night, again nothing was resolved. I tell my MM I no longer want to argue the point with her and I wish to speak to the CEO directly. I instead get contacted by their Customer Relations person late on Monday. She tells me that she wants to work through this with me and will be in touch on Tuesday. I reply and say I have wasted an exceptional amount of time on this (it really is a never ending story) and that I will not rehash the matter with her. I am only interested in the refund request and I had expected the situation to be resolved today, so I really hope we can close this out tomorrow.

It’s now tomorrow. I have heard nothing for them. How f’ing ridiculous!!!!!!!!!

Feedback noted – then ignored

The Monday after my disastrous first dinner with A Table for Six, the organiser sends me an email asking for feedback on the restaurant and dining experience, plus asks if there is anyone that I wish to exchange contact details with.

Even if I wasn’t asked for feedback about the dinner, I was ready to give it! I think I paid $450 or $500 for a 12 month membership with these guys, then each dinner you go to you pay a $33 or $38 booking fee for the privilege of them organising the dinner and then you pay for what you eat at the restaurant.

I found it really difficult to get into a suitable dinner and feedback from the group suggested that the other women had the same problem, perhaps not so much the men. After such a bad first dinner, I was thinking I might give up on this idea, but I think I should give it another try to at least make the membership more worthwhile!

So I emailed the organiser and told her that I thought the restaurant was a complete dive and that my advice would be to not organise any other dinners there. She responded saying they had had many great dinners there, even she had dined there, but she will take it on board.

Then I told her about the arrogant guys vile behaviour. She told me that she would deal with it.

I said I would like to exchange contact details with one of the other women and the organiser took this as a great success. Sure, it’s great to meet new people and I could even become friends with this woman, but it’s not really the point for me signing up to this is it!

I also expressed that I was really disappointed with this as my first experience with the ‘agency’. She completely ignored this point.

Now I don’t always agree with the ‘customer is always right’ concept as sometimes people are just assholes. But, these dating agency people really take the opinion of ‘customer doesn’t matter’. I guess this is because they would get no repeat business. Once you have signed a contract, they just respond to any of your concerns with token answers similar to a disinterested husband saying ‘yes dear’ whilst watching the footy.

They just wait out the membership period until you are a problem that goes away. Or goes away and blogs about it…

Imagine if there was actually a company that offered a great service that I could write about positively!

Matchmaker date 1 – Black Tooth

I’ve mentioned that I’ve ‘hired’ an Executive Matchmaker before, but I’ve not gone into detail about my first three dates before the stockbroker as yet. It’s time!

I joined up with the dating agency back in August last year. After the initial meeting and parting with some cash, I needed to go on a professional photo shoot to get my profile pic done (which was rubbish, I’ve taken better selfies after a few glasses of wine) and write my own profile. Yes, after an extensive interview where my matchmaker quizzed me for answers to questions very similar to the profile form, I indeed had to write my own profile before I could get started. Already I was getting value for money…

After submitting my profile I was matched quite quickly and sent a profile of a blonde guy. Now I usually don’t like blondes, but he was an attractive man….except he appeared to have a black tooth in his picture. I was alarmed. Nice teeth are one of the few physical attributes that I really care about in a partner.

I told my matchmaker (MM) that I would be keen to meet him and then she gave him my profile to consider. Once he too said yes, MM gave us each other’s phone number and left it with us. They recommend that the guy messages the girl first, but say if you haven’t heard from him in a day or two, the girl should make contact. I didn’t hear from him for a couple of days, so I took the bull by the horns – reluctantly. Although I am a modern woman in many ways, there are certain parts of life that I like men to play a traditional role.

We played phone tag for a bit, but eventually we were able to chat on the phone. He sounded really nervous and couldn’t talk for long, but we arranged to meet up in about 2 weeks time as he was about to go away for a bit. He made absolutely no contact with me during that time, so after such a slow start I was not looking forward to meeting up with him. I need momentum! I actually went on the date thinking that I just wanted to get it over with and move onto my next date.

I arrived at the bar that we were meeting at and waited out the front briefly before he arrived. He was shorter than I expected¬†(again I think he added an inch on his profile) but he was quite nice looking with a cheeky smile…..and no black tooth!!

He bought us both a drink and we took a seat in a quiet corner of the bar. We chatted about where we lived (he was way out west uggghhh) and our work and I discovered he worked for the government….if you could even call it working. He spoke a lot about how little he actually needed to go to work due to RDOs, accrued leave etc and it was clear¬†that work was not that important to him. So why was he at a dating agency targeting professionals?!?! It also sounded like he had quite a menial job answering phones in the govt office. I would certainly have not called it ‘professional’ or ‘executive’. We finished our drinks and he then told me that he needed to head off as he had to catch the train home and it takes over an hour.

We parted ways with a kiss on the cheek and I drove home rather deflated. Would this be the standard of all the men I met through through the agency? Was this guy their ‘decoy’ that they sent out on their first dates so women think all the guys were good looking? Was he a paying member of the dating agency as he seemed very non-fussed by the whole process?

I called my MM the next morning to debrief on the date. I expressed my disappointment that my date was not executive or professional and essentially my concerns were brushed off by my MM.

But it was only date 1 of 6. So I decided to remain positive that I would get matched up with a great man next!

Luke the Stockbroker

Composite image of geeky lovesick hipster holding rose

After recovering from that nasty cold sore that ruined all my plans, the date with the stockbroker was back on. We arranged to meet at a restaurant in the city after work.

Expectations were high for this date. We’d had a couple of phone calls full of lively chat and laughs and it seemed like we had some common interests.

I arrived right on time but couldn’t see him waiting out the front of the restaurant. I walked inside to the bar and looked around for him, but having seen only one photo of him, I wasn’t totally sure that I would recognise him. So often online type dates do not look like their photo!

The ma√ģtre d greeted me and I awkwardly said I was here to meet a Luke….but I don’t know his surname. He gave me a strange¬†look, checked his reservations, but could not find a ‘Luke’. I shouldn’t have known his surname, but he’d given me enough info during our chats to google search him and find it. However, I thought it would be far too awkward to use it and get busted for my ‘stalking’.

So I go back¬†outside and txt him to ask if he was at the restaurant. Immediately my mind starts jumping to conclusions that I got the day wrong, the location wrong, or maybe he is the rude type and is running late….or he forgot??

He txts back saying that he is seated already and I head back inside and find him. He is wearing glasses unlike his pic and stereotypically he looks nerdier that I expected. He is nervous and a little awkward as we make small talk.

Eventually things settle and we enjoy a 3 hr dinner with non-stop conversation. There isn’t any real flirting, but I catch him looking at my boobs on more than one occasion! The restaurant is closing so we decide to head off. He walks me towards where I parked my car and we do the awkward end of night dance of do we, or don’t we kiss? I close it off by giving him a kiss on the cheek and say let’s talk soon. He agrees and gives me a wave goodbye which at first I thought was the start of a handshake – maybe it was!

Thinking back on the date whilst driving home I was feeling positive about it as I had a good time, but I was wondering if we’d lack chemistry together like the 37 yr old virgin. But I was certainly open to and looking forward to another date.

The next day I was holding out for him to txt to make the first move. By 9pm, I was thinking hmmm he did seem shy, perhaps he needs a push. I sent him a ‘how was your day?’ message. Yes, not my best work, but I was tired. He replied something equally creative and that was it.

3 days later after absolutely no contact, he messages me to ask how my Saturday was. I replied and asked how his was. That was 2 days ago.

I think that is where this story ends…

Facial Herpes Strikes

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The morning before the date with the stockbroker was planned I woke up feeling pretty excited about dinner. I got ready for work, jumped in the car and started driving to the office. At the first set of lights that I had to stop at, I suddenly feel my lip tingling. I look in the mirror and there is a small red mark on my lip. Panic instantly sets in.

Surely that can’t be the start of a coldsore, surely not?!? Within 10 minutes I look in the mirror again and bam, it’s the beginnings of a cold sore. A dash to the chemist and I’m stocked up with everything humanly possible to stop the cold sore in it’s tracks. I hope, wish and pray that the cold sore will retreat. There was a moment of hope when it seemed like the cold sore was not developing, but this dream was shattered by lunchtime.

By the end of the day it was BAD. I was picturing meeting him at the restaurant and having to avoid giving him a kiss on the cheek due to my facial herpes (yes, just facial, just to be clear). Discussing herpes on the first date seems like a real no-no. Earlier in the afternoon he had told me that he was having a really busy day, so I thought I’d try my luck in that being an excuse to get out of the date rather than confess my ailment. I sent him a txt him saying that if he is too busy we could always postpone, I would understand as I’m having a crazy week myself. He takes the bait and we decide to reschedule. A win! But now I have to lay low for a while (5-6 days) until I am healed. No dates for me!

The Executive Matchmaker

Two human heads. "Opposition" and "gender" concept.

Back in August last year I had decided that I had had enough of the type of guys I had been meeting off RSVP and that it was time to look for some quality men. All the men I was meeting online seemed to not have their shit together. They were mostly in their late 30’s but seemed to be living pay check to pay check, plodding along in jobs they didn’t like and had no plans for the future.

I feel incompatible with that lifestyle. Like many single woman I know, I own my own place (except the half the bank owns), I have a good job and I definitely know what I want out of life. I’m looking for someone just like me – but with the opposite parts to mine!

So I plugged ‘professional dating sydney’ into Google and trawled through various dating sites claiming to have a professional skew. I saw many profiles of guys that looked more like career criminals than professional men. I then searched for dating agencies just to see if there was something out there superior to online dating, but most seemed¬†like a complete scam. Then I saw one called Blue Label Life who were advertising themselves as an exclusive agency that cater to successful, professional and executive singles. That’s me! That’s me!

I googled the agency extensively looking for reviews and was surprised that I could find nothing negative, unlike all the others. But I couldn’t find much info about them at all really, which was strange as they had been around for many years. So I submitted my details, filled out a questionnaire about my dating and relationship preferences and waited for their call. I heard back from them within a few days and they asked me to head in to their office for an interview.

I was actually a little nervous. What if they rejected me? What if they thought I wasn’t a quality candidate?? I’ve since come to the conclusion¬†that it doesn’t actually matter what you say during the interview as long as you have the cash to splurge on their membership – which is pricey!

The membership entitled me to meet 6 men over 6 months and these men would be hand picked for me by my ‘Executive Matchmaker’. I’m really busy studying and working these days, so the thought of hiring someone to search for the perfect man for me was rather appealing. I pay someone to clean my house, wash my car, do my groceries – why should this be any different??

I had three dates with guys from the agency last year and I really must tell you those diabolical stories one day, but the fourth guy is a current work in progress and so far seems the most promising!! The reason for this could very well come down to fate.

In my teenage years I can remember talking amongst my girlfriends about our future. We were discussing the usual delusional things teenage girls talk about. You know, things like how many children we would like to have (5-6), how we wanted to have our kids by the age of 22/23 as we didn’t want to be ‘old’ mums having them at 28/29. OMG, just imagine having a child when you are THAT¬†old…..ohh.

We also spoke about our future husbands and I always said that I was going to marry a stockbroker and that his name would be Lucas. Although my girlfriends and I have since realised that we are going to be¬†REALLY¬†old mums as none of us had had children before 30, I have continued for many years to reference my future husband as ‘Lucas the Stockbroker’. So imagine my surprise when my matchmaker sends me a profile last week of a stockbroker called‚Ķ‚Ķ..Luke. Ok, so it’s not Lucas, but it’s pretty damn close. I’ll take it!

We spoke on the phone last week and he sounded great. Really interesting, funny, smart. So we arranged to meet up for dinner after work this week and he suggested a reasonably nice restaurant, which in my experience is unusual on a first date. You don’t want to pay for a fancy dinner with a dud date – not that I am one of course!

So it was all lined up and we had been exchanging txts along the way so I was feeling pretty excited about the date until…..