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CC Image courtesy of oddsock on FlickrI discovered the filter function on OkCupid the other day.

I was having brunch with Tristan, Tristan’s girlfriend (don’t ask), Ryan and a couple of others, who were incidentally also a couple. Conversation turned to dating.

‘How did you two meet?’ Tristan says to The Couple.

They laugh. ‘OkCupid,’ they say, at the exact same time.

‘Yeah, when I applied the filters that really mattered to me,’ the girl says, looking fondly at the residue, ‘you were the only one left!’

The residue smiles. I frown. Filters? That’s only available on the paid option, no?

No, so the following evening, remembering this conversation, I start filtering like a SWIMMING POOL, trying not to think about how much time I’ve wasted scrolling through unsuitable profiles.

Single, straight, at least 5’10” (my height), university-educated non-smokers – that’s all I’m asking for. Oh and in the interests box I put the name of my favourite band, believing – perhaps mistakenly – that there’s a much greater chance I’ll hit it off with a fellow fan. I start scrolling through the results. One guy catches my eye.

There should be a name for it, when you’ve seen someone on every online dating platform going, you’ve consistently ‘liked’ them because, y’know, they’ve got great bone structure, are funny and like all the same music and books as you. And they’ve been consistently unresponsive. This time I copy and paste his interests section for when I feel like browsing Spotify for new music, before returning to the search results.

I continue scrolling down, only to be met with the words that there are no more results and that I might want to consider revising my criteria. The band gets the axe and, what the hell, alcoholism and smoking – they have a certain charm, right?

A short while later I find myself back on a familiar profile: a chain-smoking heteroflexible* divorced father of two who lives on the wrong side of the Channel. And who I’m pretty sure I’ve already spoken to.

CC Image courtesy of [Rossco]:[www.rgstrachan.com] on Flickr

*Defined on Urban Dictionary as ‘I’m straight but shit happens’.

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‘What’s happening on the man front?’ Lucy asks.

‘Nowt,’ I say.

‘Nothing?  What about that guy?’

‘Oh nothing.  Got pretty much conclusive evidence of zero interest the other day.’

‘Oh.’  She thinks for a moment.  ‘What’s the lowdown on him again?’

‘There’s not much point.  It’s dead in the water…’CC Image courtesy of yercombe on Flickr


‘Oh OK.  He-read-History-at-Durham-and-works-in-political-PR.  Would you like to see a picture?!’


Laptop enters the fray.

‘That’s him.’

She flicks through the photos.  ‘He’s a good-looking guy.’

‘Hmmm.’  I sigh.  ‘So, anyway, it’s not on the cards.  How’s it going with George?’

Lucy has a real relationship; it’s very inspiring.

She tells me about life as one half of a happy couple.  Listening to her is like watching a romantic film.  It comes to an end; she gets up from the sofa.

‘I’d best be going.  Thanks for a lovely evening!’

We hug, and she heads home to George.

I’m loading the dishwasher when a text arrives from Beatrice.  She’s reviewed the ‘conclusive evidence’.

‘I don’t think that’s conclusive, it could mean anything.’

Yeah, well, he does work in PR.

CC Image courtesy of MLHS on Flickr