The Separated Dad, Part 1 – Red Flags

It’s October, and Lucy’s received another message from a guy on Guardian Soulmates.  His name is Pardeep, he’s 39, and he’s tall, dark and handsome.

(To read about Lucy’s other Soulmates adventures, click here).

On top of his more obvious qualities, Pardeep has taken the time to actually look at her profile, and write a chatty and engaging message.  Nice work, Pardeep!

Lucy is always keen to go for drinks with an attractive man who is interested in her.  After all, this is exactly the entire point of online dating.  But already there is a red flag: that second paragraph.  Definetely? Lucy knows it’s a word that some people find tricky to spell, but come on, it’s really not all that hard.  Could she really date a man who can’t even spell commonly-used parts of the English language?

She looks at his profile again.  As his name suggests, he’s Asian, with a full head of dark hair and a cheeky smile. He says he’s 6’2, works in digital marketing (whatever the fuck that is) and is into running and tennis.   In other words he’s handsome, sporty and has a good job.  Tick, tick, tick.

Lucy likes the look of him.  She wonders if it’s because in some ways Pardeep reminds her of her friend Amir, with whom she had a romantic brush that turned sour.   Just like Amir, Pardeep states that he’s recently separated, and has a small child.  He’s not quite as matinee-idol handsome as Amir, but he’s a good six inches taller, and as everyone knows, every extra inch in height adds a good 10 attractiveness points.

Of course, it may not be a good thing that Pardeep reminds her of Amir.  After all, Amir turned out to be a first class twat.

Lucy weighs up her options.  On one hand, he’s a newly-single dad (extreme baggage alert!), and there is a chance he might not be able to spell.  That’s two major red flags right there.  On the other hand, he’s taken the trouble to write a chatty message, he’s been bold enough to ask her out directly, and he’s attractive.

The pluses outweigh the minuses. She decides to give him a chance.

Lucy and Pardeep quickly agree to meet for a drink the following Wednesday, and swap numbers so they can move the chat away from the dating site.  But even though he has her number, Pardeep doesn’t message her, and instead continues to reply to emails on the website.

This is fucking annoying, Lucy thinks.  She does NOT want to be the one to message him first.  He has her number, so if he wants to meet her, he should bloody use it!

But he doesn’t.  Instead they continue to message via the dating site, until, the next day, disaster strikes.  Lucy’s subscription expires.  Now she has no choice.  He’s expecting a reply, and the only way she can do that now is to text him.

Lucy is charmed. What a gentleman!  She decides she likes Pardeep, in spite of the missing punctuation (and words) in his message.  Maybe he’s just so excited about replying that he’s typing too quickly to notice his errors?

At the time, Lucy is visiting friends in Cambridge.  She passes a pub that is all decked out for Christmas, in spite of the fact that it is only fucking October.   Lucy loathes the insidious, creeping spread of Christmas, and thinks the owners of this pub should be put in the stocks and pelted with brussels sprouts (eurgh) and Christmas puddings (double eurgh) until they agree to take the decorations down and not put them back up until the 20th of December.

As a test, she texts a picture of the pub to Pardeep.  If he likes this sort of thing, she may well have to cancel the date.

This is going very well.  A tall, dark and handsome man who doesn’t like Christmas AND has a sense of humour!   Could Lucy’s search FINALLY be over?!

This chat is going very well.  He seems not to be freaked out by Lucy’s slightly dodgy jokes, and the banter is quick and lively.  All good signs.

But just when it all seems to be ticking along nicely, Pardeep runs another huge red flag up the flagpole.

He asks what Lucy’s been up to today, and she tells him she’s been writing a post for her work-related blog.  He seems interested and starts asking questions and offering advice, based on his experience working in digital marketing (mind you, Lucy still has no idea what the fuck that actually is).

Lucy stares in horror at the new flag as it dances jauntily in the wind.  In one single reply he has fucked up there/their TWICE and your/you’re once.  That is THREE basic errors in one message!  Not to mention the other typos and the poorly-written penultimate sentence.

She wonders if she should cancel the date.  Could a spelling and grammar geek like Lucy really date a man who doesn’t know the difference between their and there? What does this say about him as a person?  Surely if he can’t spell they will be fundamentally incompatible?!

While she’s deliberating, he messages her again.

So Pardeep is at least a little creative and has a sense of humour.  Does that cancel out the heinous spelling crimes?  Lucy’s not sure, but at the very least she decides to keep talking to him until she sees how the pumpkin turned out.   She doesn’t have to wait long.

Lucy studies his handiwork.  He seems to have done a pretty good job, though there’s room for improvement.   She’d give him an A for creativity and effort, but probably only a B- for execution.

Luckily, being an excellent pumpkin carver is not something that is massively high up on her list of requirements in a man, so she decides to give Pardeep a chance and see what he’s like in person.

Will Pardeep be a charmer, or will all the red flags be too much? Find out here.


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Names and some minor details have been changed to protect the innocent. And sometimes the guilty.
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