What better way to meet a potential partner than on a website that gives detailed descriptions of predominately singles aged in their twenties and thirties? Age, likes, dislikes, employment details and hobbies. Throw a few photos in there and hey, Flatmate Finders has now become the perfect place to secure a date. Don’t believe me? Well then, I really want you to meet (as he would say with a cheeky grin), just a shy guy from a big city… CHARLIE*.
MAY 2015: Despite being a loud and proud Tinderella, I am open to meeting people anywhere. And when I say anywhere, I’m referring to Flatmate Finders. Yep, come and join me. Let’s look for Mr/Mrs Right on a website aimed to recruit compatible flatmates. Look, it wasn’t intentional. But I came across a potential housemate (aka super hot guy from Melbourne who looks like he’d be the perfect fit for my couch seven days a week) and I just couldn’t help but go there. Seriously though, think about it.
In May of last year, I advertised online for a new housemate for my apartment on the Northern Beaches. Despite picturesque views of the ocean from every room, recruiting a housemate deemed difficult since the location was just a little too North for most people. While skimming through possible candidates on Flatmate Finders, reaching out to them with the whole, I have an amazing room with a view, please give me your money! spiel, I came across the profile of someone who looked very familiar. It didn’t take me long to figure out who he was.
Now, just to be clear, before I go on and tell you the truth about how I ended up enjoying a very romantic Wednesday evening in Autumn at an outdoor cinema, sipping on red wine and indulging in a variety of soft cheeses with Charlie by my side, I just want to make one thing clear to the men reading this – us women often stalk people on social media and that’s okay. (This includes, but is not limited to: men we’ve dated, men we want to date, men we dated five years ago, other women, our ex’s new girlfriends, the cute guy who serviced my car, the hot guy whose name I know because I saw his security pass in the lift, and the guy that works in the department next to me at work). You get my drift. And we are proud to say, we stalk well. We’re pros. Well, I know I am, so my friends tell me. Anywho, social media stalking is the norm, okay? You hear me? Complete norm.
Okay, now let’s flashback two weeks prior to my housemate search. Here I was, sitting at home skimming my Facebook feed, so single and lonely due to current lack of housemate situation, when I came by some photos posted by a bar I ‘liked’. Let’s just call it… “Hot-Shot Men In Suits” bar. Scrolling. Scrolling. Cute guy. Cute guy.Kind of young. He’s hot. Shit, I should’ve gone on Friday. I love this bar by the way. I’ve never picked up there, been asked on a date, or got anyone’s number (and hey, that’s Sydney for you in a nutshell!) But it’s a great spot to go with your girlfriends for a bit of eye candy. I swear the ratio of men to women is like 20 to 1. Super cute guy. Oh, he’s tagged. What’s his name? Charlie. Okay, let’s just click here. Charlie. From Melbourne. Moving to Sydney.Interesting. And end scene.
Now that’s as far as social stalking goes just FYI. We don’t go emailing, liking posts, screen shotting, or friend requesting. That’s just crazy talk.
Now back to reality. I need a houseboyfriend. I mean housemate. I need a housemate. Skimming. Skimming. Smoker. No. Dogs. No. Too old. Too young. Too hot. Wait. Not too hot. Hot is good. Charlie. From Melbourne. New to Sydney.Twenty-four. Non-smoker. Working professional. Sociable. Photos available? Yep. And O-M-G. It’s Charlie from Hot-Shot Men In Suits!
Right. Charlie might want to move in here. But then I’ll have to look half decent when I wake up. Oh stuff it. I can do that. Here it goes:
I write: ‘Hello Charlie. I have a room available if you’d like to check out my profile.’ And send. One week later: ‘Hi Simone. Thanks for your email. Sorry I for the late reply. I’ve found a place in the East. Good luck with your search. Charlie.’ Boo. Lame. Okay, think.
Be super cool, super casual. I reply: ‘Hi Charlie. Not a prob. This might sound strange but you actually look really familiar. Have we met before? Simone.’ Smooth. Super cool. Charlie replies: ‘I don’t think so. I’m from Melbourne so I actually don’t know anyone here in Sydney. Charlie.’ Dammit Right. Ummm.
I reply: ‘Hi Charlie, so weird! I actually just figured it out. I saw a tagged photo of you at Hot-Shot Men In Suits, on their Facebook page. How random! Simone.’ And how stalkerish do you sound right now. Inbox, one new message. Charlie (actually) replies: ‘Oh, that is weird! Well, I’m new to Sydney so if you have any recommendations on places to go that’d be great. Charlie.’
For the months following, Charlie and I emailed via Facebook, on and off, sometimes weeks in between communication, about places to go in Sydney and general chit-chat about life. I told him how I had considered trying my luck in Melbourne. We mentioned numerous times about meeting for coffee, but it never eventuated. While I dated Rhys* in the July, and when I got the green light for Married At First Sight in the September, communication ceased and Charlie wasn’t even a blip on my radar.
That was until I walked into my local bar… six months later. My gym Christmas party. Yes, you heard me. I actually attended my gym Christmas party. I had just wrapped filming for Married At First Sight, and I was on a high. Back to reality, thank God! I was more than ready for wine, and a lot of it. We started off at a pub up the road before making our way to my local bar. Let’s just call it… Small Bar. Fewer than a few wines in, I happily enter Small Bar, bee lining for the bar. Making my way through the crowded dance floor, I look to my right and there he was. Just sitting on a chair, surrounded by work colleagues, smiling the cheekiest grin I’ve ever seen on a grown man. It was my Flatmate Finder match. It was Charlie.
I was more than tipsy. I didn’t even think about it. I just walked straight up to him, ‘Hello. I know you.’
And that was that. We spent the night on the dance floor; he had quite the moves. We were two of the last people to leave the bar that night. He was exactly as I imagined him to be. And he made me nervous.
The weeks following, he asked me out on dates to rooftop bars, the outdoor cinema, to have pizza by the beach, join him for coffee, brunch and dinner… It was good. Actually, I should say, it was dreamy. Charlie was dreamy.
Despite what he may tell you, Charlie wasn’t a shy guy from a big city. He was far from shy. He was wise, mature (and much taller!) than what I’d expect from a young twenty-four year old. He was career driven and had his priorities in check. But he definitely appreciated his nights out in a new city with new friends. He knew what he wanted and was confident in himself. He was quick on the text and when he wanted to see me, he’d just ask. It was simple. He kept me on my toes.
But, this excitement between Charlie and I simply fizzled out within a few weeks. It was always good to see him, but we both knew it wasn’t going anywhere. Charlie was still relatively new to Sydney, enjoying his new adventure, and so he should have. He was mature but he didn’t want a serious relationship and it was clear for me, being four years older, that my priorities were slightly different.
So, where’s Charlie now? Well, Charlie and I remain friends. He’s been single in Sydney since he arrived. He just got back from a month travelling around Europe and he contacted me upon his return.
It turns out he met up with an Irish girl, who in fact he met there while travelling four years ago. They had one week together and then they went their separate ways – him back to Australia, and she stayed in Europe. Well, it turns out that this one week was still playing on his mind because he caught up with her on his recent trip and they picked up where they left off. He’s moving to London to be with her. He leaves this Saturday.
And that’s dreamy Charlie for you.