Why You Won’t Find Love On A Plane

No one wants to gain all of life’s single-girl learnings through personal trial and error, so we owe it to the sisterhood to share life’s hard-won lessons.

Here’s two

One – Don’t date John Mayer.  Granted, probably not a stumble we are all likely to make, but bear in mind that girls more famous than us fell into this trap. Rebound guy, professional heart-breaker and kiss’n’teller,  Mr Mayer is only useful as short-term breakup-recovery fodder.

john Mayer

Bet Katy Perry wished she knew this before releasing that cringeworthy duet with him. (just google it, I am not going to legitimise it by posting it here)

Two – You won’t meet the man of your dreams on a plane. 

Logically, if your airline travel takes you to grown-up capital cities frequented by savvy business travellers, you would think that you’d be more likely to meet an intelligent eligible male with prospects than in a random bar because:

  • you are not travelling Garuda Airlines with hordes of ‘end of footy season’ lads clad in Bintang singlets, headed for Bali.
  • If you are mingling with the frequent flyers you are likely to encounter the ‘been married but too many airmiles put paid to that’ set who hopefully have no more baggage than that carry-on-limit-flouting mini-tank that they are trying to wedge into the overhead compartment.

ie …its just not to going to happen.

The reason why a long haul flight won’t magically matchmake you with a compatible co-traveller?  That co-traveller will be this guy:

 One – Mr Chatty

Before you even set butt on seat, Mr Chatty is eyeing off your magazine collection, your paperback, your hand luggage brand and has his head cocked to one side to take in the scent you are wearing.  Why?  He knows them all.  Not in a creepy ‘has stalked you since check-in’ kinda way but because he just knows everything. Period.

Your paperback, only released two weeks ago?  He’s read it and he’s going to talk you through it in excruciating detail (ncluding spoilers) before you are even through the safety briefing.

He knows your destination.  How? He’s read it upside down from the boarding pass clenched in your teeth as you awkwardly tried to stow your cabin baggage to avoid exposing your midriff (you regrettably wore a T-shirt a touch too short for airline travel).

Re: that destination, he’s preparing to tell you every immunisation you should have had before this journey if your work schedule had only permitted a window to consult with the travel doctor.

t shirt geek

There’s no escaping Mr Chatty.  You can pull on your fab, noise-cancelling headphones (Note: his are better) and try to watch your fave chick flick where you already know the ending so he can’t spoil it.  He’ll still tap you on the arm and tell you the 10 things no one knew about Julia Roberts before the movie Pretty Woman.

Unless you have a large dose of the celebrity-snooze-aid Stillnox, you aren’t going to be able to pass the time easily.

 Two – Mr Quirky

This guy is slightly less annoying than Mr Chatty, but will subject you to a long-haul parade of random.

He’s a faith healer that sensed ‘a distortion in your aura’ from the minute you sat down. In reality?  That distortion in your aura was the speed-wobbles caused by descending the aerobridge in heels after three sneaky Sauv Blancs in the airline lounge.

He’s a life coach that can sense that you are not in fact on a journey that will fulfil your life’s purpose. (anyone could guess that from the fact that you are carrying a copy of Gourmet Traveller and you are headed to Townsville)

He’s got a fear of travelling that will cause him to grip the armrests, go rigid, and rummage in your seat-pocket for an extra sick bag at the slightest hint of turbulence.

None of these seem to immediately resonate with you.

Three – a colleague

Much as we may enjoy the daytime company of our colleagues and even chit chat over a 5pm beer, no one ever really wants to fly, eat, sleep next to, and wake up drooling beside a colleague on a long-haul flight.   There are precious few in the world that I would share that level of intimacy with and none of them are on the same payroll as I am.

No one wants to hear office rumours come back about the weird ‘phhhhrruuugh’ sound that you make whilst sleeping.

I have been known to take extreme evasive action to avoid being seated with a colleague on a long haul flight including (but not limited to)

  •  Hiding in the Ladies upon seeing a colleague in departures so that they don’t beckon me to join them in a shared check in
  • Declining the opportunity to car pool which would again imply joint check-in by suggesting that I was coming not from home but from a non-existent bayside holiday house
  • Choosing to travel Melbourne to Singapore via Perth

Do these things.  No one wants to find an unauthorised photo of themselves slack-jawed and dribbling on the office gossip’s instagram.  (that was so #lastyearsxmasparty)

 Four – an eligible version of George Clooney

george 3

This all sounds good, and you may have to paper-cut-slice-yourself with the corner of the infight magazine to make sure you aren’t dreaming, but be aware that all you have here is some mocking at the hands of the airline gods.

Why?  Pretty as HE may be, these are not going to be YOUR finest hours.  You might start all freshly made up, clothing neatly ironed and with the sparkle that is the combination of some bronzer-testing in duty free and a Bollinger in the first class lounge, but its all going to go downhill from here.

You won’t be wearing the skinny jeans that have a spanx-like effect on your thighs, simply because the last time you did this on a long-haul you felt like you gave yourself an entire-lower-body case of deep vein thrombosis.  Therefore your thighs will spread horizontally, taking all available real-estate with the zeal of Lindsay Fox reclaming some Portsea foreshore.

Instead, you’ll be wearing a cargo pant.  In a stretch this means you have something in common with the off-duty supermodel but only if paired with high heels. You know you won’t do that as you’ve already learned that trying to stuff fluid-engorged feet into stilettos has all the grace and finesse of  trying to get a sleeping bag back into its little sack.

No one can do this.

About mid-way during the flight your facial skin, perfectly prepared for the journey with hydration that would green the Nullabor and a raw food vegan diet that would have Gwyneth genuflecting, will FAIL in its ability to wake up with acceptable plane-face.  You will look like you put your face into a 90 minute industrial tumble dry cycle on hot.  Every hour of plane travel ages you a year.  I know this.

So your Clooney-like neighbour will dismiss you from contention whilst ogling your trash-mag to see if there is a Di Caprio cast-off he can snag *

(*men do not suffer the aircraft ageing process)

But don’t despair.  Just regard your likelihood of meeting a new partner on a plane as low as snagging an unexpected upgrade from economy to first class, and you won’t be disappointed.

A picture tells a thousand words…….

At some point after becoming unexpectedly single in your 40s, you will make an assessment of those that surround you and realise that they represent limited potential to either personally end your singledom, or happily accompany you to the kinds of events and locations that might change your status.  At some point, I guarantee you will dabble in online dating.  If you do, the first trap for young players is the profile photo.

It’s likely that everything you know about posting photos online you learned from facebook. You may think that you are already adept at identifying the best photos of you.  After all, you learned in a nanosecond how to untag yourself from an unflattering photo and shortly thereafter unfriend the person responsible if you are the type to take a zero tolerance view of such infractions. You may have a Kardashian-esque mental shortlist of the instagram filters that are flattering to the flaws that traumatise you the most.  These are entrée level skills only.

Rookie mistakes to avoid when considering photos to accompany your profile on an internet dating site include:

One – any photo that involves a bathroom mirror. 

This suggests that you have not even grasped the basic ability to manage the outstretched arm selfie that has become one of the key life skills of this decade.  Bathroom lighting is almost universally harsh and will give your skin the hue of the undead.  Worse, it reeks of ‘lonely woman who lives with her cats/desperate man with an obsession for online war games’ (a bit of errant instagram hashtagging on my part revealed there are legions of the latter, but that’s a story for another day)

Why?  There should be another human being in your life that either has a suitable photo of you or can take one.  Find that person.

 Two – a photo from your time as a couple, with your ex chopped out.

This is a catastrophe in the making.  Let me tell you how the female view of this one is likely to go….

Oh – he’s put in a photo with a girl cut out of it…that must be his ex….look how happy he looks…bet he misses her….*notices decorations* its at a new years eve party…if that was last NYE its only three months ago…is he over her yet????….I’m not someone’s transition girl *indignant huff* <DELETE>


Oh – he’s put in a photo with a girl cut out of it…that must be his ex….he’s smiling with his mouth but not his eyes…..god she must have made him so unhappy… baggage….I’m way too exhausted to deal with someone with baggage…… <DELETE>


Oh – he’s put in a photo with a girl cut out of it…that must be his ex….look at her arm, I wish I had arms like that, she must have been a gym junkie or just have those naturally slim/athletic arms…I hate my arms….how can I compete with that….*throws self on bed in unrelated hormonally-induced sobfest* <DELETE>

 Three – photo with inattention to setting

 After looking at you, the universally human trait of attention deficit means we will look at what else is in the photo.  If, at your peril, you ignore rule one, there will be a close study of your bathroom and all its accoutrements.  Again, a female will look at the brand of aftershave you use and drive the iphone zoom to within an inch of its life to identify any feminine product.  The state of shower screen cleanliness / whether the towels complement the décor / a bin overflowing with discarded tissues and razors will mean you are immediately judged somewhere on the spectrum of house-trained vs frat-house.

Don’t post a photo that also includes your hotter/skinnier friend. No one needs unnecessary competition.

It might sound obvious, but disregard any photo where inspection of the setting will reveal that you are at a funeral or at your own wedding.  If I need to point this out, you might need a little more time before you start interacting with people again.

Four – really, really distant photo

This is the online equivalent of taking advantage of someone firmly in the grasp of the 3am beer goggles.  Just as beer goggle gorgeousness doesn’t bear the scrutiny of daylight, all will be revealed the first time internet daters meet.  Worse, when you meet you will be stone cold sober, you’ll have already paid some big time bucks for city parking and alerted your friends to the arrangement as standard stalker prevention protocol (aka internet dating security rules) and then its all kinds of awkward.

From really really far away I look like Jennifer Aniston.  Get within 100 metres, not so much.

 Five – failing to give it your best shot.

Don’t choose a photo that is vaguely unflattering on the basis that you want the setting to tell the viewer something about you.  You might hope that upon seeing that Balinese sunset your  appreciation for the beauty of nature resonates to the very depths of his soul, but if it’s the one where you have only just become vertical after three days of Bali belly and you haven’t had the strength to apply makeup, its probably not the best bet.

Don’t expect them to dismiss a dodgy photo and think you’ll look better in real life.

Finally, have someone else sanity check your selection.  The below? Might meet above criteria. Was never going to be ok.

jpeg not ok