Guardian Soulmates: The judgment of the non-judgemental

“Ok we’ve done Tinder,” said Suzanne crisply. She was in a typically brisk mood.


“Well I told you to so, technically, it includes me. Anyway I was thinking you should try Guardian Soulmates. You know I have friends who’ve met people on there.”

“What happened after they met?”

“Immaterial. My point is this could be fun.”

My friend’s idea of fun was taking on a totally different hue in middle age. I liked her better five years ago.

Guardian Soulmates. Yoga. Vegans. Men without carbon footprints.  Yes, really. Men of a certain age who wore combat trousers. Men who called pubs ‘boozers’ thinking it was faintly ironic.  Men who had just discovered balsamic vinegar reduction and put it on everything. Male fucking feminists. Oh yes, this would be so much fun. I should kill myself now.

I agreed to do it for a month. “At least I won’t have to have a Brazilian,” I said. “No chance of me wanting sex with any of those people.”  When I looked at them I didn’t think I’d even want conversation. Now it’s true there are occasions when I have had storming sex without conversation but we’re talking about the Guardian Soulmates, not Claridges.

If you fancy rounding up all the left-leaning, kind, compassionate, creative, non-smoking, teetotaling, vegan, non-judgemental men who go to comedy clubs seemingly every night of the week, then they’re here. They are a very non-judgemental lot (because they’ve stated it)  but could not possibly entertain anyone who smokes, believes you can smack children, doesn’t believe climate change is the problem of our age, has a car, is outside their height and weight range, doesn’t agree Jonathan Franzen is so profound or thinks Breaking Bad was better than the Wire, refuses to embrace the ‘arts’, change and all the love in the world.

As well as being non-judgemental, they are also doing their best to create a kind of Modest With A Shrug vibe which of course comes across as odious. My favourite is the guy who has done everything he thinks we wish we could have done. Apparently he was on the Berlin Wall the night it fell, helping people over. Wow. What a guy. And he saw the Sex Pistols first ever concert. He says they were rubbish. So you don’t need to worry: he’s done it for you. You can hear the brains turning over beneath the early male pattern baldness, visualise them deciding whether to pick Shostakovich or Mahler or both. And throw in a bit of hip hop because, yo, they are down with the kids.

The real life equivalent of Guardian Soulmates is hard to imagine, except perhaps for an airport security check. Because that is what it feels like: heavy, serious, exhausting, where someone is just waiting to tell you off for a bottle of water.

6 comments for “Guardian Soulmates: The judgment of the non-judgemental

  1. Nigel
    November 27, 2014 at 20:33

    That made me laugh. You should try the Telegraph next.

  2. woe
    November 27, 2014 at 23:22

    Oh there is still a lot of material lying in wait. Have I told you about those 40 and 50 year old, paunchy, greying men looking for their ‘muse’?

    • May 4, 2015 at 11:16

      Oh please do! Actually, no. Send me the stories privately, then I can use the material myself. It sounds priceless.

      If you show me yours, I’ll show you a bit of mine.


  3. Charlene
    September 6, 2015 at 22:48

    Agreed. Breaking Bad can’t kiss the pinkie toe of the Wire. Talk about overrated.

  4. Thunderfunk
    February 24, 2017 at 14:49

    I tried Guardian Soulmates for a month but the overwhelmingly pretentious, clique-like twottery of its members repelled me. It seems that if you’re remotely straight-to-the-point, normal and without reams of self-absorbed, grandiose rambles about your high-art achievements, esoteric hobbies/interests and hipster humour (not to mention being of a certain demographic), then you’ll be ignored – and even more so if you so much as politely message somebody of slight interest.

    I hoped that with its more ‘serious’ atmosphere, people on there would be a lot more considered and considerate to communicate. Instead, all I gleaned from it was a sense of potentially demoralising isolation. It’s even worse than being on eHarmony because at least with eHarmony, you KNOW that most of the users there are either fake profiles or haven’t logged in since the dinosaurs roamed Earth.

    Even though I subscribed to Soulmates, I deactivated my payments and closed my account [all profiles are public, so didn’t want my details idly remaining online]. I’ll treat the perceivably wasted cash as a donation to the Guardian itself.

    • woe
      February 26, 2017 at 18:41

      You’ve echoed my thoughts and feelings about GS perfectly. Also, for supposed ‘liberal’ people the main style of profile seemed to be “I don’t want/don’t like” rather than “I would like to..”

      My favourite was the guy who began, “If you ever voted UKIP, I’ll hate you.”

      Extreme…but actually very Guardian these days

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