No Likey, No Texty

It’s been a while since I really dipped my toe into the ocean that is dating and the main reason for that is simply that I’ve been busy with other things. Those other things have calmed down now though and I’ve reached the point where it would be nice to meet some hot, young men. I thought I’d pop out of my shell, meet some new guys and hopefully go on some fun dates; I haven’t even reached date stage and I’ve climbed back into my shell!

What has happened to the world!?! While I’ve been busy sorting out other areas of my life, it would seem that men have become more desperate, emotional and needy than ever. Obviously there’s the usual selection of bore-me-to-death chaps out there who I can barely sustain a 2 message conversation with…and they’re reassuringly constant. However there are also stacks and stacks of guys who want me to think about them every second of every day, message them constantly and fall in love with them before we’ve even met. WHERE HAVE THESE WEIRDOS COME FROM???

Take my latest example, this guy and I had messaged a few times and arranged a date for Friday. On Monday night he sent me a message which, to my mind, ended our conversation for the evening as it contained no questions, no obvious lead for further conversation and we’d been chatting a while. Midway through Tuesday I receive a message telling me I don’t say a lot. I replied, slightly confused and asked to what he was referring. I was told he had expected a reply last night or at least a “hello” this morning. From that point the conversation went roughly down the path of me saying that I was at work, didn’t have time to start a conversation and couldn’t see the point in saying something just for the heck of it. I was told I was arrogant, it’s clear why I’m single and I have no idea about basic human interaction. I’ve now blocked that needy weirdo from my WhatsApp because I got bored halfway through the argument which went round in circles.

The way I see it is, essentially, a guy I’ve never met expected me to message him in the morning just so he’d know I was thinking of him.

I wasn’t thinking of him.

I wouldn’t have thought of him until Thursday night when I realised I needed to wash something to wear on Friday night. I thought this was normal before a first date, I thought the crazy stalker-ville only kicked in once you’d had a chance to get to know someone well enough to miss them…apparently I thought wrong.

So between him and the snore-a-minute guys that I keep having the misfortune of finding, I’m pretty much done with that foray into the dating world. I’m not fussed whether I have a boyfriend or not, I just thought I might be missing out on some fun. It appears that is not the case so I’m backing up into my shell of singledom again and hoping that next time I pop out there will be some men who are bit more level-headed and at least meet me before they get obsessive and weird. The only sure thing here is that I’m now terrified that I’ve fallen into the pool of crazy undateables and I’ll never get out! x

A Hop, Skip and a Year’s Gone By!

CalendarHello friends! Can you believe we are nearly at the end of September already? This year is flying by and we are officially back into my favourite time of year, September to December. Or as I call it, Party Season!

Whilst I’ve just been bumbling around in my own little world for the last few weeks, I did actually pop out of my bubble long enough to realise that we’ve just had LFW and therefore, we’ve just had my 1 year anniversary of being single. I know I dated someone for a few months earlier this year but really I’ve spent most of the last year as a single girl. This is the first time I’ve been single for any significant time since I was 14! On that basis, I thought I should probably reflect on what I’ve learned this last year because I’m a very different person now to who I was then and I’m a million, zillion percent happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.

I literally cannot comprehend that this time last year I wasn’t eating, couldn’t sleep and generally felt like I’d messed up everything I’d ever done and would continue to do so with all future ventures. Obviously I was heartbroken but I wasn’t really mourning the loss of the man who I’d split up with, I was heartbroken that I’d failed again. I blamed myself for the whole relationship going wrong and that just wasn’t the case. Yes, I played a part in it and I definitely was not a perfect girlfriend but he was not a perfect boyfriend either. It took me quite a while to really make that stick in my head but once it did, it made me realise that not everything that goes wrong is my fault.

Since then, I’ve been on a number of dates with a variety of guys, some great, some ok and some plain terrible. I’ve also dated the aforementioned guy who was exactly the reality check I needed. Dating him raised the bar so far beyond where other relationships and boyfriends had been because for the first time ever, I’d been fussy and found someone who I liked as a whole package. Now I know there are guys out there like that, I’m not settling for less again!

That mentality has carried further into my life than just relationships…I’ve spent a year fending for myself, proving that I can survive the tough times. I can keep myself alive and I do have a great family and friends around me to keep me entertained and for the odd hug when things are difficult. More than that though, I’ve realised that I can’t “fake it”. I’ve spent most of my life trying to fit one mould or another and I’ve never felt happy. I hadn’t necessarily realised that was the case before now but looking back, it’s blindingly obvious why I’ve spent so much time feeling miserable; I’ve rarely spent any time pursuing the things that my gut told me were right.  I think this could be one of those things that you learn as you get older and I’m possibly a bit behind the curve in learning it but I’ve got there now!

This year has been absolutely invaluable because it’s forced me out of my comfort zone of following the lead of other people and I finally know, at nearly 28 years old, that I can look after myself. I will be ok and it’s not a problem that things go wrong because life is all about learning from those experiences. I live a life of extreme highs and lows but that’s what I’ve always wanted so who is anyone else to tell me that I need to keep things on a more even keel?

So here I am a year later, still single, without a proper job, totally broke and happier than I can ever remember. Sometimes things really do happen for a reason, even though it’s hard to see that reason at the time. This year has been a rollercoaster and a half but the ride has been thrilling and has smashed away the blocks I had been building my life on. It’s given me the opportunity to re-build from the ground up and this time the blocks have been replaced with balloons. They may burst, they could float away but whilst they’re there they are colourful, fun and anything but a heavy burden to carry around. x

What Makes a Bad Date Bad…and a Good Date Good?

Yes, yes, I know Sam’s writing another blog post about dating but it’s a huge part of my life right now and it’s throwing up some interesting questions, one of which is around what constitutes a good or a bad date.

I went on a date last Friday which I would consider to be the worst date I’ve ever been on and I’ll be honest and say that after an hour I made it perfectly clear that he and I were never going to be having a goodnight kiss or a second date. That in itself isn’t bothering me, I fully expected to go on some rubbish dates, what’s bothering me is what made it bad. I hadn’t really thought about this until I realised I couldn’t answer people’s questions about why it was bad. “It just was.”

Well now I have thought about it and I have no logical explanation, literally the best thing I have come up with is that some people are compatible and some aren’t. That’s it, there’s no “why” behind it, that is all I have. Let me explain why that’s all I have…

Ages ago now, I went on a date and the guy opened with: “So, what would you do if this place was attacked by zombies right now?”. You might think that’s weird and yes, it is but it’s also pretty original and I rate originality. Except when this guy said it I wanted to shake him and scream at him that it’s no wonder he’s single. Why? Well, I don’t know why, maybe I just didn’t like his face.

Friday’s date, I met him in town and we went to bar for a drink. Fine. Except instantly I met him I wasn’t interested. Take me back to January however and it’s a different story, I did I similar thing, met a guy on a snowy street, went to the pub and instantly liked him. Physically he wasn’t my usual type either but we just clicked and my head (for head, read nether regions) decided that he was ridiculously hot. So what’s the difference? Why is one bloke repulsive to me and the other unbelievably sexy? I got on with both of them over the phone before I met them, so I just don’t get it.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? What is it? Is this something beyond our control or was I actually a grumpy so-and-so on one of the days but I hadn’t realised? Either way, it makes it a heck of a lot harder to decide who to go on dates with because you could end up falling for literally anyone and shooing away who you’d previously thought could be an ideal match!

So in answer to my original question, I literally have no idea what makes a date good or bad, it seems to be some hidden force that we can’t control. On that basis, I think it’s only fair we date everyone until we find the one 😉 x

Cheating

New Picture (7)Is it ever okay to cheat on someone? Being the single girl that I am, I’ve been approached by several guys in the last few months who have been looking for discreet fun with someone who is not an escort, just someone to fill the gap that their wife is leaving by not sleeping with them. Before you start wondering where I spend my spare time, it’s quite a common thing that happens to ladies on dating sites and I’m sure it must happen the other way round too.

What I can’t get my head around is whether it’s OK though. Part of me says that it’s absolutely wrong to cheat and relationships or marriages should be 100% honest but then when are we ever 100% honest? Usually there’s something we keep back, it’s just that in my experience, the something that’s kept back is usually something that is personal rather than something that would hurt the other person if they knew. On that basis though, if you need something they can’t give you, is it better to tell them and hurt them, (potentially end the relationship) or is it better to seek it elsewhere and keep schtum?

It’s a blurry line and I genuinely don’t know where I stand. Would I want someone to cheat on me? No. Would I want to be told that someone loves me with all their heart but needs something I’ve stopped giving them? No. So what’s the answer? Is it lying? It doesn’t feel right to suggest that lying is the answer but then none of the options seem to sit quite right and it’s the sort of situation that needs a resolution. We’d all like to say that if our partner had an issue like this, we could talk it over and find a compromise but I’m not sure we could. When things hurt we get feisty and irrational and lose the ability to compromise, or we withdraw entirely and bury our heads in the sand so talking about it really would be quite some way away from reaching a resolution.

And none of what I’ve just said takes into account the “other” person. What should they do? Should they accept that they are single therefore it’s OK or should they think that they’d hate there to be a third party in any of their future relationships and keep out? If it’s purely physical, is it OK because there’s no emotional bond being broken or is the emotional bond so intertwined with trust that really it’s being shredded into a million pieces with every encounter? How do you know what effect you are having on the partner that you don’t see? Maybe they are doing it too…

What’s the etiquette in this situation?

I’ve not said yes to any of these men but mainly because I’m not really looking for that sort of thing; if I was then I don’t know what I would do because I simply cannot work out where I stand morally. Is right and wrong unique to the individual or should we be complying with some universal rules?

Has anyone out there got any answers or been in this situation? x

Internet Dating: The Real Deal?

HeartNot so very long ago, had you asked me about internet dating, I would have said that I had no problem with it but really couldn’t see how anybody could find someone they even wanted to spend more than 3 dates with, never mind a forever partner. These days we are literally bombarded with adverts for different dating sites, especially around Christmas and New Year when we’re most vulnerable and you can sign up for anything from a harmless sploshing session to looking for your future spouse. It’s pretty clear how the sites at the more sexual end of the spectrum work, they just let you know that there are people in your area who want the same thing and help you find them more easily than the trial and error method of bumping into people in bars and clubs. What attracts more scepticism though, is the sites that proclaim they will help you find “the one”.

Have you even decided what “the one” looks like on paper (and maybe even in the flesh)? Will you definitely know that it’s them when they send you the first, tentative opening message, something along the lines of: “Hi, you look hot, you sound normal. I am hot and normal too, promise. Please message me back…please…did I mention I’m normal and hot? Please, thank you, please.” What makes you decide which messages to reply to and which to bin straight away? I can’t tell you the number of moronic messages I replied to on PoF because I gave them the benefit of the doubt; “they might be dyslexic” or “not everyone is good at writing / selling themselves / communicating with other humans”…WTF!?! If somebody spoke to me like that in a bar, would I really give them any of my time??? Quite frankly I would not.

What about the great, interesting messages from people who have clearly taken the time to read your profile and send you a tailored message but look less than ideal in their pictures? Do you reply to those? Really? Majority binned by me but yet I’d say I go for personality over looks, clearly I don’t know myself as well as I thought! So how do you find anyone worth your time when you’re as fussy as most of us are, responding to the idiots with no personality and deleting the great guys because they had a bit too much of a bald head or they were only 5’11 instead of 6’3?

Well, the answer is, I think internet dating is just like dating in the real world…you just know. You “meet” someone and they might not be 100% perfect at first or you might have some questions but you keep chatting and suddenly you realise that the person is pretty awesome and definitely worth meeting again; this time face to face. Before you know it, you’ve ended up in some kind of a relationship and it all started with a tentative “hello” over email. Something about the tone of their message and the style of their profile just caught your eye and you could relate to it, in the same way that someone’s laugh or smile might grab you in a bar so you gave them more time and it paid off.

So now I say that internet dating is great because you can get to know lots of people at once and there’s none of the awkwardness when you don’t get on, you just stop chatting to the person without having to make crazy excuses or climb out of toilet windows.  When you do meet someone you like though, it’s just like normal dating because you simply move it from online to real life. Really there’s no difference between internet dating and meeting people in bars, both require you to plough through a lot of rubbish to find the diamond but when you do, you’ll know it! x

Things I Know: Relationships

HeartsSat in the office on a dull, grey Wednesday musing about the life I could have had if I had taken any number of different paths, I decided to change tack and start thinking about the life I actually have had. Now I’m only 27 so I’m not exactly a wise old lady but at the same time, recently I have realised that a lot of things have started slotting into place and I’m finally learning some lessons and working out how I can turn my life into something I am proud of rather than just a series of events that somehow happen to me. So I thought why not share what I think I have learned with the rest of the world and maybe receive some “constructive criticism” to shape my views even further and really cement my thinking. For part one of “Things I Know”, I thought I’d start with relationships as they are something I have been thinking about a lot in the last few months.

Obviously relationships extend beyond just romantic encounters but I tend to find that it’s the romantic relationships that cause me the most trouble. Luckily I am blessed with a wonderful family so I always know that we will overcome any blips that appear in that camp and my friends are equally fabulous too. To put my chatter about relationships into context, I should start by saying that I have pretty much been a serial monogamist… when I say monogamist, I mean I have mainly jumped from one relationship to the next; take the word “monogamist” with a MASSIVE pinch of salt!

It all started when I was 14 and I dated a guy who was 18, at that point we definitely wanted different things so we split up and got back together a year later when I was 15 and he was 19. Still to this day I don’t know why I agreed to be his girlfriend. I thought he was a nice guy but I had no desire to be someone’s other half; some people blame it on what was at that time the recent passing of my mother but personally I think I just figured I may as well tag along for the ride because, well, he was cooler than I was. Three and a half years of on-again, off-again passed with a few infidelities (on both sides) along the way and much character abuse because we simply weren’t well matched; finally I found the balls to call it off once I realised a super hot guy I was working with also thought I was hot. Done! I vowed to be single and love it; that lasted about a month and then a messy situation turned up where I went to the Christmas party with one boyfriend and left with another and then suddenly I was in ANOTHER relationship. 18 months later I left him for a new guy I had just started seeing.

The new guy was great at first, though when I say “at first”, I really mean he was great from a distance and even from date number 1 I knew things weren’t right and that I found him immensely annoying. So I did the right thing, I dated him for over 3 years just to be sure that my concerns were real and we definitely didn’t have a future together. Oops! During that time there was more cheating, though this time on my side only.  At this point I had cheated on every guy I’d dated, mainly to prove to myself that I wasn’t stuck with them forever, that I could have other men if I wanted them. I still don’t fully understand why I didn’t just leave them, I think it was a fear that I’d have no friends even though I clearly did and most of them prefer the single version of me anyway.

Finally, when that relationship ended I really was single and happy to be single, determined to remain so even. Then I drunkenly slept with a good friend and he made it very clear that I had to choose between just being friends, now with a damaged friendship or a relationship. Given how well we got on as friends, I eventually opted for the relationship figuring it was better to try and fail than to give up before you’ve even started. That was my ex; he broke the pattern of cheating because I respected him and liked him as a person but he still fitted the mould in that I knew from the off we wouldn’t be forever. Regardless, I put my heart and soul into that relationship and was gutted when we split but a secret part of me was relieved that I could stop wondering “what if this really is my future?”.

Now I have rambled on for ages filling you in on the history and you’re probably wondering what 12 years of making the same mistakes over and over has actually taught me. Here it is: “If you know it’s not right, follow your instinct and get out sooner rather than later”. I firmly believe we all need some failed relationships to truly understand what we do and don’t want from a partner but once you know somebody isn’t the one, move on. It eats away at you wondering why they don’t understand you, why you argue so much and why you can’t seem to get through to them. You don’t need that; go ahead and be single instead, it’s far more fun and you get to spend your time doing things you like with people you like!

I appreciate that sounds simple, basic and obvious but how many of us really realise this? We labour at things thinking that if we love someone there must be a way but sometimes we need to admit defeat and realise that liking or loving someone doesn’t mean being with them is right. I wish I’d had the balls to end every single one of those past relationships sooner, at the point when I realised my gut instinct was right instead of being afraid of throwing something away that I’d later regret. Now I say follow your gut, every single step of the way, it knows you well and it’s telling you exactly what you need to hear; you won’t regret it no matter how hard it seems at the time.

Oh, and for the record if you are like me, not every beginning to a relationship will feel wrong and come with a ticking time bomb, I’ve recently met someone amazing and for the first time ever I don’t have that nagging feeling of knowing what our downfall will be so who knows what the future holds!?! x

Kissing Frogs, Toads and Princes: What are the Rules of the Dating Game?

A Frog Prince, really!?!

Having been single for a couple of months now, one thing I have spent a lot of time thinking about is men – much more so that I did when I was with one (not sure if that is normal or indicative of the reasons my relationship broke down!). The sorts of things I think about are whether I want another boyfriend, what I’d want said boyfriend to be like, where I will meet him and to be honest, whether I can actually be bothered with dealing with all of the above. Let’s face it, relationships take up a lot of your time and given that I have mainly been in relationships rather than single, it might be time to just think about me for a while.

Regardless of what I decide re the boyfriend though, I’m definitely not giving up men full stop. There’s so much fun to be had with meeting new guys and no, I don’t just mean getting down and dirty fun, I mean sometimes you meet people you just click with and have a great time. It doesn’t have to turn into anything to be a great time, you can just enjoy it at face value right there and then! However, there are so many obstacles and pot holes on the dating scene that I never even knew were there; I always thought the ladies in SATC were exaggerating but already, just a few dates in, I’ve found some of these problem areas! So I’m putting it out there to see what the rest of you think – how does this “dating” thing work? Here’s my theory:

Frogs

Frogs are just normal guys. It really is like the princess and the frog story – sometimes you kiss a frog and he turns into a prince (more on those later). Sometimes you kiss a frog and he remains a frog, that’s all there is to it! It’s ok to kiss lots of frogs and sometimes all you and the frog want to do is kiss; that’s ok too because you both know where you stand. Problem areas with frogs are when they turn into toads or when they want to be your prince but all you see is frog. Already in this measly short time of being single, I’ve found myself a standard frog and a frog who wants to be a prince – needless to say, I’ve had to “friend zone” the frog who wants to be a prince!

Toads

Ugh! Toads are vile creatures and tend to either be upfront and toad-like from the off; some women seem to be attracted to this. Expect these  toads to be the ones that forget your name when you’ve only been chatting 5 mins or the ones staring at another girl whilst talking to you. Or, toads masquerade in the clothing of frogs and even princes! You think they’re normal and you’re having a great time, you kiss him and thing he’s the best thing since sliced bread. He’ll feed you compliments and show you “the real him”, you’ll start to let your guard down and then BOOM! He doesn’t call or text, he misses a date, he just vanishes off the face of the earth. You’re left wondering WTF happened there? A word of advice ladies, never give a toad a second chance, he’ll still be a toad and you’ll just feel foolish for doing so!

Sadly I have already encountered a toad as well. I’m not sure how I was suckered in, I’m usually far too cynical to let my guard down so easily; I think it was because I already knew him and he was on his second chance…Oops!

Princes

Awwww! Princes are just adorable and do not fear, there is more than one prince out there for you. Princes are the guys who you end up feeling like you couldn’t live without; the ones who make your life a brighter place and make you want to spend every moment of every day with them and do weird things like cook for them! It’s not that princes are few and far between, it’s just that the compatibility has to be perfect to find a true prince. Sometimes you even find a prince and later on you realise he was just a frog – note that these are different from toads. As people grow older, they change so someone who was once your prince can become just a frog again. If a prince changes into a toad, he was always a toad.

So now I’ve pretty much covered off the differences between what I would consider to be the 3 types of blokes, I’d like to establish 1 ground rule and this bit is for the men to hear: JUST BE YOU! If you are frog, be a frog and one day somebody will see you as their prince. If you are a toad, put it out there; some women are just drawn to toads and they’re probably the type of women you want. If you are a prince, well, revel in it because you’re only a prince because somebody thinks you are. Don’t try and pretend you’re just a frog or a toad, keep being the prince that she wants.

Obviously the dating game is massive and there are loads of caveats and funny rules but essentially I believe in what I have said above. I’d love to hear from you, male or female to get your point of view on all of this too 🙂 x