Tag Archives: dating

Dating stalemate

11 Aug

I have a few dates lined up. With a few different dudes. Don’t judge. It’s 2014. It’s London. And I’m 32. Options must be kept wiiiiiide open.

Problem is, I don’t seem capable of mustering up the energy to go on these dates.

I just want to skip to being with a nice guy at the comfy, cosy stage where you can lie on them on the sofa, or stick your feet in their lap, or fall asleep on them. I want conversation and sex and everything too, not just a glorified mattress, but you get the idea. Comfort is key.

I look ahead to Christmas. To next year. To turning 33. And I think, “Dear God let me have met someone.”

But I cannot face putting on makeup and getting my hopes up only to face two hours of inane chat over drinks.

I’m trying to convince myself that dating can be fun. But, really, can dating be anything other than awkward over the age of 30?

Let’s hope so.

“I don’t watch TV”

27 Jul

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The Set Up has been messaging me on Facebook.

And he seems very nice. Very normal. Just as busy as I am at the moment so we’re going to set a date to meet up in a couple of weeks time.

Then on Thursday night he dropped a bombshell.

“I don’t watch TV.”

Not, “I don’t watch much TV” or “I’m not a huge TV person”. No, no.

Straight up. “I don’t watch TV.”

I sense a problem.

I, myself, am nothing short of addicted to TV. And I feel absolutely fine about that. I work really hard. I exercise loads. I go out with friends a lot. In my downtime I like nothing more than settling down to Dance Moms or Catfish or Mad Men or Nashville. I’ll just say it: I love TV.

What’s more, in my experience, people who make sweeping statements like, “I don’t watch TV” invariably turn out to be assholes.

But I’m trying to have an open mind.

And an open heart.

Thanks to the supporting cast

22 Jul

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Summer is racing on by. Life is busy, busy, busy, busy. A little busier than I generally enjoy it to me, if honest. But – without time to even think – low and behold I am on the very verge of the doomaversary. Less than two weeks to go til I can proudly declare that it’s a full year since the man I thought I was going to marry ate half a pizza and then told me he had never been in love with me. Phew.

I have found that my brain has been doing some very odd things recently. Specifically, it has been showing me a very visual emotional slideshow of my relationship with my ex. Constantly. Kind of like being forced to watch a horror movie. Kind of sickening. Very upsetting. I guess it is the brain’s revenge for the trauma it has been through for the past fifty weeks.

But one thing I have learned from living this horrific movie is that supporting characters appear at the strangest moments – and usually when I need them most.

Like the weirdo who flirted with me in Pret last December.

The total stranger who was nice to me on eHarmony.

B.

Irish Two.

They’ve all punctuated this journey and, in their own ways, helped to move it forward.

Well, just in time for the one-year mark, there’s a new character being introduced.

My friend Francesca has been trying to set me up with a friend of hers for a very long time. As in, pretty much straight after the break up she was all ready to instigate some text message introductions. Obviously I was in no fit state. And then when she suggested it again, I was seeing Irish Two.

But last weekend in Scotland she suggested it again. And I thought, “Why not?”. He doesn’t live in London, but near enough in Kent. He seems nice. He has a job and his own teeth. Yes, why the hell not?

And I’ll tell you something else – the very fact that Francesca is so keen to make this happen makes me happy. Not all my friends have been so keen to introduce me to anyone or even see me as a normal (albeit single – shock horror) person. Honestly, being single at 32 feels like having leprosy a lot of the time.

I digress.

So it turns out this chap (we’ll call him The Set Up) is crazy busy at work for the next two weeks. As am I. So he’s going to contact me once this project he’s working on is out of the way.

In the meantime, Francesca has informed me that he’s taken a good look around my Facebook and thinks I am fit (nice to know), funny (nice to know), and have a great figure (not sure where this came from, I’m not one to post bikini pictures and – frankly – it’s simply not true).

I am fully aware that there is an extremely narrow chance of us both liking each other. Let along The Set Up turning out to be the love of my life. I’m starting to wonder if such a person even exists. But it has certainly taken my mind off the looming doomaversary.

And what girl does’t like being told she’s fit AND funny?

I needed a little confidence boost, and along it came.

Another character thrown into the mix.

And so the story moves on.

A year ago in New York

20 Jul

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Last year at this time I was with him in New York. I thought everything was OK. We were coming to the end of him working away for the summer. I felt kind of relieved, and just so damn excited for him to come home.

Of course I didn’t know that within a few hours of getting home he would break up with me.

Just writing that makes my stomach flip.

Because the time I spent in New York was obviously the final test. The final week that led him to feel completely sure: he didn’t want me.

The week that I used to leave him surprises of an ice cream variety in the freezer whenever I was out. And buy him stuff in the Penguin sale. And take photos everywhere I went of things I thought he’d like to see. The week I surprised him with tickets to Wicked. And had noisy sex on a creaky bed.

Ultimately, when I try and understand what I feel about that week is boils down to utter humiliation. With a capital H-UMILIATION. I travelled 4,000 miles to convince the person I loved that he had never been in love with me. Wow. I have such an effect on people. Go me.

It still hurts.

I’m doing so much better these days. I’m looking forward to passing the one-year mark. But I met an old friend for breakfast today, and out of my mouth plopped the words I haven’t yet been able to articulate.

“I’m scared that I’ll never be able to connect to someone else.”

How can I? A year ago in New York I thought I was kissing and hugging and sleeping with a man who loved me.

He didn’t.

Epic kissing

18 Jul

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I’m on a train to Edinburgh to go and visit my friends for the weekend. Which is lovely. But it’s the hottest day of the year in London, and as the train heads north the sky gets darker and the temperature drops. Brrrrr.

Anyway, I had a mad dash around today trying to sort out my life before getting on the train. All week I have wanted to get to a certain shop on Oxford Street to buy a certain something in the sale. All week I have been desk-bound. Oh. God. It. Has. Been. Such. A. Week.

So today at lunchtime I ran to the tube to jump on the Central Line at Chancery Lane and head along to Soho as quickly as possible.

Chancery Lane tube station always blasts my head with memories. Because every single time I go there I’m reminded of a guy I dated five years ago.

We worked together. I had liked him for ages. He was with someone else for ages. He became single. He found out I liked him. He asked me out. It was all terribly exciting.

Now, at the time I was living in east East London. More east than I do now. He was in West London. And the office we worked at was smack bang in the middle of the two. So we were constantly hopping on and off the Central Line to go and visit each other. Or kissing goodbye at Chancery Lane station, and going our separate ways.

And, oh my, the kissing was fabulous.

I’m 5ft 1. He’s 6ft 3. So we would kiss on the escalators. Then he would kiss me goodbye on the East-bound platform before he headed on to the West-bound one.

It was such a bubbly, tingly, exciting time.

Of course it all ended just three months later. I got back from a holiday and he seemed changed. He didn’t really want to hang out anymore. He ignored me even though we worked in the same office. I was uninvited to meet his parents. That was awkward.

In the end I had to make him go for a drink with me one night and tell him that I thought he was breaking up with me. He agreed (eventually, after making me walk around in the cold for about 45 minutes) and I cried and said humiliating things like, “But you like me! I can be even better! Please!”.

I then stopped eating for the best part of three months and made myself miserable pining over him before realising he was kind of an asshole and his clothes were not nice. He also stank of cigarettes. Always.

So things didn’t end that well. But I only need to set foot in Chancery Lane station to be swept back to those crispy autumn evenings, sitting in pubs drinking beer, getting to know each other, travelling endlessly back and forth on the Central Line, and the epic kissing sessions on those escalators. Mmmm.

The memories are lovely. They make me smile and feel hopeful that I’ll feel that way again about someone.

My memories of my recent ex only make me sad. Of course, we had our own epic kissing sessions, but to remember them, well, it just makes my eyes well with the tears of what might have beens.

But maybe one day I’ll pass that music shop in Hoxton, or the bus stop in Shoreditch, or that cocktail bar, that park, that coffee shop, and smile.

Maybe one day the memories of those epic kisses will stop being epic regrets.

Relationship reset

2 Jul

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Oh. Wow. I’m tired.

We’re launching a new website at work tomorrow. I haven’t stopped in days. And when we get to this stage and stakeholders get involved for sign off, every meeting means unpicking work already done. Going back. Rewriting. Redesigning. Recoding.

It’s frustrating because you invest hours and even days in work that goes nowhere. But for all the reworking, you do end up with a better product.

Sound familiar?

Excuse the stretched out metaphor, but it’s easy to feel like you’ve wasted time and energy, love and hope on relationships that don’t work out. You think you’ve met “the one”, everything is great, and then – boom – you’re back to the start. Picking up the pieces. Trying to date again. Building new connections. That’s really tough. And quite the head f***.

I know since the pizza of doom I’ve felt like I wasted a huge life investment.

But if I can keep the faith that this website is going to be worth the insane amounts of effort, I can keep the faith that my life will be worth all the relationship resets.

And I’ve never been afraid of a little hard work.

Adventures on Tinder

16 Jun

Wow. What a sh** day.

Let me cheer everyone up by sharing my most recent Tindering news.

There’s no shortage of hot(ish) men on there. And plenty match with me. Plenty. But, holy smokes, are they all insane?

I’m going to break it down into four categories. As it happens, I don’t seem to attract the type who send lewd messages and penis pictures. No, no. Not the perverts. For me it’s just four categories of plain old crazy.

1. The Borefriends – they are quick to message as soon as we match. Keen to make a good impression and spark conversation they start with provocative statements like, “Hi!”. The more verbose stretch to, “Hi April!”. Or even, “How was your weekend?”. Indulge them in a response and you can be stuck in boring conversation for days which never, ever leads to an invitation for drinks. They seem to want only a chaste pen pal.

2. The Douches – they ask what they need to know up-front. Usually, “Just how small are you?”. Charming. This is followed up with the unfortunate and inevitable news that they live in South West London. Then, rather than ask me out, they say something like, “We really should try and grab a drink sometime.” Hmmm. Must we just try? We could actually do it.

3. The Stalkers – oh man. I thought the dude who sent me prerecorded voice messages was odd. I had no idea. A dude started messaging me on Friday. Pretty hot. Alright chat. By Saturday morning he had recounted every aspect of every relationship he’s ever had. He asked me about mine. Call me stupid, but I actually felt a sense of relief at just being honest about my poor broken heart. And he was super understanding. And kept telling me how pretty I am.

Then the photographs started. Photos of his flat. His kitchen. A room full of pianos. His car. His face. His face. His face. Each time looking less attractive and more like a f***ing serial killer.

Then he asked to hook up on Facebook. I actually responded, “Woah woah woah. We have never even met.”

After that I ignored all his messages last night detailing his trip to the gym.

But, damn me and my loneliness, while going through the worst of days at work today I messaged him and told him how awful I felt. Cue a barrage of messages and photos. And the revelation that he doesn’t actually have a job right now.

I don’t expect much these days. But a job, yes, that you need, potential boyfriends.

4. The Stupid Interrogators – I guess it’s supposed to be a chat up line. But what are you supposed to say to the guys who message, “Why are you still single?”

I find when you respond, “Nobody has ever loved me enough to want to stay with me,” you don’t get much back.

I know. I’m being a meanie. But Tinder is so spectacularly unrewarding past that little PING when you match.

At least if the perverts were interested I could maybe have some sex.

What do I have?

14 Jun

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I had a couple of weird conversations this week that, frankly, knocked me for six. “Oh, don’t bother listening to people who make you feel bad!” I hear you cry.

And usually I’d agree. Except in this instance it was my therapist and Irish Two. My therapist is a professional. And she’s never been wrong before about stuff. Irish Two, well, I knew he wasn’t being an asshole. He was delivering some home truths.

I’ve always considered myself a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around. Turns out I don’t come across that way at all. I come across as “low energy” and “unhappy”. Or, “nice but sad” as Irish Two put it.

So I’m left wondering: was I always this way? I thought I was starting to feel more like myself. Was I ever a bubbly, friendly, happy joy to be around?

Ugh. I do not want to be a big old drain on everyone else’s happiness.

I lost my mind for a couple of days, emailing everyone I know asking what kind of person they think I am. I also had some email chat with a blogger buddy (you know who you are) who made me feel approximately ten thousand times better.

But when I wake up every morning I’m still feeling confused as to who I am and who I’m supposed to be and who I was before the pizza of doom. Through the whole mess of the past ten and a half months I never doubted that I’m a good, kind, fun, friendly person. If I don’t even have that, then what do I have?

Yes, what do I have?

It’s not an entirely rhetorical question. I’ll answer tomorrow.

Oh. OK. Yeah. What am I supposed to do now?

12 Jun

Apologies for writing less, my buddies. I’m sure you miss my ramblings terribly.

The problem is, I thought I was OK. So I was thinking, “What shall I write about, then?”

And then I had therapy yesterday.

And now.

Now. I. Think. I. Am. Having. A. Breakdown.

For real.

I have harassed a few friends on email today. I have met Irish Two for lunch and cried on his shoulder.

I’m seeing a friend for dinner.

And a margarita.

Ten months since the break up

3 Jun

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I’m sitting at my desk planning holidays that I won’t ever take. Killing time before my yoga class. And I just realised that today marks ten months since the pizza of doom. Ten months. It’s a substantial period of time. But I guess not that substantial when it comes to grieving the loss of everything you ever wanted.

I’m sad, but I’m happy.

I’m sad that he’s not in my life anymore. I’m sad that he didn’t want me. I’m sad that we’ll never have a life together, or get married, or have kids, or join our families together. I’m sad that I’ll never kiss him again. Or feel his arms around me. Or lie on him while we watch Mad Men. I’m sad that I’m sure he has moved on. I’m sad that he’ll forget me. I’m sad that all my memories now drip with heavy, heavy regret. And that I’ve had to try not to think of him at all, or I know that I’ll never be able to move on. Because I’m sad to say that deep down I do still love him.

But at the same time, I am happy. I’m happy that I know I’m through the worst of it. I’m happy that it’s changed me. Although it caused me to question everything, lose all my confidence, and hate myself for a while, I’ve had to readdress things and build myself back up. I’m happy that I genuinely feel this is a better, more empathetic, loving, mature version. I’m happy I met Irish Two and that we’re friends now. I’m happy I started yoga. And started running again. And that I’ve hardly cried at all in the past week.

I’ve questioned myself, and where my faith lies (not a religious sense – I’m not religious – just in terms of where I put my trust, because we all have to put it somewhere), whether my arms really are too fat, and why anyone wouldn’t want me in their life. I’ve asked myself whether I’m too nice. Too self-critical. Too emotional.

It’s been a long journey. And I’ve some way to go. But let me promise you this, if you’re going through what I’m going through then there will come a point that the heartache lessens. Although you would never have wanted this to happen, there will come a point that you realise you’ve done OK. That you’ve learned. That you are a better person for it. Because you can’t go through something that rips up every feeling in your body and not come out stronger. If you did, you’d be defeated.

There is no denying I’m addicted to Nashville.

Well, I really like the words to the song ‘Wrong For The Right Reasons’.

Think of all the morning stars you would have missed

If you hadn’t weathered through the dead of night

Every single heartbeat you didn’t skip

Was the answer why

‘Cause the bridge that burned took you out of the way,

Made you turn around until you face the demons

Ten months ago I was about to have the worst night of my life. Tonight I have yoga, Mad Men catch up, and then bed before a crazy day preparing for a pitch tomorrow. Life isn’t how I dreamed it. But it’s OK.