On giving up hope…

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So, according to some survey performed a couple of years ago, there are 155 single men per 150 single women in London, 67,000 more single men than women across the UK, and in the 18-34 age bracket (my bracket) there are 338,000 single men!

You’d have thought there must be a good one in this supposedly expansive pool of men – well finding one is proving mighty difficult.

I have tried all sorts of dating apps, evenings, etc, etc and had some pretty awful dates – well now I can look back on them and laugh, at the time I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole.

For the record I am slightly above average height for a woman, slim, fit, relatively normal looking, relatively normal – few quirks, but nothing too alarming, not mean, not scary, and I don’t turn up to dates in gimp masks or anything – so you’d think dating wouldn’t be that hard… wrong, how wrong you are.

This is a collection of my most ludicrous dating anecdotes from over the years, and as depressing as it has been on some days, and funny and wonderful on others, I refuse to completely give up hope, and will soldier on regardless.

P.S. I can’t draw at all, and I borrowed this great illustration from one of my favourite illustrators Gemma Correll – See her work here

The one who broke my heart…

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This was a real turning point for me in my dating career, and even now it pains me a little think about it.

About two years ago, I met a guy, let’s call him Edgar (I’m a big fan of old timey names), on some form of dating app – I’m going to assume Tinder but I can’t actually remember.

At first I wasn’t sure, but there was something intriguing about him. He didn’t live in London but would come most weekends to visit me, and we’d have great chat every day. Good chat is very important, and yet so hard to find!

He wasn’t conventionally good looking but I fell hook line and sinker for him. On one of our early dates he met my friends, and at this point we hadn’t even kissed, I had a massive panic attack over dinner. I had to go hide in the bathrooms, I probably should have taken that as an indicator that I was actually starting to like this guy.

I returned back to the table flustered and terrified I was going to throw up – I am such a catch – and we left the restaurant and we walked back to mine. And on that walk the panic lifted and I felt calm and comfortable.

He stayed at mine, although no shenanigans – more on that another time – but it was a change in our dynamic. And I thought to myself ‘yes, I like this one, I like this one a lot ‘.

We continued to talk everyday and see each other when we could. He was bright, put together, had a good job, kind and if I ignored the massive pile of emotional baggage – then he was perfect.

I made a deal with myself to not be guarded, I convinced myself that although we lived in completely different places, and lived very different lives – maybe this could work, maybe this was what I needed.

I knew there were deep rooted issues, I would wakeup with him screaming in his sleep, the shaking in his arm, and the heavy drinking culture he was party to. He clearly had some shit to deal with (don’t we all) and he never burdened me with it, but I could feel it there under the surface.

On one of the bank holidays, he drove down to see me at my parents, he took me out for dinner. And I sunk deeper and deeper.

My parents liked him but they were worried about his drinking tales and the shakes in his arm. But the dog liked him and that’s all that matters really.

Anyway, we continued in this vein, me going under like the titanic, him on a lifeboat.

We were talking about going away for a long weekend, and we’d chatted about it and planned to plan in the week.

We messaged as normal, and then it happened…

I was in the middle of teaching a dance class when I checked my phone, and saw a text message from him.

The message read,

‘my ex is back and we’re going to give it a go, and I thought it best not to string you a long’

I paused, went numb, text my friend who was in the room next door.

Excused myself from the class and burst into tears.

I went back into class and sat in the corner, unable to raise any enthusiasm.

Once class was over the wailing began.

I’ve never, and have never since cried like that. I cried for days, my eyes were almost swollen shut. My boss just eyed me nervously all day in case I sprung a leak in the office.

My friends and family rallied around. And of course I eventually pulled myself out of it.

But the thing that has plagued me since that moment, is why was I so upset? It had only been a few months, it wasn’t a long relationship, I’d never thought once ‘I love this man’ but here I was reduced to a complete wreck, and writing this I can still feel that lingering pain.

I once said to my friend who was gutted after a short relationship, that sometimes people worm their way into our hearts without us realising, even in just a short space of time. And this was true of Edgar.

I realise now I was so gutted for a few reasons, firstly because I opened up and let him in, I dropped my guard and decided to give being open a try – and it backfired. Secondly he was the kind of man I could imagine myself being with, he embodied the things that I wanted, and I blindly ignored the things I didn’t. And thirdly I felt secure, I felt like we were equal and that we had a future.

So was it really him I loved? Or the image of him? To this day, I’m not really sure.

Now I look back and I realise he was a coward to have dumped me like that, no warning; one minute fine, everything gone the next. I also realise that it could never have worked in the long term. But I also learnt that whilst it hurt I’m glad I tried to open up, drop my guard, better than sitting numb through a relationship, which I have done a number of times before and since. It showed me that I’m capable of having intense feelings for another, and has made me think about what I really want from a significant other.

So yes it sucked, yes sometimes I still want to throw a rock at his head, but actually, weirdly, it was probably for the best.

Nobody’s perfect

mehmaidOk strap yourselves in, I’m going on a rant…

Can we please talk about how men, and I’ve heard women as well, are getting fussier and more arrogant. To the point in which they write rude comments on their profiles that are often quite offensive.

Subject no.1

“If you don’t look like your photos you’re buying the drinks until you do”

You would be amazed at how many men put this, and I’m sure some guys think it’s witty and ‘bants’ but without context to you as a person it just says ‘douchebag’. And why are you such an unbelievable catch that the same wouldn’t apply to you?!

Subject no.2

“Don’t just ask me how I am, impress me”

Ok, let’s get one thing straight here – the success of internet dating is partly down to the fact that it takes the fear and awkwardness of approaching someone out of the equation, and you can build a repore before throwing yourself into the shark tank. If someone can take the time to write a message to you, no matter how simple you should appreciate it, if you don’t like them you shouldn’t have swiped right.

Subject no.3

“Swipe left if you’re a waitress, got tattoos, draw on your eyebrows, wear makeup, etc etc”

I see so many of these and again I question what these people are hoping to achieve. Just because someone has a tattoo doesn’t make them a bad person (I have 7), when a guy says he doesn’t like a girl who wears makeup, I bet he doesn’t even know what a girl without makeup looks like and has probably asked his makeup-less work colleagues are they sick, or they look really tired. I appreciate, that we have certain requirements,  I’m ambitious so someone who sits around all day will probably just wind me up, and I want to have kids one day so someone who hates children won’t do – but they’re big things, based on who we are as people. And I’m not going to reject someone based on the superficial.

Come on guys (and gals) get real – no-one is 100% perfect and those little imperfections are what will make you love them in the long run.

Ok rant over.

(Illustration is another Gemma Correll wonder – her site)