The ‘Single Disease’

Although everything I write about today is true, it is also written with a pinch of salt and a little exaggeration for entertainment value. Today I am a voice for all of us out there that are single and…..wait for it……happy!!!!! I know right? Single and happy? Is that even possible? Well yes it is and guess what, we are sick of being treated like it’s a disease being single.

I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I was in a very long-term relationship for most of my teenage and early adult years and I have also been single for a good while.  I have also dipped my toe in and out of the ‘dating sea’. It is safe to say they are two different worlds.

Being single is seen as somewhat of a curse by all those that are safely coupled up around you (of course with the exception of a few people, but I am talking in general before anyone objects….and then goes back to snuggle with their other half). You are continuously asked about your dating success and when you haven’t found love with a recent ‘potential’ or you are not dating you are thrown looks of pity and given words of encouragement. I would like to point out that in about 98% of these cases we haven’t sought advice on how to console our ‘miserable and lonely’ existences, nor have we implied that we are unhappy being single.

We are also treated like children or animals, by which I mean decisions are made for us that wouldn’t be done if we had a significant other, for example:

  • Where we will sit at events and how we feel about that.
  • Where we will be accommodated and who we will share with – and how we will feel about that
  • What will be done with us when we are amongst a group of other couples – and how we will feel about that
  • What we will be available for and how we can help out – and how we will feel about that
  • What is important in our lives and what is not – and how we feel about those

If we are not on the road to marriage or children – god forbid we have other priorities – then we are seen as lonely and pathetic – we are pitied and decisions need to be made for us (because obviously we can’t make good ones otherwise we would have met someone). Perhaps our careers are taken seriously but that is about it. Now imagine the same considerations listed above were given to a couple – you know, decisions made for them. Oh no I don’t think so, both their individual needs have to be considered in any given situation and it is perfectly acceptable for them both to be as difficult, fussy or demanding as they like. If a single person does this then they are committing a crime or even worse, being irrational. What is it about being in a couple that makes you superior to those that aren’t?

Well, I have some things to say about this:

  • I don’t want to be sat next to your weird nervous friend and expect to be the person that entertains them – If you attempt to do this, I will instead talk non stop about myself and my meaningless existence unless I am paid a wage to do otherwise. Entertainment is to be valued and you pay for what you get – no wage – no entertainment.
  • I am not happy to be placed in a vehicle or room with any Tom, Dick or Harry. Instead, I will place myself at my home, where I will enjoy the company far better and am able to sleep naked and sing to myself.
  • If I am the only person in the group to not have a significant other, leave an extra space at the table or event anyway, we can pretend that one day it will be filled and I will not be unhappy and alone forever – It’s good to dream. Failing that I will bring my cat and we will both beg for extra food.
  • I am busy, always – just assume this. I will not be happy to be a dogs-body. In fact anything you want from me you should request well in advance. My social life is packed full of fun events that are far more tempting than your partners, mothers, friend’s dog’s birthday party. Ask one of your couple friends for help then you get two sets of hands, my nails are far too pretty to work.
  • My life is free and exciting and I am on a road of self discovery. Enlightenment is a stone’s throw away. Everything in my life is valuable and the way I choose it. It is all important. I care much more about my next adventure than your new garden table.
  • I am not gossip for you. Just because you are settling into evenings in front of the television and cleaning nappy’s it does not mean you should look to my dating life – or lack thereof – to get your gossip fix. Yes we notice that you look disappointed when we have none for you. May I recommend Jeremy Kyle instead perhaps.

Being single is not a curse. Settling with someone so you are not alone IS!

I have so much fun in my own company. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want without the responsibility of compromise. Yes falling in love will be great, building a family will be magical and taken into consideration a handful of people before I make any single little decision in my life will surely make me feel more complete than I can ever imagine – when the time is right. Not a moment before because quite frankly, I am totally and utterly in love with myself. I get to explore places, take in the world, learn amazing things and live each day in wonder. I am not lonely being alone. I do not want to rush my life and being me is so much fun. Whilst you are cooking dinner and making children and seeking other couples to double date with I am living my life too, just in my way. I am sleeping in a quiet bedroom that is disturbed only by the sound of my cat purring – this does not make me a lonely cat lady – I am cleaning up after only me – and I am pretty tidy. I am not surrounded by noise and people demanding from me. I still understand priorities because I have my own that are important to me. Just because I don’t want children tomorrow it doesn’t mean I have no meaning in my life. Just because I go for long walks alone or with a friend it does not mean there is no magic in my life.

I am not unhappy and I am not desperately searching for someone to validate my life.

Where is the celebration for this? Where are all the presents for me being me? Where are all the nice clothes and traditions for being independent and happy? Quite frankly your relationships cost far too much, you get married (find someone to have sex with forever)  and have children (by having sex with that person)  and we have to celebrate this and shower you with gifts, it costs us time, money and energy. Where is the celebration for the time we have given you? Where is the celebration for being celibate for so long? Surely that is an achievement? Where is the equality?

All jokes aside, I am very happy for those around me that have found someone truly amazing. It fills me with happiness to see them happy and loved and respected. To see them build families and loving homes is so special. I very much enjoy being around them. But, I wouldn’t trade places with them for the world. I feel that same happiness toward my life. So please, those of you that do any of the above, consider the possibility that your single friends probably don’t want to be you, they probably turn up to a lot of events because they love and support you but may not always want to do the couple thing, family thing or snotty children thing. They are there because they love and support you. Do the same to them and treat them like a respectable adult who has opinions and preferences too.

Here’s to each of you Pride, each one of you individually, coupled up or not. We are all fabulous.

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Be Quiet!

Listen.

Listen, listen, listen.

How often do you take the time to listen to someone else? Do you enjoy talking? Do you enjoy people listening to you? Do you do the same for others?

I mean ask yourself, are you paying attention when someone is talking? Or are you thinking about what to cook for dinner? What homework the kids need to finish? What to wear on the weekend?

People know when you aren’t listening. I mean sure it can be a little obvious if you pick your phone up in the middle of someone talking to check what your friend has tagged you in on facebook, but, even if you are just thinking about something else, people know. They may not always say it, but they know.

For goodness sake listen. Put your phone down for five minutes, take your focus out of your own head and actually listen to the human being who is talking to you. If you don’t want to listen to them then don’t give them your time and let them find someone who will be considerate enough to listen.

If someone I am with is clearly not listening to me when I talk or they pick up their phone, I stop talking. Simple as that. I stop mid-sentence and you wouldn’t believe that so many of those times the other person doesn’t even realise I am no longer talking and when they come back round or put their phone back down they begin talking about themselves, as if I wasn’t in the middle of talking to them in the first place (perhaps I should stop talking about paint drying). These are the people who I no longer waste my efforts talking to about anything important to me because they do not deserve to hear it.

Sometimes your friend, partner or family member will just need you to listen to them, they may not need advice or your opinion but just your ear. So lend it to them. It is important. I am sure you like it when people listen to you.

So challenge for this week: Let’s all shut our mouths a little bit and open our ears and see if we make a difference in someone’s life. It might be just what someone we care about needs.

Listening carefully Pride!

YOU WANT MY ADVICE?

Advice – noun

an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action, conduct, etc.: I shall act on your advice

We all turn to our family, friends or colleagues for advice at times. Sometimes we need a few suggestions on how to handle a situation we are faced with and other people can really help us out.

Somehow, with some people and all too often, this advice turns into instruction. A way you ‘should’ be doing something. A lecture.

I hear about this all the time and witness it myself. You start talking to someone about an aspect of your life and almost instantly regret it as you begin to be instructed on exactly what you should do, how and why based on nothing other than that person’s preference or belief. You are no longer considered into this equation of ignorant advice/instruction and you end up trying to look like you are interested whilst thinking of ways to stop this person talking. I have listed below the most popular topics that people often feel like they are instructed on (the list on how to stop them talking can be sent upon request):

  • Pregnancy – All of my friends that have had children have said that one of the worst parts of pregnancy is everyone telling you what you should and should not do with your body. Can you imagine? Forget the labour, swollen ankles or the peeing every 5 minutes being so bad, it is the other people around you that can make it so tiresome. It seems that when you fall pregnant a majority of the people you will come to communicate with will be ready and waiting to share their ‘expertise’ with you. And will they all have the same advice? Oh no, of course not, but they will ALL know best and make sure you know it. If you happen to be pregnant at the moment and are suffering through this torment I feel for you. Nobody really knows best and everyone has their own way of doing things so I think it is important for you to listen to your body and the people you feel happy listening to and tune the others out. Perhaps use the extra need to pee to get the hell outta there and stop them talking…..unless of course they follow you to the toilet and talk outside the door, then, failing you and bump being able to squeeze out of the window, proceed to sticking toilet paper in your ears until you can no longer hear them.
  • Relationships – Well we all like to discuss our relationships with friends when we need to but, there are those certain friends that you instantly regret opening your mouth too. You know the ones, they tell you what you did wrong and what you should be doing instead. They advise you on what you need in your life and it sounds strangely similar to either their current ‘successful’ relationship or similar to the person they think they are but in fact, are not. I’m not talking about the friend that kindly suggests something thinking that referencing themselves may inspire you, I’m talking about the friend who proceeds to lecture you on exactly what you need, what you are ready for, what age you should be, where you should be at in your relationship and how you should feel about it. The phrases ‘you shouldn’t want to settle down yet, you are too young’ or ‘you are mad wanting to meet someone, if I was single I would love it’ or of course ‘he’s a nice man, don’t end it hastily, your feelings will grow’ all because they liked him the one time they met because he complimented her dress. These are the times when it is fully acceptable to think about what you will eat for dinner instead. Nobody knows what is right for you and telling you what you should want or what you should do based on what they want and think they would do isn’t helpful. Suggestions are of course helpful but only when a person considers who you are as part of that, not who they are. If they want to go at it from that approach then the following should be said in that sentence ‘I can only tell you what I would do’ and it should not become an instruction for what you should do.
  • Careers – This is the one I suppose I feel most strongly about. I grew up being told that a ‘real’ job was working for somebody else, that following my dreams was a fairytale and would never get me anywhere. That working part-time in my twenties was me refusing to grow up and that £8 an hour was good money. I have had to battle a lot with other people’s judgements and my own to continue to work towards my dreams. And now, finally I have fully accepted that my life is made for living and dream chasing. It may not be for everyone and their dreams will be different from mine so I say to anyone – do whatever makes you happy and do whatever you feel is right for you. To anyone telling me, you or any other soul how and what they SHOULD be doing in regards to working a ‘real’ job that isn’t, in fact what YOU want to do, I say IGNORE THEM. They don’t have the courage to believe in themselves otherwise they would be encouraging you to believe in yourself too. These negative people want to soul suck you down into their pit of fear and misery so that they are not left alone there. They believed the people who told them the same thing. I want to say I BELIEVE IN YOU, ALL OF YOU. If it doesn’t work the first time, it can work the second or the third or even the three hundred and seventy-fifth time. You can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do. At least the journey towards doing that will be one hell of an adventure.

It is also good to consider the advice you give others, where does it come from and is it in the best interests of the person you are giving it too, or yourself?

To all of these people who want to give you the rules and instructions for these above mentioned parts of your life and any other parts of your life, I want to share with you a visualisation technique (a practical exercise if you are around those it won’t offend). I was with two of my favourite people on this planet yesterday, Ciara and her husband Dan. Dan was telling us a story about a group of kids driving past his boss and in slow motion one of the kids raised his middle finger at him, his boss shrugged and carried on walking. That was it. It was actually pretty funny by the sounds of it too. But it got us laughing at the idea of using this method when someone is really butting in to your life and telling you what to do. Imagine it, hold up your closed fist and as slowly as you can with a blank expression on your face, raise up your middle finger. I think it makes the perfect point. We named this ‘The slow flip of the bird’. Anyone who starts telling you the ‘rules of life’ or instructions on how you ‘should’ do something, just give them ‘The slow flip of the bird’, perhaps in your head if it is inappropriate to physically do this but do it. Slowly. All the while remember that you can make your own choices and your own decisions about what is right. Listen to your instinct. Your gut is your guideline, always.

Slowly flippin’ the bird at all the preachers and rule-tellers out there, have a great week pride!

RUNNING MAN PART 2

I know right – him again. Well no story would ever be fun without some tales of lowering your standards so much so, that you actually prune the path that lets idiots walk back into your life. So at least I can provide some entertainment.

So I had been out with our banker guy and that had ended pretty badly. I had just gotten home after an extremely long bus journey. I was tired and had been missing The Running Man a little bit. I wasn’t upset though, I had actually found the evening funny. I knew it would always be a good story at the very least and I felt a sense of independence that I was proud of.  I had escaped an arsehole and his underground car park and then I had found my way home through the nighttime jungle of drunken party goers.

 

I had just tucked myself into bed when my work phone went off – It was the Running Man – I had blocked him from contacting me on my personal phone and had forgotten he had my work number too. He sent me several messages trying to get me to talk to him. He saw me go online, read them and then go offline. He didn’t stop messaging so I asked him what he wanted. He tried to apologise and say he missed me. I wasn’t having any of it though and eventually he called me. He was telling me how he had freaked out majorly and hadn’t felt this way about anybody before and he didn’t think he was good enough so he just ran and he felt so awful about it all. He said he opened up to his brother and even he had a go at him for the way he had treated me. He told me how he would be at work miserable, trying to think of things wrong with me so he wouldn’t think about me as much but he couldn’t find anything real enough. Now pride, he might be a schmuck but he isn’t doing too badly with these lines is he? He went on and on for about an hour telling me he just wanted one more chance. So I said to him ‘Running Man, you are giving me a whole bunch of reasons as to how amazing you think I am, however, I am not going to commend you for seeing what is in front of you, I want to know why on earth I should even consider giving you another chance. He went on to tell me he wanted to prove to me that he was good for me and that he could be the man I deserved. I blamed him for my bad date, I told him I had a date lined up on the Sunday too. I told him that I was so angry.

The annoying thing was that I could feel I was going to forgive him. I knew it. I should have not replied to any of those first messages but I had and here I was entertaining this conversation. There was no point in pretending otherwise. Besides, people deserve second chances right?

So we were back to seeing each other. He asked me if I was still planning to go on my Sunday date and I told him if he wanted me to cancel he better arrange something for us to do instead. He did. We had a nice day together and things were good again. I still panicked every time I didn’t hear back from him for a few hours, I was still waiting for things to go wrong and him to disappear, but he didn’t and things were good.

A couple of weeks passed and me and my little sister had decided to get away for a night. A real girly night away just the two of us and then the next night I was going to spend with the man in question. It had turned out to be a pretty bad day, he had to go into work for a pretty stressful meeting and was really worried and my cousin had phoned me to tell me my Uncle was in hospital and wasn’t going to be with us for much longer. The two of us had a nice conversation trying to lift each other’s spirits. I decided to still go away and make the most of our plans.

About an hour after we arrived at the hotel my cousin phoned and told me the sad news that my Uncle had passed away. It was a sad moment. Still I was glad to be with my sister and thankful for the support from our Running Man. I decided to see how his meeting was going and if he was out tell him what had happened.

I couldn’t see him on Whatsapp. I tried calling him, straight to voicemail. I picked up my sister’s phone and called him – ringing. He has done it again. What the hell?? WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL????? IS HE SERIOUS? It was all a bit much to take in the space of 20 minutes so I took a moment to breathe and compose myself. I blocked him on everything. Sent him a very angry message off of my sister’s phone and opened a bottle of wine. He was then spotted later on that evening back on POF, his photo, his details except with a different age and star-sign. Where do these crazies crawl out from? All I knew was that I was done giving him chances. He would never have a space in my head!

That is the thing with second chances. They shouldn’t be given out too easily. Do you think if you cross a Lioness you will get away with it even once? Most certainly not, there wouldn’t even be a second time. Bare this in mind when you are hearing the desperate plea of an undeserving male suitor!

A few more crazies to work through yet pride don’t worry…..!

DATING DO’S AND DONT’S PART 6

CONVERSATION

This, in theory, should be a topic that doesn’t need covering. However, it does need covering….very much so….for both genders.

Good conversation is essential for a date to be considered successful and although nerves can come in to play a bit it is really quite simple to avoid any awkward ‘mind-blanking’ silent moments.

It is also very obvious to avoid being vulgar or emotional…or so I thought. Apparently too many people are unaware of what shouldn’t be talked about on a first date.

So below are some of those beloved Do’s and Don’ts.

DO:

  • Ask questions – It is important to make an effort to get to know the person you are on a date with. Take an interest in who they are.
  • Listen – Do not interrupt (unless it is relevant to what they are talking about and cannot wait another two minutes). Listening is so important. Too often people try to simply compete with each other. It is not a fun conversation when it goes along the lines of ‘I did this’ ‘well I did this’ ‘and I like this’ ‘well I like this’. Each time you open your mouth remember it is not a chance to brag about what or who you are in comparison the other person. Enjoy listening.
  • Be honest about what you are looking for – you don’t have to inform someone that they need to marry you or show them the condom in your wallet, but, being open about what you are looking for ensures you are both on the same page and not wasting each other’s time.
  • Be genuine – you don’t need to act or be a certain way. Let someone get an idea of who the real you is.

DON’T:

  • Talk about sex – Learn someone’s boundaries before making possible inappropriate comments. It is important to show a lady you respect them and pushing through those boundaries too fast could be fatal. Likewise ladies, it is important to show a man you respect yourself.
  • Act like you are with your friends – Whilst it is important to be comfortable with someone you are considering as a partner it is important to consider that you are not ‘chilling with a friend’ you are in fact, on a date. A little charm goes along way as does a little grace and elegance. It is nice to have a joke and be able to have fun and relax but remember you are playing man and woman not Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Save that for your actual friend’s. Speak politely, keep your jokes clean and be kind. I actually have a friend who went on a date with a guy that spoke about his toilet activities for a good while. He didn’t pick up the disgust on her face or the confused and nervous laugh. He just carried on with the subject. I will let you guess whether or not she met up with him again. I have been on a date where the guy told me all about his recent first experience with LSD. I hadn’t once mentioned drugs or implied that I would find anything of the sort impressive. I was completely unimpressed by his story and my face clearly showed this but he went right on talking and laughing at himself. I have endless stories of shocking conversation topics from myself and my friends that still leave us jaw dropping-ly gobsmacked.
  • Put down the other person. The person sitting opposite you is exactly who you see. If you don’t like what they say or think then accept that they are not the person for you. Do not criticise the way they are simply because you are different. Accept it or move on. The amount of men that have thought they can manipulate me into changing who I am by belittling my principles and beliefs is astonishing….and guess what…..not one of them managed to succeed but they were all completely shocked that I didn’t want to see them again. The other side of this is that you can make someone feel bad about themselves and that is not on, no matter who you are.
  • Excuse behaviour that you won’t tolerate down the line – If you are spoken to in a way you do not like then make it clear. You cannot simply brush it off and then have a problem with it at a later date. Be clear on what is acceptable and unacceptable from the beginning.
  • Be too emotional or negative – Yes you want to meet someone you can eventually share everything with but you are not an open buffet. Save some personal problems for down the line – or try to resolve them before hand. Nobody wants to hear all about your debt, your horrible boss, your Ex’s, your health worries or your miserable outlook on life. Your personal problems are exactly that – personal. Unless it is a fun story or you gently touch on the subject because you have been asked, nobody wants to save someone from the victim river so wear your armbands and a rubber ring. That damsel in distress act is not to be confused with a Negative Nancy!

People are so different that you cannot put too many rules on conversation but you can follow some basic and courteous guidelines. Prepare some questions before you arrive and that way if conversation does run out a little bit you can try to spark it off again. I have included some nice easy questions you can use below:

  • Do you have brothers or sisters?
  • Have you always lived in the area?
  • What kind of films do you like?
  • Have you ever had any pets?
  • Have you travelled to many countries?

These are some easy questions that can spark off a whole new conversation with tons of sub topics.

In the meantime pride I would love to hear some of the most shocking things you have had to listen to…..

WB

Ok, so as you know I wasn’t wasting tears on the Running Man and I was speaking to several other guys from my online dating site and had set up two dates for the weekend. Friday night’s date was with an investment banker I had previously been speaking to around New Year. I had cancelled because things were going so well with Running Man and I wanted to see them out. He invited me to go for a drink around Canary Wharf. I agreed, normally I would meet someone halfway but I just decided to go, it was only an hour on the train. I had been very clearly warned about ‘wanker bankers’ by my friend Unice and had been given some key points to look out for and remember. I was told the following:

  • Their job is to manipulate people so they will be very good at conversation and selling themselves as a nice person.
  • They are very flash so watch out for any kind of bragging about material posessions or anything too impressive.
  • You will be treated very nicely and taken somewhere extremely nice.
  • They are not so good with criticism and are very well aware that investment bankers are referred to as ‘wanker bankers’.
  • They need to be in control and are very arrogant.
  • They typically drive Audi’s.

Now I know it is not fair to tarnish everybody with the same brush but it is also my experience that some stereotypes have developed for a reason. So I was ready.

He came and picked me up from the station in his nice blue Audi convertible, he never mentioned he was driving. He took me to a Radisson Hotel for drinks. He was charming and had very good conversation skills. He threw in a story of his favourite footballer being at one of his parent’s parties growing up and how much it meant to him. He had been through his fair share of pain growing up too and had some real moments of opening up. He didn’t like my friend warning me away from investment bankers and had no idea that investment bankers were given a bad rep, he was quick to belittle her with an assumption of why she would say that too. He led the conversation and very much used my lack of knowledge on a subject that I wasn’t good at against me, which, didn’t work so well for him, I am not afraid of not knowing something.

The evening was lovely and I had a lovely time with him, at the end he was paying for our drinks and I let him, he had been a perfect gentleman and then he turned towards me, not really looking at me and said ‘thanks for offering to pay for the drinks by the way’. I wanted to laugh, a nice way to imply I was in his debt, I replied ‘thanks for meeting me halfway’. He had no reply. This is the instance you know a man is not serious about you. We got into the car and he asked me if my train was still running. I hadn’t even thought about it, it was gone midnight, I normally drove everywhere so I had no idea. I looked on my phone and was trying to read what it was saying when he took the phone from me to have a look (erm I can read thanks) ‘looks like you will have to get buses, well for a small fee of course you are more than welcome to stay at mine’. I laughed and explained that I would be fine getting home even if I had to get buses and said he could just drop me off at the station (thanks for offering to take me somewhere closer – NOT). The next thing I know he is driving through electric gates into a block of flats and into a sheltered car park. ‘What the hell are you doing?’ I asked. He was barely responding and it wasn’t until he had practically parked he asked ‘aren’t we going upstairs to continue talking?’ ‘No we absolutely are not, this is a first date I am not coming into your house’. He didn’t really say much so I was filling in the gaps ‘erm why are you parking, I need to get to the station, smooth move by the way but I am a traditional girl’, he responded ‘I don’t really know what you mean by that but ok……..do you mind if I at least go up to get some water first?’ He asked me in a tone that made me feel like I was being such a complete pain in the backside. ‘By all means YOU can go and get water if you want to.’ I said in a matter of fact tone, he then asked ‘you are really going to stay here while I do that?’ ‘Yes I am, I have told you I am not going into your house.’ What an arsehole, he was trying to make me feel so uncomfortable. Girls should not be guilt tripped into going into a mans house on the first date…or any date for that matter. This was really unacceptable behaviour. He started to drive out of the gates and muttered an apology sulkily under his breath which I made him repeat by pretending not to hear. He was in such a sulk I actually asked him if he was annoyed. Not because I cared if he was but I was intrigued in case he dared to be – he of course said no. He asked me where I wanted him to take me in that same ‘I can’t be bothered to deal with this’ voice and I just told him Canary Wharf station, I didn’t know where else was near. He knew full well there were no trains running and that I didn’t know the area but he wasn’t getting sex so what did he care. It was raining. I had no umbrella. I thanked him for the evening and politely said goodbye even though I was seething, he told me to call him if I got stuck in a tone of voice that let me know he was just being polite. Screw you for your help, I will be just fine! I had to get a bus to Trafalgar Square, when I got there I couldn’t find my next bus stop so I jumped in a black cab to Leicester Square (a whole 5 second journey). From there I got the N20 back to North London so I could walk to get to my car at Totteridge & Whetstone station so I could drive home. I started my journey at about 12:30am and I got home at 3:00am. Thank god for my friend for keeping me company over whatsapp and Aretha Franklin for playing in my ears. I got home and actually laughed at the evening. It had been so eventful that I couldn’t be angry and I had gotten myself home all by myself. I didn’t need a stupid man to take me to a stupid closer station.

I had been thinking of the Running Man the whole way home and how I missed him (stupidly I know). If he had never been such an idiot I wouldn’t even be on this stupid date…..03:20 whatsapp message…..Running Man. What the hell? I thought that chapter was over…………….

 

Well I am sure we will find out Pride. Until then…have a wonderful New Year and be safe, stay merry and have so much fun! I wish you all the chance to learn, grow and make your dreams come true in the year ahead! xxxx

 

DATING DO’S AND DON’TS PART 5

FIRST MESSAGE:

So now we need to talk about actually meeting up with someone and being on a real date. This doesn’t just apply to someone you have met off of Tinder or online dating sites. This applies to anyone. The first message is in regards to setting up the date. So you arrange a day to meet and possibly a time….what then? Well, again there are several do’s and don’ts that you fellas need to learn and that you ladies need to tolerate and not tolerate.

Do:

  • Arrange a venue and let us know where we need to be.

 

  • Let us know a time well in advance – we need to plan getting ready.

 

  • Follow up on the day and confirm the details.

Don’t:

  • Arrange a day and time and leave it to the day for us to chase you about a location.

 

  • Leave it to us to arrange.

 

  • Make us travel further than you.

This is such a simple one but so many of you seem to get it so wrong. The fact of the matter is that most of you ‘men’ want a real woman yet you don’t want to be a real man. It’s not a one way street. We are different gender’s and therefore we have differences. Yes yes there are equal rights now set in place by a government that tells you how to be and yes society has messed up our roles in our own gender but if you want the real deal you have to BE the real deal – and this goes for women too!  This is a whole new topic for a later date though.

Fellas, just choose a nice location halfway – or even one stop closer to her as this will give you extra brownie points for being so considerate. Look up a bar that you can go to for a couple of drinks. It doesn’t have to be the Ritz for a 7-course meal followed by ballroom dancing all night. Just make simple arrangements and tell us a time and place to meet you. This will be noted by us and will impress us from the get go. You are making your work so much easier from this simple effort.

Telling us a time in advance is important because we like to plan our day according to our grooming. Women like to take their time to look nice for you and letting us know when we have to be there in advance means we can make a proper effort, which, after all, is mostly for you anyway.

We don’t want to get to the day of the date and not hear from you until half an hour before. Just send us a little message in the morning or the night before to confirm everything is still ok. It will show us you are thinking about us and put our minds at rest.

All of these simple things will give us a great first impression of you and help to start things off on a really good note. You are not going above and beyond or having to break the bank either, just showing us that you use your head and are a man – which is what a woman wants.

So many times I have complained to my friends or vice versa that we have arranged a day and then nothing is mentioned until we chase up on the day – by then we have pretty much lost interest anyway. The other one that turns us off quicker than you can actually press send on a message is ‘where do you want to go’ – euuurrggghhh just take control. A woman is quite capable of organising a complete household with one hand, a full-time job with the other and several of her friend’s emotional issues with her big toe so we want the chance to switch our multi-tasking minds off and be taken out and treated – you can do this simply by organising the date and messaging her the details – not too much to ask for is it?

If it is too much to ask for then you are not looking for anything serious and ladies – run for the hills – he is just not worth it.

Set your standards higher and you will meet someone who respects standards!

Woohoo – Lioness fever is spreading…….

THE RUNNING MAN

So I was actually talking to a couple of guys off of an online dating site. One day I received a message from a guy saying:

‘Fancy running away with me and making a load of babies together?’

I of course rolled my eyes as I read this, normally I would ignore someone like this but I was in an upbeat mood so instead I replied:

‘Are you actually sending messages like that to people?

‘Well it got you to reply didn’t it!’ He replied

I actually found out that he had sent one of my friends a very similar first message online – this was clearly his pick up line, I felt ashamed with myself for even responding!!!!! Not even an original message – tut!

He did have a point though, it did get me to reply. I entertained his conversation just a little longer and was actually surprised. He was quite funny and had interesting conversation. In my head I laughed and said to myself ‘this guy is nothing but trouble’ but he seemed harmless enough and was at the very least, for the time being, entertaining.

*Now I am looking back at this I am very well aware that I should have run as fast as I could the other way, however, I have made my fair share of mistakes with men and there’s no point hiding my mistakes now is there, they were all very important lessons….some that I was a little…..ok VERY slow in learning!*

We talked online for a while longer and he asked for my phone number. So I gave it to him, I was very aware that this would go nowhere but for now it was fun conversation with someone who seemed like a laugh.

We started talking all day long, we were actually getting to know each other and apart from him being a little bit cheeky he seemed like a very nice guy so when he asked me out I said yes, I mean, why not, people can surprise you right? We arranged a day for just after New Year and then as we were talking more and more he told me he didn’t want to wait that long and, still keeping our original day, he also arranged a day sooner.

We went for a drink and ended up staying out for hours talking. He was good-looking and interesting. The night had been great. Maybe I had this guy a little bit wrong.

We continued to talk and see each other, he was very respectful and even when he invited me round to his house didn’t push any boundaries. I let myself start to trust him and for the first time in a very long time things were moving forward with a guy AND looking hopeful.

So it had been a couple of months and I was going to go round to his after work. Things were looking like they may be moving forward yet again and so I was nervously excited about going to his that evening.

We talked all day long as normal, he kept telling me to hurry up and finish work. He was excited for me to get there. I had one more client to see and then I would be on my way.

After work I went to return a message to him to say I was on my way, I noticed that I couldn’t see his ‘last seen’ on Whatsapp, I thought this was a bit odd but this was back when sometimes Whatsapp liked to do this so it wasn’t completely abnormal. I tried to call him but it was going straight to voicemail. Never mind, I will just go and get ready.

So I went home and was ready to leave and still hadn’t heard back, he still wasn’t showing on Whatsapp either. I messaged him and told him that I was going to my friend’s house who lived on the way to his and to message me when he got this. I wasn’t going to sit around waiting, besides, she was like family to me so at least I could pop in for a cup of tea.

My other friend was messaging me asking if I had heard from him when she suddenly said ‘Rach give me his number’ I thought it was weird but I gave it to her anyway. A couple of seconds later she messaged me saying ‘Rach, he’s blocked you, he’s online right now on Whatsapp’. My stomach rose to my throat….WHAT????????? I picked up my other phone and went on there to check – yep, he was online. I messaged him asking what was going on and he immediately blocked me on that number too. I sent him one text asking what the hell he was playing at knowing I wouldn’t get a reply. So I instantly erased him. I was seething but my friend was talking to me about some serious stuff so instead of making the evening about me I poured a glass of something quite a bit stronger than tea, threw it down the back of my throat and refilled. I pushed this idiot to the back of my mind and listened to my friend.

By the next day I had two dates lined up for the weekend (cue Mr WB…now that’s a good story) and had completely forgotten who the hell he was. That was the last of him in my life!!!!! Of course…..as you will soon know, it wasn’t. I do know how to pick ’em don’t I?

Happy Monday Pride!

DATING DO’S AND DON’TS PART 4

CONVERSATION

This is of course, one very important part of online dating, it is the only thing we have to build an idea of what the photograph of you is actually like as a real person. There seem to be quite a few patterns in many conversations online, some of them are good, many of them are bad.

So for our lists:

DO –

  • Ask questions – Take an interest in getting to know who we are.

 

  • Pay an occasional compliment – We are women after all and we enjoy being adored….just a little.

 

  • Make jokes – Every woman loves a man who can make her laugh.

 

  • Ask us out – We are not looking for a pen pal, having said that don’t ask us within half an hour of chatting, give it a few days at least to make sure we get on.

These may seem like obvious points but believe me, so many men could do with a course in how to do just these few. I have actually gotten to a point now where I do not reply to someone if they do not ask a question or say something worthwhile, if you can’t be bothered to make good conversation then be very assured, neither can I! Ok, now the don’ts:

DON’T –

  • Be too proud – so many of you are so proud that you can’t take a joke or loosen up enough to have fun in a conversation, it’s boring and you look insecure and yes, we can see you have too much pride, it’s not a secret. Dating is fun so enjoy it.

 

  • Talk only about yourself – if this is all you are interested in may I suggest a conversation with a mirror instead?

 

  • Shower us with compliments – It becomes uncomfortable, saying something nice every now and again is sweet, saying something nice every other message becomes awkward.

 

  • Bring up sex too soon – If you want a lady then treat her as such, don’t make crude suggestions before you have, at the very least, learnt her boundaries. You might be making her feel uncomfortable.

 

  • Make assumptions – You are just reading words, please remember that, you are CHOOSING what tone and voice goes with those words. Too often you fellas can be very uptight and sensitive to our jokes and don’t actually get that we are having a laugh with you, please realise this is your pride getting defensive, it is such a mood killer when you then tell us to ‘calm down’ or ‘loosen up’ when, in fact, we are joking. This is your own assumption, more than likely based on women you have experienced before. Why don’t YOU lighten up a little and assume we are not being miserable. Most girls know how to handle a bit of ‘banter’ you know!

 

  • Pressure us for our number – This is my pet hate on online dating sites and I am sure many of you girls have heard this so many times mid conversation with a seemingly decent man: ‘Anyway I am deleting this profile tonight so perhaps I can have your number’. Why on earth would you delete a profile midway through a conversation WITH SOMEONE YOU ARE GETTING ON WITH???????? I think I am more frustrated with the fact that you think we are stupid enough to believe your stupidity! Girls, please, please, please don’t give them your number if they ask like this, tell them you don’t like handing your number out too soon, don’t explain it, just say that and nothing more. Watch most of them keep that profile they were ‘oh so desperate to delete’ just a little longer.

 

  • Lie – Seems obvious I know but guys you do it so often, most of you suck at lying and on top of that what is the point? Lies are always found out and it is no way to start a relationship of any kind. Also, most of the time we can tell you are lying and you are only kidding yourselves. This goes for both men and women too, lying only harms yourself, live truthfully.

It needs to be remembered that meeting someone online is the same as meeting them anywhere else. You still need to stick to your own personal morals and principles and the fact of the matter is that it is even easier for a man to approach you and talk to you online, it takes less effort than being face to face and is a lot less nerve-racking, so make sure they are worth it!

Next I do believe it is our first introduction to The Running Man.

Happy chatting pride!

Mr Disaster – Part 2

Life was going pretty smoothly when Mr Disaster decided to message me again. He was inviting me out for a drink and somehow I read his message to mean that a few people from the gym were going out. I assumed it was his excuse to message me so I thought why not, I didn’t have feelings for him anymore so let bygones be bygones. Turns out it was just him and another friend and I completely read the message wrong – IDIOT!!!!! Maybe I was meant to read that message wrong who knows. I went anyway and had a good time catching up, I didn’t give him an easy time by any means but it was all very friendly and nice! He did try to message me again after that but I pretty much ignored him. I had no intention of getting back into old habits with him and yes, he was still with his girlfriend.

 

A few months later I was in Thailand in my dorm in a hostel in Krabi when I received a message – MR DISASTER – I laughed because I always hear from him at a strange time in my life when things are going really well. So I replied saying I was away and he said that him and our friend wanted to see what I was doing so we could all meet up again. When I got back from Thailand he got in contact with me and we started talking again.

 

With Mr Disaster it was a very tricky situation. We were just connected. I wanted to be respectful of his relationship but at the same time they were clearly not in love, they were clearly together for the sake of it and I had been in that situation and gotten out of it. It’s hard to take a relationship like that seriously. Having said that I would never get involved with someone who was in a relationship so friendship would be as far as this could ever go.

Pretty soon we were messaging all the time again, mostly about nonsense but making each other laugh. He started calling me again and we would be on the phone for ages talking rubbish and making each other laugh. We would talk seriously too and he would entertain my whole day. One evening we were on the phone and all of a sudden the call cut off – I knew 100% that his girlfriend has just come home – I called back, no answer, he messages me saying ‘I don’t want to argue with this girl’ I reply ‘excuse me?’ ‘my girlfriend’ he replies. I told him that we shouldn’t talk if it was a problem and he assured me it wasn’t and then went on to tell me that the phone just cut off and there was a problem with the network – Yeh sure genius, because I am a fricking idiot aren’t I!!!! – I called him the next day and explained that we weren’t friends, we spoke all day every day and I felt like I was doing something wrong and didn’t like it. He tried to convince me otherwise but I just wouldn’t have it. That was that. He wished me luck with a guy I had recently been on a first date with – our very own Mr Angry PT guy – and said that I deserved happiness and we left it there.

 

Over the next week I still heard from him and I would tell him to leave me alone, it was the usual routine where he ignores me and messages anyway. I was at a bit of loose end. The guy I was due to go out with again turned into a bit of a weirdo – as we know so I got rid of him. – I was feeling a little bit lost with my work and my life and now I had to deal with saying goodbye to Mr Disaster AGAIN! Why am I punishing myself, we are only talking to each other, I don’t know his girlfriend, I don’t owe her anything, I’m certainly not going to be the other woman so I’m not doing anything wrong. Why do I always have to do the right thing for everybody else. Right now it isn’t hurting me to talk to him so why do I have to make myself suffer by stopping. So I did something that I never expected to do and Mr Disaster certainly didn’t expect me to do it. I sent him a message, just a confused face, that was it but I knew that was enough. He hadn’t been on his Whatsapp on this phone for a couple of days but the second he saw the message he responded. I had a go at him – ‘why did you ever have to message me again, why couldn’t you just leave me be?, I was fine before you came back into my life and now I have to say goodbye to someone I get on with and I haven’t even done anything wrong!’ He simply replied ‘would you like to go for a drink tonight?’ We arranged to meet up somewhere local to both of us, I was actually secretly a bit excited – only because it had been so long, not because I had feelings…of course….because we are just friends.

We ended up having a really nice catch up and…..no, you should know me better than that by now! We didn’t stay out too long and we just had a nice friendly time. He messaged me straight after saying he had a nice time and we went back to talking as normal.

I kept saying I didn’t have feelings for him but the only person I was fooling was myself and to be honest, I wasn’t doing a very good job of that either. Mr Disaster was something else in my life. He was refreshing, he didn’t hide that he cared about me (unlike many of the other bad apples), he fought for my attention, he listened, he joked, he was serious. I felt so relaxed talking to him, I didn’t feel like I was bugging him – I couldn’t really he always bugged me – I didn’t feel like a nuisance to him, it wasn’t too serious and there was no pressure. We just got on like a house on fire, we could talk about nothing all day every day and we did. People like that don’t come into your life everyday and when they do it means something. We were like magnets, the closer we got the more powerful the force. I knew that this couldn’t last. Truth was he was no way going to be brave enough to leave his girlfriend and setup on his own, he was too proud and way too afraid. I knew that I wouldn’t tolerate this ‘friendship’ going nowhere for much longer. With him it was easy to fall and I knew he had fallen too.

A couple of weeks later it was my friend’s birthday party and he had again asked me if I wanted to go for a drink so my friend suggested I invite him to the party instead. I was excited that he was coming but in general I just wanted to go out and celebrate my friend’s birthday. I had still been a bit stressed at that time and had been feeling anxiety creep its way back into my life. I just wanted to go and have a few drinks and let my hair down.

I had more than a few drinks and was quite drunk quite quickly. Mr Disaster turned up and looked….well…..like himself and I was very drunkenly happy in my little world. The problem was I wasn’t happy and me getting drunk was a nice little escape from my crazy head. Somehow a conversation was triggered by my friend about the two of us and she was warning him to treat me nicely, the next thing I remember he is talking about how I wouldn’t be able to trust him if he left his girlfriend and got with me. I was saying something along the lines of my usual jargon ‘you have missed out on the best thing you could have’ – please be assured this isn’t a ploy to get him to leave his girlfriend, I would never want that kind of pressure on me. Imagine it didn’t work out, I would feel responsible for the whole thing…..no way, I don’t need that on my head. – So then the worst thing in the world that I could imagine doing happened…I got upset and…  yep, I fricking started crying – IDIOT…IDIOT….IDIOT!!!!!! Another friend saw me upset and asked me if he should tell Mr Disaster to go and I said yes, the last thing I wanted was for anyone else to see me upset so I just concentrated on looking normal (yeh right). He wouldn’t go without talking to me and seeing if I was alright. He took me outside and I wasn’t really interested in talking to him, I didn’t want him around while I was upset. I shouted at him and he left. My friend got me back to his to sleep it off. I later found a message on my phone from him that said something along the lines of:

I hate that I am the reason you are upset. A man should know a woman’s worth and you are worth a lot. It’s time for me to step up and do the right thing so I will leave you alone forever now.

To the best of my memory that is what he wrote. Ok so underneath the cosmetics of pretty compliments all I hear from this is that I am going to let you go. Someone willing to let you go is never worth it, just for future reference.

 

I was so confused when I woke up. Why did it always get like this between us. A big final cut off, why couldn’t we just enjoy our friendship. I rang him and told him straight that I didn’t want him to leave his girlfriend for me, I didn’t want to be in a relationship with him and that I was only interested in being his friend (why I was hanging on here I do not know).  I don’t think he liked hearing that, not that he would ever admit it. A couple of days went by and something really didn’t feel right. My head was all over the place. I spoke to one of my closest friends and she told me to stop beating around the bush and just deal with the situation once and for all. So I did. I asked him how he felt about me and he told me ‘I like you and I think you are an amazing individual but I can’t be with you at the moment because I have a girlfriend’. This is exactly the type of message I expected and I simply needed to hear it. I said to him ‘Mr Disaster I like you too, I can pretend I don’t but I do. If this isn’t going anywhere then I need to walk away for good this time. You saying you can’t be with me at the moment means you want to hold me there and I deserve better.’ He tried to say life was a bitch but I told him that life is exactly what you make it.

I used my anger that day to face my fear of doing my first handstand….ok so it was against the wall but I still did it, it was something I had been trying to do for so long that all of my colleagues were even desperately trying to help me do it. It may sound silly but it was something I was too scared to do so I asked myself ‘am I going to live a life of fear like this fool? Hell no!’ So I did something I was scared to do – even if it sounds small I felt great afterwards.

 

I have ignored him since. I erased his numbers and all of our messages. He messaged me but I ignored him. He called me once and I didn’t recognise the number since I erased it, I very quickly got off of the phone. I was done with him. It still hurt, I carried on with everything as normal but I did have feelings for Mr Disaster and you can’t control feelings. He was someone who was in my life morning until night, non stop. Someone I really connected with and someone I could not hate. The truth is I just love me more now days and I won’t be second best to anyone. Show me that you see my worth or I will show you nothing. Simple as. Still doesn’t stop the pain of walking away from someone you care about but it sure as hell makes it easier! Goodbye Mr Disaster, forever and ever…..or….until Part 3 – Great!