The Dating Game

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

For serious though, if you imagine me as some kind of Marcia Brady character and you’d like to keep imagining that, it’s probably in your best interests NOT to read this. I’m nice most of the time, but I’m also a flawed hot mess, so, hey, proceed with caution. And if you’re going to judge me, do it quietly, ok?

So those of you who know anything about my life know two things: I like cats. I broke up with my cheating ex-fiancΓ© at the beginning of the year. The breakup was rough, yes, but I actually felt an overwhelming sense of relief because our relationship had turned more toxic than whoever the hell Britney was singing about circa 2003. I guess everyone reacts differently to a breakup.

My reaction was…weird. I guess because I was cheated on, I somewhat immaturely (but understandably) sought validation. I wanted to feel attractive and desired. I’d also been in my relationship since I was fifteen years old and I’d only ever seriously dated one person. So I felt that I had missed out on years of good (and bad) dates. I joined Tinder almost immediately. It’s important to note that I wasn’t looking for anything beyond dating and or…what’s a polite and tasteful way to say hook-ups?

Ah, Tinder. It’s great and all but what Tinder giveth, Tinder taketh away. Mostly my dignity. Tinder is crazy, yo. I’m going to share my experiences right from that first post-breakup date to now because you guys really get off on laughing at me, don’t you? DON’T YOU?!

Full disclosure: I’m not going to discuss every encounter I’ve had because A) There’ve been, ahem, a few B) You guys would have me shipped to the nearest convent and exorcised and C) because some of the guys know about my blog and I don’t want to make them uncomfortable and or have them send me dead animals in the mail.

So I start matching guys like a rabid hyena (is that a terrible analogy? Why would a hyena be on Tinder? I have so many questions). I don’t usually initiate conversation because ain’t nobody got time for that. I let the guys message me. If they can spell, construct a semi-coherent sentence, make me laugh and look at least semi-attractive, I’ll give them a chance. The messages come thick and fast and I’m like a kid in a sweet shop. Handsome guys, great jobs, flattering and complimenting me like I’m some kind of Disney princess, what’s not to love? So initially, I was like

My first date was with a solicitor who was handsome, funny and extremely charming. On Tinder. In person, he was coked off his face and was just about the most intense yet distracted person I’ve ever spoken to. As we were just meeting for a quick drink, I was able to back the f**k outta that situation pretty quickly. I doubt he even remembers meeting me. Dope. He was also wearing a GIANT parka in a very hot bar. Like, I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

My second date was actually on the same night. Yes, I know that’s insane. But I’m a little insane. I was pissed off about the cocaine-addled solicitor so I wanted to meet someone normal and down-to-earth. This guy (let’s call him…Blueberry) was pretty attractive, and we had struck up quite the rapport. When I met him, he was shy and awkward. I talked. A lot. He listened and laughed. We kissed and I wasn’t that into it. But he’d travelled into the city to see me and I stupidly felt I owed him (don’t worry, I get better as time goes on). He was nice but I didn’t fancy him. So that was a nice date but it just didn’t give me the feels.

Then there was Ryan Gosling. Ok, not actually Ryan Gosling, but mother of god this guy was freakin’ haaaaawt. He actually looked quite like Ryan Phillipe. True story. We had nothing in common and it was purely physical but *blesses self* it was fun. Like, House of Mirrors and candy floss fun. And exactly what I needed at the time. It fizzled out pretty quickly because I think we maybe ever exchanged, like, three words to each other. Woah, that’s bad. *clutches rosary beads*

Ooh, let me tell you about acid guy. So I meet a guy for a few dates who is just about the most complex guy I’ve ever known. By day, he’s a financial analyst for a very prestigious insurance firm, by night he takes what I can only describe as a SHITLOAD of LSD. I don’t actually know this until about date number three and I moonwalk my way outta this situation pretty quickly too. He was actually a very sweet guy; but like a hyperactive puppy. You ever see that episode of Friends with Alec Baldwin? Yeeeeeah. There’s only so much ‘OMG YOU’RE SO PRETTY, I WANNA KISS YOU, LETS DANCE, DO YOU LIKE ESPRESSO, IS THAT A SQUIRREL?!’ that one can take. And he wanted to kiss. All. The. Time. I’m not talking about hot steamy makeout sessions. I’m talking literally every second of every moment that we’re together to the point that my oxygen levels are depleting to a point that I’m actually scared of dying. Not. Cool. But he was very funny and very kind and made me feel very good about myself. I know, I know, you shouldn’t seek validation from external sources but…he said I was purdy.

And then there was personal trainer guy who was also studying fashion design. Yeah. That’s a thing. He was…different. He was tattooed and handsome and my Mam would have hated him. He was incredibly sweet. Too sweet. Guys, I broke his heart. Ugh. I know what it’s like to be hurt so I really hate the idea of hurting someone else. But I was in a very self-destructive place and I couldn’t even conceive of committing to anyone. I still can’t.

He showered me with gifts. He brought me away on trips all over the country. He wanted to be around me all the time. And I felt suffocated. We’d known each other three weeks when he started talking about traveling together. I tried to break it off, but he just wouldn’t take ‘I’m not ready’ for an answer. He tagged me in things on Facebook, he messaged me constantly, he pestered me to the point that I almost had to block him. Instead, I told him to chill a bit, and he did. Phew. He still slides into the ole DMs every so often but I just don’t have any attraction to him now. Is that bad? Am I bad? Who knows?! Don’t answer that.

The next guy was great. He was incredibly funny, handsome, friendly…we clicked from the start. Again, there was never potential for anything more than a fun fling, but this guy was just about the most interesting out of all of my Tinder conquests. I can’t really explain why. He’s just a really good person. And I really liked his company. The fact that we clicked physically helped too, I guess πŸ˜‹ He was creative, like me, with similar interests and passions. He was intelligent. He had a really cool and different job that he was so passionate about. He made me laugh out loud which is actually pretty hard- *sees a picture of a gorilla in a tutu* BAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, what was I saying??? Anyway, that guy was fun. His texts always made me smile. Our first date was also one of the more fun ones that I’ve had, and there’s nothing like a great first date. Or a bad one. We’ll get to that.

Right now, in fact. So I’d been talking to Doucheface (charming name, I know) on Tinder for weeks but I didn’t feel terribly drawn to him. Physically, he wasn’t my type but he promised me that if I went on a date with him, he would show me a great time. I liked his confidence and his perseverance so I agreed. Ugh. Mis. Take. So he picked me up in a spang new BMW. I mean, cool and all, but he looked at me as I sat in as if I should be salivating and ripping his belt off.

He spends the whole date talking about how wealthy he is, how hard he works, how great his life is. He tells me that he has the amazing house, the car and now all he needs is, and I quote, ‘a hot blonde with big boobs.’ I actually gag into my gin and tonic. I ask him to take me home and when he tries to kiss me, I turn away and tell him I just wasn’t feeling it. Then I get the ‘oh, well I’m not used to this happening’ speech. Sure you’re not, dude. Sure.

Then I met a guy I actually really liked. He was a builder by trade. He had travelled the world and had such amazing experiences to share. He was rugged and ridiculously handsome and so sweet that I couldn’t help but develop the most juvenile infatuation with him. He was kind to me but he was…broken. He suffered with quite serious mental health issues and we felt that with my own anxiety would just compound his issues and we would ultimately end up in quite a destructive relationship, so we ended what was a very short, but very passionate fling. He was a very sweet person though and I’m glad I met him.

There was Scottish guy who I met on a night out who was hilariously crazy and I couldn’t understand anything he said. We talked about films, his experiences of growing up in Glasgow and he made me laugh too. Again, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere because I wasn’t sure if he was telling me he liked me or reciting the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody. Accents, amiright?! We did have a dance-off because everyone can understand the can-can.

Then there was another guy who laid it on a little too thick. He became extremely clingy and needy and I couldn’t deal with it, so I had to let him down gently. He was sweet, successful and so much better than having to beg someone to date him. He irritated me a little by telling me that I needed a man in my life. No, hun, I don’t need a man at all. I’m good. He insisted that having a boyfriend would be good for me. That I needed minding. I get that his intentions were good and all, but it was a little condescending.

And zen zere was ze French guy. Oh guys. Attractive doesn’t cover it. Like, it was, as the French say, reeee-dicilouse, eh? He had the brownest eyes, the curliest mop of jet-black hair and the most arresting smile I’ve ever seen. And that accent would have melted lead. Or something that doesn’t melt easily, I dunno. This was by far the most intense fling I’ve had.

The attraction was instant and all-consuming. He was not only gorgeous, but intelligent and absolutely hilarious. He could make me laugh even when I didn’t want to. He was affectionate beyond belief and he remembered even the most insignificant things I told him. That meant a lot. We texted each other constantly. It was hot and heavy, but it was also meaningful and sweet.

So it got complicated. We both wanted to keep it casual. But that’s hard when you’re texting a lot, video chatting and cuddling. So he told me he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t do the friends with benefits thing because it was too complicated. I totally respect that. I’m not ready for anything deeper or more meaningful right now. It’s too soon for me. But I’ll miss that ridiculously sexy French boy.

The last guy was just…I’m so confused about him. I DON’T GET BOYS. So he’s from the same town as me. And hey, I don’t want to insult the local men, but it’s slim pickins guys. This guy is in Cambridge studying physics. I mean, this is me guys: the space nerd. So I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. We met for a walk and he was the preppy, very handsome type that your mother would put out the best doilies for. We seemed to hit it off, and we met again for wine, but it was…weird. It was like he wanted to be there, but he didn’t. It was like he was resisting something but that he really didn’t want to. I know I’m not explaining this well. He was very conflicted when it came to making a move on me. So I’m worried that I’ve now kissed a guy who has a girlfriend. I just have an intuition about these things. If that’s the case; my bad. But I didn’t know. I also forget his name, which is pretty d*ckish of me but don’t tell anyone, k?

And, er, that’s it. Look, you’ll possibly judge me. That’s cool. I’ve dated a lot. I’ve dated a lot because I never got a chance to do it when I was young. Dating has been the most fun I’ve had in such a long time. It’s made me like myself. It’s brought me into contact with some of the most amazing, fascinating people. It’s given me experiences and memories that I would never have had if I hadn’t taken a leap of faith. I love going on dates because I love people. It’s also been about seeing what I like, what I don’t like and being more discerning about potential future partners. When it came to my ex, I clearly wasn’t discerning enough. I’ll never let anyone treat me like that again.

I’m cool with being alone too. I’m not always on dates. Right now, I’m actually chilling with my cats and I’m not planning on dating anyone seriously for a while. I’m going to take some time out I think, for a little while anyway. I need to get to know myself outside of a relationship. In time, I’ll be ready for something more. Not right now. Right now, I just want something fun and causal that may or may not involve Netflix, wine and a little nudge nudge, wink wink. Chill guys, I mean backgammon. GEEEZE.

Also, on a totally unrelated note, I GOT ONE OF THOSE JOBS THINGS THAT ADULTS GET. So I’ve been teaching for years as a substitute and I finally secured my own hours in a very prestigious private school. So, happy dance and all that jazz.

I’ve also gone, like, totally blonde. Love it though because now when I say something ridiculously silly, I just point to my hair.

Anyway, feel free to share your own dating stories in the comments so I can judge you right back. Kidding. No I’m not.

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9 thoughts on “The Dating Game

  1. The V Pub says:

    I was going to write an eloquent response until that last photo. Then, like the Men in Black pen thingy, my mind went blank and I’ve only recently been able to break my stare. Whew! I’m sorry about the break-up, my friend. We go back a few years and I know how much you put into that relationship. But, if he was going to cheat now, he’d cheat later, too. Better off without him. BTW, if you *really* want to meet some great guys, go on and publish that rap song you wrote. Love that photo.

  2. pensitivity101 says:

    Well, that was a helter-skelter ride and a half! Good for you getting out there and meeting people. Now you’ve done it, got it out of your system, seen the good, the bad and the ugly and can now progress forward. I met a few ‘interesting’ guys following my divorce, only after one thing and got the hump when I didn’t deliver. Met some nice guys too, and thought I’d hit the jackpot when I met ex partner. Eight years we were together and thank god we didn’t marry…… closet alcoholic and only ever really wanted me to look after his kids, bring in some money and run the house so that he could live the life of a single man. Eight years, but it wasn’t all bad. I got my fostering experience with him and wouldn’t change that for the world, plus I meet my best friend and her husband (MOH in my posts in case you’re wondering). Course I’m a lot older than you, not so pretty either, but I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. Hubby and I met through a newspaper advert……. honest………… in 1989, and got hitched in 1991. He’s my best mate, soul mate, rock, confidante, companion, other comfy slipper…… Love him to bits. Just took a while to find him. Have fun, just be careful. (yeah, I’m a fussy pants, but hey, I worry!)

  3. Jess says:

    Hahaha this post seriously made me laugh! I went through a similar situation. I had a controlling and cheating boyfriend and when we broke up, I was the happiest little clam. Last year I spent a good portion dating on and off of Tinder and I definitely experienced some interesting dudes, some of which reminded me of the ones you’ve mentioned here. But they make for great stories!

  4. Lisa Macy CA, RMP, CCH says:

    No judgement here! I’m glad you kicked that cheating jerk to the curb! And you’re so right! You DON’T need a man, but they can be nice to have around. πŸ˜‰ I wouldn’t even know where to start on dating, so kudos to you on getting out there and trying! Just enjoy life, date when and if you want to, have fun, and you’ll definitely know when you meet the right guy. Congratulations on the job too! That’s fantastic! I’m sure life has changed a lot for you the last few months, but you’re strong and independent and I know you’ll be just fine. πŸ™‚ Great picture and I love the hair too! So, you just continue to be your awesome self and don’t worry about a thing. Just have faith that things will turn out exactly how they’re supposed to, and they will.

  5. Gary says:

    Great post, Janey. It was good to catch up on what’s been happening and I enjoyed the details of the interactions you were able to share.
    Given what had happened, it’s great that you got out there and into it and had fun and so many experiences.
    I hope you share more which sounds a little creepy now that I think about it, but hey, that’s blogging.

  6. Chanelle says:

    Good on you for getting out there and having standards and not settling for the first guy who comes along! A couple of months ago my boyfriend broke up with me out of the blue, we never fought and there weren’t any problems between us so it’s complicated. I’m torn between staying single for a while and getting back out there but I am past the crying every day stage which is progress and I accept we’re not together anymore. I actually met my ex on Tinder and we were together for almost 2 years so it can work haha! I tend to be a little picky, I read the bio and look at the pictures and I’m not afraid to message first. Like anything Tinder has advantages and disadvantages and as long as you’re safe and having fun it’s all good πŸ™‚

  7. Lindsay says:

    Good for you! You’re young and single and, take it from this old married lady, you’ll miss it someday. Live your life and go on all the dates and have fun.

  8. ChelseaByChance says:

    Glad you knew right away that the relationship wasn’t right for you and wasn’t going to work. I feel like I know so many women who stay with guys who’ve cheated because one, they’ve convinced themselves that no better man out there exist, and two, they think they’re really in love, and the relationship can truly work.

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