update | on dating

Monday, 27 April 2015

hint: it's exhausting.

it's been about a year now since i became single again. for three years prior to that, i was in (what i considered to be, at the time) a pretty good relationship. in hindsight, it wasn't, and my priorities were wrong; i thought i was in a happy relationship because i shared the rent on a really cute flat with, saved for holidays with, and split all financial responsibilities with him. we thrifted furniture together, we hung out at weekends together, we did a lot of things i liked to do, together. he made me laugh, and he cooked and cleaned and that's all great, right? the only problem there was i wasn't in love with him, and i'm sure he wasn't with me either. we spent a lot of time sleeping separately (i have a sleep disorder, and he was a heavy snorer), and eventually we just realised we were more flatmates than anything else (oh, that, and he was a complete and utter liar, cheat, and psychopath, but that's another story), and so he moved out, and i was single in london once more.

i'd been with him almost for as long as i'd been in london. i'd arrived in late december, and started seeing him april/may of the first year. being single in london was something i was not prepared for, and with all the tinder horror stories my friends had fed me while i was still naively happy in my unhappy relationship, i didn't know what i was going to do. i did everything with him, was not keen on going 'out-out', and my hobbies were all bound indoors - how was i ever going to meet someone new? not that i was looking to replace one with another, at all, but... i like having a boyfriend. not because i'm anti-feminist and i need a man to look after me - if anything, the exact opposite; i like taking care of people. until it's a case of mothering them and reminding them to save money and pay bills and buy toilet paper instead of new trainers, then no. but to suddenly be on my own, alone in 'our' flat (which in hindsight... i did buy most things for. i am a very house proud person, ok), with our (my) things, in our (my) bed, but now, i was alone.

and i fucking loved it. besides the first week where i slept with all the lights on and a chair by the front door in case burglars tried to break in and kill me, i revelled in being alone. i've always been ok on my own, and i quite often prefer my own company to anyone else's anyway, so it was really easy for me to be alone and not be lonely. i had my friends at the other end of the phone, up the street, and not too far away on the train if i needed them, but i rarely did. i took to being alone a lot better than i think people expected, but to me, it wasn't difficult... at all. the hardest part was managing financially.

i was pretty strapped for cash, having to pay the rent on a one-bed alone on my measly salary was crippling after having basically been living with a somewhat disposable income (sharesies saves loaaads of money, yo), so i spent those last two months in that flat watching a lot of gossip girl, eating a lot of ramen, and saving water by only doing the dishes once a week (at least that's what i told myself, i was mostly annoyed at having to be the one cooking and cleaning all of a sudden). I wasn't going out much because of the cash sitch, so about a month in, while knee deep in season three of gossip girl, i decided to give tinder a go. i'd heard mostly bad things about the app, but it sounded like it could be a fun way to pass the time. there's nothing like the shallow and instant satisfaction of 'matching' with a guy you'd never even consider talking to in reality, is there?
i remember the first time i matched with someone, i threw my phone across the sofa, hoping he hadn't seen me - unicorn pjs and un-made face - not realising that's not quite how it worked. the satisfaction of the hunks matching with me was quickly lost when they turned out to either a) have not any banter, or b) not bother to even message me, making me wonder curiously why on earth they'd bothered swiping right for me in the first place. my profile caption was hilarious (obviously), and my photos captured my kooky, quirky personality...i was basically a catch...right?

shortly after i'd moved out of my flat and into my new one, i had my first tinder date with 'r'. we had loads in common (music, mostly), and he seemed funny and had a decent job. i mean, my standards were pretty low, ok? we met in soho square, and went and got plastered in many pubs around the west end. we hit it off, and we had a really fun time together, so i saw him a couple more times after that. he lived near me and i'd go out drinking with him and his friends, a lot, and i think he thought he was getting a girlfriend out of me, which was a shame, because i wasn't ready for that. we had 'that chat' and decided we'd be good mates, and left it there. i've seen  him a couple of times since, but that's it. not bad for a first attempt though, right? especially when all my friends were always bemoaning the creepy, short, lying, sex-craved men they met on tinder. thankfully, 'r' was not quite there.

then there was 'husband', thusly named because within an hour of matching with him, we were planning our wedding. why? couldn't remember if i tried. he lived out of london, which made meeting him for reals quite hard. we had nothing in common, but lots to talk about. he mostly told me how pretty i was all the time, which i totally needed at the time. when we did meet, we had been chatting for about a month, so it was a shock to realise that he actually looked nothing like his pictures, and i didn't actually find him attractive. having had put so much into it, and not wanting to be that girl that lets someone down because of how they look, i agreed to see him again. and again. and a couple times after that. ultimately, i wasn't feeling it for this kid, and 'husband' shortly became 'ex husband', with promises of keeping in touch, which obviously fell by the wayside because i am a terrible person, and there are plenty more fish in the sea.

by now i'd started my new job, had a new flat, and was thriving in my new, single life. dating was exciting, meeting new people was fun, but bloody expensive. around my birthday in september, i decided it was probably time to start the hunt for a #winterboyfriend. you know, a warm body on the cold nights, who occasionally buys you dinner, fresh flowers and tells you you're pretty. it was a bit of a joke, but i had had a few tinder applicants. one in particular, 'dd', was super keen to fill the position - despite making it very clear very early on that he, under no circumstances, wanted a girlfriend. fine with me, because he was so very not my type, at all, but ticked a lot of those shallow boxes i had for determining who was worthy of a date. this one was self-employed, was looking to buy his first home, was currently renting his own flat, and had some excellent connections in the music industry (or, so he said). plus, he was really over six foot when they never actually are, and man aliiiive was he broad. very nice to touch.

we had fun together. we'd go out for dinners, we'd go to events (mine and his), we'd go to gigs, he even introduced me to his sister. and kissed me on the face in front of her. all the while maintaining he did not want a girlfriend. which was very confusing, as he text me 50 times a day, called me 'babe', bought special foods for me to keep at his house for when i was there, bought me a blanket because i was always cold at his, etc, etc, etc. we'd even planned to take a trip together? i know. i mean, i just don't know. this went on for almost six (six) months, before one night outside of musical bingo we had an exceptionally explosive row that resulted in him telling me 'he just wasn't in love' with me, and me laughing in his face and telling him to never speak to me again. that was february, and he hasn't. at all.
i was right back on the horse after that, because i don't actually think i had committed anything emotionally to that particular 'non-relationship'. i knew how it would end, and as far as #winterboyfriends go, he pretty much nailed the brief. despite the constant anxiety i had in my gut about it all (i'm not usually a very 'roll with the punches' kind of girl... i like to know where my next meal is coming from, and this was all very... casual), i knew he wouldn't be there if i needed him, that he thought very little of me in the grand scheme of things, and he was probably using me just as much as i was using him. and, i'm ok with that. that's life. i'm not ok with how rude and horrible he was to me that night, and shudder what to think he said to my friends that night to make then all (some of who i'd just met that night) hate him so much ("looks like he'd eaten a wasp" according to one), but - cest la vie. no point dwelling, at all.

after him, i considered blowing tinder off. i'd had a pretty good ride, and (with the exception of 'dd' and 'one that we don't speak of') i'd met some (mostly) nice guys. i took a break - literally, after that; glasgow, palma and cornwall were all in quick succession, and life was starting  to be pretty busy again. lots of birthdays, events, and... well, there's a lot of netflix to watch to get your value for money. a lot of my friends are coupled up, or with babies now, and my hobbies (shopping and blogging) are all based online; i don't go to the gym, and i'd never again date someone from the office (i'd met my ex at work), so... where else do you meet people organically? at the supermarket? at the train station? tinder was easy, took the hard work out of terrible pick up lines, and you literally hold all the power in the palm of your hand. so. i gave in, and gave tinder another try.

and, i have been seeing a very nice guy for the last couple of weeks. he is so not my type that it must mean he's going to be 'the one', right? he is cleverer than me (i usually prefer them a bit dim), is funnier than me (so he says), is a little bit weird like me (weird is good, it keeps things interesting), and sometimes uses words that i have to google later to understand. he tells me off when i've been bratty and doesn't let me win an argument just because i shout louder over the top of him. he's logical and reasonable, and doesn't try to placate me because i have a pretty face. although, he does call me 'pretty erica', and i do really like that. he always smells of peppermint, and i like that too. he is lovely, and i am sure i will break his heart (it's how i roll), but at least he will have been duly warned. [edit: such is my fickle heart, but 'peppermint' (as you all so lovingly named him) is no longer a romantic prospect. never fear, i'm totally happy just doing me for now.]

and now, dear mother, you can count yourself satisfactorily updated.

3 comments:

  1. It IS exhausting! I met Allan online after a succession of unsuitable suitors but it was definitely worth it, even if only for the girly banter with friends afterwards! I hope this nice fella works out, you deserve a good 'un! x

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  2. Eaten a wasp lolzzzzz. I'm disappointed (but not surprised) that TNS didn't get a proper mention baha.

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  3. I tried tinder and online dating and always without exception attract men who just want to get laid. I'm not sure what says 'im easy' about me but that's so not what I'm looking for. I gave up and have been single for several years. Sad times x

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