Has Technology Killed off Romance?

Anyone who has had the pleasure of trying to date in the 21st Century will know how vile it is. It’s been overtaken by technology! When I was younger and people first started holding hands and ‘going out with each other’, it was easy. You’d say to someone the exact words “will you go out with me?” If they said yes, you were a couple. Done. If they said no, you walked away and moved on because they’d made it clear they weren’t interested in you. If you talk to your parents and grandparents about how they got together it would be a fairly similar, very simple thing. There wasn’t all this choice out there and hundreds of potential matches just a right swipe away. These days it’s all about one night stands, swiping left and right, basing decisions purely on photos, catfishing people with filtered and posed photos. It begs the question….

Has technology taken the romance out of dating?

Of course it has in the respect that it offers people more choice, so they’re less likely to stay in one relationship for as long as generations before us did. Too much choice confuses us all and we panic that we want to hold out for the right one. Dating apps give us all this choice. A plethora of cock and vagina if you will that overwhelms us all and makes us want to try out potential options, rather than just sticking with one who is actually pretty decent. We’re also growing up in a generation of people who are used to instant gratification. Technology in all aspects of life makes it easier to instantly get what you want and give you a buzz that temporarily makes you feel happy. You want to eat something delicious? Get on an app and order some food straight to your door. You want to watch a new film? Don’t bother with the cinema, there’s an app to get new films straight on your iPad. You don’t have to put any work into anything anymore. Gone are the days of putting in the time and effort to make a meaningful relationship work. If things get tough people walk away assuming it’s not right. It could just be a rough patch you have to work through together but instead they’re onto the next one they swipe right to trying to get that relationship high again.

Technology also gives people way more chances and means to cheat. Temptation is everywhere and more available than it’s ever been. People aren’t able to resist as much as older generations did because it’s no longer out of sight, out of mind. Not only that, but it’s easier to hide or cover up using technology. With so many different ways of contacting each other, people are finding it so much easier to cheat. God knows how though! I can’t even get one boyfriend, let alone multiple at the same time. I don’t think I even have the head space to have multiple men on the go. But I know that guys in the past have been dating me while messaging other girls. Remember Brian*? He was texting another girl while he was seeing me and used to message her while he was lying in bed next to me! On his modern technology phone he could get away with what I would consider cheating (he would disagree with me). So many people find themselves in a similar situation with technology driving a wedge between them and their significant other.

Instagram and Facebook bombard us all with images of our peers and friends in seemingly perfect relationships. Celebrity Instagram feeds show their relationships in the same way. They cherry pick the best bits of their relationships to show the world, but it doesn’t reflect the reality of the annoyance that your other half has left his dirty underwear on the floor, yet again. We look at the models with all the filters and make up and wish we could date people who look like them. Catfishing has become the norm with potential partners only seeing the best bits in photos that don’t actually look like the real thing. We set our expectations so high based on social media. The romance of getting to know somebody and falling in love with a personality is slowing slipping away from us. The romance of spending time with someone and actually talking, rather than checking your phone or trying to get the next Instagram photo, is gone. I know I do it too sometimes! Younger generations want the perfect aesthetics for their social media feeds. You could have the best personality but if you’re not hot enough then you don’t make the cut for a relationship. If your look doesn’t fit on the other person’s Instagram grid (see I’ve got the lingo) then it’s a no go. Does this mean technology has ruined romance?

On the other hand it has improved dating for some people. Long distance relationships work even better now with video calling, WiFi messaging that is free and even underwear with sensors and sex toys in so you can kind of have sex with each other miles apart. It’s crazy! Modern technology in dating also gives you the opportunity to meet potential partners you might never have crossed paths with. It gives us the means to keep in touch with potential partners even when our lives get a little busy. By chatting to each other via messaging before hand, you can figure out much earlier on if you’re suited to each other or not. It saves wasting time and energy going on lots of dates before finding out they’re wrong for you. But then does that fall into the same category as instant gratification? That need for every aspect of a relationship being sped up. Who knows, because I certainly don’t.

People can’t cope with too much choice because they’re so scared of settling for the wrong person. They strive for perfect and are obsessed with greener grass which unfortunately, technology aids via dating apps. The influx of dating apps means we have to keep up with them all to get the best potential matches only a swipe away. You have to get your A game on when it comes to opening messages to make sure you grab attention. We’re a generation always keeping busy, being handed lazy dating techniques and we just can’t cope with them. More people between the ages of 18 to 30 are single now than they have ever been! Granted, we’re a bigger population but still. It speaks volumes. Let’s give ourselves a break, put our phones down for an evening and maybe just chat to someone in person. Dating may not have killed romance, but it’s definitely changed it. Who knows whether it’s for better or for worse.

Advertisements

Ridin’ Solo in Wedding Season

It’s the summer of 2019 and wedding season is in full swing. I am unfortunately of an age where my friends are all getting married. All of my annual leave each year is being sucked dry by weddings and hen dos. I love my friends and I wouldn’t miss these events for the world so please still invite me people! But it does sometimes suck when you’re single. One of the worst parts about being single at 29 is that none of your friends are single too. You’re getting all these invites to your closest friends’ weddings but every time you open them up you see it’s just your lonely little name on the invite. There’s no plus one, no “and” with the name of your partner. It’s your name, standing alone at the top of that piece of paper (or card if it’s fancy). You feel your heart drop out of your arse and the anxiety start to rise in the pit of your stomach about the fact you might be the only single person there. Trust me, I feel you! If it helps at all, I went to a wedding last year where the bride joked that I was “difficult to sit because I made things an odd number”. Hilarious. So funny in fact that I cried with laughter (spoiler alert… they were not tears of laughter). This year, I’ve gone into wedding season with a whole new outlook and I’m hoping I can encourage you to do the same. Rather than seeing your name alone on that invite and feeling an impending sense of doom, look at your name standing proudly up there on the invitation and remember the honour you should feel that your friends want to share their incredibly special day with you. They don’t want you distracted by a plus one that you’ll have to introduce to everyone and look after. They want to spend the day with you and they want you on your top form. 

The first thing I always do is figure out what I’m going to wear. Now I bust a gut working two jobs and very rarely have days off so, if like me, you don’t have spare money to blow on a new dress, go second hand. I tend to re-wear items I already have in my wardrobe as well but just wear my hair differently. Don’t spend loads of money on new stuff if you don’t need to. Besides, fast fashion isn’t sustainable so we’re being good to the World too. One of my favourite wedding outfits I bought was on eBay. I then decided to spend the money I’d saved on having my make up done for the day. Once I’ve decided what I’m wearing, that’s a big battle done. Choose something that will make you feel confident and something that makes you feel beautiful, because you are. Being single during wedding season can make you feel miserable about yourself. It really tugs at my self esteem and reminds me I’m not good enough to be loved or to marry. First of all, this isn’t true. More importantly, this is why you need to feel good about yourself for the event. If that’s done by buying a new dress, do it. If you feel good having your make up done, do it. If all you need is a Snickers bar in the car before you walk into that church… DO IT! Whatever it is that will give you a positive self esteem or confidence boost to get into that wedding venue, you absolutely do you.

If you’re worrying you might not know many people, ask the bride or groom who you’re sitting on a table with. Not only will you find out if you’re with someone you know, but if you’re not then you have conversation starters to get to know them already. You can ask the bride/groom who they all are and prep chatting to them about whatever she/he says before hand. If you’ve been to the hen or stag do, you’ve already got a load of people to talk to so aim for them when mingling. Weddings are the best time to meet new people and it’s so easy to start a conversation with “so how do you know the happy couple?”. It’s the easiest way to get chatting and you never actually know who might be single especially for you. One of my most important tips is, try to chat to people on your table. It’ll alleviate so much of your stress and worry, plus it’ll make the wedding more enjoyable for you. It also means people will walk away remembering how lovely you are. 

Next up; plan your ride. If you don’t know anyone else going to share a lift with and you want to have a few drinks, book taxis before hand or plan public transport. If you want to stay in a hotel then absolutely treat yourself and book it before. I don’t actually mind staying sober so sometimes if I’m hitting up a wedding solo, I’ll drive myself. It means I can leave when I want to and I’m only working on my time. If you can’t face doing the wedding solo and sober, plan ahead! If you leave it to the last minute, it’ll cause more stress and you won’t want to go at all. Plan ahead. Plan ahead. Plan ahead. Was that clear enough? The anxiety about something is normally worse than the actual thing itself so if you take this in bite size pieces, it’ll feel easier. One bite size piece is planning your ride or hotel in advance. 

The most important thing you can do when you’re hitting up weddings single is to own it. Own being single and don’t let it drag you down. Last year at a wedding somebody came over the mic and announced that the bride was going to throw the bouquet. Booming through the speakers came the sentence “so all the single ladies come and join us” to which I naturally stood up. That might possibly have been the saddest sight for everyone else in that room. One, lonely, single girl standing up on her own. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that only I stood up and tumbleweeds rolled across the floor. Then came the awkward moment where I looked around searching for safety, the guy on the mic turned towards me with a panicked look in his eyes. People sat around the room stared at me. You know when you’re looking at something that’s so embarrassing for another person and you’re cringing? You can feel how mortifying it is for them, your face can’t hide how embarrassed you are for them and you want to try and help. But. You. Just. Can’t. Look. Away. That’s what it was like. The guy on the mic looking at me with his pained, sympathetic expression quickly tried to add “um. Let’s get all the unmarried women in the room up for the bouquet.” Obviously a load of other women started to get up one by one and make jokes with their partners. Fuck the bouquet, I don’t even want it! I sat down and drank more wine. Looking back, I wish I had stood up and absolutely owned my single status. I should have said loudly “just give me the bouquet” and laughed. Throughout the rest of the night, people were saying how jealous they were of my single life and jet-setting around the world with no responsibilities at home. I am lucky and I’m living my single life in different countries around the World with nobody moaning that they want me home more. 

So my plea to you is that you do single status at weddings better than I did last year and do it the way I’m doing it this year. Own your singledom. Be the President of your Kingdom that has you standing proudly on your own. Drink your drinks. Chat to people and make new friends. Eat delicious wedding food and cake. Take photos. Smile and laugh. Being at a wedding single can sometimes be a blessing. You don’t have to keep an eye on your plus one. You don’t have to introduce someone to everybody there and have them following you around because they don’t know anybody. You are free to see whoever you want and do whatever you want. If there is ever a moment it’s all getting too much, take yourself off for a little break and just chill. Collect your thoughts and get back out there. You’ve got this. 

Do I Need To Be a Bitch?

I don’t normally write reviews that aren’t about bad dates or men and I appreciate that this is a little different to what I normally write, however it is relevant. I was recommended a book by a colleague one fateful day and she loved my blog but said I really should read this particular bestseller. Shout out to Ciara Carter for recommending it to me. Big love to you. The book is called ‘Why Men Love Bitches’ and was written by New York Times bestselling author Sherry Argov. Obviously I already loved the title as soon as I heard it. It’s not necessarily that I agree with it as fact but I’ve always been intrigued as to why men don’t like nice girls: I suppose in the exact same way that the old ‘nice guys finish last’ belief rings true also. For the first time in my writing career (yes, that’s exactly what I’m calling it; my writing career) I was about to do some research that didn’t involve me having to go on bad dates or encounter shit men and have my feelings hurt. I was evolving into a somewhat journalist. Alright fine, I might be getting carried away with it all but let me have this. 

For the purpose of referencing correctly but also because this is not my University dissertation, I’m not going to sit and write the reference after every quote I use. I will quote a lot from the book and will write the page number after. For the sake of this blog post I will make it clear that I am using the 2009 edition of Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov published by Adams Media, MA USA. 

I won’t lie to you because I never do, this book took me a while to read. I’ve always been a quick reader but I kind of struggled with this one. I couldn’t get into it quickly and it didn’t have me gripped and keen to continue reading. I do prefer fiction literature so my personal preference held me back a little on this one. When I started the book I was a little disappointed as I felt like Sherry Argov was basically telling me not to be myself at all or no one will ever love me. She mentioned things girls do that turn men off and I kept thinking to myself “oh my God, I do these things and that’s why I’ll stay single forever”. I felt disheartened for the first three chapters at least. Now that I’ve read the whole book I can honestly say please don’t let it put you off if you feel the same way I did. The more I read on, the more I realised that Argov is not saying don’t be yourself, she’s giving us tools and advice on how to just change up your strategies slightly when it comes to men. Argov describes in the Introduction what she means when using the term Bitch in the title. She’s not describing a literal bitch or nasty woman. She’s using the word to describe a woman who is ‘kind yet strong. She has a strength that is ever so subtle. She doesn’t give up her life, and she won’t chase a man. She won’t let a man think he has a 100 percent “hold” on her. And she’ll stand up for herself when he steps over the line.’ [page xiii] Now, let’s all be honest here and admit that we’ve all been in positions where we’ve maybe let a man have more control in a relationship. We’ve all been there where we’ve given up a date with friends or a fitness class to fit in seeing a guy we like because it fits in with his schedule. What the book is telling us is to not do that! Argov is telling us not to make our lives fit around his because he will never do the same for us. I’ll look at this more later on. 

Argov uses this book to address ‘the very issues that men won’t. He won’t say, “Look, don’t be a doormat,” “Don’t always say yes,” “Don’t revolve your whole world around me.” [page xv]. Apparently men won’t tell us these things. We have to read minds and figure it out ourselves so we can then equip ourselves with the manipulation methods to get past the said issues. I knew dating and relationships were a minefield but I had no idea I had to now learn battle tactics. Throughout the entire book, Argov repeatedly reminds us that we have to find ways to subtly manipulate men to do what we want. Being honest is not the way forward apparently which frustrated me when reading because I’ve always tried to pride myself on being honest and open. I’m now being told this doesn’t work on men! They are not attracted to honesty about certain things and won’t listen to you if you are. One example I loved, however, and may actually end up using at some point was in Chapter 4 where Argov is explaining Attraction Principles and being ‘Dumb Like A Fox’. She uses an example of manipulation that is so golden, I even folded down the page! 

‘The dumb fox doesn’t give up power, she simply creates the appearance that she does… A woman I know named Michelle told me about a man she’s seeing. On the second date, he asked her if she’d drive to his place… She ignored the request and very sweetly asked, “Would you prefer to get together another night? If tonight is inconvenient, I do understand”. Michelle averted the question completely. She didn’t act upset or tell him what to do.’ [page 91]

The reason I love this so much is because I’ve been in that situation countless times! I’ve been asked over and over to drive over or to drive further. Basically men ask me indirectly to make more effort than them and more times than I care to admit, I’ve done it. I’ve gone out of my way because it suited them. Why?? Because I’m an idiot and I thought it would make them like me more. Argov sets out in this book to prove that it has the opposite effect. If a guy likes you, he’ll make some effort. If we start in the beginning by making more effort than him, it’ll always be like that because it sets a precedent. He will respect us less and will get bored of us more quickly. As frustrating as this truth is to read about, I can’t help but look back over my own dating experiences and the one long term relationship I’ve had and feel….. it’s right! I can almost pin point where men had got bored of me and almost every time it’s because I’ve been stupid enough to make more effort than them. 

Further on through Chapter 4, Argov hits us with some more truths we wished we didn’t read. We all want to believe that in the beginning guys are 100% honest with us about their intentions but, given that this blog even exists and so many people enjoy the honesty of it, we all know that they are never completely open with us; especially when it comes to their intentions. Argov writes ‘the nice girl believes everything she’s told because it sounds good, which puts her out there to get hurt. The fox knows that, in the beginning, a man is likely to “flower up” his intentions’ [page 97]. Argov even gives us a handy table which essentially deciphers the actual meaning of certain phrases many men use in the beginning of dating. You’ll see this decrypted Da Vinci code style translation below, 

LRM_EXPORT_12332383468409_20190804_122747219.jpeg[page 97] 

Argov continues by insisting that we must not let a man know that we see through his initial shimmer of a white knight. We have to pretend we believe him when he uses phrases from the table above because if he thinks we are fooled, he is more likely to let his true colours show even quicker than usual. Argov thinks of everything because she even gives examples of how a guy will gaslight you if you call him out on his shit too quickly. You might see through his dress up, nice guy act but you should never let him know that straight away. She rightly says ‘when you tell someone who may be manipulating you what you observe, he will immediately try to talk you out of it. He’ll say “you’re insecure” or “you’re prejudging me”. Are you prejudging him? You had better be. The only mistake is letting him know it.’ [page 98] 

Reading further into the book I got more upset because Argov echoed so much that I had done in my past, without even realising I was doing it, or that it was the wrong way to go about things. Chapter 5 is titled ‘Jumping Through Hoops Like a Circus Poodle’ and is all about how women give themselves away to please a man. It delves into the mindset of women who choose to adjust their lives for a man hoping that he might do the same for her. We all want to believe that if someone cares about us enough they will make space in their lives for us. Newsflash… THEY WON’T. No man will change his life to fit you in. Not only that but no man will ever really understand just how much you’ve given up to be with him. He will never understand it because he will never make the same sacrifices for you. This is the rule. There will be people reading this who have good examples of exceptions but for everyone else we should remember the one main thing we learnt from watching the 2009 movie ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ (directed by Ken Kwapis and based on the 2004 book of the same name written by Greg Behnrendt and Liz Tuccillo). We learnt that we are not the exception. We are the rule and as the rule, men will not make the same sacrifices for us as we do for them. Reading this made me feel angry. I was annoyed that I agreed so much. I could feel myself wanting to start a riot inside about how women always adjust their lives so much to fit him in or make him happy. It’s so true! But then I took a moment. Why do women give up so much of themselves to keep a man around? He doesn’t really explicitly ask us to. He doesn’t make the same effort or sacrifices so why do we do it? We do it because we think it makes him like us more. Argov is telling us the complete opposite. What he actually wants is a bitch who stands up for herself and is confident enough to put her own life first. She doesn’t sacrifice anything in her life to fit a man into it. She acts like a man. A man will never cancel football with the boys for you. When you do the same and don’t cancel your yoga classes for him it’ll make him scratch his head and wonder why you would rather go to your class than see him. It will keep him interested. ‘When you will not drop everything to be with him… this will remind him of your worth, and invariably, he will begin to come your way’ [page 199]. So don’t sacrifice your life to prioritise him because he will not do the same for you. If he does, then keep him forever because he’s a unicorn!! 

Let’s move swiftly into Chapter 6 titled ‘Nagging No More’. Argov uses this chapter to give examples and tips on how to avoid nagging because nagging at a man will get you nowhere. Nagging leads a man to have feelings of obligation and there’s nothing sexy or desirable about obligation in the early stages of a relationship. One of my favourite examples that Argov writes about is about a woman called Diana ‘who started nagging her husband to fix a latch in the laundry room. After the third time she asked, he became so irritated that no force on Earth could get him to fix that latch. One evening some friends came over… Diana asked her friend’s husband to fix the latch… in that sweet damsel in distress tone of voice… Before she could even turn around, her husband ran up the stairs… and fixed the latch in two minutes flat.’ [page 141]. When it comes to men, being nagged at constantly will cause them to push away. Then we get into a vicious cycle of worrying that they’re pushing away so we try our hardest to encourage them to come back to us. Unfortunately, as past experiences will tell me, that doesn’t always work to the desired effect. I will always be an advocate for honesty but I’ve come to realise that when it comes to men, sometimes you have to keep a little bit back. Don’t always tell him how you’re feeling, especially if it comes to telling him you hate that he doesn’t make time for you. This is where Argov gives you more good tips in the art of manipulation. She writes ‘if he has excuses for why he isn’t spending time with you, you need to make excuses for why you can’t spend time with him. Is it a game? No. If he’s too busy and you’ve already tried telling him how you feel, it’s time to show him with your actions that he will no longer be dictating the terms’ [page 137]. Men don’t like it when we play them at their own game. If they act a certain way and you don’t like it, do it back and give them a taste of their own medicine. Rather than nagging to him about how he’s making you feel bad with his actions, treat him exactly the same way and see how he likes it. 

Recently I was texting a guy who clearly wasn’t bothered about whether we spoke or met up or not. He would only message or ask to meet up on his terms. I always had to drive to make the effort if we agreed to see each other and that was always his idea. He’d never offer to drive to me or say something like “let’s both get the train so we can have a drink together”. I always had to make the effort to travel to him or we wouldn’t see each other. Having read this book, I decided to try it out and stopped messaging him at all. Sure enough he started to initiate conversations again. If I engaged too much in messaging, he’d get distant again so I’d stop messaging. Yet again, like a predictable routine, he’d start messaging me again. I started to treat him how he treated me with messaging and he obviously didn’t like it because it caused him to send me a message. I hate playing games but evidently, men love playing them and will continue to play them. One of the games I absolutely hate, that I’ve always known men play even though they insist they don’t, is making us women feel insecure! As you know, I’m a woman who sometimes needs a little reassurance so being with a guy who wants to make me feel insecure is so damaging to my self esteem and many other women. It’s not on and they’d be furious if we did the same thing to them. Argov uses real interviews with men in Chapter 7 ‘The Other Team’s Secret Playbook’ and one guy reveals to her ‘“Sure, men play cool… I know some guys that check out a woman who isn’t even that beautiful, just to make his girlfriend a little insecure”’ [page 158]. REALLY GUYS?? This came from a man admitting that guys actually do things like that. Just putting it out there and saying that making us feel insecure about ourselves is technically emotional abuse. By doing this to us, you’re edging yourself into the category of an abuser in a relationship. This now applies to anyone in any relationship when I say, if you’ve ever done this to someone, you should be ashamed of yourself and you don’t deserve them. Emotionally abusing someone you’re supposed to love to make yourself feel better is disgusting behaviour. 

Moving on. Chapter 10 ‘Gaining Control of Your Emotions’ has a section on men playing it hot and cold. I can hear the groans coming from you all because let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been seeing a guy who turns around and gives excuses about not getting into a relationship. The one who only wants to see you when it suits him and when he’s craving attention. The hot and cold man is a fuck boy. Please see my previous post about fuckboys for more information. Argov nails it when she says ‘He’s not “hot and cold” because he’s indecisive. He’s “hot and cold” because he is manipulating you.’ [page 224] This is the guy who only contacts you when it suits him. You might think “yes, he’s interested because he’s texting me back” and you give him the attention that he wants but really, he’s just manipulating you to get what he wants while he’s finding someone else to fill the gaps. A hot and cold relationship is a red flag and an immediate sign that you are wasting your time. Run. 

Continuing on in Chapter 10, I actually found myself feeling a little upset at one section. I’d been beating myself up about all the things I’ve done wrong in my previous encounters with men. I was reading a book that was literally pointing its finger at me and telling me that I’m doing it wrong so no wonder I’m still single. Now, I will hold my hands up and admit that I have made stupid mistakes where I used sex as a way to try and find love. It wasn’t many times: I ain’t no hussy. But I have previously believed that if I slept with someone, it might make them like me. I blame daddy issues 100% and my need to look for love wherever I can find it. Going back to getting upset involves a long passage being quoted from Argov; one that I will etch into my memory forever to make sure I listen to it and I hope you will too,

‘Sex is not something you do to reward someone or to score a relationship. Sex is something you do with a man who already cares about you… This is often when the nice girl instinct kicks into overdrive. Here’s the succession of logic: “He was wonderful in the beginning… I must have screwed things up… I need to do more, work harder, jump higher…. and pick up a two-by-four and beat myself up with it by wearing myself out and telling myself I’m not worthy.” Life is hard enough; you don’t need anyone around darkening your doorstep to make it worse.’ [page 228]

She’s right. I always blame myself when things go wrong (I mean, except when a guy brings his mum on a date or punches me in the face). I always immediately think that I’ve done something to push him away or make him not like me. In reality, I need to have more self worth and act like a bitch does! The nice girl bit that we need to avoid is all about having more self worth. Argov quotes my favourite thing Eleanor Roosevelt said which is ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ [page 240]. Let’s stop giving men consent to make us feel like crap. Let’s stop giving them consent to keep us at arms length because we deserve better. 

All in all, I hated this book when I first started it. I hated reading that it was my fault that everything had gone wrong. I hated feeling like I was being told I should never be myself because nobody will love me if I am myself. The book was telling me what I already felt, that I was doing it wrong which meant I was never good enough. Then as I read on and on I came to the realisation that Argov isn’t saying don’t be yourself or that you’re not good enough. She is telling us all that we should never let a man write the terms of a relationship. She is giving us tips to manipulate men to do things without us nagging so we don’t feel like we’re not listened to. If you don’t read the whole book and only read a bit, read Chapters 10 and 11 because they are the most empowering of the entire book. They give us the much needed kick up the arse to be a bitch, not to make a man happy in a relationship, but to make us happy in life and to show ourselves the respect we deserve. We are allowed to stand up for ourselves and if a man doesn’t like it and it pushes him away, was he really the man you wanted to begin with? 

 

Even a Nice Guy Can Be a Fuck Boy

This week has really opened my eyes to the fact that no matter how nice a guy seems for however many years, he can still revert to ‘Fuck Boy’ tendencies. For anyone reading this who isn’t familiar with the term ‘Fuck Boy’, I have taken the liberty of researching it and the most accurate one comes from Urban Dictionary and reads as follows

Asshole boy who is into strictly sexual relationships; he will lead a girl on and let her down, then apologise only to ask for “pics” once the girl has welcomed him back into her trust. Boys like this will pretend to genuinely care about the girl… he has to hangout on his terms which could be whimsical… and if the girl rejects those plans… he will get pissed… If a girl tries to stand up to this asshole he will most likely deny everything and turn it all around on the girl making it seem as though… he has done nothing wrong.

(https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fuckboy)

 

I’d say that pretty much nails it! I feel I need a disclaimer here, so… For the purpose of this post it’s important for me to mention the fact that I am a heterosexual female and can only talk about my experiences with heterosexual men. I can only give an account that unfortunately isn’t inclusive of all sexual preferences and partners. Of course I have no doubt that there are plenty of women who also act the same way. I know plenty of people in same sex relationships who have told me their accounts of previous partners who acted like fuck boys.  I am only able to tell of my experiences.

I’ll be clear from the start and say I have no criticism of someone who wants a strictly sexual relationship, as long as the other person in it agrees and is aware that it’s strictly sexual. The main trait of a fuck boy is the fact they are not open about it being purely physical and they lead a girl on until it is, then get rid of her or keep her at arms length. He’ll see her on his terms and commonly will engage in on/off relationships with her so it works when he wants it but doesn’t when it no longer suits him. He’ll make her feel special to keep her around but will be very vague about future planning and will often be flakey with plans. If she calls him out on his behaviour he’ll call her paranoid or psycho and make it seem like the problems are all her fault. He’ll treat her like his girlfriend but will never make her his. He’s all about a special bond but never a relationship. He’ll be pissed off if she dates anyone else but he’ll have a plethora of girls on the go. Sound familiar? You my friend, have fallen victim to a fuck boy. Don’t worry, most of us have. It’s hard to spot them and we don’t want to believe we’re naive enough to fall for one.

The reason for this particular post is because recently I was hurt. I wasn’t screwed over by a fuck boy (I like to think I’ve had my fair share and have learnt to avoid them) but I was hurt because I watched someone very close to me act like a fuck boy. I’ve known this man since I was 7 years old and we have a close friendship. I love him the way a sister loves a brother. He’s always been a very kind, caring, considerate and respectful man but I had to stand by and watch him behave in a way that I hate. It was really hard. He was leading a girl on; taking her on dates, inviting her to his to cook a romantic dinner and having nights away with her. I assumed he was moving into a relationship with her based on these behaviours but when I asked him about it he replied “nah I’m not looking for a relationship but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for a shag”. I asked him if she knew it was just for a few rolls in the hay and he said yes. I knew he was lying. I was gutted. This man I thought treated girls so well. This man who had watched so many men screw me over by leading me on with zero intention of caring for me, was doing exactly what they did. All the times he had hugged me and told me I’d find someone amazing and that not all men acted so badly felt completely empty now. My heart suddenly cried out for the girl, a complete stranger to me. She had no idea she was being used.

Many men will read this and think this man did nothing wrong. That’s the problem. It may come as a shock to you but not all women are desperate for relationships. If you were completely honest about your intentions from the start, she might surprise you. You don’t have to trick a woman into thinking you want a relationship with her just for sex. I’ve used this quote before but it seems apt for this now

The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her

Bob Marley said that. If you’re not sure how you feel about someone then fair enough, sometimes you have to go on a few dates to see how you feel but don’t intentionally lead a girl on just to make yourself feel better. Don’t pretend to be interested only to turn it all around and make it seem like she’s crazy. Some people are a little intense when it comes to relationships but every so often it’s been caused by a fuck boy trying to tell her she’s a psycho. Even more often she’s acting like one because this fuck boy has suddenly stopped being the loving, caring ‘boyfriend’ he pretended to be in the beginning. She’s so unsure of what’s going on because he won’t be honest with her.

I was dealing with a fuck boy earlier this year. I kind of knew he was one before he asked me on a date but we get on so well as friends, I figured I’d give it a chance. He seemed keen and was trying really hard to fit in some time to meet up. I wasn’t too fussed but my lack of interest seemed to fuel his even more. We met for a coffee one afternoon and had such a good time. We laughed like we always do as friends, we caught up on our lives and flirted a little. As we said goodbye he told me he’d had a really good time and we should do it again. With my experience, I figured it was another empty promise from another empty potential suitor. I heard nothing for a week so I wrote it off. Then out of the blue, I receive a text asking to meet up again. Ball was in my court because I was going away on a work trip so was too busy to see him. If he tried to rearrange then I know he’s genuinely keen (sort of). Surprise, surprise, he did not try. Two weeks of absolutely nothing from him went by and then suddenly…. another text message asking if I wanted to catch up. My guess is it didn’t work out with his Plan A girl that I was running parallel to but slightly behind. I’m his Plan B. In all honesty I’m probably more like his Plan F but the others before didn’t pan out and he’s feeling lonely. He’s a good looking guy; he could get a lot of girls. Looks wise he’s out of my league. Personality wise, I’m out of his. I am allowed to say this despite how big headed it might make me sound. I’ve worked a lot on my personality and how I treat people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware I might have made this up in my head and maybe he is interested but given my background in dating, I think I’m probably not far off on this one. We’ll see how it all pans out but chances are, if he keeps waiting weeks but tries to keep me loosely on hand, I’m done.

So, fuck boys of the world. I see you. We are starting to see you even more than we used to. We recognise your behaviours that manipulate us. We recognise the red flags and warning signs. We are becoming strong enough to walk away because we know that we deserve better.

Theo* – Event Planner

Once again, I put my faith in Tinder to help me find a decent suitor. Once again, I was left disappointed but with another story. As we all know, I love a good dating story; especially a miserable one that doesn’t work out the way we’re hoping it would.

After matching on Tinder with Theo* and striking up a conversation, we chatted on the app for a few weeks until he made the plunge and asked me for my number so we could move over to texting on a popular messaging app. This exchange continued for a few weeks and actually seemed fairly normal to begin with. Theo was funny, intelligent and easy to talk to. Messages flowed effortlessly between us so it seemed promising. He suggested we meet up for dinner and I named a place easy for both of us. I won’t bore you with the details of planning the date because that’s not where the fun happens! The actual date is always what brings the decent stories here to An Education in Dating.

We had a table booked but agreed to meet a little earlier so we could have a drink first and ease into the night. It was the first time meeting each other in person after all so at least we could abort mission if one of us was a catfish. With drinks you can make an excuse or just run while they’re in the toilet (side note: I would never actually run while someone is in the toilet). With dinner you have to sit through the entire meal and just eat really quickly knowing that the impending inevitable indigestion is coming. I have to admit that the drinks bit was actually alright. Conversation flowed as effortlessly as it always had over text. It was comforting to talk to him in person and realise he wasn’t a catfish. Our table was ready so we moved over and prepared for food!

Something to note here is that I was driving so I’d had my one alcoholic drink for the night and was moving onto soft drinks with dinner. Theo was not driving and ordered an entire bottle of wine with his meal. An entire bottle that he was going to drink to himself. On a first date. With a girl he’d literally just met for the first time. All after the two drinks he’d already had while I had my one before dinner. Just let that set the tone and sink in.

We ordered our meals, I sipped on my glass of diet coke while he necked another glass from his bottle of wine. The more drunk he started to get, the more sober I was. That’s saying something because I started completely sober! The food was delicious but the company I was in started to go downhill. He was getting louder and more obnoxious as the wine in the bottle continued to evaporate… into his mouth that I wanted to punch at this point. Other patrons in the restaurant were looking round with judging eyes at our table because it was the source of the drunken arsehole making all of the noise and making crude jokes about the waitress’ ample bosom. Lord, kill me now. The conversation then took a different turn when he said the sentence “I can never tell when you’ve read my messages”. He was sneaky with this one because even though it was clearly rhetorical, I still felt like I had to defend myself to him on the subject; this drunken arsehole. I explained to him that I had turned off the read receipts feature on my messaging app and that I had also switched off the last seen feature. I like having some privacy and anonymity with my messaging. I don’t like people knowing when I’ve last been online or whether I’ve read their messages and chosen to ignore them or, more likely, been too busy to reply in that moment. If I have my phone nearby and have the time to, I will reply. If I haven’t replied, then I’m busy or at work! He didn’t accept my answer. Instead he chose to repeat himself and make it sound like he was genuinely annoyed about the fact he didn’t have ultimate control. I was met with “Well, it’s really annoying that I can’t see if you’ve read my messages or not.” RED FLAG. I repeat. RED FLAG!! Why should he know when I’ve read his messages or not? I’m a grown ass woman and I have every right to keep some privacy when it comes to the settings on MY messaging app on MY phone. So now I’m sat finishing a dinner with a drunk guy who is clearly an absolute control freak and I just want to go home and debate why I bother with this dating malarkey anymore.

Finally, dinner was finished. Obviously I was so full I couldn’t possibly fit in any dessert (even though there was a bloody delicious looking cheesecake on the menu) so I suggested, probably way too enthusiastically, that we get the bill. I insisted we split the food equally. He can pay for his own bloody booze and this way I owe him nothing in terms of a second date because I’ve paid for half. As we got up to go our separate ways and release me from this pain, he turned and asked me for a lift home… He lives in the opposite direction to me from where we were. I will always happily drop someone home if they live on my way and I have done in the past but this guy is still technically a stranger. Also he’s a pain in the arse and the thought of driving out of my way to drop him home where I’m trapped in a confined space with him, was not high on my to do list. I apologised and said I was staying in town at one of my friend’s houses so wouldn’t be going back to my car. Then I made sure to walk the complete opposite way to him after an awkward hug, only to then stand and wait for 15 minutes and walk back the way he went just so I didn’t have to walk with him. The things we do.

The aftermath of the date remained fairly quiet and we didn’t text any more which was good for me because I wasn’t rushing to see him again. Obviously he knew I wasn’t over the moon about the date. Then a little over a week ago (4 months after our date) he messaged me out of the blue! He messaged saying he wanted to get in touch and see how I was doing. He said he was thinking about me and curious to know how I was getting on. That’s really nice, thank you but at the end of the day, you’re still the guy who wanted to know when I had read messages and got drunk on our first date. You’re also the guy who genuinely got pissed off that I like to have some privacy. Not really a good sign mate. I’m hoping he was just nervous and it didn’t manifest in the best way. I wish Theo all the best in his endeavours.

Falling in Love with My Mental Health

I want to highlight the importance of mental health and dating. I wasn’t really sure how to approach this subject as it can be sensitive for some but mental health has such a huge part to play in dating, especially in modern dating, that I couldn’t really ignore it. Especially while I’m at a crucial turning point in my own mental health journey. My personal mental health is currently in the best state, generally, that it’s ever been in. Obviously there are still good days and bad days (just like everybody else) but as a whole, I’m more aware of the bad days and how to manage them and I am able to recognise when I’m self sabotaging. Yay me!

Hi, I’m Georgie and I suffer from low self esteem, feelings of low self worth and anxiety (once diagnosed in me as social phobic disorder but now mostly generalised anxiety). This is the bit where I imagine you all to, in complete synchronicity, say ‘Hi Georgie’ like an AA meeting. During my dating life and my journey to conquer love, mental health has played a vital role, not just for me but for some of my frogs as well. The more I’ve tried to look for relationships with other people, the more obvious it’s become to me that I need to have a good relationship with my own mental health. We all do. I know, you’ve heard this all before. So many Instagram pages have ridiculous pictures of oceans or mountains or the night sky glittered with stars; and over the picture there’ll be some sappy inspirational quote about loving yourself first and you’re the most important relationship to be in blah blah blah. As cringe inducing as these quotes and pictures are… it’s true.

I’ve spent years trying to find someone to love me (not that desperately I would like to clarify). Everybody has their own stuff that stems from different experiences in early life. My most significant was of course my Dad leaving. To a toddler, that’s very confusing and caused a lot of self doubt. Then being rejected by him at eleven and again at twenty six strengthened my negative views of myself. It meant I grew up with issues around my self worth. I constantly felt like I wasn’t good enough and that I never would be for anyone. But I was so desperate to find love and be loved by another person that I wasn’t going to give up. As an adult, I can tend to keep people at arm’s length to protect myself from the same feelings of abandonment that little 4 year old me felt all those years ago. Keeping people distant can cause problems when it comes to dating. Duh George. On the flip side, I can sometimes be too much of a people pleaser to try and make them stay and love me. Also not a healthy way of doing it. Other times I can end up on dates with guys I have zero interest in because I’m scared of hurting their feelings, regardless of my own. On the brink of turning 29, I’m finding the healthy balance of the lot. At least, I think I am.

Dating with low self worth and anxiety can be easy on good days because it doesn’t affect me at all sometimes. When it’s bad, it means avoiding social situations because you feel so convinced that you’re too ugly for anyone to be attracted to you or even talk to you. It can mean wondering what’s the point because you walk into a room and you feel completely invisible (yes I understand that it seems strange you feel too ugly but also invisible. Anxiety doesn’t make sense). Nobody will look up like they do for your beautiful friends. Nobody notices you even walked into the room. The low self worth makes you feel like you’re not good enough for anyone to love or even want to be around. The anxiety part makes you want to avoid all situations like this. It makes your heart race to the point it feels like it might burst through your chest. It can build up to a panic that people are looking at you and judging how ugly you are. You could be feeling good, chatting to a guy one minute, but then because he’s walked off and talked to a different girl you immediately tell yourself it’s because you’re not good enough. He’s spotted someone better. The anxiety will keep your brain moving at 100mph with all different thoughts bouncing through your head, normally negative ones. At one point it got so bad that I couldn’t sleep. My brain was so confused with my deep rooted feelings of loneliness that subconsciously it would be telling me someone was in my house at night. I’d be drifting off to sleep and any noise would cause my brain to go into overdrive, planting anxious feelings that I wasn’t alone in my house, in my room. Then, I’d be awake. Anxiety can play with your subconscious feelings; the ones you don’t even know you have. I didn’t even know I felt that lonely until suddenly my brain was telling me, in the most horrendous way, that I wasn’t alone in my empty house. Anxiety makes dating and relationships a little more difficult. It makes you feel a little more fragile. It makes you question everything; doubt everything. As if dating isn’t hard enough already.

I will always say you should be honest about your mental health with someone. Don’t get me wrong, hold back for the first bit! I’m not saying let it all spill out on the first date for Christ sake. I’m saying that when things start to get serious it’s ok to tell the other person that you struggle some days. They’ll be able to understand more if you let them in. If you’re aware of your mental health state and accept it then you’ll find ways to manage it and have healthy relationships. Listen to me talking like some kind of expert. Where’s my boyfriend again? Oh yeah, single and ready to mingle. Alone and ready to bone. But you know what I’m saying makes sense.

In the past, I’ve dated guys with depression, anxiety, low self esteem and one who was completely narcissistic. Unfortunately because most of them weren’t aware of how to manage their mental health on bad days, I got the brunt of it. I’d have days where the guy I was dating couldn’t touch me or even look at me because he was having a bad day. One made it very clear I wasn’t good enough for him. He was always looking for something better. That’s really great for a girl with low self esteem. One minute you feel on top of the world with someone and your negative issues melt away. The next minute the person you care about or even love, can make you feel like every negative thought you ever had about yourself are all true. But what I’ve learned is that none of that was about me. Every guy who made me feel like that was the one who was struggling more to deal with how they felt. They are just starting out their mental health journey whereas I’m much further along. They’re still at the stage of fighting it rather than accepting it. I was there once too. Relationships will work if both parties are accepting. If one is just learning about their mental health state and still fighting it or looking for a quick fix; your relationship might but probably won’t work. I learned the hard way. But it was never about me not being good enough because another thing I’ve come to realise is that, and excuse me if I sound big headed here but, I’m awesome! If you’ve ever been knocked down by someone who makes you feel less than you are, remember that it’s not about you. That’s them struggling to deal with their own feelings about themselves. Read my lips (or words. You get what I mean). You are awesome! They’re just still growing whereas you’ve bloomed. They’ll get there but you have to keep blooming while they do.

I joke about it with my friends that I’m what you’d consider a grow-er, not a show-er. I’m never going to be some incredibly beautiful woman that turns heads. So I might not be much to look at but when you get to know me, you’ll realise I’m kind, generous, fun loving and if I do say so myself I’m really fucking funny! No matter how much my brain tells me I’m not good enough, I remind myself that actually I’m a good person and I have so many attributes that people would look for in a partner over a Victoria’s Secret model exterior any day. If they would rather the exterior then, are they really the kind of person I’d want to be with anyway? That’s kind of how I realised my ex breaking up with me was a good thing. My mental health was being dragged through the mud and I know that’s not what I want from somebody who is meant to love me.

So if you’re going to love me please know that I am fragile every so often. Please know that my Instagram photos are a sign of low self esteem rather than vanity. Know that I am strong enough, despite my vulnerability sometimes, to support you if you need it and also to know when my mental health is more important than trying to please you. Know that I will make you laugh and cry and I’ll inspire interesting conversation topics. Know that some days I’ll frustrate you because I’ll worry about what day it is but then you’ll remember why you love me and help me feel better. Know that some days I might need a cuddle but I am strong enough to push you away if you choose to hurt me. I will not chase you if you act like a dick. So, if you’re going to love me, know that I may need a little more reassurance sometimes but I know I’m getting there. Fuck me, it’s taken long enough!! But I am getting there. Slow and steady wins the race after all eh?

How NOT to Flirt with a Girl Working in Hospitality.

I currently work two jobs. My main, full time job is working as Cabin Crew but on the side I also work shifts in a pub. Although my Cabin Crew role involves a lot more than people think, I suppose I’d still consider some aspects as part of a hospitality role; at least for the purposes of this blog post I will. Unfortunately in both roles I, like many other women in similar jobs, am faced with the absolute joy of men who think they are God’s gift to women and will make you weak at the knees with their flirting advances. Obviously I have worked with many men who have encountered similar situations but I can only write about what I, myself have endured.

So, Gentlemen, please rethink your flirting strategies before you decide to do any of the things below. These techniques do not work at all!

1. Telling Us To Smile

One of my pet hates is when a guy thinks he has the right to say “Go on love, show us a smile. I bet you’re so much prettier when you smile”. First off, thanks for calling me pretty; that bit might actually get you somewhere. Secondly, why the hell should I walk around smiling constantly just or your satisfaction? My guy mates will all joke about how women have emotions that are more up and down than a rollercoaster. It’s widely known that women, as human beings, have a whole range of emotions and sometimes our faces will make expressions other than a smile. When you sit or walk normally, just going about your business are you smiling all the time? Very unlikely. So why, when I’m working in a busy pub or on a plane full of people wanting things would I be smiling all the time? I’d look like a psycho! So, Harold, put your opinions about me smiling back into the hole you came from and tell me what you want to drink so I can carry on working a lot harder than your penis has been in years.

 

2. Calling Us Pet Names

Almost every single working day I get called ‘Love’, ‘Sweetheart’, ‘Babe’ or any other pet name. On the odd occasion, it doesn’t bother me that much. I can ignore it. But when someone repeatedly does it the whole shift, it feels gross. If you answer to it once, he’ll call you that for the rest of your shift. I normally point people to my name badge. Calling us pet names just makes you look like a creepy old guy and destroys all hope of us appreciating the flirt because the thought of being called any of those pet names by you for the rest of our lives is soul destroying. When you do it drunk, it’s even worse! It’s not cute.

 

3. Bribing Us With Tips

I am not a cheap prostitute. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought about the money (I’M JOKING). But seriously, when guys stand at the bar with a ten pound note between their fingers and say “If you serve me next, I’ll make it worth your while”, it is laughable. Sorry mate but that £10 will buy you two beers and the 20p change that you plan on offering me does not appeal. Even if you walk away saying “keep the change” like the baller you wish you were, you’re still just a dick who thinks he can bribe me with money. I don’t care if the only women who love you are the hookers you pay minimal money to and no doubt laugh to their friends about your tiny penis. Don’t you dare ‘keep the change’ me because it’s one of the least attractive flirting techniques you have.

 

4. Insulting Our Co-workers

You’re a complete stranger to us. Our co-workers are people we spend a lot of time with. They’re our work family. Insulting our co-workers in an attempt to flirt with us is not effective. It doesn’t work in flattering us. I’ve been on both sides of this one. Once on the plane, I had a customer grab my attention and say “Can’t you serve me? Your colleague is so moody and you’re much prettier”. My first feeling wasn’t one of flattery, but instead made me think the guy was a complete prick. I just told him that it didn’t work like that and I couldn’t serve him for the flight. On the other side of this, I was working in the pub. I went to the next guy at the bar and asked if he was waiting. His friend whispered into his ear “oh it’s not the fit one”. That moment was completely humiliating for me. I looked around at the other girls I was working with. I get it, I’m not the prettiest girl in the world but I’m not the back of a bus! I’m not the ‘fit’ one who works in the pub but I’ll serve you beer and charge you the correct amount. I’ll do the job I am paid to do and I’ll do it well! I was mortified that he’d said it so blatantly and right in front of me. Instead of ignoring what he’d said I told him “oh, in that case I won’t serve you. You can wait even longer for the fit one to serve you instead”. Georgie 1, dickhead male customer 0. Once I’d spoken to my colleagues, they all called him a dickhead. Not one of them found it attractive that this guy had felt the need to belittle me. It doesn’t work insulting our colleagues in an attempt to flirt. It just makes you an absolute prick.

 

5. Physically Grabbing US

This one is obviously physical assault. It’s unlikely you’ll find one cabin crew member who has never been grabbed by a guy whether he was sober or drunk. Male crew have been grabbed too. And most crew will tell you they’ve been assaulted by both men and women. Apparently this breed of people doesn’t discriminate. Physically grabbing my bum is not an effective flirting method. Pulling on my skirt is also not effective. Children pull on my skirt to get my attention because they’re not tall enough. A grown ass man pulling on my skirt is just an absolute creep. You don’t see me bending down and tugging on your trousers to get your attention. Because I’m neither a child, nor a creep. One of my most memorable times having a guy grab me was within my first six months working as cabin crew. I was working a short haul flight during European festival season so it was busy and everyone was drunk on board. It was 7 o’clock in the morning and guys were absolutely hammered going to Barcelona! One guy grabbed my bum while I walked down the aisle. I turned around and politely told him not to. He laughed and did it again. I kept my composure and, again, asked him not to touch me. This guy really enjoyed pushing his luck. The next time I walked past him, he reached out and pinched my bum, yet again. Some women would laugh this off but, given my history, I was less than amused. Deciding that he wasn’t going to listen to my polite warnings, I leant down next to him and whispered in his ear just loud enough for him to hear but quiet enough that no one around me would hear, “if you touch me again, I’ll break your arm”. Let’s be honest, I’m not strong enough to break his arm but he didn’t know that. The message definitely got through to him loud and clear because he never even spoke to me for the rest of the flight. No one else had heard me so he couldn’t prove what I’d said but plenty of people had seen him physically assault me numerous times so WINNER!! So then lads, grabbing us is absolutely not a good way to flirt with us.

 

I hope this short but sweet guide has given you some insight into how not to flirt with girls or guys that work in hospitality. Why don’t you just be polite, be yourself and not be a dick! Peace out.

 

Am I Bad in Bed?

This post has been circling in my head for a while now. I was really conflicted about whether to actually sit and write it or whether to just leave it as a discarded idea. Unfortunately, my constant need to be honest with you all and to write about this stuff won over this time. So here we are!

After my big break up, I was in a confused and pretty dark place. Rather than take the time I needed, I jumped into dating somebody else. He’s a great guy so luckily for me I didn’t go to the wrong kind of guy for solace. Things fizzled out with us; no bad feelings or anything. It just didn’t feel right anymore for either of us. The point of this post comes a few months later where we bumped into each other in our favourite pub and had both ingested a lot of alcohol. It’s very important for me to stress that I had drunk a lot of alcohol… I mean, a lot! The whole question came as a complete misunderstanding on my part. We got chatting, reminiscing about when we were dating, discussing the idea of trying it again. During this conversation somewhere, he made a comment about us not being sexually compatible. I, in a drunken state, took this as him telling me I was bad in bed! I was horrified and humiliated that he’d told me (as far as I’d told myself) that I was bad in bed. The whole question “Am I bad in bed” is borderline in the same category as

Is My Vagina Normal?

It’s the kind of question you never want to ask because you’re terrified of the answer and the answer will always be subjective. So to have someone tell me I’m bad in bed, or so I convinced myself he’d told me, was possibly the most embarrassing thing ever. Just very quickly on a side note, I am lucky enough to have been told by two different people, both with very trustworthy qualifications that my vagina, is in fact, completely normal. The first time was by a lovely South African Doctor during a rape exam (for more information read this post). I was nervous and she’d finished taking swabs before asking if I had any questions. I panicked and asked whether my vagina was normal. After the Dr, the police officer and my housemate had finished laughing, she assured me it is completely normal. The second time around was with a Gynaecology consultant. I was tilted backwards, legs spread, genitalia up in the air having pre cancerous cells frozen and removed when I decided to ask the question again; just to be sure! He replied saying that I had a very good looking cervix and proceeded to ask if I wanted to have a look. Nah I’m good thanks. I’ll take your word for it. Phew. Thank God for that then.

After this night, I went away wondering if I really was bad in bed. I sat replaying every single sexual experience wondering if the guy actually hated every second of it because it was terrible. I scrutinized every move I made (quite literally) and went over what I should or could or would have done better. What if my ex broke up with me because the sex was terrible for him? What if my 22 year old sex God really hadn’t enjoyed any of what I thought was amazing? No man had ever complained or told me I was terrible in the sack. I’d always had good responses. The prospect of ever sleeping with anyone again made me feel anxious. If I really was bad in bed I couldn’t put somebody else through that. I’m doomed to never have sex ever again for the fear that I let any other man experience terrible sex. I catastrophized this and made it all completely up in my head!! After speaking to the same guy again, I learned that he had in fact, never said what I feared he had. He had simply said we just weren’t compatible together. Even though I made it all up, it did prompt me to reconsider the idea that people are never ‘bad in bed’ but simply just don’t work sexually together. Like puzzle pieces; they don’t always fit together as well as they do with other pieces.

Let’s look at a previous frog of mine. Those who have read my blog from the beginning will remember the one who just didn’t like foreplay. If you recall correctly, I likened his very limited foreplay skills to

Tapping a teaspoon on a hard boiled egg to break the shell.

In my eyes, he really was terrible in bed! But now I look at things, he’s been in a long term relationship for years now. His current girlfriend must like his bedroom skills. Maybe myself and him weren’t sexually compatible but he’s a sex God to his current girlfriend. If you haven’t read this particular blog post, I recommend it. It’s a funny one! You can find out more here. This was my first piece of evidence to suggest that maybe compatibility where the magic happens really is a thing. What if nobody is terrible in bed; they just don’t always fit in the puzzle for you?

I’m not going to sit and go through every sexual experience I’ve ever had. Don’t worry! But what I will do is tell you that it turns out you’re never bad in bed! You might not be one person’s cup of tea but somebody else will be absolutely blown away with your skills. I found out with a rude awakening filled with anxiety and catastrophizing. I even went as far as contemplating messaging previous guys. Luckily I thought better of it and decided, what does it matter anyway? As long as you’re enjoying, the other person is enjoying it and nobody gets hurt then you fit your puzzle pieces together which ever way you want to.

And I said I’d never talk about sex on here. Until next time.

 

How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day as a Singleton

Well, it’s that time of year again where being single makes some people feel like the sky is falling. They feel like being single is the worst thing in the world and nothing is going right for them and they’re doomed to be single forever. I have four words for those people…

Chill The Fuck Out!

Valentine’s Day is one other day out of the 365 days of the year. It’s no different to that random Wednesday you had three weeks ago where nothing interesting happened. I’ve never really been someone who makes a big fuss out of it. My ex wasn’t either so we never celebrated it to be honest. Our first Valentine’s day I bought us tickets to go and sit in the cold to watch his football team play a match; real romantic! I now I’m a keeper (pun absolutely intended). Other than that one time, we never bothered with it. Previous years I’ve worked and most of the time completely forgotten it was even Valentine’s Day. In any case, I’ve put together a list of things to do if you do find yourself single for Valentine’s Day like myself this year. Hopefully these things will help you out and give you something to do as last minute plans.

 

1. Self Love

This one is always good advice for anything. If you’re ever feeling down, self love is good medicine. Is it the best? No idea, I’m not a Doctor so I can’t prescribe stuff to you. But it’s pretty damn good. I’m not talking about getting your hand down your pants… although I’m sure that would help too. I’m talking about running a bath with bubbles, salts, candles and a glass of wine. I’m talking about eating food you love regardless of the calories. Ladies (and Gents if you want to), give yourself a pedicure, use that face mask that’s been sitting in a drawer somewhere from Christmas. Self love is about giving yourself a break! It’s about showing yourself that you love you. The most powerful love you’ll ever feel, is the love you give yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I give this advice but I know I need to listen to it. I don’t love myself enough and I’m guilty of being too hard on myself but I also know I am changing that. Valentine’s Day as a singleton is the perfect opportunity to pamper yourself and show yourself a little love.

 

2. Remind Yourself Why Being Single is Good

If you’re feeling blue in the endless sea of red that is Valentine’s Day, take a few minutes to remind yourself of how much money you’re saving by being single. Remind yourself how this Valentine’s Day you get to do exactly what YOU want to do. You get to be selfish and not have to think about any other person on this day and every other day. I’m loving being single now. I see my friends more, I’ve discovered a love for working out, I’m enjoying not having someone rely on me at all. Don’t feel down on Valentine’s Day because you think being single is a bad thing. Think about the good things in your life and the things you get to do because you are single. I promise, there are some good things.

 

3. Get Together With Single Friends

Spend the day/evening with other single friends. Personally, this year I’ll be spending my day with a few single friends using some free spa passes and a home cooked dinner with wine. Doesn’t matter what you do, just get together with some other single friends and just do what you guys do best! We’ve even got some people in couples coming for the daytime activity. If you’re worried about doing Valentine’s Day alone, there are others who will do it with you. Get dressed up and go out for cocktails. Have dinner at one of your places and watch movies (If you’re hating being single, I thoroughly recommend watching Black Hawk Down. Spoiler alert – lots of men die). Order your favourite takeaway if you don’t want to cook. Do absolutely anything! You’re never alone in anything. Even if your close friendship group seem to all have dates, get in touch with other single friends. Work colleagues, mutual friends, anybody! They might feel just as grateful as you to not be alone.

 

4. Work

If you can, why not work? It wouldn’t be my top choice but I’ve done it in the past and actually had a good laugh with my colleagues who didn’t have any plans. Working is a good distraction if you’re really feeling the V Day blues so it couldn’t hurt to get those brains going and keep your mind off being single.

 

5. See What the Single Scene is Saying

Do a bit of research before and see if there are any singles events going on. It could be fun and you never know who you might meet there. Get another single friend to go with you if you don’t want to go alone. Loads of places do singles events on Valentines Day so it’s worth having a look if you’re really stuck for ideas. If it’s terrible, go for a few drinks somewhere. What have you got to lose?

 

6. Don’t Go On Social Media

This one is pretty obvious. If you’re feeling down about Valentine’s Day and feeling like you haven’t got anyone romantic to share it with, I would recommend a little hiatus from any social media! Loved up couples will plaster their romantic plans all over their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If it’s going to upset you, don’t self sabotage and sit scrolling endlessly through all that shit. It’s not worth you spending an hour crying because you feel miserable about it. Taking a day away from social media will not only do you some good in general; on Valentine’s Day, it’s a proactive and positive activity to avoid making yourself feel worse.

 

I’ve given you a few ideas of things to do for Single Valentine’s Day. One important thing to do is to not sit and cry about being single. As I said, it’s one day! Please promise me you won’t be over dramatic about being single. The more you sit and wallow about it, the worse you’ll feel! Embrace being single. Embrace having your life to do whatever the hell you want to do. You’re not dead yet so you’ve still got plenty of time to share tons of Valentine’s Days with somebody else. When you meet someone, you’ll be thankful for those Valentine’s Days you didn’t have to do anything romantic so enjoy them while they’re here. You don’t even have to shave if you don’t want to.

6 Texters That Are Just Not That Into You

As you know, I’m back into the realm of dating. In all honesty, I’ve not pushed it and I’m not very good at actively planning any dates. My life is busy at the moment and I’ve been working a lot. I’ve also been enjoying my free time so I’m happy. For the first time in a long time, I’m only thinking about what I want to do. My free time isn’t being dictated by someone else and I’m enjoying it. I’m digressing though so back to where we should be. Although I haven’t been on many dates, I have been casually messaging guys here and there. Just dipping a toe back into the cold, icy waters of dating before jumping in head first. I’ve noticed a few little things that guys do while texting which prove to me that they’re just not interested. It’s forced me to look back at other past frogs and scrutinise their old texting habits. I’ve managed to narrow down the ones that prove a guy (or girl) is just not that into you. If you’re messaging someone and they do any of these things, I would walk away if I were you… Or just maybe keep your options open!

 

1. The Ghoster
This one is obvious! If a guy ghosts you, walk away. Don’t make excuses for him. I don’t care if he was making loads of effort messaging you before and you think you two can really hit it off and be something great. As soon as he’s stopped messaging you, that’s it. Don’t send him another message just in case he hasn’t read your last one or needs reminding you’re there. If he needs reminding, then he was never that interested in you. If somebody likes you, they’ll make the effort to message you. If they are actually interested in you, they’ll reply. They shouldn’t need any reminders. If you find he’s lacking in a reply then forget about him and move on. In the words of the wise Ariana Grande,

Thank you, Next!

2. The “I’m Bad At Texting” Texter
This is the kind of guy who wants to ghost you but doesn’t want to be a complete arsehole out in the open. This guy will start messaging you and seem keen but at some point in the beginning he’ll make a point of saying something like “sorry, I’m really bad at messaging”. RED FLAG this shit right now! As I said above, if a guy likes you, he’ll message you. If he’s not interested, then he won’t.

A guy who tells you he’s bad at messaging is a guy who isn’t keen on you but wants to keep you on the hook just in case he wants some attention from you when it suits him. When I say keep you on the hook; it’s more like a really long arm’s length where he can hold you when something better comes along, then pull you back in when that better option has gone. Sometimes you can recognise this type of person because they’ll read your messages, not reply but then be active elsewhere liking your photos. Or they’re online but just blatantly ignoring your message. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, they’re ignoring you on purpose. I’m sorry for the reality but, they don’t like you. This is why I keep my settings private on messaging apps; so people can’t see when I’ve ignored their messages (I’m kidding… sort of). So, if a guy tells you at the start he’s terrible at messaging, he’s not keen I’m afraid so walk away. You’re worth more than that. It takes 60 seconds or less to just send a quick message to someone. Don’t get me wrong, he genuinely could be busy so don’t apply this rule every time! I’m talking about the guy who takes 3 days to reply to your messages and uses the excuse that he’s really bad at texting. If a guy can’t give you 60 seconds to reply to a message and leaves it for 3 days, it means he hasn’t thought about you once in those 3 days and just isn’t interested in you.

 

3. The Out Of The Blue Texter
This guy is the one who doesn’t speak to you for ages but then suddenly drops you a “Hey, how are you?” message randomly. This could be a previous love interest, fling or some guy you flirted with once but then he disappeared for a while. You’ll think to yourself how sweet it is that he’s messaged you and must be thinking about you. I’m afraid that’s not the truth! In reality, he wants something from you; probably some attention. It might be that he’s recently become single and feeling lonely so wants some attention. If he’s in a relationship then he’s the worst kind of guy! He’s messaging you out of the blue because he’s unhappy and thinks attention from you will make him feel better. He’s fucking about in his relationship. Do you really think he’s boyfriend potential? As I said before though, the out of the blue texter might not necessarily be taken. He might be single but just wanting attention from you. You’re not a first option in this situation; you’re just a girl he thinks will give him what he wants until he finds someone else. Trust me, once he’s had some attention from you to boost his ego, he’ll disappear again. As I always say, you’re worth more than that so back away. Thank you but no thank you Mr Out Of The Blue!

 

4. The Late Night Texter
This one states the obvious and ties into texter number 3. The late night texter just wants attention from you. He’s the guy who messages you late at night only. He’ll never say anything during the day. Any time after 10pm covers this guy! He’ll message you asking if you want to come over (notice he won’t suggest making the effort to come and see you) for a drink. He might message pretending he cares what you’re up to. What he’s really hoping for is a reply along the lines of “just lying in bed alone, bored”. That opens him up to try and get flirting, sexting or anything else from you. This guy really is just messaging you late at night to either get off or just boost his ego. If you’re up for that then be my guest and give him what he wants. Just make sure you get what you want from the exchange. If you’re hoping he’s Prince Charming then you my friend, are deluded!

 

5. The Man Of Few Words
This is the guy who just messages back one word messages. He doesn’t keep conversation flowing. He’s showing that he’s actually not bothered about talking with you. If you look at your texting conversations on your phone and you notice that your putting in all the effort with your words, put your phone down and walk away from it. You’re making all the effort and he’s just not that into you. This one’s easy so if you’re even wasting your time trying to squeeze blood from the stone then you’re an idiot. For those who didn’t get it, he’s the stone and the conversation is the blood. Just run away from this guy and find someone who wants to have conversations with you. Find a guy who wants to tell you about his day and ask you about yours. Find a guy who doesn’t just write one word messages back to you.

 

6. The “You’re Wife Material” Texter
I nearly wrote an entire post dedicated to this kind of guy but figured it wasn’t worth it and it could easily be condensed into this one. This guy will message you every now and then very complimentary of you. He’ll talk in text about how you’d make the perfect girlfriend and he can’t understand why you’re still single. Does he make you his girlfriend? No! Does he show any interest in wanting to take you on a date? He might but it never happens does it? He’s not interested in you I’m afraid! He probably really does think you’re awesome but he still doesn’t want to date you. The one I’ve had a few times is “you’re wife material”. You’re right, it is a compliment and I do appreciate it very much. However, every guy that’s ever said it to me has never had any interest in going on a date with me. I finally found out why recently. The guy that texts you calling you wife material sees you as the end game. You’re the kind of girl he wants to marry eventually. But he’s not ready for that commitment just yet. He doesn’t see you as someone to date because you’re the kind of girl who’s the end game. Why would a guy want to date a girl who’s already a ready made wife? He wouldn’t. He doesn’t want to fall into a relationship that he feels is a box bought marriage potential. That’s far too scary! For some weird reason, he’s ignored your flaws and decided you’re too ‘good’ for him to date. He wants to go out with a girl where there’s potential it might end. It’s less scary for him if there’s a chance he doesn’t have to commit fully for the long run.

Some complimentary guys are genuine! Some fall into this category. They don’t want to date you. They’re not interested because you’re ready made wife material and that scares the shit out of them!

 

So that’s the 6 main texter types to avoid if you’re after Mr Right. Obviously I’m not an expert in this; I just have a hell of a lot of experience with it all! These aren’t rules that apply to every single guy. There will be exceptions to these so don’t take them as gospel. To the girls shouting that the guy they’ve been texting is different even though he does all of these things… There there, I’m sure he is different and does really love you. Maybe just have a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself whether you really believe that as much as you think you do.

Enjoy ladies and gents. I’m just off to wait for a reply to a message I sent 4 days ago from a guy who’s “really bad at texting” but tells me I’m wife material when he messages me at 11pm asking me to come over for a glass of wine (and breathe). Really, he’s different from all the others.