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.

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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.

 

Lewis* – Software Developer

Delving back into dating was not something I have been looking forward to but, onwards and upwards. Or so they say. The first date I went on after the break up was way too soon but I figured it would be a good distraction and I wasn’t exactly going to lose anything by going on it. I ended up going on three dates with Lewis* (back to the changed names). We met whilst I was working my second job in a pub and he drunkenly came in. He’d chatted to me a little when I served him and then asked if I had a boyfriend. Part of me wanted to lie and say yes; mostly because I don’t think I was quite ready to admit that I was now single. Instead, I confessed the truth and told him I was single. He smiled and asked for my number. Meh, why not? What did I have to lose?

 

After a week or so of texting each other, Lewis suggested going for a drink. We arranged the date, time and place. As I parked nearby to the pub we were meeting in, Lewis messaged me to say he was already inside and asked what I wanted to drink so he could get the first round in. I had a 3am alarm set for a flight the next morning so couldn’t have any alcohol so opted for a soda and lime and sent a reply. Walking into the pub, there he was holding his beer and my cheap date drink. We did the polite hello (he was slightly less confident this time without his dutch courage) and he gave me my drink. The two of us found a seat and got to the small talk. Lewis was nice. He seemed slightly shy but he was a nice guy. He enjoyed his job developing software for a small company and showed interest when asking about my work. Once he’d finished his drink, I offered to get the next round in; it’s only fair and I’m all about splitting the bill on dates. He asked me for another beer. I hadn’t finished my soda and lime yet so got up to go and get his beer. As I stood he said “oh can I have a coffee as well?” Ok, I guess that’s fair, it’s my round. I bought his drinks and went back to sit down. I finished my soda and lime and sat for a while before deciding to buy myself another drink. Out of politeness, I asked if he wanted another to which he replied “yeah sure. Another beer for me”. Nothing about it being his round so he’d get them. Just flat out asked me for another beer. After this round, he didn’t buy another and neither did I. I had an early start so we called it a night and said our goodbyes.

 

The next day Lewis text me to arrange another date. Ok, he was a nice guy and I’d enjoyed the welcome distraction from the recent heartbreak, so I agreed and we set another date. This time we arranged a walk and then a pub for a drink. The weather was amazing so the walk was a perfect activity. The walk isn’t what’s important here. When we walked into the pub, I was first at the bar so ordered my drink. I looked at Lewis and asked what he was having. Just a polite question anyone would ask of the person they’re stood with. He ordered a beer and then told me he’d find somewhere to sit outside while he walked off.

Right, I guess I’ll pay for these then shall I?

We sat and talked more over our drinks. He asked me about the pay being cabin crew. I gave a rough idea that it’s poorly paid but it’s the price we pay to travel the world. He had the nerve to then make a comment that he earns more than double what I do!! Why am I constantly paying for the drinks then?? Luckily I had to work that evening in the pub so made a swift exit after the drinks.

 

I know what you’re all thinking. This was two dates with this guy and yet I said I had three. Yes, I did go on another date with him. This time we went for dinner. I bet you all know where this is going… The food was amazing so I enjoyed this date the most. I drove, again, because he’d, again, chosen somewhere within walking distance of his house. Another soft drink for me while he had a few beers. When it came to the bill I suggested we pay for our own drinks and split the cost of the food. Call me crazy but that seems fair right? Well that’s not how things went when the waitress brought the bill over. Instead, Lewis quickly chimed in and told the waitress we’d split things 50/50. So I had one lemonade while he chugged back 4 beers but I was still paying for half of them? Even though on our previous date, he’d made it clear he earns more than double what I do.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for splitting the bill on dates which is why I always suggest it but this was beyond ridiculous. Between the first two dates we had, he’d only spent £1 on a measly soda and lime for me whereas I’d spent well over £20. Then on the third date he’d sunk 4 beers compared to my one half pint of lemonade and I was expected to pay half? Why am I footing the bill for all of our dates? I’m not expecting him to pay for everything but at least make it fair!

 

You all know what I did though don’t you? I paid half the bloody bill, beers and all, and gave him a lift home when he asked for one (I’m laughing at myself as I write this so I’m with you all on that). Needless to say, I ghosted him after that! I’ve never ghosted anyone in my life but at 28 years old and recently heartbroken there was no way I could be arsed to waste more time with a guy that clearly wasn’t for me.

 

And so dating begins again…

 

 

 

Recovery – How to get over a break up

After Gemma from How To Make Friends wrote her guide on getting over a break up in the last post, I decided to write my own guide based on how I’ve done it and how I’ve managed to move on from having my heart well and truly shattered to pieces. With a little glue and the steps below, I’ve pieced my old ticker back together and I’m looking forward to meeting someone better.

This is just the way I’ve got over the break up. It’s not necessarily the right way. It’s definitely not the only way, but I’ve decided to share the steps I took to get over my heart break and hopefully get me ready for the next one (fingers crossed it’s not another heart ache). I’ll break it down into easy steps. You might decide to try them in the order I did them. You might switch them up a bit and customise the list to suit you! No dramas. You do you.

 

1) Cry!
Cry as much as you want, for as long as you want and whenever you want. Get it all out of your system; God knows I did. Cry on your own or to someone else. I mean, I cried to a complete stranger on a plane so nothing is off limits here. After a while, you’ll cry less and less. Then eventually you won’t need to cry at all but get it out of your system while it’s there. You’re grieving. Not only are you grieving your little heart break but you’re grieving the loss of a relationship you thought would be forever. You’re grieving the loss of the future he or she promised you would have together. You’re grieving the house visits you did and the talk from them of the kids you’d have (Yep, we looked at houses together). You’re grieving the family you’ve lost and all the annual leave you booked for holidays away with him and his family. You’re mourning the broken promises and the lies. You’re 100% allowed to cry, no matter who you are! So please, do it.

 

2) Go to the Gym
I never thought this would be something I would do but after being dumped, I got a gym membership. A few weeks after the break up, I joined the gym and started going a lot. I was in the gym at least 5 times a week. If I was abroad on work trips I was in the hotel gym, sometimes twice a day. I signed up for some personal training sessions with a PT at the gym called Naomi. She was an angel. I told her about my recent heart break and my need for the focus. She was warm, open and honest with me. She trained me and gave me workout routines I could do in the gym and also ones to do in my hotel rooms away. Naomi didn’t just give me fitness advice. She gave me life advice on getting over the break up. She promised me things would get better. She really was just an angel for me then, and she was badass! She might not even know just how much she helped. I had a focus, a distraction; fitness. I can’t recommend getting yourself to the gym enough to help start to get over a break up. It really does give you something else to keep you busy, distracted and focussed. Also, people will tell you how amazing you look and your confidence will start climbing again. If going to the gym isn’t your thing, join classes and try something new. Alongside the gym, my friend Emily encouraged me to go to kick boxing classes with her which I did. I love it! The two trainers Scott and Josh kicked my arse into gear and got me punching out my frustration and anger. Between them, Emily, Scott and Josh pushed me to work harder even when I was tired. They got me going further even when I was hurting. The three of them joined the angel hall of fame alongside Naomi and I started to get myself back again. I was smiling constantly during classes because I was enjoying myself so much.

So, get yourself to the gym. If you don’t like gyms, join a class. Even if kick boxing isn’t your thing, go to yoga classes or pilates or even pole dancing! If you’re not sure then do all of them like I did until I settled on just a few to keep me fit. You’ll meet new people, you’ll start smiling again and you’ll start boosting that confidence you lost. If you don’t like working out with people then go for a run. Start small. I started getting up at 6am and just going for a 10 minute run every morning. Each time, you’ll get further. Each time, you’ll feel less out of breath. Each time you run, you’ll feel your feet hit the pavement, music in your ear (just one headphone in for safety please) and you’ll start to get yourself back again.

 

3) You do You
I said this already in the intro for this post. A few months into recovery one of my closest friends said to me “you do you” and it kind of stuck with me since then. She was right! Being on your own again means you get to just do you for a bit. My free time is just mine again to use as I want to. In my relationship, we barely ever saw my friends. We always spent more time with his friends and his family. I like walking outdoors but he doesn’t so we wouldn’t. We’d spend our days doing what he wanted to do and going where he wanted to go. I was now allowed to go wherever I wanted and do whatever I wanted without answering to anyone. I started seeing my friends more and doing things I wanted to do. I was rekindling old friendships with people I hadn’t seen in years and starting new friendships with girls from work I got on with. Spending this time doing what I wanted made me feel happy again. I signed up for a Tough Mudder Full which I’d always wanted to do. I went with my friends I work in the pub with and loved every minute of it. We smashed it round that 10 mile course and it felt like such an achievement for me. We laughed, helped each other, got wet, muddy and then had a cider at the end. The whole day was so amazing that I want to sign up again for another one! In September 2018 I completed the 24 hour three peak challenge. I went up alone and trekked Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon with people who started as complete strangers. It was amazing! It was hard, really hard but it felt amazing to complete. I raised over £1,000 for Mind mental health charity while doing it. Finally taking some time over the summer to do me was amazing.

You do you! Spend your time doing things you want to do. Do the things that your ex would never do with you but you always wanted to do. Go out with your friends. Spend time with new friends. Take back your life and your free time. It’s totally ok to share your time with someone. But rather than wallowing in being alone, enjoy your free time and do the things you want to do.

 

4) Look at all the People who Love you 
This is one you might not even realise straight away, but so many people love you! At 28 years old it does break my heart every time I think about the fact that not one single person has ever been in love with me. Even my ex who promised me a life together didn’t love me. After the break up I felt worthless and unloveable, until I started receiving messages. I was sent messages from so many people. People from my past and my present telling me how sorry they were, how amazing I am as a person, how thankful they were for my honest heartbreak blog posts and so many telling me how much they loved me. Girls at work were taking me out for girls’ night and doing my make up for me to make me feel good. Girls I went to college with but hadn’t spoken to in years were hugging me when I saw them randomly and telling me how lovely I am. Guys I had previously worked flights with saw me at work and told me they couldn’t believe someone was stupid enough to let me go. It all suddenly started to dawn on me that maybe I was focusing on the wrong kind of love all these years. Does it really matter that no man has ever loved me? Probably not when it turns out I have so many friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances who love me more than I ever believed possible. How can I be as worthless as I think because of what a few men have told me when the reality is, I’m more loved than any of them? Trust me, you’re the same (not you my ex. More people love me than they love you so in your face). To those reading this feeling how I felt… You’re loved by so many more people than you ever thought, so give yourself a break.

 

5) Do NOT, I repeat, do not go on Tinder too quickly!!
Trust me, your ex is already back on it a lot quicker than you thought he would be (I know mine was) and seeing his profile pop up will feel like a knife twisting deeper into your gut. Go on dating apps when you feel 100% ready with knowing he’s looking for someone else. You need to feel completely ok with knowing he lied about his reasons for breaking up with you. He doesn’t want to be on his own to sort his stuff out. He’s just too much of a coward to do it with you (As you can see, I’ve entered the stage where I’m angry at the ex but equally I know I’m better off without him for these reasons). Wow, apologies, I digressed. But there is truth in that for everyone! I know it’s tempting to log in quite soon after the break up, but take your time. If you really are ready to see what you feared at the beginning; that he is actively looking for someone new, then you get on and get swiping!

 

6) The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else
Don’t be such a prude! You all know this has some truth to it. Only do this step when you’re ready for it. Don’t rush it. It doesn’t have to be for a relationship or something. I’m talking about good old sex for the sake of sex! Shock, I’m 28 years old and in control of my own body. So are you. This is just something to help build your confidence and remind you what a god damn, sexy human being you are. No feelings or emotions involved. It’s purely for selfish reasons. Mine was a much younger (22!!! I know) guy I’d met a few times in a local pub. I had two nights with him about six weeks apart from each other. The first time, I was drunk and didn’t care. I was interested and it would seem so was he. I took him back to my friend’s sofa bed I had waiting and it was incredible! I had some alcohol dutch courage so just enjoyed the night for what it was. The next day, the owner of the sofa bed, one of my closest friends said that while I was chatting up Charles* (not his real name) she saw a level of confidence she had never seen in me. This girl has seen me through some dark times. She is one of a few people who know me better than anyone else in the world and she was so happy with my confidence the night before. She said it was amazing to see how confident I was chatting him up and then going in for the kiss before taking him back. The second night with Charlie boy was a night out where I’d bumped into him. He was drunker this time. I wasn’t bothered about spending another night with him. Some other girl was all over him and trying it on so I was completely unassuming when he left her side and came to me and gave me kiss in front of everybody. Hands on my back hugging me towards him he placed two, delicate kisses on my lips. He looked at me, smiled and just said straight outright “Shall we go?” I had to pause for a second. He could have taken any other girl back. He could have easily taken the blonde clingy girl back but he made the executive decision to come to me and ask me. I am hot. I am sexy. I am wanted. Damn, I’ve still got it! He must have enjoyed the first time as much as I did. Within minutes he had an Uber coming and we said goodbye to our friends. That second night was even better than the first! This temporary toy boy absolutely blew my mind (and body for that matter). I don’t know what they’re teaching the kids in University these days but HOLY CRAP!! You need it in your life. I am definitely not qualified to give someone the title of Sex God but… just saying. Not only was his penis wonderful and the sex amazing, he was also so relaxed and so fun that I didn’t feel any need to keep any of my body hang ups for the night. All those feelings of being worthless, ugly and not good enough that my ex made me feel about myself melted away into the mattress of this 22 year old guy. I don’t think Charlie will ever really know just what those two nights were for me. He’ll never fully understand how much it meant to me in moving me even further forward after the break up.

Get under someone else! Or on top. Either way, just get that first one out of the way after the break up. Do it for the fun. Do it with someone who you know you’d never have a relationship with (the age in this case. Plus he moved away for good). Do it just because you want it again.

 

7) Big Breath in… Date Again.
This shit will be hard. But it’ll also lead you to meet men (or women) who will actually show you how you should be treated. In return, it’ll also show you just how much better you can do and how much better you deserve than your ex. My ex always thought, and still does think, that he can do better than me. Now I realise it’s actually the reverse. I can do better. You can do better and one day, we will.

I had a few offers from guys for dates. At first I took a step back because I wasn’t ready. Now, I am. Watch this space for the dating start again.

Guest Blogger – Gemma from How To Make Friends

Hey guys, Georgie here just to introduce! As promised, I’ve enlisted the help of an incredible fellow blogger Gemma of How To Make Friends blog and more recently the winner of a UK Blog Award! We met a few years ago and her blog is all about positivity and self empowerment so it felt natural to have her write something for me; especially while I’m in such a negative place. Please go on and have a read of her blog. Details of how to connect with Gemma are all at the bottom of her post so sit back, relax and enjoy…

 

How to build self-esteem after a break up

The breakup itself…

Nothing can prepare you for a breakup and no two breakups are ever the same. Real-talk: no matter how a breakup is instigated (even if it’s amicable) it is always shit. It’s hard because your life gets fully flipped upside down, no one truly understands how you are feeling and you have to continue living your life as if nothing has happened. Not only are you juggling all the changes that hit you at once but the moment you realise you are back navigating the world alone is absolutely heartbreaking. There is nothing else quite like that moment you realise you no longer have a partner in crime, no longer have someone always on your team and no longer have someone to come home to at the end of every day. It’s scary and it’s lonely, which is why people will willingly stay in the wrong relationship for much longer than they know they should. As humans we prefer negative attention over no attention at all. Loosely translated we would rather be in a wrong relationship than be single – it’s human nature! So battling the elements of our natural instincts to have security at home, to have attention and to have someone to love, it’s no wonder breakups trigger the same reactions as when you are grieving the death of someone.

Finding you again…

Most people will agree the best bit about a breakup is the ‘breakup diet’. After the initial shock of it all, is usually the ‘I really must pull myself together now’ phase. The instant want to better yourself, whether it be weight, diet, money, fitness, hair; this is the time you are most likely to make changes. This is the time you will be tempted to jump in and reinvent yourself. New found freedom, friendships and things to look forward to will become a welcome distraction to the heartbreak you are living every single day. The best bit about this phase is that you start getting attention and that’s exactly what you are doing it for. It makes up for the lack of attention from a partner and instead you have other people complimenting you on your upgrades. It feels good but you inevitably still have your wobbles. You feel like you’re really finding the real you, a new you and a better you and you will be feeling the best you’ve felt in a long time.

While you’re feeling fantastic about yourself you may feel tempted to dip a toe back into the world of dating. A few swipes on Tinder and you may just have bagged yourself a date to match your new upgraded self and you convince yourself you are moving on.

Dating…

‘WARNING: Dating may cause extreme lows of self-esteem’

If I could shout this from the rooftops to all the single ladies out there I really would. Yes, dating should feed your curiosity and provide you with some fun, but please take care of yourself. Putting a brave face on to the world is absolutely different to opening up yourself to being completely vulnerable to another person. The worst bit about this first stage of dating is that you will be rejected. Just as you are feeling bloody fantastic about yourself, super confident and the best version of you; along will come a date to really bring you back to earth with a bang! Go into dating expecting to be ghosted, to be told you’re not good enough and to be rejected. Unfortunately, it’s going to happen and the sooner you accept that the better.

From experience I naively went into the world of dating thinking I had struck really lucky with the first date I went on after my breakup. After 6/7 incredible dates he panicked and fled! It felt like a breakup all over again but actually even worse. I had been very cautious to be a strong independent woman and the moment I felt my guard drop slightly, he was gone.

After more dates with different guys I fully gave up on dating. As I hit an absolute low of feeling worthless, depressed and fat I deleted all of the apps on my phone and felt the pressure I was burdening myself with every second of every day release. I had never felt so disgusting about myself in my life and I knew I needed to change.

My advice to anyone reading this fresh from a breakup into the dating world is that it is absolutely brutal and please never lose your love for yourself based on rejection from others. You need to be your own biggest cheerleader throughout this whole process. Some days will be easier than others, but if even on your worst days you can show yourself a tiny bit of love it will make a huge difference.

Whether you successfully navigate through the dating world with ease, whether you find your perfect partner in no time or whether you set out to enjoy single time, now is the perfect opportunity to invest time in building your self-worth. It really is the perfect time to really invest in finding who you are, what you want from life and what your true passions are.

5 ways to build self-esteem after a breakup

1. Be alone

Give yourself quiet and alone time to reflect over your relationship and where you are now. It will hurt like hell, you won’t want to do it but it is really important to make you mindful. You don’t have to get angry at an ex, you don’t have to resent them and you don’t have to want to get your own back. Try to think of the happy times, try to forgive the bad times and really tune in with who you are now. It is important to see things as they are and not to escalate them in your mind. There is nothing wrong with you, no you’re not going to be alone forever and more importantly yes you can absolutely be single and happy.

2. Be grateful

Gratitude is a beautiful thing in times of despair. No matter who you are or what your circumstances are, there is always something to be grateful for. Even reading this you can be grateful to be alive, to have a phone/computer, to have the internet at your fingertips and to be already trying to better yourself. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Remember everyone we cross paths with is a lesson or a blessing. Be grateful for the lessons your ex has taught you, be grateful for the time you had together and be grateful that you are the strong independent person you are today.

3. Make some goals

Now is a great time to think about you and your life. A great way to set goals is to make a list of your top 5 priorities. Then you can delve into the what, why, how and when. Dream big. These are your goals and you can achieve whatever you put your mind to. Now is your time to fully invest all of your time and energy into yourself.. Be ambitious, believe in yourself and go set out to become the best version of yourself possible.

4. Commit to loving yourself

If during the breakup things were said that weren’t meant, now is the time to forgive and forget them. Use bitter words said about you to fuel your future passions, definitely don’t dwell on them and put yourself down with them. Yes you are alone right now and do you know what? We also enter and leave this world alone too. If you cannot enjoy your own company, rely on yourself or be independently strong, you are never going to be happy. Other people should complement our lives not make them. Never, ever look to someone else to fulfil your insecurities. This is the time to love, nourish and appreciate yourself for everything you are.

5. Surround yourself with positive family & friends

Amongst spending time alone also schedule in time with friends and family. Go places, see people and be sociable. Learn things from others, get their perspective and soak in any wonderful things they have to say about you. Even if you don’t feel like going out, being sociable will really get you feeling better. This is a fantastic opportunity in your life to make new like-minded friends.

**

I will forever be grateful for having this single time in my life. It has been a chunk of my life that has allowed me to be completely selfish with my time, money and energy. I know single life won’t be forever. I am a true believe in divine timing and I am exactly where I need to be right now. In the last 6 months I have hit lows, felt the loneliest person in the world and absolutely hated myself, but now I am confident, truly happy, extremely grateful and hustling harder than ever to chase my dreams. I still have moments where I miss having a partner, someone to love and someone to give me attention but I know the feeling is only temporary. Being single is a journey, but when you start to embrace it, it is a wonderful one too. I hope you find comfort from this post, you have so got this!!

Gemma x

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The Fallout

I want you to imagine a little girl. A girl that is no older than 4 years old. At this age her Dad walks away from her Mum, her two sisters and her. He walks away like it’s the easiest thing in the world; like they had no impact on his life. As she grows older, this little girl doesn’t trust many people. At 8 years old a boy tells her he loves her but she pushes him away because she doesn’t trust him. She pushes friends away in whatever way she can because she believes it’s easier than people hurting her. At 12 years old she writes a letter to her Dad. His reply? It includes the simple sentence “You should put me in your past as I have done with you”. Imagine how that feels for a 12 year old girl. As she grows even older she decides to seek help in the form of counselling. She wants to learn how to trust people and better herself. At 16 she learns that the only male who ever said he loved her has died in a terrible accident. At 18 this girl decides to try to trust men and starts dating. At 20 she is sexually assaulted by a complete stranger. A man who thinks it’s his right to take what he wants from her even when she said no more than once and tried to fight back. From the ages of 21 to 26 this girl is lied to by various men who lead her on with whatever lies until they get bored and walk away from her using excuses, like it’s the easiest thing in the world for them. Like she meant nothing to them and like she had no impact on their lives. At 26, this girl fell in love. Truly fell in love with a man she thought was different. In the end he turned out to be the same and walked away from her like she meant nothing. Like it was the easiest thing in the world to walk away. Like she had no impact on his life whatsoever. Do you see how important this girl’s story is now? Do you understand why this girl feels so broken now?

In case you haven’t realised, that girl is me. She grew up to be cynical and bitter. Can you blame her? How can I blame each man individually though? Each one probably didn’t think much of their lies or poor excuses. They didn’t think it would have such an effect on me but when you look at the bigger picture, the effect is huge. One lie from one man means almost nothing. But every lie from every man turns it into something continuous that tells the girl she’s worthless, means nothing to them and has no impact on their lives. Let’s look back at some of the big ones who could have been something great… Andy* ghosted completely so not even a reason for walking away was given. Ok, I can get over that. Brian* who ended up giving me the excuses that he could do better than me and that he couldn’t commit to me. He committed. The girl after me; he committed to her. Richard* who fed me the lies that he would never settle down because he was an unsettled soul who just wanted to travel; he settled for a girl after me, in England of all places! Jamie* who lead me on and on until I admitted I liked him and then suddenly turned around and said he ‘wasn’t in the same place’ as me fed me some bullshit that made me think it was my fault but then a week later had a new girlfriend. Jack* (who was horrific in bed anyway) fed me the excuse that he didn’t have time to date but a week later went on a date with another girl to the pub I work in! They’re now in a relationship. It’s important to recap each of these stories because, just like my Father did, each of these men walked away like it was the easiest thing in the world. Like I meant nothing to them. Like I had no impact on their lives at all. Like I wasn’t good enough for them.

Then there is Scott; the man I fell in love with. The man who ended things with me recently. This man is not a villain. He is good. Although he could never say he loved me, I think he wanted to and even tried to love me. But 4 weeks away from turning 28, i still don’t have experience of someone being in love with me. As you can tell I’m taking the breakup really well haha. I want to believe him when he says that there isn’t anyone else but how can I believe that? Every man before him has fed me various different lies because another girl ended up being there. I wasn’t good enough. How do I believe that this isn’t the case here? Scott lied to me in the end when he promised that everything would be ok; this wasn’t the beginning of the end. As we all know, it was the beginning of the end. How can I trust that anything was real when he lied at the end? Just like every man before him had lied. I get that he never meant to lie to me. He really thought it would be ok. He’d be mortified if he knew I was questioning everything now but what else can I do? I invested everything into our relationship because he promised me a future and I believed him. Then he walked away from me, like it was the easiest thing in the world. Like I meant nothing to him. Like I had no impact on his life whatsoever. I lost his family that I loved as well as his friends and workmates. I guess they walked away from me too. They all forgot about me like I never existed. At least that’s how it feels. I know that he would never say it was easy for him to walk away. I know he would hate for me to think that but how do I separate this from previous experiences?

How do I get past this? All this has proven to me is that I’m nothing more to anyone than ordinary. When I was younger I believed I would grow up to be something special. I thought I was destined to be amazing. Now, I realise that I am nothing more than average. Every man in my life has shown me with their actions in treating me the way they did, that I am nothing more than bottom of the pile. When I walk into a room, nobody looks up; I’m as good as invisible. I was never something special to anyone, even the man I recently fell in love with. He couldn’t see me as anything more than average. Someone easy to walk away from. He gets to move on easily. His family and friends get to move on easily because I’m easily replaceable. I spent time being angry. I went through and impulsively deleted photos of us together on my instagram but he never had to do that because I was never on his. Like I was easy to walk away from. Like I never meant anything to him. Almost like, despite everything I did for him, I never had any impact on his life at all. You see the pattern here?

I was dumped recently and no matter how much people try to tell me that time is a healer do you now understand why this means more than that? Every man in my life has walked away from me like I mean nothing. I’m nothing but average. I’m not special because I make no impact on anyone’s life, no matter how hard I try.

The fallout of being dumped has been something I haven’t dealt with well. It’s brought up a lot for me from my past. It’s knocked my self esteem. I have tried to find different distractions. I’ve been going to the gym a lot and wearing more make up. People are telling me how amazing I look considering everything. I’ve lost nearly a stone in weight, desperately trying to make myself appear good enough for any man who screwed me over. I’m releasing anger in kick boxing classes. I’m eating less and drinking more in a desperate attempt to temporarily forget things. I’m ignoring my friend’s messages about buying houses and getting engaged because although I want to be happy for them, I can’t. I am struggling to be happy for them because Scott wanted to buy a house with me before he suddenly ended things. I had that life, that future that my friends now have but it was pulled out from underneath me. I wasn’t good enough to have it. Now I’m supposed to smile and pretend I’m happy for everyone else who gets to have the future I had stolen from me. I suppose my useless Drama degree needs to come into play at some point.

So the fallout of the breakup? As you can tell, I’m angry. I’m moving forward but I’m still so angry. I am in a place where I’m constantly questioning everything. I am cynical and bitter and struggling to understand why things ended. The reasons I was given aren’t good enough. I am unable to trust that another woman isn’t involved and my past will explain why I don’t trust it. Also, his lies at the end mean I’m struggling to trust anything he ever said or did. I’m terrified to turn up to any of our places in case I see him with someone else. The pub we had our first date, the cafe we had breakfast in all the time. The studio we went to a spin class at. They’re all in my village but he gets custody of them and I have to avoid them all. His life doesn’t change but mine does; because chances are, I meant nothing. I had no impact on his life. I was easy to walk away from.

As you can tell, I’m still in an incredibly negative place. Sorry about that. I don’t want to keep writing so negatively so I’ve enlisted the help of a fellow blogger for my next post. The beautiful Gemma from www.howtomakefriends.co.uk has agreed to write a guest post for me to transition to something more positive for you all to read. I look forward to posting her post!

In terms of the future for me. I’m struggling to see anything but negativity but to the unlucky guy who ends up with me, I ask you to please be honest with me. Tell me the truth about everything. If you are having a bad day, tell me. If there is someone else, tell me. If you don’t think I’m good enough, tell me. Please don’t lie to me. I am worth more than that.