Monthly Archives: January 2016

Expect Nothing!

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Online dating is hard. Really, really, ridiculously hard. You have to sift through a lot of shit before you end up finding matches you’re willing to have a conversation with online, let alone meet up with in The Real World. However I think online dating should be taken with little expectation one way or the other.

So you have a date lined up, you have compatibilities, you’re getting dressed, doing the make up, choosing the heels…What are you thinking? “This guy could be the one!”, “He’s so sweet!”, “I hope this is the one that takes me out of this world of fuckbois, players, creeps and losers!”.

No. Don’t do it to yourself, just don’t! Expect nothing!

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OK not nothing. Expect to meet a random stranger and get to know them. Don’t expect that this date will be the last first date, that you won’t come home at 8.30 and log straight back onto the dating site and look for more matches. Expect online dating to be your future for at least a year, and (I know this bit is hard) try to enjoy it!

When you change your expectations from meeting a potential boyfriend or future husband, whatever you’re aiming for in this crazy world, to just meeting someone new for a chat…expectation causes a lot of problems.

When you don’t already have this person tagged with a potential boyfriend label, it’s much easier to see the guy for what he is; player, manipulator, ‘Nice Guy’, fuckboi, or someone with potential. You can leave the nerves behind and be a little more blase, reserved and careful with your own heart.

Online dating can be soul destroying if you let it, so protect yourself and don’t have too many expectations. Doing this is difficult, it might take being chewed up and spat out as it did for me to take a step back and tame my expectations. But maybe being played was a blessing in disguise…

“We’ll See”

I wasn’t in the mood for a date. It hadn’t been long since I’d been played but I hurled myself back into online dating; if you don’t get out and mingle, you’re not gonna have the White Knight turn up on your doorstep with a cheeky grin and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.

I was running late so I text him. It was time to meet and I hadn’t even left yet. Sometimes I find it difficult to drag myelf out the door when I’m in a mood like I was in that day. I didn’t want to play act and present the Good, Clean Version of the Truth as you have to on first dates, what I wanted was PJs, shitty Channel 5 documentaries and alone time to recoup.

Bless him, my date arrived early and I wasn’t even ready. I decided to go for sexy-casual, a cute, bold colourful printed, extremely short shirt-dress I bought from a vintage market and a pair of hotpants to cover my dignity. It seemed appropriate for a lunch/beach date in the height of Summer. I slapped on a little eye make-up and headed out the door.

I saw him waiting outside the cafe we arranged to meet as I drove past and I felt a pang of guilt. 15 minutes late and I still had to find a place to park and walk around to meet him. He waited though, which showed me he was really interested. I thought it was a little odd that he didn’t find a table and get started on a cuppa while he was waiting, but it seemed respectful that he chose to wait outside.

I parked up and as I rounded the corner to the cafe, I got a closer look at him before he saw me. I like to see people behaving naturally; he was leant against the wall smoking. Self assured and bored, can’t really blame him! I’d kept him waiting 20 minutes now.

I saw his first glimpse of me, and I loved his reaction. His bright blue eyes flashed wide and his jaw practically fell open as he immediately flung his cigarette. He gave me a big smile and greeted me with warmth and palpable nerves.

I was pretty calm. I liked the guy from chatting on Plenty of Fish and our few text conversations, we had a lot in common and he held a conversation well on those platforms, but I’ve done online dating before. I wasn’t expecting much. He was a strange mix of confidence and nerves, it was sweet and strangely comforting.

We had good conversation, bloody unusual conversation but I have to admit unusual is my forte, and I didn’t feel I had to ‘perform’ as much as I’ve had to previously. Few awkward silences plagued our lunch and we made each other laugh, so I thought it would be good to carry on to the next loosely planned stage, to the beach.

He didn’t exactly have on beach attire, trainers and jeans, but it gave us something to giggle about. We carried on chatting bullshit and nonsense and he complemented my legs just enough to let me know he was interested but managed to avoid being creepy.

I had an excuse to cut the date short lined up, a nice endorphin blast at the gym, but instead I let him buy me ice cream from his favourite parlour and we carried on with our banter; I was feeling comfortable and enjoying his company. I let a few entendres drop and revelled in watching my gentleman date blush and fluster.

I had planned on staying an hour or two, but after 4 hours he walked me back to my car and we parted with a hug. I wasn’t sure how I felt, I liked the guy, he had a lot of attributes I was looking for; funny, confident, outgoing, cute and interested enough to be adorably nervous…most of all I was surprised just how comfortable I was with him. I wasn’t drained or disheartened, tired or emotionally shrivelled. I didn’t need the gym induced endorphin high as I anticipated I would, I left the date feeling happy, open and positive.

When I was asked how it went by my family, I hedged;

He was nice…we’ll see.

NEXT!

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Some women seem to love arseholes. The “Nice Guy” population can’t fathom it. It’s hard, when you’ve not been the situation before, it’s hard to understand even when you HAVE been through it!

Arseholes aren’t always arseholes. Scary, right?

Sometimes, the arsehole is hiding behind a “Nice Guy” facade; they say all the things you want to hear. They might show a few red flags but, he’s a nice guy right? And he’s interested in you! Awesome! Let those red flags be forgotten and they won’t come to anything…

It’s important in dating to delve into it with a little bit of a guard and a healthy dose of cynicism. Don’t necessarily close yourself off from your date, have fun, relax, enjoy meeting a new person! Exploring all these new and exciting prospects should be fun!

However.

Don’t let yourself be sucked in. He might say he’s a nice guy, he might act like a nice guy, but always be aware of the possibility he might just be ACTING like a nice guy until the ‘fun’ starts.

Don’t dismiss the Red Flags, depending on the severity, collect them. See if it builds a bigger picture. If the picture ain’t too pretty, it’s time for you to move on.

I’ll give some examples;

This guy I dated. I asked, before I slept with him what his aims were in dating. He told me “If I met the right girl, I could settle down“. He wanted me to assume I was quite possibly the right girl, and being a wee on the trashed side, I did. Don’t drink and date, I learned from that one!

This guy kept talking over me, ignoring what I wanted to do in favour of what he wanted to do, then called himself my boyfriend without discussing anything of the sort with me. He was a nice guy, people kept telling me, and he kept telling me. I should’ve trusted my gut earlier. I cut him loose way too late, after 2-3 months. The picture he painted was a control freak which he proved during our little break up chat, and thereafter.

Another guy I know, calls all of his exes pyschos. Gosh, well, I can only assume that as he’s the common denominator in these relationships, it might be something to do with him…Red. Flag.

Your Red Flags might be different to mine, however I think a few should be pretty major whoever you are and no matter your preferences;

Controlling behaviour
Planning a date is great, but perhaps taking you to a gore-porn flick when you’ve made it clear you can’t stand horror films, or even ordering your food and drinks at your dinner date shows they can’t really give a rats ass about your preferences. It can only go downhill from there. NEXT!

Flaking on dates
If someone’s in A&E, it’s probably best to let this one slide, but backing out of a date half an hour before you’re supposed to meet for any other reason is a big NEXT. He’s well aware you’ve been getting ready for an hour and you might even be on your way. Unless someone’s dead or in a coma, there’s no excuse for this disregard of your time. NEXT!

Negative outlook
This might be more of a preference, however I find people with a negative outlook tend to drag you down to their level. People are supposed to be on their best behaviour on dates, and your date is whinging about the food, the wine, the weather, the month…oh dear god. Good luck to you if you want to pursue those with a negative outlook, but for me it’s NEXT!

Insults, thinly veiled, back handed or otherwise
OH Hell no. A bit of banter can be fun, I love a bit of back and forth trading playful insults, however there is a trend of ‘negging‘, giving a girl a backhanded compliment in order to ‘bring her down to your level’; to wound your self esteem, essentially manipulating you into clawing for their approval. Oh what fun. NEXT!

Boundary pushing
Not into having another drink? Tough, date over here wants you shitfaced so they’ll coerce, manipulate, whine, insult, harrass, nag or even guilt you into having another drink. Not into making out? See Above. Not into having sex so soon? See above. NEXT!

No interest in you
Yeah people love talking about themselves, but dating is about finding out about each other to see whether you’re a good fit, compatible, don’t want to kill each other, all that romantic jazz. It’s not for the other person to monologue about themselves and forget all about you. You’re there too, do you really have nothing interesting worth talking about? (Hint, you do: It’s you!) NEXT!

To much, too soon 
Dropping the L bomb after spending 2 hours in each others company might not happen, but they may well blow up your phone with calls and texts, making incessant demands on your time, they might push for an exclusive relationship quickly i.e. before you actually know anything about each other, and they might make a lot of ‘us’ statements about the future. It can feel great, but this level of obsession with a basic stranger is pretty extreme. Maybe don’t NEXT! But take a big step back and proceed with caution.

Have I missed anything? Which Red Flags have you come across on dates?