Tag Archives: Confidence

The Thrill of the Chased

I’m not used to being chased…it’s definitely a new, interesting and quite frankly enjoyable phenomenon that has come with increased confidence, and a loss of approximately 5 stone. Which the winner is here, is anyone’s guess. Confidence is attractive I agree, but I’m leaning towards the more aesthetically pleasing svelte size 10 figure…I digress.

As I was saying. I’m not used to being chased. I was the one chasing for many years, it was a role reversal I was not comfortable with given my extremely fragile ego and a phobia of rejection. The chase was not thrilling for me, at all. It would often end in tears, whether I was successful in my pursuit, or not.

If I was unsuccessful for whatever reason, I took it very, very personally. I felt humiliation, bitterness and utter self loathing. No one liked me because I was fat. I was destined to die alone with a houseful of cats.

I didn’t get it. I get on with men famously; I have a lot of male friends…was I always going to be friend zoned? Even the men I knew who would rather be with the wrong person than be alone, chose to be alone rather than be with me. I know, such self pity…it’s not attractive, is it?

When I was successful in snagging a man for a night, it was equally destructive. I won, but I lost at the same time…the guys were just using me. I knew it, they knew it…but I always hoped that it wasn’t the case. That he’d see that inside the squishy, buxom exterior I was actually awesome; funny, smart and caring. But they never did. My ego got a stroking when I managed to capture a man that was way out of my league for the night, but shortly after came more self loathing and more self pity. They took me home because I was their best offer that night. Some were nice enough to keep me as a friend with benefits; they threw me a bone and I was happy with the scraps.

I was ‘seeing’ one guy for an entire 3 months before he finally told me he simply didn’t fancy me. He didn’t even like me. At all. Never did. Three months. Can you even imagine how strong my denial was to get through 3 months without really realising I was being utterly taken advantage of? How deep in the gutter my confidence was? Perhaps I did realise, I just couldn’t accept it. Wouldn’t accept it. Without him I was truly on my own, and there was no worse punishment then spending even more time by myself – I hated myself. My looks, my personality, my weight, my life. All of it.

It was all a vicious cycle, and eventually it broke. I decided enough was enough, I was tired of being mournful and cynical and hateful. I was sick to death of hating myself and everyone else. In counselling I had a breakthrough; I realised I used my weight as a big, massive size 18 barrier against the world. I craved closeness, but I was sabotaging my chances of being happy with myself and sabotaging the chance of finding someone who could love me by getting heavier and heavier and eating more and more. It was a mental buffer made physical.

So after having a serious 3 hour sobbing session, I joined the gym, I put myself on a diet and I finally after many ups and downs and a couple of years of plateaus, I hit my target weight. My confidence, although not sky high, has reached levels I never thought were possible whilst cowering in my deep, dark pit of despair.

And now, the men are the ones doing the chasing! I can sit back and enjoy having drinks bought for me. I had dates with 4 different guys one week and all of them wanted to see me again. What a weird experience that was. Very weird, very unusual for me, but very awesome. I can pick and choose who I see again, who I like enough to consider a second date with, and who’s worth my time as it’s pretty precious these days. It never crossed my mind I’d be able to pick from a lineup of guys, never. And here it is. A shedload of weightloss and a huge helping of personal growth along with it. Life can be kindof awesome these days.

23 is NOT the Magic Number

When I first started the whole internet dating malarkey this time around, I thought ‘I might be a little closer to 30 than 20 these days, but fuck it, I can still hang with young ‘uns‘.

Staunchly ignoring the fact that I call 20-25 year olds ‘young ‘uns’ in my mental dialogue, I truly believed that to be the case.

Wrong.

So very, alarmingly wrong.

My first date was with a whippsersnapper of 23. He was gainfully employed, had a degree, we had a good banter over t’internet so I had no reservations meeting up with him for a date.

To be fair, it wasn’t exactly a horror story. At first anyway…the real horror here is suddenly realising, fuck. I’ve gotten old. How the fuck did that happen? When the fuck did that happen?! I was truly and utterly convinced my mental age was 23 and here, on this date, the catatonic coma inducing realisation that actually, no, I do not have the mental age of a 23 year old.

Thankfully, apparently I still look like a 23 year old….sometimes. I thank the people who ID me for fags these days. (It’s dawned on me that is NOT how a 23 year old behaves when being IDed. Next time I might pretend I’ve left my driving license at home and skulk off with an exasperated Kevin-like flair. I hope there’s a next time anyway…)

The kid was nice enough I suppose, but he was a puppy. Overly enthusiastic, pawing for reassurance and basically just trying to impress too much.

I’m not the most confident of people, but as I’ve apparently matured (sob!), I’ve grown into myself. I pretty much know who I am, know what I like and know that I definitely can’t be arsed wasting time with people who I don’t like or who don’t like me so I’m pretty much myself, or at least a Good, Clean Version thereof. I don’t consciously set out to impress, and honestly, I think that’s an attractive quality. It’s a quality I like to see in the men I date at any rate.

I wasn’t entirely put off though. Apparently I’m quite a hit with the young lads, especially 23 year olds (about 4 different 23 year olds contacted me! Get me and my fiiiiine self!) so I thought it would be best to just make sure the younger option was not entirely full of puppies.

The second one appeared more mature on the surface but there were some glaring indicators of inexperience. We met for ‘coffee’, not particularly wanting to be stuck on a night out with another immature youngster. When I bought my own drink, and the chocolate brownie we shared (no offer to even split the cost of the brownie), conversation was incredibly stunted. I had to work my arse off to try and find something he would talk about. He asked no questions leaving the conversation ball entirely in my court. Sigh. I left after an hour, but the level of conversation we did have was ‘mature’ and somewhat intellectual…by my gauge anyway, probably not by the majority of others’, ha!

After our date I was considering going on another date with the guy, until…well, until he started clumsily and overtly flirting with me, before I even confirmed I wanted to see him again. Honestly, it felt a bit uncomfortable – I don’t remember exactly what was said, but it started off with nice compliments which I appreciated but essentially brushed off, and they became more and more sexual without indication that I would be interested in anything of the sort.

I gave up on that guy and added Rule 6 to My Internet Dating Survival Guide: Don’t date boys under 25 years old. They don’t have a clue how to handle me.

Being Emotionally Manipulated: 101

If you’ve never been manipulated, you’re a very lucky person. Or oblivious. I’ve had several experiences of being manipulated, from a few different people. I’m a smart girl, I’m sure plenty of victims of manipulation are, so how the hell did it happen?

It’s pretty complicated, and yet so simple…

So, I’d known this guy for a long time. He had moved away, so we chatted online until circumstances brought him back home, to his parents. This is when things started to go downhill.

Sad thing is, he’s a nice guy. He’s an absolute charmer – aren’t all those pesky manipulators though? He’s confident to the point of arrogance, he’s ‘deep’, thoughtful, ridiculously intelligent and seems to have it all worked out. Somehow though, he’s also a massive, walking fuck up. This, to me, is an important part of the manipulation. He has so much potential, he just needs some nurturing and pointing in the right direction…right…

What I failed to realise is that he isn’t as much of a fuck up as he would’ve had me believe. He has all the skills he needs to get what we’re expected to want from life; a job we like, an income, supporting ourselves and society. It became more and more clear throughout the few weeks he imposed himself upon me, that he could get any of that, but he didn’t want it. He wanted the care-free life that many of us crave but aren’t sociopathic enough to get.

He was also an alcoholic, part of the fuck-uppery; it did exacerbate the manipulation, but it wasn’t the cause. I thought it was at the time, but thinking back, no, it was there before. He saw the nurturing side of me and used this alcoholism as a reason for me to look after him, and I put myself out much further than I would if he didn’t have this problem.

“I have nowhere else to go” was often his greeting at 11pm. “My dad would kill me if he saw me like this”, he would say, reeking of Special Brew and looking like he hadn‘t showered for a few days. I would agree, and in he would come, often keeping me up until well into the morning, past dawn, talking and listening to the same songs on you tube. Iggy Pop was a regular. His wide-eyed insanity and lack of inhibitions related to a cocktail of various psychotropic substances seemed to be something to be admired. Kansas’ ‘Carry On My Wayward Son’ was outright banned, I simply couldn’t take it any more. Usually, he passed out drunk and I would then be too worried to sleep, often curling up in my chair next to the sofa where his comatose body lay, periodically checking that he was still breathing.

I enjoyed his company. I live on my own and despite being an introvert, I love having people to talk to, especially people that I don’t have to pretend around; I didn’t think I had to pretend around him. He was excellent at flattery and at first, my confidence sky-rocketed with him around. He would compliment my style, my strength as a person and my overall personality. He didn’t like a lot of people, but he loved spending time with me, because I was ‘Interesting’.

Nothing unpredictable really happens in my life either, and he brought that element of chaos; going for a walk and chat down the beach at 2am rather than going to bed and to sleep like a normal person generally does. Showing up on my doorstep at random times, making me alcoholic-by-proxy, having drunken rants and ridiculous conversations; he brought out my wild side, and I loved it. Until it started to affect my life, my real life.

He promised to make up for his fuck uppery, he’d take me rock climbing, take me out for a meal, he hoped that I was paying attention to how much he owed me, that he would pay me back, every penny. The promises became less and less; the meal wound up being a couple of bottles of wine and his company for an evening, and yet that was still too much. It was clear after a while he never had any intention of repaying my hospitality either financially or even by offering a solid friendship any more.

I’m not sure if he started to get lazy or I worked out that I was being manipulated, maybe a combination of both, but the end of the ‘friendship’ came after he didn’t bother showing up one day. We had previous talks about how this made me feel worthless; if you can’t make plans with someone, at least make a phone call, send a text, e-mail, face book message…communication isn’t exactly hard these days. But it carried on. We would make plans, he wouldn’t bother contacting me and wouldn’t bother showing up. The last straw for me was when this happened one day, I was beyond pissed, and I heard nothing from him. Until I sent him a message wishing him a happy birthday four days later. No apology, but contact was made. I asked him to make it up to me. He was far too busy, naturally.

It was at this point I think it fully dawned on me; I had my inklings that I was being manipulated before but whether I was having too much fun to care, or I was lonely, or I just didn’t want to accept it; I’m not sure. Possibly a fatal combination of all three, and a few more I haven’t thought of.

Some of the last words I said to him were along the lines of, if this situation was happening to a friend, I’d tell them to drop the dickhead, he is no friend. What kind of person takes you for all your worth and can’t even be arsed to pick up the phone if you can’t make it the half mile to see them? After all I’d done for him, the stress, the worry, the sleepless nights…

He didn’t take it well. The power he had in this relationship was over once I took control and said I wasn’t standing for it any more. It was an invigorating feeling, wrestling that power away from him. If you find yourself in the same situation, trust me, it might be heart wrenching at first; they sure as hell don’t make it easy for you. Why would they? You’re a metaphorical goldmine. But do it, the relief you feel once you’ve realised you’ve rid yourself of a sociopathic vampire is indescribable and more empowering than you could really believe.

I still half expect him to call me at 2am when he has ‘nowhere else to go’ or ‘needs a true friend’, but that bridge is well and truly burned. I know his true face now, you can’t unsee that level of disregard for your well-being, emotions and self worth.