Google Guy

So, before I continue with my dating disaster story, I wanted to summarise a little bit about Oscar (Google Guy). So Oscar and I dated for six months, so this post will be spread over two. Now, before anyone feels this will be a “man bashing” as a few people have so eloquently described my blog, I just want to confirm Oscar was a great guy, however, sometimes a great guy isn’t always the right guy and just because someone looks great on paper doesn’t mean they necessarily do the job for you. My time with Oscar definitely showed me that there are nice guys out there, it also taught me you should never pretend to be someone you’re not, as you will find out …

Following a couple of drinks and getting to know one another, Oscar told me that we were booked in for dinner at a nearby restaurant. I have got to admit I was a smidgen impressed with his organisational skills (better than mine). We headed over to catch our reservation. As we walked over, Oscar continued conversation. I nodded where I was supposed to but wasn’t really listening. I was too busy eying him over, he was so well groomed and had a proper umbrella (I don’t know why the umbrella resonated as such a thing, but it did) I was still making observations when I heard through Oscar’s mumbles, the words “keeping track on interest rates”. My brain stopped, I was with a real life grown up; interest rates, dinner reservations a proper umbrella. I was happy my pants and bra matched! I would have to make the effort to be more of a grown up tonight I thought, I’m pretty sure as that thought crossed my mind I stood up to look a little taller (because that makes you more of grown up – promise!)

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We arrived at the restaurant, Oscar and I sat down at the table I glanced around. As any central London restaurant should be at the weekend; it was packed and the atmosphere was lively. The restaurant we visited was Yauatcha , this was my first visit and following the first I would highly recommend to anyone (date location or otherwise).

The dim lighting and buzz of the open kitchen coupled with the smell of delicious Asian food was perfect and I felt immediately hungry.

As the menu came over I asked Oscar if he had been here before; he had multiple times with work, I opened the menu unsure of what to order and if I am honest unsure of what some of the menu meant.

As the waiter came over to take our order, Oscar recommended a few dishes and ordered on our behalf (I again found this grown up behaviour strangely sexy). We continued to talk about trips we had planned for the rest of the year. After chatting for a little while, the dishes of food started to arrive at the table. I was impressed by the starters and by the time the main dishes arrived I was feeling rather full from the food and wine. The waiter placed down the two large dishes and a huge bowl of rice- I immediately regretted my choice of super tight high waisted trousers…

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Between us we managed to finish both dishes and drink more wine, by the time we finished I was no longer feeling sexy in my tight trousers. Oscar grabbed the bill and refused to let me pay. He then suggested heading up to the bar.

As we walked up the stairs to the bar, I felt rather self conscious in my tight trousers; I could barely breathe and felt like a sausage in sausage casing. I tried to breathe in as much as possible and headed up the stairs

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After dinner, we headed over to another central bar and again as per my typical date behaviour, I had one too many cocktails. 

At 1am we fell out of the bar and I thanked Oscar for another lovely date, I pulled out my phone to call an Uber and out of no where quiet, cute, grown up Oscar just unexpectedly threw it out there…

“Why don’t you  just stay over at my place?” 

I’ve had similar propositions in the past at the early stages but I’ve expected it from the said culprits, grown up Oscar had caught me off guard slightly. At this stage I just want to flag I have zero judgement on any woman sleeping with a person on the 1st, 2nd, 5th or 10th date – whatever you want to do, do. As long as you feel good. (For further thoughts on one night stands – please listen out for our upcoming Podcast).

Following my last first date mistake (please see Amazon Tom blog) I wasn’t ready to sleep with Oscar and after eating my own body weight in Asian food; I just wanted to get into bed and induce myself into a food comma. However, as the fresh air hit me; I realised how drunk I was and would probably pass out in the taxi. 

“Thanks for the offer Oscar” I said drunkly “but I’m not sleeping with you” I announced (there was that drunk word vomit again.) He genuinely looked taken aback and insisted that wasn’t what he was suggesting. He offered to get my Uber home, but would escort me as I was a little drunk (he was being polite). I did indeed fall asleep in the cab, turns out that when we arrive at my place, I wouldn’t wake up (it’s up there with some of the more embarrassing things I have done). As such Oscar took me back to his place although I’m pretty sure having his date take off her trousers, get into his bed and fall asleep was not his expectation…

The next morning I woke up early and my head pulsed with pain. Would I ever learn? I turned to see Oscar still asleep, I didn’t want to wake him after what a gent he had been the night before, so decided to stay in bed and hold in the wee I desperately needed. I looked around the bedroom to distract myself.  The were artwork canvases on the wall, matching furniture, shoes neatly lined up along the wardrobe, an alarm clock, the grown up umbrella and the duvet I was lying in was so comfortable (well in comparison to my Ikea’s own). He was a real grown up. Even from our date, I could see Oscar and I were at different stages in our lives, but he seemed like such a nice guy and after the last couple of disasters, it would make a change to hang out with a nice guy. It probably wouldn’t last that long any way…

Five months later and I woke up in Oscars bed (okay so it lasted a little longer than I initially anticipated). As the months had passed, Oscar and I had actually got a along better than expected and he made me feel incredibly comfortable and relaxed, as such I hadn’t fought back as time progressed.

I felt like such a grown up with Oscar; we went to lovely bars and restaurants, walks around the park, visited lovely XXX venues and I had a feeling we would soon be leading up to a weekend away. Oscar had truly confirmed that there were nice guys out there and I was enjoying my time with him … its just … there was still something that wasn’t clicking. As lovely, organised and practical as he was and I could see Oscar caring for me, I could never see myself on his shoulders at a festival, you know?

Initially I had put our differences aside, but as time had developed, our pleasures, expectations and morals around life in general were becoming apparent. Five months down the line, I knew I needed to start thinking about the long term but was happy as it stood …

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While Oscar slept in (something I don’t do) I got out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make coffee, as I stirred my machine filtered grown up coffee my mind wandered. I loved spending time with Oscar but my gut told me we weren’t a match. We had such different passions. We also held different morals; five months in and my friends were itching to meet Oscar, were as he had never breathed a word to me of meeting his friends. The fact that I had never met (or was close to meeting) anyone in his life; a housemate, a colleague, a friend also didn’t help my anxiety, particularly following Matt. I suddenly got an overwhelming on-the-spot panicked feeling and in all of five seconds: my brain had me believe Oscar was married, with two hidden children and a Volvo estate.#truestory (Thanks anxiety, you’re a doll)

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I stirred my coffee and tried to distract my irrational brain. Looking back now; I know a lot of my thoughts were irrational and surprisingly Oscar wasn’t leading a double life but this is the joys of anxiety and as any sufferer will know. It takes a lot to fight irrational thoughts and feelings everyday. To anyone who does deal with any form of mental health – keep going, you’re stronger than any “normal” person who doesn’t have to deal with it everyday. 

Anyway… 

As I had mentioned; there had been a few occasions that made me doubt Oscar and I’s compatibility. Our sense of humours weren’t massively similar, he was a quiet guy (for anyone that know’s me…well… erm… I’m not), he also hated planning ahead in comparison to me who colour codes her calendar (honestly, I promise, I’m not cray). I also found myself filtering what I said around him a lot and I was slowly beginning to realise; I actually wasn’t ever 100% myself around him. 

Following my Friday night with Oscar, I was looking forward to spending the remainder of the weekend with my friends. Mini,I and a few others were heading off for a standard Shoreditch night. After saying good bye to Oscar – I headed over to Mini’s to spend the day prepping for the evening ahead. We all caught up on boy stuff; we talked about Mini’s ongoing work guy situation (4 months later still ongoing); I still didn’t get what was going on with that guy and how on earth he wouldn’t want to date her (but more to come of that later). 

We caught up on Oscar and I; I confided in the girls about my irrational worries and they talked me round (as always); they assured me that Oscar was definitely not married with children. 

“B – don’t worry about things like that, he most definitely isn’t married but I do think it is a bit weird that you haven’t met anyone” I agreed, it was slightly strange. I pushed the thought to the back of my mind before the night out. Like any girls, pre-night out we drunk a bottle (or two) of wine and took a copious amount of selfies. The task of selfies and pre-night out pictures tend to stretch out; one person normally doesn’t like themselves in the pic (normally me), blurry pictures turning out as drunk people can’t hold the phone and the issue of you and your bestie having the same “good side” (the struggle is real). 

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After filling our phones with selfies, we caught an Uber and headed out. I did the standard and added Mini and I’s picture to Instagram and within 5 minutes I heard my phone beep…. It was Tom. I hadn’t heard from him in a couple of weeks. Funny what a selfie does right?

“Looking good in your pictures B – are you out in Shoreditch tonight? Let me know if you are around for a drink.” I messaged Tom back with general conversation. I still really liked Tom as a person; but over the last few months he had drunk called me a couple of times and, I don’t know, but I always got the feeling that he wanted to say a little more than friendship. As such, I had never agreed to meet up. Although maybe it was just me… 

After a brief catch up over message, I put my phone away and we headed out to a few bars. As we settled in a first bar (with the first bottle of wine) we chatted about work and planning holidays, after the first bottle, the chatting then turned into dancing and we decided to head to a club. As we walked over, my phone beeped again, this time it was Oscar. 

“Hey, hope you have a good night – just heading out now – chat tomorrow.” – I messaged back before heading into the club. “You too – did you end up out near your place?” He responded quickly. “No, we ended up out in Shoreditch.” That was exciting; it would be pretty cool if we bumped into one another and nice to actually meet someone he knew. I replied “Same- we are just heading over to Dragon bar, you should pop over for a drink” Blue ticks flashed up, but this time, no response. I put my phone back in my bag, he was probably just at the bar or something. 

We headed into the club, went straight to the bar for shots and danced (a lot). The night was fun; we made friends with a group of girls (with great eyebrows) in the toilet and chatted to a hot group of guys (who proceeded to provide our next – and final bottle of wine). After a fab night, we ordered an Uber and after pulling my phone out of my bag – I was disappointed that Oscar hadn’t messaged me back. Did he not want to meet my friends? Was I overthinking it? I didn’t really know, but what I do know is that I decided that at 2am in an uber on the way to McDonalds that it was the perfect time to broach the subject with Oscar and I did what no person should ever do and sent a drunk text…

After a blurry journey back with Mini and chicken nuggets, I arrived home, polished off my fries and got into bed. As I slowly drifted off I was jolted awake by my phone – Oscar must have replied (to the message I could no longer recollect sending) – I drunkenly reached out for my phone. It wasn’t Oscar…

Tom

“B – I know you are with Mr Google now but I just wanted to tell you how stupid I feel for letting you go. You’re stunning and funny and I was just being a stupid man freaking out. I have my guard up and that is my downfall with stuff as a guy. I just want you to know that’s how I feel and I’m an idiot. If you ever want to catch up properly – let me know” 

I was (a little) shocked. I had a feeling Tom wanted to say something to me but hadn’t really expected the above. I looked at the message and knew Tom hadn’t been out drinking; it would have taken a lot for him to write that and he didn’t deserve a drunken response. Safe to say as much as my brain told me one thing; my drunk fingers began to compose a response. After putting together the message (which I forgot as quickly as typing) I put the phone down and put my head back on the pillow and put the drunk messages to the back of my mind. I could deal with that in the morning… 

My phone beeped – waking me from my drunken slumber. I turned over feeling fuzzy headed (the standard weekend feeling). I picked my phone up and my screen was filled with green notifications from Oscar and Tom. I stared confused at my phone; what was with all the messages. And then it dawned on me…the drunk texts…

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I unlocked my phone, dreading to think what I had written. As I read the messages back, I cringed. What was wrong with drunk me? I made the sensible (and obvious) decision to help deal with the messages…

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I joke! Turns out sometimes drunk messages do hold less than brilliant consequences and sometimes alcohol’s “honesty is the best policy” works….

Thanks for reading 

x

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Self love Sunday…

I wanted to take the opportunity to write a post about something that I’ve personally struggled with a lot in the past; loving myself and working on overcoming my anxiety.

I  spent a big proportion of my life in long term relationships, so when I found myself single three years ago, self-love wasn’t something that came naturally to me. This became more challenging with my anxiety and if I’m honest initially seemed like an impossible journey.

Through my blog readers and speaking with friends, from all walks of life (whether married with children, single, travelling, city living, young, old etc.) I have realised that this journey is something everyone struggles with at some stage in their life. Self love (and even just understanding yourself) is a constant journey and a tough one at times! As such, I wanted to share some of my learnings and hope that if someone else is struggling, some of my experience can help them too. Enjoy! X


Don’t be frustrated if you don’t know what sets you on fire. 

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I spent so much time trying to work out what I enjoyed doing and what I was truly passionate about. I went to different gyms, classes (horticulture, make up, immersive theatre – don’t ask), shopping, nights out, eating out etc. The list is endless. I eventually started to get frustrated when I wasn’t finding a real connection to anything that I was doing.

After about a year of trying to work out what I liked, I realised that the pressure of trying to work that out was actually deriving any joy that I would have perhaps got in the first place. As such, I took the pressure off myself and lone behold found out what I love (I’ll give you one guess as to what that is). I’ve also learned that what I enjoy changes and that’s okay, people grow all the time and once I accepted that, I was far more content. So try lots of new things, you’ll never regret a new experience (unless you try immersive theatre) and keep the pressure off yourself.

Give your life a “trim”

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Cutting out what makes you unhappy was and still is the most challenging change for me to make. A lot of things that made me happy 12 months ago, don’t necessarily make me happy today.

I think being able to say “no” to things and people is something that develops over time and with experience. I’m noticing that the older I’m getting, the less shit I’m taking. So whether it’s the night out and drinks you really can’t be bothered with, the job you sit in and don’t enjoy, the friends that aren’t particularly there for you or the Prince Charming that messages you with “wyd” at 1am; give them the cut. (In fact, go grim reaper on the WYD dude)

Social Media and Social Norms “Cleansing”

Whether you are fully self assured or the most insecure person on the earth, today’s world ensures that there is an element of pressure on every person to be the best. Be in the best shape, Look perfect every day, Wear the nicest clothes, Drink the skinny tea, Wear the chicken fillet push up bra (honestly how many of them are there out there?) Is it just me that sometimes feels that I’m the odd one out because I’m not promoting Misguided bikinis on a beach in Ibiza? No? Great.

On a serious note, I can’t deny, I am a huge fan of social media and the bloggers I follow are those that really push positivity and self love. However, no matter how hard I try, there are some days when social media and the pressure of social norms really get to me.

I have found there are two things that really help me when I feel like this.

1. Digital detox

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I know, the horror of it, but trust me, somedays it’s the best thing. If I am ever having a down day, I switch off all my social media. There is just no point in spending a day looking at other peoples lives as you will naturally compare and that isn’t healthy. I always feel better after a day of digital detox and surprisingly the world hasn’t changed.

2. Challenge Social norms 

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Another pressure that I feel quite regularly is the pressure to live my life in a certain way. I can’t count the amount of times that I have been at a family event only to be asked “So, any man on the scene?” or “Don’t you think about kids”. Usually I’m questioned on this by 50 year Susan. When I explain to Susan that I am quite happy just as I am, I receive an sympathetic glance with a “At least you have your career though” (As if that is a bad thing). Note. Susan’s husband Dave’s eyes have been glued to my breasts for the whole evening.

Eat Well, Sleep Well and Work-out well

As simple as this may sound, if you are in a bad place or feeling a bit lost; always try and hold on to a minimum of the above three things. I always find that if one of them slips my anxiety sets in motion and then I have trouble doing the basics (let alone loving myself).

1. Sleeping

My sleeping really takes a horrible toll when I have been through stress or I am feeling a bit lost. I also really struggle with motivation in the mornings when anxiety hits. I am sure most people would agree that without sleep, things seem worse than they are. A couple of things that have helped me

Valerian Root Tea

Okay, so it sounds slightly hippy but this has been my life saver. Valerian Root Tea is £2.50 from Holland and Barrett and I actually get a peaceful nights sleep. Try it if you don’t believe me.

Morning Meme Motivator

So this one is personal, I have amazing friends and when we are going through bad times we send meme’s and quotes to one another all the time. One particular friend of mine sends me quotes from Najwa Zebian (link in my Instagram) and she is by far one of my favourite’s in a morning.

2. Eating

Since embarking on training a couple of years ago my diet has changed (massively for the better), I initially started eating well to improve my physical appearance but after actually starting to see slight changes in my mood from my diet, I decided to look into things further.

I now eat clean as this supports my anxiety in a massive way. While I am an advocate of clean eating I am also not going to sit here and say you must eat avocado’s everyday, if you having a pizza over a weekend makes you happy; do it (I certainly do) but I would encourage clean eating; it really helps.

The two main books I live by are Medical Medium; this book is massively “out there” as it talks about the spirituality of food and it’s healing powers (super hippy I know). I personally had to take some parts with a pinch of salt, but picking out some elements of this book has made a huge difference to my anxiety and I would highly recommend. The second is Clean Eating Alice’s Body Bible; amazing recipe’s and I admire her attitude (plus she is little like me!)

3. Working out

It goes without saying that exserice actually makes us feel better. Every time you work out, your body releases endorphins (a morphine like chemical that is released after periods of intense exercise). Endorphins work as part of the brains “reward system” and will help lift your mood. Face it, you’ve never got to the end of a work out and though “I wish I hadn’t done that”

My only piece of advice would be find something you truly enjoy doing. Whether it be running, spinning, personal training, yoga, boot camps or a mix. Make sure you love it! Exercise has really helped me overcome my anxiety and others that I know. One person I would recommend a follow of is Rebecca Jayne Fitness (link in my Insta). She has an amazing journey and story around exercise and mental well being and would recommend a follow.

As I said, I am certainly no guru on self love, but I hope if you are going through a rough time or struggling with the above, some of my experience helps.

Dating post on Oscar to follow tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

B x

 

 

 

 

Dating the websites…

Following Amazon Tom handing over the chocolate boost bar, I immediately felt at ease. As we walked over to the bar, I clutched the chocolate bar in my hand; this was the first piece of food I had encountered all day and I was fighting the urge to rip the packet open and inhale the snack but thought this may give off a less than lady like demean (little did I know, I was on track to diminish that anyway).

 

I struck up conversation with Tom to distract myself from the hunger pains. We chatted about work mainly; he had a pretty cool job working for Amazon and as he talked about the office. My current job working in the city was working for a small business and I missed the corporate world terribly (said no one ever), but I did.

 

Tom had organised for us to have drink at a bar close to Liverpool Street. We managed to find a seat and after Tom ordered a bottle of red, we sat down and got to know one another. Turns out my pre-date nerves had been totally unnecessary; we had a lot in common! We talked about Netflix series (and how we were both guilty of binge watching), work, the gym and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk Tom, and it was genuinely like meeting an old friend.

 

However, as the conversation continued -so did the wine. (gulp) As I hadn’t eaten all day I was starting to feel a little light headed. I shrugged off my tipsiness, I would just limit myself to one more glass (said no one ever)…

 

Two bottles later and the conversation had moved from intellectual to idiocy. Tom and I joked around and by this point I was having too much fun to notice it was 12pm and I still hadn’t eaten. Mid conversation; I excused myself to the bathroom. As I stood up, it seemed the room stood up with me (you know the feeling? When the walls move?) and I teetered like Bambi in my heels. Tom reached out his arm to balance me “Shall I get us some food?” He asked. I actually wanted to kiss him (and would do more than that later); food sounded like the best thing EVER. I made my way to the bathroom and once in there tried to sober myself up.

 

I re-applied my make up and had a short sharp word with myself in the mirror. When I arrived back at the table Tom had ordered a platter of food to eat. I ate in as lady like a manner I could manage whilst starving. I even offered Tom the last piece of breaded chicken when in reality all I wanted to snatch it from him and growl like some rabid wild hyena. In my absence and much to my dismay Tom had ordered another bottle of wine with the food and this is the part of the story that takes the form of drunken flashes rather than a realistic account of the date.

 

From what I remember after the last bottle (and have been reminded by Tom on many occasions); I blurted out the whole Matt and I drama (to which Tom listened politely and was extremely empathetic), about the poor career choices I thought I had made since moving to the city. I then; took my shoes off in protest (of nothing) followed by taking a selfie of both Tom and I then sent it to my mum (yup, I have no words either and it doesn’t feel better writing it second time round) Tom as I know you are reading this my lovely friend – thank you for putting up with me on that date (and since) – you deserved a medal!

 

As I left the bar (shoeless) I made the informed (and classy) decision that it wasn’t the best idea to get the tube home.

“Tom!” I shouted, putting my hand on my chest, clearly ready to make some loud drunk announcement at 1am. “Can I tell you something? And it’s a big secret” (this was not a big secret…) Tom agreed to hear more…

 

“I, Tom” I continued “have never ever ever ever had a one night stand” I giggled and shh’d him.

 

Surprisingly, Tom didn’t ask too many questions about my announcement nor did he put up much of a fight when I insisted on staying at his place. As such, my first Tinder date extended a little more than I had originally imagined and Tom was my first one night stand… but more on one night stands later…

 

I was startled from my sleep by the loudest horn noise. I sat bolt upright and my head span. I covered my hung-over eyes that had been blinded by the morning light. Wait? Morning light? Why could I see morning light? I had blackout blinds. My head pounded and at that moment my brain couldn’t even comprehend my current situation. I opened my eyes more slowly than the first time round and let them adjust to my surroundings. Wait … This wasn’t my bedroom… Where was I? … I looked around the room and felt a little lost. I was lying in the standard young professional rented London apartment, only issue was – it wasn’t mine!

 

“Morning” said a male voice. I jumped so hard I nearly fell off the bed. I turned (too quickly for my fuzzy head) and there was a topless Tom. “You feeling okay?” He asked. Safe to say; I wasn’t feeling okay, I didn’t know where I was, I was supposed to be in work, my head pounded and as reality dawned on me – I wasn’t feeling as proud of my one night stand as I was last night.

 

“What time is it?” I asked, panicked. “And where are I?” Tom calmed me. “Becky, it’s  730am and you’re in Bethnal Green”

 

I breathed a sigh of relief, okay, drama over; I was two stops away from work and home on the central line and I wasn’t due in work for another 2 hours.

 

My brain calmed and the evening quickly pieced back together. A kaleidoscope of laughs, selfies and shoe-less antics flooded back this was then followed by a lot of naked flashes and I just wanted the ground to swallow me up.

 

How. Embarrassing.

 

Tom immediately brushed it off and invited me for breakfast. We had food and drank coffee, although I still couldn’t shake the embarrassment. After back and forth chat we basically talked one another out of going to the office and called in to “work from home” We spent the morning chatting (sober), eating and watching TV.

 

Even after my maiden voyage in the “one night stand” sea, Tom was very lovely and made me feel relaxed. I realised (sober) how well got on; he really made me laugh and I felt like I could actually talk to him as a friend. Sure, without a few wines, I didn’t have the same “jump him” urge, but he was such a nice guy and seemed so genuine.

 

After a lovely (and slightly slutty) first date, I left Tom’s place and got on the tube home. I have to (shamefully) admit, that leaving, I was marginally proud of myself. I had never had a one night stand and in that moment, walking home in my work dress still slightly drunk; I could finally say I had done it.

 

(Just a quick note; my first POD cast will talking about one night sands as I think there are different views on this, so keep your ears peeled.)

 

When I got home, I checked my phone and there was a message from Tom “Hey B I had fun today :)” That was sweet! Beneath his message notifications from tinder filled my phone with little red flames.

 

I hadn’t actually been talking to anyone since chatting with Tom and hadn’t been active on Tinder for a week or so. I’m terrible at spinning plates, let alone men and if I dated more than one, I would slip up and call them by the wrong name or something. Given I was embarking on one night stands, I didn’t think wrong name calling would be appropriate and opened on to Tom’s profile…

“Tom – last active 1 hour ago ”

 

Now…I am under no illusion that all guys (and girls) are solely committed/married after one Tinder date but 1 hour ago, I had been in Tom’s bed, I’ve got to be honest… didn’t feel great. Was this the world of dating? Swiping post-cordial? I gave up and put my phone down.

 

Over the next couple of months alongside work and the nights out; Tom and I continued to see one another. Both being foodies meant that we spent most of our time eating out and cooking. As we continued to see one another my feelings towards Tom developed although not in the way I had quite hoped. I had mixed feeling about him; on paper – he was great and I did fancy him but there was something I could never put my finger on … sometimes it felt more like a friendship that anything else.

 

On one particular date Tom and I decided to head to one of my favourite burger joints in London.

 

I met Tom at our usual spot at Liverpool Street station, it was both our first times at the burger place. “So.” I asked “Any clue on direction?” Tom didn’t have a clue so pulled his phone out. Much to my surprise; red flamed notifications filled his phone. He closed the notes down quickly and looked rather sheepish. I rolled my eyes, how did someone have the time to talk so much? We were now a couple of months down the line and although we hadn’t had the “where is this going” conversation, I was a little miffed yet again.

 

We had another nice dinner and after a relaxed evening; headed home. While on the way home my girly brain had an overthink. Maybe I wasn’t doing this dating thing right? Should I be dating more than one guy? Did I even have time to talk to people let alone date someone else?

 

The next day (which was a standard Friday night)  I was out in London with Mini. She asked how things were going with Tom and I told her about the tinder addiction I was dealing with. She laughed. “You are a few of months down the line, maybe have a chat to him?” she said “Do you even know if you like him long term B?” I thought about this for a minute. I did like Tom, on paper he was perfect but something still wasn’t sitting right. “Maybe just keep your options open, he seems to be” I liked Mini’s attitude. She was right, why couldn’t I play the field? (Turns out I’m terrible at it) but at the time I thought it would be a great idea.

 

After a boozy Friday night, I headed home. Tom called me drunk (the usual) telling me how much he liked me. Honestly, boys and mixed messages? And women are supposed to be the complicated ones eh?

 

Following the drunk call with Tom, I jumped into bed and popped my phone on charge. As I dozed off my phone vibrated – I leaned over half expecting to see another message from Tom and to my surprise, it was actually a match I had made a while back.

 

“Oscar, 32”

“Hi B, how’s your Friday evening been?”

 

I put the phone back down, I would respond to that in the morning.

 

When I woke the next day, I took some time out for me. I headed over to the Olympic Park with Mini where we held boot camp and got some breakfast at one of my fave brunch spots; Hatch in Homerton. I would strongly recommend their brunch to anyone visiting East London. Their food is fab and I am a massive advocate of supporting local businesses rather than the “Breakfast clubs” of the world.

 

Over brunch, Oscar and I had started to message…

 

“So what do you do?” Oscar asked.

 

I replied “I work in a small tech firm”

 

“That’s strange” he said “I work for a tech company, we may know the same people”

 

“Who do you work for?” I asked (not expecting know the same people)

 

“Oh I work for Google…”

 

Okay, so I now had Amazon and Google (you couldn’t write it) After laughing inwardly to myself Oscar and I went on to arrange a date for the following weekend.

 

As the week ran through, I started to realise just how bad I was at the whole “double dating”. I was already starting to trip up; I kept mentioning things to Oscar that I had said to Tom that neither of them knew about and with working, studying and generally living life I found it difficult to text 2 guys at once. Hats off to anyone who dates numerous people, it’s like a full time job and to idiots like Matt who basically lead double lives – you deserve a medal, I am not sure how you have the admin time!

 

Thursday came round and Tom and I had another mid-week date lined up. He cooked me dinner and we watched family guy on the sofa. Things were weird with Tom, he was such a nice guy made me feel at home and I could talk to him about anything but there still wasn’t a huge spark no matter how much I willed it. Plus his phone was still lit up with red flames every time we met, so we clearly were on different pages. After another nice evening, we went to bed early as we were up early for work the next day.

 

My phone rang and bolted me out of my sleep. That wasn’t my usual alarm? I grabbed my phone off the bedside table quickly not wanting to wake Tom. It was my friend Shell who I sometimes got the tube into work with, she would be wondering where I was. I answered and whispered…

 

“Hey! I stayed out last night I won’t be on the normal tube time”

 

“Oh hey girl” she almost shouted – Shell was always full of energy and was obviously already out and about. Her voice was so energetic and bubbly that if my whispering hadn’t woken Tom, this conversation probably would have. “No worries! She said and oooooo you dirty stop out, which one is this Amazon or Google guy” I froze, her voice was so clear and loud the “Amazon Google” comment basically hung in the air of the silent bedroom! I turned over slowly praying Tom wouldn’t be awake (pleasedontbeawakepleasedontbeawake) – nope, just my luck, there was Tom wide awake and gave me a little wave. He’d obviously heard.

 

“Erm … So … I … Err” no words came out and for anyone who knows me that isn’t the norm.

 

“Look B, just don’t worry about it” he said and got out of bed to get ready.

 

I felt bad, maybe Tom wasn’t worried about it, maybe he was but what I did know at that moment after a couple of months seeing Tom I needed to make a decision as the whole double dating thing wasn’t for me; never will be. Tom left before me and I decided to drop him a message and be transparent. I wasn’t sure what I wanted from Tom but this would hopefully clear things up…

“Hey Tom, so I’m sorry about this morning. I just wanted to be honest as the whole thing weirded me out a little. I’m not sure what this is or even how I feel about it but I do know I’m not the type of girl who dates multiple guys and if this just keeps going how it is although I’m having fun it just seems kind of pointless, you know?”

Tom responded in a way similar to mine saying how busy work was and the fact that he was moving didn’t help. He wasn’t sure what he wanted either. After chatting, it was obvious we weren’t heading in a direction together; we mutually decided to remain friends. (Little did I know – this wouldn’t be the last between Tom and I, but more of that later in the story)

 

As I left Tom’s apartment, I didn’t feel sad or anxious, it felt like it was meant to happen. I put my headphones in and headed off to work to enjoy my Friday and pay day drinks. Oscar text me to confirm we were still meeting the next day, I honestly couldn’t be bothered but it wasn’t really fair to cancel.

Saturday came round and I made minimal effort for the date. I pulled on jeans and a white top coupled with some heels and headed off to meet Oscar in the agreed bar in Central. I arrived slightly early so grabbed a drink and sat at the bar. This time I didn’t have any first date nerves. My phone vibrated and it was Oscar “I’m so sorry- I’m running slightly late” I didn’t mind – I ordered another cocktail from the bartender (that one would be on Oscar). As I was sipping my drink; I looked over towards the door and saw Oscar rush into the bar looking flustered. He was dressed very well and had clearly made an effort. As I watched him look around panicked I was reminded of when Tom and I had first met when I had been all over the place. I immediately warmed to him and walked over to put him out of his misery. His back to me, I tapped his shoulder and he spun round.”Oscar – Hi, I’m B!” I said.

Oscar smiled clearly relieved, my gut immediately told me Oscar was a good guy and the next few months would certainly be fun (and will make you an interesting read)…

Thanks for reading again!

 

B

 

x

 

 

 

To Tinder or Not to Tinder

So this post (as well as more of my London story), focusses mainly on the app we all know – Tinder. I wanted to throw my thoughts out there around dating through Tinder (I will update on other apps in later posts) before telling you about my first experience with the dating apps. For anyone who is braving the dating scene or those who are a seasoned singleton’s and this app is merely part and parcel of your phone content; I’ve given some brief thoughts, experiences and hints and tips around this app and what my personal advice would be (and remember this is just my personal opinion);

What is it all about?

Tinder is the common red flame that flies (the red flame) for us singletons. For anyone who isn’t aware of tinder. This is what it is all about…

Tinder is an app that helps you match with people based on five or six pictures and a short bio. You can base your searches on age, sex and location (the modern and slightly more creepy ASL of our era. Some one bring back the simpler days of MSN please?). Once you have input your high level criteria, Tinder will then supply you with a plethora of potential profiles to match with. Once these profiles have been generated you then make a decision as to whether you would like to swipe left or right (left – not for you, right – they are for you).

Once you have matched, Tinder will open up a forum in which you and your match can strike up conversation. All makes sense in practice right? Well, here are some pro’s and con’s on the reality of the app…

Pro’s and Con’s

Pro’s 

If you are a busy individual, Tinder is a great place to arrange dates. People are there for the same purpose (to meet people). It is easy to set up, easy to use and I have heard of quite a few “happily ever after’s” that have initiated through Tinder. If you are looking to meet people, are new to the area or just generally want to “get back out there” it can be a great starting point.

Con’s

At one stage, Tinder was my “go-to” to arrange dates. After three years of being single, the appeal is faltering fast and this is not just with Tinder, but with most (not all) of the dating apps. If I am being totally honest around cons of dating through apps, my first con is around how boy’s treat the apps vs. girls. Now, I have a lot of fab guy friends/family and after numerous interesting and hilarious conversations, I have come to the conclusion boy’s basically do this…

Now, that certainly isn’t a generalisation but you know what I’m trying to say… A second con (or observation) is around how a dating apps make you feel as an individual. Me personally, I am a bit of a softie and I am not super confident, so having another person base whether they like me (or not) on a few selfies and a bio probably isn’t great for my own self esteem. Also (this sounds super silly) but  messaging someone and not getting a response is a little bit like going in for a high five mid air, only to be left hanging.

Don’t get me wrong using the apps for a while was fun (as you will see) but call me old fashioned’ I much prefer the interaction of a real life human being in a bar, my most successful dating stories have come from meeting people out and about over apps. Pictures can’t paint a chemistry nor can it paint your hilarious jokes and from personal experience it is far easier to explain to a guy face to face that you write a dating blog than over message without him thinking you’re a complete crazy person (they would only be half right)

So my advice, as a seasoned singleton, if you have a self confidence made of steel and aren’t aren’t in a vulnerable place, Tinder is a great place to start dating. But, be warned, I have had my share of horror stories from using this app, so maybe notch your “Prince Charming” dial a few levels and get ready to have some fun as well as cute stories to tell and always BE SAFE!

Happy Swiping!

Anyway, on with the story…

A few months down the line from Matt and a good few nights out with friends, I was already starting to feel better that not all men would be like him. I spent my time investing in myself (I will be posting about healthy break ups soon – so keep an eye out if you are post break up!). After experiencing the stress relief I had felt when I went out on my “post-Matt” run, I had started at a local gym and was hitting it 4 times a week. I was also doing what any lady worth the salt of her rebound would and shopping (usually beyond my means). Life was feeling better as I was developing a tight friendship circle and my anxiety levels following my new work out regime was at an all time low.

After a long week at work and the summer drawing in, Mini and I were spending Friday night doing our usual; getting dolled up in bathrooms at work to embark on our Friday night drunken adventures. As we scuttled around the bathroom performing the act of contouring and lip lining, we chatted about this evenings choice of location. As we are both East London based we usually stay this side of the river. Shoreditch and Hackney are particular regular hot spots. I rarely venture south of the river (the dark side), there are a couple of mistakes that loiter around there and for how big London is, I never fail to bump into them. As we regularly frequented Shoreditch, we decided to stay local (which we hadn’t done before) and embarked on a “Revolution”. I had memories of Revolution Bars from being a youngster up north, memories that I would like to erase, but non the less, pushed down my apprehension and headed out into Liverpool Street.

It was only 6.30 and the bar was already packed playing music loud enough to drown out Mini and I’s conversation. As we walked in, I quickly realised that this evening would be different… in front of us lay a sea of suits (and basically half of the population of Essex).We made our way to the bar (which was a struggle in itself) and after managing to order a bottle of wine went to locate our group and a spot that we could settle in.

The drink were flowing and after adjusting to the noise (I am not 80 years old – honest!) I started to relax and enjoy myself. Looking around; Liverpool Street Revolution was extremely different (and not one of my favourite places if I am being honest). The ceilings were high, marbled floors paved the room and an over-indulgent chandlier hung from the roof. Whilst chatting to the girls, I looked around the room and started to find myself amused by how similar the boys in this place were. Clones of Colchester surrounded us and after a while would start to drift over to the table. After a couple of visits from suits, I realised that the boys were actually replicas of one another and all had a very similar (not so affective) approach.

“Awight Giwl” was the generic greeting. Translation: “Hi beautiful” With a lean in revealing matching pocker-chief tie and if you’re lucky – socks. After the super smooth greeting and a smoothing of the Essex combover; you will then be immersed in hearing more about this catch’s job; he usually works in recruitment, IT sales or trading and is super successful (not a graduate), if the job isn’t enough to impress you; the fact he has been to Marbella or Vegas this year certainly will.

Anyway…

Following a few more bottles of wine and lots of dancing, the night picked up further and the bar continued to cram. We decided some colourful sugar loaded shots would be the thing to continue to spice up the evening, in reality they just made me feel a little sick. As we continued to dance, I suddenly felt a creepy hand on my waist. Hoping it was Miriam, I turned around and in front of me stood a short, Spanish man in leather jacket. Although it was highly offensive that he felt it appropraite to grab a strangers waist, give the man credit, at least he wasn’t in a suit. I awkwardly shuffle danced (you all know the one) back towards the girls, politely declining the charmers advances. Now usually the shuffle dance AWAY from somebody usually sends the vibes that you aren’t interested. Luckily, I have a talent for attracting the best of the best and as such my shuffle dance did not deter short Spanish gent.

He pulled up beside me and in his strong Spanish accent slurred”How are you beautiful?” (whilst continuing to try and put his mitts on my hips) I recoiled. Ew! “I’m great thanks” I replied in the most mono/dis-interested tone I could conjure. However, Spanish man clearly was a fan of the chase (imaginary or otherwise). He continued to talk at me and did not take the hint even when my friends tried to intervene. After 10 minutes or so and basically downing a glass of wine; I was starting to lose patience and when he turned, I quickly took the opportunity to bolt through the crowd. I thought I had finally made my escape when I felt

“Ahh – pretty lady – where are you going, you no want a kiss from me?” he slurred as he pulled me back towards him.

Okay, I couldn’t take this anymore, I pulled my hand away…

“Stop” I hissed and held up my hand like some deranged and drunken power ranger.

As I paced back towards this girls, frustrated by the ordasity of the Spanish creeper (what boy honestly thinks this is okay). I was suddenly halted in my tracks before I could reach my group by a curvaceous Latino looking lady. She pushed my shoulder and in a stronger Spanish accent than the previous Spaniard I had already been subjected to this evening shouted..

“Ey-a skinny lady, why you dis-a-respect by baby brother eh?!” Had I unknowingly stepped into an audition of Anime Latino?! Drunkenly (and certainly not sensibly) I stood my ground. “Well, yes” I raised over the music. “He is just won’t leave me alone, so, yes I am disrespecting him. Okay?” following this response, I also did something that I have never once in my life done before and clicked my fingers at the end of my sentence (Don’t ask, I don’t have an answer for you)

My white girl whip further infuriated the Latino sister, who then began to shout (what I’m going to assume meant bitch or something along those lines) in Spanish at me and advance on my “skinny white ass” (as she so kindly put it) Luckily, I started to back up and got back to my group of girls (thank the lord for the awkward dance shuffle). Following my return to the group, the Latino lady and persistent brother finally retreated. Breathing a sigh of relief after the brief stand off. I decided the only cure was another wine from the bar.

I walked back over to the large marble bar, with my drink order in tow, I was about a metre away when I tripped over a giant umbrella (classic smooth move from your truly). Flustered, drunk and pretty much done with the evening, I recovered myself, what moron would leave a giant umbrella in the middle of a bar I thought to myself.

“Hey! Sorry about that” I looked up at the umbrella perpetrator and felt immediate forgiveness. The owner of the umbrella was 6”2, suited in a classic tweed number (with no sign of matching accessories in sight), he stared over his cute circular glasses “Are you okay?” he asked.

I tried to recover from my embarrassing fall, by flicking my hair (which then whipped him in the face).

We started to chat (turns out a lonely umbrella and blinding someone with a whip of your hair is a great ice breaker). I remember very little of the conversation. He told me his name, his job, about the fact that he had just broken up with his long term girlfriend and even through the drunk haze; I could tell he was pretty cut up about it (boys have feelings too you know). After more shots, dancing (and a cheeky kiss), we decided to call it a night. I took the Umbrella guys number and this is where I will take a moment to emphasise why meeting people in a bar supersedes apps. Nothing ever happened romantically between Umbrella boy and me, however, he is now one of my close friends and I can always rely on him for advice and giggles. The first example; BETTER IN BARS!

The next morning, my head felt the familiar dullness of a hangover. Why did I never learn? As I lay hungover in bed I felt what we all felt in that vulnerable state, the overwhelming need for a cuddle. I flicked through my phone to distract myself, when a small forgotten red flame caught my eye. Now I’m not sure whether there was something was in the air that morning (or I was feeling needy with a hangover) but I opened the app and started to swipe.

As I swiped, Tinder quickly reminded me of why I never used it. As I swiped through and matches popped up; the underwhelming messages and cheesy one liners bored me. I turned to grab water from my side table and as I leaned over my head felt fuzzy. Why, oh why had I mixed my drinks. Wine, shots and then the gin, why gin? Ugh.

My phone buzzed and brought me back from drink-fuelled day dream. I had a Tinder message;

Tom

24

“Currently the only love in my life is Gin”

Ah, gin. At least we had one thing in common. I flicked through his pictures; he was really cute.

“Come on then Miss Funny. Tell me a joke” the message from Tom read. (The Miss Funny comment related to my unimaginative Tinder bio). Truth was I couldn’t be funny on command and after explaining this to Tom, we went on chat (quite a lot).

Turns out Tom and I had more in common than just gin; we liked the same Netflix series, movies, chicken wings, boost chocolate bars (all the important things in life obviously). He had a pretty cool job working for Amazon and after our conversation; we arranged a date for the following week in which I could prove myself as funny,

The following week, date day came around quickly. Through the day, I was in meeting after meeting and skipped lunch (note. this is not great pre-date game as you will soon find out). When 5pm came round and after a standard quick change and spruce in the work bathroom, I walked over to Liverpool Street station to meet Amazon Tom.

After the busy day, I had completely forgotten that I was going on an actual date and this was my second ever real date (I had always had a boyfriend before) and as I walked over, the pre-date nerves set in. What if he didn’t look the same as his pictures? What if we didn’t get on as well in person? What if he asked me about fat fetishes? (the possible disasters where endless) as I turned the corner to our meeting location, I looked around to try and spot Tom’s face when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned, caught off guard and out of nowhere a gust of wind blew and disheveled my hair that I had just brushed into precise place. And there stood Amazon Tom, granted I hadn’t expected to meet him looking like a confused member of Fraggle rock, here we were face to face. He looked exactly like his pictures, in fact cuter with his little geeky glasses and laptop rucksack. “Hi!” he said (his accent was cute) “Are you okay?” he asked noticing my flustered appearance. “Yeah I’m good thanks, I think I was a bit lost” I lied. Tom laughed. “Yeah it can be a bit confusing with the two entrances right?” I smiled a little uncomfortably, first dates can be so awkward. “Here” he said rummaging in his back pocket, he handed me a boost chocolate bar and (like the chocolate would) I melted and all of a sudden I wasn’t nervous anymore.

Little was I to know, that a lot of things were to come of this evenings date that I would never have dreamed of. Turned out my first Tinder date was going to take an unexpected turn and that Amazon Tom would become a bigger feature in my dating life than I initially imagined….

Thanks for reading again and I hope you enjoy the next post when you can find out exactly what happened on mine and Tom’s first date (gulp!)

B

x

The Magicians Final Disappearing Act

Following my abrupt “break up” with Matt I was glad to be home for Christmas. When you are feeling rubbish, I am sure anyone will agree that the best thing to do is go home to Mum for a cuddle. It was great to see the family. For anyone that knows my family personally – they could cheer anyone up. I spent the entire trip being filled with delicious food, wine and a copious amount of cheese and if the home feast wasn’t enough to cheer anyone up, try playing cards against humanity with your Grandma. (I would recommend Articulate as a more appropriate option).

This was my first Christmas in a long time as a singleton. Now I’m pretty sure I am not the only person to feel this way, but in London I never really feel the desire to be in a relationship, back home is a little different. All my “non-London” friends are real grown ups; they have houses, babies (maybe sometimes more than one) and talk about technical baby things that I don’t quite understand so smile and nod politely.

In the time I was home I tried to distract myself and actually met my baby friends, it was lovely to see old friends but I always felt slightly out of place while they talked toddler. “Honestly” one of them chirped up “The only time I get a bit of peace and quiet is when I go to the bathroom!” FINALLY something I could relate. “Totally” I said “After a heavy night, the bathroom is literally the only place I feel comfortable being on the floor” It was met with a resounding silence…(*sips prosecco awkwardly*)

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When I was finally “babied” out, I decided to head home. As much as I enjoyed the baby talk, there was only so much I could handle and I was looking forward to getting home to the family. I was drifting into a prosecco induced day dream when my phone beeped and jolted me out of my neat snooze.

“DEAN”

So, a break for context, Dean was a “boyfriend” from the latter of my teenage years. We had met when I was 18 and at the time Dean was the best human being in the entire universe (obviously). We had spent a year together and when Dean abruptly dumped me before heading off on a lads trip to Ibiza, at the time it was obviously the end of the world (young love). Looking back, I had been so impressionable and turns out Dean was only impressed by his friends, shame, but more about Dean later in the story.

I rolled my eyes and put my phone back in my pocket. The text from Dean made me momentarily think of Matt, I hadn’t received any communication from him. As stupid as it sounds, as much as I didn’t want to hear from him, I also really wanted to hear his reasons. The Christmas Eve event had run over and over in my head and I still couldn’t really understand how someone could be so mean. When I finally arrived home, my mum was on hand with “Mum talks” and more processo. We chatted about life back home and as it was nearing the end of the Christmas holidays so we planned a final meal for the last evening.

The next day went by quickly, packing my already overfull suitcase with more presents and saying good bye to family and friends took up all of my time, so when the family dinner finally came round that evening, I was pleased to relax. I sat down at the table ready to stuff my face. I handed my coat to the waitress and quickly checked my phone before dinner. I flashed up the home screen and there was the name I had wanted to see…

“Matt (missed call)”

My stomach undertook a little flip. As much as initially I hadn’t wanted to hear from him, I was keen to see what possible excuse he could have had for standing me up on Christmas Eve. I pardoned myself from the dinner table and called him back. The phone rang out a couple of times and when he answered the person on the other end of the line sounded unrecognisable. It was Matt, but he was crying, I had never heard him like this. I immediately softened, I genuinely hate the thought of anyone being upset and this was just so out of character.

“B” he whimpered “I’m so glad you answered – please hear me out” I let him tell me his sob story. It turned out he had been called into a last minute meeting at work the day before he was due to see me and the meeting was around the security of his job. “B, I could lose my job” He sobbed. Okay, so looking back I wish I had been slightly more savvy but at the time I naively really felt sorry for him, he had already been through so much recently and he loved his job. “Anyway B, that wasn’t the point of my call” he continued “I’m not going to go on holiday with the lads as I want to see you” I protested immediately, I didn’t want to be the reason he didn’t go away and I in all honesty I wasn’t sure I wanted to see him. “No” I responded firmly “we can catch up when you are back”. I ended the call. I stared at the wall in front of me. Something just didn’t feel right. My stomach churned, I tried to put it to the back of my mind, this was surely my anxiety making me a little nervous after the call. Turns out that was actually my gut and it has taken me a while to realise, but you should always listen to it.

I sat back down at the table, no longer feeling hungry. For any other anxiety sufferers, I hope this part is relatable but when I am anxious (and that can be about anything; pre-party nerves, work presentations etc.) I lose my appetite immediately. After the break up with my ex, I lost a whole stone. Now while that may seem appealing in many ways, take it from any anxiety sufferer, it truly isn’t. I have learned over time to manage my eating habits when I get bouts of anxiety. The overriding thing to do; not give yourself too much of a hard time. I would spend weeks trying to force myself to eat large meals, only to push food around my plate and end up making myself feel sick and lose more weight, then becoming further frustrated with myself. Now, I try and fuel myself with the right food, even when I am struggling. I try minimum to get a juice into my body a day and snack often on things that I want to (which usually tends to be a mix of healthy and unhealthy things). I will be writing a post of health and anxiety soon,

As I pushed my food around my plate, my thoughts continued to whir. Things really weren’t adding up. I had previously worked for the company that Matt was potentially being made redundant from and still had so many friends there, surely I would have heard about redundancies?

After the meal I decided to take action and start some fact finding. I called one of my old friends from the office; Max. I am going to take a break for context here just to confirm that despite misconceptions around this blog, not all men are bad, actually far from it. I have some of the most amazing men in my life (and have dated some very good eggs) as you will find out, Max is one of those great guys. He was always my go to for brutal boy advice. When asking for advice Max usually told me “I worried too much” but on this occasion he seemed very off. “B, maybe you should just leave this one out – don’t meet him again – he’s taking advantage”. The conversation took me off guard Max very rarely told me not to do something and he seemed very sure that I should no longer speak to Matt anymore. I questioned Max him about the job losses and if he had heard anything around Matt; surprisingly he hadn’t. “See B, something just doesn’t seem right, take a step back“ Max continued. Max was never like this. “Is there something you’re not telling me Max?” I heard him gulp down the phone – “No, of course not B”. I knew that something was wrong and for bolshy brutally honest Max to stutter, that worried me further.

The next day I headed back down to London. Travelling back always pulled on my heart strings. For anyone who isn’t based in London, leaving family and friends is so hard. I can’t count how many Virgin train journeys I have spent crying to myself quietly…

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Honest…

For anyone who has recently moved, or struggles with the journey’s back, it may not seem like it but I promise it gets much easier. On my return to London to keep myself occupied, I had planned a few nights out and tried to focus on them to get me through the journey. Unfortunately my mind kept swinging back to Matt and our last conversation. My phone rang loudly through the bluetooth and as if his ears were burning; it was Matt. I answered. “Hey!” he chirped in an extremely upbeat manner (for someone who was on the brink of losing their job). “Just thought I would call to let you know I miss you” he slurred. Oh- that explained the chirpiness, he was drunk.

“B” he laughed “we have missed our flight to Tenerife, we’re having to go to a different airport, it’s such a mess and we are so wasted”. I flinched and felt seriously unimpressed. Was this really the behaviour of a man trying to “fix” his life. After the months occurrences; my feelings towards Matt where changing and not for the better, he was really immature! The conversation was brief and after we hung up I realised how much I was beginning to dislike him and the horrible feeling in my gut was continuing to grow.

Once I arrived home, I threw myself into my “New Year, New Me” project. I packed old clothes into charity bags and as I had noticed my change in diet had started to support my anxiety I started to write meal plans. I also reluctantly made a promise to myself to join a gym, looking back it is almost laughable that I was dreading joining a gym I had no idea how much exercise would help me grow as a person and eventually surround me with amazing people, but more about my fitness journey (and the people I have met along the way) later. My final “New Year, New Me” resolution was to re-haul my underwear drawer, this may seem like a strange New Years resolution but after leaving a pretty tame near sexless 5 year relationship, investment in underwear had never been top on my list of priorities and I was making a change. I still live by walking out of the house wearing a matching bra and pants is liberating. Unfortunately, despite me investing heavily and advocating the matching underwear agenda; the one time the matching underwear pact should have had my back, it failed to on a massive scale (that particular story involves me, a model, a strip club and Homer Simpson pants… honestly, please don’t ask, just keep reading, it just get’s funnier).

After a couple of days settling back into the house and being fully immersed in “Project Me”, the Sunday came round that I had agreed to meet Matt. We had spoken on and off via message since he had returned from his trip but I really wanted to give him the chance to speak face to face. While I tidied the apartment, I glanced out of the window and was shocked to see Matt’s Mercedes parked in the lot. Wow – he was never early. Perhaps he was trying to show he had changed, it was a little too late for that but I appreciated the effort none the less. 

The front door knocked loudly and I walked through to let Matt in. “Hi B!” he shouted as he practically fell through the front door. I stepped back as he stumbled through. He smelled like a brewery. I stared at him, hugely unimpressed. I already had to handle me drunk of a weekend, I didn’t need the additional responsibility of him. I was also hugely offended that after everything, he had turned up to our chat drunk. 

“Oh B – I had such a good night and I’m so glad to see you” he slurred as he tried to hug me. I stepped back further and pushed his arms off me “What the hell Matt” was all I could manage. “Sorry B, so sorry, so sorry” he repeated. If I hadn’t been so angry, I probably would have admire at how drunk he was. He continued with his slur “I’ve just had such a bad time and the night was just so crazy” by this point I could feel my blood practically boiling. As he tried to explain himself, I cut him down “I don’t want this Matt, please get out” He stopped, taken aback, like an overgrown man child that had been scolded. “B, please, this is just me, this is how I feel at the moment – I’m so low and I know I’m just making it worse – but, but, but it’s like I’m in self destruct mode” His eyes started to well up again. Oh no, I couldn’t take him crying, I felt too bad. I ushered the man child through to the lounge and put him on the sofa with a glass of water, he was blubbering like a baby. What had happened to this great guy I had met? I looked at him; he did’t even look like the same person and it was in that specific moment I knew this was over, I couldn’t deal with this.

I realised that while Matt sobbed on the sofa, it probably was not the time to break this to him. He needed sleep, food and water and then I would talk to the adult that I was sure was in there somewhere. I thew a blanket at him “Sleep it off, we can talk over dinner later” I still wanted an explanation for all the strange happenings, plus he was way over the limit to drive and it is always easier to broach a conversation like that in a more relaxed environment. While he slept off his hangover, I went for a run to try and exhaust the frustration and bad mood away. I ran 10k that day without even thinking about it and when I arrived home, I felt more content and level headed (a quick work out does wonders). I walked through the door and Matt had finally surfaced. He looked dishevelled and was ultra apologetic. Even though Matt’s apologies had now worn thin and we were now past the point of return, I couldn’t help but feel for him it was awful to see him distressed. 

Once Matt had pieced himself back together, we headed out for dinner. Unfortunately, we had pre-booked a steak house in central, which was rather on the pricey side. I was immediatley regretting this choice. Had I known the day would have panned out this way, I wouldn’t have agreed to a white table cloth sit down dinner. 

As the meals came out, we awkwardly tried to make small talk but I eventually cut to the chase and started to ask him about the last few months. He told me again about how he had the worst year of his life; breaking up with Kerry, his back, his job etc. I couldn’t question the fact that he had suffered this year but my little gut feeling was still shouting at me. Midway through conversation and meal, he stopped. “B, I need to go to the bathroom, I’m going to be sick” I put my head down, as he scuttled off. I had never felt quite so embarrassed, surely nothing else could happen to make this final date any worse? Matt returned from being sick, he sat in silence, as did I – there really wasn’t anything else to say and whatever answer I was searching for wasn’t worth this behaviour. I politely asked for the bill and pulled out my card, Matt insisted on paying, apologising again for the embarrassment he had caused. The lovely waitress, who had given me sympathetic glances throughout the date and I’m pretty sure had poured me extra large glasses of wine to morally support me, processed the payment. She threw a judgemental look at Matt “Sir, your card has declined”. I couldn’t believe it! This was the cherry on top of a 6 month old disaster cake. I handed my card over and footed the £150 bill.

We both left the restaurant without saying a word. I was so angry and stormed away to meet my uber. Matt shouted for me to come back, but I was well and truly one. As soon as I sat down in the taxi, my phone buzzed; a text from Matt apologising *delete* and a missed call from my friend Max. I couldn’t deal with a catch up with Max right now, I would call back tomorrow. When I finally got home and went to bed, my mind still whirred and I didn’t get a wink of sleep (again another anxiety trait but more on sleep and the natural miracle cure I found later).

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My alarm shocked me awake. Ugh, was it usually that loud? I felt like a complete zombie. I had hardly slept thanks to my super active brain and I am not sure how but managed to get up and ready (matching my underwear) and head out of the door to work.

As I walked to the tube, as tired as I felt it was like a little weight had been lifted. Matt had brought so much negativity to my life recently and I was already struggling to build my own future plus deal with my anxiety and didn’t have the capacity to deal with his problems. I continued to walk down to the tube with a little skip in my step when my phone rang “Max” – whoops – I had forgotten to call him back.

“Hey Max, you okay?” I was just about to break to him that I had finally ended things with Matt but before I could continue – he stopped me. “B – I need to talk to you, are you good to speak?” Wow, he sounded serious. “Max – what’s wrong – you’re worrying me, are you okay” Max knows about my anxiety and has always been good with it so I know he wouldn’t put anything on me that I didn’t need to hear. “B, it’s Matt. I didn’t know how to tell you this; I’ve known for a couple of weeks because of work, please don’t hate me, it’s just I thought that it would fizzle out and I tried to tell you” he was babbling now and I was starting to feel panicky “What is it Max, just spit it out”

“He’s engaged B, he has been the whole time, I’m so sorry” 

The words hung in the air. It was like someone had just told me something but I hadn’t really heard it, surely he couldn’t be. I excused myself from the call with Max and managed to take a big breath in. The air was so cold and this had come as a bit of a shock. I sat down on a near-by bench and started to cry. I tried to take in deep breaths, to ease the sick feeling that was rising in my stomach. As much as I didn’t want to be with Matt and he was openly not a nice guy, to know someone had lied to me for such a long time was horrid and I felt really stupid. As I sat on the bench wondering what had happened, I began to feel little waves of panic and tried to push through it.

A quick break for context as I feel this is really important for anyone who suffers with mental health and in particular anxiety. I have had two real panic attacks in my whole life (which is an extremely low rate for an anxiety or depression sufferer) and after experiencing what that felt like, I had many techniques in place to avoid them happening again. Luckily, I managed to breathe through the panic and started to try and grasp my logical brain. I reached in my pocket to call Matt, I needed to hear his response.

Fingers trembling, I dialled Matt. Surely this couldn’t be true. He answered. I’m not sure what words came out of my mouth on that call, but I imagine they were choice. After babbling at him for 30 seconds – I finally came out with it “Are you engaged? Are you still with Kerry?”

He started to stutter and try and explain but there was no explanation. I began to yell at him and all of a sudden he shouted back..

“Do one B – this is none of your business “ and with that he hung up.

Well, that confirmed it – he was and always had been. How had I been so stupid? So understanding? I still wasn’t comprehending the whole situation and the fact I still felt a little panicky wasn’t helping me think straight. My thoughts raced from feeling completely shocked and truly stupid to ridiculously angry. I didn’t want to call anyone or talk, I just wanted to figure it out in my head and understand it, but no rational solutions came forward. Then all of a sudden, a thought hit me, his finance – Kerry – the poor girl, she had no idea, she didn’t know. She needed to know, I would want to know. I picked back up my phone to work out a way to warn her, but for whatever reason at the time stopped myself. I didn’t need this drama, or this heartache and opening this can of worms would surely do that.

I’m wary this has been a long post so will wrap up…

I am a three years on now and can happily confirm, that was the end of Matt the magician, I never saw him again and was glad of his final disappearing act. I have received a few sporadic texts since, each message more pathetic than the last “I love you B” is my particular favourite but thankfully no more penis pictures. Through old work colleagues, I also know Matt still partakes in the same behaviour he did with me, it’s true when they say a leopard never really does change it’s spots. 

After discovering the truth about Matt, I have also uncovered the extent of his lies, he never did damage his back or even come close to losing his job, all had been excuses to cover his lies. For someone who is quite an honest person, I really struggled to get over what happened. Luckily, I never fell for Matt but for anyone who has been in the position of being cheated on or suffered the turmoil of being an unknowing mistress (you would be surprised at how many women there are) the situation is difficult to get over because you doubt everything about yourself and your judgement of people. I hope anyone who has been in a similar position can connect with this and maybe even laugh – there are so many people who lie out there don’t ever doubt yourself or feel bad if you happen to come across one (or two!). 

As for Matt and Kerry; I have never told Kerry about what Matt did; nor will I ever now. People question my judgement on that choice and to be honest it was always a major regret that I never had the courage to tell her the truth and enable her have the choice to walk away.

Anyway… In my next few posts, I decided to go back to Tinder, for anyone who has used this app you will fully appreciate why the next few chapters of my story are bizarre and hilarious.

Thanks for reading and enjoy! B x

Matt the Magician…

 

So after my first experience in the dating world turned out to be a disaster (please see my first post) I decided to give Matt another chance; following the French feeding fiascow all of a sudden the odd penis picture didn’t seem like the worst thing in the world. For anyone just starting to read this blog the above sentence may seem as though it should be questioned; read back, it shouldn’t.
I was settling into my new job and starting to build my own life. For anyone that has moved to London or any new city for that matter, you will know, it can be a slightly daunting experience and I always like to share everything, including the bad bits, so hopefully you can relate. As London was so new to me and I didn’t know many people. I was throwing my time into events at work, fitness classes and had started to make new friends. On another positive note Matt was actually acting less like a disappearing act and we were dating regularly. After 5 months of regular (ish) dates; things weren’t the fairy tale I had quite imagined, but he had been a consistent in my fairly new life and I liked having him around. Matt had also surprised me by booking a surprise weekend away and I was looking forward to some time out of my little apartment.

When the weekend arrived, Matt asked me to meet him at Leicester Square. It turned out he had booked a fancy pants hotel and theatre night, the first real couple thing we had done (unless Pizza Express counts? No? I didn’t think so). We stayed in the W Hotel, one of my favourite drinking spots in London so I was looking forward to the cocktail filled weekend ahead.

We checked into the room and it was everything you expect a W to be. White linen sheets, quirky throw pillows, a centre bank with a fancy sink (for all the washing up I would be doing?). The only issue I had (and I am sure wasn’t one for Matt); every wall was a mirror. Following the packed tube journey I had endured over to London, I wasn’t keen at the multi-lense vibe the room had. No one needs to look at humidity induced hair from every angle there ever was. Nest-head aside, the room was lovely and a change from my tiny apartment.

After dropping our luggage, we headed out and enjoyed a night at the theatre. The night was great, we laughed a lot and the show was great. When the final performance came to a close, I glanced over to Matt to say thank you. His eyes glued to his phone, he didn’t even look up. I suppose that was just the one niggle that came from the evening. He was constantly on his phone- even mid show? I brushed it off, he was a busy guy, it was nothing.

On the way back to the hotel we decided to pit stop for a final cocktail. Although I had tried to brush off Matt’s phone addiction, the girl in me (probably due to the wine consumed that evening) started to become a little worried. Matt and I had been seeing one another for a while now and had never really had the conversation as to whether we were seeing other people. After the french feeding disaster, I certainly hadn’t been dating other people, but I realised I had never asked Matt. We had reached the awkward stage where we weren’t casually dating anymore but not quite ready for the “what are we?” question. Seeing as Matt had never brought the subject up, I had never really wanted to and I didn’t want to come across as the “needy girl”, you know as I was just so relaxed and super breezy (PAH!)

After a cocktail in the bar I finally managed to ask Matt the question. I casually managed to slip this in mid-food chat (please don’t applaud, I am aware I am quite the conversationalist). After asking the question about dating other people, Matt didn’t really react the way I thought he would. He shuffled awkwardly in his seat and then blurted out. “B, you’re just so pushy sometimes – it just puts pressure on the evening.” I sat back a little bit surprised and not sure how to take what he had just said. I didn’t think my question was pushy and in comparison to how bossy I certainly can be, I was being sensitive around Matt’s feelings. I felt tears prick my eyes but held back, that was pretty mean.

Just going to break here as I have always wanted to ensure this blog talks about and advocates being open around mental health. I suffer with anxiety (less so now than back then) and sometimes people don’t realise how sensitive throw away comments can bother anyone with self esteem, confidence issues, anxiety, depression. I remember at the time Matt’s comment really upsetting me and I thought about it for days afterwards. I also vividly remember an occasion in primary school in which one of the “popular” girls ridiculed my super cool poppers (that I wore un-popped to the stop I might add, I know, hot stuff!). I still think about it it to this day (as I also think how great it would be if poppers made a comeback). So on a serious note, you never know what people are going through or how they feel. Some people are hyper sensitive, some people are going through tough times and struggle to communicate it, your comment may be the one to make or break someones day, so try and be kind – always.

Anyway, following Matts comment the evening for me felt pretty slumped. I had finished my cocktail sharpish after the pushy pun. We left and when the cold air hit me I actually felt a little more wobbly than I initially anticipated. We walked back to the hotel, I had to focus an immense amount to make it back in a straight line.

I opened the door to the hotel room, the mirrors and glitz no longer seemed glamorous and pretty, it was bright and actually making me feel a little nauseous. I also had another problem, even though my evening felt slumped, Matt clearly wasn’t on the same page.

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While Matt tried to kiss me, I closed my eyes and tried to not focus on the room feeling like a merry go round. Matt’s persistence was pretty annoying. I just wanted to sleep. Shamefully ladies, the desire to sleep overcame any urge to have a conversation with Matt about how much I would rather sleep than have sex with him (I imagine this is what marriage feels like). So I took one for the team (the team being two; one =me two= Matt’s ego). I sound pretty mean here, it wasn’t that the sex was awful or anything (I mean it wasn’t great either). But I put to use the acting skills I had acquired over the last 5 months with Matt in the name of sleep.

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Following my Oscar worthy acting class I was still feeling pretty sick and not tired (always the sign of a good acting lesson). I stood up, butt naked, nest hair firmly in tact. I realised Matt was staring at me, so in my drunk mind swaggered across the hotel room, evidently thinking I looked like some post-sex dream

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As I reached the bathroom thinking I had nailed sexy. I pushed the door (still sexy) and it didn’t budge (not so sexy). I confusedly eyed up the door and quickly realised it was a mirror. I looked round the room and my brain checked in to remind me that was every pane (wardrobe, shower, toilet) was a mirror. Not wanting to drop the sexy post-sex aura I was so blatantly oozing, I decided to slowly slide (yes slide) gracefully across the mirrored walls. As I edged around the walls, I realised I was doing it, I was keeping up the sexy facade, whilst in the dark and drunk. I was such a winner.  I turned my head to check if Matt was looking and my eyes met the mirror;

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Okay maybe not so sexy. The reflection of a naked what looked looked homeless, climbing the walls mental patient stared back at me. I turned back to the bed and realised Matt was asleep. Thank god. I not so gracefully manoeuvred my way around the room and found the bathroom door, finally. Once I made it to the bathroom it turned out I was past the point of being sick. I lay down on the cold floor, grateful of the soothing cold tiles on my face. That was all I had needed face tile therapy, of course. Finally, the room had stopped spinning and my eyes slowly started to close.

“Thud, thud, thud” my eyes opened groggily to the sound of some heavy house music playing in the W bar below us. I lifted my head, confused by the rude awakening. I must have drifted off on the lovely cool tiles. … Better get myself to bed. I dragged myself from the floor and walked back to bed. Matt was asleep and rather than wake him, I clumsily climbed over him to get into bed. My head hit the pillow, finally …rest.

“Buzzzz Buzzzzz”

Urgh, was that my phone? I turned and the noise stopped. I started to drift away…

“Buzzz Buzzz”

I sat up and set off on the hunt to stop the vibrating noise so I could rest my wine filled head. As I hunted round in the dark I realised the noise was coming from under the bed?! I lay on the floor and reached out – my finger tips stretched and grasped the culprit… I pulled back and looked at the guilty object. It was Matts phone with the name KERRY flashing up on the screen. I was still feeling a bit dazed, maybe I was dreaming

A quick break for context; so Kerry was Matt’s ex fiancé, they had broken up a year back so I was feeling slightly confused as to why she was calling at 3am. Matt and I had spoken about our exes at length, in fact the reason we had initially starting talking was we had shared frustrations around our break ups. Matt had always complained about Kerry and had said they hadn’t spoken for a few months now. I got back into bed and tried to rationalise the call in my brain. It was probably just a drunk call, yes, a drunk early AM I miss you call (we’ve all been there). My brain and I confirmed this was definitely the case and I got back into bed, so why wouldn’t my gut let me sleep…

The next morning when we woke up; Matt didn’t mention the drunk Kerry call. We left the hotel for a long brunch and laughed a lot. (Matt had once said we would have a laugh in the middle of a field and it was true – we always had fun and his charm seemed to  make me forget the cancellations and late night ex calls). After Matt left, I headed home and the next week was very standard; work, eat, breathe etc. When Friday finally came round I was grateful for the weekend but also pretty nervous as I had a mate date booked. For anyone who has moved to a city on their own in their 20-somethings, it can be a pretty daunting and not-so-comfortable experience if you don’t know many people. Making friends in school is not quite the same and truth be told, that had been the last time I had had to do that.

My mate date was with a girl called Mini who I had met through work. We were heading to Golden Bee for roof top cinema and cocktails and I was actually pretty nervous. We arrived at the bar and walked up to the roof terrace. We stepped out to the cosiest set up. There is a huge fire pit surrounded by out door lamp heaters, seats with blankets, a bar pouring colourful cocktails and a hot dog stand. I was in my version of heaven AND Mean Girls was about to show.

Mini and I had the best evening. We chatted about work, nights out, quoted a lot of Mean Girls (I want my pink shirt back) and of course the inevitable subject of boys. It seemed Mini (like most girls) had her own boy problems so we discussed at length “what was wrong with boys in London” (thesis style stuff there). We then moved onto the subject of Matt; after giving Mini the down-low; she automatically took an instant dislike to the the story “Are you sure he’s a good guy?” she asked. I reassured Mini that he was and that he had upped his game recently; but the 3am call from Kerry still niggled in the back of my mind. “You should try dating more than one guy – don’t put all your eggs in one basket” she said “Have you tried Tinder?”

 

I had never tried online dating, then again, I had never really dated. We downloaded in the bar and spent the rest of the evening giggling at matches and awkward conversation starters. Just to make you smile, here are some of my personal faves (believe me, I have questioned the world as well);

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Just the kind of man I want to take home to Mother ^^^

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Dental Hygiene is what I look for in a man ^^^

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“Pat in a hat” – you couldn’t write it… could you?

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I’ll take the gent on the right ^^^

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I really want to say Hi ^^^

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I would like anyone to look at me the way he looks at his …erm… violin?^^^

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I just… I just, I just can’t… ^^^

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A personal fave ^^^

Is this what London had to offer?! I continued to laugh of the profiles while swiping with Mini but on the way home hurriedly deleted the app. I couldn’t date more than one guy, I barely had time for myself let alone two other people. Plus the profiles that I had seen made me pray to baby Jesus that I would never online date.

A few months went by and through winter and in the lead up to Christmas I didn’t see Matt too much. I really felt for him as he seemed to hit a run of bad luck – he slipped a disc in his spine playing golf, he was pulled into last minute important board meetings constantly and even contracted short lived illnesses. As time had gone by, I actually felt like our relationship had morphed into a pen friendship as in the lengthy gaps in seeing one another face to face the only caught via whats app and occasional phone chats. Still, I was out every weekend with my new work colleagues and wasn’t feeling the stress of it – in fact the more time I spent in London, the thought of being single was really starting to appeal. Outside of tinder, the bars of Liverpool Street and the City are always full of a particular type of gent; suited, sexy, successful (this is normally coupled with an egotistical sense of self or a girlfriend that they cheat on constantly) but none the less amazing eye candy with a cocktail.

I found myself falling in love 3 times a day on my commute in. Ladies – It’s true what they say … suits are a killer! It appeared my distracted manner had come to Matt’s attention and following his most recent ailment of glandular fever he made a speedy recovery and arranged a date for us on the run up to Christmas.

When we met up – it was easy as always; we laughed and joked again and I always ended up forgetting how flaky he was. “B, I’m so sorry for everything that’s been going on – I just seem to be having the worst luck and I know I’m fucking this up” Matt genuinely looked like he was going to cry. Jeez! Why was I questioning everything he did so much – he obviously cared. “Look B, I really want to show you that I’m committed to you and this and us – I know I was wary at first but I really do want to be with you” – I was taken aback, after the dismissive comments I had received when I had questioned dating other people a few months earlier – I was a little shocked. “So, I was thinking, if you don’t mind, how about at Christmas, before I head off in the new year on holiday maybe we go to Manchester and I can meet some of your friends for drinks or stay and meet your parents?” At that point I almost spat my drink out. This was a bit of a turn around. I stuttered in agreement and when I left Matt; text Mini to tell her about the break through. She seemed less enthused but I brushed it off – I was excited!

The end of December came round quickly and I had my bag packed ready for the Xmas break back in Manchester. Matt was heading round at 11am and we were travelling up together. My house mate had already left so I had the place to myself and was sat on the sofa watching mindless Christmas movies. I whats apped Matt “So excited to see you! You better be a good road trip buddy”. I looked at the clock and it was 10am, lots of time – I laid back on the sofa and must have drifted off…

My phone ringing, jolted me awake. I scrambled round looking round to answer. Whoops – how long had I been asleep? Matt was probably trying to get in. I pulled up the screen “Mum” (a call was always Mum).

“Where are you sweet heart – its 1300? Haven’t you set off?” 1300?! How had I slept through Matt’s call.

“Mum – I’ve got to go I’ve overslept” she ignored updating me on Christmas dinner, turkey fat and potatoes, I managed to politely say bye and hang up. I looked at my phone…I was confused – there was no missed call from Matt, he hadn’t read my whats app and there was no response. What was going on? I dialled his number and his phone went straight to answer machine. A thought crossed my mind “Surely he wasn’t going to stand me up” – I shook it off – no one would do that surely – it was just too mean.

Unfortunately my gut (as always) had been right, I waited for another hour and I didnt receive a call or text from Matt nor did he show up. How had I been so stupid to believe that he had changed? Tears welling in my eyes, I lugged my case down to my car and started the drive home. I sat in the drivers seat and looked in the mirror to wipe tears from my cheeks- why was I letting this guy make me so upset? And why had I been so understanding? Feeling rather foolish, I put my foot down and turned the music a little louder! Suddenly my phone rang through the blue tooth and interrupted Toni Braxton “He wasn’t man enough for me” It was Matt” – I answered immediately. For anyone who knows me personally – I have a choice vocabulary at the best of times and Matt felt the brunt of it on this occasion.

“B, I’m so sorry” he tried to get in between my rant.

“There’s no sorry this time Matt – this is over”

He sighed “B there is an explanation” – I hung up – I didn’t want to know or care about his explanation.

But it turns out ladies there was an explanation .. but it didn’t come from Matt and it wasn’t one I wanted to hear…..

Thanks for reading again x

 

The French Feeder

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The sound of birds and the sun shining though my wooden shutter blinds made me begrudgingly open my eyes. Through the small slats, I could see the canal outside reflecting the early morning sun, it was shrouded by greenery and looked just beautiful. I lifted my head and realised my present mood did not reflect the picturesque view outside. As I rolled over on my bed I and was starkly reminded of the reality of the day and how much my life had changed, as well as the painful hangover that I was seemingly catching on a regular basis.

6 months prior to this day, I had been lay in bed with the man I thought I would marry. We would be cuddled up, watching morning TV and planning something couple-esq; a dog walk, a lunch, a spot of shopping. Now, 6 months later; instead of being lay in my four poster bed with my partner; I was lay on a mattress in the middle of my lounge, surrounded by leftover McDonald’s wrappers and few sleeping friends. I rested my head in my hands; at 25 years of age, it was official, my life was a bit of a mess. 
I pulled the duvet away to prepare for action. Realising I was still wearing the previous nights outfit, I quickly pulled the duvet back over me and moaned. Today was a big day and as a human being I wasn’t even capable of undressing myself before bed.
I set my brain in action; I needed a plan to get through the day. Today was a big day as I was finally moving to London. This move was solely one of the independent moments of my life and to ensure I was ready for this daunting day I had taken the preparation levels that one would require; AKA ZERO EFFORT.
In the week run up to the move, I had done what any sensible person would do. I had lost my bank card when I needed to pay for a hire van, I sold my furniture on gumtree just  a week beforehand, as there is clearly nothing like working under pressure and to ensure the day didn’t hit me too hard emotionally I remained drunk from the previous evening to soften the blow.
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After managing to pull myself from the mattress, I opened the patio doors to let in natural light and air, this was highly unappreciated by the survivors of the previous evening that still lay across my lounge.

I took in a deep breath of the morning air and tried to gather my thoughts. My mind, no matter how hard I tried, always reverted back to how much my life had changed. 6 months ago had looked so different. My ex and I had what would be perceived as a perfect life. We had a beautiful home, travelled on amazing holidays and I have no doubt we could have quite easily continued this way until we were clogging your newsfeed with pictures of our baby too.

Fortunately, my brain and gut, in the last 12 months of our relationship had made me realise that this man and the fairytale was not the real deal (don’t believe everything you see on Instagram folks) Now, after saving the world from one less Gollum (sorry baby) in peoples newfeeds I needed to start the process of building my new life.

I considered my current situation and contemplated the enormity of the task ahead, I knew today would be tough and would consist of tasks I could have never imagined myself doing. The most daunting part of the day replayed in my mind over and over; driving a transit van. For some, this would be a remedial task, but given my driving skills are somewhat to be desired and by this I mean fall somewhere between my 83 year old Grandmother’s parallel parking skills and Muhammed (your local Uber driver) awareness for speed and safety; I felt a huge concern for me my five whole boxes of worldly possessions and the population of London that day.

Unexpectedly, my phone beeped jolting me out of my day dream. It was a whats app from Matt. 

I’m going to break here to give you some context around Matt. Matt was the first guy I had dated after breaking up with my long term partner. Matt and I  had met through an old employer, where he worked as Head of National Sales; I supported his department at work and after a little back and forth flirting; we had started office romance. (you will learn this is not a great regular pattern moving forward for me). Matt certainly hadn’t been my usual type. Rather than the usual pretty gym boy I would gravitate towards, Matt was a little different; he sported more grey hairs than my dad and also had a teeny little baby beer belly, which somehow I convinced myself was endearing. Without sounding (but definitely sounding) shallow, Matt was aesthetically not who I had imagined myself with but he had made me laugh at a time when I didn’t feel like laughing and in my book laughs trump looks any day of the week. 

Matt had actually messaged me wishing me luck with the move. This would have been a sweet gesture had it not been signed off by “looking forward to next week”  with a wink face and aubergine emoji. It was pretty cringe and I was actually a little concerned at how pesty Matt’s message were becoming.

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Continuing with context; as well as the demise of Matt’s charm he of late had also been cancelling dates fairly regularly and it always seemed to be at the last minute which was becoming disappointing as I’m sure all women will agree frustrating. (Especially when prepping for date night)

I was snapped out of my date ditching day dream by one of my friends that had finally managed to rise from the empty longue. I went to get dressed to embark on my day and collect the transit van. I pulled well thought out and practical moving attire from my suitcase; a summer dress  ballet pumps and Mac. Looking incredibly sensible and certainly not sober; I walked outside to meet one of my close friends, who escorted me to collect my nightmare on wheels.

When we arrived at van hire, it was like I had only just realised realised I was still very drunk. After being handed the keys and completing paperwork I was guided to my van. There stood my motor related Everest …I stared at it …. it stared back at me. Although I knew there was no possible way that I was within the drink drive limit and that I still could not parallel park after 9 years of driving, I had an overwhelming feeling of being equipped and determined. Note to all. I certainly wasn’t. Maybe it was the alcohol but in that moment I was adamant that it was MY day and I was going to drive the van to East London and move like a real adult adulting everywhere. My friend beeped her car horn; probably concerned at the fact I was having a stare-down with a van and we were on our way.

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It took a whole day to move my little life over to London. When I finally sat in my battered ballet pumps, exhausted, Ikea anger still lingering. I realised I had done it … I was in London! I was truly proud and excited at the new chapter that was about to begin and I don’t know why, maybe it was driving in London, the truly stressful section of kids Ikea or the fact there were no Swedish meatballs, but I burst into tears a bit overwhelmed by the day.

My new roomie strolled past and noticed his hysterical house mate. A look of confusion and shear uncomfort set on his face (I seem to be good at making men feel uncomfortable *continues writing blog*). But he, without hesitation gave me a huge bear hug.

After the stressful day, I decided a relax was in order. I grabbed a glass of wine and a took a long soak in my huge bath. I finally started to unwind and felt the stresses of the day disappear.

When I had finally settled back in my room (and by settled I mean lay in my towel with wet hair on my bed scrolling through Instagram for a good 20 minutes or so.) I got up to date with my what’s apps; lots of good luck with the move messages from family and friends and an unexpected message from Amaury, a charming French guy I had met in a bar a few weeks back.

Context: I had a very vague memory of Amaury. I had met him in a bar and had drunkenly given him my number (mainly off the back of mini strop at another of Matts last minute cancellations). He had since text me occasionally and had been trying to line up drinks.

Amaury -“Hi Rebecca. I hope your move has gone well and your all settled in. I have been catching up on little work today and feeling tired. When are you free to meet for drink?”.

I put my phone back down as I didn’t have the energy to reply. BEEP BEEP” went my phone again.  I scrolled down to the next message…

“What’s app Matt ” – …..Finally, he was checking in on me. I opened the message and there it was ladies without content or reason…

THE DREADED PENIS PICTURE.

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Now, I have never classed myself as a prude but after 3 long term relationships this was not something I had come across in my somewhat sheltered love life.

I stared at it unsure of what to do …. What can you even send back to that (nope, not a nude, but nice suggestion gents). I’m just not sure this strange flasher-esq exposure is needed or in anyway attractive or appealing. Gents (and I use the term loosely for the penis posers out there); We know you have one,we know what its for but please avoid this, the only feeling that aroused from receiving this was how I imagine I would feel towards a pet cat brining in a dead mouse – “I know you’re proud but I don’t want to see it”.

After a busy working week, Friday night soon came around and I was already jumping the tube for my first date with Amaury. I was pretty nervous as I had never really “dated” and if I’m being honest with you all; I couldn’t really remember what he looked liked. (this almost never happens…)

As I passed through each stop, trying to keep my mind off the nerves, I finally arrived in Oxford Circus. For anyone who doesn’t know Oxford Circus – it is tourist central and is always super busy.

After wading my way through the crowds I headed to the restaurant bar where Amaury and I had agreed to meet. As I turned the corner, I was pleasantly surprised as in the bar entrance stood a tall, handsome, dark haired French man. Amaury was tres gorgeous and I was also tres impressed with his date location choice. He had suggested Aqua Nueva (http://aquanueva.co.uk/) for anyone visiting central – I would highly recommend; they have an amazing roof terrace that looks out over London, extremely tasty gin cocktails and an interesting take on Spanish tapas (I only managed 2 plates but you shall see why).

Before dinner, Amaury had arranged drinks on the roof terrace and after grabbing a seat (and a cocktail) we sat down to chat. Turns out Amaury was enjoying life in London; he worked in finance for a well known bank and lived in one of the cute Chelsea terraced houses (home goals). I told him a little about myself (scratching the fact I had been drunk for 80% of the last 3 months, couldn’t parallel park and was the proud owner of my first penis picture) and began to relax after my first drink.

Although I was having a pleasant time with Amaruy, something didn’t seem quite right. It appeared Amaurys broken conversation wasn’t down to his first language being French. I will break here to explain what I mean. It seemed Amaury had the occasional “blank moment”. Mid flow of conversation – he would just stop talking and stare blankly. I couldn’t deal. After a few random and awkward silences and me struggling to cope with many emotions (basically struggling not to laugh out loud or cry) I started to feel guilty; what if this poor man had brain damage from an accident and I was his first date? I was being such a terrible person. I forced myself to focus and be more considerate to the brain damaged date in front of me.

We finally went through for dinner. As I walked through narrow glass corridor, I was greeted by an oversized bronzed bull (understated) and behind this a pristine dining area, untouched white tablecloth cloths seated with many overdressed diners. This wasn’t my kind of place. 

Once we had been seated our conversation continued (as did the sporadic intervenes of silence) continued. The regular breaks in conversation had now become a frequent and I was now struggling to hold a conversation and myself together. I downed another glass of wine.

After two plates and more wine, I finally started to feel more more relaxed. After a bottle of wine, the silences now seemed more amusing as I had resorted to counting the seconds. Over dinner, another habit of Amaury’s had become apparent. Now, I am fully aware that all men will do this but through out the entire date Amaury had stared intently, without fear of being apprehend, down my shirt. At one stage I wasn’t even sure whether I should give him a wave and assure him breasts don’t disappear. Surely this date couldn’t get any worse…..

I tried to engage Amaurys eyes by starting a conversation about work. “So – how long have you worked for Coutts?” He stared blankly (surprise!) me thinking innocently this was another blank moment went to continue conversation. I was stopped abruptly…

In his thick french accent he asked boldly –

“Rebecca – I have to stop you here and be completely honest with you” (my brain = abort, abort) 

“You may think this strange but I need to understand your intentions – so I have an important question to ask you” I gulped both dreading and I have to be honest intriuged about Amaury’s next question  

…. “Do you have any how you – fetishes?” 

I shuffled awkwardly in my seat. Surely this was a joke? I half expected Aston Carter to run out from behind the bronzed bull and save me but no he didn’t run out and punk me, this was no joke and Amaruy wasn’t about to stop… 

“Because I do. B” By this point I was now scanning the room looking for a window that may be big enough for me to jump out of “I have a fetish for larger women- you know, more curvaceous” I looked down at my body – I am by no means a super model – but I work hard in the gym and wouldn’t describe myself as “larger”. Recognising my once over glance at myself, he defended his comment…

“No, no, no B please do not be offended” his thick French accent was now becoming less and less appealing “I think you’re beautiful, with a beautiful face and in that bar WOW what a connection” (such a connection I couldn’t remember it) “but if you put on more weight … We could have the most amazing chemistry” 

I had no words and for those who know me that is a rarity.

Mainly as I don’t want to relive the next part of the date, I won’t go into detail, but Amaury proceeded to tell me about the numerous sexual alterations he had partaken in with the “larger woman” including feeding – and I do not mean in a Netflix, take away and chill vibe I mean an actual feeder.

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After enduring over 20 minutes of Amaury’s “fat chat” I decided enough was enough. I have never and will hopefully never again have to bail on a date but on this occasion I made the exception. I politely excused myself to the ladies and made a U-turn to the exit of the bar. 

After escpaing my first ever date I deleted Amaury from my phone and called my mum. The response from my Mum was expected – “You could have been raped” Nothing quite like a bit of drama.

Surprisingly Amaury and I never re-connected, I don’t think I was his ideal profile. Wherever you are Amaury I hope you find the hippo kind of love you are looking for, it’s out there somewhere I’m sure, but maybe start in an all you can eat buffet.

So apologies this has been a lengthy first post (and a little novel like), but I do love a story. Unfortunately for me these are all true encounters that I have endured and Amaury set a trend. So please enjoy, it has been funny and actually sweet in some parts writing the posts.

Lots of love 

B x

Ps. thank you so much for readingimage2 (2)