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

 

 

 

 

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How Your Muscles Help Your Mind

From a young age, we are taught about the human anatomy. In fact, one of my earliest childhood memories is my primary school science class. I vividly remember sitting at my table incredibly excited that finally the day had come for my class to learn about the human body. I appreciate at this point in the post you may have the impression that I was some young, eager intellect, let me assure you, this was not the case. The main reason I sat, wound up like a giddy coil about the anatomy class was, as part of my teachers attempt to engage us in the subject we got to play…. 

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OPERATION! 

Does anyone remember that epic game?

I mean, in retrospect, I wonder how appropriate it actually was for Mrs. Gregory to make nine year olds pull a middle aged mans penis out from his body in the name of anatomy but anywhoooo…

As we pulled out the defected pieces of our poorly patient, I remember raising my hand to ask Mrs. Gregory a question

“Misssssssss. I have pulled out all of his pieces. Why can’t I pull out his brain?” 

Mrs Gregory answered and for some reason her response has forever stayed with me. 

“Rebecca, the brain is far too important to be simply removed. The brain looks after everything from your fingers to your toes, your muscles, you feelings and your thoughts. If you didn’t have your brain, you simply wouldn’t work”

At the time, I remember being highly impressed with my brain and the amazing things that Mrs. Gregory said it could do. I thought about it a lot, I remember flexing my fingers and my toes and congratulating my brains achievements, I remember crying at the rather brutal ending of Homewood Bound (#nostalgia) and again feeling rather impressed that my brain was the reason I shed a tear, but the most vivid memory I possess was not just the feeling of admirability but of feeling rather worried (even as a child). I feared, that my brain, as Mrs. Gregory had said, would one day, just disappear. The thought of my brain simply failing to function meaning everything else would also cease to work, well, as I naive nine year old – it scared the heeby jeebies out of me!

Fast forward twenty years and the thought of ones brain simply failing to work is now no longer a silly childhood fear but at times a very harsh reality . As a person that has lived with anxiety for a long time, when I have suffered challenging bouts of the condition, it feels as though my logical brain has actually disappeared and everything has indeed followed suit and stopped working. What Mrs Gregory had said was true! 

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If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that over recent years I have learned to manage my anxiety through different means and now (a little older than nine) I still find the brain incredibly fascinating but for very different reasons. As I mentioned, Mrs Gregory’s words stayed with me, a couple of them now more present than ever before…

“The brain looks after everything from your fingers to your toes, your muscles, you feelings and your thoughts”

She was right, it truly does. Our brains have a tough old job of taking care of everything that our bodies throw at it. Now as a nine year old, I merely assumed that the brain was so incredible it would just keep going, the reality is (a bit like the reality that brains can’t disappear) is that our wonderful brains need some tender loving care and all those muscles and limbs that it takes care of, well, they are actually just as powerful and can give a little back when our think tanks become overwhelmed. 

I am, of course, talking about one of the major coping mechanisms I have come to love and has been key to managing my anxiety: EXERCISE. 

Exercise has been one of the most prevalent activities in enabling me to manage my anxiety. This is not just situational but for the long term too! As such, I wanted to share some of my thoughts, experiences and tips to inform and guide you into something that will hopefully help you, like it helped me.

Why working out?

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Look, no matter where you sit on the spectrum of fitness, there is no wrong way or wrong time to start helping better your mind through fitness. The main reason I initially started to focus on my fitness was not because I wanted to win medals, it was solely to do with how it made me feel. Fitness is truly living in the moment. As a person with anxiety, there is no better feeling than not pondering over the past or fretting over the future, being in that moment whether I am in a class, running, on my bike, I am in that moment and there isn’t an awful lot of time I get to feel that way. 

The Endorphin High

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Aside from the mindful benefits of enabling your brain to “live in the moment” it is scientifically proven that working out lifts your mood. Exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. 

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I mean, if you can’t trust the wise words of Elle Woods, who can you trust? 

On a serious note, if you want to get into the real juicy detail around the science of how endorphins work get onto How Stuff Works and have a read or listen to the podcast, it’s super interesting and really showcases why our brains are so phenomenal.

Don’t worry if you can’t work out what works you out!

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Did you go to the gym, completely confuse yourself with the machines and feel totally out of place? Or did you hit up that Zumba class and hide embarrassed at the back feeling uncoordinated? Or did you go out on a run and find yourself panting against a wall after ten minutes…

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Don’t worry, it takes time to work out what you enjoy in the world of exercise. I have been to countless classes, joined gym after gym and tried (and failed) at so many hobbies. What works for me, could be a total dud for you, so take your time and find your passion. 

Start small

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Okay, maybe not as small as Carrie, but you know where I’m going.

If you are anything like me with your anxiety challenges, you will likely fear failure, so go in hard at most things. Or you could be on the total opposite end of the spectrum and your anxiety may hinder you getting out and about. However your anxiety effects you, I would advise starting small with your workout plan, try and avoid the desire to go in 100% initially so you don’t overwhelm yourself. 

The little lull

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As much as exercise has truly helped lift my mood, there have been a few occasions post work out where I have experienced a low feeling.

After panicking something was wrong (obviously), I did what every anxiety sufferer does and conducted an extensive internet search on my little lull. On this occasion, the search was a productive one and turned out, after a period of intense exercise, my body was experiencing low blood glucose levels. If you experience this, don’t panic (no pun), this is an extremely common side affect 24 hour after a particularly intense exercise sesh! The post-exercise hypoglycemia is often referred to as the “lag effect” and can be easily countered by ensuring you eat a sugary snack after your workout. So, my advice, stock up on apples and protein bars, the last thing we want is to feel sad. 

Lastly… Enjoy, don’t over do!

If your work out plan starts to feel obsessive or, for whatever reason, stops making you happy, change it up or take it down a notch or two. 

Remember, exercising is a mechanism to help your mental well being and that is how it should stay. 

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I hope you guys have enjoyed this read. Next week, as part of my fitness plan and exploring new ways to help improve my wellbeing, I will be writing a post about my experience trying a month of Veganism! 

As always thanks for reading. 

Podcast Six: Mental Health and Relationships

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For anyone who is a regular reader of my blog, you will know how close mental health is to my heart.

I have lived (I dislike the word suffered) with Generalised Anxiety Disorder for a long time. In fact, I can’t actually remember a time where I haven’t had to manage and at times battle with my thought processes and emotions.

Although there is a never-ending debate as to whether mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorders, bipolar etc. are a result of nurture or nature (I am totally aligned with the notion that it is an amalgamation of the two) at some point in any one persons life, we have all felt the pinch of our sometimes (very unhelpful) brains. Whether that is looking in the mirror and not liking who looks back, feeling lonely, lost, lacking purpose, worried, not sleeping well, addictions … we have all probably suffered a symptom or bout of feeling mentally overwhelmed. And in a society that constantly drives the tools to compare ourselves with others, projects a false sense of perfectionism and drives us away from our true selves, it isn’t a wonder mental well being is at an all time low.

Over the last three years, I have truly managed to understand and accept myself as a person and rather than fight and become frustrated with what some would see as a flaw, I  have embraced my anxiety, who I am and become the best version of myself.

I could talk forever about mental health as it is truly something that lies close to me and a subject, that I believe, although we claime live and breathe acceptance, is a false projection of an accepting society and is still stigmatised.

As such, we decided to run a Podcast on mental health (and relationships). Due to our experiences we went completely off topic around the relationship element and I think this Podcast is a pretty raw, uncut and honest view of mental health (potentially what people who live with conditions wouldn’t want hear) but truly incapsulates why there is still a very real stigma and unconscious bias in this subject.

Please enjoy, it has been my favourite cast to date!

B x

 

A Man’s Best Friend…

So, for anyone who knows me truly, you will be well aware of my love for doggies. So you can imagine my excitement when the next guy I dated owned a real life squishy puppy! In this post, I tell you about the date with a man (and his best friend), about being true to yourself, not letting the little things slide and the one time I can hand on heart say that me (B) did not want a dog in the room … enjoy!…

After the disaster date with the TV presenter, it was safe to say that my faith had not been officially restored in the world of dating. To couple this, at the time I wasn’t sure if it was me but it felt like like everyone that I knew had decided that at that exact moment they would get engaged, married and/or have a baby. I started to feel like I was the only person in the world that was single. I would open my what’s app group to another hen party celebration or wedding group or baby shower…

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We’ve all felt that at some stage ladies… 

You’ll be glad to know, that eventually that feeling of being left on your own, it passes and you realise the importance of your own journey. I got to that stage, however, at the time sentences such as “Haven’t you thought about kids?” and a sympathetic “At least you have your career” executed by “you’re a pretty girl, surely you have a boyfriend” were sticking a little more than they probably should have.

Anywhoooo, as with any usual weekend for me (at the time) I had plans with friends and a Friday night date in the diary.

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The date lined up was with a guy called James and the initial reason I had been attracted to him (don’t judge me) was as well as being bearded, tattooed and handsome in every one one of his pictures he sported the cutest and chubbiest French bull dog accessory there ever was 

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For anyone that knows me well, this was a game changer.

James and I had initially started to chat over a dating app and had joked about him bringing along his dog (who I established was named PJ) to our date on the Friday, never once actually believing that this would happen, so, you can imagine my excitement when as I walked through the door of the pub when sat there alongside my date was the cutest fattest sausage roll looking French bull dog I have ever seen 

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I was so excited, I failed to notice the really hot man sat next to him. Following the obligatory “throw myself on the floor and shower dog with an inappropriate amount of affection” move of mine, I finally turned to James and said hi. James was very cute and I noticed immediately also very cool. 

Now, I wouldn’t say I am an “un-cool” person (I mean, I can’t say cool has a definition but you get what I mean). I dress well (you can’t go wrong with monochrome black and white, zebras always seem to look dapper right?) and wouldn’t say I’m untrendy (is that even a word) but next to James, I felt it. 

The man genuinely looked like East London, Burning Man and a tech start up had chewed him up and spat him out. Rolled up slightly loose Levi’s, no socks, unbranded trainers, an oversized mac (that still looked like it was meant to fit that way), a ring on every finger, tattoos, beard and a clutch bag French bull dog – kind of put my skinny jeans white T and Nikes to shame. 

As we sat down and ordered drinks, I was more than overjoyed when PJ decided that my lap was his location for the date.

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Once my attention had been firmly averted from PJ, James and I managed to get in some well needed conversation and getting to know one another.

Turns out James was a bit of a catch, he was head of marketing for a well known sports company, lived in a great part of town and must be a fairly responsible human given he was in charge of a dog (Becky logic at its finest).

As we talked it seemed James and I had some things in common and had really similar senses of humour. We talked about work, dogs (obvs), back home (as we were both from outside of London) and it was refreshing to speak to an actual normal and sane human being. As the conversation continued, we flipped onto the topic of fashion. 

“So, what’s your preferred label?” James asked. 

Truth be told, I didn’t have a favourite brand, black Joni Topshop skinny jeans fit me perfectly and anything else I just wore as it felt good. Must be cooler than that, my brain scrambled for the least high street brand I could think of. 

“Cos” I blurted out (totally not high street and super cool execution on my part.) “But intend to be in my gym gear most of the time.” (that part was honest) “How about you?” I asked, diverting the conversation away from my lack of fashion knowledge.

James replied with an obscure probably uber cool brand that I had never of. I nodded in agreement of how great the obscure French brand was (fraud). He continued..

“So are you actually into the gym or are you one of these girls that wear active wear?” he asked. Before I could answer, he continued “Don’t you feel that everyone now wears gym gear, so it’s kind of a guessing game as to what type of person they are? A bit like the kind of world we will in now, ironic no?”

Wow. Deep bro. I literally had no idea what he was talking about, I worked out a lot so needed gym gear plus my bum looked fabulous, it was an all round win win, I wasn’t really looking for the meaning of life in my Nike leggings. 

Anywhooo, the date continued in a similar manner. James was great, but there were a few moments where he would mention some super cool unheard of DJ or clothes brand and I would be thrown off but would continue to agree like some insane nodding dog. James seemed great and I was just so in need of time with a normal human, I overlooked the little differences 

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As the date came to a close, James and PJ walked me home and at my door, we had the standard first date kiss. The kiss was a little like the date, nice but something was missing. I shook it off, while the world seemed to be marrying itself off, I seemed to be encountering cave gremlins, I wasn’t letting a couple of little differences stop me going on another date with a nice guy. That totally wasn’t me settling…..

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…A few dates down the line and I was sat in a local East London bar with PJ and James. I had consciously dressed for the occasion, but still felt out-cooled by PJ (let alone James). The dates with James and I had continued to be nice and I just loved cuddling PJ but after us spending more time together the differences in our interests and life were becoming more apparent. After listening to a live band (that I had never heard of) James and I headed back to his place. 

When we arrived back and after more cuddles with PJ, we went through to the kitchen to cook dinner. As James cooked dinner, my mind wandered. James was always so sweet, he cooked breakfast and dinner for me, he was in a great job, made me laugh, but there was a niggle I could feel that we were different people and as much as I tried to ignore it, it kept cropping up (gut as always ladies). I distracted myself by washing my hands, I was surprised by how good the lavender soap smelled. 

“Hey James” I chirped “this smells amazing” 

James continued to tell me that the soap was a unique “animal cruelty free” brand (that I had never heard of). 

“I’m surprised you’re not more conscious of the products you use B, considering how much you love animals.” Hmm, a little condescending on James’ part. I chose to ignore the comment (I had been doing a lot of that recently) and not mention the fact he had leather Dr martens sat at the front door (ironic much on the front of animal products). I looked down to pick up the towel when my eyes were suddenly taken by James socks. 

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His socks were covered in Ganga leaves.

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Hmmm, not sure how I felt about this one. I am not the biggest fan of smoking Mary Jane (see totally cool) and as I broached the subject of James’ socks, I kind of hoped that it was one of his “ironic” things again. Turned out, it wasn’t.

James decided that he would let me into his “creative” secret and that secret was that smoking weed at 32 years of age every day was what “got him into the creative zone” and “chilled him”. I continued to nodding dog, whilst feeling slightly horrified inside. How could I break to James that the only thing that got me into a “zone” was a to do list and I was never going to be that boho cool smoky weed girl (see, I’m just not cool). 

As we headed to bed, it was now clearer in my mind than ever that James and I weren’t meant to be and as I lay down, I was actually preparing for my reasons to not “sleepover” that night. Luckily, PJ jumped in bed between us…

“See” I said “We can’t, PJ’s here” 

“Sure we can” James replied. 

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No. We. Could. Not.

Doing it in front of a dog. A dog is the equivalent of a new born baby/small angel, it was basically abuse. (lol). I would not be a part of it. 

Soon after this, James and I petered out. 

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The differences between us became too apparent and if I am completely honest, I look back and realise that I for sure wasn’t comfortable or secure enough in myself to act on that sooner and we’ve all been in that place at some stage, it’s a learning curve.

I can still firmly say that James (and PJ) were great guys to hang out with, I guess our definitions of cool were a little different and now I’m totally down with the fact I’m definitely not the coolest person and I LOVE being in my active wear 😉 

It’s safe to say the next guy I dated was not so cool (or even normal for that matter) so look out for Phil the Felon (and laugh at how I ended up on a date with a criminal – only me eh?). Phil the Felon also inevitably pushed me into the arms of someone who was definitely not my type and that is were the saga of the Work Wife starts (and you honestly won’t believe where that story ends up)…

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As always – thanks for reading. 

B x 

The TV Presenter – That wouldn’t turn off

Following a few months well and truly away from dating, I found myself in a familiar bar spot with the girls on a Saturday night. We were a couple of bottles of prosecco’s down and talking about heading to a more classy venue in Mayfair, a conversation that we always had but inevitably ended up in Cargo (which for anyone outside of London looking a comparison is basically Sankeys…enough said) We also always ended up playing some ridiculous game like never have a I ever or some teenage type of truth or dare. Basically, my life hasn’t evolved since the age of 16, I just have more disposable income (and even saying that is slightly optimistic) 

Anywhoo, as we drank our prosecco and chatted away, I looked over at the bar queue to see if now would be a good time to stock us up on another bottle. As I did, my eye was caught immediately by a guy at the bar. 

Now, when a stranger catches your eye, lets be honest, it isn’t usually because of their mega hot personality, 9/10 times it’s because they are looking pretty. However, on this occasion, this wasn’t really the case. The guy stood at the bar was not my usual type, around 5”10 with dark cropped hair and draped in a dark green leather jacket (yes I said that), I couldn’t help but stare over. I recognised that guy from somewhere! Had I worked with him? Did I go to school with him? 

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The stranger turned around and I could now see his face more clearly.

Ok, so I definitely recognised him. Who was this man?… He looked over at the table and caught me mid stare. It was only at this point, I realised that I probably looked like a bit of a creep and was staring so intently I was practically squinting. Embarrassed, I looked away and shuffled for something to make me look preoccupied. This ended with me toasting a candle, great diversion and smooth as always. 

After finishing my delicious candle, I walked over to the bar, keen to avoid the man I had just basically eye raped. As I grabbed the final bottle at the bar, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to be greeted by the stranger I had stared at rather intently earlier. Hmm, he was actually kind of cute. 

“Hey” he said smoothly. “I’m Tim” and stuck out his hand. 

What was this? A handshake? Mid bar? Formal. I awkwardly held my hand out to shake back (what else was I supposed to do?!) and I as I did eyed Tim over. He was actually kind of cute and it’s not very often I would comment on something like this, but had a very lovely voice (it’s what every girl wants no?). And I still really recognised his face. And as if he had read my mind (or very obvious staring)…

“Yeah you recognise me right? Don’t worry, I get it a lot, I’m on TV” 

THAT WAS IT! He was a TV presenter, now I realised. I smiled, glad I wasn’t going crazy (already there fyi). He continued…

“But I couldn’t help noticing just how pretty you are. And let’s be honest you weren’t just staring because you thought you knew me” he smirked. I half expected him to finish the sentence with this…

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Wow, next level confidence.

Not wanting to bruise his ego (as I wasn’t actually staring for that reason) I agreed to a date the next week. He was cute, confident and I do love an extrovert. As the week went by, I can’t say it wasn’t weird seeing the guy I was going on a date with on my TV every night and turns out, I knew more about politics than any other person in the office (one week only guys). 

When Friday night came round, I headed over to the cocktail bar that we had agreed to meet. As I arrived, I asked the waitress for the table under Tim’s name. 

“Sorry Miss” she replied “He hasn’t arrived yet” 

I looked around the dimly lit cocktail bar and realised that the whole of the lounge was filled by pairs. I would for sure look like the third (maybe twenty third wheel) if I sat down now, so politely excused myself to wait in the local pub until Tim arrived. 

As I walked into the pub, I felt a little more comfortable surrounded by a surge of Millwall fans (mega lolz). I pulled out my phone and text Tim…

“Are you on your way? I am waiting in the pub next door and going to grab a drink, what would you like?” I pressed send. 

Within seconds Tim responded…

“Hey bae, running late, will be there is ten and do me a favour, surprise me yeah?” 

Hmmm, 20 minutes late for a date and now trying to engage in some alcohol based trivia with me. Not a great start on Tim’s part. I ordered the glass of wine and waited for his arrival. 

After another 20 minutes (not 10) passed, when like a whirlwind Tim rushed through the pub door.

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Donned in a velvet blazer and chino’s, looking like a young Hugh Heffner, I was a little surprised at how over (and not so well) dressed he was. 

“Bae” he exclaimed (dying inside right now) “I am so sorry I am late, I must seem like such an arse hole, but you know what the TV game is like”

I couldn’t decide at that stage what was funnier, the blazer, the comment or watching 10 50 year old Millwall fans roll their eyes and giggle as they shot me looks of concern. Tim downed the glass of red wine (without a thank you I will note) and whisked me away from the pub and to the cocktail lounge. 

Thankfully (or maybe not so thankfully), we hadn’t lost our table and after being seated by the waitress and our first cocktails ordered, I finally began to relax, when suddenly. 

“So, bae” he started (so loudly the rest of the cocktail lounge jumped simultaneously) “You are looking dee-vine, now, let me tell you what happened for me to be here so inexcusably late”

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As Tim went into explaining the reasons he was late (that I certainly wasn’t listening to), I continued to observe him. Had he been this loud in the bar? And why was he trying to fit so adjectives into one sentence? I glanced around and the quiet looking couple of the table next to us, stared over, obviously agitated by the conversation around Tim being late that they could here… them and me both, what I would give to be the third wheel now…

“What do you think bae?” he asked. I snapped back from my day dream. Shit. What did I think. Should I toast a candle again? That would surely distract him. Nope, let’s just go for it…

“Yeah, I totally agree” I nodded (worth a shot). Wow, it seemed to work, Tim continued to talk as my agreement to the conversation seemed to appease him. And when I mean Tim continued to talk, I mean Tim continued to talk…

“This time on set once was hilarious…”

“And you know, when you get stopped on the street it’s pretty embarrassing…”

“Meeting Ricky Gervais was such a dream…”

“No one believed in me when I initially got into acting…”

“Girls just love knowing I am on TV…”

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Two. Of. The. Longest. Hours. Of. My. Life. Later…

“So B, what do you do?” he asked (the first question he had asked me on the whole date!). It almost threw me off as I was awakened from my day dream where I had descended into thoughts around drowning myself in my shallow cocktail or how acceptable it would be to pretend faint on a date. I replied, but within seconds the conversation had veered back to Tim. Jeez, at least when he was on my TV I could turn him off – no option to do that here! 

After another hour of Tim talk, I simply couldn’t bear any more and made my excuses to order my Uber. Tim followed me outside and was loitering around. Surely he couldn’t think the date had gone well? 

“So B” he asked “Where are you heading back to?” 

I told him where I was heading back to. 

“Great bae!” he replied (loud as always) “I’m heading back that way, let’s pool” 

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Oh. Good. God. No

I couldn’t take anymore of Tim talk. But what could I say? 

“I would rather walk home through Leytonstone and risk being stabbed than be in a confined space with you?” Probably a bit much.

As Tim and I jumped in an Uber, I tried to think of a way I could not engage? Do a pretend sleep maybe? No such luck. As Tim continued to chat, I continued to try and find inner peace

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It wasn’t working. 

As Tim continued to talk, I noticed that he had pulled out chewing gum and offered some to me. Surely this wasn’t going where I though it was… 

“So B” he smiled (his very dazzling TV smile)

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“Seeing as we are here, you know, in the back of this taxi, let’s make out like sixteen year olds, yar?” As he leaned in, I felt only one emotion…

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“Sorry Tim, I don’t kiss on first dates” and with that lie told the Uber pulled outside my house. 

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Home. Turf.

As the Uber pulled away, I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank god that was over. What an awful start to being back on the dating scene. Well at least it couldn’t get worse than that I thought to myself. Turns out, I was wrong about that too….

Thanks for reading!

B

x

The Dream Date Duncan

Hi guys, thanks for coming back after hearing about the dildo disaster, trust me, you wont believe this but it gets funnier and more surreal as well as a little more serious at times too. 

As much as I don’t like to write serious posts, with some of my story, it’s the right thing to do and I hope will raise awareness as to how we allow (our more how we shouldn’t allow) ourselves to be treated. I always want to write with transparency as my blog isn’t about projecting a perfect life that we see on Instagram but more the reality, the highs and lows and the mistakes we make that define the people we become. 

Anyways, sorry to get all DMC (deep meaningful convo for reference) on you, but wanted I to explain as we go further into the story. 

Anywho, the next part of my story is where my faith became restored (even if only briefly) in dating and talks about how sometimes we need to give ourselves the space to breathe before we move on as sometimes it can end in disaster. But something end in disaster for me again, surely not? Enjoy … 

After the dildo disaster, I was adamant that I wasn’t going to let this hump in road (no pun intended) stop me from getting back on track. I had spent a couple of months trying to understand the abrupt ending between Joey and I had come to and just when I had started to get over that hill when

BOOM 

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Like they do, he had come back in and fucked everything up again. Don’t they quite have that tendency ladies? Luckily, following my confrontation with Joey, his messages had lessened, I hoped eventually to nothing 

If I wanted sex toys, I had a local Anne Summers. Thanks. 

Anywhooo, at this point, my chipped heart had made me into a woman on a bit of a mission. I had knee jerk reacted (which we have all been guilty of) and had gone back on Tinder (gulp) with out taking a bit of time to breathe…

Because, you know, I was so totally over what happened. Totally so over it… Overrrrr it. Totally. 

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As the matches piled up (believe me not in an arrogant way). I swiped through each one and found myself picking fault. 

  • Unfunny bio – unmatched 
  • Bad t shirt – unmatched 
  • Don’t know how tall he is but looks short and I’m 5″1 so can obviously judge – unmatched

The list of silly and judgemental reasons that I unmatched with potentially nice guys went on and on. At the time although I couldn’t see it, I was probably still pretty hurt by Joey’s actions, the signs were clearly there that I wasn’t quite ready to date, but none the less was fairly determined to not let the last disaster hold me back.

As I swiped and was becoming further underwhelmed, a message popped through from a guy that I had survived my unrealistic grim-reaper like cull. 

DUNCAN: Hi Rebecca, how are you today?

I flicked through his pictures and bio. What a hottie! Joey who…? (jokes – we were not over Joey in any way shape or form at this point). Duncan looked tall, in amazing shape, dressed well and was incredibly handsome and as we started to chat I realised was actually a pretty cool person too.

Duncan worked in Creative advertising as a retoucher and as the conversation continued his creativity and passion not just about his work but about everything that he did shone through. We talked about work, interests, friends, life… basically everything. I remember thinking how refreshing it was to speak to a guy that seemed to have a passion outside of drinking with his mates all weekend and going on dates in Dirty Martini. 

After chatting for a couple of days, swapping Instagram’s, what’s apps etc. (standard dating app etiquette) and basically clarifying that neither party are a psychopath (note. it turns out you can’t clarify this even when you think you know someone, but that’s a story later down the line – look out for it), Duncan asked me out on our first date. Now with a first date, I’ve got to be honest, my usual expectations and suggestions are drinks or maybe a quick bite to eat somewhere, so, I was a little surprised when Duncan suggested Sushi Samba as a first date. For anyone who doesn’t know about this place, click the link, it is a rather nice place to go for drinks or food in general, let alone a first date. I agreed and looked forward to our date later in the week. 

The next evening, I was due to meet a few friends. In my old apartment (which I miss dearly) we had the biggest balcony where we spent most of the summer. Relaxing in the sun and chatting with my peoples was (and still is) one of my favourite things in the world (I just record it now – check out our podcasts!). Our stories always seemed to relate back to dating (this is inclusive of my guys friends too – who seem to have the same struggles as us ladies!)

As we chatted, I told the guys about the date lined up with Duncan. Everyone seemed impressed at the first date location and we did what all girls do and reviewed one another’s tinders.

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It’s a thing. 

“He is cute” said one of the girls “Although he doesn’t teeth smile in any of the pics” (Teeth smile also a thing). I stopped and looked, she was right he didn’t. Oh no. My brain suddenly had images of the gorgeous Duncan walking over to me in Sushi Samba and hitting me with this…

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As the culling scythe was firmly resting on my shoulder a lot at that time. My response was simple. 

“That’s true” I agreed “I probably shouldn’t go on the date” (logic prevails). 

The group rolled their eyes. I had been like this a lot since Joey, avoiding dates and just talking to guys in general. One of my friends was still pretty mad about a blind date she had set up that I had cancelled a little close to the call (an hour or so is okay right?) and snapped

“B, you are going on this date, so help me god, I will drag you there myself” 

I sheepishly agreed. Another one of my friends piped up. 

“B, do you not think you’r avoiding dating because you’re not really over Joey yet, maybe you should relax” 

“No” I replied defensively “Of course I’m over Joey and of course I am going on the date” 

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See, totally over it…

As the date night came round and I headed over to Sushi Samba, I was incredibly nervous and I had no idea why, I obviously do now, but at the time I put it down to the fact that Duncan was probably going to have teeth worthy of Jeremy Kyle episode. As I jumped off the tube and headed over to Samba tower, I received a message from him. 

DUNCAN: I’m at Liverpool Street station. Where shall I meet you?

Well, no time like the present. I responded, that I was in Liverpool Street too and within minutes, I recognised Duncan walking towards me. He was as hot as his pictures….. Lord! As he approached, my mind played a little mantra (please have nice teeth, please have nice teeth, please, please, please) – note. I am lol-ing at myself reading this. 

“Hello B” he smiled and there they were ….

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The most lovely set of pearly whites you have ever seen. His teeth were basically all I could see. 

Okay, so now we had established that Duncan was basically a dream boat, my neurotic brain could relax and finally enjoy the date. As soon as Duncan and I started to chat, it was so apparent he was one of the “good guys”. We had so much in common, the conversation flowed and I laughed a lot. Everything about the date (and Duncan) was lovely (even my gut told me he was a nice guy – it was also so right about this, as it is every time remember ladies – listen!). So why, while I sat with this gorgeous, charming, lovely man, eating amazing food looking out over the twinkling city sky, did I feel sad? I sighed, this would literally be any single girls dream and I just wasn’t feeling it. What was wrong with me?! (Turns out nothing wrong with me). 

The night continued to be my dream date and after Duncan paying for my dinner and Uber home (yes, ladies honestly and he point blank refused to let me contribute) As I sat on my bed at home I was overwhelmingly disappointed and frustrated that I just didn’t feel anything at all. Duncan was basically my perfect guy and I could tell would be more than kind to me. Why on earth didn’t I spark with him and sparked with some dildo crazed long haired man. Urgh – we always want the bad boys right?

The next day Duncan text me to arrange another date and I begrudgingly explained that I didn’t think it was the best idea. Turns out no matter how perfect someone is, no one can mend hurt, the only person who can do that is you and I had no intention of messing a nice guy around while I fixed that. When you’re not ready, you’re just not ready hey?

Turns out Duncan was as lovely as my gut told me and I would now class him truly as a friend. He is going to make one lucky lady very, very happy (just saying ladies he’s out there- don’t all jump at once). 

After my date with Duncan, I took some well needed time out before I got back onto the dating scene and will be sharing a post later this week about when you truly shouldn’t be dating (watch out for it). For anyone reading thinking of rushing back into dating following a chip to the heart, hold off, it’s not worth it – trust me speaking from experience! 

After taking a couple of months back for me and a some time off the dating scene, who would have thought a trip to a bar in central would lead me to meeting some one famous, which led to a famously bad date…

Thanks for reading again! 

B

x

 

Joey the Joker

So, before I continue with my disastrous dating diaries, thanks for coming back to read more (it means the world). For anyone new to this blog, you might want to skip back a few steps and catch up!

Any whooooo, before I tell you about the end of Joey and I, let’s give you a bit of context around him.

So Joey, is a mistake I made once, twice … okay maybe Ive made the mistake few times (don’t judge! It’s that curly hair). We dated for a couple of months and it was one of the first “sparks” I felt when I moved to London. (And there hasn’t been many, trust me). 

Hope you enjoy the ending ….

A couple of months had passed of Joey and I dating and we had been having so much fun. We talked about pretty much everything and I was constantly laughing when I was around him. He was super cheeky and if I’m honest a bit of a gobby sod (for my American friends reading – love that you are by the way – gobby sod means a bit of a mouth piece), which to be fair, matched us up pretty well.

I clearly remember a time, we were play fighting around drunk outside a pub and some guys asked “if I was okay” (they were being pretty moronic to be fair, my safety was clearly not at risk). “She’s fine mate” he shouted back “And not interested”. (Gobby get, see!). As well as being a cheeky so and so, Joey would also be super sweet. I once pulled a muscle in my back training and he turned up at the tube station to collect me and carry my bags. He then took me home, with lots of painkillers and ibuprofen gel and made me dinner (we both ended up accidentally overdosing on the gel and being quite poorly, which looking back was pretty hilarious). I was super smitten by Joey. When we were together, I think I pretty much followed him round like this..

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(Eye roll emoji at naive me back then).

We had also got past the “third date” stage and if I’m honest hadn’t really stopped “third dating” since that point. In contrast to Oscar, Joey and I’s “third-dating” was never really passionless, in fact, quite the opposite. It was exactly the “rip your clothes off/sparky” third date kind of stuff you were looking for. The energy and passion was amazing initially but as time was passing (and please don’t judge me), I wasn’t keeping up with the energy levels (lol). In fact it would get to the end of a weekend and I would be like…

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As much as I loved the “third dating” with Joey, you know the feeling ladies. I also love going on the  at Alton Tower once when I’m there, six times a day though….

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Not so much.

Anywhooo, I had spent a couple of months following Joey round like a loved up pup and things were starting to get a little more serious. Joey met my friend-friends, my work-friends (all of who loved him). I also met his friends and I when he told me that his Mum knew about me, I couldn’t help but do this…

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One night after a another lovely date, Joey and I walked back to his place hand in hand. After telling me his Mum knew about me, I was excited to tell him my Mum was visiting the weekend at the weekend.

“You should join us for a drink” I said excitedly.

And then ladies, came the first red flag (a little one but none the less a flag) Which at the time, I didn’t realise.

“Erm, B, isn’t that a bit serious?” he replied.

Wait.

Hadn’t you asked me to meet your friends and met them? And told your Mum about me? And now I was being serious…

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Feeling hurt, I wiggled my hand free from his. Well, that was really confusing, for someone who had blown hotter than my broken Remington hairdryer, his response was very cold. We walked back to his place, it wasn’t a big deal, but it was the first “chink” in Joey’s so far perfect armour that I had seen.

Unfortunately, as time continued and things became more serious, the chinks became more apparent. Joey’s immaturity showed more often and, me being me, would call him out on the baby like behaviour.

Things finally came to a head (not the fun kind), one Saturday night.

Now just to give a little context, what happened next was completely unexpected to me. When I mentioned “chinks” in Joey’s armour, they were indeed just chinks (tiny little problems) that could have been resolved, if you wanted them to be, hence my sheer confusion at the next part of the story…

It was a Saturday night and I was still hanging round in my flat. I picked up my phone and checked the time, I hadn’t heard from Joey and we were supposed to be heading for food at 7.30pm. I glanced at the screen, 7.50, well, we had missed the reservation. I knew Joey had been out until the early hours of the morning (early hours being drunk messages at 7am) and expected this may be the reason he was super late. A knock at the door, jolted me out of my day dream. I rushed to the door (with this face)

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I was greeted by (a hungover looking) Joey. He was draped in the usual leather jacket, skinny jeans, hat and long hair, urgh, it was annoying, I struggled to be mad when he was so hot.

“Sorry B” he said sheepishly. “Are you okay?”

“Fine” I responded. He smiled and continued chatting. Was that it? Could he not see I was mad. Any sane man knows that when a woman responds with “fine” she is clearly not fine. As Joey continued to chat, I gave up, although I was still upset, I wanted to have a nice night and certainly didn’t want to argue.

We headed down to a local burger bar and ordered food. Joey and I always alternated “who paid” on our dates (pod cast to come on date etiquette, who pays is a hot subject! ;)) and tonight was my night. As the delicious burgers were placed down, I basically inhaled mine. Joey on the other hand, pushed the fries and burger around his place until the waiter finally removed our plates, he looked at me in the same sheepish manner as earlier. The cheque was placed down in front of us and I footed the bill for the food Joey hadn’t eaten.

Okay, so as any girl would be, I was a little pissed by this point. Joey had a lot of cake buying and sucking up cuddles to do as I was ready to be quite the grumpy girlfriend.

As we walked back to my place, I stomped a little ahead. When we arrived back, Joey again asked the same question “Are you okay?” This time, I told him that I wasn’t and was being the grumpy girlfriend and obviously told him off. Expecting a “sorry” and a “forgive me” cuddle. I sat down next to him and that’s when he came out with it….

“I can’t do this B”

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Couldn’t do what? Now I was confused…

“I just can’t do this B, the commitment, this is getting serious”

What? I wasn’t sure at what stage I had got down on one knee and now I was seriously confused. He continued…

“This B, I know it’s going somewhere and I can’t cope. This has happened before, with other girls and it’s happening again and I just can’t handle the commitment”

(note the bold ladies).

I had to literally pick my jaw up off the floor. Where had this come from? It was like a complete 180 in a night. Sure, I had noticed he was a little cagey about certain things, but I had always brushed it off as he was so lovely…. it now made more sense.

Joey continued to go into detail about how this had happened before and why (I won’t go into it as some things are for sure private). I was still completely in shock as he talked. This was the guy I had laughed and joked and danced like an idiot in a bar with the weekend before and he had just come out with all of that….

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I stared into space, a little dumbfounded as he continued.

“I’m going to go” he said “I can’t do this”. I tried to respond, but there was nothing that could really be said.

Joey walked out and the door closed behind him.

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At the time, I literally couldn’t believe it.

Turns out ladies, this is a thing men struggle with a lot!

I have to admit, at the time, I was for sure sad for a little while but as it hadn’t been too long. I busied myself; drinks with the girls, gym and lots of good food and recovered from the roller coast ride with Joey pretty quickly.

And it was just in that moment of feeling better ladies, that these boys do what they do best….

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I mean, you can’t blame me, who isn’t a sucker for a cute curly haired commitment phobe…

Unfortunately ladies, that is when I indeed found out Joey wasn’t quite as nice as he seemed.

Thanks again for reading

B

x