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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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

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

 

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