Monday, March 26, 2018

Navigating a serious relationship at the age of 37

Nooone hands you a user manual for relationships. Perhaps they should and it should start from the end and work backwards.

Navigating a relationship at any age is a challenge but put yourself in my shoes. My 37-year-old shoes.

It's not easy to change your habits after living by yourself for so long and being used to doing things just the way you like it.

But alas, I met a guy through eHarmony after only a few weeks. I never thought I'd be one of those statistics where you meet someone online. A genuine, decent guy wanting the same things you do.

But noone tells you actually how hard it will be to try and blend the two lives together at such a late stage in your lives.

I am 37 and he is 39 and needless to say we both didn't think we'd find ourselves single at that age and looking for love through the stroke of a keyboard.

But here we both are.

Sure you have your own friends, hobbies and careers but trying to mash them all together is sometimes harder than it appears.

I love scary movies - have since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Now as an adult it's really hard to find someone who shares my love of this night time indulgence. But I did and we watch plenty of scary movies and I happily grip his arm at the scary parts.

I think what doesn't change, no matter what age you are entering a relationship, is not knowing where the other stands.

Do they like you as much as you do (let's face it - one always likes someone more than the other one does).

At what stage do you meet their friends? When do you introduce them to yours? When do they meet the fockers? When do you meet theirs?

You don't want to seem too eager to pass all these milestones, but secretly you hope he likes you enough to want to push you into the deep end, head first.

And boy does it feel good.

You walk proudly with this guy on your arm and hope everyone knows he's yours, he's your boyfriend and he's chosen you.

You skip along blissfully unaware of whatever else is happening around you.

You're in love and it feels f***ing fantastic!

Boy, why did it take 37 years to get here you ask?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Work Lunch or Lunch Date?

I've been sitting on this blog post for awhile now, not sure how I would start it.

Mainly because during this time of procrastination (which, as a journo, I am excellent at), I met someone and now know what it's like to be treated right.

But let's go back to the time when I wasn't.

I'd been chatting to a guy through work for a few months, on and off. All work-related (of course), but then I got the feeling he might be trying to suss out if I was single.

There were heaps of "work" phone calls back and forth, and yes, I admit I did make up a few lame excuses so I could call him.

Eventually he kept saying we should meet up for coffee sometime. Waiting for that 'sometime' turned into weeks so I decided to take the initiative and ask him for coffee.

I'd sent the email and waited in anticipation for him to reply. A few hours went by. Nothing. Then a day, still nothing.

I wrote him off after not hearing from him in four days and tried to get back on with life and had convinced myself it was all in my head.

But alas, a week or so later I get a very impersonal 'coffee' invite sent to me by this guy.

Phew, so he know s I'm alive afterall. Of course I forgave him in an instant for not answering my coffee email.

I couldn't make the time he suggested for coffee so after a few emails we decide on "lunch" on a Monday.

Now I'm sure I'm not the only woman who has wondered if they are going on a "work" lunch, or lunch date?

I mean it felt like a date after it went from coffee to lunch.

But, hang on a second. Did he think we'd have "coffee" during the period typically known as lunch from 12-1pm?

I was confused and reading waaaay too much into the situation.

But the time the day rolled around I had no idea what to expect. Technically I didn't even know if this guy was single? Was he?

I actually hadn't met this guy yet, just knew the sound of his great phone voice. I'd tried cyber stalking him, but he didn't have much of an online footprint so I didn't have much to go on.

So we meet, eat (thank god!) and talk date-like stuff. I knew his career background, that he owned a couple of boats, had two children and it appeared he was going through a separation.

We talked about my work, he knew I was single and didn't have any kids and I'm pretty sure I told him about my little blog.

An hour-and-a-half goes by, he pays (ummm, date!) and we walk out and say our goodbyes. I was ready to say I'd been keen to catch up again but next time alcohol should be involved.

But he turns all work-like, shakes my hand and said he looked forward to seeing me at the filming (we were filming with his company).

I leave confused, perhaps more so than I was when I arrived.

I still wasn't sure if he was single and was cracking onto me.

I decided to wait and don't contact him for a few days (work-related or otherwise), then three days later I get an email saying he enjoyed our "lunch getogether" and that I was "interesting" and would be keen to do it again sometime.

So I see this as my queue to go for it! I text him saying I'd been keen for another catchup, this time with alcohol involved. He replies 'haha for sure' and that was it.

I wait four days and text again asking if he was free that Friday for a drink?

I'm still waiting for him to reply.

I got absolutely nothing. Radio silence.

I stopped obsessing about it after a few weeks and began to get on with life and realise it was him and not me.

Randomly I get a "work" email from him saying he'd follow up in the next week or two to see how everything went with filming.

I'm still waiting.

His actions said a lot about him, not only on a personal level, but a work one too. And I wanted nothing to do with either.

About a month after getting his latest email I joined eHarmony. It was one of only a few sites I hadn't tried so thought I'd hand over my credit card and give it go.

And I haven't looked back!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Bubble Bursts

Just as I was getting used to spending time with that sweet-mannered, kind guy I mentioned in my last post, it ended.

I thought he liked me as much as I liked him (maybe more?) and I'd even started planning things in advance (shock horror), but for the second time I ran before I walked.

We were set up by a mutual friend and our first date was a very casual catch up on a Sunday afternoon. So casual I had a milkshake and drove. Such a rebel.

I thought the date went okay but I wasn'y on my A game by any means. We parted ways after an hour and a half and I didn't think I'd hear from him again.

But, alas, he messaged a few hours later saying it was really lovely to meet me and thanked me for giving up my Sunday afternoon and he wanted to see me again.

This is just one of the examples of how this guy was different from the rest. Perhaps this is what piqued my interest.

When I was mulling over the potential of a second date I thought back to what we spoke about during the first one.

I mentioned I had a cat (in a non-crazy cat lady way) and I remember him asking me what sort of cat Millie was?

I didn't think much of it at the time, but looking back, he is the first guy to ever ask me about my cat and he didn't have to.

But that's what nice guys do.

I wasn't the best version of myself on that date yet he still wanted to see me again. This meant something.

I'm ashamed to admit it took me 24 hours to reply to his text, but when I did I said I, too, was keen to see him again so we lined up a mid-week movie date that week.

He was so excited to go to the movies that he offered to buy the tickets online, picked up the candy bar bill and also paid for our early dinner and drinks beforehand.

He is the type of guy who doesn't think twice about paying for a lady on a date and it was so nice to be treated like one.

After the movie he offered to drive me home but I said it was out of his way and I said I would just take the bus.

Everyone I told that story to asked why not? Why didn't I let him drive me home? I guess the number one reason was I'd never had anyone ask before and I didn't know how to respond.

In the meantime, we organsie to go to Bluesfest at Byron Bay for a day over the Easter weekend. He was keen to pay for his ticket, but I said don't worry, he'd been paying for all our other dates.

So date #3 rolls around and he wants to take me to dinner and offers to pick me up so I accept and we have a lovely dinner.

I'd gone to the bathroom and he paid and as I was walking back I see he's on the phone. Didn't think much of it. He had been waiting to hear from his boss about what time he was starting work the next day so I assumed it was him.

We walk out of the restaurant and he says he's starting at 7.30am. I ask if that was his boss on the phone? His reply? It was my ex.

To say it was a conversation killer doesn't even come close. I didn't know what to say, he didn't know what to say so we ride home in silence most of the way.

I ask if he wants to come in when we get back to my place, he does for about 15 minutes and we sit awkwardly on the couch, then he says he's got to go.

I walk him out and think, right, surely we've got to have our first kiss now?

I am standing next to his van, he's standing there looking at me. It's awkward. Seconds are ticking by and we're looking at each other. You get the picture.

I was waiting for him to make the next move. The move he makes is jumping into his car and driving away pretty quicky. I was suprised and of course wondered what just happened?

I message him later to see he'd gotten home and just touched on what happened (or didn't) earlier. He said he freaked out, didn't know what to do and I said we had plenty reasons to look forward to the next date.

Turns out we saw each other the next day and we spent about seven hours together. We watched Netflix, drank, ate and got to know each other more.

Yes, we finally kissed and if I'm totally honest, I didn't feel any spark.

But you know what? That didn't bother me. I thought we could keep getting to know each other, and may, just maybe, the sparks would come.

I'm -not sure what he was thinking, but 24 hours later I get the "it's not you, it's me" text.

One of my first thoughts is I now I have $320 worth of Bluesfest tickets and the second was a day after I kiss a guy, I get a text saying thanks but no thanks.

Does a lot for a girl's self esteem.

In his defence he felt "it" wasn't there and he said it was the same with his ex. I was a nice girl, intelligent, blah blah blah.

I replied after an hour saying I was surprised, thought things were going well and I wished him the best.

He replied and said thanks for replying and he wished me well.

Damn it, why did you go and be a nice guy again???!!!!
Oh, and those Bluesfest tickets I had? A good friend stepped up and we went together.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lowering Your Standards is Not the Answer

I've been online dating on and off for almost four years so this kind of dating has become the norm for me.

I didn't realise until recently how climatised I have become to guys treating me badly, not replying to texts and generally not giving me the respect I deserve.

I always thought I would meet someone who put me first and worried about my wellbeing, but the guys I seem to attract (online) have done none of this.

Guess that's why I'm 36 and still single.

But I refuse to settle.

Recently I met a guy who showed me there are still some good ones out there.

He is the type to let you walk through a doorway first, is happy to pick up the cheque and is insulted when you offer to pay.

He messages to see if you're home safe, asks how your day was and actually wants to hear your answer and remembers the type of drink you like.

It wasn't until going on a few dates did I realise how low my standards are now.

The only excuse I have is I'm a product of my surroundings. I, like many other people, haven't met anyone in real life so I turned to online dating. I just didn't realise I would compromise my standards in the process.

I realised the guys I met weren't what I always wanted but I went along for the ride because there weren't any other better offers.

I thought I was destined to forever be the girl my friends lived their lives vicariously through. They would laugh with me when I would tell them the incredible and sometimes unbelievable stories of the dates I'd been on. 

But they were also there when I would be counting the days since I'd heard from a guy and wondered what I had done wrong and we'd come up with the stories - no, the reasons - why this guy couldn't possibly have grabbed his phone and called me, or text.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

It's a jungle out there without any GPS

My latest sojourn in the online dating world hasn't gone so well.

I was ready to close down my online dating profile and I was telling a friend about it when she suggested I write it like an ad - you know - one last chance, all offers accepted, that kind of thing.

I thought it was funny and set about writing the perfect profile to capture the guy - any guy's - attention.

This is what I decided on:
Hi - last chance to make a genuine offer - all offers considered. I'm here for one more week, then I'm closing my account. No returns or refunds. Here's the deal......and I used the rest of my usual profile to pad it out.

I was hoping having a sense of humour might attract a different kind of guy - one who would appreciate my dry sense of humour and would want to contact me.

But it didn't go to plan - while I though it was ingenious, not many others did.

While I eagerly checked my profile to see if there were any new views or messages, I came to the realisation it just wasn't working.

It's a jungle out there without any GPS.

Noone is giving you the navigation directions - you are trying to find your own way through this jungle of photos and profiles which aren't jumping out at you.

I've known this for awhile now, but it wasn't until I tried my 'one week only' catch phrase that I realised it wasn't working. None of my stints on online dating were resulting in any decent men contacting me.

I am all about accepting my faults and realising where I went wrong, but you get to a point where you are just too old to change and too used to the ways things have been.

Let's face it - no guy has come close to me wanting to change.

Each time I chat to a new guy I try a new tact, but it's just not working.

But back to the fire sale...I messaged a guy who had viewed my profile the day I was going to close it. I thought, what the hell, I don't have anything to lose so I messaged him.

He thought I'd already closed my account so hadn't messaged (that was his story anyway) and we had a laugh about how guys weren't finding my profile funny (at least I was!).

He was fitting into this category. The category where guys seem to be too lazy to make the first move - whether it be sending the first message, being the one to ask the other on a date or offering their phone number.

So we chatted for a few days before going on a first date which turned out to be awkward. He sat on a lemon, lime and bitters while I downed two vodkas (and I'm by no means a big drinker).

I'd forgotten my glasses too so I was worried I wouldn't recognise him! Afterall, I only had his profile pics to go on.

Oh, and I forgot to mention he has a kid. First guy I've ever been on a date with who has a child. He showed me pics too...

He was keen to catch up again, but I wasn't. I knew I wasndidn't want to entertain the idea of being with someone who already had children and this guy just didn't excite me.

So now I'm foot loose and let back into the real world - where you meet people in the flesh and strike up meaningful conversations and you don't hide behind a screen on a phone.

Well, that's the plan anyway. Wish me luck.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Ghosting is the New Black

Ghosting: the practice of ending a personal relationship with somebody by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

I'm going to let you into the shittier side of online dating. The bit when you put all your time and energy into something working, when all you're left with is unanswered texts and many, many quesions.

I've spoken before about needing a thick skin when it comes to online dating - it certainly isn't for the feint hearted and this experience is one of those times. 

This post is for all the single ladies out there who have been ghosted by a guy.

As the description at the beginning suggests, ghosting is when someone cuts all contact without any "it's not you, it's me" bullshit.

My most recent ghosting incident happened on NYE. 

Let me set the scene: I'd been chatting (by this I mean texting) to this FIFO worker for two weeks and we'd tentatively planned to catch up on New Year's Day before he went back to work.

We'd been messaging up until NYE night when, bam, nothing. Two weeks of messages and then radio silence.

He cut contact without an explanation or a simple I'm just not that into you text. I mean we all hide behind text messages as it is - so this wouldn't have been any different.

At first I was pissed off - I'd invested a lot of time and energy in this guy. I mean texting every day for two weeks with someone you barely know. It takes determination and a lot of question asking!

I stupidly thought we were both on the same page and were keen to meet each other in the flesh.

Oh was I wrong.

Somewhere along the line he thought it would be okay to stop all contact with me and that would be okay.

And you know what? I wanted to send him a message and tell him what I thought about him not having any regard for my feelings or at least have the decency to be honest and say he didn't want to meet up.

It took all my self control (and when it comes to this I usually don't have much) not to message because at the end of the day he didn't reply to my other messages about where we were going to meet on New Year's Day so why would this message be different?

I'd just be this psycho girl sending him crazy texts and he'd feel better that he'd made the right decision, or dodged a bullet, blah blah blah.

You might remember the last time I was ghosted back in August 2015 with a guy I'd been seeing for a few weeks.

I remember haggling him for a couple of weeks when he finally did return my texts and all I wanted to know was why? And his response of "I just wasn't feeling it" didn't make me feel any better.

So this time I decided to be the bigger person and let it slide. I didn't message this guy, look at his online profile. Hell, I haven't even facebook-stalked him since.

He doesn't deserve anymore of my time if he thinks he can treat a woman like that. The whole time I kept thinking, what would his mum say if she knew her son treated women like this?

I was talking to a colleague at work and she said to me he's 36, there's no way he's going to change his behaviour now.

How right you are. But I can change the way I act. I will be the better person. Water off a duck's back - repeat after me - water off a duck's back.

So I did the grown up thing and deleted his details from my phone (incuding all 993 text messages) and when I 'unmatched' with him on POF I chose the 'inappropriate offline behaviour' reason.

One small step for me, one giant leap for woman kind.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Tinder comeback

Full disclosure, I stole the headline from a guy I had been chatting to who had be off Tinder for awhile, but decided to make a triumphant return.

It's been a little over three months since my last post so I thought I'd start 2017 off with a new one.

A had a look through my calendar and I only went on three dates in 2016 - what an abysmal number - especially when I had such a good 2015.

I joined Tinder (again) about four weeks ago after a colleague of mine was having such great success so I thought I'd give it ago.

I think the 'hook up' tag is not as evident as it used to be with Tinder, but there are plenty of guys who tell you exactly what they are on there for and what they are looking for.

I had one message from a guy that asked if he said enough nice things, would we have sex? Umm, no buddy. What part of the 'not interested in a hook up' in my profile was he confused about?

Another guy sent me a gif with Joey from Friends and the words 'how you doin'?'. I didn't even respond.

I have certainly had my eyes opened about a few things and here are a few of my observations.

I never knew 'roping' was a sexual thing, one guy only wanted to chat to women who were not vanilla and another said he'd buy a girl pizza and touch their butt.

I've seen my fair share of the obligatory selfies, complete with the toilet in the background.

I can't forget the guy in a beanie wearing a women's pink dressing gown, another guy is pictured with either his (young) partner, or daughter - I still don't know which it is, but it was creepy nonethless.

There was a couple who were looking for another woman, or couple to join them. Then there was a married guy keen for Friday lunchtime liaisons.

Another guy is trying to lean sexily over his motorbike (it's not working), while another simply has a picture of a bird and the words 'everything is a dildo if you're brave enough'.

What can I say. It's a tough ride wading through these profiles to hopefully find the needle in the haystack.