Things Not To Say To Me About Dating – An Observation


What is it they say – opinions are like assholes, everyone has one? I’ve always felt like there should be a second part to that though – and like assholes they should be kept to ourselves. Unless you’re into that with your partner(s).

Dating is one of those things that everyone has an opinion on and is happy to share. In part because most people have experience of dating and, so often, even a sliver of experience can all of a sudden make someone an expert on something, even if it was 10 years ago and the landscape of said subject matter has changed beyond recognition.

Starting to date again after my divorce can only be described in one way – a minefield. I hadn’t dated for 12 years. I’d been with my ex for almost 10 years and then took a good few years to figure my shit out after the end of my marriage that by the time it got round to me being properly ready to date I was in the “decade plus since my last date” category. So in some ways I definitely needed some direction, some assistance and some support from those around me. And, mostly, I got that.

What I also got was a tonne of sass, shade, judgement and unhelpful comments. FUN! Here are some of my favourites…

“Oh tindering is such a fun game!”

I’m glad my search for a relationship is just that to you – a game. Long sigh… I get it, Tinder and dating apps in that genre can feel pretty gamified when all you need to do is look at the pretty ladies or men and swipe left or right. It hardly feels important and potentially life changing. But in a city where it can be tough to start conversations in an organic, in-real-life way the dating apps are a necessary evil so I’d appreciate if you didn’t take my phone and start swiping right (to match) on people you think it would be “funny” if I dated. Also, and possibly more importantly, there is (hopefully) a real person at the other end of that profile and “playing” with them is not a game. So why don’t you download Candy Crush, Tina, and play with that instead of my life?

“Don’t go for that [insert age / nationality / career here] – they’re the worst.”

As much as stereotypes are certainly built upon some truth, sweeping generalisations which effectively render entire groups of the population as off limits to me isn’t going to help in my quest to find someone and to remain open minded while I do so. Maybe your friend Sarah did have a really bad experience with a doctor, and I don’t doubt that some 40 year old men can be stuck in their ways but am I about to completely discount all doctors and every 40 year old? I’m gonna say probably not. FYI, Christine, a 40 year old doctor would be perfect right about now.

“Maybe you should stop dating around if you want a relationship?”

Holy shit you’re right, I’ve been so busy “dating around” that I’ve been ignoring all those men beating down my door to get into a long term relationship with me. Fun fact, there aren’t any men beating down my door to get into a long term relationship with me. Now, I understand you have to put out what you’re looking for and so if what I’m looking for is a long term relationship but what I’m getting is short term, meaningless dates/sex then, sure, maybe it could be something to do with my approach. But do you not think I’m already doing that?! And it really doesn’t land well when you’re essentially suggesting I’m getting in my own way when it comes to finding what I’m looking for so keep it to yourself, David.

“You need to stop dating muscles”

I’ll admit it, what I look for aesthetically in a man has changed a lot over the last couple of years. It’s been changing in the right direction with a huge part of that to do with their physical health and fitness. And while it’s true I do have a weakness for great arms, my actual incentive to date someone who maybe happens to have abs or thighs of steel is, as I’ve said before on here, because I know that we’re likely to be aligned on our fitness goals and our daily motivation to be healthy. I’m attracted to someone who takes care of themselves, who pushes themselves in their given fitness/sport/exercise regime and who can appreciate my need/want to work out 6 days a week. I don’t want someone coming in and trying to sabotage that. And as it so happens with that type of person, yes often they have a washboard stomach and let’s face it, I’m not complaining, but this comment suggests that I let the muscles completely take over my rational thought. Even with Asian weightlifting firefighter, the muscles may have kept me there a little longer than was necessary but they weren’t what got me there in the first place. Don’t get me wrong I make some poor choices but no thanks Susan, I’ll probably still stay away from the flabby, couch potato types.

“I don’t know how you can have casual sex”

I’ll tell you how, Juliana, because I’m not in a relationship, casual sex isn’t bad and I HAVE NEEDS!

“Tell him to fuck off / delete him”

My friends all come from a well meaning place and I know that most of their advice is because they think I deserve better and they want the best for me. However! It is so much easier to sit and say this as we chat about my most recent dating disappointment over cocktails, than it is for me to just ‘delete’ feelings that have developed for someone and cut off what is a fairly complex situation. Also, my good friends know me better than that, they know I don’t cut and run. My apparent need to always be nice renders me completely unable to tell someone to fuck off. At least in the cold, sober light of day… Drunk I’ll happily tell them they’ve been my biggest dating disappointment thus far (this story is still to come). What was I saying about poor choices?

“I don’t know how you’re still single”

First off, saying it like that gives ‘being single’ massively negative connotations. As if everyone’s want is or should be to get into a relationship. Granted the human need for connection is undeniable and yes right now I am looking for someone to share my life with. But people used to say this to me when I wasn’t even looking to date and it made me really paranoid, like somehow I was weird for wanting to stay single while I sorted my shit out, god forbid. Secondly, it’s not as fucking simple as deciding to date and poof! – relationship in session. Trust me. And thirdly, I always think this phrase comes with a second silent part to it, which is “I don’t know how you’re still single, THERE MUST BE SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH YOU”. Cheers, Karen, that makes me feel real good.

There are many, many, many other phrases I could add to this and I might do a part two in the future but two things I want to end on: 1) I know my friends want nothing but the best for me and, outside of some of them being guilty of saying some of the above, they are incredibly generous with their support and encouragement of my endeavours to find my person. For that I am always grateful, this is not a rag on them. 2) If you do know someone who’s dating and dealing with the stresses of modern day hunger games for love, be kind, buy them wine.

Next post…

…previous post

Yo, Bro! No?


Why is it that saying no to an offer of a drink or a date makes us feel like we’re somehow being rude? Why were we conditioned from childhood, by our parents, by society to think that giving an honest answer about whether we actually wanted to do something or not was worse than possibly offending someone or hurting their feelings?

(Side note – given recent weeks’ news cycles, I want to point out I’m not about to launch into a story of how I was pressured into something that made me feel violated or in any way constituted sexual assault but it the story does talk to the wider societal norms and the pressure that we, as women, feel that in some way have maybe led to those things.)

On a random summer’s Friday night I got a text from one of my best guy friends asking what I was doing the next day and did I want to go to a pool party that some guy he knew was throwing at his parents house in this super nice area of the city. My answer was, of course, yes I’m free and yes I want to go.

I love living downtown, my 511 square foot apartment is just fine for me and the few possessions I chose to keep post-divorce. But an actual house? With a garden? And a pool? Yeah, I’ll happily take a day there thanks very much.

Late Saturday morning, along with another guy friend of ours, we drove over to that side of the city stopping to pick up some food for the BBQ and drinks on the way. At that I offered to be designated driver on the return, rather than deal with a bus or cab home and need to go back for my friend’s car the next day. I don’t do very well when mixing sunshine and alcohol, or so my friends tell me when I come round after fainting, so it was probably best to keep the alcohol to a minimum when the sunshine was already at maximum.

The impressively large yet cosy looking house was beautiful. The pool and sloped, landscaped garden were stunning. The patio with tiled outdoor kitchen and corner sunken hot tub was incredible. This was how to spend a summer’s day, I was in heaven.

When we first arrived it was just the my two friends and I, the guy whose house it was and another of his guy friends. They were already on the patio drinking with the outdoor fridge fully stocked and a whole pile of towels and floaties ready – I liked their preparations. I especially liked the stack of red solo cups. I still find them such a novelty having only ever seen red cups in Hollywood high school/college movies until I moved out here. It’s like living out some childhood fantasy… if only it had been a kegger.

It actually felt like the only thing missing was a keg. When we turned up I could have sworn it was the setting of an American Pie movie. It just had that typical All-North American (I say North American because I can’t say American because we’re in Canada which is like someone saying England when you’re in Scotland but the saying is All-American so just work with me here ok?) feel to it. Including the two guys. Board shorts on, red cups in hand, talking about how the one guy’s parents, the house owners, were away in Mexico I think.

They were really nice guys and, from the stories they were telling, it was obvious they weren’t opposed to getting up to some shenanigans back in the day. In fact, it still felt like they were living in “the day” so I didn’t doubt they still did stupid shit now. The host was a super fit snowboarder who was training to become a helicopter pilot and wore a big ass diamond stud in his left ear. Bro!!

I’d use the term “Frat Boy” but maybe only because my versions of Frat Boys were more Prince William and Prince Harry-esque than Stifler and Oz. I have boarding school and Edinburgh University to thank for that.

The sun was beating down already and, while I was desperate to get my clothes off and my tan on, stripping off into a bikini while just sitting on the patio and being the only female amongst four guys (two good friends and two total strangers) didn’t feel super comfortable, so I chose to endure what tan lines my chosen outfit might result in and keep covered up.

After a few drinks (them, not me – I allowed myself two ginger apple ciders over the course of 8 hours) they decided it was time for the pool and so at that point, finally!, I got down into a bikini. Toes dipped in the water, sitting on the edge of the pool as the guys attempted to show off their diving prowess and throw balls around was bliss.

Not long after a whole bunch of Bro’s friends showed up, females included thankfully, and the fun and noise quickly escalated. It was a really great mix of random people all intent on enjoying a beautiful summer’s day. As the afternoon and the drinks wore on the stakes in the pool games got higher and I started to notice what I thought was flirting coming from Bro aimed at me.

The friend who’d invited me swam up beside me mid-afternoon and said “I think [Bro] likes you, I think you should date him”. Now, my friend and I have very frank dating chats, he was also single at the time and we loved telling each other what the other was doing wrong in their dating life, what they should do more of, less of and ultimately who we thought they should be dating. Was it always sound advice? No. Did we always take the advice? Thankfully, also no. And in this instance, I was definitely going to ignore him and presume the beer was to blame for the misplaced encouragement. Surely he knew that Bro was maybe the furthest thing from my “type” – if in fact I have one of those, which is debatable.

But flirting by a pool is one of the easiest things in the world – you’re both not wearing very much and the always-a-winner tease of going to push someone in the glistening blue water is a sure thing. And so as attempting to push me in became tipping me off the diving board, became full on rugby tackling me into the water, I probably couldn’t argue with my friends note about Bro “liking” me. It was fun, it was flirty, it was fine.

By early evening, we were all in the hot tub and the flirting had died down, most likely due to me choosing to sit at the opposite side of the bubbling water from him. Conversation had turned to who thought they could slackline across the pool and the male bravados were out in full force. With the amount of alcohol, and by this point weed, that had been consumed, I wasn’t entirely sure it was a good idea for anyone to be attempting that and being the only sober one I didn’t really want to end up playing lifeguard or ambulance driver, so I made hints to my friends about making an exit.

After declining Bro’s offer for us to “just stay!”, we dried off and took turns getting changed in the guest house. Bro joined us by the outdoor kitchen in the midst of my friend asking me if I the real reason I wanted to leave was that I was going to meet up with a guy from Tinder who’d been texting me. That wasn’t true, I’d blown the guy off (in the “said no” type of way!) and I was going home to go to bed. Despite my protestations, Bro joined in with my friend giving me shit, quickly followed by my other friend returning and adding to the jokes.

After a solid 5 minutes of jabs at my expense, Bro turned around and just said “fuck him, you should go on a date with me”. I was kind of caught off guard, not least because I knew my two guy friends would be loving witnessing this and I could already imagine the chats in the car on the way home. I threw back an off the cuff comment along the lines of “well you’re kinda busy with a house full of people right now, so you probably shouldn’t bail” trying to make it sound like I took the invite to be for that night and that wouldn’t work, so oh well, nevermind, see ya.

He laughed and said “another night”. And it was at this point that I was aware that both of his statements were just that, statements. They weren’t questions. In no way were they threatening but they were definitely a little presumptuous. And I immediately felt stuck.

I was standing in the beautiful garden of his parent’s home and he’d been such a great host all day, but did that mean I should say yes to a date? He was a really nice guy (albeit not really my type and a little short) but did that mean I should say yes to a date? He was a friend of my friend’s so I knew he wasn’t a lunatic, but did that mean I should say yes to a date? And I knew that turning him down with people to witness it may bruise his male ego, but did that mean I should say yes to a date?

I said yes to the date.

I just didn’t feel, for all those reasons listed above, that I could say no. And there’s a good chance it’s partly down to weakness or a need to try and always be nice on my part, more than it is about how I’ve been conditioned but the fact that I was even concerned about his ego more than I was about my own wants speaks to the choice not being entirely made for myself.

But it’s those sorts of feelings and those sorts of behaviours that can so quickly become agreeing to take a drink from a guy in a bar when you don’t want his attention, or saying “sure” when a guy asks you back to his place rather than admitting it might make you uncomfortable and saying goodnight, or allowing a guy to kiss you when you’re actually in no way on the same page. Finding your own true voice in those situations can be incredibly hard. And so much of it is fear-based. Fear that you’ll upset them, fear you’ll make them mad.

Like I stated at the beginning, this is not some story that turns into me being forced upon sexually, but looking back at the situation now I know my answer wasn’t my truth and that disappoints me. Especially given that in my situation, I likely could have said no and that would have been the end of it.

Instead, I gave him my phone number, thinking he might never call but a few days later he messaged me and we set up a date to go to a comedy show. He was very sweet in texts and by the time the date rolled around I was looking forward to seeing him. He picked me up, he paid, he was funny and the off-colour humour in the show landed well with us both. So it was a fun night, but that was all it was. One night, it went no further than a goodnight kiss on the cheek and in no way did he make any other presumptions on our date, for which I was thankful.

The date itself was unremarkable but the situation, while fairly vanilla in the grand scheme of things, definitely gave me thought around how easily (or not) I allow myself to be drawn into situations I’m not 100% comfortable with and how I can better manage my own behaviours. There’s a balance between being amiable and being true to yourself. There’s a way to say what you mean/think/feel without being offensive. And at the end of the day, the other person’s reaction isn’t something you can control. I’m still working on finding the balance…

Next post…

…previous post

Perfection On Paper


Matching with someone on dating apps, like Bumble or Tinder, is about as meaningful as waking up with a hangover and saying you’re not going to drink again. There is no substance to it, it was probably borne out of boredom and the likelihood of you following through with it is probably 5%. So when you do match with someone who it turns out you have more in common with than just mutually liking the look of each other, it can almost feel like a small miracle. Welsh Rugby Playing Lawyer was exactly that.

If we even just breakdown his nickname it’s not hard to see why I’d think it would be a good fit. Welsh – we have the UK in common, at least for the moment (thanks, Scotland). Rugby playing – I’m a massive sports fan (and not just “for a girl”) with rugby undoubtedly my first love. Lawyer – he’s smart and likely has a good job. See, the title of this blog post wasn’t hard to come up with.

Not only were all those things solid starters but when we started to text we had incredibly similar senses of humour (undoubtedly in large part due to both being British) and spent hours texting back and forth about a Facebook account set up to rate lunch combos from a popular store back home. I’m thinking that kind of banter would have definitely fallen flat with a Canadian. We talked rugby (a lot), moving to Vancouver, friends back home, friends here – wait, we have a mutual friend here?!

Turns out a friend of a friend of mine from home, who I’d met a couple of times since moving here, played rugby on the same team as Welsh Rugby Playing Lawyer and it just so happened that when we made that discovery while texting on a Friday night, they were out together and quickly sent me pics of their smiling faces. Our mutual friend soon after texted me to tell me what a great guy Welshie was and that he thought we’d get along great. While Welshie was texting me informing me that I was “coming in hot with recommendations”. And while a friend recommendation is never a sure thing, at least it was nice to know that he wasn’t a complete lunatic before I met him. And that he was getting a good report on me.

We had been texting a little while before we finally got a time arranged to meet up and our easy and fun chat until then plus the friend recommendation had definitely made us both pretty excited about it. It was a long weekend and we decided Monday afternoon drinks on a sunny patio by the water would be ideal. Unfortunately I woke up on that Monday morning with a long weekend sized hangover and while walking over the bridge to get to our meeting point I genuinely thought I might not make it. In hindsight I probably should have cancelled but I figured showing up, even if I was hungover, made a better impression than cancelling the day of. Buoyed by how much we’d both been looking forward to it, I soldiered on.

He arrived looking fresh as a daisy, and hot as hell with incredible arms, which only made me feel more of a mess. The profuse sweating wasn’t helping. He proceeded to order a beer while I gingerly sipped on some soda and lime. He suggested food and I was almost sick in my mouth, but attempted to eat some sweet potato fries.

Thankfully we had a lot to talk about, though the arms would have been a great distraction even if we didn’t. There is something to be said for dating someone who you share cultural references with. Of course it’s nice to be able to learn about other cultures from people and share your own, but there’s something comforting and easy about have a shared life experience that you can bond over. Boarding school life in the UK, growing up playing rugby, moving from the UK over to Canada – they were all parts of our life that we could connect over.

Despite that there was something that when I look back now I wonder if I should have been more aware of at the time. There was almost a sense of him either lacking confidence, which he had never given the impression of before, or being a little bit aloof in a too cool for school way. He just didn’t seem 100% engaged, at least not in the way he had in texts.

After the food and some drinks (I eventually made it onto gin and tonic), we decided to go for a walk nearby which in my head conjured up ideas of him kissing me by the water and it all being very romantic. In reality, it ended up kinda awkward when he didn’t want to walk a certain way because it was near his work and in the end we rushed a stilted goodbye.

Crawling home in the afternoon sun to go back to bed, I really didn’t know how I’d made it through the date, I wondered if actually the hangover had really screwed me over and I’d been an impossibly nightmarish date. But I think I’d done a pretty good job of putting on a brave face, despite admitting to him that I was feeling “a little under the weather” which I knew he’d find funny being that he was British and grew up in the drinking culture of rugby clubs. And at least that’s what his reaction portrayed. I put it out my mind and decided to concentrate on feeling better for the nightmare that would be going back to work the next day – it was sure to be a two day hangover.

Over the subsequent days and weeks our texting remained fairly constant – most days and always amusing and banter-filled. Though at times I wondered if it was a bit too “matey”, especially with all the sport chat, so would throw in a flirtatious comment here and there to balance it out. Overall though I was excited about the prospect of seeing him again.

Only, that prospect didn’t really seem forthcoming.

I kept waiting for him to suggest we meet up again, but never once in our daily texts did he suggest it. My mind went back to my confusion on the date as to whether maybe he actually was a little lacking in self confidence, but that just didn’t match up at all with the rest of his demeanour. Although it is easier to mask things like that over text. So eventually I decided to take the initiative and ask. It was the 21st century goddammit and I’ll ask a guy out if I want. Side note – as I’ve mentioned before, I do believe feminism and chivalry can live side by side.

His response was enthusiastic, to a point. He said he’d love to, and made some jokey comment about the different football teams we supported, but that he was busy with exams over the next week so it would have to be after that. I gave him some space for his exams and dental work, which he delighted in giving me in-depth details about via text, and then brought it up again. Again he sounded enthusiastic but the actual planning was almost too difficult to strike me as something he wanted to do.

We ended up squeezing it in on a Wednesday night after he had been at rugby training and I had been at my work’s summer BBQ. We met at a bar that was near his house and that was on my way home from the beach where I’d been celebrating with colleagues. But from the texts he’d sent me that night I kind of started to get the impression he was hoping I’d cancel, it was very much like “don’t leave your party early” (it finished at 9pm and we were meeting at 9pm, so I was missing 15 minutes to get to where we were meeting) and “if you’re too tired…” (I’m not the one who’s been running around a rugby field in the sun).

It ended up that by the time I got there I wasn’t really expecting too much, which was probably just as well. He had one beer, was clearly tired and spoke a lot about how much he had to do tomorrow and how early he had to get up. I decided not to prolong the inevitable anymore and wished him goodnight 45 minutes after we met. There was a sense as we said goodbye that I really wasn’t likely to see him again and I was kind of irritated that he’d even bothered to show up for the date. Why not cancel if he had nothing to bring to the party? It was shocking just how badly a date could go with someone you actually had a lot in common with.

I walked home from the bar even though I was nowhere near my house but I felt like I needed a walk to clear my head, and the warmth was still lingering from a beautiful summer’s night, plus I’d eaten way too much guacamole and chips followed by ice cream earlier in the night so decided I could do with the exercise. I tried to come to terms with the fact that I’d had such high hopes for Welsh Rugby Playing Lawyer – yes I’d totally let my imagination run away with itself, it’s a bad habit – and clearly they weren’t going to come to fruition. Thoughts of me being the dutiful rugby girlfriend and how it would work going home to visit family in Wales and Scotland – like I said, I got ahead of myself.

The getting ahead of myself is something I have been (unpleasantly) surprised by since I started dating. The usual story of someone who goes through something, such as my divorce, is that they’re left never feeling like they’ll be with someone again or not feeling like they want someone in their life and thus doesn’t let anyone in or attempt to nurture potential relationships. I, on the extreme other hand, am like “COME ON IN AND SCREW ME OVER”. I get so far ahead of myself so quickly. Despite my not entirely positive (though not entirely negative) experience of marriage, I will always imagine what it would be like to be married to the person I’m sat across from on a first date. Is that normal behaviour?

My therapist and I unpacked it as my need for that with which I am familiar – a long term relationship. I’m not familiar with short term dating. At this stage I’d only been dating again for 6 months so it was all still fairly new. But that mindset was only going to get me into trouble and wind up with me getting hurt. As was the case as I made my way along the streets of Vancouver.

About 40 minutes after leaving the bar with home almost in sight, I just had to walk over the bridge that almost killed me on the day of our first date, my phone buzzed: Welsh Rugby Playing Lawyer sending me a cutesy message about getting home safely. Um… what? I’m confused. I had to really make an effort not to respond with just “WTF dude?!” and instead said something about almost being home and my legs thanking me in the long run.

He replied to my reply the next day and so our almost daily texts back and forth started up again. And, again, went absolutely no where. A week and a half later,  I was sat at a baseball game with friends and was chatting to one of my male friends about it. His suggestion that I should just tell him I wanted to jump his bones because then I’d get an answer quick enough about whether he wanted the same thing, was probably not advice I was going to take and so the texts ran onto the Friday, which was a Friday of a long weekend. It had been so long since our first date that there was another long weekend – they’re months apart and we’d had two dates. The timing wasn’t lost on me.

Then it happened. In the midst of a conversation (is it a conversation if it takes place over the course of a few days?) about his camping plans for the weekend, I asked if he was going for two or three nights and…. nothing. No reply. Complete and utter radio silence. At first I thought he’d maybe already gone camping. But post-long weekend it was hard for that to still be the reason. I resisted, resisted, resisted the urge to message him and try to get a reply, much less even an explanation.

That’s not to say that my head wasn’t a mess with trying to figure out what the actual fuck had happened. There’s nothing I hate more than loose ends. I like things all tied up nicely and dealt with so I can put it away and not be haunted by it. Ghosting (“the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication”) does exactly that, it haunts you. Side note – I’m not going to go more into ghosting here but you can bet your ass I’m going to give it it’s entire own blog post soon.

But it was all so promising! At least on paper. Turns out perfection on paper was worth less than the toilet paper it was written on.


Five months later, I would be going to friends’ on Christmas Day for dinner. It was a last minute plan but it had been so nice of them to invite me and when they said it was just them I figured it wasn’t like I was crashing any pre-made plans. Except, it wasn’t just them. They were the friends of a friend who had known Welsh Rugby Playing Lawyer and as it would turn out, I ended up having Christmas Dinner sat across from him, at a cosy table for four in my friends’ apartment. Can you say “awkward”?

I thought about saying something. About asking him what the hell happened. Trying to clarify the reason for the ghosting. But it was far too intimate a setting and I didn’t want to subject my friends to it, especially not on Christmas Day.  So instead I just made passive aggressive comments… because I am an adult. “More sprouts?” “I don’t know, why don’t you ask Welshie, though he’ll say one thing and do another.” “How are things going with the guy you’re dating?” “Great, he actually replies to texts and makes plans to see me.”

They were mostly said in jest, but as with all things said as a joke there’s a half truth in there somewhere. Still it made a change from the normal family drama over Christmas dinner like Uncle Dave’s inability to arrive sober, or cousin Sarah’s need to reprimand all five of her kids in front of everyone during dinner.

By this time, I was already dating Filipeen and there was something so satisfying about making my excuses to leave when he came to pick me up later that night. I didn’t need to understand the why behind the ghosting, all I knew was he’d done it so regardless of what it looked like on paper, we clearly weren’t meant to be.

Next post…

…previous post

I Stayed For The Gym Bod – Part 2 of 2


Over the subsequent weeks with Asian Weightlifting Firefighter we went on all sorts of dates – park dates, movie dates, symphony orchestra dates, dinner dates, watching the Olympics dates (he imparted his knowledge of Olympic weightlifting while I filled him in on Rugby 7’s), film festival dates, furniture shopping dates… wait, woah, what? Furniture shopping?

In fairness a few months had passed by this point. We would see each other most weeks or every couple of weeks and it felt like how I’d imagined “grown up dating” would feel. The furniture shopping was a bit of a weird one though, I mean do you really want someone helping you pick out a sofa you might sit on for the next 3 years when you might not be seeing them for another 3 weeks? But it was him that was buying so I happily went along and gave my opinion.

In the midst of all of these fun dates my girlfriends noticed something that I hadn’t quite seen myself. I was never SUPER excited about any of it. It seems my reaction the first time we had sex was maybe an indicator of what was to come. But it was hard to put my finger on why I wasn’t beside myself with glee that this incredibly fit, successful guy who was planning all these really great dates wasn’t entirely lighting my fire.

The seed of questionability might have been planted when during one of our early dates we were talking about what we were looking for in partners and he said “I want a woman that looks good on my arm but can also work a room”. Now, if I break that down, those aren’t bad qualities to want – someone who’s attractive and someone who is sociable/confident. But that’s not what he said. The way it was phrased was so much more objectifying to women and if you asked women what they’re looking for in a man, it would likely take a long long time before you got an answer that objectified men in the same way.

Also, “work a room”?! You’re a firefighter and a gym owner, not a politician, why the hell do you need someone to “work a room” for you?

The comment irked me (if that much wasn’t clear from the above?) and the couple of girlfriends I shared it with shared the sentiment. One was so put off by it she told me to stop dating him immediately. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and hoped it maybe just came out wrong or the way I took it wasn’t what he meant. But it definitely stayed with me.

As did the fact that every time he got undressed, I was bowled over by his body. Like, picking my jaw up off the floor. He wasn’t a tall guy but the rest of him was so impeccably formed. How could it not be when so much of his life had a fitness focus? It was an incredible turn on as well as an excellent motivator for me to keep getting my ass to kickboxing.

9 weeks after our first date, things started to slow down a bit, we both had a lot of other stuff going on and the time between our dates was definitely stretching out. Again, the fact that it didn’t bother me that much other than it just started to feel a bit odd should have been enough for me to conclude things there.

I then got sick, one of those colds that completely floored me for a week and my life was on hold for at least two. Two things happened with Asian Weightlifting Firefighter around this time.

The first was that in all the time I was sick and at home, which he knew as we would text more regularly than we’d see each other, he never asked if I needed anything, never suggested he drop by to see me or offered to help in any way. Now, we weren’t explicitly boyfriend/girlfriend but we had covered off the fact we were dating exclusively and I know if the shoe had been on the other foot I would have done those things. Even though at the time I’d probably have declined a visit as I was an utter mess, the offer really would have been nice.

There are a few things I miss from relationships as a singleton, and one of them is having someone to take care of you when you’re sick. When you really can’t get out to the supermarket for food but you know you should be eating veggies and drinking orange juice, or you run out of tissues, or just need some more medication but getting out of bed and across the street to the pharmacy seems like a round the world mission. Someone to just do those things for you, that doesn’t put them out their way like it does a friend who offers, but someone who genuinely, truly wants to do it for you and take care of you and doesn’t even care that you’re a big bag of sickness. I miss that.

Side note – the other things I miss are someone to help you get into/out of clothes/jewellery and someone to pick you up at the airport. There are more but those are the three that always get me.

When I was getting back on my feet after the cold, he took me out for dinner to a place known for comfort food, their toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup was the perfect thing. But I’m not sure if it was just the after effects of my sickness lingering but the whole evening felt very… flat. It had a real feeling that we were both there because we felt we “should” be. I couldn’t nail it down but suffice to say by the time we were walking back to the car I was really questioning how much longer I’d be seeing him.

Then he pulled me in for a hug, and with those muscly arms wrapped around me I wondered if maybe, despite all that, he could be the guy for me… This was the moment I found out I could be blinded by a bicep. The lifted spirits were only to be momentary though.

As we got back to the car, he said something about the passenger door lock not working and came round to unlock it but, as he did, he didn’t follow that up by actually opening the door.

He unlocked it, then left it.

As in, he put the key in, probably put his hand on the door in some capacity, but didn’t actually lift the handle and open it for me…

I actually stood, kind of aghast, looked at it for 5 seconds (which felt like longer but it was long enough to make a point), laughed and said “don’t worry, I’ve got it”.

Now, I’m not a stickler for manners and the fact he’d obviously never opened a car door for me before clearly hadn’t even struck me but there was something about the fact that he was AT THE CAR DOOR and didn’t open it that made me realise it wasn’t something he would ever even think of. And that really jarred on me.

I got home that night and kinda felt like it almost hadn’t been worth going out for. I was frustrated and disappointed, which aren’t really the lasting feelings you want from any date, let alone a date with someone who you’d been seeing for a few months.

As I thought about it over the next few days and chatted it through with girlfriends, who declared they actually couldn’t understand why I was still seeing him, though they did appreciate the body aesthetic angle, I decided that the next time I saw him I’d have a conversation about what we were doing/where we were going, almost with the prophecy that I knew that would end things.

One of my friends posed the question to me “what do you do if he says he wants to be in a relationship?”… well shit, I hadn’t really figured that out but at least my reaction made it obvious to me that definitely wasn’t what I actually wanted.

Interestingly, rather than just tell him I didn’t want to see him anymore, which presumed he wanted to see me and almost felt scarier, I decided it felt safer to ask him where he was at with us, feeling pretty sure he’d say he didn’t want anything more, if even, what we had at that point.

As it was, while casually chatting over Mexican food the following week I readied myself to ask the question and realised it was the first time I would properly have that chat with someone. It was kind of a bid moment in my dating life but the nerves were unnecessary, not least because I felt fairly certain where the conversation was going to go.

Turns out, I hadn’t planned for his answer to be “um, I don’t know, I hadn’t really thought about it.” Um… ok… well… is that something you can maybe get back to me on?! It was a weird turn of events that I actually hadn’t been prepared for. It also made me question how you can get to a certain point with someone but never actually think through where things are or what you want. He said he’d think about it and the conversation was left there. Needless to say, dinner ended kind of awkwardly.

A few days later he texted me to say that he’d thought about what I’d asked and he’d realised that he had so much going on in his life with his two jobs and moving house that he wasn’t sure he had time for anything else just now. I didn’t need to ask if the “anything else” was meant as anything additional to what we had already or just anything in addition to the jobs and house move he’d mentioned.

The fact was I didn’t care. I actually hoped he meant anything else outside the job and moving, and that this was done. Even my reaction to the end of it was flat. It was such an odd feeling because we had fun on our dates, he planned really great dates!, I was unbelievably attracted to his body and he was a driven and motivated individual. But clearly, there was something missing. A spark. A sense of excitement. The thing you need to have to make you actually give a shit.

But, as it turned out, no shits were given and that glorious gym bod was never to be seen again.

Next post…

…previous post

I Came For The Gin – Part 1 of 2


As my dating journey continued, alongside my fitness journey, there was definitely a shift in the body types of the men I was dating and it didn’t suck. While they were obviously not too shabby to look at, I liked that for the most part it would also mean that the guy would understand that I wanted to work out five days a week and that it was important to me to eat fairly healthily, rather than have him trying to sabotage my efforts. But can you have all of that along with a genuine appreciation of gin?

It was the middle of summer, just before a girls trip to Vegas, when I matched with this super smiley, 31 year old Chinese Canadian guy on Bumble. He was a firefighter and had just opened his own weightlifting gym and so Asian Weightlifting Firefighter may have been one of the longer nicknames that came to fruition but it worked.

We met post-Vegas (and post-Vegas recovery days so I wasn’t a complete wreck) on a gorgeously sunny Sunday afternoon. From our texts leading up to the date he’d picked up on my love for gin, and so immediately got brownie points for his first date suggestion of drinks at a local gin distillery. He also stated that every first date should have alcohol, which is a sentiment I don’t totally disagree with.

It was a seriously great first date – and that is such an infrequently used phrase round here… We had multiple gin cocktails, while chatting easily, particularly while digging into our respective dating lives. It was a slightly surprising topic of conversation. Dating and past relationships might come up a bit on a first date, maybe more on a second or third, but we went all in. And it was actually comfortable and comforting. He clearly was looking for someone he could have a lot of fun with but that would equally support his professional life and challenge him personally. It seemed like a good balance.

From gin we went to a nearby restaurant for lunch (yes we went for gin pre-lunch, did I mention brownie points?) and sitting on the sun soaked waterside patio we talked about our childhoods, our jobs and our passions. He was a fun guy, who was obviously very driven at work (firefighting was his career, weightlifting was his passion he told me) and conversation was not hard to come by with him.

We had one sticky moment when he tried to do a Scottish accent, as we were sat on a dock by the water waiting for our table, but we/he quickly recovered when I told him it was terrible. I like a guy that can take criticism.

He also commented as we were taking a walk after lunch that he liked my nail polish colour and asked if my toenails matched. I confirmed they did and he stated that he likes a girl that takes care of herself. That’s a statement I’m never sure how to take. I mean, I don’t want to date a slob either, but when a guy says that to me I feel like sometimes there’s a sentiment attached that, as women, we’re supposed to make ourselves “pretty” for a man, even down to our toenails. And that doesn’t really sit well with me…

But I didn’t think too much into the nail colour chat at the time, the afternoon went by so quickly and when I got home the overriding feeling was being surprised by just how much fun I’d had, how easy it had been and how much I was hoping to see him again. It had been a while since I actually really wanted to see a date for a second time.

The following weekend we made plans to meet up again. It was one of the summer fireworks nights in the city and he suggested we get a picnic and go down to the beach to watch them. Again, a man with a plan and a pretty good date suggestion – it’s a rarity. We met up in the early evening and headed to the supermarket to buy food – always an interesting encounter with someone you don’t really know. But again it was easy and, with him, it was fun – we learnt a lot about Chinese and Scottish cultural differences!

He also raked in more brownie points when he not only produced two water bottles he’d brought for us to make up drinks in but also a bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin to make the drinks with. I loved that he had so quickly come to realised that gin was the way to my heart. It was also a relief to me that despite his incredibly serious attitude towards fitness – it was a major part of both of his jobs, in fact the entirety of one of them – he was still more than happy to knock back drinks with abandon.

It was an incredibly fun date and a really memorable night. The fireworks were great, the conversation was still so easy, we laughed a lot and somewhere in amongst it all we had our first kiss, as the pyrotechnics went off overhead. It was like some cheesy Hollywood movie date and I didn’t mind it one bit.

We ended up being the very last people on the beach that night. Everyone else had cleared out and we found ourselves lying in the darkness, still talking. After a policeman passing on a bike informed us the beach was now closed, we reluctantly packed up our stuff to leave and Asian Weightlifting Firefighter insisted he wanted to walk me home. It was a bit of a trek from where we were but it was a balmy summer’s night and clearly neither of us were done talking yet.

Somewhere between the beach and my apartment it came up about him maybe staying over. At the time, he was living on the North Shore and for him to get home at that time would have been a pain in the ass for him. But I was the one that brought it up, not him. We didn’t make a call on it until we got to my building and just as I thought he was about to wish me goodnight and turn around, he said “ok, I’ll stay but I don’t want us to sleep together”. With any other guy I would have instantly thought that was just a line but from discussions we’d had I got the feeling he actually meant it.

Turns out, I was right, he did.

We shared a bed, there was definitely some light groping, there was a lot of kissing and just the right amount of cuddling that made me incredibly happy but that was the extent of it. Waking up in the morning with neither of us hungover, neither of us wanting to gnaw our arm off to escape without waking the other and neither of us still done talking, made for a pretty nice Sunday morning.

All it did was leave me wanting to see him again, and wonder what it would be like if/when we did have sex. There hadn’t been a whole lot of it at that point in my new dating life and what there had been, had been pretty much one and done’s. I was interested to see what it would be like with someone I was actually seeing on a more regular basis.

Two weeks later I was to find out when he came over to mine for dinner. I was going to cook but, in all honesty, I don’t like cooking for guys. I feel like that’s a part of me they have to earn. I feel that way about nothing else. But cooking for them? Oh yeah, they’ve got to work for that. I know, it makes no sense to me either.

Instead of giving away my culinary skills we ordered food from a local restaurant that he went to pick up and of course, he brought gin – this time a local Vancouver tiple. And seriously, guys! You will always win with the gin! After dinner, during which we had debated the best way to deal with sibling relationships, we threw on some Netflix and I guess you could say “Netflix and chill” ensued. Wow, my life is such a cliche…

But as an aside, who knew a conspiracy theory documentary could get you in the mood?

The sex was good. It wasn’t mind blowing, it was by no means awful. It was over kind of quickly, in that we barely made it to the bedroom. But I wondered if maybe we’d both ended up more nervous than necessary because we’d waited and it felt like there had been a bit of build up? Maybe it was one of those things that we would both settle into? Once we got to know each other better in that way? Wait, was I making excuses for mediocre sex? That couldn’t be a good thing, could it?

I’m going to need more gin.

Next post…

…previous post

The D Word


There are some really great D words – diversity, drinks, dogs, delightful – and then there are some not so great D words – death, diarrhea, disease, Donald Trump. Where does divorce fall?

In the midst of the breakdown of my marriage, I remember having a recurring feeling that I’d never had before. When two specific thoughts came into my mind, I remember the breath being physically taken out of my body. It was a sensation I’d never experienced before and it actually felt like someone had punched me in the gut. I would have to stop and physically steady myself. Every. Time. The. Thoughts. Came.

Those two thoughts were this: “what if I have to endure this marriage, this misery, for the rest of my life?” and; “I could be divorced before I’m 30”.

Looking back now, it is unthinkable that those two things should illicit the same response. Contemplating a lifelong prison sentence in a destructive marriage with an unfaithful husband whose actions were robbing me of my happiness, my confidence and the life I’d dreamed of. And worrying about some goddamn life status title that gets pronounced on you by who? The government?

Society’s views on divorce are slowly changing (at least the societies I’ve lived in) thankfully. As divorce becomes more prevalent, it’s becoming more normalised which can only be a good thing. While I don’t ever wish anyone to take divorce or the preceding marriage lightly, the very fact that divorce is an option for which we know we won’t be socially shunned means there are now far less people living lives of suffering and unhappiness because of their marriages.

Does the rise of divorce also mean some people aren’t trying as hard at their marriages and are instead using it as a handy get out clause, as some people suggest? I wouldn’t know, I spent 3 years trying for my life to save my marriage, which caused me untold damage and potentially sucked more of my life out of me than I should have allowed, so it’s definitely not something I can talk to. (Handy FYI, saying to me “people just get divorced all the time now” will get you a punch in the face.)

For the majority of people, divorce is this big, scary unknown. It’s the the last resort. Like amputation. And the word holds an incredible amount of gravity with people, not least because it is one of the biggest “life experiences” you can go through. You say divorce and people are like “WOAH, shit musta happened there, I could never survive it” and it’s not something everyone can get their head around, it’s so incredibly alien.

Most people have never experienced it personally and it’s always true that what you’ve not experienced for yourself you can’t completely understand, hard as you might try. Looking at things from the outside they always seem more complex, more overwhelming. Watching someone climb Everest you might be thinking “well shit, that ain’t ever gonna be me” but the girl climbing Everest maybe thought that as well, but she put one foot in front of the other and (with a tonne of training) got up there. Or someone leaving a stable job to open their own business, from the outside seems scary as all hell, but hopefully that guy has run all his numbers, done all his planning, he knows there’s potential.

Now granted those two examples both include people choosing to do things, which isn’t always the case with divorce, and then training and planning for them. But my point is that when you’re in the middle of something, when you’re the one doing something, living everyday of something, the actual big end goal/destination isn’t what you’re caught up in.

There were days when I was trying to sort out selling my car, yes because of my divorce but to outsiders, I was just getting divorced. There were days when I would breakdown while running on the treadmill, yes because of my divorce but to outsiders, I was just getting divorced. There were days when I was changing my name at the bank, yes because of divorce but to outsiders, I was just getting divorced. To me it was just, selling a car, crying while running and doing some bank admin. Side note – it was the same when I moved countries, people were overawed by it but for me it was just booking a flight, finding an apartment, applying for jobs.

Now don’t get me wrong, most, if not every part of getting divorced was emotionally traumatising and scarring but I wasn’t sitting around every single day thinking “THIS IS DIVORCE”, I had too much “other stuff” to deal with. Nor was I living in denial. I knew at some stage some piece of paper would arrive that said “divorce certificate”. Which always makes me laugh because a certificate is normally to recognise something you’ve achieved and I’m not sure how much people want to “achieve” death or divorce.

There’s also the other side of what “divorce” conjures up within people and unfortunately it is a connotation, that in some form it’s a failure. There’s even the term “failed marriage”. And yet when you speak to people no one is likely to turn around and say “wow, that’s a shame you failed at marriage”. But I do know a mother who’s said “we just couldn’t deal with a divorce in our family” and a father whose words were “we taught our children to work at their marriages”. As if somehow my family invited divorces in and my parents taught me to not work at my marriage. Side note, my mother fought for her marriage for 19 years. 19 years! She is a trooper.

When people hear the details of my story, it’s incredibly unlikely they would ever think that my part in it was a failure. Did the marriage as a whole not make it to the “til death do us part” bit like we vowed? Sure. But, even for how absolutely horrific parts of my marriage were, I can’t and won’t live with it being called a failure.

Esther Perel talks to my heart when she says: ”It’s important that we, as a society, stop judging an entire marriage (or relationship) by its end… We don’t let people feel that the relationship and the time they spent together had value and merit. It’s unfair to the institution of marriage and to the couples to dismiss the time they did spend together—the children they may have given birth to, family members they buried, jobs they’ve supported one another through, homes they built and lived in, communities they were a part of. Infidelity, divorce, and break-ups are hurtful and lonely—but they don’t equate to failure.

I came out the other side of my divorce, thankfully, a completely different person with an entirely new outlook on life. I count myself certainly to be one of the luckiest of lucky ones. I truly can sit here today and say that my divorce was the greatest thing to happen to me, but that also has to include the preceding marriage because without it there would have been no divorce.

I’m also not naive, or bitter, enough to try and pretend like every single second of my marriage was a pile of stinking poo. I readily admit that we had some great times, parts of the life we had together were incredible and I did love him. I had to have to put up with all of said stinking poo. And I will never wish my marriage hadn’t happened. A lot of my friends would agree, but mostly because some of them still tell me to this day that our wedding was one of the most fun they’ve been to. And I can still get a kick out of that.

The point being, would I have chosen to be divorced pre-30? No. Can I change the fact that I am? No. So am I happy to be one of the ones to wear divorce as a recognition of the fact that I have been through and, more importantly, survived a life altering head fuck? Absolutely. Will I ever get bored of the look on a guy’s face when on a first date he asks what my last long term relationship was and I unfurl that story? Definitely not.

Next post…

…previous post

When Are Seconds Sloppy?


Vancouver isn’t a big place. So I guess it was just a matter of time before one of my other single girlfriends’ and my dating paths crossed. Did I think it would be with a guy whose messages and drunk calling to my girlfriend we’d ridiculed? Unlikely.

At first I didn’t even put the two together. I don’t know why I thought the guy who my girlfriend had been chatting to was called something entirely different. Or maybe it’s because I never use their actual names. Whatever, it was only when he recognised me in my girlfriend’s Snapchat story that he asked how we knew each other and everything fell into place. He was a 28 year old Canadian web developer, recently moved to Vancouver.

Side story – this revelation took place at my birthday night out, in the midst of me getting completely confused when my Irish friend called me from an unknown number to say he would be late. But his first name happened to be the same as that of Teeny Irish Peen, add to that they share an accent, and I was momentarily confused as to when I’d invited the less than well endowed Irishman, who I’d avoided since our last date, to my celebratory drinks… confusion and panic ensued.

Once I worked out my night wasn’t being gatecrashed by an uninvited guy and his pencil penis, I went back to trying to figure out just how far down the dating road my girlfriend and this pretty hot Canadian had gone. Turns out they’d never met and by the sounds of it from her, she had no intention of. So I guess that felt ok? When are they truly seconds? And when are they truly sloppy seconds? You always wonder if he’s only chatting to you because she gave him he brushoff. That in and of itself is a natural cycle of dating but it’s weird to think about it when one of the other females is a friend of yours…

Even if I could get my head round that, the other issue was that in all of the discussions we’d had about him we always commented on the fact he just didn’t come across as that bright. On the flipside, while none of his messages to me had been MENSA worthy, I didn’t get the “thick as two short planks” vibe from him either. And so his nickname of Pretty (But Maybe) Dumb came to be.

Between his unknown mental capability and not really liking the idea of it kind of it still feeling like my girlfriend’s seconds, I phased out the texting and never thought anything else of it. Until, that is, I was walking through the block party on Pride Weekend and we ended up walking right by each other on the street.

He hollered at me to stop, but I was with friends and still didn’t particularly feel like having to decide if he felt like a friend’s castoff. I mean, they never met but mostly because she decided she didn’t want to. And I know different people suit different people but there was a sense of him not being good enough for her so I wasn’t sure how it felt to then step up and be like “I’ll take him!” Add to that the fact that, other than looking pretty cute (which, thankfully, he did in real life) he hadn’t really set my world on fire through texts or consistency or action so did I really want to bother?

We kept walking and while I was explaining to my friends who the hot guy that had just yelled at me in the street was, my phone buzzed with a text. “Where are you going? Why didn’t you stop?!” I replied that I was going to meet other friends and couldn’t stop but would be around the block party all night. He told me we’d be drinking together by the end of the night. And I kinda liked his boldness.

The majority of my night was spent up in a hotel room with friends overlooking the block party from the balcony and when he later texted to see where I was, my friends and I decided we’d invite him up. Within 5 minutes (and a lot of directional text messaging which didn’t help the opinion on his mental strength), I went to collect him and his friend from the lobby.

He was definitely hot and a little more softly spoken than I imagined, which was a pleasant surprise. I’d always wondered how much of a “bro” he would be, he definitely had that North American frat boy look about him which, shame on me, I still find intriguing just because it’s such a goddamn novelty but, thankfully, that wasn’t the vibe I was getting from him.

His friend on the other hand… drunk, belligerent and when pushed as to why he was being an asshole (my friends take no prisoners) insisted that because he worked for a charity he was actually a good guy. Um, that’s not how that works. So after a short 15 minutes with us and before they could finish a drink, I told Pretty (But Maybe) Dumb that he could stay or go, but his friend had to go. He made the decision in less than a second and promptly started to say his goodbyes to his friend while ushering him out the door and closing it behind him. That’s mate solidarity for you, isn’t it?!

We had another few drinks in the hotel room and then decided to venture back down to the throngs of people for the end of the street party. Pretty (But Maybe) Dumb had done a fairly good job of easing in with my friends and making conversation. But he became most animated when one of my (male) friends, while discussing where to go for an afterparty, suggested a strip club. “This will be a great first date story” he told me while enthusiastically high fiving my friend.

I wasn’t entirely sure this was a date. But regardless of that and the fact that his incredibly “bro”-like reaction should have put me off, fast forward 15 minutes and we’re standing in line to see some of Vancouver’s finest pole dancers. I know, I’m always making the good decisions.

I probably glimpsed more naked skin while using the bathroom where it appeared the strippers also got ready before and after their stints on stage than when I was actually sat out in the main room. It turned out Pretty (But Maybe) Dumb, despite his excitement about coming to the strip club, decided to sit with his back to the stage and actually engage in proper conversation with me, which was surprising. Or maybe there was a mirror he could still watch the dances in? But my friends had sat at the table beside us so it was essentially just us, for all intents and purposes on a date, having civilised (albeit slightly drunken) chat at a cosy table for two while the entertainment got progressively more naked on the stage in the middle of the room. If it was a date, it was definitely my most bizarre.

At the end of the night, and by end of the night I do mean when the strip club was closing and they actually turned the lights on (which was a horror show no one should see), my friends had long left and Pretty (But Maybe) Dumb offered to walk me home. It was in the entirely opposite direction to where he lived and I knew that by no means did he intend to leave me at my doorstep.

Over the course of the night he’d definitely grown on me, he was funny and opinionated, was obviously up for spontaneous fun, didn’t mind being thrown in the deep end with my friends and he was definitely pretty in that North American college boy way.

At this point of my dating life, I was always making those “going home together” decisions based on whether I actually saw anything happening with someone, i.e. If I thought there could be a potential for a relationship, I wouldn’t want to jeopordise it by sleeping with someone on the first night. Because isn’t that what society and dating advice tell us? That giving it all away too soon can wreck any chances of a relationship? And not to mention the obvious shame of sleeping with a practical stranger? And and and… Ugh.  Yet I know many people who did exactly that on the first night and it made no difference to the long term success of their ensuing relationships.

But at this stage I was still trying to follow that advice and despite how much he’d pleasantly surprised me over the course of the night, I saw no real potential with him, so sure, the walk home with no departure point seemed like it wouldn’t be the worst idea.

We had fun, he had a great body and was pretty dominant in the bedroom. Though at times it bordered a little on selfish and I’m not really a fan of that. Who is? Add to that his frequent complaints about the stiffness (pun intended) of my mattress, him mentioning me making him breakfast, which I think I just laughed at, and bringing up how he thought my friends had been rude to his friend, by morning I was kinda ready to get him the hell out of my apartment. So around 9am I got out up and started to strip the bedding off the bed. With him still in it. I’ve learnt this is a really great, not at all subtle way of telling a remaining visitor from the night before that time is up.

He left and made a comment about seeing each other again, which I thought was one of those involuntary things people accidentally say because the situation brings it out of them, the proverbial “I’ll call you” with no intention behind it. But he did actually text me a few times after that, all of which I responded to but not with a yes to meet up. I should have just told him I didn’t want to see him again, instead I always made up an excuse. I guess because, and I was right, I figured he’d get pissed off eventually and tell me to fuck off.

Thinking back on it, the two gut feelings I had at the beginning – that it felt too much like a friend’s castoff and he didn’t seem that bright – were probably right. Despite them never meeting and by the night of the block party they weren’t even in touch anymore, there was just something about the fact that there was any history there that I couldn’t get over. Girl code aside, which I truly believe in but wasn’t really relevant in this instance, I just never want to feel like someone you know can say “I could have had him first”. And while he was more softly spoken than I imagined, he still definitely had a bit of a bull in a China shop about him. The sort of guy you’d be worried would somehow end up in fights a lot.

So, although we took a detour via a random night at a Strip club, it was definitely time to trust the gut and decide to no longer allow him to fall into the seconds category or me to fall into the sloppy category.

Next post…

…previous post

It’s Getting Crowded In Here


How do you know when you’re unfairly not giving someone a chance based on your own personal biases and when you’re actually making a good decision based on what you just inherently know you will/won’t like? I struggle with that a lot, going back to my quiet guy experimentation which didn’t work because turns out I think I’m right in knowing quiet guys don’t work for me, yet still trying to remain open minded to any and all possibilities that come your way.

My girlfriend and I talk a lot about “maybe this is my story!” When something feels so out of your comfort zone, so outside of what you expected would be your reality but you’re considering it because maybe, just maybe, your story starts like that – “well I never thought I’d be interested in a tattooed, skinhead who’d done time and was now rearing chickens in the midwest, but here we are 7 years later!” You don’t want to be the dick that discounted the inked chicken farmer with a chequered past who could be the love of your life just because you thought you’d end up with a straight laced lawyer from the City.

You also don’t want to waste your time with people who don’t match your perceived requirements because what’s the point when you already know it’s unlikely to go anywhere. So when I’m faced with someone who’s too nice/quiet, I really have this internal struggle. And I know, I know, what is it with nice guys always finishing last? That’s so shitty. And maybe “nice” isn’t the right word. Maybe it’s lacking balls, or lacking opinions, or the ability to stand up for themselves but what I mean is I need someone to challenge me and put me in my place and, for those few times in life where I don’t/can’t take control, will step up and take charge.

I found myself having this familiar mental battle with myself when I started chatting to Aussie Tech Guy (another cracker of a nickname). He was nice, too nice. He didn’t have any strong opinions on anything. He was passionate about his Aussie Rules football team but that was about where it ended. There were no controversial views or slightly un-PC comments, just no edge. And maybe I’m looking for those things only to make myself feel like less of a bitch when I’m chatting shit about the bad drivers in Vancouver or airing my feminist views. That’s not to say I want to date a negative person but while it’s important to be agreeable on a date and not be controversial just for the sake of it, you still have to show your personality and be true to yourself. Which I’d hope would include some opinions on something.

If Aussie Tech Guy was being himself in our messaging then I wasn’t sure there was much to go on, but if he was just trying to be the “nice guy” to get a date then maybe it could be ok… So we set up a Friday after work drinks date and I was hopeful it could turn out to be a pleasant surprise.

The surprise I hadn’t anticipated was that halfway through me trying to prise something resembling passion or interest from Aussie Tech Guy, I was distracted by a tall, bearded, hot and.. oh dear god, familiar Lumbersexual walking into the bar we were in. As soon as I saw him I remembered that we’d talked about how he worked around there and his office often went out for Friday drinks. So maybe I shouldn’t have been that surprised.

I was reminded of the fun chats we’d had the night we met and, of course, the pretty great time we’d had when we got back to mine. And I knew that if I’d been on a more fun date with someone I found more attractive I wouldn’t have been as bothered but, seeing as I felt like I was pulling teeth trying to elicit an opinion from my current date, my mind couldn’t help by wander back to the night with Lumbersexual.

Thankfully around this time, Aussie Tech Guy suggested we move to another bar round the corner and I was more than happy to oblige. Although really by that point I’d had been fairly happy just to go home.

When we got into our second watering hole of the night, I got my second surprise of the night. Our server happened to be someone I’d matched with on Tinder and had been chatting with a few weeks back. Nothing had come of it but I’m not sure if that made running into him better or worse.

By this stage I really just needed to get out of there. So we had one very quick drink and I made some excuse about needing to get home early. We quickly paid the bills and parted and I thought that would be the end of it. But, as I’m sure you know by now, I don’t always make the best choices so a few weeks later I found myself meeting up with him again. And to prove my point about there maybe being a lack of excitement with Aussie Tech Guy, he suggested we just go back to the same first bar we’d been to on our first date.

Now if that had been some spectacular rooftop cocktail bar with incredible views, I could have maybe understood the repeat visit, maybe. But it was just some local sports bar so it made no sense to me that you’d want to go back there rather than suggest somewhere or something different. Having said that, it was right across from my apartment so I agreed because at least the walk home wouldn’t be far.

I hoped that by some miracle the second date was going to be inspiring, that maybe he was just having an off night on the first date or nerves got the better of him. We can all have bad days at work that spill over into after-work dates or a late night the previous night that means you’d rather be in your bed than trying to be your best self for the sake of a stranger.

None of those hopes turned out to be true however. But at least I didn’t run into any other one night stands or Tinder matches on the second date and, in my book, I guess I had to take that as a win.

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