A Snorer, A Drunk & A Trump Supporter


When one date goes badly it can be annoying but when three dates in one weekend end up in the garbage pile I can’t help but feel like I’m wasting my time. Or maybe I should just date less…

It was the September long weekend, both here in Canada and in the US, which I always think takes the fun level up a notch or two as the Americans cross the border and come to town. And this weekend was no different.

I’d started it spending all day Saturday on the beach drinking with friends. Or more precisely, drinking and swiping. It was one of those weekends when my friends wanted to “play Tinder” for me. Yah, that’s right, my dating life can seem like a game in more ways than one. Though in all honesty I was happy for them to do it on that occasion, I was pretty sure I was getting Repetitive Strain Injury in my right thumb. 

When my phone got handed back to me there were a number of matches, to varying degrees of suitability. I deleted the ones that were clearly jokes on my friends part and started doing the dating admin, as I call it.  The annoying part when you actually have to start a conversation. I like to be efficient and get this done asap so then I’ve done my part and the onus is on the guy to move it on. I also just really don’t see the point in matching with people and not starting a convo. Either delete the matches or start the conversation. I don’t have time to mess around! Definitely one of my online dating pet peeves.

As the day at the beach was wrapping up, I received a response from this 31 year old, tanned and tall guy that, despite his tan, looked like he could be English… I can always tell. If they’re British or Irish, they stand out like a sore thumb to me. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m so familiar with them, being British myself. I’ve always wondered if North American women can spot them as quickly. 

He suggested we meet for drinks that night but, while I was pleasantly surprised by his quick moves to set something up, I was coming off the back of a full day of sunshine and drinks and if I’m honest getting ready to go on a date in a matter of hours seemed like a real hassle. One I wasn’t sure I had the energy for. I cheekily implied that to him “it better be the best date ever if I’m going to make it out the house after the day I’ve had”. He replied saying he actually couldn’t really be bothered either and if he was really honest, he wasn’t looking for anything serious, so maybe he should just come over to mine. 

Well he did say honest. And it was maybe also a little presumptuous. But I didn’t hate the idea. In our few short messages he’d come across as funny and down to earth, and truthfully my laziness took over, so I agreed. I told him I needed to shower and eat something but to come over around 8pm. 

When he arrived he was indeed tanned and tall, half English and half Portuguese. We watched a movie, chatted a lot about our lives here, he told me about his construction business and his plans for the future. He was a little cocky, making a few comments about how much Canadian women loved him because of his mixed background. I wondered if I should remind him that as a Scot we’re hardly the English’s biggest fans and that my ex had strong ties to Portugal so also, not a huge fan…

Still, it was fun and easy, albeit even in the first couple of hours I was sure I probably wouldn’t see him again, even as a casual hookup. He talked about looking for something casual and made the comment that “most women can’t do casual”. Well, buddy, let me tell you, I’ll be able to be so casual with you, I probably won’t ever see you again, how’s about that? 

We then started to fool around and despite my reservations about him, I was interested to see if his bravado was all talk. As it turned out, he didn’t live up to his self-proclaimed hype, it was all very meh. Although he did have a great body and the tan was exceptional. But he kept his socks on… what the fuck. Really? Why do people do that? Is it laziness? Are they in such a rush to get to the good stuff they just forget about them? Is it cause it gives them extra grip? Or maybe they want to remain just that tiny bit unsexy? I’ve never been able to work it out. 

Laying on my bed afterwards, I was now more exhausted than I’d already been after the day of sun, and I couldn’t wait to sleep. And I didn’t really care if he stayed or went. The idea of snuggles is always nice but given how I felt about him, the thought of him staying was much like the sex – also meh. 

He seemed to be getting comfy though so I accepted the fact he’d be staying, until he said “oh by the way, I snore. Is that going to be a problem?”

Um, will my fist going into your face be a problem?! Yeah it was a problem, and not one I intended to put up with that night. And so with that I asked the English Portuguese Snoring Builder to leave, which he duly did. Interestingly it was him who texted me three more times in the weeks that followed asking to meet up. But my promise to myself to do casual with him to the extent I never saw him again stayed true. 

Waking up the morning after, I was glad I’d had a proper sleep, by myself, with no Snorey McSnorerson next to me. And I was ready for another day at the beach! Sundays of a long weekend are my favourite. You’d ordinarily be getting ready for work the following day but instead it’s a whole extra day to do whatever you please. Is it Saturday? Is it Sunday? Who knows!

More of the matches I’d sent first messages to the day before started to trickle into conversation. Admittedly a lot of them had replied the night before, funny how late on Saturday nights are when men are most chatty on the apps…

And there were a lot of visiting Americans. One in particular was in town from Denver, with his brothers and a couple of friends. They were staying in a loft Airbnb in Gastown and were spending Sunday hiking near Whistler. He asked if he could see me on Sunday night. 

Here’s the thing with visitors to the city: after my initial experience with The Tourist, I went back and forth on how I felt about meeting up with people who were only in town for the week/weekend. Sometimes, when I was fully ok with a no strings attached hookup I was absolutely open to it. But other times, when I was going through a stretch of wanting more, wanting commitment, actually looking for a relationship, there really was no point. No matter how pretty or fun they seemed. 

This weekend was the former. Especially after the O saga, I really wasn’t sure I wanted to get into anything serious and at least with tourists you always knew it couldn’t become something more because they’d be gone as quickly as they got here. Hell, some men that lived in Vancouver were like that, but I digress.  

So meeting up with Denver Banker seemed like it would be fun. He was very proper, he suggested dinner, not even just drinks. But given his day in the mountains, he said he’d text me later and we’d make plans. Ordinarily with tourists that can be a slippery slope to never hearing from them again but with him it seemed different. Though I’ve been proven wrong in my first assumptions before. 

I went about my beach day and around lunchtime I got a message from another tourist, this time a guy visiting from Seattle. He was the typical tourist – here with friends, clearly for a good time not a long time, asking where the best bar to “hit up” that night was. 

As my beach day drew to a close and my friends and I made plans for that night, Seattle guy asked me where I was and if I wanted to meet up. He told me he was now in a bar in Yaletown, which I knew wasn’t far from my apartment. I slowly got showered and ready for the night, not sure at all where it would take me.

I don’t really live like that generally, with undefined plans, but sometimes I can allow it. Long weekends were often those times. Generally you know you’re going to end up doing something, even if you’re just not quite sure what. 

While my friends napped and ate before we were going to meet up, I decided I may as well go and meet Seattle Tall Boy. He was 31, 6’4 and big. He even said himself when I was on my way to meet him “you can’t miss me, I’m the big guy, like the “woah he’s big for an Asian” guy”. He was half white, half Taiwanese, worked in finance and had moved from Boston to Seattle in the previous year. He’d been here with a friend who’d apparently had to go home for some reason or another. I wasn’t sure if I bought the story, but that’s the thing with tourists – you have nothing to go on, you really do have to take them at their word, far more than when you’re dating someone who lives in the city. For locals, there are ways and means of confirming a lot of what they say. Tourists? They can tell you any old shit. 

On my way to meet Seattle Tall Boy, Denver Banker messaged to say he was sorry he hadn’t been in touch but they were on their way back from Whistler, and they were all starving so would eat on the way back down but he’d still love to meet me for drinks and he was sorry that he hadn’t come through on the dinner plans. Seeing as I was on my way to meet another Tinder date, I couldn’t exactly be mad, so I told him to text me once they’d had dinner and then we could make a plan. 

I sent my text reply to Denver Banker as I arrive at the Banter Room, the bar that Seattle Tall Boy was in, and he is indeed unmissable. His large frame dwarfed the bar stool and seemed only more imposing when he stood up. He’d clearly already made friends with all the bar staff, having been sat at the bar for a couple of hours, and quickly asked me what I wanted to drink. 

Right away I could tell the bar staff were trying to work out who I was and how I knew him. I couldn’t quite pinpoint if he’d told them I was a Tinder date. But they got plenty of opportunity to interact with both of us as he was seemingly on a merry go round of drinks – Miller beer, followed by a whisky, followed by an espresso martini. And round and round he went in that order… It was the most bizarre combination of drinks, but he seemed pretty happy with his choices, especially when every so often he’d throw in a round of tequila shots for everyone sat at the bar. 

I essentially was just a witness to him having a fun time and while we did chat, I’m not sure he’d have been having any different a time if I wasn’t there. He asked if I wanted food, which I did after another long beach day snacking on anything unhealthy. But when I paused after ordering my Thai beef salad for him to place his order he said he wasn’t going to eat. Ohhhh ok then. I’ll just eat by myself I guess? 

It was clear this was anything but a date, it seemed more like he’d just wanted someone to hang out with him at the bar, and it could have been me or it could have been any other random person he pulled in off the street. It’s so nice to be made to feel special….

Given that I was hardly feeling the vibe, although he was a funny guy with that hardened, Boston attitude and humour, I decided to keep my drinking to a minimum, especially if I had another drinks date later. The same cannot be said for Seattle Tall Boy. His drinking was really maxing out to the point where the bar staff were definitely slowing down between their “do you need another one” enquiries. And I knew they were aware of his increasing alcohol levels when at one point when he went to the toilet, one of the bar staff asked if I was ok. 

I had hoped that I’d have heard from Denver Banker and could have just gone straight to see him but as it was my phone was giving me nothing, and I was starting to lose the will to live with all of the random, and in no way interesting, subjects that Seattle Tall Boy was bringing up, plus his want to have conversations with everyone else in the bar was starting to grate on me. So instead I decided I was going to make my excuses and just go home. 

I’d teed up my story as soon as I’d got there, telling Seattle Tall Boy I was planning to meet friends later but that I could have a few drinks with him in the interim. Whether I went to meet my friends or Denver Banker had remained to be seen at that point and it was in fact neither and I was happily going to head home and sleep. 

Seattle Tall Boy attempted to get me to stay, he also half asked if he could come with me to meet my friends, both of which I shot down pretty quick. I tried to placate him with a “maybe once I’ve met up with my friends and I know what our plans are we can meet up again…” 

I felt bad leading him on and not being straight up with him, but in all honesty, I didn’t trust what his alcohol fuelled reaction would be if I did tell him the truth that I wasn’t into him and there was no chance we’d be hooking up that night. Even just in the time I’d been with him he’d had eleven drinks and I’d had three, and he’d already been there a couple of hours before me. Now he was a big guy, so I’m sure his tolerance was pretty high but still… it was getting sloppy and it was time for me to go. 

I walked the seven minutes home and just as I was waiting at the last crosswalk, imagining me curling up in bed, my phone pinged with Denver Banker apologising profusely for the lateness of his text (it actually wasn’t that late, it was maybe 8pm) and wondering if I’d still like to meet up. Ugh…. 

I mean, I did but I didn’t. But I should. I felt bad flaking on him. Why do I do that? Why can’t I just say no if I want to say no? That was a conversation for another time, because at this point in time I needed to get back to near where I’d just come from to meet Denver Banker in another bar. 

We met at a bar near where I lived that had a good balance of atmosphere but quiet corners to sit and have a conversation. He was as much of an All American Boy as I imagined – blonde hair, blue eyed, cute, well mannered and quite softly spoken. We covered everything from family and jobs, travel, sports – all the standard topics. While I was explaining why I had chosen Canada to move to, I said “and I did consider the US but I’m pretty glad I didn’t with everything going on there just now”. It’s something I’ve said 100 times when telling the same story but the response I got was a first. 

For context, this was in Trump’s first year in office when he’d already implemented the travel ban, and announced his intention to ban transgender personnel in the military, and a large portion of the western (and non-western world) were wondering if the whole presidency was a joke. 

Denver Banker looked confused and said “why do you mean?” I realised he wasn’t joking and simultaneously made the realisation that he was either terribly badly informed about the political goings on in his own country or he was in fact not in any way perturbed by said political goings on. But he seemed too educated for it to be the former, so I had to assume in horror that it was the latter. 

I realised I needed to tread lightly, given that it’s not my style to attack people’s personal beliefs, especially someone I barely know. Thankfully, just as I was trying to figure out how to ask if he was a Trump supporter without sounding incredulous at the same time, the bartender came over. This was the bartender who when we’d arrived had shouted over at us to sit wherever we wanted, that he was drunk from a day at the beach and he hoped we were having a good weekend.

He came over offering us free shots of Jameson, which we gladly accepted and with that I felt emboldened to dive back into the conversation. I don’t think any subject is necessarily off limits on a date, I’m an entirely open book (which is a blessing and a curse) so I’m happy to cover practically any topic. Obviously religion, money, politics and, to an extent, past dating aren’t my first choices of topics of convo for a first date, but I’m always happy to touch on them. It can tell you a lot about someone after all. 

So I explained that since Trump had been elected it seemed like there was a lot of upheaval in the US and so I was “glad” I’d ended up in Canada with nothing but people talking about which Disney prince Justin Trudeau looked like most. He said any new president would always bring about change and it was to be expected. I said “so did you vote for Trump” and he said “yes”. I then realised that wasn’t the real question, the real question was my next one – “would you vote for Trump again now? Given the policies he’s already put in place?”

He looked at me confused, “what policies?” and so I explained in my best “I know I’m a foreigner and don’t exactly think of myself as an expert on Trump’s politics” way about the changes to immigration and military that he’d made, as well as some of his less than savoury Tweets. And while Denver Banker did sit fairly respectfully quietly through my moment atop my soap box, at the end he looked at me in a way which I thought was going to lead to a  “yeah, fair enough” comment but instead he opened his mouth and said “but none of those affect me.”

Hello white male privilege, welcome to the table. 

I’m not sure a single sentence has put me off someone more. I’ve had a lot of firsts while dating but having someone’s politics essentially write them off for me has absolutely never happened. And I can’t figure out if that makes me too quick to judge or simply resolute in my morals? Either way, any attraction I’d had for him, which was far more than I’d had for Seattle Tall Boy, had now evaporated. 

We had a short conversation about whether or not he felt like maybe just because those things didn’t affect him he shouldn’t still have an opinion on them and want the best for his fellow countrymen, and fellow humans. He said he really didn’t think Trump had done anything that bad and if he could just get the tax bill passed that he’d been working on then it would be a huge win. 

I realised there was no point in continuing on the conversation, from what he was saying I was piecing together what was obviously a very conservative background and family, and at the end of the day it was less about his specific politics and more about his complete oblivion to the massive, stinking pile of white male privilege that he was sitting on that just made me unable to want to engage further. 

We finished our drinks, along with another shot from the barman, and despite Denver Banker’s enquiry as to whether there was another bar we could go to, I said I should probably get home, it had been a long day and tomorrow was going to be more of the same. Incidentally I’d told him about the beach I was going to the next day with friends and he’d said he and his friends had been planning on maybe going there too. He mentioned that fact again as we said goodnight outside my building. I was well aware he was hoping I’d invite him up but I just couldn’t. Even as a one night thing, all my attraction for him had gone. And while I’m a massive fan of snuggling, I decided on this occasion I’d rather have the bed to myself than share it with someone whose views I so vehemently disagreed with. 

And I would have had a solid good sleep if it hadn’t been for a drunken 6.30am call (why do I never put my phone on silent?) from Seattle Tall Boy asking if he could come over… Whaaaaaat?! How hammered must he have been for me to have not heard from him since I said goodbye to him around 8pm the night before and only now is he following back up. Wow. I could only imagine how much he’d drunk.

Although later that day, I didn’t need to imagine any longer when he reached out in text, apologising for the early morning wake up call and saying “I think the reason was this”, before texting me a picture of his bar bill from the Banter Room – $627.58. SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! There were the 3 gins I’d had and the Thai beef salad… it was definitely his bill. I wasn’t sure whether to be impressed or horrified. Either way, I was glad I hadn’t stuck around any longer, I could have been in hospital with alcohol poisoning. 

Around the same time, I also got a text from Denver Banker saying he was making his way towards the beach he knew I was at… oh god. I half thought about lying and saying I wasn’t there but if I did that and he turned up it would just be awkward. So instead I told my friends my date from last night was turning up to which they replied “which one is this? The drunk or the Trump supporter?” Those were stark terms, not wrong, just stark. And turn up he did. In full on American flag swimming shorts. Like stars and stripes all in your face. 

It was a perfect “Jesus fucking Christ” end to what had been a “holy mother of God” weekend of dates. A snorer, a drunk and a Trump supporter. I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere…

Same Same, But Very Different


They say we look for the familiar, that we find comfort in it. But what happens when the familiar isn’t attractive to you and, in fact, is maybe a whole lot of what you’d tried to leave behind?

Most of my dating stories, start on dating apps – such is the life we live in nowadays. And while this one started as a result of a dating app, in fact it began with a message request on Instagram. I’m always skeptical of those, it’s mostly some “bodybuilder” in India who wants to say hi or, in some instances, just gets straight to a marriage proposal. My favourite ones are men who message my blog instagram seemingly never having considered that a man harassing me in my DMs might be the exact basis of some of my stories.

This time though the message came from someone I thought I possibly recognised and as I read the message, he explained he’d seen me on Tinder and I realised that was where I’d seen the face. He said when we hadn’t matched on the app he decided to reach out to me on Instagram – this was during a period of time when I had my Instagram handle on my dating app profiles.

Sidebar – I’m in two minds about that. Part of me hates people putting their instagram on their dating profile because I feel like a lot of people just do it to get more followers. Especially the people who put their handle on but have a private account. It can be for no other reason then surely than to gain followers? But part of me likes it, and when I do have my handle on my profile, it’s because if people look at my Instagram I think it gives them a pretty good idea of who I am (all the while remembering nothing on Instagram or any social platform is every 100% accurate of real life). But in terms of my interests and a much larger breadth of pictures to see what I actually look like, I think it can be pretty helpful.

But I digress. Although another discussion point is this – if you’ve seen someone on a dating app and swiped right or liked them and you don’t match, especially if you’ve let some time go by, or maybe you’ve even seen them a few times and swiped right or liked them each time, and you still don’t match – maybe they don’t like you? So why would reaching out in another way seem like a good idea? I’ve always thought it was a ballsy thing to do. And you know, sometimes ballsy is good. We always say the men in Vancouver have no balls and never approach women, so I can’t be mad when one does I guess.

Ok, another sidebar. Is this deception – a bald man wearing something on his head for all his pics? I mean, there’s no way to talk about this without being judgey but essentially that’s what dating apps force us to be. It’s not that I care if a guy is bald, some bald guys are hot, just like some guys with hair are hot. And some are not. But, I mean, I want to see what I could be waking up next to. Although then that makes me wonder if the flip side of that argument is that women should put pictures on without make up…. But it’s not the same thing! Is it??? Now I’m conflicted. I hate double standards between men and women. I’ll need to think more on this…

Right, back to the man who seemingly always wore hats in my Instagram DMs. He said he’d seen me on Tinder, and had to reach out because he thought I was “cute” and saw that I was Scottish so thought we were kindred spirits, as he was also Scottish. Now, that sounds nice and I love having a connection to home, but I’ve always kinda liked the fact that there’s not that many Scottish people in Vancouver. I didn’t come out here to hang out with Scottish people. I could have stayed in Scotland for that.

Having said that, meeting people with the same cultural references as you, who miss the same food, and have the same understanding of what it’s like to have your family over 7000km away is always comforting to some degree. So I figured why not meet him, as he had suggested in his first message – definitely bold, definitely not from around here.

We arranged to meet at one of my favourite bars in my neighbourhood, which was close to where we both lived, and to be honest it was one of those dates I felt a bit “meh” about so I was glad not to have to travel too far for it. I was just getting ready to leave my apartment when he called to say he was running late. He got mega props for calling and not just texting, but all of those props were lost when after me saying no worries, I could meet him whenever, he then said “are you drunk?”

Maybe I was a touch blase about the whole date to the point that I didn’t care, but did that come across as drunk!? I thought it was a weird thing to say and I found it kind of offensive. Could I just cancel the date now?

I persevered, hung around my apartment an extra 20 minutes and then headed for the bar, knowing I’d get there before him so I could choose where to sit. Now he was older than I normally date, at 42, and I still wasn’t sure how I felt about the hat thing so I choose a quiet little corner where I wouldn’t be spotted if anyone I knew came into the bar. Is this a bad sign? Trying not to be seen with the guy before the date has even begun? Oh god…

When he arrived, toque (the Canadian name for a woolen hat) in place, I realised what about his pictures had put me off – he reminded me of a million men back home. Men who try to dress like they’re still teenagers, when in fact they’re middle aged. A lot of them come from the west coast of Scotland (Glasgow, I’m looking at you), shopping centres are filled with them on Saturday days and bars are busting at the seams with them on Saturday nights, and it’s something I’ve always found wildly unappealing. This all ran through my head as he walked towards me across the bar.

Despite all of those cultural generalisations I’d just made about my own people, he was very smiley, so at least there was that? And I had to try to remain open minded about it as we went in for the “hi” hug.

That would have been easier had he not recoiled mid-hug and said “wow, you’re terrible at hugging, try that again.” Um, what? I just met you. You don’t know me. We’re on a first date. Why are you trashing my hugging ability?!?

It rubbed me so far the wrong way I can’t tell you. Especially after the “are you drunk?” comment. And it was such a stupid thing, I had to wonder if part of the reason I was so pissed off about it was because something about him inherently annoyed me to begin with? I happily would have ended the date at that point, but then I figured he’d have something to say about that too.

We chatted through the usual – work, why we moved, family, why we wouldn’t move back, things we loved about Canada, things we found tough about Vancouver, and dating. When he told me he was from a place near Glasgow, I almost shouted “I FUCKING KNEW IT!” but I restrained myself and instead focused on the toque sat atop his head, while we were indoors and it wasn’t cold outside… Did I mention it was August?

It was clear from our discussions that we had a lot in common, and if you asked someone on the outside looking in if we were a good match, they would have likely said yes and probably made some comment about it being cute we were both Scottish. Ugh, puke.

I honestly couldn’t wait to get home that night, it was one of those that every five minutes sat in that bar, was five minutes lost when I could have been in my pjs at home, which was definitely the more attractive option. So when after a couple of drinks we finally got the bill, which he paid, I was grateful I only had a six minute walk home.

Talking of which, in our initial conversations we also both agreed that actually the other person being Scottish wasn’t a plus for either of us. He said he’d told his friend that exact thing before our date, while I knew it had been swirling in my head since he reached out. So it was weird to me that he had mentioned us both being Scottish when he’d initially reached out to me on Instagram as if it was a good thing. But I didn’t press him on it, because I’m not an asshole, unlike people who critique other’s hugging ability. Clearly I was so salty about that still.

After the date, which I escaped with no one I knew seeing me, I messaged him later to thank him for the drinks, as I always do when someone pays, and while I already knew I wouldn’t be seeing him again, for some reason I couldn’t be bothered to deal with that on that evening. So instead, I just let his “you’re welcome, it was really great to meet you” reply sit on my phone to be dealt with another day.

That other day was the next day. I replied to his text from the night before and just said that it was lovely to meet him but I didn’t feel the connection I’m looking for, which I usually know right from a first date. I’d expected him to do the usual “oh I felt the same” reply which a lot of guys engage and I can totally understand why they do – saves face, saves ego, saves any further discussion. I’m ok with it. But not this guy. Not “you’re a terrible hugger” guy.

Instead I got a reply from him which stated that he felt like I needed someone to help me make better dating choices and that while we may not continue dating, maybe he could be that guy for me. Are you kidding me??? I got that text while I was in the gym and I honestly almost threw a dumbell at the guy beside me. Why are men so entitled to tell women what we need and always assume they are the ones that can give it to us?????

I thought I was pissed about the “are you drunk” and “you’re a terrible hugger” comments. But this was next level. And, to be clear – I’m aware that I definitely don’t always make good dating decisions, him being a fucking case in point! But a) it is not his place to point that out and b) what on earth made him think he could help me?!

As you can imagine, my reply was less than cordial, which of course he used to suggest that I’d taken what he said the wrong way etc etc. And eventually I just had to tell him that the conversation was over, otherwise I knew it was going to spiral.

The thing was I never really wanted to date him in the first place, he kind of annoyed me before I even met him, more so when I met him and entirely after I met him. It was another proof point that forcing myself outside of what feels “comfortable” and what makes sense for me has never once worked. Even if we are from the same country, even if we have had a similar life experience in moving to Canada. We may have come from the same place but we were very, very different, and not just because I’d never tell someone I didn’t know that they were shit at hugging. See, still salty.

…previous post



How do you ignore your gut? Should you even try? Or should you just always go with it? Even when you want it to be wrong?

After the weekend of distant texting, by the time O texted on the Sunday night my gut was on full red alert. He sent a half assed text telling me they’d won the basketball tournament, and that was about it. My reply was that I guessed we weren’t doing dinner? He replied apologising, saying he didn’t realise he wouldn’t be back til later. It felt insincere. And I was majorly pissed off.  But mostly, I felt panicked. I felt panicked that things were changing and I couldn’t control them and I didn’t understand them.

I told him that I didn’t want to have to deal with inconsistency. He couldn’t go from being the texter of the century (while always claiming he wasn’t a texter) to essentially being MIA for 24 hours.

Here’s the thing with consistency when it comes to communication – I don’t need 24/7 communication but I do need 24/7 consistency. So if you only text me once every three days, that’s fine, but keep doing that. If you text me once every hour (don’t. I don’t think anyone should text someone that much), then you better be setting your alarm to keep that shit going so I don’t think you’ve died. Granted that’s an extreme example but my point is, don’t fuck with the consistency of communication. Yes life happens, yes it’s not always possible, but that’s why it’s important to think about the levels of expectation you’re setting. And that’s why numerous times I’d questioned O about the likelihood of this high bar being kept up there. And he’d always insisted it wasn’t a problem…

We didn’t end up seeing each other on the Sunday night and, in fact, it was eight days until I saw him again. Over the week his texts became less and less frequent and he dodged every opportunity for us to meet – he was busy. We eventually made preliminary plans to meet on Saturday. I was actually busy on Saturday, I was heading out of town to stay with my adopted Canadian Granny, but I didn’t want to be the blocker so I said it worked for me. And as I headed for the skytrain for a night out the city, I got the text I knew was coming from O – “really sorry, I don’t think I can meet today, I’ve thrown my back out”.

I could have written it myself, albeit the back injury was an added flair of an excuse. I had fully expected it. So why did the disappointment sting my eyes? Why did the expected call off still result in brimming tear ducts?

I think I knew at this point things weren’t going to be the same again. There would be no reverting change in his behaviour that could now not make me question him, question his integrity, question his motives, question his honesty.

Despite being on the Skytrain, heading out the city, I replied and suggested I go over with some food for him and asked if there was anything else I could take him. Banking on the fact he’d decline I didn’t pause my trip to White Rock for a single step. Expectedly, he declined the offer but said “maybe tomorrow”. I decided at that point that I’d be seeing him the next day whether it meant I had to doorstep him or not.

Later that afternoon, sat in Granny’s garden, surrounded by her beautiful potted plants with the sun beating down, I told her the whole story over numerous glasses of wine. And what she said to me still sticks in my mind – “when you’ve explained to someone how inconsistency causes you anxiety, you can’t believe someone only has good intentions for you when they then become inconsistent and seem unconcerned for the anxiety they must know they’re causing you.”

It was followed up with some sage advice about trying to draw a line in the sand and not giving anymore of myself to him. I realised I’d already given more than I would have liked, more than I intended to, more than I felt comfortable with. I’d been swept away by the whole thing and now I was left feeling adrift. Granny did a great job at lifting my spirits over dinner but there was no denying the growing sadness and confusion.

The next day as I returned back to Vancouver, I lured him into a false sense of security – I hate games, but fuck you – getting him to confirm he was still at home in bed and his flatmate was out. With that info in hand, I told him I was taking him coffee and his favourite doughnut from Tim Horton’s and I’d be over in half an hour. I didn’t ask, I told him. I left him no choice.

And here’s where I know I differ from some people. For some, as soon as someone backs away from them they put their own walls up, turn the other way and don’t look back. I, on the other hand, like to get right in amongst the shit pile and stir it up. It’s like I can’t be done with it until I’ve tested it to the nth degree. Partly it’s because I’m a hopeless optimist and hope that one day my gut will be wrong and someone backing away will all of a sudden change their mind and come running back. And I know the retort to that is why would you want someone who wasn’t sure about you? Don’t ask me, I’m all sorts of fucked up.

It’s also partly because if someone wants to end something with me I want them to say it. I want to make them say the words. Both for their discomfort and my closure. I’d rather be stabbed with a knife than slapped with a fish. Does that even make sense as a saying? I’m going with it. Like, if you’re going to walk away from me, then tell me, give me the brutally honest reason, don’t just leave me hanging.

So looking to get into the middle of this shit pile, I went round to O’s and for the first time since I’d known him, it was awkward. Not just because his 6’5 frame was barely able to move – apparently the back injury wasn’t a lie – but it was clear something had changed. He was in pain. And I  wasn’t very sympathetic. I couldn’t be. I couldn’t bring myself to give any more of myself. The doughnut and coffee were the extent of it.

In the 45 minutes I was there, one of his best friends came to pick something up with his girlfriend. It was another awkward interaction, with O briefly introducing me, while I sat on the edge of his bed like some pathetic groupie. They left and there was more awkward chat between us. He commented that I seemed to be enjoying his discomfort. He wasn’t wrong. But I wasn’t enjoying mine.

I left him in bed to go and meet friends at the beach, as had always been my Sunday plan before my impromptu home delivery to the invalid. I never intended to stay at his for long, I just wanted to see him, look him in the eyes, try to get a read on the situation. But I think all I’d managed to deduce in my time there was that the situation was fucked up.

He clearly knew I was pissed off but I couldn’t tell if he cared. We texted a little that afternoon, while I was enjoying a sunny beach day and he was feeling sorry for himself in bed. I still couldn’t muster any sympathy.

When he asked me to go round for dinner the next night, I was slightly surprised but I couldn’t decide if it was a good thing or not. Maybe he was going to take the opportunity to chat about things, have those open and honest (and maybe difficult) conversations that we both agreed during our first date we preferred to games and confusion and things left unsaid.

Turns out, he just wanted someone to snuggle with on the sofa. He’d made it to work that day and we met halfway between our apartments as he walked home. His 6’5 frame stood out even more when he walked with a limp. On this occasion I did feel some sympathy for him. He was clearly in a lot of pain, so I offered to take his backpack, cause I’m nice like that and despite how confused I was by the whole situation, I apparently couldn’t help myself. We stopped for food on the way home and continued back to his for a night of laying on the sofa.

There was no explanation for his distance, no reference even made to it. It was like those eight days of us not seeing each other, and the diminishing texts, hadn’t even happened. We had sex that night, despite his back injury – funny what guys can rally for – but even it wasn’t the same. Maybe because he wasn’t his usual energetic self, maybe because part of me wondered how many times this was likely to happen again, or if in fact this might be the last.

The rest of the week was more of the same, infrequent texts and an inability to meet up. I stopped attempting to make plans by the Thursday. I was sick of suggesting times, making myself available, being accommodating in the hope he might actually say yes. There’s only so many times you can be told no. I wish I was one of those people who only needed to be told no once… alas, I’m a sucker for punishment.

My anxiety was out of control, my mind a constant whirring of how the situation might be rectified, why he might have changed his mind, what I could do to change it back… talk about mental torture. I threw myself into working out. And trying to ignore the deafening silence from my phone.

It got to the weekend and I had no idea what his plans were. I made my own and adjusted to the deep, sinking feeling that had been perpetually in my stomach for the last two weeks.

Waking on Sunday morning at 8am I read a text from him that he’d sent at 3am – “any chance you’re having a late night?” Was it a drunk booty call or was he just finishing work (not uncommon for him) and he wanted to talk?

I responded saying I had but clearly not as late as some people and asked if he was ok. And then I waited. And waited. And waited for a reply. At 4pm, I decided I’d pretty much had enough. “So you’re going to text me at 3am, I reply when I wake up and then you go back to ignoring me as you’ve done for much of the past week? Really?”

Interestingly, that got his attention. He replied saying he’d been meaning to call me. “And yet here we are, texting” I replied. My phone rang almost instantly. I gave myself a couple of seconds to compose myself, or at least try to. There was a fairly high chance I was going to lose it – whether “it” was my temper or my tears, I wasn’t sure.

He said he knew he’d been off, he knew he’d been busy, he knew things had been different. I said I was disappointed with the inconsistency. He said he was sorry, he’d never meant to let me down, but that he also knew he didn’t have space in his life for someone right now, for a number of reasons.

He didn’t have space for someone in his life right now.

The very thing I’d asked him a number of times and he said we’d figure it out. Wow. I guess what he meant when he said we’d “figure it out” is that he would just wait til he came to the startling realisation himself that he didn’t have space and choose to do a great impression of a ghost rather than actually talk to me about it.

So then why the fuck would he text me at 3am and ask if I’d “had a late night by any chance” then? Cause he wanted to have the chat then? I’m going to guess not. Because he wanted to see if he could squeeze one more sexscapade out of me before he ghosted me entirely? More likely.

My mind was racing while he spoke. I had so much I wanted to say to him. So much I wanted to shout at him. And instead I just asked “so that’s it?” and he said “yeah, so that’s it.” And just like that it was done. We said goodbye, I hung up and finally lost it. My tears, that is.

To say I was disappointed, is an understatement. Mostly I was disappointed in myself. Mostly because I knew I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be swept along, because I knew I was opening myself up to getting hurt again, because I knew it was going too fast. But he assured me, he said all the right things, convinced me he wouldn’t be leaving an O shaped hole in my life anytime soon. Four weeks later, that’s exactly what I was left with.

I’ll never understand how he ever thought he was going to make it work with his schedule or with whatever other issues he had going on. I’ll never understand how he could sit and talk about consistency and honesty and communication and then let things go the way they did.

And once again with a guy, I had to go looking for the answers. They just start to drift a little, but not far enough that it’s undeniable, they deny anything’s changed or they feel differently, until it gets to a point where I have to call them out on it. I’m not one of these people that can just let it go or fizzle out. I want that last conversation, I want at least some reasoning or explanation even if it’s bullshit & makes no sense. But it’s always me who has to ask the question. Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I didn’t.

But once again, that feeling of being cast adrift was with me, making itself at home within me. It had become the thing I feared the most. The feeling I don’t know how to quell and the feeling which causes self doubt in me like nothing else. Wondering if anything will ever work out, if anyone will ever live up to what they say they’re going to do, if there’s something inherently wrong with me. I wasn’t sure I could do it again. I honestly felt like I’d reached the tipping point.

I had more questions than answers, and more concerns than confidences. A friend said to me a while afterwards, realising I was struggling to come to terms with the swiftness of the zero to 100 to zero journey we’d been on – “you don’t need to know why he did what he did, just know that it wasn’t an accident.” I have no clue what happened on his end, what changed in his mind. All I know is how I felt and what I did. And those are the things I can learn from.

I didn’t want to write this story. It still stings. Not because I still harbour feelings. Unless that feeling is confusion. I like closure, I like tying up loose ends, I like closing the loop – I was able to do none of that with this situation. Him saying he didn’t have space for me or anyone in his life right now would have been an acceptable explanation (let’s forget the ghosting that took place to get there), except for the fact that two weeks later, I saw him on Bumble again, with an updated profile which now read “looking to date a tall girl”….

To O,

Fuck you.

Sincerely, this 5’4 shortarse


Next post…

…previous post

Jesus Take The Wheel


I like to think I make good decisions. Ok, well I like to think I make decisions. But do you ever question your decision making ability? And wonder what the hell you were thinking when you decided on something?

Two specific summer dates had me feeling that way and they happened right after each other. Like, a day apart. It was a questionable moment for sure.

The first was with Canadian Whole Foods Manager – now, who wouldn’t want a Whole Foods discount?! But when during our date he uttered the words “it doesn’t bother me that you’re older” – he was only 27 for God’s sake! – I figured I’d be ok to pay full price for the pre-peeled oranges they sell in those plastic tubs. (Jokes, I do not buy those!)

After we’d enjoyed some pretty good tacos, which I’m always a fan of for a first date (seeing how down and dirty someone is happy to get eating tacos is important to me), we split the bill with no offer from him to pay, and I already knew it wasn’t going anywhere.

He didn’t seem to have a whole lot going on in his life outside of his work and his love of photography. At least he did have a passion and he showed me some great photos on his instagram but there just wasn’t a lot else… Interestingly he said the same about his brother, whom he lived with.

He did say he wanted to move downtown from the suburb he lived in – his brother did not – but there didn’t seem to be any concrete plans for that to happen. And I was pretty sure I wasn’t ever likely to go out and visit him in in the burbs.

Despite age not normally being an issue for me, he did seem young, which made it hard to ignore. I didn’t feel like there was a lot of life experience there and that, more so than a year of birth, is important to me.

Talk over dinner was also a little bit painful, it felt laboured, and forced, and not totally fun. I wasn’t drinking, so that didn’t help and when he ordered a second beer, I kinda wanted to leave him to finish it by himself.

Instead I politely stayed but was looking forward to getting out of there and making my way home. Of course, as is always the way, it took ages to get our bill and then another age to pay. When we did eventually get outside, I immediately started to say goodbye and told him I was going to walk along the seawall, knowing he and his bike would be getting the skytrain back to where he lived. What I hadn’t banked on was him piping up with “I can walk with you and get on at a later skytrain station”. Oh god, great.

So we walked the seawall and, similarly to when Whistler Teacher Stroke Photographer walked with me, the awkwardness and my hatred for walking with a bike reared its head. It was a stilted walk along what would otherwise have been a quick route home for me.

Add to that the fact that half way along he suggested one of the views was too good for him not to take a photo of and so we stopped and he got out his camera. It was a beautiful evening, but one I’d have rather been spending by myself. Instead we also sat on a bench looking out over the water. He asked me what I was looking for in a relationship and seemed to be trying to get the conversation to a serious place.

Just as I was trying to make a joke and get us away from what I knew was futile territory – it didn’t matter what I was looking for in a partner, it wasn’t him – he did something I hadn’t been expecting. He leaned over and kissed me.

It was bold and unexpected. And, despite it not being coveted, I had to give him props for having the balls to do it. But why is it that the ones you don’t want to kiss you tend to be the ones that actually do?!

As our awkward walk home came to an end when we finally got to my turnoff, he asked if we could see each other again. I had to say no.

It was one of those times that not only did I know it was kinder to be honest, I couldn’t have lied if I’d wanted to. That was how strongly I felt about it. I like to think I’m a good liar, when I need to be – though no one should lie, lying is bad kids – but I can also find it hard to hide my true feelings from my face and this was definitely one of those moments.

He took it pretty well and said he felt we needed another date to get to know each other better. I agreed to disagree, to which he replied that maybe we could still go on some hikes together or go away for the weekend camping… I mumbled something about being busy with work. And with that final, awkward exchange, we had a brief hug and I breathed a sigh of relief as I made my way up the steps to Cambie Bridge.

With that not so great date behind me, I was apprehensive going into my next first date of the week the very next day. It was also a taco date – seriously, I’m a fan – but this time it was much closer to home. In fact we discovered he lived only a couple of blocks from me so I walked by his place on the way to the taco place and we walked together.

Mexican EDM Performer – yah this one I didn’t see coming either – was definitely an interesting guy. Not least because as I walked along the street towards his place, before seeing him I first of all saw his incredibly tight, ripped jeans and an equally tight, deep V white t-shirt with some god awful neon design on it and what I was pretty sure was some sort of diamante or sequin.

Lord, what have I done?

I know they say you should never judge a book by its cover, but this cover was definitely not my style and I was struggling to see past it.

Thankfully he actually was lovely, he had a lot of energy, and was pretty good fun and obviously loved what he did. And I realised that because he spent a good 45 minutes, at least, over dinner telling me all about his rise to fame as an EDM performer. And showing me photos and videos!!! It felt more than a little self-indulgent.

Now, in my naivety, I assumed he was a DJ. EDM – Electronic Dance Music. Performer – he played it? No? No. What he actually did was a light show that he would install and perform with a DJ. He also had these crazy ass robots that would perform to music as well. They legit looked like Iron Man costumes. So I guess the videos were necessary considering it sounds insane.

Dinner was good, I mean tacos are always good, and the conversation was easy, plus he paid, but as he talked about his lifestyle and how much he travelled, I just wasn’t sure even the inside of this book matched my style.

We had a couple of margaritas with dinner – I learnt my lesson from not drinking the night before – but when he suggested going somewhere else after for more drinks I politely declined. He made a comment in reply about me being Scottish and Scottish people always wanting to drink but it wasn’t that I didn’t want to drink, I just didn’t want to drink with him.

With the previous night’s failed date so recent in my memory as well, I realised I needed to protect my time better. There’s being polite but then there’s also just flat out wasting your time. And this felt like it would be the latter.

He finished up the date by inviting me out on a boat for the Canada Day fireworks the coming weekend, and I politely said I’d let him know while actually having no intention of going. When he texted me the details later that night, I’d been hoping for some glamorous yacht but it turned out it was one of the party boats that tend to get filled up with the type of people I wouldn’t want to be stuck on a boat with. So the decision was locked in and I explained I had other plans that wouldn’t work with the time the boat was leaving – not entirely a lie. That was the last time we messaged.

And so, that was the two days of two failed dates and it felt kinda brutal. Looking back, I’d known neither of those guys were my type, I wasn’t super attracted to either of them in their pictures, but I figured maybe I should go outside my comfort zone. Welp, that didn’t work.

Sometimes, I feel like I’d like Jesus to take the wheel and make all my dating decisions. Is that something he can do? Or maybe I just need to employ the WWJD mantra going forward…

Next post…

…previous post

The Power of No


At what point in matching with someone on a dating app do you give up your right to say no? At what point when you’re chatting with someone over text do you give up your right to say no? At what point after you’ve met up with someone in real life do you give up your right to say no? Oh that’s right – never.

I’ve written about it before and, no doubt, I’ll write about it again before my dating life is over but feeling in someway coerced into making a decision you may not have been fully comfortable with when dating, happens more frequently than I would like – which is never.

And I’m talking about everything from staying for one more drink, to kissing someone, to letting someone come up to your apartment, or asking someone who has come up to your apartment to leave. You could put it down to being too nice but, for females, it can also come down to fear.

We walk a fine line between not caring what others think of us and doing what’s right for us, and knowing all too well that a single, solitary, even unintentional, dent to a man’s ego can result in their behaviour towards you changing very quickly. We witness it as early as the school playground when if a girl doesn’t like a boy back, he’ll start being mean to her. Which, interestingly, is also the same way that he shows he likes a girl (,which is fucked up and a whole other problem for a whole other post).

Of course, I’m not talking about all men, I’m not even talking about most men, but the problem is when you’ve just met a man you have no idea if they may fall into that category. Having said that, you also hear of people that have known each other for years, never thought they were that type of person, and one day something flips.

The most WTF version of this I’ve witnessed on a regular basis is when messaging guys on a dating app. Everything’s going fine until they ask for “pics” or ask a sexually explicit question before we’ve even established the basics, and I decline. The change in their tone and language, and the quickness with which they can become incredibly angry is entirely unwarranted.

I’ve been told to “fuck off”, been called frigid, a cocktease, a time waster, all sorts. And it really affected me to begin with. I hated feeling like I’d in some way led someone on, while all the time trying to remind myself that starting a friendly conversation on a dating app wasn’t leading someone on.

But at least when it’s only in an app or over message, you don’t have to worry too much for your safety. More just his safety in case he bursts a blood vessel in anger about a girl he’s never met not wanting to send a picture of her naked body to him. Shocking.

When it’s in person however, it can be a different story. I definitely felt that way a little at the end of the night with Whistler Teacher Slash Photographer, and I remember distinctly having the thought in my head when Irish Tech Triathlete didn’t seem to want to leave my apartment.

What I’d never had was a guy so explicitly tell me I owed him something, until the night I met American East Coaster. I know it’s a very generic nickname, but he had actually been the first East Coaster I’d met up with… so we went with it.

He was 37, had not long moved to Seattle for work in some medical field or other, and was up in Vancouver for the weekend by himself just to explore because he’d heard it was lovely. He wasn’t wrong. I spent Saturday morning after we matched messaging him all the fun stuff he should do while he was here.

There had been talk of us meeting up during the day or for dinner but I had plans and it wasn’t until much later at night that he messaged me to check in on my night that I said I’d actually just got home. By this time it was after midnight and I was done drinking after a long day so didn’t want to meet up for a drink like he suggested.

Instead, I’d clearly got a second wind and suggested that we go for a walk. He was just heading back to his hotel from a bar near mine so I said we could meet up a couple of blocks away and then walk to the seawall from there.

Walking Vancouver at night is one of my favourite things to do. It’s such an incredibly safe city and, despite me living right downtown, it can also be incredibly quiet at night. So a walk wasn’t the craziest idea. Thankfully he agreed, but probably partly because I think I made it clear if he didn’t want to do that then we weren’t meeting up!

And so we did, and I got to show him Vancouver by night. And it was fun! He was a really nice guy, super chatty and kinda funny. But I didn’t find him super attractive. Still, as I was feeling with dating in general now, there’s something about just meeting people you otherwise wouldn’t, that is a win regardless of the outcome.

As we walked, he noted a couple of times that we were going in the direction of his hotel. Which I was fully aware of. I’d actually planned the route so that he’d end up back at his hotel, and I would then just finish the last few blocks to mine. Now, I’m aware dates usually end the other way, with the guy walking the girl home but given where we were walking and the fact he was the tourist and I obviously know my way about, I decided he should go home first.

But while I thought that was a nice gesture on my part, he had somehow taken this to mean that if we were going back to his hotel first then I was obviously going to also be stopping there… um, no. I had designs on bed. My own bed. By myself.

So we get to the hotel and there’s this awkward moment when he carries on walking toward the door and I hang back to initiate the goodbye. He turned around surprised “are you really not coming up?” Um, no. I explain that really was never my intention and he hits back with “well that’s not what it sounded like in your texts. Why don’t you just come up for a bit?” And this started a full on back and forth about how our night was going to end.

For every time I said “no” he either came back with something about me having intimated something else to him, or trying to convince me to. But that was how he was making me feel, like somehow I owed him a trip up to his hotel room.

In the quiet Vancouver street at 1.30am, I was glad I could see the hotel concierge from where I was standing and so firmly, for the last time said “I’m sorry you thought this was something else, it was honestly just a walk. It was lovely to meet you, enjoy the rest of your time in Vancouver.”

Rather than accept it and reply courteously, or even not accept it but at least still be polite, he told me it was bullshit, threw his hands up in the air (not in the “like you just don’t care” way though) and turned around to head into his hotel.

Before I was more than a block away my phone pinged with a message. Oh god… And right enough it was him. Again, telling me it was bullshit and asking if I was serious. As if, I don’t know, somehow that would make me change my mind and head back to his hotel for a night of wild sex? I didn’t reply, there was no point and the day had now caught up with me, so it seemed best to just go to bed, in my house, on my own, as I’d always planned.

But I can’t let messages go unanswered – I don’t know if it’s because I’m too polite or I just love a convo – so the next day I replied and just said I was sorry if he was upset, that was never my intention and, again, wished him well on his last day in Vancouver.

Rather than just replying with something civil, or even just not replying, he decided to start screenshotting me parts of our message conversation and marking them up with red lines and red circles, clearing hinting that these were the phrases that led him to believe he was picking up a sex date on the corner of the street last night, and not just someone to go for a walk with.

He actually marked them up! Took the screenshot, went into edit, chose ‘Markup’ and got busy with his virtual red marker. I was shocked but also kind of impressed by his dedication to his argument. But mostly, I was just seriously pissed off, which I hadn’t been before. Before I’d felt kinda bad, really hadn’t wanted to upset him, but knew I was in the right.

Now? Now, I was about to give him a lesson in how to treat women. Or at least I would have if he hadn’t blocked me on Bumble. So I missed my chance.

But here’s what I would have told him – even if I had explicitly said in my text “let’s meet up and have sex”, while yes there could be some surprise, or disappointment, on his part if those plans changed, I still wouldn’t have owed him the sex I talked of previously.

And I know some people will say, meeting up with a guy from a dating app after midnight, even if it is only to “go for a walk” can only mean one thing. And to that I say, fuck off. There is NO circumstance, no way of meeting, no time of day, no setting that determines that I owe a man anything.

There is power in “no” and the power is mine.

Next post…

…previous post

Can I Go Now, Sir?


You know when you make plans and they seem like a good idea at the time, but then when the time comes you realise you’re tired and you’d rather stay in? But you go and figure you’ll just cut the night short but then the guy you’re out with attempts to bargain with you to make you stay out and chooses to lecture you on how much you’ll regret it if you go home? Yeah that’s what happened with Whistler Teacher Slash Photographer.

I’d only gone to Whistler to run a half marathon. I had no plans of organising a date, or meeting someone but while lying in my hotel room bed awake earlier than I even needed to be with pre-race nerves, I was mindlessly swiping through the Bumble and Tinder, wondering what the usually bustling ski town of Whistler would have to show for itself on a dating app in the middle of summer.

I was pleasantly surprised, but I was also sure the majority of people were likely to be just visiting. Not that it mattered – again, I wasn’t planning to meet anyone.

My friends, who were also running the half marathon, and I had arrived the night before, just in time for a glorious carb load and then an early bed. Somehow, despite travelling with two couples, I had ended up in the huge hotel room, with a King size bed, full kitchen and dining space, corner windows and a balcony overlooking Whistler village.

As I lay swiping in that giant bed, having probably used about a third of the available space at most during the night, I matched with a few people and was surprised when at 6.03am one of the Tinder matches messaged me. At first I figured it must be someone who was just getting in from the night before but, after a few messages back and forth, it turned out that when he wasn’t being a teacher, he was a photographer and had been asked to film the race. So while I was preping myself for getting sweaty while running through the mountains, he was preping himself for filming people getting sweaty while running through the mountains.

Hs asked why I wasn’t sleeping and I said I wasn’t sure when I was in such a big, comfy bed. It was a throwaway comment that I didn’t even think about because I’d just been messaging friends back in the UK and had been telling them the same thing. But I realise that making any reference to your bed when you’re chatting with someone on a dating app, instantly sounds like an invitation for sex. It was not.

He didn’t seem to read too much into it, or at least if he did he didn’t let on. Although he did make a comment about me probably needing a massage later. I wasn’t sure if it was an offer or merely a suggestion. I chose to just take it as friendly advice and skip on over it.

As it got closer to race time, he wished me luck and said he’d look out for me on the course and hopefully would see me later as well. The first part of which horrified me, to think that a guy you’ve met on a dating app might see you for the first time midway through a half marathon didn’t bear thinking about – it’s not a pretty sight. The second part of which sounded like it could be fun.

He’d been funny and engaging and he clearly had a number of passions in his life with the teaching and photographer. He seemed like an interesting guy. So I said yes maybe we could do drinks later and left it at that.

I hadn’t actually thought I’d see him on the course, I presumed he’d be filming the people who could actually run without looking like they were having a heart attack, and those people aren’t me. But would you believe it, first corner we turn on the course having come out of the starting line area and I see a guy on a bike (as he said he would be), with a camera (as I imagined he would be) sitting in the central reservation capturing everyone as they’re going up the first stretch of road.

Despite the fact it was so early on in the race and my face hadn’t yet turned the beetroot red colour that it so loves to go after any small amount of exercise, I still decided to try and maneuver my way out of his line of sight. I wasn’t really prepared to do a whole weird, awkward “oh hi, it’s you” thing while trying not to get out of breath in the first five minutes of the race.

A very long and very sweaty two hours, fourteen minutes later and I was back in Whistler village, having enjoyed some beautiful sights around Whistler (not so beautiful were the really big fucking hills). Shortly after all my friends had gathered at the finish line area and we’d picked up all the required post-race snacks, I got a text from him to ask how I’d done and how I was feeling.

As my post-race recovery of a bath followed by brunch took place, we toyed around with the idea of meeting in the afternoon, but he then said that he’d rather do a night date so suggested we meet for drinks after my dinner.

Now two things about that: 1) a guy who “would rather do a night date” instantly makes me think that they’re in it for sex and they don’t think it’s as easy to get to sex on a date if it’s a middle of the day date. Little do they know me, I’d far rather have sex at any other time of the day than at night. 2) given that we’d both had a pretty early start and a fairly busy morning, there was a high chance that by the time I’d had dinner I’d be ready for nothing but my bed. Alone.

I should also note that by this stage in our messaging, he’d started to make more comments about my bed, following on from what I’d told him in the morning about it being massive. Coupled with his insistence that my muscles must really need a good massage and low and behold he had great massage skills, they were cheeky, flirty comments which for the most part I laughed at but didn’t entertain.

By 6pm, even getting myself up after my post-race, afternoon nap was a struggle and I had a feeling that by the time I’d stuffed myself with food I wasn’t likely to be feeling much more spritely. Alas, halfway through dinner he texted to confirm we were still on for drinks and made a plan where to meet based on where we were having dinner.

The friends I was with thought it was hysterical that I had arranged a date while only in the village for two nights and were especially excited when the date plan was that he’d come by the bar we were now in and we’d then walk somewhere else for drinks. I wasn’t sure why we couldn’t just meet there. I had Google maps.

So that was the first thing that kind of irked me, as well as the time it had taken to actually get to that plan. But he duly turned up outside the bar I was in, although thankfully stood just out of the line of sight of my friends so they couldn’t gawk too wildly.

Mercifully he looked like his pics, however, everything from that point was just a bit… blah. He’d brought his bike, presumably the same bike I’d seen him on during the race that morning, so, while we walked to the bar we were headed for, he walked with his bike. Now, if you’ve ever walked with a bike or walked with someone with a bike, you’ll know it can be awkward as hell. And this most definitely was. Add to that the fact that when we got to the bar we then had to find suitable bike parking and, to be honest, it just wasn’t the sexiest thing I’d ever encountered.

Once inside the kinda weird bar (there’s a tonne in Whistler, I didn’t know why he chose this one), he didn’t know what he wanted to drink. Oh god, I could feel my spikiness rising. Then, as I was telling him how tired I was, he told me I had no reason to be tired as I’d had an afternoon nap. Um, hey, Mr, you don’t get to decide if I’m tired or not. Again, the spikiness in me rose.

Given that by the time he’d decided what he was going to have to drink I’d almost finished my first gin, I ordered a second just to make sure I wasn’t sat there empty handed, though I was already thinking about leaving. But then he ordered a second and I could feel the will to live start to slip away from me.

The chats were fine, he was nice enough and hearing about his teaching and photography was interesting, but we were very different people. Apparently he didn’t go anywhere without that (damn) bike and never went to the city. He also apparently couldn’t take a hint that I was tired regardless of the number of times I yawned.

Thankfully the barmaid then came round and told us it was last call – I could have kissed her, I was so happy for the get out of jail card. Especially when he asked for the bill to be separate so we each paid our own way – again the paying on a date debate requires it’s own blog post, but that’s for another day.

I figured he would have caught onto the fact that a) there wasn’t really a connection and b) I was hella tired. Turns out, he’d caught onto neither so as we were leaving the bar he started to throw out suggestions as to where we could go next. When I politely declined, he started to do that reverse psychology thing of telling me what a fun night I was going to miss out on, not realising that a private show with The Killers wasn’t even likely to make me stay out at this point. Ok, I lie, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Brandon Flowers.

Just as I was saying that I’d had fun (why did I feel the need to lie about that?) but I was really tired, as we were stepping out of the bar, I realised why he’d chosen that bar – it was right opposite my hotel. So he took it as the perfect opportunity to say “ok, why don’t we just go to the liquor store and go back to your room?”

Wow. Just wow… People’s inability to read a situation is flabbergasting at times. Take a hint. Know your audience. Sense the tone. I WANT TO GO TO BED. ALONE.

After many more insistencies from me that I really was tired and I really did just want to go to bed (ALONE!), but I really had had a good time (why must we stroke the male ego simply to be allowed to do what it is we want to do?), he reluctantly started to unlock his bike from the bike rack. Then he stopped.  Was I really sure I didn’t want just one more drink? Was I sure I didn’t want him to come back to my room with me? Didn’t I want a massage? And couldn’t that big bed use a second person?

Oh good God. By this point I was done being nice. I cut him off, told him I was going and momentarily was concerned that he knew which hotel I was staying in and with it’s proximity to where we were standing, him following me wouldn’t be that difficult. Thankfully he didn’t go full batshit crazy and do that but as I was in elevator up to my room my phone buzzed and it was him. Just checking (AGAIN!) that I didn’t want another drink because I was going to regret it.

I decided to ignore it, until just as I was closing the door (and firmly double locking it) my phone rang. Of course, it was him. I answered it mostly to make the noise stop, I can never find the silent switch when a call is incoming – why is that?!

There was yet more protestations on his part that I would regret it and I’d made a poor choice., and that he was still downstairs if I’d changed my mind. At this point I just laughed. The fact that he thought there was any chance of me going back on my decision and either inviting him up or heading downstairs to meet him again, was laughable. I was already in my pjs as I listened to his sales pitch on loudspeaker.

But I was done with the entertainment of someone trying to sell themself, it was now starting to get a little degrading, on his part, so I once again cut it off and told him I was turning my phone off and going to sleep. By this time he was pretty pissed off about it and wasn’t doing a good job of hiding it. I don’t think I could have cared less.

The next morning, after a blissful sleep in my massive bed all by myself, I woke up to more texts from him. All bemoaning my choice and telling me I’d missed out on a “night of fun” and that he could have really shown me a good time. Jesus, I hope he was drunk when he sent those.

I’d definitely made the right choice but all I could think was, I wonder what he must be like as a teacher? Was he that insistent? Did he make it that difficult when a student wanted to leave the classroom? It must be a bloody nightmare if you were desperate for a pee…

Next post…

…previous post

Gone Fishing… Catfishing


Trusting your gut is all well and good but how do you employ that strategy when the very nature of dating, particularly online dating, is that of having to take things at face value? Where does blind faith stop and healthy suspicion take over? When should you trust and when should you question? In other words, how do you know when you’re being catfished?

A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances – so says Urban Dictionary. It can also be a verb.

I’ve had a few instances of good old catfishing that I’ve caught before it got too far – tinder profiles with pics that just look too polished, too professional. A quick reverse google image search has unearthed the Instagram of a South American actor, and IMDB pics for a Pakistani Bollywood star. Neither of whom are likely to be in Vancouver looking for a tinder hookup. Neither, I’m pretty sure, was the profile using Cristiano Ronaldo’s likeness. Which is unfortunate because I’ve always been a fan of his greasy good looks.

I always wonder at what point these guys, if they are even men, think their scam will be foiled? They obviously can’t meet anyone in person, so are they just on there purely to message? Is that enough excitement for them? The phrase “get a life” has never been more apt.

But when someone agrees to meet you in person, you presume the likelihood of being catfished is null. And so was my feeling when after chatting to a 35 year old English guy who lived in New Zealand and worked for the Kiwi Navy but was coming to Canada for a possible job here.

There were a few random moments, like when he was going out on a ship with the Canadian Navy so wouldn’t be able to text. But maybe, despite all the technologies of today, they don’t have WiFi on naval ships. Shocking. I actually didn’t think I’d hear from him again after that so when he messaged me once he was back on dry land, I was pleasantly surprised.

Another source of confusion was that he had a Canadian phone number, which I thought odd considering he was hardly here for anytime & most of that he was without the ability to use it on a ship. He also claimed to have never been on Tinder before this trip, which I’m always sceptical about – it’s always everyone’s first time… apparently.

So English Kiwi Naval Officer was flying into Vancouver for the weekend at the end of his… trip? Sailing? Cruise? Whatever they call it…, arriving on a Friday night. He’d likely be coming back for a second visit in a couple of months time for a follow up on this job so I liked that it wasn’t a definitive one & done situation. And in fact could be a lot more if the job came to fruition.

We were going to meet for a drink once he’d checked into his hotel which it turned out was on the opposite side of my city block. As I was sat having an after work drink with girlfriends before I met him & relayed the details to them, they suggested I ask for a selfie, given that the story did just seem a little random. When he messaged to tell me he’d landed, I dutifully asked, more to placate them than anything. Unfortunately, his response only caused to give me concern that I hadn’t necessarily been feeling before.

He made some excuse about how he couldn’t send a pic because his phone didn’t have data enabled, and it was a work phone, and he’d send one when he had WiFi. But we all know airports have free WiFi so something didn’t quite add up…

Nevertheless we persevered because where would be the fun otherwise? And so at 8pm I walked the 50 seconds from building to the entrance of his hotel & there he was. Exactly like his profile photos, the picture of an English gent, with a relieved look on his face.

“I don’t know why I thought you were going to stand me up” were his first words to me as he came towards me with a hug.

A few drinks later at a nearby courtyard bar, while we enjoyed a warm May evening, he reiterated that it was his first time using any dating apps, thanks to his friends encouragement, and they’d warned him that people on apps can often be flakey so he should be prepared for some disappointments. Hence his opening line to me.

He definitely seemed a little green around the edges. He was maybe well versed in naval war strategy but the ways of modern dating? Not so much.

So it was all going swimmingly (does that count as a naval pun if technically they’re on a ship and not meant to be swimming?) until he was telling a story, referencing himself in the third person and used a different name for himself than that which I had known him as up until that point. English Kiwi Naval officer was obviously not all that he seemed.

He caught himself right away and tried to explain it away that it had also been suggested to him by friends that he should use a different name “for work purposes”. I mean, clearly naval strategy is fairly sensitive information but I wasn’t sure those on enemy lines were going to be scouring tinder to source state secrets.

I told him that I knew people sometimes would use another name but generally they would give their real name once they’d met someone in person, once the threat of enemy spies had been cleared, you know? Or maybe he still thought I looked like I was after his classified documents?

He laughed, I laughed, it was laughed off and I didn’t question it further. It was stupid and seemed weird but I let it go. There was something about him that seemed suitably unassuming and naive, or at least that’s what I was choosing to believe.

With the name slip up behind us, we had a really fun night. We had a lot to talk about having both moved away from the UK, we both liked sports, we both kept ourselves in pretty good shape and I enjoyed telling him about Vancouver, particularly when he could be moving here in a month or so.

From the first bar we went to another where we ended up drinking an obscene amount of gin. He was a big gin fan too and when the bar turned out to have a crazy good gin selection we jointly decided to work our way through it.

Throughout the night he was very complimentary, although the “I don’t know how you’re still single” line doesn’t always sit totally well with me. Despite that, it wasn’t the worst thing to have drinks bought for me all night by an attractive man who had definitely awoken a new interest in men in uniform within me. While I was envisaging him in his navy whites (do all navies wear white? In my mind they do so let’s go with it) he had leaned in for a couple of kisses while we were sat at the bar and there had been some suggestive hand, arm and leg touching. The name slip had long been forgotten.

We stayed at the bar until it closed around 1am and then slowly walked back towards my apartment / his hotel. I knew I wasn’t going to invite him up – it didn’t seem “necessary”. As in, despite him only being in the city for another day and a half, we had already spoken so much about when he came back on his next trip that I wasn’t in any hurry to rush things with him. And so instead he kissed me goodnight at the corner of my building and it was a really really nice kiss. A car full of guys passed as he lent in and were hollering at us but I’m not even sure he noticed. I said goodnight and turned to walk away but I was only a couple of steps away from him when he said “can you come back please?” It was so polite and serious and in his proper English accent, I kind of got a surprise. Turns out he just wanted to kiss me again and said my lips were incredible. In fact he kept going on about my mouth… It wasn’t the worst thing to hear.

As I was climbing into bed he texted me a very sweet goodnight text “Thank you for a great night. You looked absolutely incredible and I really enjoyed ‘you’ x” It was maybe the single sweetest post-date message I’d ever received. And he used grammar! We texted a little and then fall asleep.

The next day was my birthday beach day with all my friends. It had been my birthday earlier in the week (yes, the messy night that ended with tearful chats with Malaysian Persuasion) and I was celebrating it in the sunshine with a tonne of friends, snacks and booze. I had lightly invited him, in a “it’s a big group, it’s super chill, if you don’t mind some slight ribbing you’ll be fine” kind of a way. He’d said he wasn’t sure, he’d wanted to go and do some sightseeing, but would let me know. We agreed that if he didn’t come to the beach we’d do something at night anyway, provided a Saturday of sun and day drinking didn’t wipe me out.

As it turned out, he couldn’t wait until the beach or the evening, so around 8am was texting me pretty flirty and suggestive messages from his hotel room – which would have been about 200m away from where I was, also lying in bed. He said he regretted not suggesting we hung out longer the night before, which I took to mean he regretted not suggesting we hookup, given that at 1.30am there’s not a lot of other hanging out you can do?!

After an hour or so of texting, it seemed that just a hint of an invitation was all that English Kiwi Naval Officer needed to jump out of bed and be at mine in less than 5 minutes. I had already started getting ready for my beach day so was in a bikini and not a lot else. It seemed mildly inappropriate to welcome him into my home for the first time wearing so little but nothing that happened within the next 30 minutes, before I was due to be picked up by friends for pre-beach brunch, was appropriate. In the best kind of way.

All the while he still kept up an impeccable level of manners and etiquette, seemingly never wanting to overstep a boundary or go too fast. As a result, full sex was never had and in fact I barely did anything at all. It was mostly him, giving those 25 year olds a run for their money in terms of generosity in the bedroom. To say I had a lazy Saturday morning is an understatement.

When my friends texted to say they were downstairs I had a pep in my step and maybe just a little bit of bed head…

While I was enjoying a day of brilliant sunshine, incredible time with friends and some of the best Pinterest inspired boozy beach snacks I could have imagined, English Kiwi Naval Officer (yah, this nickname doesn’t roll off the tongue so much) was enjoying the delights of Vancouver by bike. He declined the invite to join the beach celebration and instead we planned for drinks later in the evening, though he kept in touch most of the day with sweet messages about how much he was looking forward to seeing me and had been thinking about our morning rendezvous a lot.

That night, the copious amounts of sun and frozen gin lemonade pouches (look them up on Pinterest) made me not good for a whole lot so instead of going out, I suggested he come over to mine for some drinks. Showering was about all I was able to manage, though it was mostly tiredness from all the fresh air and fun, so thankfully he agreed and around 9pm he arrived at my door. I was wearing more than just a bikini this time, which he was mildly disappointed by.

We had a gin each and just chatted for a while on the sofa. It’s a very candid conversation, a lot more sexually orientated after the morning’s activities, and I really enjoyed finding out more about him. We chatted relationships, kids, work, his hate of football, our want to do whatever we desire in life, sexual preferences – it’s pretty wide ranging. And we did a pretty good job of keeping ourselves off each other, until I was getting us each a whisky and he came up behind me at the kitchen counter… Things got a little heated and there was something about him that I just found incredibly sexual. Maybe it’s the navy thing, maybe it’s his age or that he’s English, I don’t know. But he just seemed like… a proper man?!

We had a fun night, chatting and starting to fool around more and then move into the bedroom. It felt super easy and safe. But it started to get late and I was exhausted. We hadn’t had full sex so I suggested he stayed over and middle of the night or morning might change that. He seemed to think about it for a while, as we were both yawning and eventually he decided to go back to his hotel. I mean it’s on the same block so I guess it made sense? He left saying he would be back first thing in the morning to bring me coffee, the joke being that I don’t drink coffee. So he left and I went to sleep looking forward to what tomorrow will bring. Or as he rightly pointed out, when he was texting from back in his room, today – i was now after 3am.

I slept like a log and woke up looking forward to a coffee and maybe a morning walk with a certain English Kiwi Naval Officer, it was a beautiful morning. Instead, I heard… radio silence. I figured we both could do with our sleep though, so stayed in bed a little longer and waited. But it was too nice a day to stay indoors, so around 10am I got up and went for a walk and waited. Knowing all the while that he was leaving for his flight around 2pm and so we were kind of on a timer.

But something was starting to feel very uneasy with me. All the little things that by themselves could maybe be explained away, when I replayed them back in my head, started to pile up into a big, questionable WTF. Him being incommunicado while he was on the ship, not being able to send me a pic from the airport, giving me a false name, not wanting to sleep with me or stay over but doing everything else, as if somehow staying over and having sex crossed some line he was trying to avoid? And now, essentially disappearing on me.

I decided to text him – if we haven’t learnt it by now, know that I do not like loose ends. They don’t sit well with me. I want them tied up and dealt with. He actually did respond with some story about how he overslept then went for a run and twisted his ankle and was now in a rush to get packed and checkout of the hotel.

Knowing how close he was staying to me, it wouldn’t have been an obscene suggestion if he offered a plan of meeting for something to eat before he headed to the airport. Instead nothing. In fact I heard nothing again until he was at the airport, when he then went to the other extreme and was texting me a tonne of stuff about how he was sorry he fucked up the morning, he’d really wanted to see me, I was the best part of his trip, he already couldn’t wait to get back to see me again, he was excited to tell his friends at home about me and he would be in touch as soon as he touched down in Auckland.

Those texts were coming right up until he boarded the plane. And then…. Nothing. I figured out roughly when he’d be landing in New Zealand… Nothing. I figured it might be a couple of days before he was caught up on work and sleep… Nothing.

As the days passed, I was playing the weekend over and over in my head and started to think I had made a judge error in judgement. The gut feeling that had deserted me for the previous couple of days was now in full force like a heavy meal sitting in the pit of your stomach. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the person I thought I’d been getting to know was not a person at all but a facade of someone he’d wanted to portray. How did I know any of it was real? How did I know he even worked for the navy? Ok well I’d seen a pic of him in a naval uniform which a quick google search confirmed was a legit NZ Navy uniform. But how did I know he was here for a potential job move? How did I know he wasn’t here with a wife and two kids tucked up in his hotel? How did I know he even left back to New Zealand?

I didn’t. I don’t. A year later, I still don’t have the answer to any of those questions and for a long time afterwards, every time I walked past the corner of the hotel he stayed at I felt physically sick. Sick that I’d maybe been made a fool of. Sick at the thought of maybe bumping into him there again. Sick that people can be so callous with another person’s feelings and time.

I had taken things at face value but my gut was now definitely telling me all was not what it seemed, though I won’t ever know the true extent of the catfishing expedition. And maybe that’s best.

Next post…

…previous post

Block, Delete, Repeat – Part 3 of 3


When honesty is your only policy and you’re put on the spot by the guy you’re dating asking if you’re sleeping with anyone else, what do you do? Do you decide now is the time to get on the train with people that think lying is better than hurting someone’s feelings? Is now a good time to pretend you’ve lost suddenly your hearing? Would it be best to somehow trigger your building’s fire alarm and get the hell out of dodge?

No. There is never a good time to lie. It doesn’t matter if you’d rather not have to tell the truth, it doesn’t matter if you know the answer isn’t likely to go down well, it doesn’t matter if the reality brings with it an uncomfortable conversation. There is never a good reason to lie. I truly believe that. I also believe you shouldn’t ask questions you aren’t prepared to hear the answers to.

I stuck to my end of the bargain, I answered truthfully. He did not stick to his end of the bargain, he was not prepared to hear my answer.

I said I had been sleeping with someone else, one other person, Frenchie. Well, I didn’t tell him it was Frenchie, that was for your benefit, dear reader. I then thought it might help to qualify the fact I wasn’t actually dating the other guy, I wasn’t going out with him, spending quality time with him. But as soon as that fact was out my mouth I realised I’d possibly just made things worse. There really was no way to dress this up. But as I pointed out to him, we hadn’t had a conversation around this. We’d never said we were exclusive.

Now, for the record, he never clarified whether he had or hadn’t been sleeping with other people as well, but clearly he wasn’t about to launch into that when he was so preoccupied by my admission. He told me he’d presumed I was sleeping with other people, which led me to think he also had, but that hearing it made it much worse. He told me he couldn’t deal with that. That when he slept with someone it meant something, which in fairness he had said to me the first time we’d slept together but I figured that was just a line he used. His feelings seemed genuinely hurt. And I felt like a big ol’ whore.

I told him the fact we hadn’t had the conversation about being exclusive, and that he had said a few times he didn’t know what he wanted meant I didn’t think there was a problem with it. What I couldn’t work out though was why I felt so bad about it… why did I feel like I’d been cheating on him? Why did I feel like I’d done something I shouldn’t have? And why did it make me feel so dirty? I definitely do not like multi player dating.

I told him if he wanted something more to happen between us, then we could do that, see how it worked out. I’d happily stop seeing anyone else. I told him I loved the fun we had together, the sex was the best I’d had and I’d rather have that than anything else.

The conversation only last about ten minutes and he said he had to leave. He needed some time. He had to try and get his head around it. He walked out saying he’d be in touch.

I felt like an absolute bag of shit when he left. Not only did I feel horrible for having caused that reaction but I had been so looking forward to our night together, despite his earlier delay tactics, and I was gutted that I was now left by myself with nothing but my thoughts and my feelings.

I barely slept. The next morning, the Monday holiday when we were supposed to have been having lots of middle of the night and early morning sex, I was awake at 4am and as soon as it was getting light out I went for a run. I needed to clear my head. I kept trying to remind myself I hadn’t done anything wrong. But that he was entitled to need time to get his head around it and decide if he actually did want us to exclusively date.

But how much time? A day? Maybe two? I tried to give him space, but four days later I hadn’t heard from him. And it was my birthday. I went to a park after work with friends and got (un?)necessarily drunk. It was messy. Turning 33 while having all of those feelings wasn’t the best way to start, or end, another year in life.

Despite my best efforts not to drunk dial, I of course did. Because if 33 years on this planet has taught me anything, it’s that I shouldn’t be left alone with my phone when I’m drunk.

Stupidly he answered. It was 10pm on a Thursday night, he should have known to let it go to voicemail. We had a conversation, I told him I just wanted to speak to him, that I thought we should meet to talk about it, that I couldn’t believe he hadn’t been in touch the whole time since Sunday night, how much more time did he need?! 33 year old me wasn’t patient.

He said he agreed we should talk and as I was about to suggest meeting up at the weekend, he said “I’ll come over now.” What?! I was sure he’d said that just to get me off the phone. He knew I was drunk and apparently I kept going silent, I’m sure it was just my signal…, so why then suggest to come over?

Come over he did, and his demeanour was one of someone who did not want to be there. So I was confused as to why on earth he’d come over, at his own suggestion. He told me he couldn’t deal with me sleeping with other people. But he also told me he didn’t want to date me. He said our lives were too different, “the age thing” wouldn’t work. Wow, that’s what you want to hear on your birthday, right?

As it turns out, “the age thing” wasn’t enough for him not to sleep with me again that night. As I was berating him for how he could be so narrow minded as to want his cake and to eat it too, he looked me dead in the eye and said “get in the bedroom.” I’m not going to lie, him taking the lead like that was incredibly sexy. So I duly followed his instruction.

The sex was great, but he left later that night, re-iterating again that we couldn’t date, and basically saying that was it. Over. Done. I was more than a little devastated. He left me as a drunken, birthday mess.

In the following weeks, I tried my hardest to convince him he was wrong. And he wasn’t always 100% convincing in his disagreement to my point. He wavered and at times I thought there was a way around it. Why I couldn’t just accept he was right, I don’t know.

The anxiety I had been left with was surprising. It wasn’t the usual hurt or upset or loneliness I’d feel after things with a guy went tits up. Maybe it was because I felt like I’d come off in a really bad light and I was desperate to change that.

I hoped he still wanted to date. I really liked hanging out with him, he was fun and funny and sweet and there was something quite calming when I was with him. The fact we had never been planning to seriously date had been quite nice, there wasn’t not too much pressure on it. And yet, somehow got to the stage where it just felt way heavier than it ever needed to or ever should have. And as a 25 year old, I’m pretty sure that was the last thing he wanted.

I also knew there were red flags he’d shown that, even if he had still wanted to date, I should consider before deciding still see him. Him going MIA, him not honouring our plans, the fact I feel like he lied about the family dinner he “forgot about”, or even just the fact he made the plans for the family dinner when we’d already made plans for that night. It was pretty shitty behaviour.

As much as I wanted to be easy breezy, I wasn’t going to be treated like shit, no matter how casual the relationship. There’s casual dating and then there’s being walked over. And whether it was because he was 25 or just a bit of a dick, I didn’t know and it didn’t matter, I didn’t want to make it ok for me to be treated like that.

But the anxiety I was feeling was also deeply rooted in the fact that I clearly disappointed him, that he then had this horrible idea of the person I am. And maybe part of me wondered if actually I was that person. Did my casual view at the time of dating and sleeping with multiple people mean that actually he wasn’t wrong if he thought poorly of me? I like to think that I get to make the choice for myself and if I’m ok with it and the people I’m sleeping with know and are ok with it then there’s no harm. But maybe that’s not the case. Maybe dating and sex and relationships (no matter how casual) deserve a little more gravity towards them, deserve to be honoured a bit more. But that only works if both parties feel the same. Frenchie didn’t need that, but seemingly Malaysian Persuasian maybe did?

There was also the fact that of course I wanted him to want me. I just wanted it to go back to the fun, casual, great sex dates we were having before I’d gone on my trip home and things got strained and complicated. I guess I knew leaving for almost a month could have had a detrimental effect but I thought it would be that he’d get bored waiting. Not that all this mess would precede it. You live and learn, I guess.

Eventually I stopped trying to perpetuate conversation. I gave it up. And between the end of May and August our texts were sporadic at best, but every now and again he’d like a photo of mine on instagram, or send me a message, as he had done on Canada Day long weekend. And the conversation would get so far, to him saying he missed me and wanted to see me, but as soon as I’d suggest meeting up, he’d back out, get cold feet, go MIA.

I finally told him he had to either strap on a pair of balls and organise to meet up or he had to leave me alone. I know I could have blocked him on instagram and on text, but it’s not my style. Why? Because I’m a glutton for punishment, maybe? After many, and I mean many rough plans being shelved because he was busy or he “just couldn’t”, we finally made plans to meet on a Sunday afternoon. I was going to a baby shower in the afternoon so we organised an early evening.

We met at a local bar and at first it was a little awkward. General catching up chit chat, work, family, holidays. But after a couple of gins he was back to his flirty and suggestive self. The afternoon progressed to more gins at the bar where we had our first date. And eventually to us buying a bottle of gin and going back to my place. And by that point, there was no difficulty telling where it was going to end up.

Despite the awkwardness at the beginning of the night, there wasn’t a hint of that when we were once again back in my bedroom. It was as great as it had always been. We remembered each other perfectly. It was, again, some of the best sex I’d ever had.

When he left later that night, I didn’t know where things stood. We’d had such a fun night, we had laughed a lot and the spark that had always been there had evidently not died. As he left though he said he’d be in touch, and then I heard… nothing.

How I stopped myself from messaging him I don’t know. In fact, I do, I occupied myself with getting out and dating again. But it was torture. I wanted to call him an asshole. I wanted to ask him what the fuck was going on. I wanted to understand how he could seemingly turn his feelings on and off.

This time I did block him on Instagram, which meant he couldn’t see anything I was doing but, almost more importantly, I couldn’t see anything he was doing. I developed an unhealthy obsession with checking the activity of people I followed so I could see which Instagram model’s posts he was liking that day. And I wanted to weep every time I saw his face pop up in the Instagram Story circle. So I did myself a favour and cut it off. I also deleted his number and deleted the iMessage thread from my phone. And my MacBook. And the WhatsApp chat. Gotta catch them all!

I managed to resist the urge to message him until one fateful night in December. I got drunk – what did I tell you about being left alone with my phone when I’m drunk? Actually technically I wasn’t alone but my girlfriend was on a phone call and I decided to take my chance with no adult supervision. And I know what you’re thinking – but you deleted his number? I did, but drunk me is a genius and remembered that in WhatsApp when you delete a thread it only moves it to the archive, which you can still always go into and find the convo. So I went in there, got the number and messaged it.

You’d think he’d have learnt his lesson from my drunken birthday night call, but no. So again, he replied. At first he was receptive to hear from me but as soon as I launched into the still underlying want to get him to want me – because who doesn’t want to date a drunken mess? – he backed off. And, well, let’s just say I didn’t take kindly to that. Add to this the fact that for the duration of the time I was messaging I had continued to drink and so by this point my texts became not only abusive but also unreadable.

Turns out he didn’t appreciate either because he stopped replying, which didn’t necessarily mean I stopped messaging him (God help me, someone take my phone away from me!!!!) and when I looked again in the morning it seemed he’d actually blocked me. Oh well, at least that was one way to put a stop to it.

But, as amusing as I actually found it the next morning, thankfully the hangover fear didn’t reach me this time, I did feel bad about being such a bitch, no matter whether he deserved it or not. Which, for the record, he did. Obviously.

I was also just about to start a new job and was trying to detox my life and start what was going to be a crazy challenging new chapter with no bad juju so I decided I had to apologise. But how, he’d blocked my number? Well, technology nowadays means there’s always a way, so the following weekend I unblocked him on Instagram, followed him again and sent him a Direct Message.

It said “hey, I wanted to apologise for my texts the other night. Despite whatever has happened before you don’t deserve to be bombarded with abuse on a Wednesday night. I guess I just really don’t like to be told no and rather than accept that maybe you’re right, that we’re not right for each other and we shouldn’t date and that, I haven’t been able to let it go since I came back from my trip in April and you let things get so weird. I’m not proud of it, but I realise now that this isn’t doing either of us any good, so I’m sorry and I wish you nothing but the best.”

It was a tense wait to see if he would even see the DM seeing as he didn’t follow each other so it would go through as a request and not straight into his main inbox and not everyone get notifications for DMs from randoms, which essentially I was at that point as far as Instagram was concerned.

Three hours later I got a reply – “Thanks, apology accepted.” I cried.

It was such a relief and it felt like truly the end of the line for this whole mess. It was a mixture of happy tears that I’d been adult enough to address my faults and take responsibility, which he accepted, but also sad tears that it really had been such a mess and now it was done. Despite my feelings towards him, all the hundreds of different ones I had, I knew I had to let this go. No good could come of it. Eight months after it started.

I replied to say thanks and that I liked to think I would hold my hands up when I’d been a dick, which invariably I had the other night. I also added that I was going to unfollow him again on Instagram, that I’d only followed him to send him the message but I didn’t think it was good for either of us to still have that connection. But it was just a precautionary measure and not meant as one final big fuck you.

He replied again laughing and saying he understood. It was a good note to leave it on. So I deleted the message thread from Instagram, went back to his profile and clicked the “Unfollow” button. If only my feelings had been able to unfollow as quickly, but I knew they’d get there soon enough.

Next post…

…previous post

Cold Sores & Bullshit – Part 2 of 3


You’d think that if anyone was going to go missing when flying between the UK and Canada, it would be the person on the tin can in the sky and not the other person patiently waiting at home, right? But somehow between me waking up in Edinburgh on the day I was leaving and me landing back in Vancouver 16 hours later, Malaysian Persuasion went MIA.

When we’d texted in the morning, saying we’d see each other incredibly soon (maybe that night depending on my travel tiredness), it was his night before and he said he would text when he woke up which would have been just before I got on my connecting flight in London. But ready to leave UK soil and head back across the Atlantic? There was nothing.

I figured I’d get off the flight in Vancouver and there’d be a text waiting for me. But finally getting back to normal cell phone service and data after three and a half weeks in the UK? More silence.

I texted him to let him know I’d made it back in one piece (I had a habit of fainting while flying so completing a trip without doing that was an achievement) but as I travelled back from the airport starting to feel incredibly unsure about what the hell was happening? More tumbleweed.

I landed back in Vancouver at 4pm, I probably texted him about 4.30pm and at 9.45pm that evening I finally got a reply. And I know, that’s not that crazy a timeframe for a reply, but in comparison to how frequently we’d been texting up until that point and the fact I knew he wasn’t doing anything that night… it was a red flag.

I’d mentioned something in my “I’m back!” text about grabbing food. I said I was pretty tired but it would, of course, be great to see him so if he wanted to get dinner to let me know. This was something we’d discussed in the weeks while I was away when we kept talking about when we saw each other, down to the point that we’d actually already discussed the restaurant we’d go to (my favourite noodle place) and the dishes we’d choose (him Kung Pao, me Spicy Peanut Noodle Box). So I wasn’t just throwing out random, last minute plans.

His response “Welcome back, glad you made it. Sorry can’t tonight.” And nothing else. No follow up to say why he couldn’t or that he really wanted to see me or “what about tomorrow night?” Nothing.

I can’t even describe how it felt. I was confused, I was also hurt, and disappointed, and offended. What. The. Hell. Had. Happened?

I left it a couple of days, trying to distract myself with getting back into my routine but it was incredibly hard when I had this big gaping text buddy hole in my life. And I was now in the same city as him! Eventually as we neared the weekend, I texted him one morning to ask how his week had been and what he was doing at the weekend. He did eventually respond later that night saying that work was crazy and he had a really busy weekend. But gave no specifics on plans, despite me having every minute detail of his weekend itineraries when I’d been away. Also, weird because prior to me leaving the UK he’d told me his week was an open book to be filled with me – his words, not mine.

In the next week we texted a bit, always me initiating, always hoping miraculously his response would click back into the voice and tone I had become so fond of and he’d answer enthusiastically and suggest we meet up. But he never did. He also never once asked anything about me. Not how my trip back had been or how the jet lag was or how it felt to be back. Nothing.

This 180 flip in his demeanour was just a giant head fuck. And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, worse than hurting someone is confusing them. Particularly when, most likely, the person knows what they’re doing. To make someone question their own sanity and, in my case, start to over-compensate for that person and make allowances that you wouldn’t otherwise. I heard myself explaining the story to friends and saying “but maybe he is just busy?” or “maybe he is just really embarrassed about his cold sores?” – which was another excuse he’d given as to why he couldn’t see me. Cold sores!!!

Um, no, you lunatic, get a clue! We all know if someone wants to see you, they’ll make time. That’s why they call it “making priorities” – it’s an active choice. And cold sores never stopped anybody, that’s why herpes simplex is still spreading like wildfire.

I started to make peace with the fact that whatever the hell “it” had been, it was now well and truly over. But, as is always my way, I can’t just let things go. So I texted him and said “I don’t know what changed, I don’t know how much could have changed in the time I flew back over here, but something clearly did and the fact you can’t or won’t be honest with me is pretty shitty.”

He didn’t reply. For four days. And then responded saying “I’m really sorry, can we meet up on Saturday?” I was beyond pissed but my curiosity, as always, got the better of me. I told him I was going to a birthday party in Gastown as a way to explain I wasn’t free and he replied with “Ok, I’ll meet you after.” I told him I wasn’t sure what time it would finish but he said to text him when it was done and he’d come and meet me.

This new swift turn of events had my head spinning more than just a little but I did what any female would do – made sure I was preened to within an inch of my life that night, went off to the birthday party to have just enough alcohol to give me the perfect level of sass and then around 10.30pm I texted him to tell him to get a seat in a bar somewhere near where I was and I’d meet him there. He lived nowhere near where I was but within half an hour he was there.

I’d have been impressed if I wasn’t still so fucked off with him.

Clearly he had no clue that I wasn’t exactly entering the bar with a view to having a light and fun date, as was demonstrated when he greeted me with a smiley “hey! How have you been?” The alcohol-induced level of sass meant I took no time in telling him that I wasn’t there for that and to explain what the fuck had happened.

At first he tried to tell me he really had been busy but when I told him if he kept the bullshit going I was going to leave, he took a pause from all the excuses and shifted in his seat. He proceeded to tell me that, when I’d first left for my trip, he’d been worried I was going to be going home to sleep with all my exes. And he didn’t love the thought of that.

Of course, he’d never asked me. And if he had, I’d have laughed in his face. I had a grand total of maybe three exes at home, one of whom was my ex-husband and all three of whom had cheated on me. There was zero chance of any big romantic reunions featuring in my trip.

He did concede that as I was keeping him informed of my trip he admitted it didn’t sound like I had time to be seeing any guys in amongst everything else I was doing. So then once he got his head round that, in the week before I flew back he started to worry, as I had, about how things would be when I got back. But rather than do what I did and just figure we’d work it out once I was back, he swung to the entire other end of the spectrum from worrying about me sleeping with other people to freaking himself out that I was going to come back and want a relationship.

And naturally, obviously!, the best thing to do in that situation is make excuses about being busy and having cold sores, and go MIA at random intervals. Because, of course.

We chatted it out. For hours. I told him he was a fucking idiot and asked him why he couldn’t have just told me. He said he felt crazy. I told him that’s how he’d made me feel. He asked what he should have done instead and I told him he should have been a fucking adult. He admitted he’d slept with someone while I’d been away. I told him I didn’t care, there had been no discussion around that. He asked me how I saw things working out with us and I told him I didn’t know.

It was a long night of talking, in amongst ordering more cocktails and trying to avoid our awkward conversations being overheard by our table neighbours or our server. And somewhere in the midst of it all – me letting out my anger, him apologising, me wishing I’d had less to drink, him trying to be honest – nuggets were brought up.

And just like that, I lost my head. I want to be able to say I kept the boundaries I’d set for myself at the beginning of the night, that I didn’t let him charm me into forgiving his behaviour, but I can’t. I wish I’d made better(?), smarter(?) decisions. But I can’t.

The next morning, waking up with him in my bed, I wasn’t sure what the hell had happened or, maybe more importantly, what the hell was going to happen. But I did know that despite everything it had been lovely to see him again and hang out. It was also fun. And regardless of the fact I had been so pissed off with him less than 24 hours before, I couldn’t deny that there was part of me that didn’t hate how it had turned out.

What does that say about me? That I could be so easily swayed after someone was a complete dick to me? It’s not my finest hour. The only thing that marginally made me feel better was that I had at least been explicit with him about what I expected going forward. Consistency and honesty. It didn’t need to be anymore than that, just consistency and honesty. Easy. Right?

Over the next few weeks we saw each other a couple of times. The texting never went back to where it had been but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. We’d decided we should keep things casual and just see where they went. It seemed simple enough and the times we hung out were as easy and fun and incredible sex-filled as they had been before I’d gone on my trip. Just with the underlying knowledge that there had obviously been feelings involved at some point and we both needed to try and keep them in check.

And so the casual thing worked. For a while.

It was a long weekend with a Monday holiday so we made plans that on the Sunday we’d meet up in the afternoon to go to a local gin distillery, we’d maybe do dinner, then we’d come back to mine for a quiet night with a movie, he’d stay over and we’d have breakfast in the morning. If we were honest, we knew the movie was unlikely to happen but we were both glad to have a night that we could spend together and didn’t need to worry about not getting enough sleep.

He was going out on the Saturday night and I kinda of presumed he’d have a hangover on the Sunday. Just as I thought he messaged me late morning and said we might need to push our mid-afternoon meeting time as he was dying. He then messaged me mid-afternoon, saying it was taking a while to get going and said he would be over around 6.30pm. He then messaged me at 6pm saying he’d forgotten he had a family dinner also at 6.30pm, with a screenshot of a text from his Mum talking about the dinner as proof(?), so he’d go to that and then be at mine by 8.30pm.

To say I was pissed off would be fairly accurate. But I was also aware that we still had the rest of the night and the next morning so did it really matter? I mean, yes, some earlier heads up so I hadn’t actually wasted an entire afternoon and evening waiting for him, would have been preferable but I decided that when he came over I wasn’t going to say anything. It didn’t matter.

When he arrived though and started telling me about his day, my decision on that started to change. He began by telling me about the brunch he’d gone out for that morning with his housemate. Um… I thought you were hungover and dying in bed? Then he told me while he was at brunch their friends had called and told them they were at the beach, so they’d gone to join them. So I was blown off for you to randomly go to see friends? Then he told me that the family dinner had been arranged a couple of days earlier. You mean, when we’d already made our plans and yet you said yes?

I was honestly wondering if I was being punked. Like, how could someone be so fucking stupid not only to do those things but then to admit to them on their own accord. It wasn’t like I’d prised the information out of him!

And so of course I brought it up. I told him it was unacceptable behaviour and I couldn’t tolerate it. And then I explained that I’d really not wanted to have to talk to him about the fact it pissed me off, because it just made me sound like a fucking nag. We were supposed to be casual and so I got that making demands of him wasn’t the thing to do but equally, I couldn’t sit around and let someone make an absolute joke out of me. Consistency and honesty…

He said he felt like I was asking too much, like we were in a relationship when we weren’t. I said I had never wanted that and I was well aware we weren’t in a relationship. And in me saying that, something obviously triggered in his mind. Because he paused, looked at me for a moment and then said those fateful words – “are you sleeping with anyone else?”

Next post…

…previous post

The Aftermath – Part 4.1?


I guess you could call this a bonus post? I had thought I’d be able to get the whole godforsaken Filipeen saga wrapped up in 4 parts (you can read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) but there’s still more shittery to write about, so here I am.

Having sobbed all the way home, I actually felt better than I thought I would when I settled myself on the sofa to eat my feelings in leftover Christmas chocolate. I absolutely knew I’d done the right thing and I felt relieved it was over, that I didn’t have to deal with Filipeen again, but I couldn’t help but wonder how I’d got myself into the mess to begin with…

Why hadn’t I been quicker to walk away? Why had I let it get so far, to the point he was able to diminish my self worth? Why did I honestly think he might be the only person that would want to date me? Where did that “scarcity fear”, as Julia calls it, come from?

Those weren’t questions I had answers for right at that moment but as I pondered them, my thoughts were interrupted by a text. From him. “So I don’t really know where we left it? Am I ok to contact you? Can we still be friends?”

Mother of fuck, get a clue.

I had no ability to see how we could be friends. I hadn’t been on Bumble to make friends and ultimately when someone has stripped your character down to nothing, why would you want to keep them in your life? It made no sense to me. But he’d done a great job of making me feel guilty even about that. During the discussion yesterday, when he’d made a point about how he hoped we could be friends he commented that people who can’t remain friends after dating clearly aren’t mature. Setting up the narrative that if I said we couldn’t be friends, I was obviously immature. Even now he was manipulating my thoughts.

I didn’t even know what to say in reply, and I was too tired to try to deal with it. So I just said “I don’t know right now. How about text me if you want and I’ll see how I feel?”

That was the Sunday and on the Tuesday he took it literally when he texted me to ask if I’d watched anymore Archer. We’d been watching it together whenever I was over at his place, funnily I hadn’t been tempted to remind myself of those nights by watching more of it in the last couple of days. I replied “no, I’ve been busy seeing friends and taking care of myself”. I was hoping the terse response would help him realise I wasn’t interested in friendly chit chat.

I made it through the rest of the week relatively unscathed, given it was the first week back after the holidays and I was hardly in the best of moods to start with. To celebrate surviving I went out with a girlfriend to eat tacos, drink margaritas and catch up after the holidays. Obviously my festive tales were fairly exclusively focused on Filipeen and as we were knee deep in the pre-NYE character assassination chat, my phone buzzed. Being the terrible friend I am, I checked it mid-sentence and stopped dead.

It was the star of the story and the look on my face obviously said so. My friend’s only response was “tell me how exactly this story turns around to the point where he’s still fucking texting you now?” She was incredulous. I insisted on finishing the story before we dived into this most recent text. And as the story progressed she’d interject every so often with “and he’s STILL texting you??!?! HOW?!?!?”

When the story finally caught up with current day, I read the text out loud to her “hey! Where was that bottomless mimosa brunch place you were saying was good?” Ohhhh, now you want to leverage my downtown party lifestyle knowledge??? What am I, some fucking restaurant concierge?

My friend asked me how I felt. I said not good, I didn’t want his name popping up on my phone and disturbing my days / nights / life, and she was right when she said I needed to tell him that. Fuck what he thought about people who couldn’t stay friends after dating, fuck it if he thought I wasn’t coping, fuck it if he thought he’d got to me. She was pretty resolute about it.

So we spent the next half hour crafting the perfect response as we moved from the restaurant to Forever 21 to look for outfit pieces for an event we were going to in a few weeks. Browsing the racks we put together a text that ultimately said that I didn’t want to be friends with him, I didn’t see how that could bring value to my life, and that in hindsight I had realised that the way he treated me and how he’d acted had been incredibly selfish, confusing and unfair. I wanted to be nice but honest, I wanted to be firm but fair. And ultimately I wanted him to leave me the fuck alone. Text iterated for the 100th time…. and sent!

He replied later that night, with an essay length text, saying it was unfortunate that I saw the situation that way (insinuating, of course, that it wasn’t that way in reality at all) and that as a result he didn’t think we could be friends (when I’d just said in my text that I didn’t want us to be friends, of course he needed the last say in that) but he wished me nothing but the best because I really was an incredible person who deserved to meet someone who was right for me and the life I “really wanted to lead” (a nod to the fact he didn’t think I was honest about the life I wanted to live).

I never replied and instead deleted our entire message history.

I was grateful I had been with my friend when the brunch text came in. I probably would have sent a mindless reply otherwise. Instead we talked through the whole thing. She’s a therapist and while she can’t counsel me professionally (instead she introduced me to the therapist love of my life, Julia), she does an incredible job at putting her knowledge to use when chatting with friends in situations just like this. She’s also one of the most empathetic people I know, which helps massively and I love her for it.

Discussing it with her, I realised he gave so many excuses for why it wouldn’t work, as if he was grasping for any old reason. Yet none of them were reason enough for him to cut it off himself. He had to tell me everything that was wrong with me and leave it to me to decide if I could live with staying in the relationship while knowing he was feeling all of those things.

I don’t believe it was a actually a choice for me to make, rather it was a test to see how much I would put up with and, ultimately, a way of getting me to be the one to break it off rather than him. So that he wasn’t the cause of anymore hurt to me than I’d had in my past, so that he wasn’t the bad guy. Even wanting to stay friends afterwards, always the sign of the good guy right?

It’s bullshit. I wish he’d been man enough to say “this is how I’m feeling, it’s not working for me, I’m sorry but we can’t keep dating”. Instead, by being a coward (or trying to save me hurt, as he put it) it caused me more confusion. And if there’s one thing that causes more lasting damage than hurt, it’s confusion.

Confusion breeds doubt and insecurity. It leads to not trusting your gut and being unable to cut through the noise. I feel like it’s a go to tactic for men – confuse her, that’ll really fuck her up. Because if there’s one thing that’s easy to walk away from and explain why you walked away, it’s a messed up woman.

Well fuck him. I knew what I wanted, I put it out there and I don’t regret it. It’s me – it’s how I am, it’s how I live my life and it’s how I love (not that I loved him – to be clear). I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand the reason behind why he felt the way he did/didn’t or acted the way he did. Were we really not compatible or was he scared? I don’t know and it doesn’t actually matter.

I want someone to be all in with me, someone whose commitment I never have to question or wonder about. And that wasn’t him. End of saga.

Next post…

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