In association with Match
I’ve been dating on and off for about ten months now and I’m actually really enjoying it. I’m happy on my own but I’m open to meeting new people and that feels nice – I can enjoy getting to know someone over dinner without any pressure and I’ve met some really interesting and fun people.
I don’t know if it’s an age thing, and generally having a lot more confidence, but I feel more relaxed and positive about dating than I ever have before. It’s pretty cool.
It’s very different to when I dated ten or even five years ago. The fact that Belle is now 15 and happy to stay home alone makes a massive difference. When I think back to my earlier experiences of dating as a single parent I mainly remember the painful logistics of the whole thing.
I mean think about it, it doesn’t matter how much effort you make getting your feet ‘summer ready’ or curling your hair in sexy waves around your face if you end up with a small toddler casually sat next to you at dinner does it?
(Just to clarify – I have never taken a toddler on a first date, mine or anyone else’s. This is one of my favourite ever pictures of Belle though, known affectionately in the family as ‘big sandwich’.) View Post
On Tuesday this week I found myself in a hot tub at the Lido in Bristol. I say ‘found myself’ – I didn’t wake up there, blurry eyed and confused, I got IN. You know, consciously.
Two women who looked about my age were sat opposite me, chatting about various lighthearted things. There was a natural lull in the conversation. The woman on the left, we will call her woman one, looked thoughtful.
‘I think I know what it is to love somebody,’ said woman one, seemingly out of nowhere, ‘but I don’t think I’m in love with my husband.’
There was another silence. Not so natural this time. Woman two looked shocked, like perhaps she didn’t feel like she knew woman one well enough to be hearing this.
‘Wow,’ said woman two, ‘that’s pretty big. How long have you felt like that? I think it’s pretty normal over time to feel a different kind of love for a partner.’
‘I’m not sure,’ said woman one, ‘I think I’ve always felt like it. It’s actually the first time I’ve said it out loud to anyone.’
Woman two was definitely feeling the pressure at this point, and I was doing my best not to stare directly at them, but it was hard to listen over the noise of the bubbles without being able to see their faces.
‘How do you feel about that?’ said woman two.
Woman one sighed. ‘I guess I just try not to think about it. I push it to one side. I figure that’s just it now.’ She looked sad.
WHAT THE HELL?? View Post
I’ve been on quite a few first dates over the last few months. I’m not desperate for a relationship or anything, (although I’d happily have one), but I like meeting new people and I love an outing, so a first date is just a fun excuse for cocktails really.
I find first dates a rather strange thing generally though.
It’s because of THE SPARK.
Ah yes, THE SPARK. That elusive something that is apparently meant to reveal clearly within minutes of meeting a total stranger whether or not they have the potential to be the love of your life. When you put it like that it seems a bit ridiculous doesn’t it?
That’s because it IS a bit ridiculous.
I mean sure, you might go for lunch with someone and be pretty sure at the end that you DON’T want to see them again, but unless they really are so tedious or insensitive or gruesome like this one I went on, that you can say NO with 100% certainty, then how exactly are you meant to know? How many couples have you heard joking about how they met – ‘Oh yeah, I couldn’t stand him when I first met him! I thought he was awful!’ – and then there they are, ten years later, happily married.
I love watching First Dates, and yet sometimes I can’t help but feel frustrated.
‘She was a really lovely woman’, a guy might say at the end. ‘She’s gorgeous, and we got on really well and shared a sense of humour, but I just wasn’t sure I felt THAT SPARK.’
A couple of weeks ago this picture popped up on my Instagram feed:
I looked at it, scrolled on a bit, and then went back and looked at it some more. (It’s from a woman called Maddie by the way, who writes a really thought provoking blog here.)
I thought about it for a little while and started to feel a bit sad and cross all at once. Why it is that we have come to equate love with pain? Why do so many people feel that love without turbulence is somehow less worthy, less REAL? View Post
Post in association with NatWest
A couple of weeks ago I found myself sat alone at the bar of a members’ only club in London, sipping prosecco and feeling that heady mix of nervous and excited as I messaged my family WhatsApp group.
‘What are you doing in London?’ asked my sister Annabel.
‘I’m going to a speed dating session being run by NatWest to show how easily you can be emotionally vulnerable to online scams,’ I told her. ‘I was MADE for this.’
‘Do the other daters know,’ asked Annabel, ‘or is the assignment to go in and try and scam them?’
‘I think they have to scam ME,’ I said, ‘but I know there’s going to be ‘a twist’. A behavioural psychologist is going to be there. Maybe they just watch and laugh at how gullible I am??’
‘You’re going to get so scammed,’ she said.
‘I’m going to get scammed RIGHT UP,’ I agreed. ‘Hopefully someone will step in before I hand over any cash.’
Because I wasn’t joking when I said I was made for this experiment. View Post
You know when something happens that just makes you despair of humanity? Well that.
Here’s what happened. (I deleted the actual messages as I was so cross, so this is roughly what went down.)
I had arranged a brunch date with a guy I met online. We’d exchanged a few messages, but he seemed keen to meet. Fine. All good. And then I got a cold, which turned into a horrible cough. Anyone who knows me knows I get horrible coughs. I had visions of coughing and spluttering eggs benedict in his face.
It was not sexy.
So a few days before we were due to meet I let him know that I wasn’t feeling well.
‘Are you trying to tell me something?’ he said.
‘Well yes,’ I replied, ‘I’m trying to tell you I’m not well. I wanted to warn you, in case I didn’t get better.’
‘Right,’ he said, ‘only if you’re fobbing me off then I’d rather you were just up front about it.’
‘I’m not fobbing you off,’ I said, bristling. ‘I have a cough. I’m telling you, that’s all. Would you like an audio file?’
‘It’s just that six ladies since November have suddenly developed coughs a couple of days before we’re meant to go out, so I’d rather you were just honest with me if you’re going to cancel and then I’m never going to hear from you again.’
I was annoyed. I don’t care how many people have said what to him. That’s not me is it?