What I’ve learnt from dating

Hmm… so truth be told this blog is a little more tricky than the others, mainly because I feel like I am picking a raw nerve, unpacking and unpicking a history of failures and a sporadic, spotty, dating history that covers the religious spectrum and has seen me develop from a chubby, awkward, nervous 20 year old into a trimmed down, less awkward, less nervous, but still faltering 26 year old. It’s been what you could call a journey….And I must say a lot of it has sucked….some of it hasn’t, some of it’s been great, exciting and exhilarating. But, a lot has been painful and challenging. And for every lesson I have learnt, there has been a new hurdle that came trundling at me so thick and so fast that my head has been left spinning and, sometimes, at the worst moments my world shattered. I have simply been left to pick up the pieces.

And think a lot. So, given that I am on a five hour flight instead of keeping my disjointed and confused thoughts inside, I thought I would offer my thoughts on the lessons I have learnt from my encounters with the opposite sex.

  1. Trust your gut

I am told that when you know, you know. Now, I have known a handful of times, except, of course, someone forgot to pass the memo to the gentlemen in my life. And my gut was proven wrong. Suggesting, it does, indeed have defined limits. However, that being said there are certain obvious points that should be considered. Take for example exhibit A: if a guy can’t get through the day without peppering his activity with weed (and particularly if said guy is over the age of 25) then when your gut tells you to run, ladies and gentlemen you run for the fucking hills. Now obviously, this is a fairly straightforward example. However there are more subtle suggestions that often see us continue on a clear downward trajectory even whilst our gut screams and begs us to stop. Sadly I’m unable to offer them as they’d be too obvious, and this blog has got me in trouble quite a lot recently (all the subtlity of a flippin’ hippo me), but y’all know what I’m talking about.

  1. Actions speak louder than words

You may remember eight hour date from a blog I wrote a number of months ago….now his words told me he was interested, engaged and saw a future. But, I was wrong. I should not have listened to his words, but his actions – which as he groped me later in the car told a rather different story. Coincidently I recently ran into 8 hour date, who was frankly, still stuck up his own ass, but drunkenly he did confirm that, indeed, his intentions had been far more physical than my own. See….I listened to his words when I should have been watching where he put his hands. Recently, a rather similar event occurred, where boy K professed to “care” and “to want to be friends” even as his hands worked their way up and down my back…again, his actions spoke far far louder than his words. Lads do us a favour. If you simply want sex can you just let us girls know….at least then we can make an informed decision, instead of this emotional torment.

  1. Honesty

As a teenager I was also embarrassed to admit I liked someone. Mainly because I assumed, not incorrectly (I was a very late bloomer…think like two years ago,) that they wouldn’t return my feelings. And as a teenager this was indeed the end of the world. As an adult this is just an average week. If you like someone tell them. If they don’t like you back (which I’m not going to lie they probably won’t….if you’ve got to tell them it’s not a great sign)….then thank you, next. Seriously though…this may cause some short term pain. But, them not reciprocating your feelings doesn’t make you any less special or beautiful (she says whilst she wears makeup every day and recently lost a tonne of weight…?) It does make the situation clear and honest, which should help alleviate any potential for pain.

  1. You’re going to do it anyway

In truth, I wanted to entitle this slightly differently, but felt I would be accused of being sexist. But, nevertheless this option could also be known as “girls are psycho.” I’m sorry we just are. Now I should parenthesis this with saying that this is ONLY true when we really like a guy, and nine times out of ten the guy has probably done something dickish (as men are wont to do) to poke the bear. But, once that switch has shifted, we are going to do utterly ludicrous and stupid shit. We’re going to send stupid texts we know we shouldn’t, or shout obscenities or whatever we can pull out of our hat….Personally, when I fall down this rabbit hole I see so much red, I’m a little like the hulk. Except instead of morphing into a green giant (which would be frickin’ awesome) I transform into a character on the Hills replete with overly dramatic monologues and hair flicking in abundance. I do like to think that this also works into the guy favour….as that same green glow of hatred can also, when harnessed appropriately, present as a glow of something truly beautiful that sees us women care and love our men unconditionally. Which is the part that is far more fun and satisfying for everyone involved. So….basically it’s all on you boys.

  1. Reading minds

You never ever know what’s going on in a boy’s head. Not ever. I really couldn’t be clearer about this. Whilst you are busy analysing and debating….unpicking every conversation had and decision made, he’s probably taking a dump. This was recently highlighted to me when I asked a certain guy why he did a certain thing (a number of times) – his answer with genuine confusion in his voice, “I honestly don’t know.” And if he doesn’t know, how the fuck am I meant to have a clue? It was a real life lesson….you really just don’t know what’s going on his head (mainly because I don’t think they do half the time,) so just don’t even try. Easier said than done….I know. Trust me….I do. But, ultimately we really can only control our own actions.

 

Now clearly I am still very much single, so this list is by no means exhaustive. However, I think the thing that is most obvious to me is that this shit is going to play out whichever way it does and there really is no right or wrong move in terms of moving the relationship forward. Either you’re both feeling it, or one of you is going to pull away.

However, there are wrong moves when it comes to self-preservation, and this whole better to have loved bullshit is getting pretty old. I guess the problem is that when we, as women, like a man we really walk to the ends of the earth and back. Even whilst they’re far more interested in what’s in between in our legs than the distance our feet can cover.

More than that, the majority of relationships are born out of still water and incredibly undramatic developments which is, frankly, a state of being I can only aspire to. So all this drama is not only immensely painful, but statistically unlikely to yield the desired results.

That being said, I am clearly still learning, but now at least I have a whole new country of eligible men in which I can continue my struggle, hope and journey. And you know…fuck the next one up.

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