The Rules of Dating

Well my birthday drinks went very well. Despite not a lot of people turning up, I was on top form and had a great time with those who came along. The venue was fabulous, with cabaret girls and fire-eaters, and the music was good. Mr Double-Barrel also came along with his best friend, which was nice. Everyone seemed to like him and he held his own. Given that our date was two weeks ago, I had started to think that maybe he just wasn’t interested anymore.

And this is my problem. He said all the right things. Complimented me on my clothes, my perfume, and talked about the next date, and the date after that. He mentioned that I should go with him to a festival abroad at the end of June, and he was a perfect gent all night. He carried my ridiculously high heels for me and found a club for us to go onto where I’d feel comfortable in my back up flat pumps. He didn’t take me to a pretentious place either. It was in fact a converted public toilet underground in west London and the crowd was most definitely eclectic. I caught him staring at me when he thought I wasn’t looking. He paid me random compliments in the middle of our conversations. We laughed, we talked, we danced, we kissed, we…well. Enough of that. But now I’m stuck. The thing is, I like him (obviously). I mean, I like him in a ‘thinking ahead’ kind of way. And I have no idea what the ‘dating rules’ are.

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Am I supposed to wait until he gets in touch with me? And if so, how long is an acceptable wait? Or am I meant to be as upfront as I want to be? After all, it was me who chatted him up in the first place. There’s a balance to be struck between letting him know I like him, without scaring him away. What to do, what to do?

This is all very new for me. Despite my antics so far in 2012, this is the first time I’ve found myself in a dating situation. Mr Music (as much as I liked him) dicked me about. Funnily enough, he called when Mr Double-Barrel and I were in a cab on our way to the club to find out if I was still out and when I told him I was with Mr Double-Barrel, I got an ‘oh’ in response. Oh well. Time waits for no-one. That said, it would’ve been nice for me to flaunt myself in front of him because I’d made probably the most amount of effort with my appearance in my life. A little part of me wanted payback for the night of his ultra-crap leaving drinks. But I digress. My point is that we never dated – and while I did agonise over whether to text him, whether he’d reply etc etc, this is not the same situation.

MOD is incomparable. We’ve known each other since we were at school and with the distance, dating is definitely not what I’d describe our ‘relationship’ as.

How the hell do people do this? I don’t play games, I find it next to impossible to – it’s not in my nature. I have a hard time disguising what I’m really thinking or feeling. I believe in fate, that everything happens for a reason and everything that’s meant to happen will, eventually. But I also have that little thing called ‘impatience’. I like attention. I want Mr Double-Barrel to be almost breaking my phone with a flurry of text messages (though if this really happened I’d feel claustrophobic and suffocated and he’d probably end up in the same situation as Mr Clingy – gone).

I was out with Miss America last night and we were talking. She’s similar to me in many ways in that she doesn’t like not knowing what’s going on. My problem is that I go for attractive men (attractive to me, obviously), and literally every guy I’ve been out with or fancied, has always, always attracted attention when we’re out. I can’t fail to notice when the guy I’m with/have my sights set on is being eyed up by a girl or a group of girls in whatever bar we’re in. And Mr Double-Barrel is an eligible guy. I’m not going to say bachelor because I hate that term, but you get my drift. He’s good looking, he’s ambitious – everything is good on paper. And combined with my inbuilt crap timing, I don’t want to be too relaxed and then get introduced to his new girlfriend a la Mr Music.

God, this is such hard work!

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The rules of no strings sex…

Since I decided to hook up with Mr Soldier, things have progressed a bit, though not in the way I’d originally thought. We were supposed to hook up today but it didn’t happen. I think we’re meant to meet tomorrow instead. The thing that’s making me think is that we’ve been text messaging all week. And I mean, all week.

It is slightly complicated, given that he’s a friend already that I’ve known for years and we used to speak quite often. So it would be weird to cut that general banter off now just because we’ve decided to sleep together, right? I am a naturally chatty person and I’m a natural flirt. The problem is that I seem to have met my match with Mr Soldier. He seems to have a comeback for everything I say and it leads to long bouts of text tennis, the kind that I only engage in when I actually like someone.┬áHe knows I’m not looking for a boyfriend, I’ve made that as clear as cut glass, and he’s told me that his past FWB’s have dropped off because they wanted more than he was prepared to give, but still I’m stumped as to what the correct etiquette is.

Then there’s the question of what on earth to expect when we do hook up. I’m not the most sexually confident person in the world (though I am working on it) and I can be quite shy. The whole point of this is to unleash my inner sex goddess (ha!) but it means I’m going to have to really push past my mental barriers when we meet. The point isn’t to go round to his, stick the kettle on and have a chinwag before we get down and dirty. I’d love to be able to waltz in there and pounce straight away. Unlikely. It’s ridiculous. I feel like I’m a teenager again, wondering whether he’ll like my blowjobs or my boobs. Why am I thinking of this stuff? Realistically I know he probably wont care a jot, but I do.

I think the key to this ‘relationship’ is going to be for me to be selfish. I naturally give too much and end up feeling exposed, so this will be new for me. He’s someone that I know and trust, so that should help. Hopefully once the first time’s out of the way I’ll be less bothered about the small stuff.

I have arrived!

Phew. It’s only taken a couple of hours, but I’ve finally moved my blog to its new home. Now, quick introductions for anyone unfortunate enough to stumble across my blog (odds are low, the whole world seems to be blogging now): I’m 28, from London, good job, nice family, friends etc etc etc. In other words, fairly normal. Though I do like to talk. A lot. I’ve always been pretty crap at keeping diaries as I only ever tended to write in them when things were dire, but I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to write even when I feel good to remind myself that, as shit as things can get, they usually balance themselves out.

Today has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. After feeling perfectly fine for a good while now, I ended up having a huge argument with the F-wit ex. It’s amazing that he still manages to wind me up like this, but it’s another lesson learned. They say love is blind and it’s really true. Having put up with so much for so long, I can now look back and know that I won’t EVER put myself in that situation again. After a decade long relationship, I’ve come to realise the following:

  1. When it’s over, it’s over. Do not go back. Do not beg to be taken back. It ended for a reason (although I did clench my fists when people said this to me, it’s indeed very true).
  2. Your friends are your lifeline. I don’t have many, I prefer close friends to many acquaintances, but bloody hell, did they prop me up. I went from being certain I’d made the right decision, to going off the rails, to becoming an angry snivelling wreck and now I’m back to being my usual self. They’re diamonds – all of them.
  3. Now matter how amicable the split, being friends rarely works. After 10 years I couldn’t imagine my ex not being in my life. I still loved him, I just couldn’t be with him. But I can’t know what he gets up to now and I don’t want to, since the very reasons I left – the overuse of alcohol and recreational drugs, coming second to absolutely everything – hasn’t changed. Moreover, I don’t want to know when he’s seeing someone else.
  4. Sort out the nitty gritty stuff. I lived with my ex and when he stayed on in the flat, I left some of the bills in my name. Yes, I know, very stupid. But since he was only going to be there for a couple more months, what was the point. I was the one who left, I didn’t want to cause him more stress and all he had to to was pay them and direct debits are easy enough to set up right? Wrong. Never, ever, let someone have control over your finances. While he didn’t have my bank card or my purse, his failure to pay the bills has come back squarely on me. And now I have to find another few hundred pounds to pay this shit off (hence the argument today). No matter how much you love someone, when you leave – LEAVE. They can fend for themselves (in most cases). We all have to, it’s life.
  5. I’m pretty bloody fabulous. I’m not big headed – far from it. But I’ve come to realise I can actually do whatever I want. Yes my ex loved me but after such a long time, that spark had gone. The appreciation for the day to day things had long worn off and I’d walked around feeling…well…a bit like I wasn’t fulfilling my life. And, OK, so I’m living with my parents again (the shame) and my heart was broken, but I’m a great person. I have a decent life and it’s not the end of the world.

It’s fair to say the last 6 months have been pretty turbulent and things are only just settling down. I’m past the stage of taking it one day at a time now and looking back, I can see how far I’ve come. I’ve come back out from under my shell to be the person I used to be. My confidence is back. Now, I want to go do stuff. I want to go away for the weekend on my own (no easy feat for someone who’s used to travelling everywhere with a partner). I want to fly by myself and I want to be somewhere where I have to rely on just myself. I want to start dancing again, I want to take swimming lessons so I won’t freak out going out of my depth in the sea. Which is the real reason for this blog really. I want to be able to look back on old posts and see how far I’ve come.

I’m not a crazy motivational type of person, not at all. But I’m feeling pretty damned good right now. And it has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the fact that I have a long lunch tomorrow with a beautiful old friend and her ridiculously attractive mate.