Mind, Body. Soul

My New Years resolution for 2020 was to improve myself. I wanted to get fitter. I wanted to practice mindfulness more and I wanted to take care of myself more. I wanted to find healthy outlets for my frustrations. I wanted to start showing up for myself and become the best version of me that I can. At the start of the year I only stated this aloud to myself because there’s always that niggling doubt that I won’t achieve what I set out to do. Which is scary. I also knew this wouldn’t be a quick fix and it would take some effort, pushing myself to do small things until they become habit and I wasn’t sure whether other people would give me the patience I needed, but it is nearly Christmas and as such nearly 2021 so now seemed as good a time as any to reflect.

I started working on my body as this was the easiest place to start. I wasn’t particularly pleased with the way I looked, a little too podgy in places, but instead of focusing on that, I wanted to celebrate what it could do. It keeps me moving. I have all working parts. I’m eternally grateful for the health of my body. I wanted to reward my body for all the hard work it does for me. I also wanted to focus on the amazing parts of me, my lovely thick long red hair and my big green eyes. My long legs. My athletic body shape. So what if I’m a bit podgy in places, that podge makes for a soft pillow when I’m cuddling my son, which he tells me often. And so slowly over the course of a few months, my mindset switched from fault finding to ‘you are fab’ I started rewarding my body with massages to straighten it out and dedicated a ‘me’ day where my body didn’t have to work so hard…sofa/duvet day with films/documentaries/tv shows/music/reading. On these same days I’d eat whatever took my fancy, whatever my body craves on that day and I’d end it with a hot bubble bath with candles for a job well done all week.

Then lock down hit. And the massages had to stop. I was still working hard as a key worker & felt a lot of pressure and stress, but I didn’t stop the Body process. I continued with the sofa days and the bubble baths and the binge TV, music, guilt free eating.

I found the beginning of lockdown fairly easy, but as the weeks turned into months I felt myself spiralling. And that’s when I realised I needed to do something about the mind. And so I started blogging again. This space has given me the opportunity to write down my own thoughts and feelings and just general get my crazy musings down so they don’t stick in my head. Admittedly it came from my dating life and it has continued along that theme because that is where I really needed the help. I imagine I’d get a lot of weird looks if I voiced out loud some of the things I write on here. I started to learn gratitude. Being thankful for the things in your life is a really great way to switch the negative thinking into positive thinking. I also started learning again. I’m not studying, but just taking some time each week to learn a little bit more about something I’m interested in. I also started creating again, drawing, podcasting and creating wooden signs.

Soul was the final chapter. I’m still finding it hard to articulate what this means to me, which tells me I’m still working on it. But at the height of summer I was able to get back to some of my hobbies – football and hiking, two things that bring me pure joy. And they do help fill my soul, I’ve also lost 1 stone since which is wonderful for my body and exercise is medicine for the mind. But I still feel there is something missing, I can’t quite fill up the tank because I can’t connect with my friends and I haven’t been able to travel much.

But, what has become blindingly obvious is that at no point has my Mind, Body, Soul goals and achievements rested or even touched on my desire to not be single. Which is rather remarkable given the amount of dating I have done this year (ironically, more so than any other year). But it has helped tremendously in an unintended way; whilst I still hold out hope that the chalk to my cheese is out there, I have found a peace in myself. I trust myself to find the right man when I am good and ready and to pick a better than I have previously because I am better than I have previously been. And whether it is the first man I meet and feel a connection with or the hundredth, if things don’t really go to plan, I will trust it is because something better is coming along behind. This mindset has been quite the epiphany, super enlightening, empowering even and when I couple that with my own sense of self-worth, which is that I can bring so much more to the table than just being a mother and having a job and well, that feels rather marvellous!

I’m pretty fly for a white…Gal.

She’s back!…..well, for a day at least!

So turns out Neptune and Mercury squared up over the weekend which is ‘Astrology’ for ‘expect a lack of confidence’….so that explains a lot. If I really held any faith in horoscopes then today I would be ‘nurturing a wildly creative idea and my thoughts would be all over the place, which is typical of my frenetic nature’. OK so maybe there’s some truth in that BUT I ignored my horoscope and actually took some of my own advice and found something else to do today other than ruminate on the thoughts and feelings of that teeny tiny percentage of the population.

I did an 8 mile walk whilst listening to some podcasts, saw some countryside and got my groove on to some very cool, if not cheesy, music. There is absolutely nothing weird about a girl on her own singing and dancing along walking trails, right?

I got home and made myself lunch, researched how to write a boss blog and I’ve spent the rest of this afternoon putting up my Christmas decorations whilst listening to Christmas music.

Now I haven’t been perfect, FD has crossed my mind a few times throughout the day, but I have forced myself to think about something else, like why on earth did we used to turn into slutty sluts whenever ‘Push It’ by Salt ‘N’ Pepper was played the DJ in the club? Without fail, girls would start grinding on each other and guys would watch with their tongues hanging out. Couples would literally get busy with their clothes on. Does that still happen? I gotta say I miss that. I miss being so carefree you’d pretend fuck your bezzie from behind, or she’d be lying on the floor, that was always covered in spilt WKD or other sticky alcoholic beverage while you cowgirl’d her. I mean gross, but nobody gave a single shit! I’ll tell you what else I miss too, having my bum pinched. You know, when you was smushed up dancing with your gal pal’s and some random dude would just squeeze passed and give you a quick cheeky grab? Yes I know its 2020 and that’s considered sexual assault now, but it was such a simpler time, if they pinched your bum you was guaranteed a snog. The fact that the bum pinchers are most likely on the sex offenders register now is really not the point. I feel we need a new, less sexually aggressive move to act as match maker.

We’ve also not had a decent party dance tune since Cha-Cha Slide which I think is a real tragedy. There’s nothing like a moronic song to get the masses on the dance floor, flailing their arms and wiggling their hips. Somebody should come up with a new one!

Why, or better yet, when did I become so care-occupied (that’s the opposite of care free right? I’m going with it). Because I didn’t give a toss what a guy thought of me back then. I’d never even give a guy a second thought, even if I fancied the pants off him. I remember having a bit of a fling with a guy my friends ended up nicknaming ‘Rocking Robin’. We flirted, we hooked up a few times I was totally besotted and then I saw him leave with another girl one night. I don’t even recall if it stung, but I certainly didn’t pay it any mind. If my memory serves me well, I found a new dancing partner and the rest was history (well, not entirely, dancing partner now works for me FML). So when did I become so care-occupied? Maybe when I became a mother? Nobody wants to be the embarrassing mess of a mother. And I found new hobbies because as we grow up, partying, drinking and dancing becomes harder with families and more mature obligations. The jury is still out on whether I’m not an embarrassing mum, I mean, no kid wants their parent cheering the loudest from the side line at football or making them dance around the kitchen whilst I’m singing Christmas songs wildly out of tune. But tough shit kiddo!

Then again, the confidence I used to have may have been replaced by anxiety thanks to the trauma of being in love with a guy who was so far the opposite of in love with me that I’m just not sure how to read a situation anymore. And so instead of being the first to the dance floor, the loudest voice in the room, the first name on the karaoke list, or the first to tell a guy that I’m interested in him, I leave it to everybody else to take the stage. Or could it be that it’s just part of growing up? I’m not sure I subscribe to that ideal, I mean I was singing and dancing along a trail today. Perhaps its the experience you gain with meeting people through life, when a relationship doesn’t develop in a way you are accustomed (or hoped). But that’s a really selfish thing I think, hiding what are undoubtedly the best bits of you from others, not showing how unique you are for fear of rejection from somebody or a group of people. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be friend’s (or in love) with the girl who holds her own cabaret show whilst exploring woodland? That’s peoples problem, not mine.

So I want us to do something. Let’s start celebrating what makes us unique. It doesn’t have to be grand; mine is the fact I can make a dance floor out of anything and I love people who are equally DTB (Down to Boogie) on the fly, what carefree, unique quality do you see in yourself that you would love and appreciate in a friend or partner?

FD#5 – Before I spiral…

Yes I know I said I’d become a nun (said in jest). And I know I said I shouldn’t let 0.000000013% of the population affect my mood or my behaviour (I really want this to be a thing) & I really don’t want to have to repeat the mantra over and over again (but how else do I get through this?)……… FD didn’t even say hi today at training.

‘A guy who is interested, won’t have you guessing and wondering, he’ll want to do the chasing, and if he’s not interested, you’ll be confused’

Sooo confused so I guess that’s that.

Gah! So close yet so soooo sooooooooooooo far away.

Why Can’t I Get This Right?

First of all, I just want to share with you that this is my first laptop written blog. Normally I am typing my posts out on my teeny tiny old school iPhone, which makes me feel like this blogging lark is now actually a hobby and not just some lame diary to get down my random thoughts on love and dating. Even though that’s really all this blog is.

But I need help. Seriously HELLLLLLPPPP!!

My friend and I were discussing my current love-life challenges and my incessant questioning of everything that a guy I like does (or doesn’t do), and it has become apparent (and this whole blog is testament to this) that when I like someone I cant seem to carry my normal confidence and awesomeness across to it. It’s like I suddenly lose all of my inate abilities and I just become a walking, mumbling sack of potatoes. Only, potatoes would be more interesting, fun, confident and awesome than I am. My friend said ‘This side of you really surprises me, you’re normally so confident and you don’t let anything get to you’.

Errrrmmmm…Hello. Do you even know me friend??

But he’s right. I don’t feel this way at all when it comes to my friends, my family, my work, my hobby’s or my coaching. Don’t get me wrong, I do check myself and I have times where I wonder if I’m being a good enough friend, mother, daughter, sister. And I get things wrong at work and in coaching too, but it doesn’t really have me worrying for days. I just learn from it and move on maintaining my sunny disposition to life. And even when I don’t feel like I have been a very good friend or made enough time for my family, or been a very enigmatic coach or boss, I’m able to just ‘forget’ about it and move on. I’m not insensitive to any of these area’s, but I just don’t dwell on them, I stay positive and well, honestly, I just don’t have time to dwell.

But when it comes to a BOY? Who I LIKE? And I feel a modicum of ATTRACTION to? Well, I just cant seem to let it go. I invest wayyyy too much time analysing. Their moves, their words, their texts, their intention. Analysing if I’m doing the right thing, saying the right thing. Am I coming off as too strong? Should I be more girly? Am I trying too hard? Am I being the right amount of sweet and salty? Should I flirt? Should I banter? How many xxxx’s should I put? Should I put any at all? Should I share this podcast? Would he like this song? The sheer anxiety from the weight of these questions sends me into such a spin of crippling paralysis, I often don’t do anything at all. And if I do decide to be brave and reach out, I’m then fretting because if I don’t get a response in what I consider to be an acceptable time frame or what I consider to be right response, those thoughts turn to he’s had enough of me, I’m not love-able, he must think I’m crazy, stupid, dull, boring or the worst of my self criticism’s….unfunny!

How fucking selfish is that? Not only to him because I’m already second-guessing his thoughts about me before I have even given him chance to form any kind of opinion, but also to myself because why on earth would I put myself through it.

And so I have been giving this some thought: oh yay! she’s thinking again. I have had quite an amazing year, despite the fact half of it has been during lock down and nearly all of it has been to the soundtrack of COVID19. I have dated a fair bit AND had fun with it (no really, I have), I’ve become an Auntie again to a beautiful little girl. I feel my relationships with my family are more solid than they have ever been, I have friends that are awesome and I know I can count on who pick me up and who can count on me when they need some unconditional love. I have laughed a lot. I have walked in some beautiful places and discovered amazing things (not to mention lost a stone). I have tried new foods, learned some history, gained an amazing perspective on what to be grateful for, developed a business idea, re-started this blog, successfully navigated my way through a worldwide pandemic, seen my Grandad through a successful heart operation, achieved level 8 in Parenting, saw my U9’s Football Team achieve their first ever league win after all their hard work. Yet somehow, despite all of that great stuff, the lack of intention from one man (who is the equivalent of 0.0000000013% of the population) has me feeling like a failure. WHAT!!

And I think I know why. When it comes to dating and love, I have no tangible proof of anything, and I’m the kind of gal that reads and needs to know things. I need physical confirmation that something is real or feedback that I’m doing well. I get validation from all the other areas of my life which is why I don’t give those aspects of my life much thought. I’m also scared. I really don’t want my heart to be broken. I really don’t want to show how vulnerable and neurotic I am. I don’t want to face rejection and have to talk myself through the mantra of ‘You are good enough, you are amazing, it’s his loss’ over and over until the next walking, talking Adonis comes along and the vicious cycle of waiting for their validation starts all over again.

People tell me all the time I deserve someone. Ok, but have you seen how messy I am, who’s gonna love that? You’re not unlove-able. Yeah, but don’t get too close because I’m really made of invisible barbed wire. You’re gorgeous and funny, any man would be lucky to have you. See these chin pimples? A lucky escape more like. Be patient, you gotta go through some Mr Wrongs before you find Mr Right. I wouldn’t mind Mr Wrong but I seem to only find Mr Fuck No!

I know I said I needed help, but now I don’t even know what help to ask for. It’s obvious that I need some intervention; Hello, my name is Louise and I’m addicted to self-sabotage. The first step is admitting it right? Maybe I should go cold turkey on dating. Hell, why stop there? Celibacy is embraced in many cultures, I could become a modern day Nun, singing gospel songs and donating all this time-wasted on thinking about whether 0.0000000013% of the population thinks I’m good enough to more worthy causes!

She Cray Cray

‘’If she’s single, pretty and fit, she’s crazy.’’

This was a statement by a man. And I’ll be honest, I’m a little triggered.

It’s not because I disagree. But rather the fact that it suggests that women who are the opposite of those words, or who don’t fit all three of those descriptions are not crazy.

One of my bestest friends is completely neurotic. She’s pretty and fit but married and let me tell you, the stories she has told me about her husband and the things she has done are way beyond anything I could ever think up.

– she pretended to be an asian model on linked in and chatted up her husband to see if he’d take the bait

– she deleted an entire hard drive containing photos of him in his previous marriage and binned his previous wedding photos.

– she linked her phone to his so she could get into his emails and Instagram

– doesn’t allow his eldest daughter in their house or to speak her name

– checked his internet history, found porn and so gave the laptop a bath soak

I mean I could go on. And I know men who are equally ‘crazy’, pouring fish oil on car trims and leaving strategically placed make-up in the house, dating family members of their ex.

Ok so men may be more petty than crazy but my point stands.

And most often, the word crazy is used in the context of ‘its a bad thing’. If you ask my friend she’s say her actions come from a place of love, and the men from a place of hurt, anger or jealousy. But it’s interesting that all of these things are steered by emotions.

Now, I’m not saying I’m not crazy. I can definitely fall foul of my own emotions and I’ve done some pretty crazy things when that’s happened….

– I once text a guy who I hadn’t even been on a date with a fucking essay on how I felt such a strong connection and that him going quiet on me had really upset me and he was a cock blah blah blah – turns out his grandmother had died. Awks.

– I imagine any guy with dating potential in the role of groom and if he’d look good in an Elvis costume, and if I don’t think he could pull it off, I discount him immediately (have I mentioned how ambivalent to marriage I am)

– I do a social media trawl so deep that I wind up in a labyrinth of pictures and posts and can’t find my way back.

– I have put myself in places I know they frequent in the hope of running into them, and then ignored them when I do.

– I write a blog detailing all my emotions and thoughts

But are those things red flags? Do these actions that may be considered crazy to men really those of somebody imbalanced? Or is it rather a perception that an inability to manage and control emotions is a bad thing and so we should all walk round like robots? I wonder what my male friend thinks the appropriate adjective for his fellow males of the same categories is? A player? A flake? Emotionally unavailable? Has high standards? High maintenance? A pest? Abusive?

Some of those may well be fitting, but for the majority….

If he’s single, fit and handsome he’s a big fat scaredy cat. I’m going to start calling this Alpha Pussy.

FD#2- Update

Soooooo….

It’s been 6 days since I got ‘the vibe’ from Football Dad.

Since then we have met for a walk Twice! Both of which were a good 2.5 hours long & we chatted utter shite non-stop. I’ve spent a large amount of today overthinking a fucking text (thanks to all the previous fuckboys) to send him to express how much I’ve enjoyed our time together.

Turns out I needn’t have bothered because guess what…he beat me to it with a little inside joke.

Ecstasy.

And we’ve been texting non-stop ever since, discussing whether non alcoholic wine is just grape juice (see? Utter shite) and lobster dinners. Somehow I’ve agreed to make a meal of it (not in the proverbial way) in a date kinda way. But oh wait – we’re in lockdown again as of Thursday.

Somebody … please….give a girl a break!

Problem though…I know I should take these little things as obvious signs that he’s into me. But I just can’t believe it. (Thank those fuckboys again!)

FD#4- Opening Up?

Hmmmph!

I’m stroppy & I shouldn’t be. I finally got my period after what felt like a lifetime so maybe that has a lot to do with how I’m feeling, but after such a flurry of activity, football dad has dropped off the face of the earth.

Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

Football is cancelled due to lockdown so bye bye Wednesdays. We’ve chatted a bit and we talked about another walk (because what else is there to do) leaving it with him trying to get childcare cover. Dating in lockdown sucks so I sent him a link to a podcast because it seems this dating malarkey and being open are linked, so sharing something I enjoy seemed like the absolute right thing to do. However… for some, this podcast might be a bit controversial, but that is me. I’m a controversial character. I have multiple personalities, my mind goes from 0-100 in less than a second (same for my moods). I will always look for an alternative side to any story. I’m a ‘you either love me or hate me’ kinda character and whilst I’d prefer it if you loved me, I won’t lose any sleep if you hate me. (Actually, I will, I won’t be able to think about anything else, it’ll fester and I’ll probably write about you on this blog). I digress.

So I share the podcast links with football dad which talks about conspiracy theories. I’m not a conspiracy nut; I don’t believe the earth is flat, I’m not an anti-vaxxer, The space shuttle Challenger did break up and COVID19 was not caused by 5G.

However, I’m not entirely convinced we landed on the moon, that 9/11 was an inside job or that this pandemic is a cover for a new world order. These are not solid beliefs either. For me personally, it’s the fact there are many questions unanswered at the moment and I haven’t been totally satisfied with the answers or any versions of events.

I also think Elvis is still alive. Meh, maybe I am a nut? I should have a re-think.

Anyway….. the point of sharing this podcast with him was a way of sharing a small piece of myself. And apart from him asking me what my shifts are this week, I haven’t heard from him since. Maybe he’s too busy listening to all the episodes he doesn’t have time to text me? Patience is something I really need to get a grip of although I also realise that maybe sharing the most controversial aspect of myself was a little optimistic. Then again, why waste time? If he can’t put forward a well thought out argument for any of the topics in the podcast, then perhaps he’s not the man for me?!

So the question is: How much sharing is too much? Opening up to someone is part of the process of dating and putting yourself out there is absolutely necessary even though it is scary and when it doesn’t hit quite right it makes you reluctant to do it again. Maybe I went too fast? Argh! Maybe I’m too much? Argh.

Truth is, I’ve been dumbing down my personality for men for the last few years because I’m ‘intimidating’. WTF does that even mean?! Which then leads me to question my decisions because ‘I want him to like me’! I’ve got my shit together. I’m smart. Can string more than a few sentences together. Financially stable(ish). On the right side of attractive. What’s not to like? Is the more fitting question.

What I have learned this year though (esp from boyfriend no.3) is that you don’t need to dumb yourself down. When a guy is interested in you, these quirky things are what he’ll love most about you regardless of his opinion on them because it is what animates you and makes you happy. And that’s all we want our partners to be!

Update 12 November: So I realise that I have used the word dating a lot in this post when we haven’t discussed if that’s what we are even doing. For all I know he just wants a new friend to hang with and cure boredom (see Lockdown Thirst ) Nevertheless I got a phone call on Tuesday (an actual convo on the phone!!!!eek) and we are meeting up for a walk Saturday. How do I say in a polite, cute, funny way: ‘I want to bone you?’ And do I tell him that I’ve had a crush on him (since at least July)?

Boundaries

Let’s face it. When there is a new love interest I tend to get carried away. I can’t help it, it’s as if my wiring fires up, all my cylinders get into gear and I go into what guys call crazy mode. Now thankfully, the crazy has been confined here, or at least I think it has but I feel I may have shown my hand too early.

‘I guess I’m going to make it my mission to feed you grape juice and Lobster

His Reply: ‘Yep, that’s definitely the plan going forward.

Some protest if we’re the only two in it’

His Reply: ‘the best 2. You have to start somewhere

I’ve had the best day, mostly because of your company’

His Reply: ‘yeah the feelings mutual so thanks’

Him: ‘i fell asleep on the sofa, woke up with [son] on me’

My Reply: That’s a cute image 😍

Him: ‘wait until you’re 40, you’ll really feel it then’

My reply: Oh behave, you’re well fit, you didn’t have to climb your stairs on your hands and knees

His reply: ‘ That’s funny, especially picturing you climbing the stairs’

Not that it really matters if I have shown my hand, what’s the point of playing a game, there are other ways I can be mysterious and intriguing. And it is just texting, you can’t really show your hand too early if the feelings mutual, can you? Theres not really a lot to read into here I know & whilst he doesn’t make the first move very often, when I reach out, he matches the effort in conversation. So I wanted to make a post that I can look back on to remind myself what to look for when newly dating. It’s not an exact science, but at least it helps me set my boundaries and expectations whether this is for football dad or anybody else.

1. Investment

Do not invest in him based on your attraction levels. Yeah, so what if you’ve had a crush on him for 6 months, if he’s not reciprocating your level of effort, boy bye! This is really all that matters. Investment can be something as simple as sending a text and getting a reply in a timely manner. Or it can be arranging an elaborate date once you have seen each other a few times. It could be mimicking – you preen, he preens. You laugh, he laughs. You move to him a little, and he comes your way too. It’s not always about the first move and girls shouldn’t expect the guy to make the first move all the time, because whilst you are enjoying the chase, he’s seeing it as a lack of investment from yourself! Equally you don’t want to make every first move. Even it out.

2. Communication

Guys are just bad at this. It’s not their fault, it’s something to do with their hard-wiring. But guys can communicate, they just need a helping hand and that is where you come in setting your boundaries. If you make it clear what you expect from communication, a guy will adapt. For instance…you suggest a date. Guy knows he can’t due to other commitments. Most guys will be flaky, because it’s non commital but a guy who is interested will explain why he’s busy for a few weeks and give you an alternative option. And if there’s even any chance of getting together before then, he’ll say so. If he’s keeping it loose, then you should make other plans and when he reaches out, kindly explain ‘we didn’t firm anything up, so I arranged X,Y,Z. Would love to set it up with you though’. This is clearly setting your expectations up without being too aggressive and still being open to meeting him. If he doesn’t get the hint and continues to be a flake or loose with commitment then boy bye!

3. Friendship

The foundation of the relationship is based on a solid friendship and not sex. Finding things each other enjoys doing and sharing interests. Friendship is not a mojo killer, you can still be sexually attracted to a friend, just be careful not to end up in the friend zone. A cute ‘We can’t be friends anymore’ text followed up with ‘your a blues fan’ or some other jokey retort. Or a ‘you looked hot today, have you done something different?’ text will keep the tension. ( OK, confession, I have yet to try either of these approaches, so take it with a pinch of salt and wish me luck for when I do). No

4. Flirting

It doesn’t come naturally to some people, but I need a tactile partner. I love to be loved. Ironically, I’m not a tactile person, well not without the invitation from the other person anyway. If there’s no playful touches, a hand on my back or a gentle arm around the waist then I’m probably going to withdraw pretty quickly. The same goes for making me laugh. A few cheeky comments intertwined with a funny story will have me hooked. It doesn’t matter how pretty you are, or how rich you are or how popular you are. If you don’t have charisma then don’t be surprised to find a ‘I’m not feeling the spark, good luck and take care’ text.

5. Chivalry

Ok so I’m old fashioned which is completely against my ‘make the first move’ and ‘I don’t need a man’ motto’s. Except I do. I need a man in my life. I want a man in my life. I just don’t want any man in my life. Truth be told, Its a deal breaker. I need a man holding the door open, carrying bags, fixing the taps, putting out the bins, helping with the shopping, sharing the cooking. Building a life to together. Sharing intimacy, being vulnerable and empathetic. To me these are gentlemanly qualities that have long since been forgotten (in my experience). I mean I can do all of those things myself obviously, I’ve been doing it for the last few years but it’s more fun when somebody else wants to do it and get involved. And in its own way that’s the guy taking care of you. And wouldn’t it be nice just for once to have somebody take care of you?

So. There’s my 5 boundaries. Written. Crystal clear. No ambiguity. If a man does not match these 5 qualities then it’s time to stop investing. Stop chasing.

The Wedding Planner…

I’ve never considered myself to be the marrying type. I’m not really traditional like that and to be honest, I don’t have a single positive role model in my life that makes me really want to get hitched. I actually really value the ‘til death us do part’ vow and i’ve never met a man who I have been absolutely sure I’d want to spend my life with. I mean I was engaged to son’s dad, but honestly…thank fuck that didn’t happen. Close call. Phew! That said, I’ve planned the wedding…partly because I like to get carried away with myself whenever a new love interest comes along, but mostly because I like to entertain myself and then laugh my ass off at the sheer audacity of my imagination…Looooooool.

Truth be told, whether this is football dad or some other hunk O’ junk that leads me down the aisle; if it ain’t this, I don’t want it….

The two of us (and children only) jet off somewhere hot and exotic. We marry on a beach next to the sea, waves gently lapping against the shore. We are bare foot. Football dad, I mean groom 👀 wears a light grey suit and white shirt with open collar. I’m wearing a floaty backless dress and lashings of factor 50 (I am a red head after all). Our children are wearing smart shorts and Hawaiian shirts or floaty coral dresses.

The priest/minister asks us our vows, we include independence and respect in them because that’s all we really need as a couple; respect for each other and the life that we will lead. A simple ceremony sealing our commitment to each other and then we walk away hands in hands (with the children) for al fresco dining of fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. Steel band music is playing in the background as we eat and toast our mini celebration. We spend the day laughing, playing games on the beach and just enjoying the quality time together as a new family. I’ve just become Mrs Football Dad. Goddamnit. I mean Mrs Hunk O’ Junk.

As the evening draws in, we move back to our amazing suite with private swimming pool and Jacuzzi. The kids entertain themselves and we sit with our favourite cocktails elated at the fact that this is forever.

Back home, we have a big party celebration planned with all our wonderful friends and family. It’s summer and it’s in a barn, with hay bales and a maypole. Our wedding ceremony is playing out on a large screen in photos. We don’t have a honeymoon yet, that comes later as a surprise anniversary gift when the kids are adults. Our friends and family are dancing, drinking, eating, laughing. We are in our wedding clothes again and we first dance to Branches version of ‘I believe in a thing called Love’. People start to join in and we all twirl around the dance floor. We have hired a BBQ truck and people help themselves to lashing of smoked fish, meat and vegetables. The music turns uptempo and the dancing really starts. My father/daughter dance is a jive to Johnny B Goode. After this, a chair is pulled up in the middle of the dance floor and I’m made to sit it in. The barn goes quiet. I have no idea what is going on (ignore the fact I’m planning this)…. The twangs of guitars start up and a bass and I hear ‘we’re caught in a trap’ being sang from somewhere I can’t see. I look around and just see faces of guests smile knowingly; I’m definitely the last to know. The crowds part as the first verse is sang and before me stands my new husband, dressed up as Elvis giving me a Las Vegas-esque rendition of Suspicious Minds. I’m floored. Is this really happening? I’m getting my own personal Elvis gig!!!!

And it’s not just one song, I’m handed a single red rose as I get a medley of my Idols songs. I start to dance and the crowd joins in. Mr Footba… Hunk O’ Junk laps up the attention and pulls Elvis dance moves that makes me want to rip his clothes of there and then. Everybody is dancing and joining in, the band takes over the vocals as my husband takes my hand and dances the rest of the medley with me. This is the happiest I have ever been in my entire life and I didn’t think I could love him (husband) even more.

The night continues and everybody is merry. Cameras flash and fireworks boom. The kids are staying with grandparents, Football Dad (OK, I give in!!) and I say our goodbyes as we ride off into the night, I want him all to myself, he’s not the only one with a performance planned tonight…..

P.S. Thank god for this blog as an outlet for all my crazy…I have no idea how I’m going to be able to allow a relationship to burn slowly, I’m really, truly, honestly just not made that way!

FD#3 – Slow-Burn Kitten

At the weekend I was lucky enough to spend a whole day with football dad. A whole day!! We covered 21 miles on foot, it took 7.5 hours and we laughed and chatted non-stop the whole way! Not that either of us have classified these meet ups as official dates, but away from football we have spent a total of 12 hours together in just 3 ‘dates’. That can only be a good sign, right?

We got to talk about loads yesterday, lots of things about our past, previous boyfriends/girlfriends. Relationship breakdowns. Our families. Goals. Jokes. How we feel about dating now and being single. My cheeks ached from all the laughing and smiling I did. He has been through the mill with his ex’s though and although I get all the signs that he’s into me (light flirting, eye contact, teasing, questions about me, touching me, I even got a half cuddle and an arm around my back at one point) he needs something/someone that is going to go slowly, take their time, not rush in (despite the fact our ‘dates’ have escalated quickly to 7 hours spent together) so that’s what I’m going to do.

Trouble is how the hell do you go slow??? Because I’m smitten! I have had the biggest smile on my face over the last few weeks and I’m practically beaming after yesterday! The NRE (not that this has been classified as a relationship) makes me want to chat to him and see him and bug him and tell him everything. I’d love to try not getting too involved because I could be totally wrong and he isn’t that interested, and if that is the case I’m going to be very disappointed.

So how in the world do I go slow?

1) Don’t talk everyday, initiate contact couple times a week but be sure to reply to him if he contacts you.

2) Don’t stalk his entire family. Just don’t. Nah ah! Stop scrolling. Oh nice Fridge. God damn it.

3) Now that you have failed number 2, forget every bodies names because you don’t want to blurt out ‘How’s Loz’s recovery coming along’ before he’s even said my Sister’s name is Lauren.

4) Be as understanding for him as you would expect for yourself, particularly when it comes to the children

5) Learn Patience. Accept the fireworks that erupt and feel the joy, But slow-burn means not seeking that high every day. All good things come to those who wait.

6) Google the benefits of a slow-burn and then write your own diary entry into a blog named ‘There never was a saint’ and pray to god that he will never, ever, ever, ever see it!