Crazy Train Pt1

All aboard.

So this week has been a deep dive into a world of vulnerability. Vulnerability that was unexpected and that I was not ready for.

It all started on Tuesday when GG gave me the key to his house. I say key. GG, the big bloody geek, has a digital door lock. The kind that does not need a key, just a fob. Or an app.

Yes. I said an app. I’m not tech-averse, but if it ain’t broken, don’t try fixing it, ya know?

Anyway, I digress. GG handed me the instructions to download said app. I did. I tested it. It worked. I now have unlimited access to his house. His sanctuary. His safe space.

After a few questions about boundaries and when I can and cannot use it (there aren’t any) I said, ‘this is a pretty big deal’. GG said, and I quote ‘we’ve been seeing each other for 6/7 months, I’m ready for this. You don’t have to be, I’m not saying I need a key to yours, but I’m there’.

Then, I had the worlds longest day on Friday, I had to complete a 3 day audit in 1 day. I was at work for well over 12 hours, but I got the job done. I rock up at GG’s house at 11pm to find he has ran me a bubble bath, lit some candles, switched on the diffuser and poured me a glass of wine.

Stay with me here, I’m not finished.

Last night, we watched the Euro Final. With us both being big football fans and knowing the high stakes that came with seeing England in a final, we made a Sunday roast and then settled down to watch the game. Heartache ensued. C’est La Vie. But by the time the game finished, GG had sank 9 bottles of beer. Too distraught from the game, and very drunk, we went to bed. At some point, we found ourselves looking at the clock and it was 1:20am, wayyyyy past my bedtime. Luckily, neither of us have work today. But GG rolls over to me and says ‘can I tell you something?’

Of course, I reply.

And suddenly I know what’s coming and in those spilt seconds, I realise I have been expecting it. The whole last couple of weeks of my own behaviour, the questioning, the overthinking, the sense that something isn’t quite right has just been a subconscious reaction to what was about to happen; to what I was preparing myself to hear. I already knew what was about to spill out of his mouth and have known for a while as he says;

‘I Love You’

The S Word.

How do you know if you are settling for something?

Is settling OK?

Or should we be striving for the absolute best?

It’s been five months with GG, 6 if you include the talking/virtual stage before we actually went on a date.

The list of good qualities he has just pours out of me, kind, generous, laid back, funny, charming, fit, geeky.

So, you would think after 6 months, I would have met at least one friend or at least one member of the family and I would definitely have heard something along the veins of ‘I love you’. Not necessarily that direct, but things like ‘I’m crazy about you’ or ‘you make me so happy’ or ‘I can’t imagine my world without you in it’ or ‘I miss you’. None of these things have happened.

My love language is quality time, closely followed by acts of service. Physical touch and words of affirmation are sub-par to the above but that doesn’t mean I don’t need them. Because I do. I hold no value of gift-giving, albeit, I do think it has it’s place in a relationship that isn’t just directly related to birthdays, holidays and Christmas.

And I don’t think you can say one person is 100% a love language, because it’s more like a spectrum;

I’m 36% Quality Time, 30% Acts of Service, 18% Words of Affirmation 10% physical touch and 6% gift giving.

And my love language will increase or decrease depending on any given scenario I am in, but in general the above is an accurate reflection of how I give love and how I like to receive love.

I get a lot of quality time from GG. Assuming cooking or buying dinner is considered an act of service, then he tries really hard. But there’s not much else. There’s very little words of affirmation, he can choke out ‘you look pretty’ when I’ve made an effort. He’s not into PDA which is fine but he does like to gift things, either buying dinner, or bringing a bottle of wine or buying chocolate.

And I feel guilty, because as much as those things are nice, it’s not what I really need. I can buy my own things, you know?

And so, I’ve done the worst thing I can do, I’ve started drawing comparisons. Comparisons to other people, ex’s, tv, social media. I know I shouldn’t. I know. I don’t need anybody telling me why I shouldn’t draw comparisons but the other side of the coin is that we use our past experiences to develop an internal radar. We have a gut. We have instincts. We are animals after all.

My instinct is telling me that I’m settling.

Remember my boundaries post? And how I was adamant that I would not invest in somebody who wasn’t investing in me?

Well, GG has met my parents. We’ve talked about meeting my son. He’s been on the phone to my friends with me. All these things which are normal building blocks to a relationship, yes?

And while I’m trying to build my blocks, every time I look over, my metaphorical wall is always much higher than GG’s.

Now I’m not saying he doesn’t make an effort and isn’t investing. He’s just organised a weekend away, we had a lovely time and he’s organised another the end of this month.

He’s asked me to be a plus 1 for a wedding in October. OCTOBER! So there’s the future element of building going on, but it feels superficial. It’s surface level. Do you agree? Or have I started my usual of overthinking?

I need to be honest here too, because the doubt has crept in for two reasons;

1) 6 months is usually make or break time for me. It’s like I have an internal body clock telling me, here you go, 6 months in, decide if it’s worth your time/effort to continue things forward. But then I think, hang on, that’s your pattern and the whole point of the last 18 months was about recognising patterns and changing them. So then I think, no decisions need to be made now but then I think again and I don’t want to waste another couple of months if it leads me to the same conclusion.

2) After 3 months going cold turkey, managing to avoid any contact with Mr Big, we’ve done nothing but see each other or talk to each other (professionally of course) over the last two weeks.

And damn if my body doesn’t just vibrate around him. It’s like I’m on a completely different frequency with him to anybody else. Not even football dad had that effect on me when I was at the height of my crush. The babes comment? Pah!! Nothing on what I feel when Mr Big is in my midst.

And whilst I know Mr Big and I have no future unless it is to bounce each other off the bed every once in a while, I do wonder…can I find that buzz with someone else? If I can, I should probably do the kind thing and bring the pleasure that has been GG to an end. Would I even feel that buzz if things were right with GG and I? I should feel that buzz with GG, right? And if I can’t find that buzz with someone else, is that settling or is that normal? By not actively pursuing the ‘buzz’ I feel like I may just end up in something boring and unfulfilling, but I’ve only ever followed the buzz and it’s never got me anywhere. I said buzz a lot. There, I said it again. I’ll stop now.

And I know not all days, hours, minutes are constant excitement, but I’m scared that I’ll end up 13 years into another relationship being unhappy. It’s harder to start over in your when approaching 50 than it is when you are approaching 30.

So, to quote Shakespeare, ya know, if Shakespeare was a 30-something-female living in the post-Covid dating world in 2021….

‘To settle or not to settle? That is the question’

Witty Title – Toxic Traita

‘I don’t really have a lot to say’

A sentence you hear when somebody is too lazy to argue.

A sentence you hear when somebody is not passionate enough.

A sentence you SAY when you are coming up blank for a blog post but you are still trying to hit your 1000 words a week target that you set yourself at the start of the year.

I feel as though a peace has settled over me. For the first time in I don’t know how long, I have no love life drama. And I don’t know how to deal with it!

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever sought out drama, but I will admit I love a good argument to clear the air. I’ve never been passive aggressive, always direct and to the point which has landed me in some trouble in my history. I prefer to argue with facts and logic these days. I’m guilty of using words to drive in a sharp knife. Not in rude way, I’d never swear at somebody or insult them, because that’s mean. But I’m a spin doctor of sorts and will capitalise on what you say and twist it until you can’t even remember what the point was you made in the first place. I consider this my biggest toxic trait (after taking another glass to bed for water when there’s already one there).

I also have bad habits. I bite my nails until they bleed (anxiety thank you very much), I smoke (because alcoholism is way more expensive, and risky) I wash the dishes way less often than I should and my clothes somehow always end up on the floordrobe as opposed to in the wardrobe.

So when you combine my toxic trait and my bad habits, it’s easy to conclude that I’m not a person many would find easy to love. And I believe this. I also believe that I am a person somebody would be lucky to love. Can you see my dilemma?

So when somebody brings up an issue, I instantly go to the part of my brain that believes I’m shit to love. When somebody is not passionate enough in their response, same thing. And to protect myself I start waxing lyrical, using big words and weaving them into clever sentences; they are my weapons that protect me from my own self-imposed wounds.

I’m not the most secure person in the world. I am soooo confident in many things; sports, driving, my job, socially, around friends, family. Any outsider could look at me and easily denote me as a competent adult who has her shit together. But that’s only what you see on the outside. I have high functioning anxiety and imposter syndrome. Which basically means I have to please the inner voice over everything else. This is hard to do. And my coping mechanism is talking to myself which in turn becomes the same coping mechanism when dealing with any other type of personal conflict. I have a sharp tongue and I’m not afraid to use it. Sucks to be you.

BUT

It’s an issue that has raised itself a number of times in the past with partners and I’m finally listening and registering that my vocabulary and grasp of the English language (most of the time) is as much a strength as it is a weakness.

I don’t have a problem getting on a level with peers, colleagues, friends, family, kids, the elderly and everybody in between. But I know for a fact that maintaining these awesome communication skills I have with a lover has never been my strong suit.

And the one thing somebody can say to me to really raise the pressure in this interpersonal kettle that is bubbling to ensure those communication skills completely boil over?

I don’t really have a lot to say!

Or any words to that effect. Infuriating!!!

And I have no reason to be triggered by such a reasoned statement. It’s probably what a secure person would say to prevent an argument. But I’m not secure and therefore it’s lazy and passionless, don’t @ me.

Or maybe do @ me. I can’t even decide if this is a toxic trait I want to improve. I quite like being a wordsmith.

I’m frenetic in nature, so I will naturally swing back and forth between two ideas. Even when I have laid out a reasonable and rationale argument for changing my ways and even when there is supporting evidence that those ways are not a ‘good thing’, I’ll still argue with myself over which wins out.

Until, of course, the time comes that an argument is borne, and either the other person is left feeling like shit because they couldn’t defend my war of words or I’m left feeling like shit because my war of words worked and now they feel like shit. It’s a no win situation and I can’t not have the last word. At this point, I instantly chastise myself.

So even though it’s a behaviour that I need to change, I don’t really want to. Even though I’ll always end up feeling bad by behaving in this way, I’ll continue to do it.

And because this peace has settled over me and there is no drama (in my love life at least) I feel a little lost. I’m jittery, like one who hasn’t had their coffee in the morning (or way too much) and I’m gunning for a verbal showdown.

It’s ironic that that I can spit words out and yet I’m really not sure this post makes any sense.

I have nothing more to say**

** a sentence you write when you have no clear way to end a blog post.

Witty Title – The Journey So far

At the beginning of the year when I downloaded hinge, I felt like I had zero prospects. We are 4 months into 2021 and whilst I have reviewed my New Years resolutions, I haven’t really reflected much in my dating life and the patterns. So, that is what this post is going to attempt to do.

Since January 1st 2021, there have been 5 boyfriends (not actual boyfriends, but I’m still waiting for society to create the term for a boy who is dating or chatting or fucking, but where there is no defined relationship that would make them an actual boyfriend).

I digress.

But 5?! Is that really true? Let’s go through them:

FD – he does count, remember the babes comment. Still influences my brain today despite no actual dates in 2021. But he’s in the bin. Never kissed. Never held hands. Just lots of weird games. Buy bye!

Remember Nathan? Yup, disappeared as fast as he appeared.

Mr Big – I ended this with a very polite message because I know I can’t continue to have sex with him and work with him without falling for him. Better to keep things normal now than face potential ruin later on.

Remember Jeff from Men are like Buses. Part 2? Well he has not moved out of my DM’s. Not suggested a date. Nothing. Urgh, see ya dude!

Gamer Geek – N’awwww.

Out of 5 men, only one of them shines and he looks damn fine in a suit. The others are nowhere near on my level of dating and honestly, it’s no wonder single women struggle…there’s only a 20% of finding someone almost decent and even then you might have to work really hard on your own personal appetite for men to make it work. Only out of 5 dates has potential and even then it’s no guaranteed because 10 dates in you find you’re not really that compatible?! Phew!

Look I’m not knocking dating, but in a world of busy lifestyles, finding the time to date 5 men for some women will be super super hard! And as we grow up, stronger and more independent than ever, I worry that single millennial women currently in their 30’s will end up pioneering a spinster revolution. Care homes and bingo clubs will be full of single ladies in their 80’s tearing up the floor with a bottle of Mad Dog 2020! Lord!

The world is NOT ready for that.

So we must stop it. Somehow.

The first place in our busy, modern, pro-gadget age is to weed out all the hook-up wannabe’s from those really searching for something solid and long-term on dating sites. The free apps just don’t have enough of a screening process.

Apps should have a questionnaire, the more you fill in, the wider the choice pool. If you only answer 5, you only get to view other prospects who could only be bothered to answer 5. If you answer 50, you get the pick of the pool – but only if you answered them with long-term intentions. Going for cocktails on a first date is not chivalrous. It’s not romantic. It’s lazy at best, and potentially dangerous at worst – drinks spiking anyone? Same goes for home movies, dinners, take-out. I only wanna be matching with someone who also agrees that a brisk walk in the fresh air somewhere public, or to grab coffee are acceptable first dates to see if the 4D version of those pictures is true to life. And that way, dating 5 different men might be possible if you want to increase your odds (assuming my questionnaire idea doesn’t pay off in the first place).

You know what else isn’t chivalrous, getting sexy before date 3. I say forget date numbers, how many hours have you spent with this person? I’m not knocking any bodies choices, but a guy who wants to invest in you will happily wait 3 dates, or 24hrs in term of total time spent together. Tbh, most men will wait longer than that if they are invested, but I’m assuming you also want to sleep with him so why play games??? Just do it. Whenever you feel comfortable, what I’m trying to say is that in my aforementioned dates, only 3/5 have not pushed for anything physical, although to be honest, one of them hasn’t even pushed to meet face to face so I don’t think that counts and the other is FD who also doesn’t count. 1 out of 5. Damn!

They were all funny. Mostly. Mr Big won the round with that one, but the fact they have all tried to make me laugh, tells me this is a flirting technique. This is how guys get a girl’s attention. 5/5

1/5 bought me dinner, or invited me over or made plans for a date. A real date.

They all like to talk about sex. Men huh? 5/5

FD, Mr Big and Jeff have all spilled their hearts out about various things, their past, their family, their friends etc. GG and Nathan, not so much. This could just be a case of different personalities, but interesting that I felt connected to Mr Big and FD more than the others. 3/5. Possibly a hooking technique.

Communication was a let down for all of them. Even gamer geek isn’t brilliant, but deffo better than the rest. 5/5 – men are just shit.

This blog post has no structure whatsoever. I may come back and tidy it up but that wouldn’t really reflect the way my brain is working today. And besides, if I was blogging for a living, I certainly wouldn’t be wittering on about my dating life, even if I do make some excellent points!

So, the dating app is paused for a bit. I managed to go 3 months on there, spoke to plenty of people and whittled it down to our Matthew.

We really haven’t connected much on an emotional level so that’s what I’m working on over the next couple of dates…Let’s watch this space!