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!

Lockdown Thirst?

In the last 3 days since the new Lockdown was announced, my inbox has blown up with all these messages from boys who I haven’t seen or heard from in a minute.

Is lockdown thirst a thing? Are they trying to get their fill before it becomes illegal to meet with another household? Does it work? Are there women out there who are equally thirsty to need some validation to make themselves feel better?

Or do they know that they have no obligation to follow through on anything they say because…well they physically can’t?

I’m not judging in the slightest. I mean, get it where you can and if this had been our situation 2 years ago, I’d be the first in line to jump (on somebody). But I’m asking the question to try and understand. I have zero interest in casual relationships (yes alright, but the Pilot doesn’t count) but I guess I’m expecting too much with a ‘Hello, how are you?’ Instead of ‘Have you had your lips done? They’d look good wrapped around my <use your imagination>.’ (P.S I haven’t had my lips done).

Regardless of the reason, I just think it’s sad if they are clutching at straws by messaging an old flame to fill the empty void of existence. Get a hobby. Make a goal. Find peace with your own company.

I’m not the solution to your boredom.

FD #1 – It’s a sign…?

Omg omg omg OMG.

Football dad is giving me an ‘I like you/I’m interested in you’ vibe.

We got to talk today about non football stuff and I bought up my love of hiking. And he likes hiking too.

He was wearing sunglasses. He lifted them up. There was eye contact. A lot of eye contact.

I showed him some photos. He told me about some local walks around us.

He remembered about this time I told him I was drinking gin one afternoon. Erm…who remembers that?

He didn’t leave my side the whole game…

I’m off to plan our wedding!

Oops…I did it again!

Gah!!!!

So the pilot asked to see me and I didn’t say no. Under no illusions that this was a casual visit, but then the man goes and arrives with flowers, dinner and a gift bag containing a vase for said flowers because the last time he bought me a bouquet I told him I didn’t have one and ended up wrapping tissue paper around an empty plastic lemonade bottle!

We chatted, we laughed, we made some love.

Is this normal? Starting to wonder where casual ends?

What is clear? …. I have absolutely no clue about dating/relationships and also zero will power!

Too Many Choices…The End

It’s official. It’s taken 10 months but I have zero boyfriends (loose term).

I know some people may look unfavourably at me for having been juggling several men at the same time, however not a single one of them made any real effort with me so if that isn’t a reason to date in multiples then I don’t know what is. However, here are just a few of the efforts I made for them:

•Cooked H/M Sausage Rolls •Walk (Tour) of my childhood ‘playground’ •10km walk followed by surprise picnic •candlelit massage •paid for dinner •bought in favourite dessert •rented favourite movie •invited them on a trip •invited them to parties’•made breakfast •invited them into my home •shared my dreams and plans •Train journeys to see them

And yes there was sex. I’ve spent a lot of time this year trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. Am I trying too hard? Am I too closed off? Do I need to be more open?

But you know what? Fuck that! I’m fine. It’s these idiots blokes who can’t see a good thing in front of them. Yes I am difficult. Yes I am busy. I don’t do anything I don’t want to do, I’m quick to argue and I’m stubborn but listing all of the things I did above shows me that I do care, I am open, I am thoughtful and I am romantic and that’s for men I’m half assed about and know are half assed about me…imagine what I’d do for a guy I really like and matches my effort?!?!?!

From this day forward, I will no longer waste my efforts on a man who doesn’t give the same back. An effort to communicate is my top requirement. Note to self: Remember, your gut has never steered you wrong, deep down it’s always been right you’ve just allowed your head to overrule it by overthinking and making excuses for them. Stop it. Anybody who cares for you will show it! Trust your gut and all those affirmations will come to pass.

Remember?….

Way back when I first started this blog, my inspiration came from the love of my life. I mean he was a total jack ass and it didn’t work out. I had no way of letting out my emotions though, so I thought writing about it would help. I didn’t stick it out. I think I made two posts about it and then forgot all about it and eventually empowered myself through music and good old fashioned will power.

However we met while we both had partners and the inevitable happened, we drifted apart. Mainly because he wasn’t satisfied with a girlfriend and a side chick….turns out I was one of many.

At the time I was head over heels for this idiot and genuinely thought I had met my equal. He could match me in all aspects of my life, he was funny, smart, career focussed, handsome, tall and dynamite in the bedroom. We rarely came up for air!

I spent a long long LONG time being angry. Angry at myself for allowing it to happen. Angry at myself for being a fool. A mug. I mean of course this guy wasn’t going to be faithful…he already wasn’t. Anger soon turned to guilt as I realised just how his poor gf would feel if she found out. She did eventually.

And I have been living with the guilt since then. Guilty for being the cause of my family break up. Guilty for being part of the cycle of this knobhead and contributing to the hurt. Guilty at not being enough for him urgh! Guilty for gliding through life, not seeing the colours and guilty for not seeing other opportunities around me.

During lockdown, there hasn’t been a lot to do, other than think. And one day I woke up and decided I didn’t want to feel angry or guilty anymore. Closure is a strange thing. People will tell you that closure can only come from yourself and I agree, to some extent. But I also believe you can’t get closure without doing some work. It’s a bit like the 12 step programme in addiction, and I have been withdrawing for 3 years.

So I reached out. Yes I was curious to know what had happened to him and some very small part of me still wishes things had turned out differently, but mainly I wanted to wish him well. And if I could do that without the jealous rage and inferno erupting inside the pit of my stomach, I’d know I was truly moved on. And so a quick message to him hoping he was safe and his family was well was all it took.

He was surprised of course. Think my last message to him was more along the lines of ‘Go fuck yourself and die’ I think I also thought about vandalising his car Carrie Underwood style.

He told me he still thinks about me and that we were great together. He hasn’t apologised or admitted any wrong-doing (not that I expect him to) but for the first time I’ve stopped playing the victim and held up my hands to my own misgivings. I was never really present, only ever enjoying the way he made me feel. I never opened up, acting stoic to prevent the walls tumbling down. I would ignore him or rant at him, rarely talk to him. I’d use big words to try and belittle him because I had zero control. I made it clear from the start of our relationship I was only after a physical relationship and I kept the pretence up, even when I knew my heart wanted something else. When the lust didn’t go away and the love took over, it was too late and I was heartbroken and have been ever since.

The funny thing is, even through all the hurt and pain, the ups and downs, the rough and the smooth, I still think of him fondly. He’s happy now in a new relationship and I am genuinely happy for him. Not jealous, not bitter, not indifferent. I’m pleased that despite all I remember, I want only the best for him. Some might say that I’m the definition of a fool, the victim of a narcissist, gaslighted. I probably am, but I’ve also been in love and if wishing the best for someone you once loved is wrong, then I’m wrong, but I’m also free of any negative emotions and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I got to experience real love in my lifetime and I think that is a wonderful thing.

Intuitive or Inventive?

I’ve always considered my gut to be spot on. I’ve never been an outwardly feeling type of person (blame years of emotional neglect as a child) but I definitely feel the vibes of other people in my stomach. I am a quick judge of character and 99.9% of the time I am right and I can sense when somebody is a good person, or just a bit of a tool without much of anything really.

Or so I thought. I watched some chick flicks last night… one of which was ‘he’s just not that into you’ it was hilarious, but the film starts out by saying how girls always come up with an excuse for a guy when the reality is he’s just not that interested. A guy who is interested will move. Will chase. Will communicate. Will ask you questions. Wants to get to know you. Yes, sex is always a draw but, but the focus is you. He’ll want to be close to you. Touch you. Lean into you. Text you. Talk to you.

I’ve been tying myself up in knots over boyfriend no.1. After seeing him last week, he came with flowers – Roses (because I was having a bad week) wine, which is standard for him and we had this weird kinky baby thing, which I’ve since established was just a primal thing. I like him. I’m not too far into it where if I pulled back I’d be gutted or heartbroken, but I’m heading that way. He lives in London and works way too much so seeing each other always feels like a military plan. He keeps saying he will be working out of Bham soon and then I won’t get rid of him. So I’m being patient. I have been patient since earlier in the year. Throughout a pandemic and now I have to be more patient?

I guess I’m struggling to balance the need for patience against my own needs for emotional comfort, security, love. My gut tells me he’s a good guy, with good intentions. Yes I always knew it would be a slow burner but Dude!! We’ve known each other for 3 years, we don’t need to go slower.

And why should I have to wait until Bham for him to shower me with time anyway? He could find the time now (and I don’t mean travelling to see me) but a phone call? FaceTime video? Is this not basic stuff?

My gut still tells me to be patient with this one but I’m starting to wonder if I am just forcing it? When does intuition just become you inventing a reality or fantasy you hope for?

So back to my checklist;

He will move? Yep he travels from London to see me (way too much effort for a booty call) but then travelling is his life as a pilot, so an hours train journey probably isn’t too much trouble?

He will chase? Sort Of! He will initiate the conversation via WhatsApp but won’t call or FaceTime. He always wants to arrange the next time we see each other

He will communicate: Nah. It’s great when we are together, he talks about his family (esp his mum) and his friends. But the in between times are dead.

Will ask you questions? Nope.

Wants to get to know you? Not seen much of that

Wants to touch, be close? Only after sex

I really think I need to do some work on my gut, because Girl, He’s just not that into You!