I have a confession…

I have a confession and those of you who follow me on Instagram may have twigged by now…

Nope, I haven’t had a mental breakdown…well not quite anyway!

 

Nope, I’m not pregnant (thank goodness)

 

Nope, I’ve not killed someone at work and writing this from a prison cell (that’s probably the most likely of these three options)

 

But yep, this serial failed dater actually has a lovely, legitimate boyfriend. Sound the fanfair!!


My first sneaky photo of us.
My first sneaky photo of us.
To those of you who have never read my blog before this might not seem like a fanfair type event.  Everyone has relationships don’t they?  But after three long years of being single and dating a myriad of idiots, knobheads, commitment phobes and emotionally unavailable men I finally seem to have found a good one.  The coveted needle in the haystack.

 

It was a marvel that I ever met this guy in the first place though as I cancelled all my dating apps (yes, again) and declared that I would be single for a year without looking for ‘the one’ (yes, again) after I got screwed over by a deceivingly ‘nice’ guy (yes, again).

 

There was, luckily, one guy who slipped through the net though and despite all my new promises to myself we kept chatting and eventually managed to meet up and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Now we have been dating for three whole months and I think I’m getting the hang of how to have a boyfriend at 32 and when there’s children involved. Yet another learning curve to make my way up but I’m enjoying it so far.

 

I was even brave enough to ask for our first 'couple' selfie.
I was even brave enough to ask for our first ‘couple’ selfie.
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30 things I’ve learnt since being 30.

It was my birthday last week and I’m now the ripe old age of 32.  A huge amount seems to have happened over these past two years, some of which is documented on this very blog as I started writing just after my 30th birthday.  I feel like I have learnt a lot, sometimes the hard way and some I have just happened upon through pure fluke so I’ve jotted them down to remind me.  Some are a bit deep, others entirely the opposite but all are true to me.

  1. Having children doesn’t mean you must cut your hair shorter. I for one look awful with shorter hair.
  2. I can, pretty much, make it through any challenging situation…just.
  3. You only live once. A cliché but a damn true one so make the most of it!
  4. Your health matters, so pay attention to it.
  5. Experimenting is a good idea in all areas of your life…food, fashion, f…(you get the idea).
  6. Making a mistake is not the end of the world.
  7. Tell your real friends you love them.
  8. Unfollow or unfriend people off Facebook or Instagram whose posts irritate you.
  9. I still don’t like goats cheese no matter how many times I try it.
  10. If I stop moving I seize up and it’s a lot more difficult to get going again.
  11. You will meet amazing friends in the strangest places if you are willing and open to find them.
  12. I wear my heart on my sleeve which can sometimes means it gets bruised more easily..
  13. Earl Grey tea is actually very nice.
  14. My wardrobe now has less clothes that are better quality, rather than the other way around.
  15. Same with my make up.
  16. Bright lipstick isn’t actually that scary.
  17. Sometimes I would rather eat an amazing salad that something deep fried.
  18. Saying ‘No’ and standing your ground is amazingly empowering.
  19. You are allowed to aspire to be in a job which you love…goals are good.
  20. Dresses actually suit me much better than trousers.
  21. Being selfish isn’t always a bad thing.
  22. Doing something good for someone (even if very small) is one of the best ways to boost your mood.
  23. I now ‘mum dance’ but I still do it anyway.
  24. All parents are winging it.  They are lying if they tell you other wise.
  25. Despite all my body hang ups people still seem to find me attractive, therefore I shouldn’t worry about them so much.
  26. I’m now much less tolerant of just smiling and nodding.
  27. My eyes are my best feature. (Sorry boobs)
  28. Netflix is definitely worth the membership fee.
  29. Being a single mum means my daughter is my best friend and my enemy number 1 all at the same time.
  30. Being a single mum is incredibly hard work but incredibly rewarding.

Left standing

Last week I got stood up.

Not in the old school way.  I wasn’t left standing awkwardly in a pub on my own. But I was stood up in the ‘millennial’ way. I was blocked on WhatsApp. I hate myself for even uttering those words but, 15 minutes before I was meant to meet up with this guy, I was blocked. The only reason I knew this before getting out of the house and being stood up for real was because I was running late – as always. I normally hate that I am always late for things but, in this particular instance, it saved me a lot of public embarrassment.

I was still embarrassed by it though. I had chatted to this guy for over a week. We had had daily conversations about life, the universe and everything. He seemed like a genuinely decent guy and I will admit it, I had a bit of a flutter. He was good looking, he was a full participant in a range of topics of conversation, he usually messaged first which I took to be a good sign. We seemed to have stuff in common and we made each other laugh, or so I thought.

I had told my friends I was going on this date, my mum had been booked to babysit, i’d done my hair and make up (and looked pretty good if I do say so myself) and then it didn’t happen. I was upset, angry, confused but also completely mortified.

I have no idea why, in the last few moments he decided he didn’t want to meet me.  I’m not going to make excuses for him as I have done for other men. He is a coward and a dick but it didn’t hurt any less even though I knew this.

I hadn’t been on a date for a while because I was fed up of knobs (literally and figuratively), I was fed up of being let down and I was fed up of wasting my time and I managed to have it happen all over again.  Unfortunately it doesn’t hurt any less the more it happens.

After yet another bad experience I did wonder if I should just give up on the prospect of a healthy, happy relationship with a bloke all together but, after attending a well-timed mindfulness workshop in London I realised that there is no point in dwelling on the ‘whys’ and the ‘what ifs’ of the date, of my love life or my life in general, it will only hurt me further  stop me focusing in the important things.  I should only be concentrating on what is happening now, as this is the only time I have any control over. So I think I shall make the most of the here and now and see what comes along whilst I’m getting on with it.

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The Single Mum’s 29 (ish)-Day Challenge

Whilst wasting time passing some time on Pinterest I came upon an infographic entitled ‘The Single Girls 30-Day Challenge’.  Now, I am single girl (…lets not mention that the rest of my divorce still hasn’t gone through yet…) but not many of the challenges seemed particularly realistic so I tweaked a few and ended up with this, much more do-able, 30-day challenge.  But as its the 1st February and I’ve crossed a couple off it can be my 29 (ish) day challenge.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

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Freedom.

My ex had Charlotte for five days this week so it was a weird way to start the year, he even had the dog so I had no alarm clock other than my actual alarm clock to wake up to!! No sodden sheets to change from our ‘dry at night’ attempts and complete and utter freedom (apart from having to go to work). No chocolate spread on toast to spread and cut exactly correctly. I could eat what I wanted and, as I had promised to eat better it was lovely to eat all the things Charlotte won’t. Prawns, salmon, steak…huge amounts of vegetables and I even had the chance to make lunches for the next day. It took me about two days to miss her more than the normal amount. Things just didn’t seem right without my little sidekick!
I also had plans of the romantic kind for a couple of nights whilst I had my freedom but, as usual they disappeared along with the romantic interest. I haven’t spoken about dating much as I haven’t really been dating much. Everything else in my life had been so busy and stressful that men just seemed to be adding to this so I swore them off for a bit…and then a blast from the past turned up and I decided to give him another chance. Why, I have no idea. I can only blame the fact that we have history and he had a hold on me so I believed his bullshit yet again…however it was officially the last chance he got. I am so done and this time I felt strong enough and angry rather than upset so I made sure I told him so. I said no. I don’t deserve to be treated like that, so no more. So it was nice to be able to mope for that evening but he definitely won’t be getting any more tears from me. I did, however, get this amazing belated Christmas present from a friend. I couldn’t possibly comment as to whether I had a go or not.* 

Another Tiger store amazing item!
 
I’ve also been waiting for some results back from the hospital as late last year I had an abnormal result from a smear test and had to go in for a colposcopy. This is when someone looks up your lady parts with, what looks like, a pair of binoculars on a stand. They also have a live feed so I was lucky enough to see my cervix up close and personal. Not something many people can say I’m sure. They took a biopsy the week before Christmas and to say it put a dampener on Christmas celebrations was an understatement. I also felt like I’d been punched hard in the vagina for a couple of days which was less than ideal. I had previously been told that what they had found seemed low risk, but I couldn’t help but worry. On Friday I had a letter saying that I didn’t need any further treatment at this time which can only be good thing. I also found out that January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month so if you have hidden or ripped up the letter saying you’re due for your smear test please book it and go. It’s such a small amount of your time and could save your life. 

Get your appointment booked!!
 
So a positive and negative which evens out I guess. Let’s see what this week brings! 

*i did.

Down with love

IMG_2462.JPGI have to be honest with you (why stop now!) the looming holiday of love and kisses and vomit inducing cards has got to me a bit this year.

Last year I was happy just ignoring it and getting on with my day. I’d just got back from an awesome long weekend in Amsterdam with my best friend, I spent the day with Charlotte and I was debating signing up to match.com after various drunken conversations we’d had in the city of tulips (or clogs…or red lights… whatever it’s called!) I didn’t want to be in a relationship at that time, I was just feeling a bit more ready to have a look out there. I honestly have no recollection of what I did that day/eve but it was definitely not crying in a corner with a bottle of wine clutched to my chest…which is pretty much where I’m at right now. Either that or I want to go out, get very drunk and dance my arse off.

It has just so happened that the big V day has landed upon a Saturday which is my ex’s weekend with Charlotte. I usually love my free Saturdays. It would be great luck that I had this weekend free if any of the 13 men I have dated actually had lasted longer than one or two dates or they had not disappeared off the end of the earth with no explanation. It would be great even if I had an ongoing flirtation with someone where there would be a hope that I’d get an unexpected card or text message or anything at some point on Saturday, but all my conversations have petered out or we’re now well and truly in the ‘friends zone’. It would be great if I had a secret admirer but when the hell does that ever happen, other than in the films. I’ve been single for 18 months now and it’s getting to be a bit rubbish. I did however get a card and cookies from Charlotte.

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Don’t get me wrong, I seriously hate all the bullshit, schmaltzy crap that is rammed down our necks for weeks before the 14th and anyone posting any of that shit on Facebook will be getting short shrift from me and I do really enjoy the time I have on my own but it would also be quite nice to share a M&S ‘three course for £10’ meal with someone whilst watching trash on the tv. No roses or jewellery needed (although I have run out of my favourite perfume). Actually, just that would be nice anytime really…

Oh well, The Notebook, a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, something covered in salted caramel and cuddles with the dog sounds just about as fun. 😳

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Wish I’d seen this sooner though so I could send to my other single friends! https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/177461742/single-girl-funny-valentines-card?

The three dates of Christmas: the epilogue.

IMG_2262-0.PNGI hope you enjoyed reading about my festive dating experiences, from the (very) good to the (extremely) bad and that it gave you some giggles. I now definitely know which of my friends read my blog after posting the ‘coffee date’ one as well!

I said I was chatting to five guys over the holidays and I haven’t lost touch with the missing two either. I haven’t managed to meet up with them yet either, but really hope to. The fact they’re still talking to me and I haven’t got bored of them after a month of messaging can only be a good sign surely? If we haven’t run out if things to say to each other maybe we have more of a chance? (Ever the optimist, even after The Worst Date Ever!) The only problem is everyone is back to reality with full time work and childcare to juggle, leaving little time for swanning around going on dates and such like so diaries are being scoured to try and find some time.

I have also realised it’s been nearly a year since I started my dating journey. There were times when I wasn’t actively looking and times when I was ‘seeing’ someone but that is quite a long time! I also worked out that, so far, I’ve been on dates with 12 different blokes. I could actually make a calendar from my dates! Although some I’d leave out and put Channing Tatum in their place if that’s ok? Who knows, maybe 13 could be my lucky number?

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Promise to keep you posted!

The three dates of Christmas. 2) The ‘coffee’ date.

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James seemed like a good guy and good to chat to, I wasn’t sure if I actually fancied him though. His profile picture on Plenty of Fish didn’t really help and when I asked for a couple more they were group shots and I still couldn’t work out what he looked like. He was one for fairly loaded innuendos or changing the conversation path so we ended up talking about something a bit risqué but it was fun and not necessarily a bad thing, so I just went with it.

He had his son 50% of the time and had him over Christmas, as I had had Charlotte so the earliest time we both had available was Boxing Day afternoon/evening and we decided to meet for coffee.

When he walked in he was much taller than I’d thought and was quite good looking. He’d just come from a family lunch so was wearing the obligatory Christmas jumper and cords which gave him a boyish look like his mum had told him what to wear. He also had a very cheeky twinkle in his eye. I don’t think I’ve come across them before but these were definitely ‘bedroom eyes’. I was wearing lots of layers and had also got rained on on the walk to the coffee shop so Lord knows what he thought about me! Although it couldn’t have been that bad…

We had our coffee and talked easily about our families and work and moving houses etc (he was about to after living with his parents for a year and I wanted to) but all along he was looking at me with those eyes making me go a bit mushy. I couldn’t concentrate and, despite it being cold, I could feel my cheeks flushing and before I knew it we were kissing on my bed! I can’t even blame any alcohol!

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Now, I didn’t know whether I should write this, but sometimes this is what happens on dates and I’m really not good at lying (and it would have been quite difficult to end the story if I hadn’t!). I’m also not entirely sure who suggested changing the venue but it didn’t feel odd or too fast just that it was the right thing to happen next. I didn’t question it and something in me (no pun intended) decided that I deserved a belated Christmas present and this was the best sort of present to receive.

So we had some – read ‘a lot’ – of fun. We chatted a bit more about the everyday things and then arranged to see each other soon and he left. A little bit different from the turkey curry buffets you’d normally find yourself at on Boxing Day!

We have messaged each other quite often since then and although he’s adamant he does want a relationship and not just sex, his messages aren’t necessarily saying the same thing. We haven’t managed to meet again just through lack of time and mutual availability but I’m not sure if we will. I don’t regret sleeping with James but it has definitely made me realise that, despite everything you’ve just read, I am actually looking for a relationship and for someone I can spend time with, out of the bedroom, as well as in.

The three dates of Christmas. 1) The boy next door.

doorsNormally I wouldn’t say his name but it was Darren. This wouldn’t be a name I would choose but not something he could help I guess, however he insisted on signing off his emails as ‘Daz’.  He didn’t look or act like a Daz which made it all the more odd.

He was my neighbour and recognised the picture of my dog I had on my profile. Not only was he a neighbour, but most evenings I went out, he would open the car park gate for me as my ‘blipper’ thing had broken and I didn’t have £60 to replace the bloody thing. I was very grateful for this as it meant I didn’t have to get out in the cold and wet and he was outside smoking anyway and I’d done the cursory smile and wave thing when I’d seen him other times but that was it.

Then an email pinged into my match.com inbox saying hi and that he would still open the gate for me if I said no, but would I like to go for a drink with him. I think I am too nice for my own good because I said yes.

As I couldn’t think of any ways to get out of it, the Saturday before Christmas saw me knocking on his door so we could walk into town to get some lunch. The seven minute walk to the pub gave him enough time to give me his entire life story including marriages, divorces, jobs, bitch ex’s and children with autism all in. The acronym TMI has never been more appropriate. I actually had to stop myself from sniggering as I walked up the road as I was in shock, why the hell was he telling me ALL this straight away?tmi

The pub was nice, a mutual choice and the mulled wine was good but, although the conversation wasn’t awful it was by no means ‘zingy’ or ‘exciting’. There was one point where he asked what I did for fun and I replied “Fun? What’s that?” Normally I would have attempted to make something I do sound great but I just couldn’t be bothered. I then asked him the same question and he said he enjoyed watching “How It’s Made” on the Discovery Channel. I knew then and there (like I didn’t already) that this was not a match made in heaven.

So we walked home making small talk and I walked him to his door. There was an awkward moment where I wanted to run for the hills but to break the silence he asked if I was free that evening and did I want to come to his for food and a film. To which I wanted to reply…”WHAT??!! NO??!!” of course I politely declined saying I had a date with my PJ’s and Channing Tatum that evening, hugged him awkwardly and left.

The three dates of Christmas

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As the festive season approached and all the happy couples and families started upping the amount of PDAs they thought was appropriate, I decided that maybe a little hiatus on my “I don’t need a man” mantra would do me some good and downloaded my match.com and Plenty of Fish apps again (yes, I now have a POF account too!) and it seemed that everyone else had had the same idea too.

It was busy, there were winks, emails, IM’s, ‘meet me’s popping up on my phone all the time. Apparently everyone wanted a date for Christmas this year and I have to say it did make me feel good that they maybe wanted it to be me. Ok, so most emails were just “hi” (original) or “I see you like going to the cinema, did you watch the last Hobbit film”(run!) or various festive themed lines…”I’d like to see you in stockings at the end of my bed” or “can you suck on my candy cane” or “I hope you’re under my tree with just a bow tied around you” (You’ve got to give them credit…they’d obviously thought about those ones a lot!) but obviously my new Christmas jumper profile pic was doing the trick! Even more confidence boosting as I have no make up on and it’s day old hair…the joys of Instagram hey?

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So after working out who were the fake profiles, who were going to send me photos of their genitals within seconds of me giving them my number and who was likely to turn into a stalker and blocking them or ignoring them I managed to end up chatting to five guys. A range of ages, a range of looks, a range of occupations and a range of locations. This was difficult as I had to remember which conversations I’d had with whom but all seemed nice and I didn’t want to narrow my options too soon and to be honest what else was I going to do in the evenings in the run up to Christmas apart from gorge myself on mince pies and cry.

Over the holidays I went on three dates with three seperate guys and thought I would share a little of each with you over the next few days so stay tuned.