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.

e3f8150e_Love_Sex-SingleGirlsChallenge

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?

IMG_2263.JPG

Promise to keep you posted!

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

IMG_2200.JPG
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!

IMG_2199.JPG
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

IMG_2185.JPG

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?

IMG_1923.JPG
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.

Try not to get burnt!

20140708-222456-80696234.jpg
So…tinder! If you’re not aware of it, it is a ‘dating’ app of sorts. What peoples version of ‘dating’ is seems to be broad and varied though. It is officially one of the most superficial and bizarre apps going I think, but for some reason, after a few friends mentioned it (married or in long term relationship friends who had heard about it through other single friends) it intrigued me so I downloaded it and decided to have a go.

A warning at this point though… if you’re not sure you’re ready to step into the big, scary world of dating yet I would not recommend this as the place to start!

20140718-124045-45645974.jpg

I set up my profile just after joining match thinking the more the merrier but I was nowhere near ready for it! I set up my profile with a few nice photos from Facebook, set my radius (20 miles), my gender I was looking for (man), my age range (27-40) and then dipped my toe in.

The general gist of tinder for those who don’t know is…a photo of a guy, his name and and his age pops up, if you like the look of him you can check out a few more photos and either swipe right for ‘yes’ or left for ‘no’. You can also do this on your first glance of they’re definitely not your type. So, I started swiping and after a few minutes found I couldn’t swipe right for anyone! The only way the guy knows you said ‘yes’ to them is if they swipe right for you too, so they would never know if I’d said no to them or yes if they didn’t pick me too but I just felt so uncomfortable saying yes to anyone! The hot guys were too hot and I presumed would never pick me, and there were a lot of definite no’s, so I didn’t get anywhere! The whole idea of it scared me and so I put it down and went to hide.

For a couple of months.

I then decided I felt a bit braver having been on a few dates from match.com so had another go and even swiped right for a few good looking men, turns out some of them had swiped right for me too! Another boost to the confidence but Eeek!

However…a few notes/warnings that I have unfortunately learnt through experience.
a) the radius is well off so people who tinder had said were 20 miles away actually turned out to be 100+ miles away which kind of defeats the point of finding someone local to you.
b) you will see people you know, married or not. You have to choose what you do with this information.
c) men seem to be perfectly happy to post photos of their penises – only their penises!! (I can only presume they’ve set up a Facebook account especially for this)
c) men seem to think it is a good thing if they post their wedding pictures or pictures if them snuggling up with an ex. I’m not sure about you but that seems a weird way to try and get a date!
d) The range of what people seem to be looking for is crazy. I have had messages from men who give me their postcode straight away so I can ‘pop over for a shag’. Ummm…no thank you! I have had guys who have freely admitted they are married (unhappily of course!) Boo hoo for them but not helping you cheat, sorry! I have had guys who start off seeming normal then after exchanging phone numbers have whatsapp’d me a picture of their penis/bum/or worse…and men lie, lots and can keep up with the lies seemingly for a long time. :/

I have also chatted with a few nice guys, but either due to distance or diaries have only been on a date with one guy. A IT manager from Bristol. A bit of a trek for a date but I love and know Bristol well so it wasn’t a big issue. We met half way. A great first date at Jamie’s Italian with even a kiss at the end, but only one date as he went quiet on me a couple of weeks later. I can only presume someone else cropped up or the distance became an issue.

So to sum up, if you’re looking for something deep and meaningful I’m not sure tinder is the place to find it but for a bit of light hearted fun it’s worth a go, and you never know, sparks might fly! Happy swiping!

Ps. If you’re in need of a giggle at some of the worst lines used on tinder a scroll through http://tinderlines.com is a must! *not for the under 18’s

Getting back in the game.

20140620-003101.jpg

One of the many reasons I decided to start a blog was because I stepped into the completely unknown world of Internet dating in March and there is just way too much material out there to keep to myself!!!

I dutifully signed up to match.com after a weekend away with my best friend and a fair amount of peer pressure. I was definitely ready to start meeting new people but it was just so alien to me! So after writing and re-writing my profile and having it proof read by a small group of trusted friends, I paid my membership fee and joined the game…and do you know what it’s actually quite fun! It took a while for me to get used to the whole ‘winking’ thing (I am still yet to wink at anyone!) and the excitement of seeing someone looking at your profile and the disappointment when you don’t get a wink or email, but at the very least I have managed to have some intelligent, interesting, adult conversations with the opposite sex which, to be completely honest, has not happened for a very long time. Even whilst still in my marriage. You quickly get used to laughing at the ‘your boobs looks great’ emails and if nothing else, it’s a boost to the self esteem which can never hurt 😉

Still no long term loves have appeared – I’m not sure I’m actually ready for that bit yet, but so far I’ve been on dates with a Spanish doctor (sexy and talkative and a gentleman – a good one to start with), a political advisor (older and desperate to settle down), a short guy (with definite short man syndrome – hot though!) a tall guy (lots in common but just no spark), a car salesman (who talked a good talk, as you can imagine) and many long conversations via email that never ended up turning into a date. But I guess this is what ‘me time’ is all about, trying to find out what works for me and who I am again, after 10 years of being someone’s girlfriend, fiancé and wife. It’s actually been quite a fun journey so far…

As for tinder…well that deserves a post ALL of its own!!! 🙂