Tinder and Blind

A once single Tinder obsessed bad dater London girl living in Dubai, to a step-mum who bagged a boy in Dubai, now living in London

Pressure Past 30

pressure marriage

My brother and I went to our hometown in Devon this weekend for a break from the stress of a busy working week in London. I needed some smog free Devon air and family time. What I got was a storm and family question time, the weather wasn’t great either.. ‘How’s life?’ turned into a barage of: ‘When are you going to have a baby?’ ‘What does your future look like?’ ‘It’s a leap year this year, why don’t you propose?’

What my brother got: ‘How’s your business going?’, ‘How was your holiday?’ ‘How’s your new flat?’

I’m 31 and the majority of my friends back in Devon are on their second children, all are married. I love them and their kids dearly but I am not them, nor do I want to be.

I left Devon aged 18 for uni, moved back after uni for 6 months then moved away to begin my career without looking back despite missing the famous, now flattened, sand dunes and friends I frequented them with.

I’m happy, content, of course at times I’m stressed and have wobbles, don’t we all? Life is not easy, London is fast-paced, my job is a tad crazy, but I wouldn’t change my life.  I’ve got a step-daughter, a loving partner who is himself working round the clock to create a future for us, and he wants to get his career in order before we move to the next step. And you know what? I don’t want it any other way. So, why is it okay for families who supposedly love and support you no matter what, to ask so many pressurising questions? Meanwhile, my brother is 28 this year, never been in a relationship and is also content.. yet my family never ask him the same questions they ask me.

One answer is probably the obvious biological clock conundrum. Personally, I don’t even know if I want children. And yet I’m scared to seriously tell my family that. When I say I’m not too bothered about kids they reply with ‘you’ll feel differently when you have your own’. I’m sure I would, but would they be happy if I end up having children purely for their sake and not my own?

I’ve written before about what illustrates the ‘best age’ to have a baby, and the differences between Millenials (a word I loathe but an era that I do fall into) and their/our baby boomer parents. But as a recap, research on a lot of varying factors including socio-economic, health etc has basically said that 34 is the optimal age to have a child. 26 biologically, but again if you’re an obese 26-year-old smoker with diabetes, you’re arguably less likely to get pregnant and less likely to have a healthy baby- all statistics. However, you could also be a totally healthy 40 year old and have the perfect spawn. So age, really, is a personal matter.

I also know friends who have just got married and the immediate next question from family is: ‘When are you going to try for kids?’ For god’s sake just let them enjoy marriage for a bit, you know? Be that a couple of months, couple of years, maybe they don’t even want to try. This constant expectation for the next step is a societal factor that we need to snap out of.

Secondly is the generational difference. Our parents, and certainly our grandparents’ generation had the expectation of marriage and children fairly young, as a marker for success. Houses were affordable, there was no internet, often families were friends with other families who introduced potential suitors to their daughters, and that was that. Married forever; happily or not is debatable.

Nowadays as we all know, houses aren’t affordable, mortgages are seen as a liability; the job market isn’t secure and many stay in jobs they hate because they have a mortgage to pay. Social media is rife, Tinder is rife. People are constantly looking for the next best thing, instant gratification rules minds. Divorce hasn’t halted. But it’s hard for our grandparents to fathom because they live in their mortgage-free houses with their life partners just wanting the best for the rest of their family. The difference is, their version of ‘the best’ can be different from their offspring’s.

The generation born in the late 50s/60s is slightly different. 43 percent of the 344,334 UK couples who tied the knot in 1983 actually got divorced, compared to just 27 per cent of marriages from 1963. And yet, according to the ONS who reported the figures, those who got married later in life tended to have longer marriages! This backs up my own opinion that waiting for the serious stuff doesn’t mean you don’t care about your future. Those married in their early twenties have consistently had a higher divorce rate. Now, I know I’m 31 and not in my early twenties any longer, but I’ve now surpassed the statistic of being on my first divorce at least.

I got home from my weekend in Devon feeling like I had more stress than I went with. I love my family so, so much and know they just want the best for me, but justifying myself and my life decisions made me think that I cannot be the only one getting these questions. I did a bit of research, and it’s not just me. Of course it isn’t. I know the questioning comes from love, and it’s all down to how one reacts to this kind of family love. My reaction is this blog post.

Moral of the story; next time you’re being questioned about your future by your beloved family. Tell them although you love them dearly, your life and life choices are just that. Yours.






Becoming A Step Mother To A Child My Partner Doesn’t Know

‘I want to set you up on a blind date’ declared my friend. ‘I work with him and I think you’ll really suit’, he coerced, after I’d just been on yet another failed date. ‘As long as he’s not in the military, married or has kids’ I stated. ‘Well, he used to be in the Army..and he does have a kid, but he’s not in the picture’. After rolling my eyes having had very bad experiences with military men, and asking a few questions on the child front, I reluctantly replied: ‘Fine, I’ll go’. I went on that date two and half years ago. And last weekend, I became a step mother.

According to Happy Steps, the UK’s only research based stepfamily resource centre, stepfamilies are now the fastest growing family type in the UK, with one in three of all families being part of one. Research has shown that stepfamilies often have to overcome mental wellbeing challenges when developing their new family units though, with reports of increased stress and anxiety over your ‘uniform’ family.

Nothing prepares you for becoming a step parent. I had a step-dad growing up, I even resented him for giving us more of his time than my own dad could. But never did I think about being in his position, taking on two kids because of the love he had for my mum. Never that is, until now. Having your own children (which I don’t) takes an element of preparation; reading books, asking friends who have kids already, an endless source online. But step parenting? Not much out there; especially as a first time step-parent.

I’m now 30. I met my partner when we both worked in Dubai, set up on that casual blind date by our mutual friend. Our relationship obviously developed to the point where we moved back to London together, and moved in. All the while, he had a daughter whose life he wasn’t involved in. Why? I had the same question, more than one question actually. Long story short, he had a one-night stand prior to meeting me, he was involved in her baby years until things with the mother got messy. My partner lost all trace of his daughter and had to live with the fact he may never get to be a father. I saw him flick through photos of a little baby doppelganger and proudly state: ‘I made this’. I got into this relationship knowing he had a daughter and yet I couldn’t make peace with the fact he wasn’t involved. My own parents divorced when I was 4 years old and I saw my dad fight tooth and nail to gain access to us, so I couldn’t understand why my own partner wasn’t fighting. Living in the Middle East of course did devoid him of a lot of rights, so when we moved back to the UK, it was all that played on my mind.

A few weeks ago I broke down to him. I couldn’t help thinking that a 16 year old girl will knock on our door one day and ask why he didn’t come looking, was it this woman (me) in his life that had stopped him from doing so? Maybe we’d have our own new family and she’d blame herself thinking he didn’t want her, but had another family. All these thoughts were whirring round my head and I just couldn’t be the woman that didn’t make him pluck up the courage to do the right thing. After blurting all of the above out, he got his phone out and showed me something.

It was a message from a number he hadn’t had saved, a first and only message.. from his daughter’s mother. I couldn’t believe it. It was sent merely a few hours prior to my breakdown and he hadn’t had a chance to bring it up among my tears. The message was a photo of a beautiful little blonde girl with my partner’s piercing green eyes looking back at me. ‘You are missing out on this intelligent, kind, beautiful little girl, but more importantly she is missing out on having a dad’. It was the biggest coincidence. I don’t know what powers were working that day, but it was a day that has changed our lives forever.

At the weekend I dropped my partner off at a petting zoo/ play farm to meet his ‘new’ 4 year old daughter, with her mother there as a chaperone. We’d bought her birthday presents as she’d turned four a few days prior. Her little face was one of bewilderment as she carefully tore the paper to find the present she’d wished for that morning (intel from her mum meant we ordered the right thing!). I waited in the car and watched from my wing mirror, until my partner acknowledged my presence to the mum, and I saw her walk towards my car. I got out and shook her hand. I reassured her that this may all be awkward, but that I wanted her to know that I am fully supportive of him building this relationship and his daughter should and will always come first. That is what is right and I will never stand in the way of that.

I drove away, looking in my mirror at the picture perfect family; this little girl being carried by my partner, and her mum walking alongside. I felt a mixture of emotions that I’ve never actually felt before. A sense of pride for encouraging this to happen, for my partner doing the right thing, and also a sense of resentment that I wasn’t the one walking alongside him.

I drove to a nearby shopping centre to try and take my mind off what I was missing out on, with a bit of retail therapy. I walked around and around, and around, thinking of nothing but what was happening at the farm. Was I ready to take this on? Was I ready for my weekends to now revolve around a child that wasn’t mine? Was I ready to now become second best to the person I love the most? It killed me, but I knew what was happening was the right thing. I kept putting myself in that childs place.

I went back to the farm over four hours later, ‘we’re just waiting for the big slide to open’ ‘she’s doing laps now, be out soon’, I read the messages as I waited. 38 minutes went by before they all emerged, this time she was sat on her dads shoulders. He saw me in the car and directed me out of the farm entrance with a small pointed wave. I drove out and past them, to the main car park where the mum had parked. My heart was pounding as though I was running a marathon. I stayed in the car and watched as he hugged and kissed his daughter. I felt like I’d been stabbed, and then immediately hated myself for feeling that way.

While at the shops, I had bought a little Disney calendar and a birthday card, as I realised we hadn’t given her one. In the card I wrote down my number ‘if you ever want to contact me- 079..’ I called out to my partner for him to give the little gift, and card. Then the mum called out to me. ‘She wants to meet you’. Shit.

This little girl wearily walked over to me, while her mum and dad stood watching my one-way conversation. She was shy. I asked about her day, I learned that she liked the slides and fed a goat. It was all very awkward, but I tried my best to put on my child friendly high pitched voice. We then said our goodbyes and I got back in the driving seat, the most in control I’d felt all day.

As we set off, my partner started telling me about their day together, I listened, and listened, then I burst into tears. I was trying so hard to be enthused and happy for him; this was all I wanted for him, and yet I wanted what he just had. I wanted to be the one he shared these kinds of days and moments with, with our own family. I never thought our first date would inevitably conclude in me becoming a stepmum to a child he’d never even met. But it was happening, and I had to have a word with myself.

Later, I received a message from the mother. She thanked me for writing my number in the card and we began a series of essays to each other. She came across fair and even gave me tips on how to parent her daughter when I have her alone.

It’s all very new, very raw and the biggest thing I now have to do is tell my own family; explain why they hadn’t been told sooner. Maybe I shouldn’t be so anxious about their reaction, but I fear they will be sad that I’m not the only one in my partners life anymore.

I have to learn how to be a ‘parent’ to my four year old new step daughter, while supporting her father into how to be a dad. My life, as long as I’m committed to my partner (which I’m planning on being forever, if he’ll have me) is no longer the same as it was. It’s going to be a learning curve, but I have to think of this as an opportunity to become a force for good in a child’s life. Her future is going to now have the added value of my influence, and although that’s a huge task, it’s also a pretty exciting one that I am about to have the honour of fulfilling.


How My Life Has Changed Since Getting a Boyfriend


At a wedding recently, someone I hadn’t seen in a while who follows my writing and social media etc, told me he was surprised I’d gotten into a relationship because he thought I was too head strong. When I asked him to elaborate, he stated ‘I just thought you’re so independent, that you can’t be doing with men and the whole relationship thing. I think everyone was surprised when you changed your relationship status on Facebook, because you were so happy and successful single.’

I was taken aback slightly. I mean, the response was overwhelming, for me personally, after I performed the cringeworthy act of changing my Facebook relationship status, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Honestly the reason I did it was to deter the amount of random (creepy) direct messages I get on the site, I didn’t realise it would be exposed on my timeline for my entire network unless it was ‘public’, which is wasn’t. I got messages of congratulations, questions asking if this was the end of the blog, old friends and family members asking for photos of him, protective friends asking if he’s worthy (LOL) and others genuinely happy for me.

So, how has my life changed? Well firstly, not drastically, but it has.

I no longer put myself first. I mean, I obviously still look after myself, but when plans arise I will consider him first before agreeing to something on the spot (more often than not, anyway). If I’m in a shop I will look out for things he likes, before I look for myself. Nothing major, but now if I’m in M&S on the way home, I’ll look for things he likes and grab them or ask him if he needs anything. It’s quite nice not just thinking of myself/ a good excuse to buy treats that I can share and feel less guilty about scoffing on my own.

It’s hard work, sometimes. Now there are two jobs to stress over, two busy lives who are constantly ‘on’, two sets of schedules, two sets of homes, two opinions on everything. But it’s also rewarding.

Two of my ex long term boyfriends were in the military, meaning I only really got the ‘good’ bits, because I was only on girlfriend duty at weekends. Yes I dealt with the not so easy bits, but with two days a week to spend with someone, you rarely make time to argue. I’ve always been used to having my own space, my independence, my friends when I wanted them. I still have all that, but now I have more, and I’ve also gained another 24/7 friend. So it’s not a bad thing in the slightest.

It’s more collaborative. It’s nice to have someone to vent to, to counsel, to share ideas with and although I do get really defensive at times, I know that’s because I’m not used to receiving constructive criticism from anyone except my boss.

I have stopped boozing so much. Really, I know, I can’t believe it either. Instead of midweek date nights at happy hours around Dubai trying to source someone to spend more than one date with, I’m happy with my weekly gym routine and mid week Netflix and chill sesh with him. I can’t remember the last time I went on a Ladies Night (for those of you not in Dubai, this means free drinks on a week night for ladies), I can’t tell you how nice it is to not have a raging hangover accompanied by a McMuffin on my desk at work on a Wednesday morning.

I’m happier and more fulfilled. This would make me vom in my own mouth if I ever thought I’d write this, about a year ago. But it’s true. I never felt lonely before, I loved my life, and now I love it more, and I laugh harder.

I’m absolutely terrified. Terrified I have now let my guard down and allowed myself the chance to become exposed to heartbreak, to tough times, to a potential future of complications and obstacles. But I’ve had to have a word with myself and take my own advice. If you don’t try something, then you don’t know what will happen. A lot of us don’t know what we want, until it’s happening to us before we realise it.


Tinder? no. Blind? yes

blind date

I had just returned from a short trip abroad after seeing a guy I thought I could pretty much give up my singledom for, when I was set up on a blind date with a friends colleague.

Truth is, the date with abroad guy didn’t go to plan. I had ended up spending the weekend in a hotel room alone with a bottle of prosecco for the most part.

Abroad guy (he’s actually British -hashtag expat life) had suggested I took a break there after I had complained about not having a holiday in many months, so I booked myself a nice hotel for the weekend. I hopped on a plane and took a cab from the airport to his apartment, he then took me to my hotel and waited while I checked in. We went for dinner and he ordered a sparkling water while I ordered a cocktail. He informed me that he’d be driving home after dinner, and would return in the morning for breakfast. Erm, sorry what?! I had a hotel room with a double bed sitting there, not to mention a bottle of duty free prosecco chilling in the fridge for a potential cheeky midnight rendevouz. Seemed I had got the wrong end of the stick, quite literally, as I stared at him blank faced and nodded like that was totally cool.

It was not cool. I am the one who plays it cool, well, that’s the hope. It would’ve been less confusing if we hadn’t already had a bit of a ‘romantic’ history.

I returned to my room and sent a selfie of me and my chilled prosecco bottle to my Dubai group chat.. They were all as surprised as me after I told them that I’d be bringing the prosecco back with me after sans action. A couple of friends said it’s because I didn’t make it clear that I was there to see him, and not in fact just stay in a hotel room for a break, as I’d originally positioned it. I’m sorry but I had got on a plane, albeit 45 minutes away, but still, I don’t think I needed to make it clearer. And I wasn’t about to make the first move.

When I had returned from ‘abroad’, I was relaying the weekend to my friends by the pool, when one of the guys suggested he set me up on a blind date with one of his new colleagues. ‘He’s ripped and has the same terrible sense of humour as you’ he said while selling him in. He had no photos of him though, and didn’t have him on any social media so I couldn’t make any sort of predetermined judgement. At this point I thought I’ve really got nothing to lose, I’d just had a dry weekend with someone I definitely thought was going somewhere and had then cut off within 48 hours. So I responded ‘as long as he’s not military or has a wife, then you can give him my number’, to which the reply was ‘well.. he is an ex army officer, no wife that I know of’. I ducked my head under the pool and came up for air wishing my love life wasn’t such a shambles and realising I’ve never actually dated anyone from the Army, so maybe he’ll be different to the Marine/Navy exes that I’ve had. FML why am I attracted to the military.

So I agreed to this blind date, more content for the blog if nothing else, it is called tinder and ‘blind’ after all, I thought.

The next day my friend text me with his number. After arguing that he should’ve given my number first, rather than expecting me to make the first move, I lost, equal rights and all that. So I went and messaged him.

The chat was what I was used to from my military guy friends, and it just seemed comfortable, though I know anyone else would’ve found it odd if they’d read my phone in that first week.

After a week or so of shit bants, we’d set a date for drinks. Date day came around, and I woke up with a hangover from hell. I literally felt as though someone had spent the night beating me over the head with a microphone. I mean that could well be what happened seeing as I was in Lucky Voice karaoke bar the night before, but either way, I was not fit for a date. I cancelled.

My friend gave me his wrath for cancelling, saying it made him look bad, telling me I immediately had to rearrange. Truth was, I couldn’t be bothered with this date, they always involve too much alcohol and bad decisions. I was quite happy single, trundling along in my own little world, but I had to come through for my friend after his efforts setting us up. So I suggested we go on a day date, that way I couldn’t get drunk and make a tit out of myself. I’d do it sober instead.

After apologising for cancelling, he agreed to the day date and gave me two options, trampolining or the arcade. Not wanting him to witness my extra layer of chin envelope my face during our first face to face conversation together, I opted for the arcade.

It was May, a bloody boiling 40degrees in Dubai, May. I got to the mall after making the worst outfit choice of 2017, double denim. Let me tell you, wearing jeans and a denim shirt in Dubai at the best of times is cause for sweating profusely in random places while looking like an ex Bewitched member, but donning this outfit in the heat of a Middle Eastern summer was just plain, fucking stupid. After keeping him waiting for 20 minutes, due to drying my sweat off in the Ladies, I arrived to find him sat on a wall swinging his legs like a kid. But my friend was right, he was ripped. And the first thing I noticed was his build, and I just knew I was going to be in trouble.

As we queued for the tickets, I had to be excused so that I could walk around the corner and literally use my sleeve to wipe the sweat from my forehead. Not only was I hot and bothered from the weather, but now I’d seen someone who, for the first time on a blind date, I was actually attracted to. So you can imagine the sweat situation I was facing. After sorting myself out and being totally honest with him ‘sorry I’m just so hot from the double denim’,  we got on. In fact we go on so well that after the arcade he bought me a cookie from the food court then we proceeded to go to the supermarket to do our weekly shop. No joke.

How this unfolded.. after inhaling my cookie, he asked what my plan was, it was to do my weekly shop.. and so was his. So we walked around the supermarket, trolley’s in tow.

When I told my friend this, he said we’d never live it down.. and we haven’t. We ended our fourth date in the supermarket as well. It seems to have become a running theme.. oh yeah, I said fourth date. It’s now been 8 months since that first date and unbelievably for me, we haven’t gone a single day without contact.

Time has flown and I still believe there is a lot more to learn about each other, we don’t live in a fairytale and nothing is ever plain sailing in relationships. I’ve had to learn to compromise, to put someone else before myself for the first time in however many years, but I’m enjoying it. I prefer to put someone else first. But I’m still the same, believing that I don’t need someone to define me, but having this new addition to my life and to my personality has been refreshing without any pressure. So, watch this space. Tinder may not have worked, but Blind may have nailed it.


Is He Lit?

FullSizeRender 6A friend sent me this excerpt from Sex & The City.

Although fictional characters in a TV series, this is a pretty accurate depiction of the sort of chat us females possess when together. Bear in mind this statement is being constructed among three women (Samantha is probably shagging Smith on a sushi table somewhere). The operative word here though is ‘female’. Three females talking about their opinion of male thoughts and ideals, in a fairly decisive way. Especially Miranda.

She’s implying, actually rather, she’s blatantly stating that a man is only ready when he’s ready, regardless if Megan Fox is flashing her bare wedding finger at him or not; if he’s not in the right mindset then his light will be off and he’ll keep driving. The shift of power between the sexes is at play; suggesting that men have the say when it comes to settling, over women, which I think is a load of crap. Personally, I’ve been in a place where I’ve met a great guy but in my head I’ve not been ready to commit because I knew I wouldn’t be the best version of me until I’d worked on myself a bit longer- travelled, built my career, etc. So Miranda saying ‘women have been lit pretty much since birth’ doesn’t apply to all women- I just felt that needed clarifying as it plants a mental image in my head of women in a metaphorical taxi queue just waiting desperately for a man who is ready to pull over and fling open his cab door.

With this statement in mind, I decided to dig deeper and ask a handful of my male friends if they agreed with this gaggle of opinionated women. Apart from realising I actually have quite a lot of single male friends, (and yet I’m still single) I found this mini experiment way more insightful than apprehended.

I asked a slightly mixed bag of relationship statuses to make it a fair test. Two I haven’t quoted because they literally replied ‘agreed’, they were both engaged. The rest are either single, engaged or recently out of a relationship.

What I learnt from this is that men are not all simple creatures that they often confess to being. One of them was convinced that I’d get the same answer from everyone, when I told him I hadn’t, he was genuinely surprised. He thought I’d get a unanimous ‘agree’.

I sent them the above conversation from SATC and asked the same two questions to all: “Do you agree with this statement?” and “how do you know when you’re ready to settle- as a man?”


25 year old- single


So the moment a guy decides he does want to be with someone, first girl he sees, that’s it? I think that’s nonsense. Haha

I’d agree with the fact that generally all men’s lights are off, to an extent. But I think it’s meeting someone you really like, whether in a bar, at work or wherever, that then makes them ‘switch their lights on’

29 year old single- previously engaged

Not far off to be fair! I know I have my moments but a lot of it is dictated by the woman, you can have your ‘light on’ meet someone who seems right, then over time they change or reveal a different side to them and then it’s over and your light goes off for the next person you meet.. you can easily meet the right person at the wrong time

Me: If you meet the right person at the wrong time then would that make you just move on? Or try and make it work?

Him: I’ve met some amazing people at the wrong time and where I’m not in the right gear I’ve not given myself the chance to make it work..but on the flip side I met the girl I got engaged to at the wrong time but I knew she was special so it changed everything

Humans are complex creatures, I guess you can’t really put emotions into situational categories

28 year old- engaged

Yeah 100%. My fiancé was the only person I’ve dated who I met when I wasn’t ready to start seeing someone. Every other girl..I think to myself I’m ready to have a gf, meet someone nice, and usually I have one within a month or so. It’s not the first girl to come along but it’s the first one who’s dateable

Me: so what made you change your thinking?

Him: Right girl, wrong time but I didn’t want to not date her. Turned out to be the right time after all because now I’m marrying her

29 year old- single

No *crying laugh emoji*. Depends on the girl.

Me: So you’d say it doesn’t matter where you are in your head, if it’s the right girl you’ll change your mindset

Him: Potentially. I did. Depends on the guy though. Some guys just want to be players all the time then somehow get tied down. Fuck just taking some girl because it’s convenient, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard

29 year old- single

Don’t agree with that at all. Obvs differs between different guys. I feel a lot of my friends have got to a certain age and just settled for whatever is in their life at that time to be honest, it’s happening more and more

I guess when you know, you know, and it just happens

30 year old- single

Very true indeed. It’s the same with lads though, some who just want their dinner on the table and a wife at home can’t wait to settle down, and they settle for anything

28 year old- engaged

Agree. I had a job for a long time which wouldn’t allow me to maintain a relationship monogamously. That’s down to me though, I didn’t want to have to be committed because I was having too much fun being a player. The moment I got older and changed careers though, I wanted the settled life. I’d had my fun single and I was ready for more fun but I wanted it in a relationship this time, but it would take a certain girl to swing it for me. Luckily I found her and I’m marrying her

56 year old divorced, now engaged- My dad 

She is right in saying that love is not that random!

Having said that in agreement, however, most men would fall for any woman if A- she’s attractive, B- he finds her personality stimulatingly compatible and C- there is unexplainable reciprocal chemistry. Then boom! It’s a wrap and yes in that order- lights on, off or yellow.

The common denominator among all the responses here is compatibility. No one has said ‘right time, wrong girl’. The ones who have settled all found the right girl, maybe at the wrong time, but they made it work through the belief that this person is the ‘right one’.

To pick up on the first response (25 single), he clearly doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but more so in it growing over time. The phrase itself is a shallow one.  Love at first sight refers to the fact that love does not merely consist of feelings; rather, it essentially involves time & activities, and these cannot be exerted at first sight.

To quote Steve Jobs: “As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” Or, as a couple of these guys have found out, you have a great run for a few months then she gets pissed off at you going out too much and wasn’t ‘the one’ after all. Either way, a guy will turn his light on for the right girl, as will be reciprocated by the girl, for the right guy, no matter what the circumstances.

Taking it back to the Old Skool (sans apps)


I wrote a piece for Elite Daily a while back entitled Are Dating Apps To Blame For Women No Longer Getting Hit On At Bars? (Elite Daily’s Sub Editor Americanised my original title)
and today I came across a similar subject on TED: How technology has transformed how we connect — and reject — in the digital age. 

Having had a busy weekend which involved a questionable amount of mixed drinks and consequently a day of hell for my liver and head, I resonated with the TED article and think it’s an important one for us (I won’t use the word Millennials because I hate it) young-ish, single folk who are now reliant on technology to give us instant gratification through dating apps just to get a buzz from a ‘match’. Now, I don’t know if this is the same for everyone, but the novelty soon wears off. The ego boost is good for the newly single who never had dating apps ‘in their day’, to make you think ‘heeey, I’ve still got it’ but then what?

Those who read my last post (thank you for your feedback by the way), will know that the date I went on was with someone I matched with on dating app, Bumble (I’m not on Tinder or any other dating app, I need the storage on my phone for all the screenshots I take and receive to and from friends on an hourly basis). This guy was lovely as a whole, and I was due to go on my second date with him today, but I cancelled. I just wasn’t excited about any messages I received, I haven’t thought about him since the date, and do you know why I think that is? It was too easy. The app gave me the knowledge that we both found each other attractive at first ‘swipe’, because we matched. Ok, great, that takes out the mystery and skips a step. But, is that great? Because the courtship has been taken away doesn’t that make it a bit more boring?

Don’t get me wrong, apps work for a lot of people I know, one of my best friends is getting married off the back of one of them. But for me, I think I need to meet someone I either already know, and grow that relationship from what I already know about that person. Or meet someone in real life, to work at real life gratification, rather than this tech heavy, instant ‘on a plate’ era that we’re now living in.

This TED article quotes comedian Aziz Ansari and psychologist Eric Klinenberg from their book Modern Dating: “you’re carrying a 24-7 singles bar in your pocket.” We are, and yet, it’s not as exciting as it sounds. Imagine being in a bar with all the people you’ve matched with. Now that does sound pretty good, but then add in all the other people who have matched with the same people in that bar. The anxiety of not knowing if the guy or girl you like actually thinks the girl or guy next to you is fitter, now you have the competition. This scenario in real life would be a mix of people, and you seeking out the person you find most attractive, to then go and muster up the courage to converse with.

Most guys I know will openly admit that they are always looking to the next more attractive match, but via their smartphones. We are now completely skipping a step, which could be detrimental to our own judgement. We use our initiative and paint a picture of a person just by looking at five photos of them, rather than being physically attracted to someone stood a few feet away from us and trying our luck with conversation. Courtship is dead.

In my hungover state today, I realised I don’t want to meet someone over an app. I want to meet someone organically and not force it. If I was newly single and wanting a throwaway relationship and had time to go on loads of dates with guys I’ve handpicked on an app, then I would carry on doing what I was doing two years ago. I know my date stories are entertaining, and I know I’m probably one of the most picky girls when it comes to guys (I could match with the most gorgeous guy but I get put off when I meet them from the smallest thing they say). So from now on, I’m taking it back to the old skool, and only going to go on dates with those I have met in real life, first. I mean, I really need the phone storage.

Back in The Game


It’s been a good few months since I’ve been on a first date. I’ve not posted about the majority of Dubai dates because this place is so small I end up becoming friends on social media with them which makes it awks if I then write about them. I also don’t mind dating, I’m in Sales so to me it’s just like going on a meeting with a client, so I don’t get nervous, I just talk for Britain.

I came off Tinder because quite frankly, it’s shit. No offence to those who love it- I did once, hence my blog’s namesake. But out here in the Middle East, the weirdos outweigh the less weird by a fair amount.

I did however download ‘Bumble’ which apparently contains a higher calibre of people (arguably), for you to swipe through; similar to Tinder. The difference is, the woman makes the first move if she wants to chat to the male, and has only 24 hours to do so. Which I actually quite like, mainly because of the amount of cringe one liners I’ve received in the past.

My opening line isn’t as witty as you’d probably expect from someone of my wit-factor (if I do say so myself), unless I’m in one of those moods. Like, someone was called Kevin so I messaged him saying ‘I hope your mum never left you at home, alone’, he didn’t get my Home Alone reference (Keevvviiinnn) so I simply followed with ‘alright Kev’, he understood that one but the conversation went nowhere, I hope Kev went on to find someone nice, hopefully in New York around Christmas time.. I digress.

So my line these days is a simple ‘hey.. *name*’. Some of the responses I’ve had: ‘Here she is..alright beaut!’ which genuinely made me think I may have already dated this person, but I hadn’t. That over familiar tone didn’t work for me so I left him on my Bumble feed to buzz away. (such shit puns, I’m sorry).

‘I can’t believe you matched with me, aren’t you married to Ashton Kutcher?’ That one went down well to be fair, until he asked me over to his so he could cook for me. And another ‘Your place or mine?’ back in your hive, Bee.

I was being overly picky with guys, shallow (which these apps all are, but hell, we’re animals), swiping right to anyone who remotely resembled Superman (my dream man) and subsequently being disappointed by one liners. I responded to one of the more ‘normal’ ones: ‘Hey, how are you?!’. The use of double punctuation made me think he was confused as to why I had messaged him saying ‘hey’. So I responded, and after an exchange of two or three answers, he asked me out and I said yes. I didn’t ask him any questions and I didn’t answer many of his. I chose this way because every ‘app date’ that I’ve been on in the past that has consisted of a lot of chat leading up to the date,which  has meant I build up a persona of this individual in my head, only to find out they’re completely different in person, and the chat has dried up quickly because I already know how long he’s lived in Dubai for, and what his favourite brunch is.

So this time I decided to wait until the date- after stalking him on social media first, obvs. I discovered we had two mutual friends. Both of whom lived in my house in Brixton before I moved there- we were introduced by a guy I once was seeing, who turned out to be cheating on his then girlfriend- with me (I had no idea, more on this here: https://tinderandblind.com/2015/08/05/being-the-other-woman/ ) So I wondered how I could drop our mutual friends into conversation without it being evident that I’d stalked the hell out of him before our date. I found a way.. keep reading, I’ll get there.

I was almost put off by two words he’d put in his message earlier in the day to confirm our meeting place. ‘Hun’ and hey ‘Lovely’. Just no. Both of those words used as a noun coming out of a straight guy’s mouth/ a potential suitor, are a total killer for me. Girls, by all means, you are ‘my lovely’. Boys, NO. You don’t need to call me hun, or darling, or lovely, or beautiful, or babe, just my name is fine. Until we get to the stage of making up vom-inducing nicknames and posting Boomerangs entitled ‘beach day with bae’, just stick to my name.

Anyway, after telling myself I shouldn’t judge someone for their niceties or be so damn picky all the time, I decided to just go with an open mind. Even though he proceeded to call me ‘honey’ when I told him I was in the uber en route. (So many Bee references here I can’t deal).

So, the date commences after a quick change post-gym and sans food. You know when you’re still sweating after your shower because of the time pressure to get ready, so wearing any kind of makeup is a pointless exercise, and you don’t have enough time to wash your hair, so you spray half a can of dry shampoo in the hope it dries up your sweat head? Yeah, that was the sort of state I was trying to cover up here. (Remind me, how am I single?!)

I arrive and he tells me I look gorgeous ‘honey’, I swallow my regurgitation. He asks pretty soon why I’m single, he says he was gobsmacked that I messaged him and asked if there was something wrong with me for being single. What do you even say to that?!  Instead of telling him that I’m so happy and content being single that I don’t want to give someone the chance to potentially destroy it by worming their way into my life and taking a piece of my freedom.. I  diluted it a bit. I told him it’s been my choice to be so, that I’m yet to find someone who is happy with how independent I am, but that I’m willing to change a bit for the right guy, if he can allow us to complement each other and not live in eachother’s pockets. BLAH. Especially as now my dad has got it into his head that he wants to be a grandpa within the next five years, I should probably start accepting dates again- I left that part out. FML, dad.

THEN when I got to the part about my ex and then the other guy after that, who had the girlfriend (as referenced to earlier) I dropped his name in while telling the story.

The conversation went like this (names not mentioned for obvious reasons):

Me: ‘I was seeing another guy after the ex fiasco, I’d actually ended things with him but he found me my place in Brixton so he came to our housewarming, there were a couple of photos on Facebook and I got a message the next day from a girl asking: ‘How do you know *fuckboy*? I’m his girlfriend’

Him: *Almost spits beer out* ‘*fuckboy*?? No, it can’t be the same guy?? Dark hair, works for *brand*?’

Me: *putting two and two together,  knowing it has to be the same *fuckboy* because we have mutual friends*  that’s the one. Small world or what, that means you know *names two mutual friends* ? It’s their house I lived in !’

Him: ‘oh my god I went on a stag with *fuckboy* and we stayed in the same room together in Amsterdam. I had no idea he did that!! I went to uni with *other two friends*’

Me: ‘LOL’

Whyyyyy oh whyyyyy am I cursed by my exes? Like some fuckboy enchantress curse that won’t get lifted until I find someone who isn’t a fuckboy and the rose will then regain its petals. I live on the other side of the world and they still end up haunting me.

Anyway, we had a lot more conversation, he noticed I was donning a Mulberry Bayswater and Jimmy Choos which made me question his sexuality before he assured me it’s because his ex was a designer hoe, and thought it important to tell me he knows all about surgery, which I thought meant he was a Doctor in a past life, turns out he meant the cosmetic type of surgery. Good. I then assured him I wasn’t a designer hoe, nor have I been under the knife, nor am I high maintenance despite my designer attire, I’m just really good at Sale shopping and spending (my own) money at tactical times of the year.

He told me he was looking to settle down, making hypothetical observations about the future and what he wants from a relationship. I don’t know what my face was saying but it reacts without me realising, which my friends are just used to now. I think I must have looked a bit terrified because he then changed the subject after noticing my face froze for a good minute (and I don’t even get botox).

We had 2 drinks and I had a starter while he had a main (let’s pretend I didn’t get home and demolish a pack of Maltesers in bed). He was a gent, he paid (of course I offered), insistently so, which for a girl- is a really nice thing. It makes me want to pay next time because I know he’s not tight.

He sent me some lovely post date texts with FOUR x’s after each sentence. I don’t do x’s. If you get an ‘x’ from me it’s because you’re a girl-friend, or I’m being genuine about something, like an ‘I’m here for you’ type message. Apart from that, I’m not a kissy person. Anyway I’ll let him off for the over affectionate use of letters in the alphabet and I’ll reply to his ‘I’d love to see you again, let’s make it happen xxxx’ text.

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First date outfit- Jumpsuit: Missguided. Shoes: Jimmy Choo. Belt: Topshop. Bed:Ikea


The Grand Finale

One of my new year’s resolutions for 2017 was to learn to say no to things without feeling guilty for doing so. This has meant I’ve successfully declined many ladies nights, brunches, nights out and even birthdays since 1st January. I used to feel so guilty for turning down events, so I’d end up attending everything I was invited to and thus burn myself out to the point of collapse (many times). After ending up in hospital at the end of last year with doctors orders to rest once I’d told her my typical weekly routine, I decided to listen.

This year after vowing to learn to say no, and sticking to it, has meant my quality of life is so much better already. I’ve lost over a stone from the lack of drinking or eating crap (as a result of all the drinking), I’ve been sleeping for at least 8 hours a night and working out six times a week without feeling lethargic.

The main reason for the health kick was after I agreed to take up an 8 week challenge with my gym- F45, and if you’ve been following my weekly posts then you’ll know all about it. (Sorry to those who are missing my unlucky date escapades, I’m not).

Before this challenge I was doing the same amount of exercise thinking if I worked-out then it would balance out all the partying and odd (frequent) glasses (bottles) of wine with dinner, along with the brunches that I was smashing through each weekend intent on maximising buffet ROI. It was my first year into Dubai life, a continuation of the busy London life I lead, and I was just about managing it. Letting myself be the ‘fun one’ and loving life as per, and it’s fair to say if I didn’t exercise then I’d have probably been much bigger than I was. But I’d had enough.

This challenge has ensured I’ve maintained a positive mind-set. Every week I would see muscle definition, my clothes getting bigger, and it sounds so cliché but my head felt clearer. I was more productive at work, giving presentations and pitches to clients with more confidence and clarity than ever. As a result I’d billed the most business in the shortest period of time.

The final two weeks of the challenge I’d say were the hardest, not just because every time I saw my friends they’d be eating pizza or Five Guys while I had a tupperwear box of air, but mainly because the carb portions have been next to nothing in order to burn fat instead of glucose (carbs) as energy like a normal person. But it’s the point I’ve seen the biggest difference aesthetically.

I still have a little way to go before I’m entirely happy with my body, and I won’t lie, I’m really nervous about going it alone with no challenge to complete- but I am now determined not to go back to my old lifestyle.

As glamourous as it sounds, going out to all these luxurious 5* Dubai hotels for happy hours, dinners and brunches all the time, quite frankly, makes you fat. Caveat: Now I’m not about to turn into a preaching new clean eating health guru- because everyone knows I’m a party girl at heart and I believe a drink is called for to reach full fun potential in a bar/club scene – judge all you want, but we all know how shit it feels to be the only sober person at a party while your mates are having the time of their lives singing along to the Pina Colada song. I’m not the sober girl. I’m the one who instigates a messy night out, the one who suggests shots, the last one standing while everyone else went home to get pizza and into their pj’s two hours prior. And I’m still that person at heart.. hell I spent last weekend on a diet of champagne and chocolate to celebrate my body fat death, but now I’m that person much less frequently than twice a week.

The last two months has reinstated to me that my lifestyle wasn’t about balance before, when I thought it was. I was doing 50/50, that changes now to 80/20. 80% of the time being the health freak who trains 6 times a week while snacking on six cashews and almond milk protein shakes, and 20% of the time being the old, prosecco fuelled, fatter me.

My results saw me lose 7.5kg, 10cm off my waist, 6% body fat loss and two boob sizes which isn’t ideal but you can’t have everything. I went off plan completely for two days while I had visitors out, and completed 47 out of 48 possible workouts with one active recovery day per week doing aerial yoga. I drank on three occasions (awards dinner, hen party, one brunch) while sticking to the meal plan the rest of the time.


The most important thing I learnt from doing this challenge was to prep. Every. Single. Meal. That includes snacks, literally everything you put into your mouth, portion out and when you think one portion looks adequate, it means it’s too much. Halve it.

I have had a lot of people message me asking for advice, but frankly I’m not an expert, I’m just someone who got sick of making excuses for herself and did something about it. If you don’t want it bad enough, you won’t succeed, no matter what advice you’re given. I have always been the sort of person to work hard if I want something badly enough, be it that pair of shoes, or that apartment, or that job, it might take me a year to realise how much I want it, but once it’s in my head I bloody well work for it. There’s no such thing as luck in my eyes. The same applies when changing your habits, you’ve got to be dedicated, and yes it’ll take over your life for a bit, but what’s a few weeks of abstaining when you come out the other side with abs?


Me celebrating at the weekend, post challenge

Week 7 of the F45 Challenge

19th-25th March

No carbs takes a while to get used to. The first two days of training were tough, especially the cardio workouts, I struggled to push myself due to lack of energy. My trainer told me to have a coffee before the next workout- which I thought was banned throughout the challenge, apparently not, it was only banned for the detox phase of the challenge! So this week I’ll ensure I have an espresso before my workouts to give me an extra boost.

The weekend saw me buying in M&Ms and mixed nuts..for my friends- before you judge. I hosted movie night at my apartment so I stocked up on things I couldn’t eat in order to make my friends happy. They ordered pizza’s while I heated up my chicken, pumpkin and kale dinner. I had a few nuts which meant I skipped the following day’s snack of cottage cheese & celery, because I probably got my fats worth out of those nuts.

I did however lose more weight, in total now I’ve lost 6.1kg, or 13 pounds. I’m 1lb off a stone and so happy.

I started day one of week 8- the final week, today, and typically my meals are coconut yoghurt with blueberries and almonds for breakfast, an almond milk protein shake and smoked salmon with cream cheese as snacks, with minced stuffed aubergine for lunch and lamb skewers for dinner (which I’m substituting for beef).

I have a wedding on Friday which means I’ll be finishing the challenge a day early, there’s no way I can forgo wedding food and drink for the sake of a day, so I’m going to train twice a day twice this week in order to balance out Friday for the weigh in and body scan.

I shall update this time next week with my results. One thing I’ve learnt in this seven weeks is that food prep is the absolute key to losing weight. Forget the exercise, I was working out six days a week long before this challenge, but this has educated me on what I need to put into my body to burn fat and most importantly, satisfy my hunger and realise HOW important portion control is. One more week to go!





Week 6 of the F45 Challenge

13th-18th March

I started my week on Monday instead of Sunday as said in my previous post, so I’ve done six days as opposed to seven so that I have a head start on my fat burning phase for this last two weeks.

The hardest part of my week was sitting in Five Guys with four of my friends, while they feasted on cheeseburgers and cajun spiced fries I had my tupperwear of Snapper and asparagus tucked in my bag. That was a low point of my life. Krispy Kreme next door was giving away free donuts, so they all grabbed one of those for dessert, but I abstained, for a change.

I started seeing results when I woke up on Saturday, the scales showed I was even lighter and the mirror showed muscles I hadn’t noticed before. I went to the mall to change something, and ended up taking butt selfies because I couldn’t believe how much of a toned glute(s) I’d built!

So now is the final phase of the challenge, it’s come around so quickly and it just shows that time passes anyway; make the right choices for a few weeks and you’ll reap the rewards.

This phase concentrates on Keto which is a high fat and low carb diet. This morning’s breakfast was 100g of ham (which I had to run to the supermarket for when I got out of bed  because I had forgotten to get it yesterday), with two eggs and spinach, cooked in butter. Hell yes to high fat.

Snacks today are an almond protein shake and veg sticks with cheese. That’s right- cheddar cheese. I’m intolerant to cows milk so the real test will be if I last during my training tonight, or keep running to the loo. Soz.

Lunch is meant to be lamb with chopped cauliflower, tomato, parsley and shallots with olive oil, lemon and garlic. But I don’t like lamb so I’ve substituted it with beef instead. Dinner is salmon with bok choy and soy sauce. Not too shabby.

I’ve also noticed a rise of men sliding into my DM’s (direct messages) on social media. It’s actually hilarious. It is sad really that aesthetics make such a difference, but I guess that’s society these days. We just need to stay true to our personalities and not turn into an egotistical preacher once we’re actually happy within ourselves. I am happy to see my body changing, not just because I wasn’t happy with putting on the Dubai Stone, but because it’s proved that if I put my mind to it, I can actually work at something without failing. I’ve seen many ‘weight loss transformations’ who have changed people for the worse, because they’re suddenly getting attention and know they look good, they become arrogant and intimidating. When really a few months ago they’d have favoured a film and a pizza over the gym and a protein shake and now they’re turning their nose up to anyone who chooses fries instead of salad at Nandos.  Balance is key, and once I’m done with this challenge I will maintain it, but I’ll not say no to a Five Guys and a donut.