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

Month: June, 2014

The best date so far

Most people start off meeting somewhere mutual before realising they like eachother, a few texts back and forth before organising a first date maybe. After a first date if both parties are interested, a second date is arranged followed by a third, and so it goes on. A first holiday is organised what, a few months down the line? Once you’ve decided things are ‘official’ and you feel comfortable enough being exposed in a two piece H&M bikini or a pair of Speedo’s for longer than a swimming pool outing.

So what’s the stance on a first, second and third date, oh and a holiday..rolled into one weekend..in Dubai?

Yeah. I kinda went on a date to Dubai.IMG_3078

It was the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done. The reason I did it? Because I couldn’t think of any why I shouldn’t. The friends I told encouraged me to go for it: “It’ll be a good story to tell your grandkids. You can say that when you were in your twenties you took up an offer to go on a date thousands of miles away”. That sold it to me; I’ll be such a cool grandma. Well, no, that wasn’t the main reason. I got bored of dating incompatible guys, so I decided to give it a break and see if anything came to me. Ironically, a reader of this very blog got in touch with me after I had met him on holiday in Dubai a couple of months ago through mutual friends. He asked for the link to the blog after hearing about it through our friends, so I gave it to him.

Things quickly turned from generic chat to more subjective life chat. We messaged constantly for around two weeks before he popped the question, so to speak. He had won a night’s stay in a 5* hotel on The Palm in Dubai which he needed to use before July: “Don’t suppose you want to come and be my +1? It’ll only go to waste else” I read on my whatsapp.. who am I to turn that offer down? I’ll be doing him a big favour helping him use that hotel and I’m all for doing a good deed.

Firstly though, I didn’t take it seriously. This doesn’t happen to me, you read these sorts of scenarios in books, and only Rebecca Bloomwood gets these mental opportunities. So I asked him if he was being serious to which I got “yeah, why not! Be spontaneous!” I have a scour at Skyscanner on my lunch break and realise the flights aren’t actually too expensive at this time of year, probably something to do with the 35degree average temperature. Even the airlines are trying to lure me in, I thought. It took me a couple of days of thinking and asking others opinions, oh and selling a pair of Louboutins (it’s okay, I have another pair and the sold ones were bought for me by my ex, bad omen) before I finally sat down and booked it. Good old AMEX doubling my air miles with BA, another pro to this crazy decision I was making. So now I had booked a flight to go on a date, in Dubai. I’ve bloody done it. Oh. My. God.

After constant, and I mean constant, messaging to the point where my housemates told me I was acting like a teenager, by the way I would laugh out loud then look up to find them all staring at me, as if I’d just interrupted a conversation about religion or something. Sooorry guys, just a message I got. Cheshire cat grin plastered on my face. I knew I’d made the right decision, albeit a crazy one.

We all have that nervous anticipation before a first date. I had met this guy a couple of times previously, but in a social capacity. There was no one-on-one time, in fact I even tried to get my friend to chat him up while we were there on holiday, though I did approach it as “he’s really fit, what do you think? Holiday romance?” she was having none of it and I didn’t think about myself, too busy playing matchmaker. (I did add him on facebook after that holiday though; he made the first message move).

I hadn’t felt this excited in a good few years. Guys have come and gone and the ones who have been interested have either been too overbearing or boring. The fact I was going to another country to meet someone that hadn’t been via Tinder or a setup was exciting and new. Not to mention the fact I was about to top up the already fresh tan.


Reality kicked in the day of flight. Sat at my desk in the office, my colleagues all knew what I was up to, one asked how I was feeling. Up until that moment I was so busy with work that I hadn’t properly thought about the getting to the airport, or getting to the other side. Now I started to panic. We both obviously had an idea of eachother and we always glorify what someone will be like when it’s in our heads. So what if he was really disappointed? I’m a bit too down to earth sometimes, people think I’ll be intimidating and sophisticated whereas I’m ditzy and a klutz at the best of times, hiding behind my eyeliner.

After a smooth Terminal 5 experience, I arrived in Dubai. I waited for half an hour at the wrong baggage carousel. *Introducing me*.

Once I realised that everyone else had left and I didn’t actually recognise anyone off my flight, I found my bag sat next to another carrousel like a total loner. Good start.

Meanwhile he was waiting outside for me; we greeted eachother with a peck. I was knackered, properly tired but I quickly forgot about that and the chat was mainly consisted of me saying “I can’t believe I’m here”, to which he responded “it’s good right?”

We got better acquainted after a Bucks Fizz that morning. He took me on the best first date I’ve been on..wine and cheese. Can’t go wrong, did he research these were my two favourite foodstuffs? We proceeded to a bar in a nearby hotel, turns out it was the wrong hotel and we were rather tipsy in a lift with some strangers when he realised the error. We went to the right hotel. We drank more. I spilt the best part of a glass of Cabernet Shiraz over my cream dress and tried to hide it, it didn’t work, he noticed it and we used white wine to attempt a DIY Vanish jobbie.

Second day we went to the famous hotel on The Palm. Those who know me know I get very excited, the phrase ‘like a kid at Christmas’ is apt for this situation. This was just something else. We pulled up to a grand entrance and I had that light headed ‘wow, this is amazing’ feeling as we entered. I’ve been to nice hotels before, but I was swept up in the romance of it all.

That feeling remained until I was asked for my passport ID upon check-in. I had left it at his apartment. Shit. The lady at reception told us there was no way we can stay without my passport, it was a requirement. She asked if I would have a copy on my emails. Yes!! I did. When buying a place with my ex I had to scan it to our solicitor, this information all rushed to me and I spent about ten minutes trawling through my emails until I found it. Thank god for that, trust me to almost ruin the holiday. Our hotel room was awesome, the balcony looked out onto a pool lagoon and we sat outside in our robes drinking red wine that night before having dinner at Atlantis.


A room with a view

The rest of the weekend was a dream. No awkward silences but no forced conversation, I was happy to lie on the sun lounger on the beach with a cocktail in silence, just soaking it up. Then we had sea breaks and just talked about all sorts. Watched footballer Darren Bent (yeah I had no idea who he was either) trying to balance on a paddle board, and drank lots. The final day was spent at the beach before he took me to the Hilton Skybar which had epic views across The Palm and we supped a G&T with the sunset as our backdrop.


Sunset from the Hilton

We proceeded to a cute Italian (restaurant!) for dinner before I headed back to the airport. I remembered I had promised my vegetarian friend who was my holiday companion the last visit, that I would bring her back some marshmallows. Apparently fish gelatine is better than pig, so a detour via Spinney’s supermarket was made, with me tottering in my heels around the supermarket looking at the ingredients list of these mallows. T’was a scene.



Fishy Marshmallows


Bye, bye, Dubai

We said our goodbyes and I was back at Dubai airport ready for a 6 hour night flight/sleep across three seats before returning back to my desk for 9am. With a head buzzing with new memories, and a bloody good tan.

Another single girl’s game..

Below is a post sparked from a conversation with some single girl-friends over dinner and wine. I asked one of them to contribute to my blog to show her point of view of this dating game so many of us are playing. She well and truly plays the game, openly and honestly. She has a hell of a lot of stories, one of which will be posted very soon, because quite frankly Carpe Diem (that will make sense once you read said post). Anyway, I welcome contributors so any stories you have worth sharing, get in touch. Also would love a guy’s perspective on this..


Serial dating is a game. Whether you ‘win’ after two levels or one hundred levels or are not playing with a goal in mind at all, these days, it’s a game. It has rules, there are cheat tactics, experience may be an advantage, it’s unpredictable, some love it, some hate it, however you look at it, if you date, you’re playing it.

To be clear, the game is for those who want to be playing it. This theory is not aimed at those who are honestly just looking for love, they would mostly hate the game- understandably so, and that’s why I use the phrase ‘serial dating’ – people who date around because they enjoy the adventure and thrill of it and no matter how short or long you play the game, your hope is to ‘win’ it. What I mean by ‘winning’ is getting to where you want, which for most I would guess is ultimately finding someone, a partner but in any short or long period of time. Someone who matched you at every level, who sometimes raced ahead and pushed you under a bridge but then slayed a dragon for you down the line and helped you back up. It has ups and downs, some enjoy it more than others, some loathe it, others judge it – I personally, absolutely love it.

That’s probably because I’m fully aware my game has about one thousand levels, I’m not looking for a cheat to skip to the finish and have a happy ending. I love dating for what it is, I expect I may get a few grazes along the way, we’re all human; you have some wine, call your girl-friends and learn from it.

Personally, I love the thrill of dating, I love the excitement, the phone watching, the way it turns you into a wannabe MI5 agent by Googling, Facebook stalking and Linkedin flirting, checking Whatsapp to see if he has read the message, when was he last online? How long will it take for him to reply? The emoji’s he uses – if at all, if not why not? By not using a cute wink face is he simply mature and over it, or is he playing it cool? If he replies with one ‘x’ or ‘xx’ what does it mean, if he puts ‘xxxxxxxx’ at the end of a message I get freaked out when really, it may just be auto-correct. He changes his picture to him and a girl- is he trying to spark a reaction, or is it his sister?

First date judging- Where he takes you for the first time, is he trying to impress you or test you? It’s a great topic for girly gossip. I have many coupled friends who love to hear me go on about it, my theories, my conclusions, the cringes, the excitements – I’m pretty much certified crazy, I just know who to let see it.

But do guys enjoy it as much? I thought my attitude to dating would be a dream. I want fun, banter, adventure, excitement – all with no fear of leading on, I don’t want to give false hope, I’m not a tease and I am honest about it. Sure if there is a crazy instant spark I won’t deny it but really, I’m not looking to progress to anything any time soon at all. I have commitment issues. I’m not in denial, I own it. When I meet people, especially after a few spritzers, my opening line tends to be “inside I’m made of ice, the Ice Queen as I’m fondly known to my friends”. My flat mate is convinced this is the best chat up line invented, guys and girls alike love a challenge and that’s setting it up for them.

The way I see it, guys wouldn’t buy a game for their Xbox if they knew they could complete it in a week. They like getting to the different levels, seeing what’s around the corner, the unexpected. They discuss it with their friends, share tips, discuss failures and successes, they have pride over it and hope to crack whatever difficulty they get. Might they get bored along the way? Sure, and so might I. So long as both players know they are playing the game, I say game on.

Dad always knows best..

It’s Fathers Day today. I’m not spending the day with my dad as he lives abroad, so instead I spent a good while thinking about him and what I’ve learnt from daddy dearest.

Like most father- daughter relationships, I’ve experienced the protectiveness, the ‘you’re so unfair’ arguments after being forbidden to stay out after a certain time, and also the embarassing boyfriend conversations.

So after growing out of my teenage years a good six years ago (ahh), I realised how our relationship has blossomed, ironically since he has lived thousands of miles away from me we’ve become closer than ever.

I wanted to share what has been etched into my memory and advice I would hope to pass onto my own eventual offspring.

Firstly the importance of being open minded and not small minded has been key to my upbringing. This has varied from my brother and I always being taken to the most random restaurants and countries, trying new foods, if we don’t like it then at least we’ve tried it. I’m a stubborn person, so is my dad, so we’ve clashed on many things and I would be the first to say I don’t want to do something out of spite, knowing my dad wanted the opposite reaction. Let’s put that down to a phase. The ‘ewwww mum said sushi is raw fish and makes you sick’ after he tried for ages to get me to try a tiny bit. Well dad, I bloody wish I listened to you sooner, sashimi has changed my life.

Seeing as this is a relationship based blog, the thing that stayed in my memory since my dad told me when I first started at secondary school, yet probably totally ignored up until I was in my late teens was: Never. Chase. Boys. Cliche I know, but so, so true. We girls are all guilty of doing it, but truth is, if a guy wants you badly enough, he will have you. However, there is a flaw in this theory..

It’s usually the guys who want you that are the boring ones, or too keen and needy..us girls like the chase. It’s a catch 22 situation, we’re never happy. We like the initial chase, then if they like us back it’s a buzz. We’ve got them but it quickly gets boring. Prime example: I really liked a guy, when I had an opportune moment I made the first move and got the reaction I wanted. We started seeing eachother, I even sold him into my dad ‘he went to private school dad, he’s got a degree!’ (something none of my previous conquests had, and my dad hated) it got him quite excited. Then it all turned keeno too quickly. Long story short, I didn’t want a relationship and he was a no sex before marriage kinda guy. For me it turned well and truly into the friend zone while he wanted 2.4 children.

Best case scenario? a girl really, really, really likes a guy, girl holds out and keeps her guard up, he likes girl, girl is very happy about this but plays it cool, he ups his game, but plays it cool while taking control and proves he likes girlas much as girl likes him. Happily ever after..Now this does not happen often, at all, so taking my dad’s advice to not chase is the only way of filtering out the arrogant bastards who know/think they’re worthy of our time and effort (do they not realise how long it takes to ‘prepare’ for a date?!) the ones who know we’ll make the effort yet if something comes up with their mates that they ‘have to attend’ and can drop you like it’s telling your nan you can’t make Sunday dinner, then no, they’re not worth the chase. Yet it’s those ones that we hold out for and go back to.

My dad also told me this is what happens.. ‘when you’re older you’ll realise’ it’s not the glorified hunks that are the ones who are loyal and faithful. They are glorified hunks for a reason, to attract modelesque women, but that’s never enough. They may have the most beautiful idealistic woman on their arm, but a blonder or more brunette version will stroll past and he’ll look over his shoulder.

I’m not saying a guy who looks after himself is a love rat (not in my exes case anyway) and all the ugly guys are all loyal and amazing counterparts to a relationship purely because they can’t attract other women; I’m saying the ones who want you and no one else, will work for it rather than knowing what they can get on a plate.

My dad once said to me I deserve to be with someone who would put me on a pedestal, I disagree, that’s no fun. But that’s something all dads want to see for their little girls I guess. For me it’s about never having to rely on a man for any kind of security apart from the protective kind. If you can stand on your own two feet then you will never have a problem if times are tough. That’s just me though and many will like the fact they can ask their partners for their credit card to buy a cute dress for dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I would never be ungrateful for a dress (preferably a Victoria Beckham LBD), but there’s a difference to being handed something without thought, and being bought a gift.

There are some things I don’t agree with my dad on, he’s quite old fashioned in some ways but I know he has become more relaxed since having a new woman in his life. I remember giving him advice on how women work when he was first courting his now fiance- I do believe I taught him a fair few things about playing hard to get in order to keep her on her toes. He’s a hopeless romantic is my dad, and I know that’s ultimately what I want in a man, to just randomly receive flowers for absolutely no reason at all (as opposed to either associated guilt or forced romance i.e Valentines Day, no thanks) or be whisked away for a weekend. He’s got it right, now.

Up until now, every relationship I’ve been in has been me taking the lead, me organising any trip/holiday/dinner/bill paying, I have never had a proactive boyfriend because I wanted to mould them into what I wanted, I thought I could change my past relationships into my idea of perfection, rather than letting it be or meeting someone who was naturally in synch with myself, I took the people whom I just thought were ‘ok’ for me, and attempted to be the world’s perfect girlfriend, avoiding arguments like the plague, not minding when I get a text on a Wednesday morning letting me know they went out the night before and got hammered. Being too laid back maybe.

What I hate about getting into relationships is the associaton of just that. Sacking your mates off to see your boyfriend/girlfriend= melt, bore, changed. If you’re not in a relationship but just ‘seeing’ someone it’s far more acceptable to ditch after-work drinks for a date, for the possibility of getting your leg over you’re a ‘lad’ (if you’re a guy, obvs) and snapping a pic of her bra on the floor to post in your whatsapp group is what, just the done thing these days isn’t it? Who cares if it’s your missus’ bra on the floor, booooring.

It’s sad that not everyone can just be friends without having that segregation of ‘oh I’ve got to get home early else he’ll just text me all night’. This is why I’m well and truly taking on the next bit of advice from father: Wait. There is no rush, there’s no point in forcing it. Yes, this blog was intended to record my learnings and experiences from forced dates with the likes of Tinder being a catalyst, and to be fair it’s been a nice release, to write again, but am I (personally) really desperate to find my Mr Right that I’m proactively seeking them through a mobile phone app which just shows me five photos of potential eligible bachelors? Me, personally, no. It’s all for the banter, for the stories, for the ‘when I was in my 20’s I did this, and that, and oh that was hilarious’ because why not?

When it comes to eventually settling down, who knows. Whatever will be will be, but until then I’ll happily enjoy being a bridesmaid as opposed to a bride and the only man who is guaranteed to have my heart forever, is my dad.