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

The (Possible) Winning Formula

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I wrote a post a while back entitled ‘Why Won’t He Chat Me up?’ whereby the only male species who did chat me up came up with lines like poor old Ryan here. I had planned to do some experiments. They would include going out with the girls, going out with a mixed group, going out on my own, dressing to the nines, dressing down, no makeup, etc etc. Unfortunately although most of these has technically been practised, I get too blackout to remember that I should be writing about it.

Since moving to Dubai a year ago, my social life has and does mainly consist of going out in a mixed group, and staying within our group. When out with the girls on ladies nights we stick together and rarely speak to men. If we get approached we usually fob them off with ‘it’s girls night, soz.’ Because we’re genuinely catching up with each other.. hashtag girlpower.

Last weekend I went out for post-work drinks with a fellow single girl friend for the first time in a loooong time. Within 10 minutes we were approached. Granted this guy knew my friend so came over to introduce himself, then I proceeded to embarrass myself by saying rather loudly ‘oh my god he was SO FIT’, not realising he had walked back right at the precise moment I’d opened my mouth. But this is just what I’ve learnt to accept, my timely shit timings.

Before long we had attracted more male attention and we both looked at eachother like ‘what’s going on, this doesn’t usually happen?!’. The following night I went out again, this time with a bunch of gay guys as my beloved friend and Editor of a well known magazine (going to miss my free review nights) is leaving the Middle East. So in full fag hag mode I was, and I loved it. It was obvious the guys I was with were gay, which meant it actually attracted MORE (straight) men. Gay guys make the best wingmen EVER. I mean, they have so much confidence that it rubs off on you, and makes you lose your, erm, inhibitions.

After the weekend I reflected on the amount of black outs and the amount of conversations with males that I’d never have had if I was out with a group of 5+ girls. In previous posts I have mentioned how my single guy friends won’t approach groups of girls because they feel intimidated and don’t want to even attempt it, the fear of rejection.

I updated my single friend about the amount of confident interactions with potentials (like actual hot guys, not chavs) I’d had that weekend, and we both agreed that going out as two females for a casual couple of drinks was the winning formula. I must also add that it depends on the sort of place you’re in. If you’re in Rock Bottoms on a Thursday night, I wouldn’t be inclined to reach for the Tiffany catalogue. However, somewhere laid back but nice, like DIFC (read: MEN IN SUITS), you’re likely to mix with a slightly higher calibre and have more intelligent conversation. I must caveat that not all great men work there, there might be some around, like, the marina and stuff.

This way you aren’t repelling men just by being in a group of females with more matte lipped pouts between them than Sephora, and if you’re not interested in someone who approaches you, there’s still two of you so you can pretend you’re a lesbo couple, which we may have done (okay we definitely did this at one point in the night, but it was to get away from a 50+ year old Arab who wanted to take us to meet his dogs in his Land Rover, with a view to going to his hotel- apparently the Burj al Arab). No regrets.

I mean you don’t HAVE to pretend to be lesbians, you can also use the excuse that you haven’t caught up for a long time. Guys will understand that it’s a polite ‘boy, bye’.

In conclusion, we have decided that as well as keeping our ladies nights and our mixed brunches with our lovely crews, it is probably important to get out there and not be intimidating, a casual drink as a two or three with a friendly smile as opposed to our usual resting bitch face.

Dating Q&A- Text Reply

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Last weekend I received a message from a friend in the UK. It started off with ‘Dear Dating Guru’ before delving into the question which required adequate advice. It struck me that this isn’t an uncommon occurrence, me being asked for advice. I’m some sort of natural agony aunt and I have no idea why, but if it’s because I seemingly give logical advice then I’m happy to help.

Once I responded to this message I thought that it may apply to others too (I promise I asked more than just the one question, and I realise my sense of time was out here, too!). I asked my friend’s permission before openly publishing it. She shall remain anonymous.

The premise of this dilemma was that after some back and forth messaging over the past week, the boy in question was going through some work issues which my lovely friend wanted to help him with, just by being an ear for him. However, he hadn’t responded to her offer and previously had accused her of being too closed off with him.

It also unfolded that my friend had instigated all messages that week. This is a key detail. She wanted to message again telling him how she felt, namely rejected that he hadn’t responded to her sympathy after breaking down some barriers which she only did once he asked her to. Understandably she was annoyed and found it rude.

Now being the outsider I have to play devils advocate and see his side also. He’s having issues, I tell her, he might be grateful for the advice but just isn’t in the right place in his head right now to read too deeply into anything. So my advice? Don’t instigate any more messages. He knows her offer is there because she has made it clear. Don’t double text. Don’t tell him you’re frustrated/annoyed or think he’s being plain rude by breaking down her barriers then ignoring her. Just. Wait.

This applies to most situations: If he’s into you then he will reply, he will always message first if he is interested. Period. If someone is into you then they will make the effort, even if it is just one message among a busy morning.

Being on both sides I know it’s bloody hard to ignore your phone when you’re the last texter. You start over analysing situations and coming up with scenarios in your head, which ultimately (non rationally ) make you want the other person more. Everyone loves a challenge. If my friend doesn’t message then he will notice it, 100%. She automatically has the power shifted to her, no we don’t like all these games in our late twenties, but I’m sorry The Game doesn’t have an age limit. At the end of the day if you want to be wanted, you need to become a challenge to the other person.

I am assured she took my advice, even if she’s itching to message him abuse telling him he’s rude. She would usually be frosty with him (read message), but again, no need. Wait for him to respond, and if he doesn’t? Not worth the effort. Move on.

 

 

Happily Single, or a Commitment Phobe?

Below is an article I wrote for Elite Daily which can also be found here: http://elitedaily.com/dating/single-terrified-settling-down/1512116/

 

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Three years ago, I found out my ex was living a double life. A year later, he was married to the girl he cheated on me with, and last month, I found out they are expecting a baby together.

I’m not an obsessive psycho ex keeping tabs on it. I just found out through various means, and quite frankly, I was over it the minute I found out. But, I’m giving you the context of why I’m such a cynic when it comes to relationships.

Since then, the guys I’ve dated just don’t stack up to my new expectations of what a good relationship should be.

I’m not sure whether or not it’s because subconsciously, I don’t feel like I deserve a nice guy. I know I must have been cheated on for a reason. So, I become attracted to those I know I can’t change.

Another reason could be that I adapted so well to being single and not having any sort of commitment for longer than a couple of months. So now, I’m used to being the single girl with the good stories among my friendship group.

I’m 27, and when my mum was pregnant with me, she was told by a psychic that I would grow up to be a writer and get married at 28. She’s got one out of two things right so far, but the latter point scares me to death. This is especially true because according to my mum’s psychic, I have a year left to fall in love and get engaged. (Highly unlikely.)

What I want to know is, can you become so used to being single that you develop a phobia of being in a committed relationship?

I have been in two long-term relationships, so I know I can do it. But, I was a different person back then and oh so young. These days, the moment someone is interested in me, I freeze after a couple of dates and end up ghosting the guy. I’m the bitch, but really, I’m too scared of committing. So, I don’t want to end up wasting either of our time.

While speaking to fellow single girls, the ones who have been single the longest were also the ones who have been cheated on. So, I decided to do some research to see if it was something in our subconscious. An irrational fear, maybe?

It seems that after a while of being single, we become more selfish and notably more self-sufficient. We no longer need to think about another person’s needs before our own. It’s obvious, I know, but this means it’s harder to care for someone else as easily.

Our defense is on high alert, even during the first date. So, we can usually suss whether or not we will agree to a second pretty quickly.

Going from one relationship to the next within a shorter span of time is much easier for us to adapt to because we haven’t stopped flexing our relationship muscle memory. It makes sense.

For those of us who have been single for a while, at least we know what not to settle for. We know exactly what we’re looking for in the opposite sex. The thing to remember here is, perfect doesn’t exist, and our expectations outweigh reality over time.

The best thing I read during my research was this paragraph on thoughts4men.com, which states the following about settling down:

It’s all just to cover up the face you’re scared, and your instincts are telling you to run in the opposite direction as fast as possible because then you can’t be hurt by this person who now has partial dictatorship over your happiness. The greatest risk of all is..staying..and giving in to the fact you’re actually starting to care about someone. Someone who now has the ability to destroy you.

Which just about sums up how I feel. Why give away a piece of yourself that could get trampled on again? Instead I created a barrier which hasn’t been chipped away at in close to three years. Commitment phobe or what, eh?

 

What a Difference Two Years Makes..Not Much

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Since starting this blog two years ago to the day (thanks Facebook Memories for reminding me) I have been on circa 50 dates, including a kinda, sorta, long term-ish, long distance relationship, countless idiots who can’t differentiate your and you’re, and a couple of constant ‘nice guys’ who I friendzoned the minute we met.

I want to summarise the past two years of dating and what I have learnt, also why I choose to remain single.

The first person I started seeing after my ex screwed me over was a guy who was screwing his girlfriend over. From being cheated on, I was now the other woman without even knowing- it’s okay though, because his girlfriend and I became friends and still are to this day (happy birthday Luce!).

I then joined this magical soul destroying app called Tinder, which is what gave this blog its namesake. After agreeing to go on dates with lads via a swipe, I encountered some experiences worth noting down. Hence TinderandBlind was born and has gained around 4,000 views per post. Blows me away even after two years that I have that many people reading my ridiculous (and unfortunately true) stories, at least my Journalism degree didn’t go to total waste, eh dad.

The second ‘proper’ one was Dubai Guy- didn’t end well as he was screwing another girl at the same time as leading me on too, bravo.

Understandably I considered lesbianism (is it an ism?) but women, I find, are more complicated than men, and I want/deserve to be the complicated one.

After moving to Dubai last year I obviously went back on Tinder to see what this city had to offer. Cheetah’s riding passenger side of their best friends ride seemed to be a recurring theme.  No offence, but if you’ve got a Cheetah in your Land Rover, you’re not only a bloody mentalist but you’re restricting a wild animal, and I ain’t down for that. I also ain’t down for being a newspaper headline: “Tinder Date Mauled by Big  Cat after Refusing to Ride in Car”.

I deleted Tinder and met people the real way. Unfortunately that meant I met characters like Parrot Boy (see previous post), who by the way, I went on a second date with.. he got more drunk than me and mid date asked if I was friendzoning him because he couldn’t read me. Meanwhile two guys were sat on the next table ‘people watching’ us. I found this hilarious because they came to my rescue after Parrot Boy asked to go back to mine, and when I point blank refused, even using a really gross excuse that he didn’t accept, these guys helped. I ended up having a bloody great night and making two new friends. I should probably dedicate a whole post to that night, because it was a cracker..to be continued.

I then went on holiday with my ex before going back on Tinder, and have been on a date recently which actually didn’t turn out too badly for a change.

All in all, relationship-wise, I am still where I was exactly two years ago, single but happy.

I love not being in a relationship, I love spending my free time with my friends and not feeling guilty for it. And you may say that’s because I have suppressed my emotions to the point of not remembering good parts of a relationship, that may be true and I may be protecting myself, but yolo, I’m not committed to anyone. If in two years time I’m still writing posts about dating guys who never knew that Victoria Beckham was a fashion designer, then yes I will be slightly less happy than I am now, and also probably 70% lesbian.

In the meantime I want to thank all the people who read my crazy escapades and for your comments too. I also contribute for Elite Daily but always post the originals on here first so you guys get first read. Here’s to the evolution of TaB. Much love

 

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The Night I Found out Parrots can have Accents

 

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It had been around five months since I so much as accepted a drink from a male I wasn’t related to, call it a drought, call it not having time to concentrate on the opposite sex because work had become my life, either way I was subconsciously turning celibate quite happily.

This changed recently after copious amounts of vodka being drank out of a watermelon, and 12 hours worth of partying fuelled by an all you can eat buffet complete with chocolate fountain and an unlimited supply of booze.  This my friends, is what we here call a brunch.

Most brunches mean I’ve passed out and had two hangovers by 8pm.

This brunch had me going till 1am and oh my did it come with its consequences. Firstly there was a lot of dancing involved, with dancing came tequila and confidence. The next thing I remember is making eyes with a guy I deemed hot at the bar, he asked if I wanted a drink, I asked if the pope was Catholic, and off on an incoherent deep and meaningful we went.

After talking about things I have no recollection of, he then asked my favourite film (it’s ‘Three Men and a Little Lady’ by the way) and he said his was The Departed to which I admitted (wrongly) that I hadn’t seen. Of course I’ve seen it but I was 2 litres of gin down by this point so I thought he said another film. Anyway, by the time I’d realised he had said the film I had seen, I had to play dumb (and I looked it I’m sure) and his response was ‘we have to go and watch it now, back at mine, no funny business, just the film’. So I’m there weighing up super fast ‘it’s been a while, I’m intoxicated, and my feet are hurting so I could do with a film/lie down.’

He hesitates and says ‘oh, actually, erm, have you got the internet at yours?’ well I don’t live in the dark ages so obviously that’s a stupid question, but I wasn’t having him back at mine because I could just imagine him staying till gone midday the following day and I can’t be doing with the whole awkward next day scene. I am more of a sneaker outter the next day.

So I ask why he had changed his mind, to which he responded something that I had to see: ‘well, I’ve recently moved in with a divorced guy who is the landlord of my flat..and he has two parrots and a cat’.. to which I ask ‘do they talk?’ I had to see these talking parrots just for the story.. Yes they talked. Not only did they talk, but they had Scouse accents. This I HAD to see.

So I told him sorry but we aren’t going back to mine and thus we end up at his..

We get to the lobby of his building when the security man behind the desk asks him over. I’m stood there trying to be all sophisticated and sober looking, while really my eyes are glazed over and my hair is parted to the wrong side.

He comes over to me and says ‘right, we have a situation. The guard has just told me that my landlord, erm, he, well, he has a prostitute upstairs’, to which I literally crack up laughing. I think I even said out loud ‘oh my god I just can’t even make this up for entertainment’ because guys, this is all true!! and I’m so glad I have a platform to share with you.

Anyway, we make our way up to the apartment and I am visibly holding my breath while imagining bursting into a scene that I never thought I’d witness ever, let alone in this country.

The place is pitch black with no sign of human activity, we creep to his room before I almost trip over the cat. I then whisper ‘please can I see the parrots?’ I needed video evidence of these birds. He tells me where they are while he goes to the bathroom. I walk into said direction where I’m confronted by the sight of an extremely overweight man sitting topless, fast asleep in an arm chair. I jump out of my skin and really probably loudly, try to be quiet in running back to the room, tripping over the cat a second time.

I whisper-shout ‘your landlord is in there, asleep, I didn’t see the hooker!!’. He goes into the living room to make sure his landlord is alive and still has his wallet. He’s fine. All this excitement got me so tired that I quite literally fall asleep on top of his bed like a dead weight.

I’m woken up a few hours later by the sound of ‘alryyyt mate, Do Do Do Do Do Dooo Do Do’ you know, that football chant, followed by a wolf whistle. Yes, it’s the parrots in their Scouse accents.

I make a swift exit, but not before taking a selfie with the cat on the way out.

 

 

 

 

Ex on the Beach

sri-lanka-tours-2We are in Generation Y. This means we’re different to the majority of our parents and our grandparents when it comes to the dating game. Firstly it wasn’t a game to them, the male stereotypically courted the lady they liked, if she reciprocated they would usually end up getting married and having babies usually before they turned 25. More so in our grandparents era, they stayed together till death did them part, that is if they aren’t still alive,  still well, and probably still together.

On average these days, by the time we blow out our 25th candle we have been through (what we deem) two long term relationships and countless flings. Our generation rarely finds ‘the one’ at school age before going on to plan their funerals together.

I do have friends however who are in this minority, well at least they are on the road to it. Childhood or teenage sweethearts who turned into husband & wife, and parents- with no break in between.. so it does still happen.

But what about going back to your first love? Our first relationships are poignant because we have nothing to compare them to, we think this is our life with this one teenage dream forever; but then we grow up, drift apart, get into other relationships and move on as a natural progression, or in other words; life happens. A decade later, you have grown, physically and mentally. You have experience under your belt (literally), you’ve built up a career, tried new cuisine, travelled, been out with crazies, had one night stands, woken up in awkward situations, been in more long term relationships and read every man hating instagram account out there. So, armed with all this knowledge & experience and an opportunity presents itself to your ex, should you go back there, ever?

I got into my first real relationship aged 16 and we broke up exactly three years later during my second year at uni and his umpteenth deployment with the Navy. We broke up amicably and stayed in touch sporadically ever since. We both got into other relationships but we always kept in touch just as friends and never in person.

Years passed, eight to be precise, before we met up face to face. Both of us single, me now living in Dubai; a very different life to that of circa 2008 at uni in Portsmouth living the skint student life. Him still in the Navy having worked his way up the ranks. Both considerably better off in many senses than when we last sat eating breakfast across from eachother.

It was totally natural, we were friends catching up on life but we were still the same people, or we are still the same people, I should say. We grew up through the most crucial teen years together, experienced many firsts together and it was the first time our families accepted that their child wasn’t their little baby anymore. Our circumstances have changed, yes, but we are essentially no different to who we were when we met.

So how the eff have we managed to go from grabbing breakfast to the point where we’re going on holiday together? (firstly we all know I’m a fan of an international date).. I live in Dubai, he has a month off work, we are friends and Dubai is a holiday destination..Literal Ex on the Beach shiz is going down. Okay, we are taking a week to travel around Sri Lanka too and are going to be staying at the most incredible places: elephant orphanages, beach houses, a safari hotel, so that’s my holiday bit.

After booking this trip I started to think about all the advice I have read and have given, how you should never go back, always look forward, never back. Remember your first love and how you talked about all the future plans, with no doubt whatsoever that it won’t happen? the probability is that those plans turn into fantasies which are now cute little memories of things that never were meant to be.  Well this is actually happening a decade on which I would never have advised, but we are grown ups and we will always be in touch no matter what.

Although nothing long term can or will happen because we live on different continents, I think what I’m trying to get across is that going on holiday together feels totally normal because no one knows you like your first love knows you, so I won’t care as much when I inevitably fall off an elephant or get bitten by a rabid dog because he will fully expect that of me.

Update: We went on holiday, remain as firm friends. There’s a reason we shouldn’t go back, and I learnt it while travelling. There’s no point in forcing something that isn’t meant to be. We were always meant to be just friends, and that’s fine with both of us.

 

 

Egg Timer

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I recently turned 27 and I joke a lot about my eggs ‘dying’ mainly because of that episode of New Girl when Jess freaked out. But despite being perfectly happy with my man (read: ‘pain’)-less life, during a boozy lunch with my gay best friend in London he asked me outright if I wanted kids.

I reacted quickly with ‘Yes! But my eggs are dying!’ as I usually jest, but he found my comment so hilarious that he posted my one liner as his Facebook status. After returning to my desk at work I read his status and typed into Google:  ‘the best child bearing ages’ out of curiosity. The first answer that appeared pulled a recent study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists which stated that the average childbearing age is now 29, whereas in 1968 (our parents era) it was 23.

The most ‘secure’ age to conceive a healthy baby is between 20-35 years old for women. Relief washed over me as I read that, knowing I’ve got at least another two years to find myself a boyfriend, husband, baby daddy, soulmate. Plenty of time to live the dream. But guys who are looking to settle down at that age may be older, seeing as men mature later than women. Not a problem, right? Wrong.

I was under the impression that a man of any age could easily get a fertile woman knocked up overnight. But according to the study, the average 40 year old man takes two years to get his partner pregnant, even if she is in her early twenties.

More data from the Millenium Cohort study which followed 18,000 British children found that those born to women in their thirties tended to be more intelligent with high cognitive scores. Various factors contribute to this, including that women in their thirties are stereotypically more physically and mentally prepared to have children, they are likely to have higher incomes and be in more stable relationships which in turn provides a better environment for their children.

So it shouldn’t be us women panicking about our body clock ticking overtime because our eggs are drying up. We shouldn’t be feeling the pressure if we’re single and wanting to conceive just because of timing. I’m a big believer in fulfilling your own ambitions and goals before unnecessarily panicking about getting knocked up just so you don’t miss the fertility boat. There’s plenty of time..

 

Being The Nice Guy

Girls are weird. We want to be swept off our feet by someone with looks and a personality trait list as long as our ASOS history orders, and yet when we are courted by a genuinely nice guy, we label him as ‘too keen’ or quickly dismiss him into the well known Friend Zone where flirting goes to die.

We complain about players, man whores, cheats; yet we pine after the bad boys, hanging off every word, waiting for the blue ticks on whatsapp then analysing the duration from ‘read’ to ‘reply’. These are the boys who will only message us when they feel like it and drop us when they’ve had their fun. And stupidly, we thrive off it.

The term for this type of male is the F**kboy, and yes it is a noun. F**kboys usually come in the shape and size of something that is hard to reach. We want the challenge of changing them once we get them, if we get them.

But what if you’re not a F**kboy? Well, then you are the guy who we dub as the keeno, aka genuinely nice but too easy and too predictable. Nice is fine once we think we’ve caught ourselves the player who has changed for us because it boosts our ego knowing that we wanted them so much, went through the mind games, and we now have them and they have turned into a doting prince for us. Winning. However, this is a rare occurrence, which is why I’m still single along with the majority (though quickly becoming the minority) of my friends. It can also often be laden with trust issues, either because the guy knows how easy girls have been and think all girls are like that, or the girl knows their new beau’s history which will bring on doubts as to why he would have changed for you. But if you are in this situation, I would just go with it and trust until it’s broken.

I digress. So what about those genuinely nice guys who don’t play the field and are focused on one girl? I have many male friends who are in this category (and unfortunately they live in my Friend Zone where they live happily), I try to set them up with female counterparts by describing him as ‘I have the nicest guy for you, I would only ever introduce you to someone lovely’ .. but what is lovely? Why does ‘lovely’ not sound attractive and why do we associate the adjectives nice and lovely as ‘boring’? I get so annoyed with friends who I know have passed up a great guy, and yet I’m also extremely guilty of it.

So after spending time with a friend who treats the girl he likes, the way any girl would love to be treated if they were into someone (‘if’ being the operative word here) she’s gone off the radar. My advice to him was to start behaving like a F**kboy. Even if it’s not his nature to be one, act, play her at her own game, go off the radar. It doesn’t mean he has to sleep around, just don’t double text, don’t answer if she calls, don’t send her a photo of something that reminds him of their time together, don’t reply to the next message, she will eventually have to get in touch and the power is then shifted. It’s a guarantee. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know why we are ungrateful to those who care about us and show an interest unless we feel the same way. It’s beyond the realms of my brain power, and I’ve had many a conversation with girl friends about why we are so anti when it comes to nice guys, yet we complain about them not existing knowing full well that at least one of our ‘nice’ boy friends have been in love with us at some point. (This is also true vice versa)

There have been many times where I personally have really liked someone who I thought I would never get, then they became the ‘keeno’ before I was ready and it totally put me off, even though they were exactly who I thought I wanted them to be, and I kick myself for not feeling the same.

I swear being single before dating apps like Tinder was easier, these mind games were less of an anxiety. These days you can’t do right for doing wrong, no one knows where they stand, if you tell someone you like them, they immediately dismiss you as too keen, whether you’re male or female. Being single is hard, dating is hard, and what’s harder is the effort you have to put your mind through to try and analyse situations.

As I said. Girls are weird.

Dubai Life

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It has been a month since I smuggled 50kg of clothes, shoes and a Nutribullet into a 30kg weight limit on board an Emirates flight. A month of moving into an apartment higher than Sushisamba, attending three brunches, drinking spirits out of watermelons, drenching myself in sun, making new friends and starting the job of running the MENA arm of a global company, with one other.

I haven’t had time to touch the ground and think about home properly. Although a few days ago was the first time I missed it slightly, when I would usually be around my aunty & uncle’s watching the rugby with my family and dog, instead I was round friends’ who I’d met but a mere few weeks previous, and yet felt like I had known them forever. Eating lasagne with my new ‘Dubai family’. It was at that point I thought ‘this is my life now’ no more going home for the odd weekend to see the fam.

I’ve already learned a lot from just one month being here. Firstly, as just noted; your friends become your family. It’s different from London because although I wouldn’t see my family for months at a time, bar my brother, I knew I could get on a train and three hours later I would be in front of the fire with dinner being cooked for me.

I would see my friends in London on more of an individual basis, dinner with one on a Tuesday, happy hour with another on a Thursday, out with the girls on a Saturday. The lifestyle here is more of a big group vibe. Brunches here aren’t like brunches back home.. a brunch back home consists of being hungover and going for poached eggs and avocado on sourdough at midday in Brixton Village while resembling Vicky Pollard. Brunches here are quite the opposite. Think dressing to the nines, heels, makeup, hair. Arriving at a plush venue (by home standards) and being greeted with drinks on arrival; any drink you like in the majority of cases brought to you by a dedicated waiter for the duration of your stay, followed by food. Lots and lots of food. I’m talking sushi, roast beef, chocolate tarts, cheese boards. The lot. This lasts around three to four hours before you’re spiralling into an all encompassed hangover by 6pm, and, if you can muster the energy for an after party, basically the rest of your weekend is spent feeling like death. Then when you don’t have a brunch booked in, you’ll have a yacht party, or a beach party. Every single weekend is taken up with some sort of party, life’s a f*cking party (and I’m loving it).

Second learning: No one walks anywhere. Like literally you get a cab bloody everywhere because they’re so cheap/it’s too hot/everything is too spaced out. See a trend here? Loads of food and drink, no exercise. Heeey weight gain. But it’s okaaaay, we all have gyms and pools in our buildings. We know they’re there, on the fifth floor, or was it sixth? Erm, they’re there somewhere and we will find them.. when a muffin top starts forming and spilling over our bikini bottoms.

Thirdly, what you’ve probably wanted to know more than anything. Boy goss. Not one to kiss and tell.. mainly because this year has been particularly ‘dry’. Owing mainly to the lack of men with confidence in London/ me not wanting to go on random Tinder dates anymore/me being hugely fussy and a bit of a bitch.

But here, fresh off the boat, I have had a bit of an eventful month of it (by my standards). But it’s not like me at all, I feel like I’m back at uni and I do need to chill out a bit. Although meeting people here is part and parcel of moving to a new place, jumping into bed with partial strangers and spending a week feeling guilty about it is not cool, drunken or not. Cue best behaviour and my wifey-material self.

I have had a few messages wanting advice on moving abroad. I would say it’s different for everyone, if you’re a home bird who can’t miss their mum’s Sunday roasts, stay put. If you’re not afraid of meeting new people and immersing yourself into the unknown, do it. I am so lucky to have good friends already here, from whom I’ve extended my friendship group, and without them I probably wouldn’t have made the decision to move. To me this isn’t the start of a new life, it’s an extension to it. The goal is to always settle back home, live in a big house in Surrey with dogs and kids and all that jazz. The best advice I ever received from my gran is: “Only settle with someone who has the same goals as you. You can be totally different people but if you are both going the same way in life, it will always work”. But until then, I need to live life and ensure I’ve got no regrets before I pop sprogs, oh and find a potential suitor of course..

Doin’ it.

 

Being The Other Woman

the-other-woman-posterWe often hear about the women or men in relationships being cheated on, but what if you’re the other woman? How do you deal with knowing you’re embarking upon a one sided affair? Will you always be second best? Or what if you don’t know you’re seeing someone who’s taken?

At drinks last night after a particularly long day, a friend and I had a few stories about ‘the other women’ between us, not least because we’ve both been there. Two hours and the same amount of double gin and soda’s later as we left she said I should write a post on this very subject. All the anecdotes below don’t contain real names because I don’t fancy getting sued.

Story one was about a girl called ‘Amber’ who had been dating a guy for a couple of months. She had slept with him and he was a bit shady in general, so after a bit of standard social media stalking, she found out he had a wife. Not only was he married, but the wedding was two months earlier, meaning he had only been married for a month when he slept with her.

Now, morally, my inclination would be to tell the wife, to save her from a potential lifetime of cheating. Girl power and all that. Then we discussed the repercussions of telling her.

This would destroy her world, everything she’d built up to since she met the man of her dreams, shattered in one fell swoop. And who’s to say the wife would even believe Amber? At the end of the day, women believe what they want to believe, even ignoring friends and family.

We wear rose tinted glasses when we’re in love or we’re blinded by it, and without hard evidence we choose to believe the person (we think) we know, and of course love. It’s only hindsight that makes us realise what idiots we’ve put up with.

If this bride were a friend of hers then she would obviously have known she was married to the guy, but in my opinion that’s even more of a reason to tell her. Or just use common sense and don’t get with your friends man, like duh.

We agreed that in this situation, Amber was best to leave well alone and cut contact from the rat. The wife would find out eventually if he made this a habit, rather than come across as the ‘psycho other woman’ who ruined an early marriage.

Another double gin and soda ordered and we discussed another story we knew of and asked ourselves some questions on how we would deal with it. This was a puzzle.

What happens if a guy was in love with a girl, let’s call them Ben and Emma. Ben was really, truly in love with Emma, but she was somewhat unobtainable, however Ben still held out hope that it could work out, so for convenience he hooks up with a girl he knows to fill the void in the interim all the while keeping it from Emma, yet telling Emma she is the love of his life and other sentimental garble that men say when they want to have their cake and eat it too.

Emma eventually found out about the other woman. So then does that make Emma the other woman? Apparently Emma asked Ben about it and he confirmed that it was a random hook up because he wasn’t in a position to know if it would work out with them or not, and he would essentially drop his current beau for Emma because he loved her. So this is the awkward situation. Morals vs ease. Emma saw how quickly Ben could brush off a girl he’s with, so she definitely didn’t want to be with someone who treated a girl like that, but for female empowerment, is it the same as the last story?

My friend and I had two arguments to this story. I said if they aren’t friends then the new girl would just think that Emma wants to swoop in there and steal Ben back, even if that is absolutely not the case, this is where the rose tints come into play again.

So then should Emma just walk away and leave them to it, maybe his love would grow for the new girl and they can live happily. Or should she give the new girl a heads up so she’s not second best to Ben? In my opinion absolutely no girl should come second best to a guy they’re meant to be with so surely she deserves to know? Or maybe not?

Now for me. I saw a guy once who had a girlfriend, I didn’t know he was in a relationship and we even had mutual friends who thought he was single. Luckily though, Lu (the girlfriend) messaged me and asked me about it after noticing an innocent photo on Facebook. A woman’s intuition knows no limits, and she instinctively knew something was going on. I was gobsmacked when I found out he was in a full blown relationship, and I was for once, the other woman. I felt awful and suggested we met up. We did, and turns out he had great taste, because she is now one of my best friends. She is in a new amazing relationship and she’s a friend for life. Without me telling her the gory details of her ex and I’s relationship, she would never have known what a rat he was and maybe not have moved on. This is the epitome of female empowerment and I’m still so proud of how we dealt with that. A lot of girls would have fought over the man, or the girlfriend would have blamed the other woman, even if she, like I, had no idea he was in a relationship.

When I brought up my example last night, my friend said it was different to the Emma and Ben situation because Lu had contacted me first, so it didn’t seem as though I was trying to break up their relationship, because I had no idea about it!

So I guess there’s the difference. It’s a minefield. I know that I would want to know if I was being played, but many girls like living with rose tinted glasses, mainly because they’re terrified of being without.