Dating Blog

Is Online Dating Embarrassing?

The date had gone well and he was walking me to my car when instead of asking about our second date he says “we gotta start thinking about what we’re going to tell people about how we met”. Honestly, I was a little taken back. Should I be offended? Is he embarrassed of me? about how we met?

Of course, I couldn’t really be offended because I had similar thoughts just last week. Dating apps are where all the people who have been rejected in their real life congregate. Honestly though, that’s not exactly true. If you work really long hours or in an industry predominately populated by the gender you’re not interested in then you’re just not meeting enough people in the outside world that you could even consider dating. When I first joined online dating, I was in college surrounded mainly by college guys who were only interested in hooking up and partying. Since neither of those interests me, I decided to search for people who actually matched my interests.

Perhaps 5 years ago, when dating apps were much less mainstream, the few people meeting online would be embarrassed about admitting how they met. Now though, 49,650,000 people have tried online dating out of the 54,350,000 singles in the US. For those that haven’t given it a try, they probably still know a relative, friend, or coworker who is on a dating app. So if you’re talking to someone under 75 years old then you most likely don’t have to worry about anyone asking which fishing dock is named Plenty of Fish.

But maybe the issue isn’t IF people know about dating apps, it’s WHAT they know about them. Are dating apps seen in a negative light? Do people look down at those on such sites? But with one-third of marriages starting online, it now seems like an appropriate possibility with reasonable success for relationships. Sure, Tinder will probably always be seen as the hook up app or just a mobile game everyone plays now to pass the time. But even then, I still know a couple that originally met on Tinder now planning their wedding for next year.

Or maybe, it’s time we care less about what people think of us and our dating lives. If you’re dating a guy who treats you well and makes you happy, who cares how you met him! Your close friends and family will forget all about his dating profile once they begin to see him together with you more. And for everyone else’s opinions who don’t really matter, you’ll be too busy holding hands and making future plans to ever worry about such opinions.

 

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I Finally Got a Boyfriend!

So if you read my Liebster Award post back in August, I kind of let it slip that I recently got a new boyfriend!! (which by the way, is such a weird way to say that, it sounds like I just brought one from the store or something…) He’s also Dater #4 ( the good kisser lol) from Back in the Saddle if you read that post and were taking your guesses as to whom I was going to see again.

I’ve got some bad news and good news for all my fellow singletons out there, the good news is you don’t have to have the perfect dating profile, play hard to get, or follow any other dating rule out there because finding a significant other is basically all up to chance and fate. The bad news is all this effort you’ve been putting in to having the dating scene figured out and thinking you’re another step closer to finding your partner is pretty much bologna because finding a significant other is basically all up to chance and fate. I consider all those saying about finding love complete nonsense if I’m being honest.

You’ll find love once you stop looking for it: Lies. I went on 4 dates in the same week, I was 100% looking for love. I have been on the hunt for the past 2.5-3 years now. The only way in which this phrase kinda works in regards to my boyfriend was that I had no expectations for our first date, in fact each of us were considering cancelling on the other!

You won’t find love until you learn to love yourself: Another lie. This one has always bothered me a little bit since I do struggle with self-love and the fact that I wasn’t finding a good match was just cementing the idea that I was unloveable. You’re too close to yourself to see the big picture clearly of who you are as a whole. You nitpick at yourself rather than acknowledging the general idea that you’re a good person that just makes mistakes like every other human.

I do believe in self sabotage though, whether its subconscious or not, I used to pick emotionally unavailable men because I was afraid of showing the real me and getting hurt or abandoned. It also took meeting a good guy to realize how much I was settling because I didn’t realize how much more effort and consideration I deserved from a partner. My boyfriend compliments me all the time my intelligence, my creativity, my body, my nurturing skills, and every other part of me. I know it’s up to me to work on any issues of self-doubt but his support shines the light on parts of me I overlook and often expect more from. I can be a work in progress and be loveable at the same time. I can still love someone else while learning to fully love myself.

Of course, I’m sure there will be someone reading this who had one these clichés work for them or someone they know. The cliché for me and the boyfriend is “Timing is Everything” but I would never give someone the advice of waiting for a guy or periodically checking in on old flames to see if the timing is better now haha. We weren’t waiting around for each other which made the two of us very surprised with what we discovered that first date but that definitely will not be the case for everyone else (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE DON’T WAIT AROUND ON A GUY HOPING HE’LL GET HIS ACT TOGETHER OR SUDDENLY FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU) But I think everyone should take each cliché with a grain of salt. You don’t know which one will end up being yours, if any at all.

In the beginning of this article I said finding love is all up to chance… but staying in love is a choice you’ll make over and over again, don’t confuse the two.

When Should the First Kiss be?

There’s not exactly a set time, but there is definitely a window from date number two to date number four with the sweet spot being at the end of two or three. Timing is super important here. You want to make sure a connection is there before jumping the gun.

Trust me there is nothing worst than going in for a kiss too soon.

If a woman isn’t ready for that kind of intimacy than you only seem disrespectful and aggressive and that’s a sure-fire way to sink your chances with her. You can gage how ready your potential suitor might be by starting with casual touches such as shoulder brushing and a brief hand on the arm. If that seems to go well then you might lean in more during conversation or sit closer so you both might get used to each other in your personal space. From there, more frequent touching, hand holding, and hugging will help build the physical connection. It’s totally normal for it to feel a little uncomfortable from the new sensation and the nervous butterflies, so there’s no need to rush any physical contact.

That’s why it can take two to four dates in order to establish this connection and build up to the first kiss. You both want to be thinking about and craving this kind of intimacy. Of course, everyone moves at a different pace and just like the possibility of moving too fast, there is also the mistake of moving too slow. If you wait too long, he may think you’re not really interested in him romantically. You’ll go from potential dater to friend and watch as he turns his focus to other girls to pursue romantically.

When I first began dating, I obviously had a lot less experience and because of that I definitely did not want a kiss on the first date. I thought it was too soon and if a guy tried I thought it meant he was disingenuous. That was nearly three-year ago now and it wasn’t really until a couple of months ago that I changed my mind on first date kisses.

I still believe the second date is probably better and more popular but as long as I am forming a connection and climbing the ladder of physical contact then I’ve become more accepting of first date kissing. As long as your partner and you feel comfortable, than you can move at whatever pace you want and change that pace when you want!

Getting Back in the Saddle

It’s difficult to change your mindset or routine because it requires conscious effort and work. It’s easy to just continue life on auto pilot, never leaving your comfort zone. But that’s a pretty limited area and there’s not enough room to grow. I haven’t been on a date in 6 months. After yet another potential relationship crashing before even getting off the ground, I was somewhat hopeless about my future.

I tended to my wounds in private and back to the comfort of my own company. It was safe here, no hope to shatter nor vulnerability to fear. Eventually dating finally held my interest again for longer than a few weeks. I found myself talking to a very nice boy, one with old fashion manners and quite the infatuation with me. His compliments and sweet nature warmed me up to a coffee date.

It was horrible. I mean he was nice still but I left feeling very uncomfortable like even a shower wouldn’t be able to shake this feeling. Of course, that night I ended things with him and he very quickly stopped being nice.

Luckily, I was talking to someone else in which I was able to have very deep and honest conversations with early on. These sensitive topics allowed us to form a connection quickly and two weeks later we met for coffee as well. The honesty we had formed did have one little downside though, as he seemed to have a habit of telling me about the other girls he was talking to and taking on dates. Perhaps I could cut him some slack for the lack of dating etiquette though since he had been in two long-term relationships back to back within the past 5 years.

Although I was thrilled to find a guy my age who isn’t afraid of relationships, I was a little worried he would care more about that romantic attention than he would actually care for me. That issue was easily avoided though because he realized long distance didn’t speed up the healing process when a three-year relationship ends.

Maybe I still needed a few more months of healing myself.

However, I had already set up two more dates and canceling them the day before seemed a bit too rude. The next guy was also nice and I’m pleased to have started a fairly good track record of only going on dates with nice boys ever since Mr. Right taught how I really deserved to be treated. Unfortunately for dater #3, I wasn’t really experiencing those romantic feelings for him.

It wasn’t until my final date that getting back in the saddle finally seemed worth it. Interestingly, it was someone I had talked to nearly a year ago who I had written off before even meeting. A common interest on my social media had persuaded him to text me. I explained the notions I had of him last time and why I believed we stopped talking. He did his best to clear things up and quickly introduced the idea of meeting so I could finally get to know the real him. I’m glad for second chances because I couldn’t have been more wrong about his personality. He was good at encouraging me to speak my mind and (ahem, mom cover your eyes) an even better kisser.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is never easy but in order to go after your goals and desires, you have to find the courage to take a leap and saddle up. There’s risks of failure and vulnerability but the success and happiness you find could be well worth it in the end.

Do Genders Handle Break Ups Differently? (Part 2- Girl’s Perspective)

There are songs and comics about this theory of how men and women handle break ups so I decided to ask about WordPress to see how well it holds up, check out the Male Perspective from last week if you missed it!

First Tarnished Soul hits us with some hard truths:

“I have never broken-up with anyone, and I am in the process of making a first attempt at breaking up with my wife. I have always had other people break up with me, and I always handled it pathetically and sought validation for myself in truly self-destructive ways. As I face the reality that my current relationship is unhealthy and just wishing she would end it, I have come to accept that the only person that can create the change I want is me. With that being said, I am still not handling it very well, but I am not intentionally doing anything self-destructive. That’s not to say that I don’t feel bad and that I don’t want to do something rash and stupid and pathetic, because those feelings and thoughts are there. But I am trying to do something utterly different – forgive myself and accept myself as I am. Hopefully, I will come out the other side a better person.”

And Biryani offers us this to mull over:

“When it all came to an end, I only felt one thing. Relief. Pure relief! It had been a truly bittersweet moment and while I was upset, I felt more frustration at myself for not ending things earlier. This slight indifference towards my ex obviously helped in moving on. But the most important thing was deleting his number, blocking him on social media & deleting all his photos from my phone. This can seem like a huge step to take so quickly, but it is the only one that helps. You need to be FREE of your ex. All traces of them should be erased, think of it like a detox or rehab session! Go cold turkey and ditch that unhealthy part of your emotional diet.

The second thing is to realise that it is not the end of the world. I was optimistic about enjoying my new single life and so I did. I went on holidays, spent time with my family & did whatever made me happy. Still, it took me a year and a half to be ready and willing to date again. This millennial age is fantastic, there are so many ways to be introduced to someone. But before you get to that stage, remember to enjoy yourself and be happy. Because nobody has the ability to affect your life after they have left. You’re in charge!”

Interestingly enough it’s Soul’s response that most closely matches the man’s supposed coping mechanisms from Bentley’s song. She doesn’t give a specific example of ‘sleeping all day and leaving the house a wreck’ but she does talk about being rash, stupid, and self-destructive.

I also see some similarities in Tommy’s response from last week and Biryani’s response above. Tommy mentioned being at peace and I think that speaks to being free of your ex and taking time to yourself to be happy all on your own. Both talk about a clean break to detox from their exes, deleting all pictures and messages, and no messy in-between friends/ lovers business post break up. So maybe men and women don’t handle break ups as differently as we thought.

Overall, I think there are some amazing messages in here from our fellow bloggers about accepting yourself, believing that you have the power over your own happiness, and to take the time to feel confident enough to stand on your own before going into a relationship.

Do Genders Handle Break Ups Differently? (Part 1- Guys Perspective)

The idea for this article came to me after hearing the song “Different for Girls” -Dierks Bentley in which the lyrics talk about how only guys get drunk at a bar looking to take a new girl home or acting tough punching walls and turning into slobs. I wanted to know if the song was right and decided to reach out to two wonderful men in the blogger community for their input on breaks ups!

Tommy says:

“As Neil Sedaka famously sang, breaking up is hard to do. However, I’ve been luckier than most in that regard. For one, I’ve always been the initiator (although the last one was a tie). It’s definitely easier than being on the receiving end. It’s even easier if you’ve never been in love (which I wouldn’t mind finding someday). My relationships have trended on the shorter side; ending a longer one with more emotional investment would undoubtedly be more painful.

But so far I’ve been largely at peace with things after a breakup. After multitudes of rejections, it’s a nice feeling to know that someone was willing to go further and explore things with me – even if it didn’t work out in the end. The hardest part for me is trying to remain friends afterwards. I’ve tried it each time, but don’t think I will in the future. It’s a difficult area to navigate without things getting awkward and uncertain. For me, a clean break with no contact is the way to go, otherwise how can I completely move on?”

And Paul adds:

“Breakups. Well, bloody hell! There are things in my life that have been more difficult and much more important to deal with. This is a fact I’m consciously aware of—and yet, I have always managed to allow breakups to override absolutely everything when they happen.

I’m unfortunate enough to have experienced being broken up with on numerous occasions and, at the time, I thought nothing could possibly feel as bad. That was until I had to end a four-year relationship and I realized how much harder that is than being dumped. Hurting people hurts. Telling somebody they no longer fit your lifestyle… to me, I might as well be driving a knife through their heart and, subsequently, my own. It’s horrible.

Even if the breakup is for the best and you both know it, they’re extremely difficult and they’ll play on your conscience (provided if you’re blessed with a conscience). You’ll question everything. You’ll procrastinate wildly over what your life will lack without your partner in it. You’ll think of all the good things they do and the happy times you had with them. You’ll constantly weigh up the pros and cons; constantly try to talk yourself out of going through with it. It’ll play on your mind day and night.

In conclusion, breakups suck! Unfortunately, sometimes, they’re absolutely necessary…”

Both men seem to agree its easier to be broken up with than having to do the actual breaking up. Paul points out how difficult it is to know you’re hurting someone you spent so many years loving. Tommy agrees to this point, which contradicts the song’s idea that guys can just forget about an ex, just switching off their emotions and finding a new girl to distract them like a flimsy Band-Aid.

Of course, Tommy brings up being ‘at peace’ with most of his shorter relationships and perhaps he would go out on a boy’s night after such a break up. But he’s not drowning in alcohol or being swarmed by women in order to get over or forget these break ups. And Paul certainly not punching walls as the break up debate goes on in his head and things of all the good times with his ex.

Maybe the song got things mixed up and it’s the women who drink their exes away? Check in next week to hear from some WordPress ladies!

(Also the song might not have mentioned being friends with your ex but I did, check it out! )

In the Eye of the Beholder

Life has a sense of humor and I couldn’t help but chuckle when both my exes texted me asking for relationship advice. I’m not exactly sure why they wanted my opinion and it was a bit of an awkward position to be in, but nevertheless I’m always rooting for love to win.

It was odd listening to Stubborn anxiously debating how soon he could text his girl and what she might be thinking when he wasn’t talking to her. The ironic way in which I related to him as he read deeply into her actions and phrases, trying to decipher if she likes him and if it was as much as he likes her. It was when he mentioned all the times he’s seen her lately, all he wanted to do for her and with her that I realized how delusional I was in thinking he ever liked me. I was quite embarrassed but that was quickly washed away by the shock of realizing my stubborn was someone else’s Mr Romantic.

For a girl he really cares for he will make time for her, try to dazzle her with his thoughtfulness, and make the effort to plan dates and trips with her. But as I said life has a sense of humor and unfortunately for my emotionally unavailable Stubborn, his girl is also a bit emotionally unavailable at the moment. For the other side of Stubborn being Mr. Right is Stubborn having his own Stubborn to plague his mind in the middle of the night picking apart sentence by sentence to see if she’ll love him or not. It’s a bit sweet to know the guy I pined for and was ignored by to be pining for a girl that is ignoring him.

Ironically, I’ve also met an amazing guy who was someone else’s Stubborn. She fell for him as he kept her as his friend and play thing for just about as long as Stubborn did with me. Everyone still single and on dating apps and the guys not seeing the girl who cared for them so deeply right in front of them. He might wander but he would always come back to her so he must secretly really care about her too right? She was crushing on him but he was only crushing her. The love we so desperately chased for two years, he freely and quickly gave to another who actually had his heart.

Our Stubborns did not love us and Thank God for that because they were not meant for us. We easily mistake our caring, gentle hearts for relationships and love. The men we grow to love and who truly love us back will eclipse every man before them into a faded memory just beyond reach. And we will laugh for ever thinking this resembled love.