Sunday, 17 September 2017

EVERYTHING I LEARNT ABOUT DATING IN 2017 (SO FAR)

Hi! Remember that time I wrote a blog about dating in January? Well in-between I went on some more dates, met some interesting characters - artists, bankers, reality TV rejects...it's been an anecdote aggregating exercise if nothing else. Having hit the six month milestone, here's all I have learnt in the dating-sphere of 2017:





There’s no reason why you’re single

Once you’ve been single for a six months, a sea change occurs. Your friends will stop asking you if you’ve had contact with your ex (if by contact you mean deleting each other on facebook - then, yes!), and start theorising about why you’re still single. The theories will run the gamut, ranging from ‘you’re too available’, to ‘you’re too picky’, ‘you go to the wrong places’, ‘you should date someone older’, ‘you should date someone younger’, ‘you shouldn’t openly admit to listening JLS’... the list goes on. Of course they only have your best interests at heart, but it’s hard not to over think their words.

In truth there’s no real reason why you’re single; relationships are, in my experience, serendipitous. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be putting yourself out there - you’re not going to meet someone from the comfort of your sofa bingeing on American Horror Story. But you also shouldn’t waste time on self-reflection, analysing your exterior and interior ‘flaws’. My logical brain knows this much because I have met some god-awful people in functioning, happy relationships (oh come on, tell me you haven’t), and I have some smart, funny, hot-piece-of-ass friends who have been flying solo for years. So, breathe a sigh of relief and get on with enjoying life, it’s out of your hands.

Type on paper counts for nuttin'

You only have to watch one ep of Love Island to learn this much. Sometimes your type on paper will be your type in person (Jamie and Camilla), other times you’ll find opposites attract (Rachel and Rykard, series two) (yes I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Love Island). IRL I can confirm that type counts for not-so-much. I have had some very nice dates this year with bespectacled men that, on paper, tick all the boxes (my type is basically a man in glasses - that’s the level of depth we’re operating at here). Dates that I really wish I fancied because, on paper, we were very much aligned. But the annoying truth is that chemistry overrides all prerequisites, and it either exists or it doesn’t. You can’t fake it, you can’t work on it, it’s intangible, it’s indefinable, and you can’t get past date two without it. I do have some advice to offer here - don’t waste too much time forming virtual relationships. You need to meet to discover if there’s chemistry, because it often doesn’t exist outside the realms of WhatsApp. GIFs and memes are good and well (is there any greater aphrodisiac than a Gemma Collins meme?), but if you can’t have a non-awks conversation face to face - don’t bother.

You should date your friend 

Earlier this year I signed up to go on some double dates with one of my best friends from school, who also happens to be one of the funniest women I know. To cut a long story short, we simultaneously realised we had dating fatigue and briefly considered doing one of those naff lock and key party things (not even half as kinky as it sounds, unfortunately) before we realised we couldn’t be bothered to pay for the privilege.

Taking the cheapskate approach, we signed up to a free double dating app (there is an app for everything these days) and the rest is history. Romantically, these dates were unsuccessful, but they proved to be the best experiences for a different reason altogether. We spent the majority of the dates laughing (I actually cried tears of laughter when she told a humourless tall guy and very short guy in matching overcoats that they looked like a TV detective duo), drinking a little too much wine, and ending the evenings sans-dates on the dance floor. I guess I realised we probably spend too much time seeking romantic chemistry instead of enjoying the platonic-but-wonderful chemistries we have right in front of us.

Is it ever possible just to ‘be friends’? 

If there’s one area I find unsatisfactory about the dating process, it’s this one. There have been a handful of occasions in the past year when I have dated people I’ve really liked, people I have nothing but good things to say about, only for one reason or another there wasn’t enough chemistry to form an actual relationship. And so one of you has to send that fucking terrible text about ‘wanting to be friends’. The truth is, I do genuinely want to stay friends, I’ve just got no idea how to make that happen. And so you do the adult thing: like a handful of one another’s Instagram pictures before never speaking again. Life.

Being picky is no bad thing

When I became single at the beginning of 2016, I was full of puppy-like enthusiasm for dating. Having spent the majority of my twenties in long term relationships, I had only been on a handful of dates in my life and was curious to see what the fuss was about. I agreed to go on so many dates: blind-dates, activity dates, speed-dates, whatever it was I did it. This continued into 2017, where I found myself habitually going on dates at least once a fortnight. The problem with this frequency of dating is you end up feeling like you’re selling your soul. It’s nobody’s fault in particular, it’s just not good for the self esteem to be constantly delivering your own personal elevator pitch. This is why I’ve slowly found myself more and more reluctant to date, and, for the moment, I’ve pressed pause. It’s not a strict policy, I’m just not going to date until I really feel compelled to. And it’s a good feeling.


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