People ask me what I think of dating at the minute. My reply is always the same- Dating is all about sunshine, and the rain clouds.
Lots of my friends that are in relationships have been with their partner for years. When we get together for dinner or drinks, we inevitably start talking at one point or another about my love life.
Inevitably, they all start lamenting about how fun being single is. And to a certain extent they are right- you don’t know what is around the corner. Just like that- things can change. A chance meeting can lead to an amazing fling. An evening out with friends can lead to a good old dirty snog in the corner of a club with a Ryan Gosling look a like. You can swipe with a God like adonis on tinder and flirt your little boy tits off. And events like this to outsiders seem so incredibly fun! And enviable.
I think they like the fact that in your single world things can change so quickly. When I am with them, hearing that they visited Ikea together on a hectic Saturday, and rowed the whole way around I do have to agree with them. Being single isn’t all bad. I do get to go on some amazing dates, with some amazing men. I have some killer first date outfits. I get some text messages that just make me smile all day. And, don’t even get me started about the butterflies - I swear drug dealers should bottle them up and sell them on the street- they are infectious. ( And great as a slimming aid- food seems so unimportant when you’ve got butterflies about a man!)
But, my god, my shacked up gorgeous friends don’t see the dark world of dating. The waiting. The miscommunication. The feeling he doesn’t like you anymore and has got a new play thing. The evenings spent alone when the date doesn’t happen for the third time- plans are not plans in the dating world. Sacking off happen to us. ALL. THE. TIME. Couple friends don’t see the literal sobbing into your pillow, crazy crying nights. All dressed up nowhere to go. The waking up the morning after, alone, to see not even a little emoji whatsapp from him which shows he has been thinking about you.
Dating can, at times, be all about the rain clouds. The rain clouds, storms and hurricanes of disappointment. Of hurt. Of licking your wounds. These storms bring with them the feeling you want to text him telling him how disappointed you feel, or how upset his depiction of you has made you. The storm clouds shower over you waves of sadness that maybe this person hasn’t been as honest as you.
We keep these storms and lows shielded from people in relationships. Because, actually these rain clouds aren’t nice – they are embarrassing for you, and they show that dating isn’t nice, nor is it sunshine all year around. Many of your single friends can sympathise, but they can’t truly empathise with how you feel. They don’t feel the rain like you do.
But, I like to remember, in the single world, the rain passes- it may rain for only a few hours, or a few days, occasionally a few weeks. But, but, but – the sun comes back. And it seems even better. It brings with it little fledglings of hope and fun. The sun dries the rain until you can’t even remember it.
The sun makes you realise everything will be ok. You emerge just fine. Still you. The rain clouds part, you dry your eyes, you see the light and realise- I can do this. I am going to be fine.
Know what you bring to the table, so don’t be afraid to eat alone.
Slather on the sunscreen, put on your best pair of hotpants, some red lippy and know in your heart that life goes up, life goes down, but you’re kinda fab, and no man is going to tell you otherwise. Now, who is for a pool party in the sun??
I recently was invited to speak at a dating seminar event thingy me jig. I was to give dating advice. My first reaction was “sweeeeeeeet” – get paid to talk. Whatever next? Getting PAID to shop in Zara? And then I arrived, in a taxi, ( ohhh I am so snazzy and celeb now ) I made my way to the back stage area, spent a bit of time on twitter and added a few more things to my asos shopping basket, and, then I popped to the loo before my speaking slot. On my way back I sneaked a peak at the crowd. They were all expectant and eager ( one even had a notepad for God’s sake) and I suddenly thought- oh bloody hell – they are hearing me speak, about a topic, I know actually very little about. How could the blind ( me) lead the blind ( 150 of them!) with dating advice?
So, with a sweaty top lip and a bubble of “oh shit, Laurie you are out of your depth here” I tried to speak to the event organiser, explaining there had been a mistake, and I wouldn’t be able to do the talk. I walked to the side of the stage and heard the last 10 seconds of the speaker before me. ” To be successful at dating, you just have to be you, because everyone else is taken”. I swallowed the bubble of repulsion I felt and realised that I needed to talk. We can’t keep hearing this bullshit.
So 2 minutes later, I channelled my inner Beyonce, walked, sorry strutted like a drunk peacock, onto the stage and began my speech. And this is the basic jist of what I said.
I am single, and like you lot, I think, I am sick to death of hearing contrived dating bollocks advice. Want to be successful at dating? Especially first dates? I would suggest we aren’t ourselves. Perhaps be you, but on a really, really, crazy amazing good day. But withhold all of the “real” things about you. The quirks your friends like, and your family put up with. Why?
I have been on so many dates where all we do is overshare and talk about deep shit, or serious stuff, or find out bizarre stuff without knowing anything else about the person. Social quirks polarise opinion, too much information repulses many.
Boys- I don’t want to hear early on that your ex was a nutjob and used to get mad when you came on her tits. Or that she went all wacko jacko when you split up. I kind of want to know if you prefer cats to dogs. I don’t want to know that you and Jonny, and Kevla, and Big Tony are such “fucking liabilities together” that you have their faces tattooed on your arse. I want to know if you eat vegetables or do you need ketchup with everything you eat?
I want to know if you are a football fan, or if you like darts for God’s sake.
Do you prefer Towie to Made in Chelsea?
Which celeb would play you in a movie? Important stuff that I can tell the girls.
The more dates I have been on I have tailored my approach. I now go by the tactic that my Laurie quirks have no place on a first date. I instead listen ( rare for me). I let them talk. I am slightly reserved, I am vulnerable. I am me, but a good me. I basically rein in a lot of the shite.
I used to always be “me” on a date but I started to realises that men didn’t want to know:
That I smother myself in oil every night before bed. I basically go to bed looking like budget Blackpool stripper. Without an ounce of sex appeal.
Or when I am cooking- generally sing it actually. ”ohhhh come on little sausages, be good and cook fast”. (sung to a generic disco tune)
I could tell you that if I spend too long thinking about eyebrows I actually get a bit freaked out – I mean essentially your face has just decided to grow a bit of hair, in a line, above your eyes, and none of us bat an eyelid at this weirdness.
I would also definately tell you that in my local area, rumour has it that I shagged a gate once. To be fair, I didn’t and was shafted by the local media. Literally. My story is- I was climbing a spiked gate, my foot slipped, and I impaled myself in my stomach. ( Went in 6 inches – insert pun here please). Local media went with the headline- Local girl impails herself in a delicate private area. So yeah - locally everyone thinks a spike went up some girls arse. Luckily I was not named, but stories still surface years later about the girl gate shagger. ( To be fair, I went to an all girls school – shit like that probably went down!)
I could potentially shoe horn that I don’t at all get the principles of car reversing or reversing in general – So, it is like driving but opposite…say waaaat?
It would come up that as I drive past a white van I get a bubble of – shit me I hope there is a rough builder gypsy in there for me to flirt with.
And to top it off I might as well tell you that when I go into my garage I give any potential rodents the heads up I am coming in and to run away by announcing my presence by saying : “Go away please rats!”
But do dates want to hear this stuff… probably not. I mean I am definitely not hot enough for a guy to deal with that rubbish so early on. He is incredibly unlikely to say to his friends after the date- “you know what – while I didn’t like the fact she said she could really relate to Pitbull and Flo rida, I am going to see her again, coz she is fit.”
It just doesn’t happen like that. So how do you get a second date?
Well – while the experts say being “you” is the key- this is the core bit of dating advice I hear- My main nugget of dating advice is - dark lighting and alcohol MAJORLY help.
So does sitting away from the light. Safe topics of conversation. Allowing the other to talk. And side splitting laughter. These are my must haves. But I guess the take away would be – having fun, and finding out if you have chemistry should be the aim of the first date. You have lots of time to get serious and overshare in the future. You don’t have to lay your whole life, and soul open for the other person. But I guess you could listen to the experts. I am reading a book called- So you’re going to die alone, but that is ok!” so all is hardly swell in my life!
If I could give women one bit of dating advice it would be this:
Don’t have any hope or expectations when you are dating. Deal with facts. Bare naked facts. (Dating tip #1)
This tip may make me sound like a negative nancy but all too often us women, and believe me I am massively guilty of this- deal in “dream world bollocks” when it comes to men.
Before we have even been on a first date with the chap we have worked out that if we want a future with them. Because of a few whatsapps. Depending on the guy we either long for their message, and long for even a cute word to be said, or we are repulsed by their very existence. Scary for the lads I know but do indeed we spend hours discussing with friends what kind of boyfriend they will be. Yet again- this is based on some whatsapp messages. And we haven’t even met you yet. We specialise in speculating utter crap. ”Hmmm, he uses emoji’s. He seems like he would be a giver, not a receiver.” Speculation, speculation, speculation. Days at work are spent thinking – I wonder where we will go for our first holiday. And, yet, WE HAVEN’T even met. We start everything with hope.
And, then the date happens and you think – ermmm that wasn’t how it was meant to be. I prefer dream you. Real him is a bit lacklustre and you don’t gel. And you feel sort of cheated because this little ball of hope wronged you. It made you feel that this date and this guy would be different. Or the situation works out completely the other way around. The guy that you have sacked off a few times, remain totally uninterested in, turns into a gent who you click with on your date. Probably because there was no hope in your being when you met him.
I think most of our dating dilemmas comes from the fact that we have built up situations to be much more than it needs to be. Women – broad generalisation here sorry, havent dealt with the facts as they stand. A simple coffee date has turned into this jarganitious affair, when really it should have just been a coffee, and a piece of cake, and a flirt. Or not. A “lol” at the end of the text wasn’t an indication that he was a soppy bollocks, it was just a lol. But dream world mrs expectations you made it something different
I have been so guilty of this in my dating history. Texting a guy for months on end, daily asking each other how our days are etc, and then, when we finally met I was like – this is not how the situation had played out in my head all these times. I don’t actually like you. I had built up the text messages to be much more, added my own spin onto his words, flared up his texts, fabricated bits- all in a bubble of hope. I had made him something he wasnt before we even met up.
But if I had dealt with the fact as they stood I wouldn’t have had any preconceived ideas. So now I relax. What will be will be? There is plenty more fish in the sea. ( that rhyme was unintentional but boy it worked). I am not a man hater in the slightest, I just try and not stress on things that I can’t control or change. I stress about other things instead.
So how do you stop yourself dreaming yourself into a fake relationship?
Think of a date as no more than just an evening out, with someone who you might like, or who you might not. This is not the last first date you are going to have. It is a meeting. That is it. That will allow yourself to free your doubts and eliminate the the worry. By going into everything with a mehhhhh attitude you remain objective and in control. By thinking at the very start – you might get on, you might not, so what, you allow yourself time to stop caring about how you seem and you get real about the whole dating situation. And then – the magic could happen.
Tell me about your dating tips on twitter or leave a comment! xx
I haven’t blogged in ages. I am not really sure why. So I thought to welcome myself back to you all I would let you know what I have been up to.
Work wise I am stacked and working hard for this promotion. Basically I want to spend more money on a killer new job wardrobe. The responsibility and new job title would be nice as well I guess. Mainly I want a lovely crisp white shirt, and to not feel weird in a blazer- I think a promotion would do this for me.
Home wise I am trying to find a striped wallpaper, and have hired a gardener who I talk to about weeding and grown up stuff. I interviewed two. A rough young guy, ripped and covered in tatts, who didn’t have a lawnmower, and called my poppies- ‘weeds’, and a lovely lady who was wearing a fleece with a wolf on it, the dirtiest hands I have seen, and who told me off for not feeding my roses. After much deliberation and soul-searching I went for the fleece lady and went on a date with the rough un. I mean hello grown up Laurie. Total adult behaviour. She is amazing though and makes me proud to pull up at my lovely house every day. Home wise is another area that is a massive tick.
Love life wise I am however facing the equivalent of moving back home with my parents. Ie. I have redownloaded tinder, culled loads of guys out of my existence, and unfortuntately have given up hope on others. Please judge me now re the tinder thing. I am just as disappointed as you believe me. (And, I don’t even get the new app. Can someone please tell me what the hell all this moments malarkey is all about?)
So why have I redownloaded tinder?
Well firstly- I clearly repulse the opposite sex in real life.
Secondly- I just don’t meet men out. Do men chat up women in real life anymore?
Thirdly- Sometimes you just want someone to superficially judge you are hot. You know???
Anyway that is it from me now. I have tinder swiping to do. I have written lots more posts tonight so speak to you soon! :)
Avid fans of The Millionnaire Matchmaker will know that Patty Stanger constantly talks about the importance of being sober on a date. No one wants to date a drunk. Women should consume two drinks maximum when dating.
So ever a fan of advise I did this on Saturday on my blind date ( I will shortly be writing about for another publication). And then those two drinks tasted so good, and finished so quickly, I drunk two more. And then two more. And then, basically to cut a long drinking story short, I ended up drinking approximately four bottles of prosecco and a mojito thrown in for good measure. Because after four bottles of prosecco sometimes you need some mint, crushed ice and some spirits. So yes, incase you hadn’t realised I am typing this post with sunglasses on, a sick bucket to my left, and a massively bruised ego.
I am mortified. I am so embarrassed and literally cannot even begin to talk about what happened on the date. Or why I drank so bloody much! Patty would be so mad. I blame him entirely of course- he was too good at filling up my glass. I swear I thought I had two drinks. But basically from the snippets I remember- My date had to carry me home. To his. No seriously he did. I fell over four times. Or more. The bruises on my legs indicate at least four tumbles. And I passed out in his bed. While he took the sofa.
So how is that for first impressions- What did you think of Laurie? Him – Total pisshead.
Anything you would change? Him- Having to carry her home because I feared for her safety.
Did you kiss? Him- Laurie had been sick. And kept on falling over. It didn’t feel appropriate.
How would you describe Laurie as a date? Him – Total car crash.
The thing is while this makes me recoil with shame, I am going to learn from it. It didn’t feel like a date really, and I think in my defence that is why I got so drunk. (That doesn’t even make sense as an excuse really but hey!) So what have I learned.
1. Have dinner before you go out. Yes you may bloat like a bitch, but that is always preferable to having to be carried home by a stranger.
2. Everyone becomes hotter when you are drunk. But everyone becomes uglier when you are sober. God knows what I was banging on about to him but I would not have been filtering what I said.
3. Proscecco is not fizzy pop.
4. Leave them wanting more. Not wanting to get their bathroom floor back from the girl that has passed out on it.
5. Dates are to learn about that person. I can’t even tell you his name. Or what we talked about. Or what he works as. Or anything.
6. Behaviour like this RARELY leads to a second date!
In dating, we are told to play by the rules. Don’t mug yourself off. Don’t expose weakness. Don’t open yourself up. And, don’t for the love of gawwwwd double text the opposite sex. Jesus no.
But I have started to get a bit fed up of all that drivel. For me, dating experts, like it or lump it, I just treat men now how I would hope they would treat me. Whether this makes me look like a dick or not. Whether they actually do what I would have done or not?
Take one guy recently that I was hoping to date. For some reason, he interested me, but, perhaps challenged me more than I would have liked. So it ended. Kind of badly. ( No I won’t elobarate!) Let’s just say it ended in a flourish of arsey messages, from me not him. And I felt pissed off for a while.
And then I started to get a little bubble of, ahh jeez, maybe I shouldn’t have been so hot headed. I didn’t represent myself as well as I could have done. Days passed and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I should say sorry. Not sorry for anything in particular, I guess, just a pensive, sorry for all that jazz. Subplot of the text would be -Dating is hard, sorry we didn’t work out, I wish you all the best.
But when I said that I wanted to message him, everyone around me gave me a clear message. Forget him. He has your number, if he wanted to message you he would. Don’t mug yourself off and text him. Play hard to get. Make him want you.
Clear and simple. Don’t message. One friend thought even more outside the box- Far from text him Laurie, she suggested I pretend I was engaged and show him I deliriously happy. “This shows him how much you’ve moved on.” ( Us girls are really crazy! Especially my lovely friends.)
So armed with an engagement ring, and a pregnancy bump we set out to conduct a “I am hot, I am preg, happy and engaged “shoot for instagram – the aim was to make him think – arghhh shit she is happy. ( To be fair to the guy probably would have thought- I was messaging this nut job last week, now she has a baby and is engaged, what the hell!!??)
So, cushion under top, manicured engaged hand in shot I set out, albeit pissed on wine, to make him see I was happy and had my shit together ( I do realize how ironic this statement seems coming from a lady with a cushion under her top). But half way through the shoot, in between a powder break ( I got shiny ok, jeez hate me for it) I messaged him when she wasn’t looking. Saying something along the lines of- sorry about all that stuff, hope you are ok.
( FYI we didn’t post the picture. Although I looked fricking sublime/ passable ok hot from a distance.)
Why did I text him? Because, I did what made me feel happy. Rule breaking or not. So he might say to people I am a freak, I fancy him again or whatever, I don’t care. My conscious is clear. I feel so much lighter. For me, texting and drawing a line, over the line in the sand which he already drew, sacking me off, is closure.
What I am trying to say- and why I am telling this weird ass message of fake pregnancy photoshoots is – Don’t stop being yourself because you are dating. Treat others how you would hope someone would treat you. Whether they do or not.
You’ve got to look yourself in the mirror. Rules of the dating game change. How you conduct yourself shouldn’t. If you want to text, just get it done and then forget. Go with your gut.
FYI. He didn’t text me back. Now if you will excuse me I have to post an engaged, pregnancy shot.
Like most women I don’t relish getting older. I am feeling that today because it is the eve of my birthday. Tomorrow I turn 27. I am partially glad, partially sad I guess.
Sad because I am indeed, now, as of tomorrow at least- old. Plain and simple. I can no longer wear my hair in bunches. I can no longer pass off spots as “hormones”. No longer tell people I am too young to settle down. I can’t recoil in horror at wedding invites and friends babies arriving. But mainly, truth be told, part of me is sad because Beyonce had three sell out albums by my age and Britney had two and had shaved her head and attacked the paparazzi with an umbrella. And I just can’t help but worry that I haven’t achieved enough yet. I am 27. Where is my legacy?
Feeling perhaps a little jaded about my impeding doom I spoke to a friend who said – “…hopefully next year you will have someone special to share with with. Maybe next year you won’t be single“. And I guess I was a little surprised that this is what she thought I was sad about.
True- this year, like the Christmas before I am without a man. Some days I am glad about this. Some days I am sad. But it doesn’t define me. I drive to work every day as happy as can be. Singing Chris Brown at the top of my lungs. I was jaded because my face is getting haggard. And I still haven’t been on a safari. And my chin continues to look like a bearded ladies. And I don’t get how people make better cups of tea than me. Not because there is a man shaped hole missing in my life.
Most of the time I think- I don’t have a boyfriend. So fricking what? Sometimes I do have a boyfriend, and he is imaginary, so we are all gravy. I have enough friends to know that having a boyfriend isn’t an automatic pass into the gates of happiness. And yet some people feel that this is a hinderence in my life. Like this should be a massive burden. ”Bless her, she is bottom heavy, no tits, annnnnnd she doesn’t have a boyfriend, life can be so cruel sometimes!” But, sorry if this offends. I am happy!! I love my life.
This weekend I sat outside under blankets with my friends, in my garden, drinking prosecco, bottles and bottles of the stuff, smoking- them not me, and laughing about anything and everything. I felt so happy, and so loved. Even though I didn’t have a boyfriend on my arm. Nor a man even to text. ( I binned the last guy I liked. I don’t think he liked me really, perhaps he would say he binned me. He made me feel like I was a horrible person. He constantly criticised things I said. I liked him, but I don’t think it was reciprocated).
The next day, I took a walk in the fields over at my parents and too felt like the luckiest person in the world as we laughed while the dogs ran through the corn fields tripping each other up. Through everything that the last few years has thrown at us – and believe me, it has lobbed some shite at us, we have got closer than we even could have imagined. We got through all of that- without me having a boyfriend. Shocking right?
I look at the bigger picture when I think about happiness. Out of a list of say 10 probable happiness indicators- job, home owner etc etc- I possess every one. Bar a boyfriend. And at 27 years old – that is quite an achievement. And something that I am thankful for every day. While I sing Chris Brown at the top of my voice.
So – help me raise a glass ( prosecco please, not champagne, we aren’t made of money) to my 27th year. May I continue to kiss many a frog, and to tell you all about it. Thank you for the support, the love and the laughs. Lots of love- Laurie. xx