Are nice guys really that hard to find?

I am beginning to seriously suspect that ‘nice guys’ don’t exist and in fact they are actually a myth, passed down from mother to daughter. I am convinced that they are of a similar elk to the Loch Ness monster or Sasquatch; every once in a while you think you glimpse one, other people swear blind to have seen, met or even married these creatures… but if you go out hunting for yourself you can’t help but come back disappointed!

I thought I’d found one. Hell to be completely honest I thought I had found two.

The first I have previously mentioned. He seemed keen, had a brilliant sense of humour, asked me on two dates before we had even met in person, we’d spend evenings chatting to each other. I thought the signs were good. .. Then he added me on Facebook and vanished never to be heard from again.

The second appears to be following a similar pattern. Talked every day for at least 3 weeks, good sense of humour, not my usual type but nothing to suggest a date wouldn’t be at least an enjoyable few hours. Then I added him on Facebook….

Silence.

The guy who moments before was replying to texts as soon as they were coming in, was suddenly quiet. He was quiet for over an hour before “You look different from your profile pic”

Are you frigging kidding me??

So I counter with “Good or bad different” and his response “Can’t answer that?”

WTF?

Of course you can answer that. Either you like what you see or you don’t. It is very simple. From then on the tone of his messages changed, he went from jokey and funny to a bit serious. I asked if he wanted to cancel our date and his response was “I don’t want to waste your time!” but then claimed later that he thought I was out of his league but that he did still want to meet.

I know this is the point when I should be running in the other direction, but I can’t help but feel bitterly disappointed that he is quite such an… ass!

No-man’s land.

At the moment I feel a bit stuck. I know I can’t and I know I don’t want to go back; but yet the idea of venturing once again into the unknown also fills me with fear.

I feel stagnate.

I feel alone.

Although I am surrounded by people, I know that they can’t really help. This is something I must face alone. As I look around I see happy couples everywhere. My friends are now all settled down and moving on, and although none of their relationships aren’t perfect; they have a significant other… someone special. Even my friend who swore off men for life when her marriage ended now has someone.

Yet I am still alone.

That’s how I feel.

I know this experience has changed me. I know there is no going back. I have felt pain, the likes of which I have never felt before; there have been times when I thought if my heart took another beat it would break into a million pieces. In fact, even now I know it isn’t fully mended –I think it has a plaster on it, one that can very easily be picked off, and often is.

I have lost count of the tears I have shed.

I can see how far I can come but don’t feel like I have the strength to continue to go forwards.

The ironic thing is I am not 100% certain I want to be in a relationship right now. I do and I don’t; my mood changes as often as my underwear. Most mornings I wake up and I am happy, content. For the first time in my life I can be completely selfish, when making plans I only need to consider me. No significant other, no family. Do I want to do something? Is my diary free? Can I afford it? If I can answer yes to all 3 questions then off I go.

But then there are moments… when I am curled up in bed, when I’m walking BD in the dark, when I am the third wheel yet again, that I want to meet that someone special. I want to have someone to share my life with.

It probably sounds silly, but I just want a guarantee. If someone could tell me that one day I will meet someone, one day I will get my happily ever after… then I think I would relax. But life doesn’t carry a guarantee. So I worry and stress. I know it doesn’t achieve anything but I can’t seem to help it.

The problem is being a wife and a mum is all I have wanted, or at least pre-ex it was all I wanted. Now I know that actually the marriage part, not so important. I want the relationship; someone to share my life with.

So many people say “you don’t find it until you stop looking” but I can’t figure out how not to look!

 

The Dating Game

I never really understood the idea of the ‘dating game’ until now. When I signed up for the “free” dating site I promised myself I would be me, spots and all. I picked a picture which is good… but not my best and openly admitted on my profile that I had been hurt in the past, that I didn’t want to play games and that I was just looking to see what happens

I was honest.

In fact in some moments I have been maybe a little too honest; like when I told one guy he had no way to know that when he said his day would be better if spent with me (we had exchanged about 5 messages!).

But then I met someone. Well then I met two people. The connection is enough that we have exchanged phone numbers and are in the process of planning dates. One of them is so lovely. He has similar values to me, we have deep conversations and he texts when he says he will. If there is any game playing from him, then he is doing it very well as as far as I can see he is just a straight forward, honest, sweet guy. He seems safe, reliable, caring … I just don’t know if there is a spark.

The other …well he’s an ass. I don’t trust him, but I think that’s because I could fall for him. Hey, a tiny bit of me may have already. His sense of humor is so on par with mine and I usually laugh at loud through most of our messages. He challenges me and every time my phone goes I hope it is him. In fact I have started checking my phone repeatedly throughout the day in the hope that if I check enough one will appear!  The downside with this guy is I think he probably invented the dating game.

He either responds straight away or takes hours. He complains that I can’t meet him sooner, but then doesn’t reply with any sense of urgency if I send a message. If you look at the ‘sate’ he is shown as live on there right when he’s not replying to messages from me.

I have told him if he isn’t interested then he should let me know. But he claims this couldn’t be further from the truth and we have already booked in a second date. I’ve told him I’m not a one night stand kinda girl and if that’s what he’s looking for he’s wasting both of our times. Again he says he’s not.

We’ve added each other on Facebook and have spent some evenings just chatting back and forwards.

Hes driving me crazy.

He turns me into a psycho crazy stalker bitch who is already complaining about him not responding to messages quick enough.

He sets off a whole heap of alarm bells. (I mean if he doesn’t respond quickly when I’m new and exciting what happens when we’ve been dating for months? What if he only wants me as another notch?)

He gives me butterflies.

He gets me excited about a future.

He has me considering cancelling plans to meet him (I’m not going to, but I want to!)

I know I don’t know him. I know it is early days and he could be anywhere. I know I am partially enjoying the thrill of the chase. I know I am still not looking for exclusivity and forever. But there is something about this guy… I want to know more.

And so I am changing. I can feel it happen, but I can’t seem to control myself. In my moments of clarity, I know game playing isn’t good; long term it won’t achieve anything. If he likes me then he likes me and I don’t need to play games. If not then game playing is only going to slightly extend that period of time before his true colours are revealed and we both walk away. Plus I’m already assuming that he’s not interested because he takes forever to reply, what if he is thinking the same and with us both gradually ‘pretending’ to be less keen we will both give up and walk away from something that we both actually want? (Hurting your head yet?)

But also I know that if someone is too keen it scares me off and I don’t want to scare him off (although I’ll be amazed if the psyco stalker bitch thing doesn’t) so guess at how long is long enough to appear keen but not desperate…

So now I feel like I am playing a game and the prize is him. Only it’s not because I don’t actually know him and he no really idea if I want him. The prize is this imaginary version of a guy who I may or may not like and the hopes for the future that I have stupidly built up around him.

I have become this……

I’m one step away from buying a ‘Love Fern’

Well I have been online dating for almost a week and I thought I should let you know how it has gone:

–  potential dates: 2

– marriage proposals: 3

– naked photos received: 0

I have also…

– Been asked if I would date someone with children (I would, but not you)

– Been asked if I would date someone with a different ethical background.

(and…)

– Discussed children and how it would fit in raising them around mutual work commitments.

– Talked about my ex.

– Talked about my newly discovered trust issues.

– Accused a guy of only wanting me as another notch on his bed post.

– Told a guy I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

(It gets better…)

– When asked by a guy if i was “dead” cause it took me more than 5 minutes to reply to an IM responded with “Yes” and blocked him.

– Replied “cause all men are b*stards” when asked why a ‘cute’ girl like me was single and on a dating site.

– Shared my ‘Love is a crock’ theory and said I will only marry for millions.

– Used the phrase “you have a stunning eye area” in an introductory email to one guy.

– Condescendingly challenged a 25 year old about whether or not he was too young to be looking for a serious relationship.

– Replied with “are you drunk” when a guy said ‘I heart you’.

– Admitted to a guy that I was sulking because he was taking too long to reply to my messages, and told him if he had time to be online he had time to send me a text.

– Repeatedly tried to assure the above guy that I am not a bunny boiler/stalker/weirdo.

Seriously it’s like I want to die alone!!

Unpacking

Last night I had to go through ‘our stuff’ and find a way to stop it being ‘our’ stuff and somehow make it mine. It’s shit… I hate it…and I hate him for doing this to me.

Even now, a year on, there is a MASSIVE part of me that just doesn’t want to. I want to stamp my feet and have it all go away. The pain… the heartache… the tears… all of it. I want him to turn up on my doorstep admit to the world that letting me go was the biggest mistake of my life and beg me to forgive him and take him back.

I don’t want to have to be the bigger person. I don’t want to pick up the pieces and move on. I want to go to bed, pull the covers over my head and just have it all go away.

I’m sick of having to behave like an adult. It’s not fair. IT’S NOT FAIR! I didn’t do anything wrong. I gave myself, my heart unconditionally. I trusted him with it. I trusted him with me. I pinned my hopes, plans and dreams for a future on him and he just walked away. He walked away without properly fighting for me. He was selfish, decided he had had enough and he went.

Moving on is… shit. It’s scary and unpredictable. One day I am fine, the next… I thought a year on I would be fine. Turns out I’m not. I thought I had done the hard part. I had found someone; they had fallen in love with me. That was supposed to be complicated bit, finding someone who could be ‘the one’. Love was supposed to conker all. I was supposed to be planning weddings, babies and grandchildren. Turns out love doesn’t conker all, turns out love may not last forever, turns out love matters very little– I still don’t know what to do with that news.

I pity the person who comes next. I know I can’t let the next person suffer for his errors, but I know that I have changed and they will. The idea of finding someone new both excites and terrifies me. I’m scared to stop loving the ex. I’m scared to start loving someone new. I wonder how I will find the strength to risk it all again. Don’t worry, I will. But every fibre of me wishes that I didn’t have to.

But I do have to. So last night I finally sat on my kitchen floor and started to slowly unpack the boxes of ‘our’ stuff. With each item I unwrapped a memory, a feeling, a thought that I couldn’t hold back. One by one I lovingly unwrapped the tulip shaped wine glasses which my parents had bought me. I had first spotted them just after he had asked me to live with him, and they were the first things that we chose as a ‘we’. I uncovered the champagne glasses that had been bought for us by my aunty, our first ‘couple’ Christmas present from her. I found my half of the matching mug set we bought to commemorate our first skiing trip together. I don’t know how I’m going to use it, but I know I can’t bear to part with it. Picture frames, some filled some not, ornaments, vases, jugs. All things that I can still see sat in my home with him that don’t yet look at home in my new place. I won’t give them up. I’m stubborn like that. The items I have are dear to me, and just because he broke me doesn’t mean I can take it out on them. I am not going to box up and throw away anything that he touched. I am going to heal; these things are going to help me heal…

I did two boxes last night. I wasn’t alone. I don’t know if I could have done it alone. My parents were there; I think that’s why there were no tears. I don’t want them to see me crying again. They know I am still hurting, they know I still love him.

I have considered telling him. Taking the leap, telling him I still want to try again. But I know I can’t. The trust is gone and you can’t have a relationship without trust.

So I continue to unpack boxes, hoping somehow I will unpack something that finally heals me.

A new look

The observant among you will have noticed that there has been a small change around here, and to be honest I think it indicates a change within me as well.

My old blog design was chosen when I was with the ex. I don’t know what made me choose it. I spent hours trying different designs to ensure I got the blog I was happy with. As a girl who hates change my plan was to make this one blog look ‘the one’. I thought my blog design would stay static, a sort of branding where people would come and visit me and it would become familiar.

To begin with I loved it.

But over the last few months, when I have visited my actual blog rather than the WordPress dashboard I have found my little area of the internet a little dark and depressing. It didn’t really represent me, how I felt or what I am about. So I have played with a few designs and for a while at least I am happy with this one.

It is not yet fully right. I appear to have lost momentarily misplaced my sign up button, which I think is a fundamental need for any blog, I mean if you are crazy enough to want to read my stuff the kindest thing I can do is to make it really really easy for you (plus any time taken for you to search for a sign up button is time in which you can come to your senses!!)

Although my new look isn’t as groundbreaking as unpacking, buying my own house or signing up to date online (which I am going to do very very soon!) I do feel like it is a new start, a fresh venture.

Between you and me, I’m quite excited to see what happens!

Choosing a Username

I don’t know about you but I hate choosing a Username. I always pile too much pressure on myself. I want it to be funny, quirky and original. After all it is how I will be known by many people.  Usually I spend far too long deciding, and massively over-think the entire process. I know you’re shocked aren’t you that I would overthink something.

Anyway, this time is no different. You see I have decided to take the plunge. After a year as officially single I am joining a dating site. I’m not really looking for someone yet, more thinking of it as a way to meet new people and try out new things. I’m mainly interested in some of the single nights this company holds and so thought why not. I have a friend who will be accompanying me on said nights (not that she realises this yet) and so I thought it will just get my social life looking a little more healthy which at this time of year is nothing but a good thing.

So I logged onto the site and started filling in the details. It was going well. I could manage my name, post code, age, that I was a woman searching for a man. Hell, I had even decided on an age range and decided not to settle on age so been very specific about what I did and didn’t want…

And then they asked for my username.

Now more than my username matters. This name and my picture is going to persuade a handsome, charming, great personality, brilliant sense of humour, animal loving, sensitive, none-smoking, active, large… pay check (get your mind out of the gutter!) guy that I am the woman he has waited his entire life for.

I have come up with a couple and rejected them. I think ‘Desperate and dejected’ may have gone and ‘dying alone with dogs instead of cats as cats hate me’ just don’t roll off the tongue! I considered keep it simple and just going with my name.  I also considered using my childhood nickname – it’s kinda cute, fun story and would encourage someone to delve a little deeper to get to know me. I considered using a fake name but I know of someone who did that. She was dating a great guy when a few weeks into the relationship he announced that he wasn’t ‘Harry’ but actually he was an actor called ‘Frank’ and had used a face name so his fans didn’t know he was on the ‘hunt’. (true story!) They never saw each other again.

In desperation I sent off a quick text to my baby sister. I knew she would be there for me in my hour of need, she is arty, with a flair for the dramatic and I knew she wouldn’t let me down. Because she is a complete star, and as fulfilled with her job as I am with mine, she replied within minutes with her suggested username…Free and Easy.

Blogging protacol

I don’t know about you, but when someone new follows my blog I can’t help but have a little look at their blog. Part of me thinks its the least I can do if they have bothered to visit me. I will read a couple of their posts and then decided whether or not I will follow the blog. Usually I do, unless I can’t figure out exactly how to sign up for notifications (which happens more often than I would like!) What can I say, I need the email reminder when someone posts something new, and there are a few people (Leo I am looking at you) who’s blogs have decided that despite me trying to sign up to follow their blogs I didn’t really mean it and so refuses to tell me anything meaning I have to try and remember to pop across and say hello – which I always try to do, but to be honest I usually remember I need to pop by and catch up when I am in the shower, or driving, or trying to get to sleep. Basically if I am away from internet access and a computer you will be on my mind but when I am sat in front of my computer bored…. well let’s just say i will probably end up something random like Cookie Cutters which causes me a whole other lot of problems and concerns (which you can read about here) Anywho, I digress.

The other day I had a new commentator on my blog and so I decided to pop across and say hello.

The problem was the ‘post’ I picked at random to read kinda contained a bit of a red flag in it – well at least to me it was a red flag, to normal people it was probably fine.

To cut a long story short I’ve just gone bat shit crazy on a strangers blog and I am now a little worried!

Basically the guy said that he has ended some relationships because “it was in the best interest of the other person as they would only get hurt later down the line”. Guess who fed me that exact same crap…. I don’t know how you feel but to me it’s one of those ‘it’s not you, but me’ kinda conversations and basically I find the whole thing slightly condescending. Take the ex for example. Apparently the reason he broke up with me was because in the end I would regret being with him (???!!!!) Yes, we had problems. Yes, there were issues but that was his main reason for calling it all off. Basically what he is telling me is he doesn’t trust me to know my own mind, and I’m sorry I find that insulting!

So this poor blogger got both barrels.

I told him how condescending I found that comment and challenged him that actually I think he is afraid. Either afraid of committing or afraid that this may happen so is doing a preemptive strike.  If I kick you out now then you can’t leave me later. I know the signs. I’m trying to live the fall out of that sentence and it makes me mad. The entire reason  I am not with the man I love is because he walked away, because he wouldn’t take that risk. Not because we argued, not because we didn’t love each other, in the end he decided we wouldn’t work out and so we didn’t. You can’t fight or work on that.

I get it. Making a commitment is huge. Making a commitment after being hurt is even huger and scarier (trust me, I am there) but to blame someone else for your fears……..

The man I loved walked away from me. He claims to have loved me more than he has loved anyone ever and yet he left.

Love wasn’t enough.

Loving me wasn’t enough.

That terrifies me. If love isn’t enough, if love doesn’t win. Well, not only have a been lied to by Disney and every love song for most of my life, but it means that next time even if I do meet someone, and we do fall in love…….. well that may not be enough; they may still leave.

That terrifies me.

But will I face my next relationship saying “well love isn’t enough and I know you’ll leave so why not just go now”. Of course not. That only leads to a lifetime alone.

This guy and my ex are living a self-fulfilling prophecy. If they continue to push people away, to not take the chance well of course they are going to end up alone – they won’t let anyone stay!

As you can see I am extremely passionate and fiery about this. I just want to bitch slap some sense into both of them and anyone else who is living alone claiming the rest of the world has the problem.

Take a risk. Step out of your comfort zone.

You can’t experience highs without lows.

You can’t expect to have a happily ever after if you won’t take the risk to get one.

I haven’t linked to the post which has inspired today’s post. God alone knows what the guy is thinking after I left my lets say passionate comment (it sounds better than crazy lady rant) to find out he has in a round about way inspired an entire post may just convince him I am completely crazy.

 

What a difference a year makes.

I can’t quite believe it, but I have been single for over a year now. I don’t know exactly how long I have been without a significant other   – I’m rubbish with dates! I know this time last year we would have still been living together, but I am confident that we would have ‘officially broken up’ as the actual conversation happened in the middle of our two weeks summer holiday and we always went away during the first two weeks of September, so give or take a day or so it was round about this time that he officially tore my heart in two.

I don’t know if I have ever told you how it ended?

We were watching the stars. I was wrapped in a blanket and he came up behind me and put my arms around me. We pointed out the different constellations – I saw and identified Sagittarius for the first time ever and then a shooting star shot across the sky. I told him to make a wish, and then after a little persuasion he shared his wish with me.

“I want you to be happy” he said.

I think in that second my heart may have stopped beating. I knew. He’d given up. He wasn’t considering a future with an ‘us’ any more.

That night was the worst of my life.

Knowing that if he wanted to he could have stopped my pain, taken away my heartache… all it would have taken was a “I have concerns but lets try” conversation. Knowing that the only thing that would make it better would be to fall asleep in his arm….. and yet I never would again. (Ok technically I did for about a month or so, but that’s a minor detail lost in the bigger picture!)

Despite being booked in for a week, we left the hotel a few days later. When we had first started dating the ex promised he would take me to Paris and this became important to him, in the middle of all this mess. So we went. We went with one rule. For that weekend we forgot about it all. The break-up. The future. All of it. We lived in the moment. We were in love (he still claims he loves loved me whilst we were there.)

I fell in love with Paris.

It was the most perfect weekend, and I soaked up every experience, every minute.

Before this split, I always thought love was enough. That love alone could get through anything. Now I don’t.

Before this experience I would always encourage anyone to deal with things in their past; work through it so you aren’t haunted by it. Now I know that sometimes to keep it all together you just have to shut that door. Block off your mind and move on. Learn from the experience. Don’t let it affect your future (too much). But sometimes things are just too raw painful heartbreaking well just too ….

The change in me in the last 12 months is obvious for anyone to see.

I have lost some weight. I am slightly jaded and I am scared to move on. To love again. To trust again.

But I am also stronger. I have so many new skills. I have more faith in myself and I have learnt to rely on no one but me (which I suppose could be viewed both positively and negatively).

My contact with the ex has changed. Whereas before I wanted to have a conversation with him, I know keep my messages short and to the point. Only ever discussing BD and if I can get away with a yes or a no I feel that the exchange has been a success. Often, after a conversation I wish for more. I wish he cared enough to ask how I was. A small part of me hopes he is still missing me, still thinks about me….. but I close off the thought process. I can’t go back so does it matter what he’s thinking? On occasions I do hope I will run into him out shopping, on an upcoming night out. I want him to see me at a distance and for him to feel a pang of regret.

This time last year I wished him nothing but good things and was hoping I would be able to spend evenings drinking wine, sharing takeaways and slowly falling back in love with each other.

Now I don’t. I put myself first, put my needs first. Am I more selfish – I think I may be.

I played by the rules, I gave love unconditionally and I got kicked in the teeth. So this time I am thinking about me. I joke with my friends that any ‘new guy’ is going to have his work cut out with me. My list of demands is at least 2 sides of A4 and to be completely honest I hope that I don’t meet him any time soon. For the first time (possibly ever) I am contented being alone.  Is this due to fear – I don’t know? But I know that right now I am content – and that’s ok.

This year has changed me. I have survived more heartache than I ever thought possible. I have had my happily ever after taken away but I’ve finally come back fighting!

In the moment

I don’t know if it was the great music, whether my senses had been deadened by the cold or if it was half the bottle of red wine that had been coiffed but this weekend I managed something pretty special – I managed to ‘be in the moment’.

I was at a music concert (of sorts) with my friend and her children and we decided we were going to go and dance… at the front….with everyone watching.

For those fews songs I forgot everything. I didn’t care what people thought of me. I didn’t miss him (which I still do every day!). I wasn’t wondering what my future would be like, when I would meet the one, what he would look like, how I would know this time. Family feuds were forgotten and for a short time I was just in the moment dancing like a loon (there is no other way to dance in this position!) laughing my head off and just enjoying the moment.

It is something that I have wanted to achieve for so long – enjoying the journey rather than worrying about the destination.

Sadly the moment didn’t last long. I caught a gimps of someone who I thought was the ex and my heart did that funny leap it always did when I say him and the butterflies he gave me returned. But that didn’t matter. For a while I had achieved something I have been striving for for so long, and now I have found it once I am sure I will find it a second time and then a third, forth and fifth time.

Slowly I am pulling myself together. Its not easy and there are days when it is down right hard but facing my demons rather than running for them seems to be helping and suddenly for the first time in a long time, perhaps in a forever I am excited by the journey!!