Saturday, July 7, 2018

Ours was a great love story

Ours started off as a great love story.

We had all the ingredients for a long, happy, life together. But as the cracks started to appear and our tolerance for each other waned, the writing, inevitably, was on the wall.

I can only tell you my side of the story.

I think because things started off so well I wanted to believe it would continue like that. But, unfortunately it didn't.

You see, my boyfriend thought he only needed to "put in an effort" for the first couple of months. Once he "got me", he didn't think he needed to make an effort anymore.

I thought otherwise and this, I guess, was our undoing.

He was more at home sitting on my couch looking at his phone or watching tv/Netflix rather than going on date nights, weekend drives or just spending time with me.

We used to do all these things, but that all changed.

Of course there was more to it than that, but I'm not getting into the nitty gritty.

We were no longer on the same page. We didn't share the same interests anymore, didn't want to spend our spare time together and it seemed we were more content being by ourselves, rather than with each other.

Those endearing qualities we both loved about each other (or tolerated) at the beginning of our relationship became a thorn in our sides.

A recent holiday to Tasmania was make or break for us. Spending 24/7 with someone really shows you what you're both made of.

Unfortunately we weren't made to be in a relationship with each other.

The impatience he had with me, particularly while we were away, was made more obvious because there was nowhere to escape. We spent just about every moment with each other.

I know he's always been extremely impatient, but it wasn't until that distain was aimed at me all day, every day, did I realise this wasn't the type of relationship I wanted to be in.

And believe me the irony is not lost on me that I ended up with someone who didn't give a shit about manners when he knew how important they were to me.

So we bid farewell and have gone our separate ways.

I won't lie, the first three weeks, particularly, were tough and it's only with the help of my close friends and family that got me through such a shitty time.

But I'll bounce back.

What doesn't break you only makes you stronger, right?

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Compromise isn't a two-letter word

I never thought compromise would play such a big role in my first serious relationship. Well, ever.

But it has.

A question I've asked myself a lot over the past nine months is do I want to compromise on this, or that?

Am I being too selfish? Do I really need it done this way or should I do it his way or do what he wants?

For compromise to work, you both need to agree to do it. It's no good one of you doing it because you will end up resenting the other.

You also need to decided what you will compromise on and what you won't and this is very important.

There needs to be boundaries and you need to be okay about what you compromise on.

I think this is the biggest issue I've had to face in my relationship. Should I compromise to make him happy or do I compromise for the greater good knowing that in the long term it doesn't really matter.

I have to remember I've lived alone most of my adult life so letting someone in is quite daunting.

So he doesn't wipe up and put away. What's the big deal? He doesn't put things back where he got them? No biggie. He messes up your carefully positioned couch cushions. Good lord. What are you going to do?

So what if these things aren't done like I'm used to? At least I have this guy in my life who has enriched it in more ways than annoying my anal-retentive tendencies.

Fair enough on compromising on the little things but you have to decide on what you won't compromise on.

For me it's basic manners and common courtesy.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) I was brought up with high standards when it comes to manners. I expect them from my friends and my boyfriend.

So much so I had it written in my online profile. I wanted any potential suitors to know what was a priority for me and a deal breaker.

Waiting for someone to finish eating while sitting at the table is a given.
You wait while your girlfriend gets her bag out of the car before you walk off together.
You ask if she wants a coffee.
You don't start watching a movie on tv before she's sitting next to you.
If you're getting a drink, then ask if she wants one too.
There are two Chicos left in the packet - share them with her.

The list can be as long or as short as you make it, but either way you need to choose what you will compromise on and what you won't.

And remember, compromise isn't as simple as saying no.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Navigating a serious relationship at the age of 37

Noone hands you a user manual for relationships. Perhaps they should and it should start from the end and work backwards.

Navigating a relationship at any age is a challenge but put yourself in my shoes. My 37-year-old shoes.

It's not easy to change your habits after living by yourself for so long and being used to doing things just the way you like it.

But alas, I met a guy through eHarmony after only a few weeks. I never thought I'd be one of those statistics where you meet someone online. A genuine, decent guy wanting the same things you do.

But noone tells you actually how hard it will be to try and blend the two lives together at such a late stage in your lives.

I am 37 and he is 39 and needless to say we both didn't think we'd find ourselves single at that age and looking for love through the stroke of a keyboard.

But here we both are.

Sure you have your own friends, hobbies and careers but trying to mash them all together is sometimes harder than it appears.

I love scary movies - have since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Now as an adult it's really hard to find someone who shares my love of this night time indulgence. But I did and we watch plenty of scary movies and I happily grip his arm at the scary parts.

I think what doesn't change, no matter what age you are entering a relationship, is not knowing where the other stands.

Do they like you as much as you do (let's face it - one always likes someone more than the other one does).

At what stage do you meet their friends? When do you introduce them to yours? When do they meet the fockers? When do you meet theirs?

You don't want to seem too eager to pass all these milestones, but secretly you hope he likes you enough to want to push you into the deep end, head first.

And boy does it feel good.

You walk proudly with this guy on your arm and hope everyone knows he's yours, he's your boyfriend and he's chosen you.

You skip along blissfully unaware of whatever else is happening around you.

You're in love and it feels f***ing fantastic!

Boy, why did it take 37 years to get here you ask?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Work Lunch or Lunch Date?

I've been sitting on this blog post for awhile now, not sure how I would start it.

Mainly because during this time of procrastination (which, as a journo, I am excellent at), I met someone and now know what it's like to be treated right.

But let's go back to the time when I wasn't.

I'd been chatting to a guy through work for a few months, on and off. All work-related (of course), but then I got the feeling he might be trying to suss out if I was single.

There were heaps of "work" phone calls back and forth, and yes, I admit I did make up a few lame excuses so I could call him.

Eventually he kept saying we should meet up for coffee sometime. Waiting for that 'sometime' turned into weeks so I decided to take the initiative and ask him for coffee.

I'd sent the email and waited in anticipation for him to reply. A few hours went by. Nothing. Then a day, still nothing.

I wrote him off after not hearing from him in four days and tried to get back on with life and had convinced myself it was all in my head.

But alas, a week or so later I get a very impersonal 'coffee' invite sent to me by this guy.

Phew, so he know s I'm alive afterall. Of course I forgave him in an instant for not answering my coffee email.

I couldn't make the time he suggested for coffee so after a few emails we decide on "lunch" on a Monday.

Now I'm sure I'm not the only woman who has wondered if they are going on a "work" lunch, or lunch date?

I mean it felt like a date after it went from coffee to lunch.

But, hang on a second. Did he think we'd have "coffee" during the period typically known as lunch from 12-1pm?

I was confused and reading waaaay too much into the situation.

But the time the day rolled around I had no idea what to expect. Technically I didn't even know if this guy was single? Was he?

I actually hadn't met this guy yet, just knew the sound of his great phone voice. I'd tried cyber stalking him, but he didn't have much of an online footprint so I didn't have much to go on.

So we meet, eat (thank god!) and talk date-like stuff. I knew his career background, that he owned a couple of boats, had two children and it appeared he was going through a separation.

We talked about my work, he knew I was single and didn't have any kids and I'm pretty sure I told him about my little blog.

An hour-and-a-half goes by, he pays (ummm, date!) and we walk out and say our goodbyes. I was ready to say I'd been keen to catch up again but next time alcohol should be involved.

But he turns all work-like, shakes my hand and said he looked forward to seeing me at the filming (we were filming with his company).

I leave confused, perhaps more so than I was when I arrived.

I still wasn't sure if he was single and was cracking onto me.

I decided to wait and don't contact him for a few days (work-related or otherwise), then three days later I get an email saying he enjoyed our "lunch getogether" and that I was "interesting" and would be keen to do it again sometime.

So I see this as my queue to go for it! I text him saying I'd been keen for another catchup, this time with alcohol involved. He replies 'haha for sure' and that was it.

I wait four days and text again asking if he was free that Friday for a drink?

I'm still waiting for him to reply.

I got absolutely nothing. Radio silence.

I stopped obsessing about it after a few weeks and began to get on with life and realise it was him and not me.

Randomly I get a "work" email from him saying he'd follow up in the next week or two to see how everything went with filming.

I'm still waiting.

His actions said a lot about him, not only on a personal level, but a work one too. And I wanted nothing to do with either.

About a month after getting his latest email I joined eHarmony. It was one of only a few sites I hadn't tried so thought I'd hand over my credit card and give it go.

And I haven't looked back!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Bubble Bursts

Just as I was getting used to spending time with that sweet-mannered, kind guy I mentioned in my last post, it ended.

I thought he liked me as much as I liked him (maybe more?) and I'd even started planning things in advance (shock horror), but for the second time I ran before I walked.

We were set up by a mutual friend and our first date was a very casual catch up on a Sunday afternoon. So casual I had a milkshake and drove. Such a rebel.

I thought the date went okay but I wasn'y on my A game by any means. We parted ways after an hour and a half and I didn't think I'd hear from him again.

But, alas, he messaged a few hours later saying it was really lovely to meet me and thanked me for giving up my Sunday afternoon and he wanted to see me again.

This is just one of the examples of how this guy was different from the rest. Perhaps this is what piqued my interest.

When I was mulling over the potential of a second date I thought back to what we spoke about during the first one.

I mentioned I had a cat (in a non-crazy cat lady way) and I remember him asking me what sort of cat Millie was?

I didn't think much of it at the time, but looking back, he is the first guy to ever ask me about my cat and he didn't have to.

But that's what nice guys do.

I wasn't the best version of myself on that date yet he still wanted to see me again. This meant something.

I'm ashamed to admit it took me 24 hours to reply to his text, but when I did I said I, too, was keen to see him again so we lined up a mid-week movie date that week.

He was so excited to go to the movies that he offered to buy the tickets online, picked up the candy bar bill and also paid for our early dinner and drinks beforehand.

He is the type of guy who doesn't think twice about paying for a lady on a date and it was so nice to be treated like one.

After the movie he offered to drive me home but I said it was out of his way and I said I would just take the bus.

Everyone I told that story to asked why not? Why didn't I let him drive me home? I guess the number one reason was I'd never had anyone ask before and I didn't know how to respond.

In the meantime, we organsie to go to Bluesfest at Byron Bay for a day over the Easter weekend. He was keen to pay for his ticket, but I said don't worry, he'd been paying for all our other dates.

So date #3 rolls around and he wants to take me to dinner and offers to pick me up so I accept and we have a lovely dinner.

I'd gone to the bathroom and he paid and as I was walking back I see he's on the phone. Didn't think much of it. He had been waiting to hear from his boss about what time he was starting work the next day so I assumed it was him.

We walk out of the restaurant and he says he's starting at 7.30am. I ask if that was his boss on the phone? His reply? It was my ex.

To say it was a conversation killer doesn't even come close. I didn't know what to say, he didn't know what to say so we ride home in silence most of the way.

I ask if he wants to come in when we get back to my place, he does for about 15 minutes and we sit awkwardly on the couch, then he says he's got to go.

I walk him out and think, right, surely we've got to have our first kiss now?

I am standing next to his van, he's standing there looking at me. It's awkward. Seconds are ticking by and we're looking at each other. You get the picture.

I was waiting for him to make the next move. The move he makes is jumping into his car and driving away pretty quicky. I was suprised and of course wondered what just happened?

I message him later to see he'd gotten home and just touched on what happened (or didn't) earlier. He said he freaked out, didn't know what to do and I said we had plenty reasons to look forward to the next date.

Turns out we saw each other the next day and we spent about seven hours together. We watched Netflix, drank, ate and got to know each other more.

Yes, we finally kissed and if I'm totally honest, I didn't feel any spark.

But you know what? That didn't bother me. I thought we could keep getting to know each other, and may, just maybe, the sparks would come.

I'm -not sure what he was thinking, but 24 hours later I get the "it's not you, it's me" text.

One of my first thoughts is I now I have $320 worth of Bluesfest tickets and the second was a day after I kiss a guy, I get a text saying thanks but no thanks.

Does a lot for a girl's self esteem.

In his defence he felt "it" wasn't there and he said it was the same with his ex. I was a nice girl, intelligent, blah blah blah.

I replied after an hour saying I was surprised, thought things were going well and I wished him the best.

He replied and said thanks for replying and he wished me well.

Damn it, why did you go and be a nice guy again???!!!!
Oh, and those Bluesfest tickets I had? A good friend stepped up and we went together.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Lowering Your Standards is Not the Answer

I've been online dating on and off for almost four years so this kind of dating has become the norm for me.

I didn't realise until recently how climatised I have become to guys treating me badly, not replying to texts and generally not giving me the respect I deserve.

I always thought I would meet someone who put me first and worried about my wellbeing, but the guys I seem to attract (online) have done none of this.

Guess that's why I'm 36 and still single.

But I refuse to settle.

Recently I met a guy who showed me there are still some good ones out there.

He is the type to let you walk through a doorway first, is happy to pick up the cheque and is insulted when you offer to pay.

He messages to see if you're home safe, asks how your day was and actually wants to hear your answer and remembers the type of drink you like.

It wasn't until going on a few dates did I realise how low my standards are now.

The only excuse I have is I'm a product of my surroundings. I, like many other people, haven't met anyone in real life so I turned to online dating. I just didn't realise I would compromise my standards in the process.

I realised the guys I met weren't what I always wanted but I went along for the ride because there weren't any other better offers.

I thought I was destined to forever be the girl my friends lived their lives vicariously through. They would laugh with me when I would tell them the incredible and sometimes unbelievable stories of the dates I'd been on. 

But they were also there when I would be counting the days since I'd heard from a guy and wondered what I had done wrong and we'd come up with the stories - no, the reasons - why this guy couldn't possibly have grabbed his phone and called me, or text.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

It's a jungle out there without any GPS

My latest sojourn in the online dating world hasn't gone so well.

I was ready to close down my online dating profile and I was telling a friend about it when she suggested I write it like an ad - you know - one last chance, all offers accepted, that kind of thing.

I thought it was funny and set about writing the perfect profile to capture the guy - any guy's - attention.

This is what I decided on:
Hi - last chance to make a genuine offer - all offers considered. I'm here for one more week, then I'm closing my account. No returns or refunds. Here's the deal......and I used the rest of my usual profile to pad it out.

I was hoping having a sense of humour might attract a different kind of guy - one who would appreciate my dry sense of humour and would want to contact me.

But it didn't go to plan - while I though it was ingenious, not many others did.

While I eagerly checked my profile to see if there were any new views or messages, I came to the realisation it just wasn't working.

It's a jungle out there without any GPS.

Noone is giving you the navigation directions - you are trying to find your own way through this jungle of photos and profiles which aren't jumping out at you.

I've known this for awhile now, but it wasn't until I tried my 'one week only' catch phrase that I realised it wasn't working. None of my stints on online dating were resulting in any decent men contacting me.

I am all about accepting my faults and realising where I went wrong, but you get to a point where you are just too old to change and too used to the ways things have been.

Let's face it - no guy has come close to me wanting to change.

Each time I chat to a new guy I try a new tact, but it's just not working.

But back to the fire sale...I messaged a guy who had viewed my profile the day I was going to close it. I thought, what the hell, I don't have anything to lose so I messaged him.

He thought I'd already closed my account so hadn't messaged (that was his story anyway) and we had a laugh about how guys weren't finding my profile funny (at least I was!).

He was fitting into this category. The category where guys seem to be too lazy to make the first move - whether it be sending the first message, being the one to ask the other on a date or offering their phone number.

So we chatted for a few days before going on a first date which turned out to be awkward. He sat on a lemon, lime and bitters while I downed two vodkas (and I'm by no means a big drinker).

I'd forgotten my glasses too so I was worried I wouldn't recognise him! Afterall, I only had his profile pics to go on.

Oh, and I forgot to mention he has a kid. First guy I've ever been on a date with who has a child. He showed me pics too...

He was keen to catch up again, but I wasn't. I knew I wasndidn't want to entertain the idea of being with someone who already had children and this guy just didn't excite me.

So now I'm foot loose and let back into the real world - where you meet people in the flesh and strike up meaningful conversations and you don't hide behind a screen on a phone.

Well, that's the plan anyway. Wish me luck.