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Saturday
Jan282017

You're dumped eHam

I finally deleted my eHam profile.  It felt weird.  Like I was letting an old friend go.  Throwing out a pair of jeans that once looked good on me. Killing off my chance to find love (pfffft, joking).  I won’t lie, as a What If Girl, it was hard. 

I’ve been on eHam for a few years – I don’t want to confess how long for fear of sounding like a loser – but it was fun.  When I first signed up I dated enthusiastically, lining up several dates every week, and chatting to a few men at once.  Then as the excitement of meeting potential partners wore off, I logged on only when I felt like it, throwing myself in and out of the dating world for as long as my self esteem would allow.

Now that journey – or should I say roller coaster - is over.  Yes, I’m still single.   But that’s okay. 

Did I meet some great men?  Absolutely.  Some of them I’m still in contact with.  Coffee Boy, one of my first dates, who texts me every year on my birthday to catch up.  Marathon Man, who I dated for a while (he’s now happily married again with another child).  Celebrity Chef, one of the hottest guys I met, swaps funny stories and emojis with me like we’re bored 15 year olds.  Oh and most recently, The Sailor, who was a brilliant dinner date and plus one.  I liked him a lot.  Never mind.  

I also talked to and met some weirdos.  IronMan, the uber strong Leo who had a voice like a jockey and talked in the third person about everyone.  Thong Man who had a fight with me because I didn’t want to meet him after ten minutes of chatting.  Smiley Face who said that women who wear glasses are librarians and that we let way too many asylum seekers into our country. Elvis the bragger and 50/50 boy the groper.  Delete.

Then there were the awesome guys I met but didn’t click with physically or emotionally.  Sometimes me, sometimes them.  The Food Scientist and I had a brilliant four hour date, then nothing.  Fireman Sam (an old school romantic), the Drummer (lots of fun) and Sauce Boy (who flew from Canberra to take me to dinner on Valentine’s Day).  All lovely guys, just not right for me. 

I also had some interesting match ups … Carlos the Spanish Horse Whisperer … Scott the Swinger who had a wife AND a girlfriend, and was looking for another playmate to join them … and the lovely Michelle, a woman transitioning and looking to explore the world of dating as she became a man.  Then there was Nick who ended up dating Twin Kat for a few months. Thank God she never brought him home.  Awkward on a new level. 

A huge shout out to The Painter, Italian Stallion and Five Perfect Dates who all have their own chapters in my upcoming book.  If I ever finish it. 

As I hit the delete button on my account I felt good.  It was time to try something new and get rid of the things in my life that weren’t working.  Done.  I closed my laptop.  A little later, however, I received more matches in my inbox.  What?  I logged on again to find I had only stopped my subscription, not deleted my account.  My profile was still there attracting men.  Nice try eHam. 

I searched the site and finally found the Close My Account section.  As I hovered over that tiny red button, I wondered if this was the right thing to do.  What If, my head taunted me.  What IF?!  No, I’m done.  We are done. 

I clicked the button and a collage of cute men scrolled across my screen with an ominous sentence … “Are you sure you want to close your account? These are some of the people you might be missing out on.”

Are you for real?!  Where the hell were all these hotties the past few years?  It’s like going to AA and someone waving a bottle of champagne in your face before you walk through the door. My self discipline may not be that strong.  I pressed the “Yes, Delete my Account” button.  Another screen popped up.   “Warning!  Are you sure you want to do this?”  

A list of reasons not to delete my profile tugged at me.  You will permanently lose all your matches.  Shame. You will lose all communication with your matches.  Fine. You will have to retake the whole relationship questionnaire (or 936 stupid questions about dumb shit as I like to call it).  Yep.  Got that.  I’m out of here.

Finally after getting through myriads of dating firewalls, my account was closed.  Dead.  Dormant.  Deleted.  Hundreds of men that didn’t quite fit me (or vice versa) disappearing into a cyber black hole.  Just like that.  My fallback database of potential love was gone … for good. 

 Surprisingly, it feels really good.  And no, I’m not signing up for Tinder.   

Sunday
Jan312016

My dating days are done

My dating adventures have been long and well documented.  Mainly by me on blogs and at dinner parties when coupled friends ooh and ahh at my hilarious stories of singledom.  Some were jealous.  Most felt sad for me.  Hang in there, they said, you’ll meet someone when the time is right.  Blah, blah, blah.

I haven’t and I didn’t and I probably won’t so stop it.  Stop saying shit that you know nothing about.  It’s like encouraging someone to keep buying lotto tickets … just in case their numbers come up. They mean well but it's not their money they're wasting. Save your cash and spend it on something that makes you happy.  It’s time for me to do the same with my time and energy.    

Sometimes my dating was arduous, but it was mostly fun.  Heartbreaking now and again.  A great content creator to hide the way it sometimes felt.  Degrading.  Painful.  An emotional roller coaster.  If you’ve ever dated for a long period of time you know what I’m talking about.  It can lift you up … but it can also tear you down.  It’s time for me to hang up my hopes of finding a cool guy to hang out with.  I am saying goodbye to dating.

Sipping a latte in an uber cool café recently I looked around at a bunch of bored looking couples and had an epiphany. I realised that I don’t actually need a cool guy to fill my void – because I don’t have a void.  I have a life filled with more than most people have and really, do I want to spend Sunday mornings at my favourite brunch place ignoring the guy sitting in front of me?  No thanks.  I feel good about exorcising my romantic gene.  No more eHam.  No more set ups from friends. (Not that any of you tried – thanks for nothing).  No more nagging thoughts about men and being in a relationship.  I’m done with this journey.

And let’s remember, it was always a journey and never a destination.  Right?

As I pack up my dating portfolio, I wanted to highlight a few of the men I’ve encountered over the past year … and most importantly what they’ve taught me.  I often look for the lesson in things.  Right now, I’m still not sure what I should have learned along the way, but here goes. 

The Cyclist:  Thank you for reminding me that friends should always come before dumb boys with thick accents, no matter how cute they are.  Three bottles of pinot and a hot pash on the steps of the Opera House does not excuse my bad manners of being drunk at dinner with Texas Girl. Too drunk to eat that awesome seafood chowder.  Also, why did you never call me again?  I’m good at Long Distance, remember?

Insurance Man:  Thank you for confirming my belief on always being nice to people because you never know what challenges they are facing.  I understand you didn’t mean to constantly look at my online profile but not get in touch again after our first, supposedly awesome, date. Please don’t do that, it’s confusing.  Also, I’m sorry you have prostate cancer and have been busy with treatments.  I hope you feel better soon and the doctor has helped you with that medical hard on issue you described in your text message. 

Celebrity Chef:  Thank you for being cute, with gorgeous eyes and a brilliant smile. A boy that I could easily add to my “Amazing male friends in my life” collection. If you wanted me to. I like that we had fun, interactive and engaging text conversations and that you admitted I’m really funny. Funnier than you. Your lessons in emojis changed my world and I will forever love that I got to send you that little pooh smiley face emoticon and you thought it was cool.  I will miss the late night photos of your feet at the gym – and one day I might return the favour.  If I ever sign up.  Make sure you send me shots of bad eHam matches now and again so I can feel good about myself.

The Sailor:  Thank you for tricking me into believing I really could have another long distance non relationship like a FIFO miner. Let’s be honest, we’re not George Clooney and that chick acting out that movie Up in the Air.  You made me fall in love with Sydney and the harbor and fluffy bathrobes which made me really happy for a while …  but I think I saw something you didn’t.  Also, no one, not even my Nanna who doesn’t own a mobile phone, thinks it’s acceptable to text someone back three days later.  No one.  I will miss our dates, but I won’t miss the angst of not hearing from you for weeks on end.  Such a shame as I really liked you.  I don’t take just anyone to the opening night of Matilda.  Though you are an excellent plus one at an after party, coaxing waiters with arancini balls in my direction.  I really will miss you. 

The Food Scientist:  Thank you for being the one that finally let me see dating for what it is.  A handful of unicorn fairy dust where you think all your dreams will come true … and for three hours you really believe that … until it’s time to say goodbye and it becomes blatantly obvious that you’re never going to see each other again.  Our date was fun and I loved asking you 397 questions while you asked me nothing about my life.  (It’s okay, this is what 97% of men do on dates). I learnt a lot about free range chickens so not all is lost.  It’s just going to be hard to hang out in the egg section of Coles ever again.  And you had such gorgeous blue eyes and loved espresso martinis.  Damn it!

It’s been fun.  Sort of.   I’m just done.   I need to focus on the amazing things I have in my life, not the tiny little thing I don’t.

Please ignore the sweet bitterness in my tone.  I’m just adding a little bit of drama like the closing scenes of a bad soap opera.  I’m grateful that I’ve had so many adventures.  I’m not sure what I’m going to write / talk / whinge about now … but I’ll find something. A new hobby.  Sailing for one, perhaps?

Tuesday
Nov172015

The Man Plan 

Twin Kat is on a mission.  A mission to find a man.  I admire her bravery.  I have embarked on a similar journey and found myself burnt, torn and twisted at the base of a pile of discarded hearts.  Finding love is hard.  Keeping it is harder.

I lent Twin Kat a book I bought a few years ago:  The Four Man Plan.  It’s (apparently) a guaranteed road map to finding a guy who will love you for the rest of your life.  I got bored by page 7.  Maybe that’s why I’m single.  I can’t commit to a dating book, how the hell can I commit to a relationship?

Twin Kat approached it with gusto, following the instructions perfectly.  Draw up a white board with 16 squares. Write a list of what you want in a man.  Write a list of deal breakers.  Find men to date and write their names in each square.  The further you progress with each one, the more squares they take over.  Until one day – ta dum – you have a man who has moved into all squares – and presumably your heart – and you live happily ever after.  The End.  

There are rules too.  Like ‘by the third date, you must tell them you are dating other men’.  Oh.  And “never do anything more than kissing with your feet on the floor”.  Is the other option levitating?  Weird. 

My favourite rule from the book is “you can only sleep with one of them at a time – when you are ready.  Hold out for as long as you can as the last man you sleep with should be the one.  You should not let your vagina choose a man for you.”  Good point.  Let’s not pretend some of us haven’t done that. (Not me of course.  One of my friends).

As she returned from her dates, we’d debrief.   Good dates.  Okay dates.  Bad teeth.  Cheap.  Didn’t ask me any questions.  Crappy, scuffed shoes.  Some were sweet.  A few were jerks.  She had her ups and downs.  Dating is hard, I reminded her on bad days, let’s not forget that.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Twin Kat struck gold.  She found TWO amazing men in a week.  One from work and one from eHam.  Yes, we’re on the same site.  She is my little Grasshopper Apprentice, after all.  I may not be able to find my own man, but I’m really good at giving advice on how to date.  I’ve had a lot of practice.  Lots.

Every night we’d workshop the next date.  Where to go and what to wear.  Then we’d assess how the date went.  Talk through the finer details.  Pull them apart. He said this.  He did this.  This happened.  She laughed and smiled as she described what had happened. I loved hearing her talking about these guys.  Good guys.  Nice guys.  She was really happy.  About time.  She deserved it.

The dates rolled on.  One after the other.  The preparation alone was exhausting:  waxing, manicures, spray tans, new outfits.  She was a DIY Beauty machine. I’m not surprised the men were in constant contact.  The sound of text messages filled the house.  They even called.  Things were heating up. 

On the weekend, I got to meet them both.  Now I’m even more committed to her cause.  They’re both great guys.  Attractive.  Funny.  Engaging.  She likes them both.  I like them both.  I am invested in Twin Kat’s Man Plan more than ever before.  Now I’m not just an audience member.  I’m casting a vote like a reality TV show, wondering which one she’ll choose.

More importantly, which one do I want to see sitting on my couch on a Saturday night?  I’m torn.  I like them both. Imagine how poor Twin Kat feels.

Dating is hard.  Even when it’s going well and you have two men who adore you.  Fingers crossed this Man Plan works.  If it does, I’m asking Twin Kat for my book back.  

Monday
Mar092015

Married vs single 

A few week ago I was feeling a little flat about being single.  I was getting tired of putting myself out there, going on dates, then not meeting any men I clicked with.  Dating is exhausting. Being single can be fun, but I’m ready to meet someone.  To spend quality time with someone apart from my cat.  (No offence Asha).  Then I listened to some married women and I felt better.  So much better.  

On Saturday I slept in until 9.30am (I’ve had a lot on lately), made myself some breakfast and did the crossword in an old WHO magazine.  Two cups of coffee and an hour later, I headed up the freeway to visit my brow technician.  She works from home in the suburbs and it’s only a 20 minute drive so I don’t mind it.  It gives me the chance to put my favourite songs on and sing loud.  Really loud.  Out of tune.  It’s the equivalent of dance like no one is watching – or listening. 

As I pull into Eyebrow Girl’s (EG) driveway, I see children’s toys scattered all over the front lawn.  She has two daughters – both under two. They’re both cute.  Long dark hair and lots of curls. Big brown eyes.  They’re adorable but a handful.

Eyebrow Girl opens the door.  She looks tired.  Little Miss One was up all night, she moans.  Her husband slept right through.  She’s had just three hours of broken sleep.  I want to give her a hug and make her a really strong coffee.  Not just because I feel sorry for her, but because I’m afraid of what she might do to my eyebrows.  Those little hairs take ages to grow back. You shouldn’t operate machinery if you’re drowsy, I feel the same way about people using wax and tweezers.  

As she tweezes and sculpts my eyebrows I tell her about my recent trip to New York and how much fun I had.  She asks questions about the cool restaurants I went to, what I saw and where I stayed and is surprised when I tell her that I love traveling alone.  It gives me freedom to do what I want, when I want.  She sighs out loud as she pulls another hair from my left eyebrow.  Ouch. 

I ask about her week and she tells me she’s been thinking about moving back into the city to open a proper salon, but her husband isn’t that keen.  He thinks it will be hard for her to juggle the kids with extra travel and time away from the house. “You try being locked in a house with two kids for three years”, she told him.  I can tell from the tone in her voice she’s a little pissed at his archaic attitude.  Fair enough.  I wouldn’t want to ask for permission to do something with my career either.

Her eldest daughter suddenly opens the door to her salon and wanders in.  She’s talking in childspeak (of which I can rarely translate) and Eyebrow Girl apologises and takes her back into the house.  When she returns she sighs and tells me that her husband is having a nap.  “I’ve had NO sleep and am working all day but HE needs a nap.”  I can feel her clutch the tweezers tightly.  I feel for her ..  and pray that my eyebrows are going to look okay. 

As I lay on her massage table and she tints my eyebrows I listen as she tells me her two kids sleep with her in bed – so her hubby is in a spare room by himself.  “I prefer it that way”, she confesses, “it’s less annoying and I get more sleep because I don’t have to hear him snoring.”

Ohgod, that’s so sad.  Is this what marriage is really like?   I don’t remember ever feeling this way about my ex-hubby when we were married, but then we didn’t have kids.  Maybe that’s what changes everything. 

She then goes on to tell me that they had a fight a few days ago and she said “Don’t look at me, don’t talk to me”.  This went on for two days.

Eyebrow Girl’s next client entered the salon and joined in on the sad tales of married life. She told us that her husband travels a lot and she loves it as she “doesn’t have to put up with his shit when he’s away.”  Oh no. 

What’s going on with these women?  I know that having kids and being married has its downsides (no freedom or me time as a starter) but is it really that bad?  Surely there are great moments like coming home to talk to someone about your day (not the cat – sorry Asha) and seeing your kids do cute things for the first time?  Are these two women in the minority?  I have lots of friends who are married with kids.  Sure, they’re tired a lot of the time, but they seem pretty happy.

As the stories of annoying husbands and demanding kids rolled on – and on – and on - I smiled to myself.  Not in a smug, I’m single and how great is my life (because yours isn’t) way - but because I realised that we always think the grass is greener on the other side.  I’d love to have a partner to share stuff with, but not one who is a pain and I can’t stand the sight of.  I’d prefer to continue on my path of doing everything solo, than spend my days moaning about how annoying my partner is.  I really hope Eyebrow Girl and her husband work their sh*t out – life’s too short to be miserable all the time. 

I can be miserable on my own if I choose to – I don’t need a man for that.    

Sunday
Feb152015

I love being single day

Today was the best I Love Being Single Day Ever.  You might call it Valentine’s Day. I rebranded it.  Gave it a new name.  A new meaning.  Made it relevant to a new target market.  Single people.  Me.

Some days it's okay to be single. I relish my freedom. The fact I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Not answer to anyone. I can jump on a plane. Sleep in. Stay out late. Get drunk.  My life is my own and I don’t ask anyone for permission for anything.  Not that you should have to seek permission in a relationship, but there’s no negotiation in my life. I do what makes me happy.

Sure, there are times when it gets me down and I wish I had a partner.   Always having to find a plus one to go to an event.  No one to look after me when I’m sick or stressed.  No one to share my good or bad news with.  Let’s not forget the physical part of having a partner.  I miss that. 

This Valentine’s Day weekend I’m embracing being single. To not feel cynical.  Count my blessings.  I declared these two days Crazy Tan Love days – doing all the things I love.  It’s been one of my favourite days.

I started with a sleep in.  I was writing until 2.30am so let myself sleep until 11am.  I love sleep. I can never get enough of it.  Sleeping in is decadence.  You have to wipe away the guilt at the thought you’ve wasted half the day and remind yourself that sleep is a gift.

Twin Kat made me a long black and I sipped that while enjoying baked beans, avocado and rocket on toast.  I read some online blogs and did a bit of work.  My job is great.  It counts under the things I love list.

I walked in the sun to brunch.  A storm had just passed and the air smelt great.  I love rain.  I love storms.  Something about their energy and the fact we have no control over them.  Rain and storms make me happy. 

The Queen of DJs and I met at one of my favourite cafes.  She got stuck in traffic and was 40 minutes late.  Usually it’s me that runs late.  I sat and had a coffee and checked out Facebook and Instagram.  I felt relaxed, just scrolling through photos and status updates, commenting on things I liked.  Chill time is foreign to me.  I loved it.

I ate amazing walnut and ginger cake, savouring every mouthful.  It was moist, rich and delicious, decorated with a buttery icing and purple flowers.  #yum

When Queen of DJs arrived we chatted and ordered zucchini fritters and poached eggs.  Eggs are the best breakfast food in the world.  Especially for brunch.  Eggs make me happy.  So does any kind of fritter.  I was in my foodie zone. 

The Queen of DJs is one of those people who always makes you feel good.  She never says a bad word about anyone. By the time you say goodbye to her, your mood has changed.  Uplifted.  Refreshed.  Inspired.  Happy.

I texted Merman to wish him a happy I Love Being Single Day and we decided to celebrate by heading to a bar, sitting in a courtyard and drinking Pinot Noir.  I love a good Pinot.  It makes me happy.  There was a hen’s night taking place. I suggested that if we wanted to make a quick $500 I could hire Merman out as a stripper.  He was wearing shorts and a tank top that said Virgin.  He was pretty much ready to go. 

After a bottle of Pinot it was time to really move into our happy zone.  Two espresso martinis and a chocolate fondue platter for two later, we were on our way.  I don't think Merman has ever had shared a chocolate fondue before – he looked a little perplexed.  I explained that it was my dessert of choice for dinner parties when I was married and living in the burbs. This is how the hetros do romance I told him.  I’m not sure he was convinced.

Merman had to head off to cover himself in glitter and go to some sort of rave party so I hugged him goodbye and headed home.  Now I’m on the couch, drinking wine, watching a weird foreign film and writing.  I’m doing more of the things I love.  There’s no man in sight and that’s okay.  I’m happy.   This is the best I Love Being Single Day ever.