It’s not you, it’s me

So I’ve now been doing the dating thing for two months. It’s fair to say it hasn’t been the huge success I hoped for. While it’s been very useful for blog posts, twitter updates, facebook statuses and the like, I’m yet to find a guy that I can stand seeing more than twice.

Another first date last night. After about an hour and a half, I’d had enough. I was tired, I wasn’t feeling anything other than mild interest, and it was time to go home. As I walked up the mountainous streets of Lausanne, I had a think about all the first dates I’ve been on over the last few months. I thought about all the inquisitive texts I’d had from friends “how did it go?” and the depressing replies I had sent back which, invariably, was simply “meh”.

And as I thought, I realised that, actually, maybe it wasn’t the men that were meh.

Maybe it was me.

Things I’ve learnt from my dating experiences so far:

1. I fall for the hype

Anyone can sound good on paper (I mean look at me. I’m a veritable goddess here on this blog. In real life? Not so much. Why do you think I keep this blog anonymous? It adds to the mystery!).

Anyone can  sound good on paper and yet I have a tendency to fall for the prose. Oooo, look, they’re tall. Oooo, look, they can string a sentence together. Oooo, look, their message to me isn’t a languid “hi”.

I need to learn that just because someone can write well, it doesn’t mean they are witty and charming in real life. Just because they say they like to travel, it doesn’t mean they like adventure. Just because they say they read, it doesn’t mean they’re well read.

2. I trust the camera

I understand that people, obviously, put up their best selves in their pictures (except with the odd exception of various strange Tinder finds). I get that. I did, after all. However, in a fit of optimism, I tend to believe the best photo of them.

I am always disappointed.

I have to start looking at the worst photo of them – it’s more likely to be nearer the truth. (on that note, I shudder to think what they think when they finally see me in the flesh!)

3. I’m deliberately argumentative and more than a little stubborn

I don’t mean to be. Ok, maybe I do a little bit. I was talking to someone about this last night – he was asking me what was wrong with last night’s date and what I was looking for. I surmised it thus:

I like tall, confident, intelligent, challenging guys. Who like sport, and like to travel and experience new things (I don’t ask much, do I?)

When asked to define challenging, I continued

Doesn’t let me have my own way the whole time. Open to discussions. Strong willed. I need someone to rein me in sometimes.  I can be quite scary. No, I am quite scary. I need someone to who can handle that.

The point being, is that because I’m always looking for this power dynamic in my relationships, I am deliberately stubborn and argumentative. I want people to challenge me. I want people to show me I’m wrong. I want them to have the confidence to put me in my place.

Why would I want this? This is stupid.

4. I’m a bit of a bitch

It was actually only through one of my dates that I realised that I was a bitch. The guy in question was so cynical and sarcastic that even I balked. And then it occurred to me that, just maybe, probably, this is how I come across too.

My friends know me, and (I hope) love me for my slightly harder side. They know that somewhere, there’s a heart underneath the cynical shell. But new people? No. People who don’t know me must just think I’m a cow.

I also realised last night that I find it very hard to make prolonged eye contact with someone across a table if I’m not attracted to them. With the Hungarian (because I fancied him) I found it no problem to look at him, flirt with him, maintain eye contact. With dates recently, I’ve found it very difficult to gaze into their eyes. It feels false and seems to promise more than I want it to.

Of course, this isn’t true. Looking at someone is just polite.

And, apparently, I’m so rude, I can’t even be bothered with this convention.

5. I’m not sure what I want, but I know when I don’t get it.

This is the most confusing revelation of all. I have an idea of what I want, and yet, deep down, I know that what I want probably isn’t the best thing for me in the long run. And so I continue to go out with guys who are evidently not what I want. And complain about it. And tell the world it’s their fault. When it isn’t.

It’s not them, it’s me.

Onward and upward, right?

Posted in bad boys, having a grump, look at me, love 'n' things, lovely men, online dating, ranting | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

The Hungarian

Do you think it makes sense to keep meeting? I don’t feel so. I don’t feel the kind of attraction to go and further and I don’t want to mislead you. How do you feel about this?

And, with that, it was over before it had even begun.

The Hungarian and I had been emailing each other for about a month before he suggested that we meet up. Christmas and new year intervened. Conflicting schedules meant it was mid-January before I heard from him again. His plans had changed, he said. He was looking at leaving Switzerland and going home. He could understand if I didn’t want to meet him.

I’m nothing if not pragmatic. This guy could have been the love of my life. In a couple of months we could be married with babies on the way. We could have moved back to Hungary together and be living in a huge house with a view over Budapest.

Or, you know, we could like each other and it might be fun.

I went with the latter philosophy.

And so we met. And he was good looking, and interesting, and funny, and talkative, and intelligent. An all-round decent chap. As he drove me home, I thought about it a little more, wondering whether this was someone I wanted to learn more about, to see again. A chase kiss on the cheek as we said goodbye and, yes, I decided that I did, rather. It was about time I got myself a nice guy. I deserved a nice guy. I deserve a nice guy.

He texted me when he got home and I broached the subject about seeing him again. With an enthusiastic yes reply, that was that. The 14 year old girl was off. She really is a silly cow, sometimes.

We had another date the other weekend. Cocktails and a meal in my favourite bar and restaurant. Chatter, laughter, discussions about religion, the afterlife, Hungarian folk dancing (this is a thing, who knew). We decided against the hiphop concert (is that what they’re called? gig? recital?) – the only thing going on in Lausanne that night – and instead we strolled back to my apartment, made tea, and I endured Die Hard II for a couple of hours. It was relaxed, and comfortable, and sprawled, and…. the perfect time for him to make a move.

No move was made.

Several hours later and it was time for him to go home. As I walked him down to the car, the butterflies started to build. Surely now, now would be the time. We faced each other.

“Have a safe drive home” I said, lamely.

“Thanks” he replied, equally pathetically.

(Seriously, the expectation, that moment of possibility, the waiting for a kiss that may or may not come, has to be one of the most awkward moments in the entire world. I wonder whether there should be some form of signal that those dating each other use in these situations – a safe word, if you like. Say the word “amalgamation” at any point during the evening, and you make it known to the other person that a move wouldn’t be rebuffed. I think I might try it.)

(I may have to try it with someone who knows this is the safe word, however, or it could get very confusing.)

Anyway, there was a pause. A heartbeat. A silence.

And then….

Three quick kisses on the cheek and he was off to his house-share in a town 40 minutes away. Deflated, I walked back home. The 14 year old girl was a little quieter. She was questioning. Of course she was, stupid woman.

I’m not really one for shy men (as evidenced by my experiences with the Tall Traveler) and so really don’t know what to do when confronted with one. Was this being backward at coming forward just shyness? Or did he not like me?

I tried not to think about it. Vague plans had been made for the following weekend. I’d wait and see. That was the sensible option. That was my new grown-up, I’m not running after men option. Wait and see.

And so I waited. And I didn’t see.

In the end, after 3 days of waiting, I gave in and did the running. And I got my answer.

I’m not sure why I’m quite so annoyed about it all. We had a couple of dates. I didn’t love him, I wasn’t even sure I liked him a lot. I liked him enough. Enough to want to see whether anything happened. Not enough to feel this peeved. It occurs to me that this is the first time that I’ve been properly rejected in a while. In most of the other instances, I’ve been the one doing the rejecting. And that, I like. This whole lack of power thing annoys me.

Now there’s a realisation to end a blog post on.



P.S. In other news, Monopoly is now going out with one of my friends. Which would explain the reason that both of them have been avoiding me for the last two months. I’m also going to Turkey for work. Despite the fact that Monsieur de la Pérouse says it’s a bad idea (and despite the fact I know he’s right) I’m dropping in to see Turkish Boy.

Posted in having a grump, how i'm feeling, love 'n' things, online dating, this is the modern world | Tagged , , | 7 Comments