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?

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8 thoughts on “It’s not you, it’s me

  1. Kat says:

    This is such a lovely post. It might not feel like it, but it is – and incredibly useful to come to realisations about oneself. The better you know yourself, the better you can know someone else. Or something. I dunno. I’ve just had a decaf coffee for crying out loud.

  2. London-Lass says:

    Nutty there’s nothing wrong with you – you’re effin’ marvellous.

    When I started my Blog (which was nowt but a journal of my Net Dating `adventures’ in the early days) it took over five months before I met the Chuppies (but I’d been Net Dating for eons before that).

    I dont want you to start questioning YOU. There’s nowt wrong here – you just haven’t met your match yet 🙂

  3. Lea says:

    Oh sweet J. You are me.

  4. Brennig says:

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

    I think this is why I’ve stopped looking. I am enjoying singledom. It isn’t dull, there’s loads going on, and I socialise when I choose and on my terms. And so what if sometimes I decide to go to bed at 7pm with a good book and a random selection of music? This is good. It works for me. And I don’t have to take the disappointment of not getting what I want.

    Thanks for this.

  5. Allow me to muse on the subject of online dating for a moment.

    I don’t think it’s you, I don’t think it’s the blokes, I think it’s the situation online dating puts you in. I think the pressure – even more so than a normal date where you at least have an inkling that you found them attractive when drunk – forces people to think there’s something wrong with them, or the other person, which means they are “unsuccessful”.

    From what I can gather (and I haven’t online dated, so tell me if I’m wrong) you’re both meeting someone – entirely off the bat, save for a few emails or whatever – specifically to find out whether they are boyfriend / girlfriend material. That’s it. That’s the end game.

    It’s not “find a” it’s “” and you go in with that yes / no mindset which you probably wouldn’t do in many other situations – so you’re both on edge. Stakes are high.

    But in online dating, there’s not really any context to the other person, it’s all from lists and messages and filtered photos, and that theoretically they tick a list of criteria, and visa versa.

    You’re both probably comparing each other to the date you had last week, and knowing that you probably don’t need to make a huge effort if they’re not instantly “your type” because you’ll be seeing another person the next week, and one after that, and sifting through profiles when you get home and lining up the next until it’s done.

    Again, doesn’t generally happen in real life.

    It just seems like such an odd situation (the fact that you both know you’re on there looking for love, that you’re both seeing other people regularly) that yes, works out well for some. But I don’t blame you for getting a bit tired of it, it sounds like a real effort.

    So my laboured point is it doesn’t seem fair to blame yourself for it not turning out the way you’d hoped.

  6. looby says:

    Take a lot longer than a few months, IME. It’s not a quick fix.

    Funnily enough, a couple of women I’ve met have actually been far more attractive in real life than in their photos! The last woman I went for a drink with, I just balnked her when I walked into the pub, thinking “Oh God no, it won’t be her” (subtext: she’s far too pretty). It was her!

    IKWYM about sounding good on paper. On my profile I’ve said that if we seem to click a bit by email, then I want to meet up quickly, because we can all make ourselves look great given unlimited time at the keyboard.

    Keep going Nutty–but perhaps see it as a medium/long term thing.

  7. […] already talked in the past about realizations I’d come to as a result of starting dating. In it, I talk about the fact that I’m a bit of a bitch. When I wrote it then, I think it […]

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