A follow up to ‘Dating in your 30’s’, to discuss dating in general, in the modern day. It isn’t easy!
Recently a friend wanted my advice on, essentially reading between the lines.
I knew exactly what that meant when I read this, I am sure a lot of people have been guilty of this before. It means one thing, I do not want to date you.
Now this can be for a number of reasons, it doesn’t mean the person on the receiving end of that has done anything wrong, nor should they be so hard on themselves. It just means, you aren’t and nor were you, dating.
Unfortunately this lack of clarity, this vague response leaves the person on the end of this full of doubt and they start to be consumed by their insecurities. It can literally eat away like a scratch in the head and this really is unfair!
This issue, or thing, whatever it is, makes dating harder. In this case, you have a guy who is enjoying the company of another, who has not thought any more of it and a girl who thinks they are dating. To me, they are not dating, I think there needs to be a ‘chat’, a conversation of the circumstances and future aspirations, should there be any. This level headed approach can be some what daunting and intense. “Needy behaviour”, however I completely disagree that it’s needy, the issue is being able to maturely take responsibility for your feelings and/or intentions. If at the start, the guy in this scenario had aired his feelings, that he was not looking for commitment, my friend could of approached the situation completely different. She could of enjoyed the casualness of it like he has, without fear of disappointment or had the option to walk away if that wasn’t what she was looking for.
Be bold and be honest, ask someone what they want, if they aren’t sure then are you happy with that?
I think part of the issue is the poignancy over sex. If that’s what someone is after, be honest about it, perhaps diplomacy and tact is needed but you never know, the other person might have the same intentions. Equally though, be honest if you are looking for some sort of commitment.
This is were people are guilty of, “I am not sure I am ready”, they basically do not want to commit. Maybe it is because they think the grass is greener, maybe it is because they are trying to be polite and don’t see a future, there are lots of reasons. Usually though, it’s because he or she is enjoying the single life.
I won’t lie, the very word commitment used to scare me in the past, but you just have to put your big boy pants on and deal with it!
Where do I meet people?
This is were our conversation really opened up. It’s a really important question. Where do you meet a potential suitor? Well, as previously mentioned in my other blog, I explained why social dating apps, well, online dating in general is so difficult.
To me, the whole concept builds false pretences to potential suitors on information we want to believe about ourselves to be true.
Some of the above is true and some isn’t. I am a workaholic, I am a big fan of The Courteeners and I love milky brews! However, funny and fun, could very well be true to me but maybe not to any one else. With online dating, you have to take what people say as gospel. Which, ultimately can be very disappointing.
My sister is going to be fuuummmin when she sees this, favourite child? Really?!
Still, my point stands. Meeting someone in person arguably gives you the best chance of having a successful relationship because right there and then, in that moment of meeting them, you know if you want to rip their clothes of or rip their face off. This is important! Are there butterflies in your stomach? Is there a party in your pants? I mean, can we really achieve this instantaneous level of decision making with five of the best pictures of a person they can find? I think not!
So, now that I have reaffirmed my stance with online dating of any kind, I return to the poignant question, where do you meet someone?
The obvious answer is a bar, its glaringly obvious some would say, however it is not as simple as that. Once upon a time a bar or even a club would of been a fitting place to meet some one new, however as I got older, I tend to focus more on having a laugh with my friends than meeting someone. That doesn’t mean I ignore people, I just don’t make it a priority and I think this is the same for a lot of people. As for clubs, well I would actually have to go to one and well, it’s just so loud!
I tried poetry nights, yes poetry I hear you snicker! I like to dab my hand at the ancient art every now and then.
One had searched high and low, just to find out, you should never eat yellow snow.
Just call me Oscar Wilde
The poetry nights were good but the nights were an outlet, an expression of the heart for most people, to which I decided I didn’t want to start hitting on girls after they had just voiced their inner most intimate feelings. For any one else attending that was not necessarily reading but were there to indulge in their interest in poetry not picked up and to be fair I never came acrosss anyone that was my cup of tea.
The coffee shop, well after I wrote in my previous blog the hypothetical scenario of approaching someone in a coffee shop, I thought I better at least give it a go before I knock back the idea. Well, in typical Bry fashion, it was a disaster. I had recently just finished an early morning appointment with a customer in Starbucks, I was on my laptop finishing a bit of work when a girl sits at the table opposite me on her own. The coffee shop is practically empty. I thought to myself, has she done this to give me half a chance?
I try to keep it cool, trying to glance up from my laptop in a vain attempt to catch her eye. You know, then I can smile and say hello, or maybe something less creepy? Well I eventually did catch her eye and as I cracked a smile, she bellowed:
“What are you staring at you freak?”
To say I made a quick exit from that coffee shop would be an understatement. I mean, seriously, what the actual shit? Anyway, I am putting that down to a one off, surely nobody else would have the audacity to be so rude?! Think that was just a typical Bryan moment in life.
When do I have the time?
This, is also an issue I would expect I am not alone with. When do you have the time to meet someone new? Work takes up a large part of our week, then when you get home you need to cook tea. Before you know it, its 8-9pm and you want to put your PJs and get in to bed. Rock and roll, maybe not but I need mysleep! Let’s not forget the gym, for the people who go to the gym. They manage to work full time, attend a gym regularly and cook tea. What time is there left in the week? Not much change out of that!
I think dating is hardest for the non locals of any town or city. Growing up or at uni, dating was easier because you had such an extended network. Moving away significantly reduces that network, as does finishing uni. 80% of my close friends from Uni moved back home or away within months of graduating. Suddenly I wasn’t going out in groups meeting up with other groups that had over lapping friends. That was always great for meeting new people, my extended network had shrunk.
I have a friend who likes to remind me that, “everything happens for a reason” or even better, “you will find someone, when you aren’t even looking for it”, but my personal favourite, “There is someone out there for everyone”. I mean come on, spare me the cliches!
I should add that I don’t sit and wallow that I am single and despite my long draft on the difficulties of modern day dating, I don’t actually complain about that either. Life is difficult, just have to suck it up and get on with it.
If I had to give out any advice on the matter though, I would recommend breaching your comfort zone every once in a while, if there is something you have been meaning to do, then do it and despite the cliches being incredibly, well cliche, accept that you can’t force these things. When it comes to attraction, people can sense confidence. So if you don’t already, learn to love yourself! I don’t mean become narcissistic, I simply mean that when you look in a mirror, remind yourself of what you are good at and to give yourself a break.
I think if you try new things which can occupy your mind, combined with the new outlook you have about yourself, you never know what might be around the corner!
You cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Something has to change!
Which is my food for thought closing on the issue and yes I am a cop out, I don’t have the answer but if you do, please get in touch!
In the mean time, I’m going to try something new, I hear the gym has a great sound track!