If this challenge is teaching me anything, it’s not to plan too far in advance!
Tonight a second guy who I had made date plans with weeks in advance cancelled our date next Thursday.
I should probably see it as a lesson that Henley Boy isn’t the only unreliable guy out there! But then the Flake (who has been in touch twice since I wrote a post about him, only to flake on me both times!) taught me that weeks ago!
Date Would-Have-Been 14 had been one of the earliest dates I booked in. At the same time I suggested that I wanted to go and watch a Twenty20 cricket match (we all know how well that went!), I decided I also wanted to go on an outdoor movie date to Somerset House during the Film4 season.
Would-Have-Been 14 and I discussed movie options, and settled on a film next Thursday. He sent me a series of overly keen texts the first week, then seemed to realise that I had thirteen other dates lined up before I would meet him, so went quiet.
In the meantime, I planned my trip to Madrid the weekend after Date 14, and realising we’d booked tickets for the outdoor film, I booked my flights to Spain in the painfully early hours of Friday morning, rather than cancelling the Thursday night date.
And then this evening I received a text saying Would-Have-Been 14 had met someone, and wouldn’t be able to come on our date. Which, if I’m honest was a little frustrating, but who am I to stand in the way of potential true love? However what was more frustrating, was that when I explained I had delayed my flights especially for the movie date, and asked if I could buy the tickets (for a film I had suggested we go to!) off him, he said no, he was taking the other girl! What a gent!
Would-Have-Been 14 is actually the second guy to arrange a date with me in advance, and then cancel saying he’s met someone. Call me a cynic, and maybe these guys are just going to speed dating events, where they’re outnumbered 2 to 1 and have the pick of the bunch … but I’ve met thirty single guys in the last four weeks and not taken myself off the market in such a short space of time! Have these guys really met girls this quickly? Or have they just stumbled upon the blog, and realised just how critical (*cough*, honest) I am?! 🙂
Who knows? What I do know, is everytime I’ve suggested a date I want to do to my Facebook friends, it’s not come to actual fruition!
However, I did just go online and tickets to the event I wanted to go to are still available, so maybe I’ll just find myself an Alternative (better!) Date 14 to take with me! 🙂
I think the lesson I need to learn, is that there is no point living your life in the future. No point planning ahead too far. As far as relationships go, a wise friend once told me that you should never make plans with a partner that are farther away than the amount of time you’ve been together. So if you’ve been in a month-long relationship, you should only make plans within the next month.
When you’ve never even met someone before, you don’t even have a month to play with!
That might sound really cynical, but something I realised whilst online dating before this challenge, is that if someone is genuinely interested in you, they will make time to meet up with you. If they delay, and keep delaying, the chances are, they’re not as into you as you think.
Probably the most profound thing any of my 30 Dates has said to me so far, was when The Challenger quoted a friend of his, who tries to ‘live for the now.’ He told me that we live our lives too focussed on the future, and don’t take enough time to just sit back and appreciate the moment.
At the time I had giggled over my dinner, and asked if he was living in the future right then, and he had smiled, and replied that he was actually quite content in the ‘now’ at that moment, which I took as complimentary of my company (and the food!).
However, at a time when I’m looking around at my contemporaries, and seeing them at hugely different stages in their lives – buying houses, getting married, having babies – I appreciate how hard it is not to live at least slightly in the future. As a singleton, there are definitely times when I look to the future, and imagine my life, settling down with someone, getting married etc. I might be enjoying myself being single this summer, but that doesn’t mean that the little girl inside me doesn’t look forward to a white wedding, having kids, and all the other stuff that you think of as ‘being an adult’.
But if you constantly live your life looking ahead, and aspiring for other things, then you’ll never properly appreciate the now.
I have a tattoo on the inside of my wrist, which says ‘Carpe Diem’. It’s a phrase I literally look at every day. But I stare at it so often, that I rarely actually see it.
Carpe Diem means ‘seize the day’ in Latin. And (apart from loving the film ‘Dead Poet’s Society’ as a small child) there’s an important reason why I keep the phrase in my eyeline.
As I’ve explained before, my parents died when I was a teenager. My Dad travelled widely in his twenties, and was always telling me and my younger sister tales of his wide-flung adventures. The continent he never made it to was South America, and I remember him telling me in my early teens that when my sister and I were old enough to appreciate it, we would go to South America as a family. That day never came, because we never had the chance, or the money, or the health, or the opportunity to go.
And yet my Dad had always told me the key to travelling was to arrange to do everything you wanted on your own, and then if anyone decided they wanted to join you, it was a bonus!
Obviously he couldn’t apply his own logic when he was considering travelling with a young family, but as someone without a family to worry about yet, I have combined the two lessons from my Dad (one very specific, the other inadvertent) and applied them to my own life.
If I have an opportunity to do something, and I have the means, and the health, and the chance to do it, I will go for it. Even if that means signing up on my own, and waiting to see if someone else wants to join me!
I try to seize every day.
And in order to seize the day, you need to live your life one day at a time, and make the most of each of those days.
So, yes, I’m a bit gutted that as part of this challenge I’ve been flaked on, and had dates cancelled, and had things I was excited about not turn out exactly how I wanted them to. But rather than dwell on that, and get too concerned about what is to come, and where this challenge will lead me, I’m going to take a step back, grin, and enjoy every day of this challenge for it’s own merits.
And with that in mind, what’s happening today?
I’m off to ‘elite’ speed dating. I have no idea how it is determined as ‘elite’ as the company knows nothing about me, or any of the other daters, other than our credit card details!
But I guess we’ll find out what (if anything) sets tonight’s event apart from all the other speed dating events in London soon enough 🙂
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx