There are definitely some odd aspects to writing a dating blog!
It’s as if the moment guys find out about the blog, they stop treating me like a normal, single girl.
Now obviously that’s partly my fault – because very few people I know have turned dating into a hobby! And one they write about for thousands of people to read about! But when it comes down to it, Henley Boy Tales or no Henley Boy Tales, I’m still a single thirty year-old woman. And much as I love writing this blog … if push came to shove, I’d choose real life over the blog any day.
It’s the reason I tend to go quiet when I’m involved with a guy I see potential in. Rather than jeopardise things before they even begin, I’ll keep (at least a few of) my cards closer to my chest, and see how things go in my world, before I broadcast them into yours….
But I guess some guys don’t realise that. Or don’t trust my ability to filter.
As a result, I’ve had a few odd experiences … to say the least.
It’s like the normal dating rules go out the window, and guys think it’s ok to treat me differently.
Take the guy I was chatting to the other night on Plenty of Fish. We had been talking for some time, when I decided to see if he wanted to come and review an event with me this weekend. I figured I should be honest about why I was reviewing the cocktail evening – I would never mislead someone about the blog, and like to think it’s fair enough and anonymous enough that I could give a potential date the URL and not scare him off dating me.
So that’s what I did. I gave him the web address. He checked out the blog, agreed to a date.
And then the next day, when we were arranging meeting up, he asked if he could bring a friend on the date.
As in, deadly serious.
Me, him, and his male friend.
Because that’s a perfectly normal thing to do on a first date????!!!
It’s not just potential dates who forget I’m a ‘normal’ singleton.
Tonight I had been invited to review a Hot Tub Speed Dating event. Put off by the idea of dating in my bikini I offered the gig out to the male Experimental Daters, and the Enigmatic Flaneur and TOWTS both volunteered. Then two days ago the Hot Tub Cinema guys contacted me to ask if we would mind not actually being involved in the hot tub speed dating, and instead simply watching from the sidelines – in a more journalistic role.
Again, they’d forgotten that me and (the majority of) the Experimental Daters are real, bonafide singletons.
Who wants to sit fully clothed on the sidelines, silently watching a load of half-naked people dating?! Ok let me rephrase that … Since when would that be an acceptable thing to do?! Single or not, it’s a really weird suggestion! (and one we unsurprisingly turned down!)
Even guys I’ve already been on dates with seem to treat me differently to other single girls.
Take one of my 30 Dates for example … and you’ll realise why I haven’t told you which one in a second …
He messaged me on Facebook out of the blue yesterday.
Before I left for America I had texted him to ask if he fancied a second date. His reply had been hurried and non-comital. He would reply later as he was on a work trip.
He did reply. It just took him two and a half months.
Out of nowhere I got a message essentially saying ‘Thanks but no thanks. I’m worried about being written about.’
A reply so delayed, I’d genuinely forgotten what he was responding to!
Now that reply is all well and good … and as I said before, could have been completely a non-issue anyway. Or rather it would have been all well and good, if he’d replied even a few days after I asked about a second date.
But seriously, ten weeks later? Are you kidding me?!
In the real world if you went on a date with a girl, and then didn’t text her back for ten weeks, she’d tell you to go f*ck yourself.
Just because I write a dating blog, why is that rule any different?!
I guess he was just worried I would reveal that he was the one of the thirty dates who developed a random tick where he started licking his own face when he got drunk …
But I digress … because as you’ll have noticed, tonight’s post is another one of the AGE experiment posts.
You’ll all know how much fun I had myself at Age 29! It was one of my best years so far! And not just because of my crazy dating challenge and the amazing opportunities it presented over the summer. It was also the year three of my best friends and my brother all got married. Two close friends had a baby, another close friend got pregnant, and I moved into an awesome new flat.
You see twenty-nine is proper adult territory. No matter how hard you try to deny it!
And so, at twenty-nine we should really know better!
At twenty-nine I knew who I was, and was comfortable in my own skin. I knew how to communicate with others, like an adult. I had developed a moral code, and recognised the person I hoped I would aspire to be.
Twenty-nine wasn’t just a good age for me. If you look back over my 30 Dates Challenge, 29 is a good age! More than one of my best dates this summer was with a twenty-nine year-old!
But not every twenty-nine year old is comfortable in his own skin, and knows how to communicate with others. Not every twenty-nine year-old is the person he wants to be yet, or even knows who he wants to be.
And yes, this blog causes people to act weirdly at times. But do you know what … unfortunately it’s not just the blog that makes people disrespect other peoples’ feelings. Or think that a ten week silence is acceptable behaviour.
Remember Henley Boy? His ten plus weeks of silence came before the blog, after all ….
Now careful readers will have realised some of my recent posts link up …
Remember how I was saying sometimes I’ll keep cards closer to my chest when I like someone?
Well there are three recent posts I probably ought to direct you to.
Anyone spot the link already? Yes, all three posts were about the same date. When Guy Fawkes cancelled at the last moment, The Legal Eagle extended our London Dungeon date to a double feature, and we headed off to Winter Wonderland. And yes, you’ve guessed it, Eagle also happened to be the Christian I was talking about in my post ‘I Dated a Christian, and I Liked It‘.
So I had a really rather good date with Dapper Gent’s housemate The Legal Eagle.
The tricky thing about The Eagle was that I knew too much.
I already knew that he was shy, and bad with girls. Before I’d ever met him, Dapper had told me about how the Eagle had really liked a girl, but never texted her back. Only to wonder why it had all gone wrong.
And so I treated him differently to other dates. Assuming he had less self-confidence when it came to dating, I was overly positive after the date. I didn’t wait for him to contact me – in fact five minutes after we left each other on the Tube, I texted him with details of the musicals, films and TV shows we’d been talking about that he’d never heard of before.
If any other date had taken six hours to reply to that first text, only to reply with a rather luke-warm text, I’d have taken the hint. But I’d been pre-warned about his inability to text back. And there was also another person involved.
Every evening for the next week, Dapper Gent would give me insight into Eagle’s post-date debrief.
Dapper told me what Eagle had said about me and the date. He told me about the thing I’d said in Hyde Park about religion which Eagle had worried wouldn’t make me girlfriend material. He told me how Eagle had interpreted each one of my texts, and what Eagle ‘really meant’ in the messages he was sending me in response.
Every time I texted him, Eagle would take two or three days to reply to my messages.
Again, in a normal situation I would have given up texting back. But Dapper was there to justify the silence. ‘He likes you … he’s just worried about the religion thing … he likes you … he never texts anyone. Two texts in one day is a big deal …’
And so I persevered. Though I’m a big communicator. And one text in three days isn’t exactly me … no matter how many times I’m told the person not texting actually likes me!
After a week, I sent what I thought was a simple text – I asked if he wanted to do something again – he knew I had several date venues to review for the blog. I acknowledged it was a busy time, and that I knew he was busy, and tried to casually suggest the reason for me texting was to work out if we could find a free date in both our calendars.
Apparently my carefully worded text didn’t come across how I wanted it to. The Legal Eagle read it as if I was so busy with other guys I might not have time for a date with him. Like I was trying to rub it in that I dated other guys.
It wasn’t how I had meant it. In fact fifty-something first dates into my Dating Challenge, I’m still a nervous, clueless girl at times. And having to ask someone out is bloody awkward. Particularly when you’re a girl, only asking the guy out because you’ve been told he’s too shy to do it himself.
So my subtle attempt not to make the whole thing too awkward had fallen flat.
He didn’t reply.
And he didn’t reply some more.
Eventually I replied for him. ‘Should I take that as a no?!‘ I pre-empted, trying to rip off the band aid of rejection myself.
Still he didn’t reply.
And then just when I least expected it … he texted back.
A sack off text.
But an odd sack off text – because whilst he was saying he didn’t see me as more than a friend, he was still suggesting meeting up, and said he’d had a ‘really fun’ time.
I replied nonchalantly, and gave up on the Eagle.
And then later that evening I had a phone call from Dapper Gent. At the end of the unrelated call, he added ‘Did you get the text from The Eagle’.
I frowned into my phone. ‘Yeah’.
‘What did you think?’
‘What did I think? Well it was a sack off text!’
‘No, that wasn’t a sack off text!’
“Dapper, it was a clear sack off.’
‘No, he didn’t mean to sack you off …’
‘How do you know?’
‘Because I wrote the text for him!’
I will leave the rest of that conversation to your imaginations. Needless to say I was not an overly happy bunny! (And Dapper Gent was rather scared to meet up with me at the Love & Lust Christmas Party last week!)
I’m 30, not 13. In what world is it ok, as an adult, to get your friends to send you sack off text messages for you?
I genuinely preferred the ten weeks of silence!
The most disappointing part was that when I first read that sack off text, there were a few bits which had still given me hope. And it turned out those same parts which had got my hopes up, had been the parts The Legal Eagle hadn’t even written himself!
This isn’t how you should treat someone after a date. It’s rude, and frustrating, and childish.
But do you know what, it made me realise that people don’t just treat me oddly because I write a dating blog. People just treat other people oddly when it comes to dating.
And that’s why on the face of it, there are so many apparently eligible singles around!
Everyone has a reason why they’re single. And for some of those people, it’s because they are 30 (or 29) and still dating like a 13 year-old.
So what did dating a 29 year-old teach me? It taught me that not everyone is an adult. And whilst some of my best dates so far have been with guys the same age as me, age doesn’t guarantee emotional maturity.
Rejection sucks. But do you know what – the great part about writing a dating blog, is that when you do get rejected, after the initial ego-smacking sting of it all, you can suck it up, and then laugh about it with hundreds of other people. Because everyone gets rejected sometimes. And what doesn’t break you does truly make you stronger!
So apologies Threads readers … I may have dated a Christian and liked it … but turns out he didn’t like me! Or if he did, he didn’t like me enough to converse like a normal adult. So I won’t be dating a Christian … in fact I won’t even be going on a proper second date with him.
But, as I say in all these situations these days … at least it made for a good story on the blog!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx