I thought it appropriate to kick off February with a post by Fader about what a rubbish January she had, and the things she’s looking forward to achieving in the month ahead.
Pinch and a Punch, and all that … 😉
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet of late. I’m not pulling a fade – I promise!
Life’s just been a bit, well – blah. Work’s been impossibly busy. January has, for some reason, exploded with social events ordinarily absent from this time of year. And dating? Well. I think I’ve got more chance of sprouting a third arm than landing a date at the moment. Long story short?
I feel gross. Metaphorically, and literally.
I look disgusting: tired and pale. My work to-do list is growing by the hour and there are only three weeks of term left. Money is non-existent. I’m still wearing all the Christmas alcohol and food indulgences around my waist (and bum, and disappointing hamster cheeks) like a miserable talisman. Whilst I would never lose weight just to please a man, I don’t feel remotely in possession of the self-confidence required to Put Myself Out There. Miss Twenty-Nine’s first post on body image and the subsequent discussions around it really do ring true at this time of year.
People I know tend to fall into one of two categories in January. No wonder the Romans named the month after Janus, the chap with two faces.
Firstly, there are the Tiggers. These are the people who attack January with a steadfast resolution to Be Happy From Now On and to Embrace The New Start. Promises of healthy living are made; refusals to wallow away the dark nights languishing in self-pity are abundant.
Then, there are the Eeyores. “January is miserable. The days are short. We’ve had Christmas; there’s nothing to look forward to. I’m skint after last month. I’ve been doing Dry January and it’s boring.”
The last few days of January are the ones where the Tiggers are in danger of straying into Eeyore territory. There is nothing guaranteed to make an Eeyore feel worse than giving up a fitness resolution just a few weeks in. I’m guilty of this one. I start out all Tigger-like, slip up once, then immediately feel more dissatisfied with myself than when I started. Insta-Eeyore.
I went to my friend from school’s wedding last weekend. We weren’t especially close as teenagers but ran in the same friendship group. She looked stunning, her husband was clearly completely besotted, and the whole day was pretty magical. Of our friendship group of nine, three are now married (one in a same-sex marriage), one is engaged, and five of us are single. One of the marrieds – my best friend – is pregnant. We singletons had a good old team-building chinwag about boys and how attractive, solvent, independent and interesting ones don’t seem to exist – as you tend to do at weddings – and it made me think about what solidarity in dating really means.
A few weeks ago I defended The 30 Dates Blog on an online singles forum where a couple of members were being unnecessarily personal and judgmental about things Miss Twenty-Nine had written. One of the points I raised is that people who are single generally have one thing in common: they are searching for somebody special. That fact alone puts us all in the same boat, to an extent. We shouldn’t be criticising each other, or being cruel. Surely we should be helping each other? Surely we should be kind and encouraging to one another in our search for love?
The fact is, however, that the dating world is a bit of a competition.
When we fill out our online dating profiles, we all do it thinking about how it will come across to the desired reader. We’re all guilty of thinking, ‘I shouldn’t write that. It’ll make me sound like a weirdo.’ When somebody sends us a message and we begin those first tentative stages of back-and-forth communication, we’re all thinking about the other people they might be talking to, and how we stack up against them.
Do my pictures make me look fat? Am I less attractive than the other girls on the site? Am I boring to talk to? What can I do to make me stand out from the vast sea of profiles? What on earth would make anybody want me instead of somebody else?
It all comes down to confidence.
I am one of the most competitive people you will ever encounter, as well as being a master of disguise, so I am able to successfully mask the deluge of miserable self-aware questions whenever I meet a chap.
Externally I’m talkative and chirpy.
Internally I’m thinking myself into a hole. Is the way I’m sitting making me look frumpy? Do I have a double chin? How does this date compare to others he has been on? Does he want to kiss me? ARGHHHHH…..
On the one hand, solidarity in the dating world, I think, is crucial. We single types need to support each other. But the competition element seems to be inevitable.
And I hate myself for it.
I hate myself for worrying so much about what somebody else thinks of me. I hate comparing myself to others, when in all other areas of life I pride myself on my individuality. I hate how I can’t change the fact that so much of my confidence is rooted in body image, or lack of it, when I value so many things much more highly. I hate how desperately seeking a relationship has led people I care about into behaviour completely unlike them: irrational, selfish, blind.
It’s enough to make you a Dating Eeyore forever.
Still, I’m determined to wade through this self-indulgent slump and emerge the other side a dating butterfly. Nobody achieves anything by being Eeyore, other than pissing people off. Including your Eeyore self.
So, I figure I’ll make a few promises. And I’ll write them in a blog post, so it’ll be really difficult to get out of them because everyone will read this and yell at me if I try to slack off. Competition, again.
- I will do sport at least three times a week.
- At least once a month, I will talk to a handsome stranger I encounter whilst out and about.
- I will go on four dates with four different guys in February.
- I will never again write or think, “I look disgusting” and wallow in self pity. Instead, every time that thought rears its ugly head, I’ll do something about it: put on a confident outfit, or go for a run.
February needs to see some real changes.
And the biggest changes need to happen within myself.
Until next time,