The thing about 30 Dates, is that inadvertently I’ve come to share my love life with the world. Every up and every down.
To be honest, it’s a strange situation to find myself in. I’ve grown so used to sharing the dramas of my life with a world of strangers, that sometimes the hardest part is not sharing stuff. Particularly when I’ve needed to the most.
The last six weeks haven’t been easy. And there have been countless times when I’ve questioned or second-guessed myself. When I’ve felt over the moon, or miserable, and wanted to tell you guys all about it, because you were all there when I met Mr SC. And you were the only reason I ever even met him! If it weren’t for the blog I wouldn’t have been on Tinder … And if it weren’t for the posts he read on this blog, then Mr SC would have never given me that famous Second Chance.
But this is still real life. My real life. And Mr SC is a real guy. And it didn’t seem fair to share details of our relationship, particularly because he had been so cagey about the idea of the blog in the first place.
Rather ironically, he actually ended up finding my write-up of our first date romantic, admitting to reading it over and over, and showing it to the women closest to him in his life. But even then I knew I couldn’t write about any further developments.
This has never been that kind of ‘dirty-laundry’ blog, and I think one of the reasons so many guys like reading 30 Dates is because of the careful line I’ve always trodden when I’ve spoken about the men in my life.
When I wrote my post about having a relationship with someone at Sandhurst, it was actually at his suggestion. We’d acknowledged early on just how tough the situation was – how fast his world was moving on the inside, and how comparatively slowly my world seemed to turn on the outside. The way it changed our behaviour to one another, and the way we communicated.
I should probably make clear that Mr SC knows everything I posted in my post about him yesterday. And in fact, that true to my dating blogger roots, I actually wrote him a post of sorts, just for him, explaining why we needed to end things. So I don’t feel like I’ve gone behind his back with anything I’ve written, and he knows a far fuller story than any I would ever post on 30 Dates.
But with that exciting chapter of my life unfortunately closed … and what certainly feels far too prematurely, I’m once again faced with the reality of picking myself back up, and dusting myself off. And if I’m completely honest, the more times you’ve been here, the harder and more painful it becomes.
Normally I try to keep 30 Dates light-hearted and supportive. A Dating Bible. A message to go out and have fun, and meet new people. And that’s something I still obviously believe in.
But the reality of dating, is sometimes you get hurt. Sometimes it’s the guy who hurts you. Sometimes it’s the timing. Sometimes it’s just your own excitement and expectations.
In the dating world, six weeks can seem like forever. And in the world we live in, where social media presents a far fuller picture of a stranger than you would have ever seen in the past, it’s not hard to get over-excited. To begin to imagine the future. To see yourself in parts of someone’s life which in reality you have shouldn’t yet have access.
I guess that’s my way of admitting I got over-excited. I met a really great guy, and I stopped taking my own advice. I rushed headlong in. And now, I’m paying the price.
I had my reasons. I’m not completely naive. And there were rather adorable, romantic reasons why I opened myself up to getting hurt.
But the reality of the situation, is I am rather hurting now. And hurting more than I ever did with Henley Boy, because Mr SC never outright did anything wrong. And whilst I know he blames himself, the truth is I don’t blame him.
So yes, I write a blog about how much fun dating is. I try to encourage you to go out and about, and meet new people, and celebrate your single status. And I genuinely believe in not ‘settling’. In waiting to find someone who genuinely deserves you. In finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with.
And I genuinely would rather be single, than tie myself to the wrong person, for the sake of being in a relationship.
But I do need to admit something.
Sometimes being single really does suck.
Sometimes you can’t help but look around at all your coupled-up friends and wonder why you haven’t got that. Sometimes you just want it to be easy. To no longer be wondering who you’re going to settle down with, and to be pondering over other issues. Where to get married. Whether to buy a house. How many children to have.
The reality of being thirty and single, is that amongst my friends I am a minority. All of my best friends are either married, engaged, or happily settled with the person they will marry. I know there are sensible reasons why I’ve ‘fallen behind’ my friends in the Game of Life, and on a good day I have no problems with that. But fun and exciting as being single can be … sometimes it can be genuinely lonely. Sometimes it does make you look yourself in the mirror and question why you’re still not in that place yet. And no matter how rational the reasons really are, sometimes you can’t hear them.
I know a lot of you read this blog for positive messages. And I promise I’m not trying to be negative. But I think I’ve spent so much of the last seven months trying to be positive on my outlook to singledom, that I wouldn’t be being completely honest if I didn’t acknowledge just how painful being single can be sometimes.
And whilst I don’t feel right writing anything more about Mr SC, I can be honest with where I’m at right now.
From your lovely responses on Twitter last night, I think a lot of you know just where I’m at.
I wasn’t feeling at all well today, and so I took the day off work, and if I’m honest, I’ve spent most of the day in tears. I know technically it was my decision to end things, but really I was just acknowledging the reality of what we needed to do. And that reality completely sucks.
I’m back at square one. But not even square one, because I’ve spent six weeks getting excited about potentials. Six weeks daydreaming about stages in a relationship which seemed realistic and possible.
And it is gonna take some time to get over that horrid feeling that I’ve been kicked in the chest. To not wake up in the morning and want to throw my blanket over my head, and just go back to sleep, because if I’m asleep I don’t have to remember reality.
And yes, I appreciate that’s overdramatic.
But do you know what? That’s how it feels when you split up with someone you really like. Whether it was just six weeks, or six years or sixty years.
The only difference is the amount of time it then takes you to actually get over it.
And so, I figure, I owe a service to you, the 30 Dates readers, to be honest. Because that’s one of this blog’s most redeeming qualities.
I will be honest about how crappy being single feels for me today. About the fact that going on Tinder makes me want to cry. That every time some gross man on Plenty of Fish sends me a message I would normally laugh at, I want to chuck my phone out the window.
I’ll be honest that I’m typing this blog post through tears, and can barely see my laptop screen. That I’ve felt like I wanted to throw up for most of the last four days. That I’m the lightest weight I’ve been in years (something which would normally excite me), but that I don’t give a sh*t about.
But I also know, it will get better.
That I need to give myself some time, and some space, and just get over it.
Previously I’ve coped with this feeling in different ways. When I was 25 I headed off around the world and didn’t come back for three years! Last year, I went on 30 Dates before 30.
This time … I’m not quite sure.
I’m sure some of you will read this, and think I’m being overdramatic. I make no apologies for the fact I care about people. Or for the fact I’m willing to open myself up to the idea of being with someone. The fact I care so much is one of the qualities I value most about myself, especially considering I lost two of the people I care most about at such a young age. Some people cope with the things I’ve faced by building emotional walls. And that’s something I’ve never done.
I wanted to leap back into dating. To arrange a #WednesdayDatingClub date, and act like everything’s fine.
But I wouldn’t be being honest – to either myself, or to you guys.
The benefit of the Experimental Daters, is that over the next few weeks, while I get my dating mojo back, I’m sure they’ll keep you entertained with their tales. And don’t forget, there’s always Channel Four’s First Dates, to give you some good fly on the wall moments! (Did anyone spot me behind the guy holding the dog last Wednesday night? 😉 )
For now, I think I’ll focus on something that I know a number of you will also need. I’m going to try to focus on some realistic steps of how to get over a guy. A 12 Step program of sorts … though I don’t know how many steps it will end up consisting of.
I guess the unspoken, obvious step, is to give yourself time and not to rush. Which could be easier said than done when dating has become my biggest hobby in the last seven months!
But I’ll see what other gems I can discover, and share them with you. Some will work, some won’t work. And I know, eventually, I’ll end up so sick of thinking about it, that Tinder will become a welcome distraction once again.
Thanks again for the lovely messages this weekend, in particular from the ED crew, you guys are all great.
One of these days, I know it will end with a yellow umbrella …
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx