Happy Paddy’s Day to all our Irish, and American Irish readers 🙂
As part of the celebrations, I figured it was a good opportunity to introduce the new 30 Dates Challenge!
Almost exactly six months ago, I finished up 30 Dates by 30 – a challenge where I went on 30 Blind Dates in three months, most of them set up by friends, or friends of friends. The Challenge began thanks to The Henley Boy – a man whose actions at the time appeared to be a mystery, and who is now rather infamous! Essentially I had a bad experience with a guy, and had been put off dating … only to end up getting my enthusiasm for being single back in a completely unforgettable manner.
As the challenge picked up momentum, I travelled to Madrid, Spain, for the midpoint, and then to New York and Los Angeles, for the finale. I completed the challenge, trekking to the Hollywood sign, on the day before my 30th birthday, before spending my birthday at the famous Chateau Marmont. Henley Boy quite literally changed my entire year.
In the six months since I finished the Challenge, the 30 Dates blog has grown from strength to strength, and I now get daily emails from all over the world. Some ask my advice, others suggest products, dating websites or events they would like me to review, and others are have presented me with some really interesting dating-related opportunities – in papers, on TV and on the radio.
As many of you will have seen, on New Year’s Day of this year, when I was least expecting it, I had probably the best first date of my life. Not because of what I was doing, but because of the guy I met in the process. Someone I very much doubt I would have ever met, if it weren’t for this challenge. Mr SC. Henley Boy mark two. But for very different reasons. Rather than being an idiot, or treating me badly, Mr SC is an amazing guy. Too amazing a guy. I fell way too far, way too quick, and if I’m honest, genuinely thought that was me out of the dating game forever. Silly, maybe. Premature, definitely. But I have never got on so well, so easily, and on so many levels with a man before. And then came the shitty timing! Mr SC is an Officer Cadet at Sandhurst. Probably the hardest place in England to start a relationship with someone. After six weeks trying to make it work, and losing all semblance of myself in the process, I ended things with Mr Second Chance. The most heart-wrenchingly adult decision I’ve made in years.
Yes, it was only six weeks, and I do appreciate how trivial that may seem. But I’m a big girl, and after all these dates, I certainly know a good thing when I see it … or live it. I got pretty excited, only to be massively disappointed by circumstances out of my hands. And so I’ve found myself back at square one again. In a similar situation where I don’t want to date anyone. This time it’s not because Mr SC jaded my view of dating in the way Henley Boy did. But because I met the man of my dreams, in the most fairytale-like of ways … and now who’s gonna ever live up to that? I can’t even hate the guy because it was simply a question of situation and timing!
And so what do I do when I need to get over a guy? I launch myself into a Challenge!
As most of you will know, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life travelling the world. Always up for an adventure or a crazy challenge, whether it’s climbing a mountain, or running a marathon. And so it’s time for a new Challenge … with a hint of tradition mixed in. Inspired by the dates I had in Spain and America ….
Today, I’m launching 30 Dates Around the World … and seeing as it’s St Patrick’s Day … my first date will be in Ireland this weekend!
There’s no set time limit this time – depending on my funds, I’ll try to do at least one Date Around the World each month … and I will still keep dating back home in the process. So don’t worry, there’ll still be lots of regular dating tales here on 30 Dates, including updates from the lovely Experimental Dater team.
As ever, the Challenge is made by you guys reading – so please get in touch with your date suggestions, all across the globe. I’m going to start local over the next couple of months, but don’t be misled, I plan to go to some very exotic and random locations as part of this challenge, and am hoping to do the dates in 30 different countries – so you may well hear about more than one date from a country too.
Please email in your date suggestions, or if you’d like to volunteer up a date in a foreign city, please get in touch! As ever, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @30Dates!
I hope you’re all as excited about this Challenge as I am …. let’s see what the world of romance and dating has to offer! It’s a big wide world out there, and there are a LOT of fun things to do and see 🙂
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx