advice

 

This was actually written about 3 weeks ago but my laptop decided to have a nervous breakdown and I’ve only just fixed it, it feels like things have changed in the last 3 weeks but I don’t want to delete all of this so I’ll let you read it and then start afresh in a bit, so it’s not Monday now, but whatever…………

It’s Monday now, on Saturday I celebrated my birthday again with my friends Rachel, Mia, and Saskia. Saskia and Rachel are married (not to each other), and Mia is just not a ‘wingwoman’ type of friend. She is recently divorced and she shy’s away from male attention. They probably weren’t the best set of friends to take for a night at the boxing, they are THE BEST set of friends, just for different venues. I should have been there with Becky and Grace, and we intend to be there often in the future. We went to watch a mate of mine fight. It was a professional fight and there were several other fights on before it, as soon as I walked in to the venue I said to Mia ‘FUCK – now THIS is where ALL the mixed race men are!!’ I could not believe my eyes. And not just the mixed race men, ALL the men, all the geezer types. I love a cockney geezer with a deep voice. A man who knows everyone, a bit of a jack the lad, those Martina Cole kind of characters. I always wanted to be a gangster’s wife. I never wanted to be a princess, I wanted to wear red lipstick, big fake fur jackets, and black sunglasses and marry an East End gangland boss. I think that says a lot about where things went wrong.

There were enough other women there for us to not feel completely out of place, but there was enough testosterone in there to launch a rocket. I was wearing a Blazer and jeans with a low cut black vest and heels. I didn’t get a lot of negative attention, a few slimy guys trying to talk as I walked past, but there was a lot of positive attention though. Men who I found attractive were looking at me reciprocally, which gave me the ego boost that I needed, but despite this, I did not get any numbers. There was one particular guy who I kept exchanging glances with all night but I didn’t get the chance to talk to him, he was so my type. He was wearing a white hat, an army green tracksuit and white trainers, he looked fresh. Although I was more enamored by the men in shirts and suits. I was a bit disappointed about green tracksuit man but I reminded myself that if he was meant to be he would have been.

My friend won his fight, it was a great match, I love boxing, I always have, and every time I watch it I try to remind myself that boxing is a great place to meet people. I need to make more of it. The venue was a bit dusty though and you could only drink alcohol in a brightly lit room which resembled a dirty community centre where you couldn’t even see the fight. I guess that it is a way of preventing men getting drunk and aggy, but I think it has the opposite effect. Every time we went to get a drink we decided to get doubles and we’d have to drink them really quickly because we didn’t want to waste time drinking in that horrible room and missing the fights. Needless to say, I was drunk.

We left the boxing and went for drinks at the Hoxton Hotel. It was really busy, full of the typical Hoxton Hotel crowd. A lot of short, Essexy looking men, and loads of women with unbelievable contour and overfilled lips. The Hoxton Hotel is not a place to meet people. Neither is any bar in Shoreditch and the surrounding areas, as I learnt last week when a guy we had met told us that men only go to those bars to have one night stands. I didn’t go there for that though, obviously, I went so that I could continue getting merry with my friends, find a potential husband, and maybe shake a leg. There was no room for leg shaking though as it was completely rammed, and there was no eye candy whatsoever. I was standing near the door waiting for Rachel and Mia to come back from the bar and three guys walked in, one very, very good looking mixed race guy, he looked like a model, and his two mates, one who was tall and blonde and the other was a brunette. They were all gym buffed, tall, and handsome. In fact I fancied the brunette white guy way more than I fancied the mixed race one, which was a turn up for the books. They looked to be in their twenties and so I wasn’t interested in them, but as they stood next to me I heard the brunette say ‘We need to find three hot women right now’ while the other two nodded enthusiastically and scanned the room.

I laughed and told them that I had overheard their conversation and that I needed to ask them a few questions. I told them that I write for women and that I was interested in what they had to say. Mia and Rachel joined us and Rachel said loudly as she approached ‘Awww are they gay? Let’s party with them’. They did look a bit gay to be honest, very clean cut and perfect looking in a way that you don’t usually find in straight men. They confirmed that they were very much not gay and that they had come out specifically looking to meet women to go home with that night. The mixed race one said that he had recently come out of a long term relationship and that he had absolutely no intention of getting into any kind of meaningful interaction with a woman any time soon. I asked him if he told women that when he met them in places like this and he said no, he assumed that any woman meeting a man in a bar would know what the score was. His friends confirmed this also. This is what Darius and the guys from the after party last week had said too. This is new information to me, my friends and I have gone to bars many times with the hope of meeting potential boyfriends but looking back on it, I actually cannot remember the last time that I met someone decent in a bar. Back in the day it was more common, there was nowhere else to meet people, but in the current Tinder times, men seem to view bars as being quick pick up points.

There was a blonde girl with an amazing body and a very tight, extremely low cut dress standing by the bar. She had huge boobs and her make up looked like it had been applied with a shovel. She’d also had way too much lip filler and she looked like Pete Burns, apart from that she was a lovely girl. Underneath all of her low self-esteem induced camouflage she was probably really pretty, you just couldn’t really tell who she was anymore. The blonde guy pointed her out to his mates and they all made sleazy comments. I asked what they were saying and they told me that she looked like a safe bet. They said it was 99% likely that she would be up for fucking tonight. I asked him whether if she wasn’t, he would want to take her number and pursue a date and he said that he wouldn’t. He said that her face wasn’t appealing, he was just looking at her boobs and he said that because her breasts were on show like that he wouldn’t take her seriously anyway and he would think that she was just looking for fun. He said that he would assume that she’s not that bright  but that he’s not looking for conversation and so it wouldn’t make a difference to him.

I pointed out that I had some cleavage on show and that I am actually very bright, he said it was different because I was wearing a blazer and I didn’t have a lot of make up on. I don’t know, maybe that girl was just there to meet people for casual sex, experience told those guys that she would be a good target, but I don’t think so. She had a sweet self-conscious vibe, not an ‘I’ve come here to cum and get an Uber after’ vibe. And I got the sense that if she did fuck any of them it would be because they’d spent the night getting steaming drunk together and he’d convinced her that he thought she was the most amazing woman in the world. The guys were very clear that they had no intention of meeting anyone for anything other than a good time, but they were also very clear that they would not tell any of the women that information explicitly because they were certain that the women already knew. I honestly don’t think that most of them did. I don’t think that women often set out to have one night stands in that way, I believe that most women who have one night stands just sort of end up having them, because the chemistry has been mad and it’s felt right with that particular guy. We are far less likely then men to go out saying ‘right I just want to fuck anyone who looks available and easy tonight, regardless of anything else’, but clearly men do do this and so this has just made me realise for sure that meeting people in bars and clubs is definitely not the way forward.

I know I didn’t meet anyone at the boxing, but if I had then he would not have been going to the boxing specifically looking to fuck someone, he would have been going to watch a fight and so I think that the interaction would have started on a better foot.

So at this point my laptop broke down…..actually I’m going to stop lying and just be real with you, my laptop didn’t break down, I just could not connect to the internet because I had accidentally turned off the wifi on it and it literally took 3 weeks of frantically trying to get it working before a friend came over to look at it and figured out what the problem was – within 3 seconds. So yeah, the only thing that was broken was my common sense. I am not even really sure where I was going with that blog but here we are…… 3 weeks later. So let me start again.

This week I joined Tinder. I know I have gone on, and on, about how much I hate dating sites and how I will never use them again, and how I am determined to meet people in real life, and all that jazz, but it’s cold out now and I’m hardly out, and it would be pretty nice to find a cuddle buddy to hibernate with as the winter sets in. I was sitting at work during a team meeting last week with my own hands intertwined in each other, and for a fleeting moment it felt like I was holding hands with a man. It made me think about how long it has been since I had intimacy, cuddles, hand holding, hair stroking. Touching and being touched is really important for human beings. I get a lot of cuddles from my very affectionate son, and obviously I can hold my own hand, but it’s just not the same as being wrapped up in a big safe man’s body. I would really like that in my life right now. The other thing that inspired me was that my mate joined Tinder a couple of weeks ago and she kept jumping in the group chat with tales about dates and screenshots of people she had matched and I was feeling a bit left out so I thought fuck it. Bad things always happen when I say fuck it, but I said fuck it anyway. What’s the worst that could happen? I write a dating blog for women, how can I not being going on dates? How can I be sitting in my house hoping that a hot gas man will turn up instead of actively being out there searching for blog material? I’m doing this for you guys, so bloody selfless I am.

Finding the right pictures to put up was a struggle. I have barely been using my personal Instagram since I started the @lalalaletmeexplainblog one in February. Prior to that I would post pretty much daily. I had an abundance of well light selfies, and cleverly contorted body shot pictures available to me the last time I used Tinder a couple of years ago but these days I am a bit limited. I realised that I did not take one picture on either of my birthday nights out. NOT ONE. A year ago I had a whole album. It’s mainly because I have no-one on my Insta who’s likes I care about. All my many pictures before had been take with the sole purpose of attracting a man’s attention, and because I am unbothered about male attention at the moment, pictures of myself have become a thing of the past.  I have put on over a stone in the past year and I think that also has a lot to do with it. I felt great before and I wanted everyone to see, now I’m like meh. Kind of can’t cope with the prospect of seeing a picture of myself and thinking fuck my life, so I would rather not take the risk. I really need to lose this weight. Not because I am too fat, but because it is making me feel like shit. Most of the time I still feel sexy and beautiful, but the prospect of ‘advertising’ myself to men purely based on looks suddenly had me daunted.

I didn’t want to put up any pictures of me when I was a stone lighter because I don’t want to be accused of catfishing so I had to scrape the barrel for more recent ones. I flung up 3 that I was semi happy with and then went to check out how my profile looked only to discover that it was showing my age as being 57! FIFTY FUCKING SEVEN.  I am very online-safety conscious and so I set up my Facebook with a fake DOB which is why Tinder has now aged me by 21 years. I went on to Facebook to try to amend my date of birth but it wouldn’t let me. I was freaking out and I kind of took it as a sign that I was really not supposed to be on there. I really did not want anyone to match me and say ‘You look great for your age’ because that would mean they believed I was 57, and that – on top of the weight – would have been enough to leave me close to breakdown. You can set your preferred age range of potential partners on Tinder and so you are only shown profiles of people who fit into that age bracket, therefore,  whilst I remained 57 I could only match with men who are indiscriminately looking for women of any age, or men who have a preference for older women. I do not want to link up with either of those types of men and so I was pretty suspicious of everyone I matched with until a lovely person on Insta informed me that I could hide my age, which I have now done.

I feel pretty good about using Tinder this time around. I am far less desperate, in fact I’m not desperate at all, although the holding my own hand incident might suggest otherwise, and I am far more wise. I will see guys now that I know I would have matched with 2 years ago, but now that I am completely avoiding anyone with even a hint of roadman or wasteman in them, my matches have seriously reduced. It’s very easy to spot a roadman on Tinder, they always pose in the same way with one finger randomly pointing up towards the left of their face and they wear flashy designer clothes and watches, or they have pictures of them in Ibiza topless with man bags across their chests, and their job title listed as ‘Hard worker’. Wastemen are not as easy to spot, although some are glaringly obvious from their grainy selfies taken on a Nokia 3250 in a room with just a mattress on the floor, but often it is not obvious until you speak to them. Although roadmen and wastemen are much the same thing and they are always fuckboys. So I have been very careful about who I match with, I have swiped left on some men who I have found very attractive, but who I can quite clearly see are absolute fuckboys and I just do not want to waste my time on it. I also won’t match with people with only one picture up, one picture is not enough to form any kind of judgement. I’m quite reluctant to match them unless they have their Instagram connected too. If a man has his Insta connected to Tinder it’s a pretty good sign that he doesn’t have an obvious girlfriend and it also gives you the chance to gauge a bit more about what kind of person he is.

It is not often that a matchable guy comes along and so when they do it really is a bit exciting. My first match was a semi-well known sports star with an Insta following of 50k. He talked at length about his sporting prowess and achievements. It was all very one sided and dull. He told me that he travels the world and so he has used Tinder for one night stands, some short relationships, but that he has never found love. I told him that I wasn’t looking for casual and he said ‘You should put that in your bio’ and then didn’t message me again. My second match was a guy called Ray, I was actually really excited when he matched me. When I saw his profile and his Insta I was quite taken aback by his levels of hotness. He really was doing it for me. My type, tall, half Bajan half English, bit of stubble, slim with an amazing six pack, short hair, well dressed, although his clothes were a little on the tight side. He had recently been on holiday and so there were a lot of topless pictures on his Instagram, his body was absolutely outstanding and he looked normal and decent.

Ray lives quite close by, only a couple of miles down the road which was a bonus, he also has a 6 year old son, we have similar interests like gym, smoking, and….actually that is pretty much it. I often do this thing where I pretend to myself that I have loads in common with a guy and that we get on really well just because we both like sandwiches and he doesn’t live too far away, or because we can hold a decent back and forth conversation when really, if you break it down it’s all just very basic, and if you scratch the surface there is nothing really bonding the two of you except physical attraction. That’s where I was at with Ray, over excited to just find an extremely hot man who I could talk to, I was enjoying it. He asked me quite early on in the conversation what I was looking for on Tinder and I told him that I wanted to date and he replied:

‘Oh, well I can’t take serial daters, been there before. I’m not feeling it so if you are meeting up with other guys please do not tell me about it, that’s just off putting’

I should have said ‘Bruv – I am on Tinder, and so are you, of course I am talking to other men (although actually I wasn’t) and I should expect that you are talking to women too, and that’s OK. And quite frankly I do not give a shit if that puts you off’

But I didn’t, I did this thing that I do sometimes where  I try to continue to please a man so that he carries on liking me, even though he has just said something to put me off. I clocked that up as one red flag and I told him that he was the only person that I was speaking to at the moment and that I am not looking to be a serial dater, I would rather find one man to go on lots of dates with. He was pleased. We moved on to whatsapp fairly quickly where the banter continued to be good enough. After about an hour of messaging he called me, which I liked. Calls are important, it’s good to hear someone’s voice so that you can read messages in their tone better, so I was pleased that he took the initiative. We spoke for two hours, and when I came off the phone I was excited to meet him. Although there were another couple of minor red flags. Firstly when he was talking about why he broke up with his ex a year ago, he said that they had got to the point where they were arguing constantly and he said:

‘I am very short tempered and she just kept pushing me all the time’.

That is not a good sign. And he also said that he doesn’t care about politics, it’s irrelevant to him and he doesn’t vote because voting is rigged. I was just like bruhhhhhh. To me that is a red flag because it goes completely against my beliefs, to a woman who felt the same it wouldn’t be a red flag, but to me it shows me that our thinking is starkly different and that I would get annoyed with his stupidity in the future.

So yeah, I came off that call thinking I am definitely up for a date with this spicy smoker, because fuck it, what’s the worst that can happen? Whatever it is would make a good blog anyway, so I’m willing to meet him, but I am going to hold the red flags very firmly in my mind. Because he was so hot and had such a nice voice I was definitely committed to meeting him despite all else.

The following day he messaged me to plan a date for this Thursday. Once we had that in the diary he said:

‘I cannot wait to kiss you’

I replied saying ‘You haven’t even seen me yet!’ which generated a really paranoid conversation because he became concerned that I was a catfish. I tried to explain that I wasn’t a fake but that you never know if you are going to want to kiss someone until you have met them and so it’s a little awkward to plan a kissing session without knowing whether we will actually want to kiss each other. It’s too early for all of that. He said ‘Fine. I won’t flirt with you, you clearly don’t like it’ to which I told him that I do want to flirt I just don’t want to commit to a kissing bonanza. To change the subject I asked him if he drives. To which he replied:

‘From kissing to driving, why are you asking me that? What does driving have to do with this? Now I’m really confused’

I told him that I was thinking about where we would be meeting on Thursday, travel etc and he said:

‘I’m on a ban until July – drink driving’

I replied ‘Long’ and the conversation ended. The following day he text me ‘Morning Babe’ to which I replied ‘Morning’. He did not respond for another 8 hours when he said:

‘Hey, you don’t say much do you? Too busy talking to your other candidates. Are we even meeting up on Thursday?’

To which I said:

‘Excuse me, that is a huge assumption, plus it was you who didn’t reply to my last message. I haven’t swapped numbers with anyone else’

And he said:

‘I cannot and will not initiate all conversation Layla’

And so I said:

‘It’s been lovely talking to you but let’s leave it here’

He said cool – number deleted. He now appears to have blocked me and unmatched me on Tinder. Oh well. Way, way, way too many red flags. The last part of the conversation was taking place while my friend Saskia was with me and I read out the whole conversation to her, she thought that I was being too harsh, she said that I was reading his stuff in a negative tone, she thought it was worth giving him a chance and meeting up with him. But I can see what Ray is all about, he’s quick tempered, jealous and controlling. The fact that twice in such a short space of time he mentioned insecurities about other men is very telling. The fact that he couldn’t just message me and start a conversation, instead he thought it better to accuse me of choosing other men over him is a massive indication of things to come. After I had seen that side to him, I was showing Saskia his pictures and it was odd because how his faced looked to me had completely changed. I realised that actually he looks a bit ratty, like there is something not nice behind his eyes. Anyway, I was proud of myself because two years ago I would have ended up in some intense and complicated whirlwind with him, I would have continued to try to please him and probably deleted Tinder after one date, and God knows what could have happened.

So Goodbye Ray, I hope other women pick up on your vibe when they match you. And on to Omar. Ohhhhhh Omar. I really hate to say it but I actually think I want to marry Omar. Since matching with him on Saturday I have barely bothered to speak to any of my other matches, they all pale in comparison to Omar. Omar is just literally everything. Firstly He is like oh my GOD, fanny flutteringly my type to a tee to the point where I feel like I have manifested him. He is 6ft 3, broad and big but not too big. He dresses immaculately, he looks slightly like Drake but Drake if he had the most insane glo-up and a bit of facial reconstructive surgery. He’s hot, and not just hot to me, he is that type where everyone would agree that he is a handsome man. But that is not it, oh no. Omar is a paediatric surgeon who travels to third world countries to train other surgeons to perform life saving operations on children. He is also a massive Jeremy Corbyn fan and our conversations REALLY are so good. I’m not even just convincing myself of that so that I can find a boyfriend quicker, we genuinely get on like a house on fire. He is my intellectual match in a way that I have not experienced in a LONG time. He is so interested in me, he asks lots of questions and he generates conversations that help us to scratch beneath the surface of what the other one is all about.

He said at the end of our last conversation:

‘I must say, I really like talking to you. You have stood out big time. I rarely have intellectual conversations on here and so this is fresh air to me. You have caught my attention. An yway, going for a 30 minute jog, speak in a bit’

Which is obviously fantastic, because that is exactly how I feel, but Houston – we have a bit of a problem. I replied ‘Buss them cheesy sweats – speak soon’ (because we had been speaking about cheese sweats earlier, long story, you had to be there) at 10pm on Monday. It’s now 6pm on Wednesday and I have gone into a mode that I really do not want to be in. Firstly I have re-read over our whole conversation. At the beginning he mentions that because he travels so much Tinder is the most viable option to meet people and have a bit of fun. I was clear with him that I wasn’t looking for fun but we carried on speaking. So I am wondering if he has thought about it and decided that he doesn’t want to lead me on. The other thing I am wondering is why we are still talking on Tinder. He hasn’t asked to share whatsapp or Insta details, although of course I have stalked his Insta (and been able to verify all the information about his amazing career). This is the point at which I need to start following my own advice. I have become a little infatuated with him. I must have looked at his Insta about 15 times – very carefully avoiding liking any pictures while I’m at it, he keeps popping into my head, and I am becoming increasingly angry with getting Tinder notifications that are not from him. I am going to message him at 9pm tonight, all easy breezy like ‘Hey, been so busy, totally forgot about you, how’s things?’ I won’t really say that, but I will message him. Because if he is still interested then a message won’t change anything and if he’s not then at least I’ll know and I can stop planning our wedding.

I really am trying to follow my own advice. I have very much reminded myself that I have felt like this about people before and they have turned out to be absolute frauds, I am remembering that I literally do not know him. Yeah, he saves children’s lives and loves Jeremy Corbyn, but deep down he could be a psychopathic narcissist and really not my soul mate at all. I have never even spoken to this man on the phone, why am I imagining him down on one knee? I need to calm down and chill the fuck out. He can probably feel my anxious ‘why hasn’t he messaged me’, constant phone checking vibes in the air, so I am making a conscious effort to let them go. I am very happy to have matched with him and spoken to him regardless of what happens next because he has set the bar high. He has reminded me what a real intellectual connection feels like, he has shown me how attentive and curious a man should be about you in the early stages, and he has also shown me the level of man that I need to be aiming for. So I will keep you posted, I am not going to freak out anymore, I am going to chill out and continue to feel safe in the knowledge that if it’s meant to be it will be. Watch this space x