When I was in a relationship I looked back on my dating days with a nauseating wistful nostalgia.
I remembered getting dressed up, going to dinner, charming men with my witticisms (I’m not saying my memory was accurate), and wild, raucous sex.
I didn’t remember wondering:
- If they were going to call (yep, I dated back when calling people wasn’t creepy).
- If I’d ever meet anyone (despite being only 19).
- If my pubic hair was too wild (when one douche bag said it, ‘could do with a trim,’ the wondering stopped).
- A whole bunch of stupid fucking things that ate away at my self-worth, self-esteem and self-everything else.
A year ago, after 8.5 years of being in a relationship, I started dating again.
This time round I was 30, and shit seemed different. I am writing this blog, just in case there is anyone out there feeling shocked by how dating works now. Don’t be. (You probably just forgot that it sucked balls last time.)
Here are my observations.
We don’t like condoms either
Quite a lot of guys have said, ‘condoms aren’t my thing’, to which 30-year-old Sarah responds, ‘having your baby and or chlamydia’ isn’t my thing.
The same sub-set of guys likes to say, ‘condoms ruin the spontaneity’. The first time someone said this I laughed and his boner died real quick.
How about we both get STI checks, and meet back here in 3 weeks, given the results are clear? Spontaneous my ass.
I did a survey of my girlfriends, and they reported a similar ratio of condom adverse men. It annoyed me that this had to come up when sleeping with a guy for the first time. For one thing, girls don’t like condoms either.
NO ONE FUCKING DOES.
There’s the annoying initial conversation about who has one, and you’re having to act all coy like you don’t, because up until this point you’ve been pretending you’re a virgin.
They don’t feel as good as an unwrapped penis. But they’re necessary. Because sexually transmitted infections suck. And to an extent, so does getting pregnant to a dude you just met.
Hello, do you exist anymore?
If a guy isn’t into you, sometimes, rather than tell you, he’ll appear to drop off the face of the earth. The modern term for this? ‘Ghosting’ or ‘being a fucking cunt’.
When I started dating, this happened to me early on. It was super weird and confusing.
I’d met the guy a few times, he’d said some nice things, we banged, then nothing. I’m over it now, but at the time, it was just plain unsettling.
Knowing how this feels, I always tell the other person if I’m not into them. Even if it’s just a message, it’s better than leaving them in the dark wondering if you fucking died.
To the guys who do this, it’s cool, we’re not going to lose our shit and come after your family.
Just tell us you’re not into it. (Seriously, I’m too lazy to come after your family.)
What’s the time? Wrong
Timing is important.
When I first got out of my long-term relationship, I wouldn’t have noticed the geekiest most beautiful man in the world (cause that’s my fantasy man), if he broke down outside my house wearing a Boba Fett costume.
Sometimes you meet people, and it just doesn’t happen because of where they’re at, or where you’re at.
You might really connect with them, but if the timing is not right, it’s hard for things to go further.
This is especially the case if one of you has just come out of a long-term thing.
This makes me appreciate when you do meet someone who digs you and is ready for whatever you are (whether that’s sexy sex, a relationship or reading books in tandem at a park).
Tinder can be disappointing. In the past 12 months, I’ve been on 7 Tinder dates. Only 1 was good.
I think the ratio for success is lower because the men you meet aren’t ‘networked in’. (Yeah, I read that on another blog and stole it.)
When you meet a guy at a party, he’s probably mates with your mates, so you’re likely to have a similar sense of humour.
He also has a social responsibility to not be a total cunt, or all your mutual friends will find out and get pissed off. (This doesn’t matter to all men of course.)
If you’re going to go on Tinder, I recommend treating it like a bit of a game.
Don’t take it too seriously, go on dates. It may seem like you know a guy because you’ve chatted into the wee hours of the morning, but really, you don’t know him until you’ve met his mother and his best friends.
Yes, people do meet their ‘Tinderella’ online (I fucking hate that word), but don’t get your hopes too high.
Couples = vomit
It’s easy to look at happy couples and want to vomit all over them. But consider that right now, you’re exactly where you are supposed to be on this very short adventure called life.
You could meet the dude of your dreams tomorrow and spend the rest of your life with him, so chill the fuck out and enjoy being single.
I have to remind myself of this a lot because my stupid brain very easily goes into panic mode.
Not all guys are jerks
Perhaps we remember the dickheads more because they hurt us. But, I’ve also dated beautiful men who I am grateful to have met. Even though they weren’t right in the long term, they still showed me love, respect and kindness.
I try to remind myself of these men, because I think it is easy to get bitter and angry when someone hasn’t treated you well.
I also like to think about my awesome dad and brother, who are men I love and respect too.
Listen to your gut
Every Dolly article ends with this kind of crap, but fuck, it’s true.
So many times, I have dated a guy long after having that ‘gut feeling’ he is not right for me. I trooper on, despite knowing in my heart he’s not treating me well.
Sometimes, it’s not even that. Maybe he doesn’t make you laugh. Maybe he’s kind of boring, or maybe he doesn’t do it for you in bed.
You don’t need to be bashed in the face to know someone isn’t right for you (and fuck I hope that never happens).
You deserve the fucking best. You deserve a man who embraces the weirdo and goddess you are (because we are more than one thing at any one time).
If you’re not feeling it, move on.
Forget whether he likes you. Do you like him? Is he right for you? Does he make you laugh? Is he emotionally stable? Does he turn you on?
There is an abundance of men out there, no matter how old you are (data proves it), so don’t waste time on one that isn’t doing it for you.
Illustration by Jade Foo