In conclusion….

December 31, 2010

As it’s the end of an interesting year, I think it’s time to look back on some successful and not so successful ‘dating’ encounters. Dating is in inverted commas because a lot of these so called encounters never reached a constant dating stage but were interesting and/or disastrous in their own special way.

There are a few guys I met this year that really stand out in my mind for varying reasons. They  include the guys who were just genuinely lovely, interesting people to the guys that were total odd balls. For the purposes of clarity, I’ll give them each titles and explain a bit about our meetings, dates etc…

The Rebound (by that, I mean I was his…)

This guy I have known for years and years. I knew him through school and randomly met him again through work this year. This was a case of meeting someone after years and knowing you had chemistry with them. Nothing at all happened at first, as I knew he had a girlfriend. However, I met him during the summer at an event and was told himself and the girlfriend were no more. We talked for a long time about this and that. We knew a lot of the same people socially.

After a lot of talking we eventually kissed. I got the feeling I was probably the first girl he kissed since breaking up with his girlfriend, he seemed kind of vulnerable in a really sweet way.  I also got the sense that from kissing me he realized he missed his girlfriend (says a lot about my kissing ability doesn’t it??!!) Ever the gentleman, I received a text to the same effect a few days after our encounter. The Rebound was and is such a nice guy. I actually think if it had of progressed with him I would have found him too nice (yes, I’m one of those girls). But on that one occasion, I really enjoyed his company and I’m glad I was the catalyst to him and his girlfriend sorting things out. They were together a long time and deserved to give it another chance. I really admired his straight forwardness in telling me the way he was feeling after we kissed. Because of this we still remain friends and for that I am very grateful as he is a really genuine guy.

The House Party Disaster:

This guy I met at a house party. I went on the first date with him and instantly thought I was on to a good thing. We had a lot in common (or so it initially seemed) and I really wanted to see him again. With both our jobs, it was difficult to coordinate time to see one another. He worked lots of nights and at the time, I was also working crazy hours on a project. It meant that after our initial date, there was a massive gap before we saw each other again. The next time I met him was at another friends house party. I had invited him along which looking back was not a good idea. From the time he arrived, I became convinced he didn’t fit in.

When I think back, I see that I was really harsh on the guy. He knew no one at the party and he had come to see me. I hate to admit it but I was incredibly rude and spent the night not really paying him any attention at all. I regret that greatly as it was very unnecessary. He is a very intelligent guy so I’m sure he got the vibes straight away. After that night all communication between us ceased.

Obviously Ireland being Ireland, I have since seen him twice randomly, once in Dublin and once in Cork. He blanked me both times, which considering my behavior towards him, is totally acceptable. Sometimes it’s all too easy to discount peoples feelings in a situation because you feel you don’t owe them anything as you don’t know them that well. That’s what I did in this situation, which was really awful. Maybe I’ll tell him that the next time I bump into him randomly.

The Broken One:

This guy was very random altogether. I was out with a group of friends one night and decided to go looking for someone to talk to. I often do this on nights out as I enjoy talking to the odd randomer. On this particular occasion, I saw a guy standing on his own in the smoking area. Me being me went up to him and asked why he was on his own. The conversation then went on for hours. I’m sad to say this was not my finest hour as I was very drunk on this particular night. We talked and talked but the next day I could barely remember anything he told me about himself. However, I did remember his name and that he was quite well known in his industry (apologies, that sounds SO pretentious but it’s important to the story!)

Anyway, I googled him and to my absolute shock and horror the articles I found reported he was married. Now I remember him telling me he was older (about ten years older than me) but I definitely did not remember him telling me he was married! Being honest, I was sure I wouldn’t hear from him again but I did the following week. He asked me out for a drink. At this stage I was intrigued.

Like I said, the night we met I remember little of the conversation so he may well have told me all about his messy divorce etc etc…I decided to meet him, more out of nosiness than anything else. From the get go, he made me feel uneasy. He talked a lot about himself. It didn’t matter if I was running for President next year, he would still have talked about himself. What was sad was that he seemed very lost. He talked a lot about things he achieved in the past, with no mention of what he was doing in the present.

Although he knew little about me, he was very keen on us seeing each other again which made me think he was quite lonely . I was slightly insulted that he just automatically assumed I would want to see him again, not really taking into account the fact the date was not going that well. I can safely say seeing him again was the last thing I wanted to do. Strangely enough this was not because he talked incessantly about himself or that he was really full on. It was because he had this really strange sad eyre about him. I never properly found out about the marriage that night but it would be my assumption that he recently broke up with his wife and wasn’t dealing with it too well. I think he thought I might breath some mild happiness/ respite into the broken atmosphere he was inhabiting at the time. Being honest, I found his attitude quite unnerving and intense.

When he text me to ask me out again, I politely declined. His response was interesting as he did admit he was going through a tough time but told me to contact him if I ever changed my mind. I never did.

The Bewildered One:

This guy’s reputation was recounted to me a number of times even before I had properly met him. He is one of those types that a certain kind of girl will become infatuated with.Maybe it’s the feminist in me, but I hate thinking that men have this swoonish power over women. Perhaps the reason I hate this is because I have found myself in that very situation one too many times.

Anyway I digress, I wanted to meet this apparently irresistible guy to see what the real story was. The first time I met him, I was struck by how seemingly confident he was. I would consider myself a confident and rather talkative person but he definitely didn’t have a problem matching me. He also came across as intelligent and very interested in what he was doing work wise, which are all traits that would score highly on the girlometre scale of likability. We met on several different occasions at various different parties etc…Looking back on these encounters, I would not have said this guy fancied me at all. Yes, he was somewhat chatty but I never once got that pit of your stomach feeling that said this guy is interested. However, apparently he had a change of heart at some point. I have a theory as to how this change of heart came about but for now let’s just say he saw me in a more competitive light.

I can understand how many women would find this guy very intriguing and perhaps I would have been taken in by the same swooning feelings if it weren’t for my interest in someone else at the time. What I found amusing about him was he talked a lot about how bad he was at committing to relationships and how he just didn’t know how/ want to be a part of a relationship. To me, this spoke volumes as to what kind of person he was. In my mind if someone has to justify their behavior constantly you have to question who they are trying to persuade more in the argument, themselves or you.

I noticed this guy played a clever game of story telling. If you tell a lady you’ve never felt strong emotion, or dare I say it, have never been in love with someone by your mid twenties the likelihood is the lady may find you somewhat mysterious. I’m sure the hope is the lady’s internal monologue will run something like ‘how has he never been that involved with someone, perhaps I’ll be the one to change him….’ The lady in question is then doomed to failure as she has fallen hook, line and sinker for this guy who seems very unattainable.

Luckily for me it never got quite to that stage. We shared the odd random liaison and kiss but ultimately I could see that prolonged encounters with this guy would become messy (i.e I could potentially become overly involved with something that never would materialize to anything). We still see each other socially which I’m very glad about as he is very entertaining and charming albeit slightly bewildering.

So there you have it, they are my dating (or non dating) high and low lights of 2010. For the sake of this blog hopefully 2011 will bring more of the same.  Have a wonderful year!

The season’s festivities are upon us and with this brings gatherings galore and lots of merriment. I had quite a week of merriment this week, on reflection probably too much.

I hate to completely buy into the stereotype but being single at Christmas really is quite trying. I mean for one, I have no able bodied boyfriend to help me carry my bags around town while wearing a horrific reindeer jumper (I do love a good Christmas jumper on a man). Yesterday I spent the day bullishly tearing through town, 25 bags in each hand, sweat rolling down my face, watching these ever so lucky girlfriends casually strolling along with their other halves graciously carrying their bags.  I wasn’t jealous at all (ahem).

Another Christmas pang came while walking home last night. I was walking with my lovely (and I do genuinely mean lovely) couple friends Mark and Claire. They have taken me under their wing as a kind of relationship extension.  I am sad to admit I am the ever lingering third wheel in their relationship. They are one of those couples that are quite aspirational. Best friends and a great team in everything they do, they are my heros. They feed, listen to, and generally mind me (three qualities I would admire in a boyfriend if he existed!)

Anyway, we were walking home at about 3am from a party. It started to snow and it really did look so pretty.I parted ways with Mark and Claire and continued the walk home. Dublin streets have an amazing air about them when covered in snow. The street lights gave everything a yellow hue that bounced off the white paths, making them look golden. I turned the corner onto my road to see a couple walking up the road hand in hand chatting away. They could have been talking about the night they had or what plans they had for the New Year, I don’t know. All I do know is that they radiated this loveliness that only happy in love couples have and my Christmas single pang appeared.

Another severe pitfall I found myself up against this week was the merry (and by merry I mean drunken) communication rituals of a girl (me) who has constant access to text/ email. Now I know technology has brought vast benefits to a large majority of the worlds population but often I think it does hinder me greatly at certain moments. Actually I should rephrase that, I hinder myself while using technology at times I really, really should not. Yes, you’ve guess it. Drunken email/ texts were flying thick and fast last week.

This is possibly the worst pitfall of the festive season. Not only do you wake up the next day with an almighty hangover, you wake up with the ultimate FEAR. It starts off small at first: ‘Maybe I didn’t send it, maybe it went into my drafts…’. After you check your sent items the feeling then progresses to a dull nausea once you realise you did in fact sent the text/email. Then comes the ‘how can I rectify this situation’ thought. Most of the time the damage is irrecoverable. You look like a drunken mess and you’ve lost all sense of mystery because you’ve blurted out your every waking thought over text/ email to the one person you would like to think finds you somewhat appealing.

So, I am now sitting typing this post with a lingering FEAR feeling. I won’t go into details as to who it is or what was said but I will say that the person in question was gracious enough to reply to my ramblings in a up-beat, non-judgmental fashion and so to that I am grateful, albeit humiliated.

After you take part in this ridiculous form of communication, you come away feeling slightly inadequate and exposed. Sometimes you buy into this form of communication because your not so sober subconscious is looking for clues as to what someone actually thinks/ feels about a situation. In cases like this, I really wish the good people at Apple would invent some kind of text/email block for women who ultimately would prefer to keep their dignity intact and not touch their iPhones while on a boozey night out.In fact I am drafting a letter to Apple right this minute…

I appeal to all Christmas party goers this season: Put the phone down, it’s not worth it.

Timing is everything

December 13, 2010

When analyzing the reasons behind my fives years of single life it’s hard to put it down to one glaringly obvious reason. If I was to give a range of reasons/ personality afflictions as to why I am still single they’d go like this:

– misguided search for perfection (Eg ‘If only he was taller, if only he was from Dublin etc etc…’)

-misguided search for ‘the big romance’ (refer to my earlier blog musings on Pretty Woman/ Pride and Prejudice)

-lack of  vulnerability on my part. Some would refer to this as dogged independence (Cue rendition of ‘Sister Are Doing it For Themselves’)

I will admit all the mentioned personality traits are little pieces of me however I would argue they are not the reasons I’m still single.

My argument would be securing a decent relationship is all down to timing. The phrase ‘right time, right place’ is never more true in this incidence. In the last 5 years I have met at least three guys who I would hand on my heart say I would have gone out with if circumstances and timing had been different.

When I think about the process of trying to meet someone I often think it’s like trying to find the perfect outfit. You walk around the shops all day trying umpteen outfits on. A lot of the time the outfit will suit ok. You’d wear the outfit for a while but you never really feel you look amazing in it. But then one day you find the perfect combination of clothing and you know it’s you.

Relationships are about finding that combination that makes you feel like the best kind of you at that time. It’s funny, I find coming up with decent combinations of fashion items far easier than finding a decent relationship combination. The problem in this search is that although you may find someone who you think may fits the bill, the worthy suitor may not always find you as similar a fit at that moment in time. Those damn extenuating circumstances often get in the way. These are the kind of circumstance men often bandy about when they try to justify why, ultimately, they want you to get lost; the ‘just got out of a relationship’ speech, the ‘I just can’t commit’ speech and the ‘I just want something casual’ speech.

Again ,if I was to compare this sentiment to fashion (I do love the odd fashion reference), I would say this is like picking up an amazing coat that fits perfectly  and finding a button is missing or the zip is jammed. You just can’t bring yourself to buy it because it is flawed.

In these situations my argument would be ultimately the coat (and indeed the man) are not meant to be.  Put the coat (or the man) down and move into a new shop (or pub /club etc…) If someone actually wants to be with you they will. It’s that black and white, it’s that plain and simple. It took me a while to come to this realization and to be honest I do still agonize over it. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of putting lack of effort down to flakiness. Sometimes when meeting someone I fall back into the internal monologue of; ‘he’s just a laid back twenty something male, they’re all a bit slow off the mark. That’s the reason for the lack of effort etc..’ (**sorry all twenty something males!) but ultimately I have to be realistic and scream to myself the now famous phrase ‘HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU’.

Go to a new shop, try a new outfit on and you never know, it might just be the one that makes you feel perfectly beautiful.

Imaginary you…

December 8, 2010

I arrived back from New York to find that the delightful wintery weather conditions are still in our midsts. I also had the pleasure of my first fall of the snowy season when arriving back to my doorstep. Needless to say, I was not happy to be home.

On my trip I was hoping I’d encounter some Don Draper type. The tall, dark, handsome gent only seemed a mere block away while I was there but in truth dear reader Don never materialised.

In saying this there was one encounter that is worth mentioning mainly because it highlights how my lack of action in the situation leaves this blog entry rather flat where it could have been something slightly more gripping.

My encounter happened in the airport on the way home. Usually I find airports in the States quite a stressful experience as I’m the unfortunate one who beeps going through the scanner or gets interrogated by officials as to why I have a more than 100mls of liquid in my bag (usually foundation or hairspray). On this occasion I’m happy to report it was a stress free experience. After we checked in, we headed in to spend our last few dollars. On our way there someone caught my eye. He was in the queue for the Dublin flight but straight off, I could tell he was not Irish. His fashion sense was very calculated in trying to look effortless. You know the type, thick rimmed black glasses, skinny jeans, high top trainers, all very indie-esque. Needless to say, although one could argue he looked slightly pretentious, I found him intriguing enough to stare at for a moment or two in which time he noticed and looked back probably wondering why that odd Irish girl was staring at him.

We went through the gate and I quickly forgot about the fashionable stranger at the sight of duty free alcohol and perfume. However, on boarding the plane, I realised that I would be seeing a lot more of the stranger for the next 6 hours as he was sitting in the row beside ours.  Obviously I couldn’t help but look over at this picture of fashion when I first sat down. It wasn’t that he was overly attractive looks wise, but he definitely compensated in his dress sense. Now maybe it was the incessant staring on my part but my friend later into the flight informed me that he was looking in my direction too.

I would love to report that I had the neck to go up and start a conversation, you know the kind of thing I refer to, ‘oh, sorry I seemed to have dropped my headphones under your seat, could you get them for me please?’. Closely followed by something like ‘Oh, you’re staying in Dublin. Funny you mention that, I’m from Dublin’.  This would lead to a massive conversation lasting the six hour flight where we realise we are destined to be together forever. This didn’t even nearly happen, in fact the opposite happened. A rather large boned lady in front of me decided it was a good idea to push her seat all the way back on top of me so I moved to the seat behind the fashionable man. Obviously we could not continue our eye tennis while I was sitting behind him. We then both started watching horrifically bad films, mine featuring Zac Efron, his featuring Jack Black. The whole time I was having an internal pep talk with myself ‘just do something to start some type of conversation, anything!’ But alas I spent 3 hours pep talking myself and in that time he fell asleep and I got very tired from the self pep talking and had a bit of a kip too.

It was one of those half sleeps though where you’re kind of awake because your conscious the person sitting in front of you is someone attractive so you do want to do anything horrible like drool or talk in your sleep.

During this time I did a thing I often do with attractive strangers, I imagine what their personality would be like if I mustered up the courage to actually speak to them. Of course I always imagine their personality to be something I would find highly attractive. This imagining of mine is often my downfall. I am often shocked when I eventually do get to speak to the strangers, that they are not what I imagined at all. I always feel very disappointed and cheated by this but in fairness it’s hardly the strangers faults for being themselves!

I’d like to think if I had spoken to this fashionable stranger he would have been funny, ambitious and kind but I suppose I’ll never know now. The flight landed, I got off the plane, went through passport control, got my bag and left the airport to never to see the imaginary one again.

Ode To NYC

December 2, 2010

Dating capital of the world? I’ll let you know.

The Game

December 1, 2010

A work colleague recently mentioned when her mother gave advice on how to secure a man she told her it was crucial ‘to never act available’. This statement to me is a little odd because surely if you’re single you can’t help but be available? But of course I do understand the niggling sentiment that is veiled behind this rather double sided statement. However I must admit it does make me feel a little uneasy.

Many people who know me would probably tell you I’m a very open person (perhaps even a little too much so). After all, I’m revealing the inner workings of my single life for the 5 or 6 readers of this blog! This openess has always been a trait that I find hard to grapple with. In my mind if I was to be an ideal person, I would love to be more mysterious.  Openess brings with it a serious lack of mystery. This too could be applied to the way in which I approach relationships (or potential ones).

It is my humble opinion that a serious amount of game playing goes on these days between the male and female twenty somethings of this lovely (if a bit financially strapped) society. Maybe the recession is to blame?  Maybe people want to hide from the disastrous reality of their financial lives so they turn to their personal lives for a bit of lighthearted game playing to distract themselves?

For those of you who have not experienced The Game, let me explain. Basically I would describe it as a power struggle, a battle if you will, between two people who may perhaps be interested in one another but not enough to actually commit to anything.  A lot of the time this battle of ‘I’m interested, Im not interested’ can be fun, with lots of second guessing, random interactions and severe flirtation. However, there always comes the breaking point, a point where one of you decides to opt out or someone chooses they want to opt in for something more than just a game. This is the point that the gaming attitude is really put to the test.

This is where the ‘make sure you act unavailable’ comes into play. Apparently, if you’re to be a desirable lady you must act as unavailable and uncaring as possible if the you are to come out on top in The Game (i.e abandon singledom forever and join the sanctum of the attached). Now as I mentioned, my rather open personality tends to render me useless at the coy mysteriousness that seems essential to acting unavailable. At the same time, I still get sucked into The Game on a regular enough basis.

The sad situation of The Game is often it leaves one of the parties feeling more for the other as regards genuine interest. It’s a bit like a game of Snakes and Ladders. Either you both role the dice and hit a ladder and move on up to the next row or you both get gobbled by the snake never to see each other again.

I am in the midst of The Game at the present. Snake or Ladder outcome? I’m undecided.

Mysterious or what…??!!!