The Waiting Game

January 29, 2011

Today I am waiting in anticipation. This stage in the single game always makes me anxious and throws me into a state of  self-analysis. You see dear reader, I met the first potential date of 2011 last night.

I had a feeling it was going to be one of those ‘circle’ nights before I went out. I have adopted the term ‘doing circles’ which refers to the way in which I take a lap of the room when I’m out to see if there is anyone  that has ‘banter’ potential i.e anyone I fancy.

Loads of us from work headed out to celebrate immanent marriages, births and new work arrivals. I work with lots of women, most of whom are either married, engaged or with boyfriends. In fact us single ones are seriously outnumbered by the attached ones.

For this reason, my love life is often a topic of conversation in the office. I don’t mind this at all, in fact I like to hear peoples opinions on my many disastrous encounters. Usually when I go out with work I don’t tend to morf  into ‘circle’ mode as the opportunity never really arises.Work socializing and circles don’t really match.

However, last night it was different. We went to this new bar that is really just one big room so you can see everyone clearly when you arrive. There were loads of after work drinkers out, therefore this meant there were loads of suits out (suits=men).

We had vouchers for cheap cocktails which the bar were promoting so cocktails were aflowing from early in the night. I had spotted a guy in a large group near where we were sitting. We were a large table of women and they were a large table of men right beside us. Obviously conversation was going to ensue.

I really love that moment when you’re in a bar and you see someone who notices you at the same time. It’s kind of an exhilarating feeling not knowing the person at all but still really wanting to talk to them. After we were there for about an hour, I went to the bar to get a drink. I had kind of forgotten about the guy I had been previously throwing glances at as the music they were playing was quite good. Serious dancing had over taken serious flirting.

When I went to the bar there was a bit of a queue where the guy I had been eyeing was loitering. I made my way to where he was standing. Bar chat is always an easy icebreaker. I made some general statement about the slowness of the bar staff and we got chatting.

He was not what I’d usually go for, he was very clean looking. He was incredibly toned body wise. It emerged later he’s really into running which in my opinion deserves serious brownie points. We talked about our jobs. He said he worked with computers. I never know how to react when someone tell me they work in IT because I think it’s such a broad thing to say you work in. It’s like saying ‘I work in the medical field’. Anyway, he didn’t seem to want to elaborate so I didn’t push it.

He obviously had a bit of issue with height as he asked what height I was which I found a little odd. In fairness, I’m about 5’1o in heels but I still don’t think I’m that tall in the grand scheme of things. We were about same height so maybe he is used to small girls. Either way, I found it strange he noted how tall I was. Aside from this, he was a really lovely guy and I enjoyed chatting to him.

He offered to buy my drink but I had my trusty recession voucher from one of those voucher websites so I politely declined. We chatted for a little longer and then I decided to go back to my table. I think it’s important when you’re talking to guy for the first time you don’t come across too eager in the conversation. You give them enough so they find you interesting and then walk away. If they are that interested, you’ll see them later in the night. There are a lot of etiquette rules involved in this ‘circling’ business.

Anyway, I went back to my work companions where a lot of chatter ensued as to who he was, where he was from, what his job was. Then the inevitable ‘hot or not’ issue was debated . We all agreed he was on the hot side of the fence.

Later as I was getting ready to leave, the guy in question came back over and started chatting again. During this conversation it emerged he was 30. I have to admit I was secretly delighted at this fact. For some reason, I get on far better with older guys. At age 30 it is more likely they are over the whole ‘game’ phase of pursuit and will just get on with asking you to meet up again for a drink etc…

Just before I left he asked me for my number. What I really liked was that he suggested we go for lunch sometime. I thought that was really nice. You usually always get the boring ‘so will we go for a drink’ line. He was ultra polite and gave me a kiss on the cheek before I left which again I thought was so sweet.

So now you understand why I am sitting here in anticipation. It’s the next day. Hopefully this clean cut, computer worker/ runner will have found me interesting enough to want contact me again. No matter how many guys I meet, I never fully get used to the feeling of not hearing from someone. I hate it. You always feel like you’ve given away a bit of your personality to a near stranger and they’ve found it dull so punish you with silence. That statement may be on the dramatic side but that’s how I feel sometimes. Everyone likes to think of themselves as nice enough to be contactable again. When you don’t hear from someone it’s disappointing.

My next post will either report on the impending date or the horrible silence. Stay tuned…….

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A Tired Post

January 23, 2011

After a bit of a crazy weekend i.e me over doing it last night, I am a little too tired to write a full post today. However, I will come back with something more substantial later in the week.

For now, I will post a poem that I recently came across again after years of first reading it. It’s funny how you can read something one way at one point in time and then come back to it years later and understand it in a totally different light.

The poem is about change. I really love it because it paints some great images in the reader’s mind. It’s also a poem that can apply to lots of different aspects of relationships and friendships. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Tides

The evening advances, then withdraws again
Leaving our cups and books like islands on the floor.
We are drifting, you and I,
As far from another as the young heroes
Of these two novels we have just laid down.
For that is happiness: to wander alone
Surrounded by the same moon, whose tides remind us of ourselves,
Our distances, and what we leave behind.
The lamp left on, the curtains letting in the light.
These things were promises. No doubt we will come back to them.

Hugo Williams

The Single Collective

January 16, 2011

These days I’m finding more and more that I am becoming a lone single person in a sea of couples. I’d be lying if I said at times I don’t find this difficult.

Whether we like to admit it or not, your social life changes when you are part of a couple. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just different. Friday nights may be spent going to the cinema or going for a dinner and a chat. Most couples probably don’t relish the idea of heading out with their single friends on a drink fueled man search.

As a single person,I find it’s always important to have friends who are still on the same page as regards relationship status. If anything, it helps you remember you are not the only unattached one out there.I had several nights out recently with some single acquaintances.

Over the Christmas myself and my sister went out with a few of my friends. My sister and I don’t go out together all that often. We are very close but we have extremely different tastes in things.

I should probably preface this passage by mentioning that my sister is very beautiful. This beauty has a shocking affect on men that meet her, which is quite extraordinary. Strangely, she too is single (maybe it’s a family thing). Anyway, we decided to go on a night out together. This was under the agreement that we go to places that I frequent rather than her usual haunts of Dublin which involve various clubs in the Leeson/ Harcourt street area.

I studied Anthropology as part of my under-graduate degree and this night out with my sister would have provided me with thesis worthy material. From the second we arrived to the bar, men poured over like moths to a flame. I gradually began to feel like I was the publicist to some kind of leading femme fatal like Angelina Jolie.  I reckon I could have been standing topless beside my sister and would have only garnered mild stares in comparison. You see the thing is, my sister is not only very attractive, she has an excellent charm about her when speaking to men. She has a way of totally undermining what the say but in a very charming fashion. She rips apart everything the say to her with ease and great humor. It’s amazing how well men take brutal slagging from a good looking lady. She could call them fat to their faces and they wouldn’t care.

My favorite part of the night came when we were in the smoking area having a chat. This weedy looking 19 year old approaches my sister, which I thought was rather commendable. He introduced himself as a guy who was two years below her in our secondary school. He said that he used to watch her walk across the yard everyday in school and think how gorgeous she was. Now I’ll admit, this was a slightly cringe-worthy statement to make but you have to admire the guy’s courage in saying something like that to someone he barely knew. My sister obviously thought so too as she entertained light conversation with him for a good while. During this conversation, I pointed out that I was 5 years ahead of him in school. Strangely enough, he didn’t seem to have the same recollection of me….

Last Friday night I went out with one of my friends who seems to have the same ‘eternally single’ affliction that I  possess. If I’m honest I’m slightly in awe of this girl. She has impeccable style and she’s not afraid of creating a little shock with her dress sense. She exudes an enormous amount of confidence which I think is part of the reason she is still single. I tend to think men find very confident women overwhelming. If the men are shy they feel intimidated by extreme confidence and if they are loud they are threatened by it.

We went to a gig, where my friend knew a lot of people. Sometimes in situations like this one can tend to feel a little awkward or out of the loop. I don’t generally mind social gatherings of this kind.  The job I have sometimes puts me in a position of meeting quite a lot of new people on a regular basis so I do enjoy meeting strangers.

In this instance, I was pleasantly surprised at the friendliness of the group of people we encountered, they were incredibly nice. When I go out with my single friends, I sometimes feel like I have to meet someone to make my night complete. On this particular occasion I was happy not to. I rolled into a taxi at 3am content in the knowledge that I had a great night out with a nice bunch of people who I had never met before.

Nights like that are what I like about being single. Often I think I wouldn’t have had that same night if I was going out with someone. I love the freedom that comes with being on your own. Obviously there extreme pros and cons with every type of situation one finds themselves in but for now I am happy to label myself foot loose and fancy free. Roll on more of the same.

The Detox

January 9, 2011

Like many this January, I am in detox mode. I find this a very trying time, not because of the actual detox itself but because I hate the feeling of miserable failure in late January. This is about the time I accidently have a chocolate or ten or I spend that two hundred euro (meant for my savings) in Pennys buying clothing that ultimately I will throw in the bin because the garment has shrunk after two washes.

However, these types of detoxes are ones that in the grand scheme of things, are of little consequence (well to me anyway. Apologies if you’re very determined to kick your chocolate/ Pennys habit) They say habits take twenty one days to break but my question is,  what about the bigger, more emotionally charged habits like a relationship? When this ends, how much time does one need to get over this rather gigantic habit?

As it is detox season, I am going to tell you a story of a very long detox I went through 5 years ago this February.

I started going out with my so called ‘high school sweetheart’ when I was sixteen. We had been great friends before we got together and I always look back on the build up to the relationship with such an amazing fondness. It really was every bit the teenage romance, all very intense and heart felt.

As all early romances, it was a relationship of firsts. First ‘meeting the parents’, first time feeling so in love you might fall over, first time having a fight with a boy that made you cry, first time saying ‘I love you’ and the first time to feel utter heart break.

The relationship ended just before I turned twenty. Both of us, although still very good friends were drifting in very different directions. We had separate outlooks and goals in life and it was beginning to become a massive problem which we could not  solve as a couple.

We decided to split and what ensued was a very painful year long break-up. If I could give anyone advice going through a break-up it would be DON’T PROLONG IT. Looking back it was our age and naivety that made the process so drawn out. As I mentioned in previous posts, I am quite a sentimental person. If you can imagine, I was even more so back then. I had this naive notion that myself and my ex could mosey along still being best friends, not thinking that the inevitable would happen i.e he or I would meet someone new at some point.

In reality this happened quicker than I expected, with my ex seeing someone within two months of us splitting up. I was very hurt by this but looking back he was really angry with me for the split and my attitude after it so it was not overly surprising that he found someone else to take his mind off it all. He is one of those guys who screams ‘boyfriend material’ so I  really don’t know why I expected him to stay single for very long.

After I was told he was with someone new, mental torture ensued. I was utterly devastated. In retrospect, there was never any chance of us rekindling the relationship but I think I was mourning the loss of our relationship and a great friendship more than anything else. I was selfish in the fact that I didn’t want to be in a relationship with him but if I’m honest I was not prepared to see him with anyone else.

It became impossible for us to interact with one another as there was a lot of anger and upset on both our parts. I became a shell of myself. I didn’t care about anything apart from the fact that me and him would no longer be in contact.

This went on for weeks. My poor friends and family were driven demented by my constant sadness. Then one day my Dad came into my room opened my blinds and said ‘enough’. He made me get up out of bed, get my old part time job back and told me to get on with life. And that was that. Myself and the ex cut all communication. Our mutual friends didn’t utter his name. I avoided anything that would remind me of him and slowly but surely I became myself again.

I reckon I successfully avoided sight and sound of him for about a year and a half. This was quite impressive considering we shared a close bunch of mutual friends but I think there was a silent agreement among everyone in our social circle to protect me from any information which may send me back into emotional turmoil. It seems wise friends are crucial to a successful detox!

However, I am happy to report my relationship detox was a great success for both myself and my ex. We went are separate ways and lived our separate lives. We gradually began to see each other again at random social gatherings. At first, all these meetings were very tense with lots of, ‘so..how are you? ‘what are you up to at the moment?’. I’m happy to say these days the random meetings are altogether different. Now when we meet, we are back to being genuine friends. I don’t think it is a friendship where we’ll meet up regularly for tea and a chat but it’s a friendship that has a great history and many fond memories which makes it one that is everlasting in my mind.

I think everyone has to go through one awful heart break in life to come to a better understanding of relationships. I also think people must go through one  hell of a detox if they are to be totally free to move on to new things.

This year I really hope I can apply the same dogged detox attitude to giving up chocolate and saving money resolutions because if I do succeed, I will be a well financed skinny blogger by 2012. Well one can always dream…..