Sunday, 8 July 2012

Blog 25: Things you NEVER want to hear on a first date

The first date.

We’ve all been there.

Dry mouth. Sweaty palms. Racing heartbeat.

You’d think you were about to give a speech in front of thousands, but no, these are just the typical symptoms of how everyone feels on a first date.

You are nervous, and rightfully so!

You don’t know this person, and he doesn’t know you – so the conversation over the next few hours will determine the fate of your future relationship. 

Will this date result in another? Or will this first date also be your last?

No pressure, right?

Between my group of friends and I, we have some shocking first dates!

From degenerate players to pathological liars, cheaters, older guys who said they were younger, younger guys who said they were older, short guys, out of shape guys, steroid-pumping in-shape guys, musicians, bar tenders, waiters.

I once went on a date with a fish monger.

Yes, in a world where you can’t find a boyfriend, you date a man who guts fish for a living.

In this vast world of y chromosomes, first dates can range from explosive to pathetic, and frustratingly they are all a necessity if you ever want to meet Mr. Right.

So, next time you head off on a first date, take a deep breath and try not to panic.

We’ve all been there. It’s a girl thing.

Inspired by a friends recent horrific first date encounter, the below is a list of things you never want to hear on a first date!

All phrases are true and come from my own or friends experiences! (cringe!)

Enjoy x

Things you NEVER EVER want to hear on the build up to, or whilst on a first date

1. “I could find 50 girls in this bar to sleep with” (gross)

2. “I’m really good at making girls feel comfortable enough to have a one night stand” (sorry, did you just say what I think you said?)

3. “I’ve never actually had a serious relationship” (Wow! You sound like a keeper)

4. “My ex is at home watching the kids right now” (*Chokes on drink* Did you conveniently forget to mention children?)

5. “My ex-girlfriend and I only broke up last month” (baggage)

6. “This is a picture of my ex. Do you think she is pretty?” (WTF)

7. “We broke up because it just wasn’t working anymore” (seriously is this a date or a therapy session?)

8. “You’re a prude” (no, I just don’t like you.)

9. “Three drinks is not a lot. Have one more” (still, not sleeping with you)

10. “I can make girls orgasm just by looking at them” (that isn’t an orgasm; it’s a look of disgust)

11. “I don’t believe in marriage” (wait until you’re fat and bald)

12. “My girlfriend doesn’t know I’ve been texting you” (then stop)

13. “I saw you went on holiday to France on facebook” (yeah, like 5 years ago, stalker)

14. “The friend your with in your profile picture is a catch” (then date her instead)

15. “Send me a picture of your toes” (errrrr, no. *deletes number*)

16. “I’ve slept with more people than you and your flatmates combined, two times.” (I wouldn’t tell anyone else that)

17. “I have gotten my last 2 girlfriends pregnant” (are you serious?!)

18. “I don’t like condoms” (well that explains the previous point!)

19. “I think sex should happen first to determine if we have chemistry” (now I know that we don’t)

20. “I can’t believe you are with me, You are going to break my heart one day.” (grow some balls)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Blog 24: Online dating - the good, the bad and the fugly....

Personally, I am a great believer in in trying everything at least one, and all means to get to an end. So I was caught quite off guard when I was out for lunch with the girls the other day.

Catherine was giving the usual moan about how there are "simply no good men in the world, they are all taken", when I suggested she tried online dating.

Suddenly the room fell silent.

I felt like an outsider.

A desperate woman amongst the elite.

How dare I bring this up!!

"Whats the big deal?" I blurted out, in a sense of nervousness and defense.

I was not prepared for the lash of snide remarks and comments on the issue.

For the prupose of this blog, I will list a few of them. (With no doubt you are thinking the same thing)

  • "Online dating is for desperate people who are unable to find someone in an open setting"
  • "All men (yes, all) lie about their age, height and financial security online"
  • "The picture they upload on those sites are who men wish they looked like. I've heard that they look nothing like that in real life" - (interestingly the girl who said that later admitted to me she had secretly had recently joined a well known site, but was too scared to admit it)
  • "Do you want to die? everyone knows that the men on those sites are either rapists or murderers looking for their next victim! (Yes, someone actually said this)
  • "I'm old fashioned. I prefer to meet face to face"

The latter point hit the nail on the head.

C'mon ladies, this is 2012! Stop being so OLD FASHIONED.

We are constantly being bombarded with the increasing temptation to buy into the latest technology.

The I-Phone 5, the touch screen kindle, the 200 inch plasma 3d TV.

But, despite this infatuation to latest futuristic technology, there is still a massive taboo, when it comes to using new methods to find Mr. Right.

Online dating is still a massive hush! hush!

It's like we've had a upgrade on all other areas of our social life; facebook, twitter, myspace (and for those of you old enough to remember) MSN, but we're yet to find an acceptable upgrade for dating.

So many of my friends say that online dating is for the desperate.

And yet those friends spend hours getting ready on a saturday, cramming thier bits and bobs into the tiniest of outfits and wearing 8 inch heals, all with the desperate hope that they might meet Mr. Right that evening.

In truth, we've all tried online dating in one form or another.

What do you call it when you poke that guy on facebook, or add a stranger because you think he is hot?

We live in a world where guys will ask for your BBM, you will spend hours on Facebook chat, and there's nothing more exciting then hearing the ping of a FF Tweet from a someone you fancy.

So are you not tecnically online dating?

Clicking on a site that help builds your path to a happy ending is like finding a means to a very happy end.

  1. It's a time saver; how often have you met a cute guy in a bar and then wasted your time having to speak to him for an hour, realising he has the personality of a dead fish and that you have NOTHING in common.... with online dating you can pretty much give him an entire background check before you press the 'click to buy' button.
  2. There's a large pool of singletons to meet; If I told you there was going to be a party in your local nightclub and it would be full of single men ready to talk to you, I can guarantee you'd be there, right? Go figure. (Sorry I always wanted to say that! And now seemed quite appropriate)  
  3. Increased selectivity; you can choose who you want to speak to and who you don't. Yey! No more chatting to the biggest loser in town becuase your friend has pulled and you're on your lonesome. 
  4. It's all about the personality; Ok, so i't's imporant you have your best profile picture up there because men are visual, but once you get past that hurdle, you can spend as long or as little as you like really getting to know someone before commiting to anything. Yey! No more being traded in for the leggy blonde who just walked into the bar!
  5. Rejection is much easier to handle; There's nothing worse than being in a bar trying to flirt with a guy, only to realise that the only reason he was staring at you is because you had your skirt caught in your knickers. Major humility and rejection! Hang my head in shame. Online if a guy doesn't like you he just won't message back, simples. 
So there's my brief opinion on online dating.

It's entirely upto you which side of the fence you sit on.

But don't moan and say there's are no good men out there, when it's your own pride that won't let you access the whole sea of fish online.

Click and collect.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Blog 23: Happy Father's Day

When I was a little girl my dad would make my breakfast in the morning, and then patiently show me how to tie my shoelaces.

If it was winter, he would remember to leave my socks on the radiator, so that my toes would be warm when I put them on.

Every day at 3pm he would wait proudly at the school gates. I’d press my nose against the school window waiting to catch a glimpse of his slightly balding hair and big glasses.

And, when the bell would finally ring, I would run down the path and into his arms for a big hug and a kiss hello.

He’d hold my hand whilst we crossed the road, and I would chat away about all that I had learnt. He would commend my accomplishments, possibly a finger painting or a new story I’d written.

If it was his turn to make dinner, he’d always insist on a sweet treat for dessert, a tea cake perhaps, or caramel wafer. My mum would tut encouragingly.

He’d tuck me into bed promptly at 8pm but not before reading a passage or two from one of my favourite books.

I never felt unloved, never felt unimportant, never felt anything but safe and happy.

I thought all children felt this way for a very long time.

It wasn’t until my last year of primary I realised that not every girl had a father like mine.

I remember going to my friend’s house for my first ever sleep over.

I was shocked when the family started eating without their Dad.

In fact my friend’s dad didn’t come home until much later, when we were upstairs playing on her brothers Nintendo.

I heard his heavy footsteps and very deep voice through the floor, half expecting my friend to jump to her feet at any moment to greet him.

But she didn’t flinch.

“Don’t you want to say hi to your dad” I asked her.

“No” she said firmly. “He’s mean. I don't like him”.

Her words were so jarring I didn’t know what to make of them.

How could she hate her dad?

I became so curious to meet the man of the house that I made up the excuse of needing a glass of water.

My friend walked me down the stairs where we found her dad eating at the dining room table, buried behind a newspaper.

She didn’t acknowledge him as she walked by.

He didn’t acknowledge her either.

On our way back from the kitchen her dad abruptly tossed his paper to the side.

“Did you clean that hamster cage yet like I told you to?” her dad asked without looking up from his spaghetti bolognaise.

“Yes” my friend answered.

I stood there, behind my friend, just staring at her father.

What was going on here? Why wasn’t he so happy to see her? Why wasn’t he asking her about her day? Didn’t he want to know who I was?

My mind raced with questions but I didn’t dare ask any of them.

Was her father always this late for dinner? Did he usually read the paper at the table? Did he ever hug my friend? Why did she say that she hated him?

As my friend and I grew closer I learnt more about her dad and their relationship.

He was the financial director for an insurance company, a job he hated, but he also coached the local cross country team in his spare time.

He was a huge fan of field athletics and spent all of his free time training.

And of course, when she was old enough, he had encouraged his daughter to train too.

But, my friend was not athletic in the slightest.

Truthfully, she hated sports.

She was into music and art.

But her father wouldn’t hear of her quitting, in fact, if she complained too much he would ground her.

So every weekend was filled with cross country running competitions and training, which made my friend miserable.

Their relationship was not warm and loving.

It was based on fear and resentment.

Her father ruled with an iron fist, and his word was not to be challenged.

He didn’t want to know his daughter; he just wanted her to fall in line…..

So how does this fit into my dating blog? I hear you ask.

The choices you make today effect your future. 

(This may be cheesy, and a tad mental, but it’s 100% true)

You may be living the life of a single girl now, but one day your role will change.

One day you may be a wife, and eventually a mother.

The man you choose for a partner, could not only potentially be your husband, but also the father to your children.

To think that far ahead is hard (and a bit out there) for some of us, but it’s important that we do.

On your journey to meeting Mr. Right, remember you’re not only choosing a man for yourself, you’re also choosing a man that has the potential to lead a family.

Anyone can father a child but it takes a real man to be a dad.

So before you commit to any guy, you must ask yourself this “what kind of father will he be?”

My friend didn’t get to choose her dad. She had no say in the relationship she was going to have with him.

She was innocently born into this family and had no power to change the way she was raised.

But her mother did have a choice.

Years ago, when they were dating, she ignored the fact that he can be cold at times.

She disregarded his moody and abrasive personality.

My friend’s mum was simply in love and wanted to get married.

Even if he wasn’t perfect, her mum thought she was strong enough to deal with her Dad’s long list of shortcomings.

But never did she think about how her daughter would handle them.

Maybe you are dating someone right now that has a bad temper. Or maybe he flakes on you whenever you really need him. Maybe he’s too cocky to show his feelings. Or maybe he just makes you feel inadequate, unimportant and sad.

Maybe you are actually considering marrying this man?

Just remember your children will reap the benefits or suffer the consequences based on that decision.

So in your hunt to find Mr Right, make sure you choose wisely….

Friday, 15 June 2012

Blog 22: What do dating and Euro 2012 have in common?

In case you missed it, Euro 2012 kicked off last Friday!

Now, I’m all about being a girly girl, but I do love a good game of footy.  

I especially love the Euros and World cup.  

Any excuse to spend a whole weekend on the couch eating Snickers, with a hot water bottle and a blanket!  

In case you didn’t know Germany are favourite to win. 

Watching them you recognise the importance of team work.  

Their formation, skill and unity are second to none.  

Portugal on the other hand a relying on one key player – a certain Mr Cristiano Ronaldo.  

Now he is a fantastic striker (not to mention he’s a bit of a dish), but he’s leading his team and not doing a particularly great job. 

Ronaldo is coming off the back of a great season, and expecting to do everything.  

But that isn’t want makes a good team, or a good relationship for that matter.  

After plenty of observation (and experience), I believe I’ve decided that there a lot of similarities between relationships and the footy. 

The best relationships don’t just rely on the best player.  

The best team have set pieces, they work together, and the unhealthy ones have strikers with solo or hidden agendas. 

Healthy relationships involve passing the ball to each other, there’s no hidden agenda and you’re working together equally to win.  

If you’re playing with a Ronaldo – then he’s probably egotistical and has his own game to be played.  

He will assume that he can run with the ball because that’s what he wants to do.  

He is leading the team regardless of what you want to do.  

You’ll know if you’re involved with a Ronaldo, because the second you get the ball, he’ll get disheartened.  

He won’t follow it through. He may even stop playing.  

Or he’ll start waving his hands about so frantically that you’ll cave in and give him the ball.  

The mid-fielders (you) are there to simply pass him the ball and boost his ego.  

He doesn’t want you to step up to the goal and put the needed effort in to win.  

He’s controlling. He is the striker.  

This is his game.  

Midfielders basically take a backseat in a relationship with Ronaldo.  

They get pushed aside because they are less likely to score, then the person in front.  

Some midfielders will carry on with Ronaldo’s game because they assume this is what ‘love’ is about, so they keep their head down and keep passing the ball, with no such luck.  

These midfielders don’t pay attention to the fans impatient chants, or continuous yellow and red cards.  
They hope that Ronaldo might change.  

That things will get better.  That they might win the game. 

But as long as you keep allowing Ronaldo to take control then you will continue to take a backseat.  

The best football teams and relationships require tight formations and unity 

Try watching Germany in Euro 2012.

Why are they so good? 

They pass the ball.  

The equally want it just as much.  

Basically they are all playing the same game.  

Scoring the same goal 

This is how a relationship should work.  

Next time you meet a guy ask yourself is this team work or are you playing for a losing side?

Thoughts? xx

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Blog 21: A girlfriend in need, is NOT a girlfriend indeed......

One of my best friends Anna recently got dumped by a guy she was really into.
They’d only been together for a month.
It’s taking her awhile for her to get over him, something I can’t quite understand because it was fairly short lived, and it wasn’t like the words "I love you" were ever spoken or parents were ever introduced.

Her reasoning for why it ended was because he didn’t fell as strongly about her and wasn’t ready to commit to a relationship.
Unfortunately for Anna this seems to happen quite a lot. 
Ann is stunning.
Ridiculously tall, with long blonde hair, and legs that reach to the sky.
A night out on the town with her and you can be guaranteed free drinks and invites into endless VIP booths.
But despite her super-model looks, Anna can’t seem to hold down the one thing she really wants - Mr. Right.
Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that guys become attracted to her on an infatuated basis, but then, once it wears off, most guys don’t want to keep pursuing the relationship.
I don’t know about you, but from my experience, this seems to be a reoccurring problem for single girls worldwide!
I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought:
“It’s not that I can’t attract a guy, it’s just that I can’t seem to keep him”
Anna and I could not be more different as people, but we both have the same agonizing problem of finding a man and keeping him interested for longer than 3 dates.
Naturally our conclusions lead us to question “Why are there no good men out there?”
But could it be that WE are the problem?
Could it be that OUR own fear and need – of being alone, of not-being-good-enough, of being too rigid, to masculine – is running the risk of turning off any new men we meet?
Is our desperation turning us into sales women - forcing men into a relationship, rather than allowing them to buy into it on their own accord?
Anna rang me last week in floods of tears.
Apparently, her ex had told a mutual friend that the reason he broke up with her was because she was “crazy-needy”
Of course, Anna was bound to be heart broken. 
But I couldn’t help thinking that maybe he made had a valid point.
Anna has always gone from bloke to bloke.
She once said to me that having a boyfriend makes her life feel more exciting.
Naturally, Anna was extremely happy when they had first got together; but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
I honestly believe, you shouldn't pursue a relationship until you are happy in your own circumstances.
Basically, don't make your happiness depend on that of a guy; especially when they're not guaranteed to stick around in the long run!
Anna isn't as happy as she used to be, and I think it's because the relationship didn't work out and more recently, she discovered that how her ex really felt about her was different than what he told her.
I could tell her to look at the brighter side of things, but that's more easily said than done.
So what is a single girl supposed to do?
What’s the answer to keeping a guy interested for longer than 3 dates?
If you’re “doing something” it means you a desperately trying to keep your emotional tether alive.
You’re trying to nudge him into texting you, seeing you, committing to you.
But the thing about Mr. Right is that he won’t need to be nudged, pushed or cornered into a relationship.
So, what do you do?
If it’s been 10 hours and you haven’t got a text, you do nothing.
Let it be.
If it’s Thursday night and he hasn’t called to ask what you’re up to this weekend, you do nothing.
Let it be.
If you’ve been dating for 6 weeks and it still says he’s single on his FB profile, you do nothing.
Let it be.
Why? Wouldn’t it make more sense to text him, call him and speak to him so that he doesn’t lose interest in you?
Nope, all you do when you corner a man into action is let him know that he is in control.
You’re simply telling him that you are desperate, needy and you want a boyfriend.
Finding Mr. Right is not about finding out if he wants to live in the city or the country, when he wants kids, how long does he think he’ll take to put a ring on it and trying to get him to say “I LOVE YOU” by date 4.
These are all things you’ll deal with later. ….
For now, whether you’re single, or dating, learn to just have fun.
Laugh. Say Yes. Be easygoing. Smile. Fool around. Enjoy the moment.
These are the things that make you attractive.
And you’ll never have more leverage over a man then one who has chosen you on his own accord.
Mr. Right will only emotionally invest in you because he feels happy when he’s around you.
If it’s week 3 and he’s already receiving texts saying “where are you?” or late night calls pleading “where is this going?” then you’re not making him feel too good in the present, so he certainly won’t stick around for a future.
Just relax and enjoy the ride.
Put all your fears, all your nudging, all your needs to the side and just enjoy the present.
Mr. Right will know when to make the next move, I promise.
And if he doesn’t then he isn’t Mr. Right!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Blog 21: Sending sext messages!

Ok this isn’t a blog about sending rude texts…. But it got your attention right?

Blog 21 out of 52; it's getting tough to keep writing but I'm still thoroughly enjoying it and hope you are too!

Today’s blog is to actually ask (beg!) for your votes, especially if you’ve liked what you’ve read so far.

Cosmopolitan magazine has a 2012 blog of the year competition with a category for ‘relationships and sex’

These are voted for by the public, which means that I can ask my family, friends, Twitter and Facebook followers to rally the troops and get the blog into the shortlists!

The link to nominate is here, if you could be so kind as to click it:

Please vote, but also pass this on to everyone you know and hopefully I’ll be able to gather some votes! 

Just click on the links below to post it this to your facebook, twitter and email.

Fingers crossed and much love always

Grace x

(P.S. The real blog 21 will come later this week!)

Monday, 28 May 2012

Blog 20: In the words of Dizzee Rascal "Get away from the bar...."

Unless you’ve been living like a hermit, you’ll know that last weekend was absolutely BOILING hot.
I even have the strap marks to prove it!
Everyone loves the sunshine. Fact.
Summer dress, dove body milk tan, toe nails painted, beached-waves hair style…..
All I need now is a beer garden with a nice glass of Pimms.
‘I’ll meet you  at the bar at 1pm’ my friend had text on Saturday morning.
Now excuse me for sounding like a bit of a tart, but there’s something about the sunshine that, at much as I hate to admit it, makes even the chaviest of men look like Brad Pitt.
And so; Sunshine + Beer Garden = pretty much the best place to meet Mr Right?
It’s the ideal setting.
You want to meet a guy so you go to a place that has a variety of Y-chromosomes packed into 2000 square feet.
All single, all looking, all ready to buy you a drink and get to know you.
On paper it would seem that a bar or club is the ideal place to meet someone.
However, we all know the reality of this situation.
Just this weekend my friend met a guy in a bar.
He was tall, and cute, and had the most adorable Irish accent (Man, those accents are hard to resist!)
They talked and laughed, drank and danced , whilst I stood talking to his seemingly lifeless friend.
She was interested, he was mesmerized; so much so that I had now become engrossed in Draw Something to pass the time.
He asked for her number, she gladly obliged.
A seemingly perfect first meeting.
Until about 3 hours later when we saw him snogging the face off some other girl on the dance floor.
Yet another example of how bars and clubs are not good places to meet your next boyfriend.
“But wait a minute!!” I hear you say matter-of-factly “My bestfriend met her boyfriend in a bar and now they’re engaged. And he is lovely, smart, kind, nice, perfect boyfriend material. So meeting a boy in a bar can’t be that bad?”
Fair play. You’ve got a good point.
The truth is that yes, you can absolutely meet the love of your life at a bar or club.
Yes, that’s right, you can.
Your best friend is the living proof of it.
We just have to realise that that it’s not the venue itself that’s the problem.
It’s just the copious amounts of alcohol, the beer goggles and our ”pick me, pick me” attitudes that seem to fuck things up a little bit.
So here goes, a girls guide to meeting Mr. Right in a bar.
Firstly, timing is everything:
Remember the fairytale story Cinderella? The number one rule for that damsel in distress was to leave the ball at 12pm otherwise her carriage would turn to a pumpkin and her horse guards into rats.
Well, the same goes for guys. 
Depending on what time you are out on the scene will determine what kind of guy you are going to find once you’re there.
If you are on the prowl starting at 10 p.m. and going until three in the morning, don’t be surprised if you constantly meet flakes, drunks and professional partiers – basically horse guards that turn into Rats 
If, however, you hit the bars for happy hour (anytime between 5-10 pm) you are more likely to meet a good, quality guy.  The reason is simple.  You aren’t as drunk, which means you’re well composed and thinking logically. Suddenly the guy who’s doing a strip tease on the bar doesn’t look exactly like Channing Tatum!
The guys you meet in a bar before 10pm are the guys that make good boyfriends.
Secondly, beware of the guy who knows the world and his wife!
If you haven’t watched “How I met your Mother” then get out from under your rock and go sit in front of your TV right now. 
There’s a character in it called Barney.
Barney is the womanizing Lothario that loiters around his local bar, McClarens, scoping out the ladies, and targeting his next score.
He’s there every night (yes even before 10pm). 
He is a regular.  A fixture, if you will. 
He is also to be avoided. 
If you come across a guy that claims the bar is his second home then you should pay for your drink and be on your way, or have him pay for your drink and be on your way, either way don’t stick around and get to know him. 
Men that hang out at bars so frequently they have a regular booth are not marriage material. 
One of my friends learned this the hard way.  She met her ex-boyfriend in Yates in Bolton:
He was a regular. (How you can be attracted to a man that is a regular in Bolton Yates’ is beyond my understanding, but each to their own.)
He was there so often he was invited to their company Christmas party.
At first it seemed like fun, but there are only so many weekends you can spend in Yates - especially Yates’ in Bolton!
If she wasn’t there drinking sour apple Corkys and pitchers of Woo Woo with him, then she was at home wondering where he was (even though she knew), and fighting with him to stop going out. 
She was constantly alone, frustrated and angry.
Eventually she gave him an ultimatum: It’s me or Yates (in Bolton).
I’m still not sure how she ever got over the fact he chose Yates! (Not even a slug and lettuce) over her!
At first it could seem an attractive quality – a guy that everyone knows and is treated like royalty whenever he makes an appearance. 
He doesn’t have to wait in line to get in, gets his drinks for free, and knows the bartenders first and last names…
But this is not what you want in a boyfriend.
Finally, not all bars are the same.
Choose your venue wisely.
If you’re looking to meet Mr Right then maybe go somewhere you can have an actual conversation, and not somewhere you have to grind like dog on heat just to get an ounce of attention.
I don't want to sound like a granny, but places with loud music, smoke machines and fancy lighting tend to attract the party-going types.  Likewise, bars that are rowdy, noisy and crowded will make meeting someone all the more difficult. 
Try your local pub or a slightly quieter bar. I can’t promise you will always meet guys there, but your chances of meeting Mr. Right will be better and you will be able to weed out the creeps faster!
To sum it up, can you meet Mr Right in a bar? Absolutely yes.
But you have to know when, how and what to look for. Without the beer goggles on!