One Year Anniversary

The Boyfriend Gets a Mention

I’ve blogged about past dates on and off for the last year but have always tried to refrain from mentioning my boyfriend.

But today I’m changing that.

Boyfriend kissFor one blog post only

Today is our year anniversary and that is a  big deal for us. I’d never had a proper boyfriend before him. He’d never had a relationship longer than a couple of months before me and neither of us are young enough for that to be “normal”. For the two years I was online dating he was the first guy to get beyond three dates. Every guy on my blog has a nickname. On the rare times I tweeted about him he was Snake Man.

These days I call him Banjo.

Banjo

Tonight we’re recreating our first date, only this time we’re getting the bus together, going to the bar where I changed into my date shoes together and we’ll go back to mine together too.

Sometimes you read people’s relationship beginnings and they talk about an instant spark, a heady romance, how they were inseparable from the first hello.

It wasn’t like that with Banjo.

But before I get into that I’ll tell you about before our dinner date. Dating, especially online dating, can be soul destroying. You get hurt, jaded, confidence drops and sometimes you have to take a break – which never seems to last as long as you thought it would.

I’d been through it all but a year ago I was in a good place. I’d had my dating break and I knew that whatever happened it would be okay. I liked me again.

On the date we chatted and he was nice but there was no major spark. But there was no reason not to meet again either. In the past I would have said after one, maybe two dates, if it wasn’t setting me alight then it wasn’t worth continuing but I gave him a chance.

He asked me out again.

Second date. The bad date.

I wanted him to give me those accidental touches that made me feel something. None of that. In fact, during the date, he took me to a cookware shop because he needed a new oven dish!

I joke now that I got a better response from the cute stranger who passed me at the end of the date than I did from Banjo. But it’s no joke. He seemed to have no attraction to me and I walked back to my car disheartened.

Had Banjo texted me that day asking me out again it would have been a no. But he didn’t. He sent me general texts and being polite I replied. When he asked me out for a third date two days later I couldn’t say no, I’d texted myself into a corner.

The third date happened and still no spark but there was still no reason not to date. As it happens he was feeling the same. The best thing about that date was I caught my first Pikachu on the way home.

Fourth Date

I have no reason why we went on a fourth date, except he asked me. I wanted to do something different and he was on board. We started with pudding then went to a comedy show, then went out for poppadoms.

This date changed everything for him. Suddenly he felt that spark. He put his arm around me during the comedy show and I felt something but I wasn’t sure it was enough. But it wasn’t enough to stop dating either. I’d never given any guy this many chances.

I remember that my friends, family and even twitter were crucial for me in those days. I was regularly expressing my confusion and getting a variety of advice back. Thank you to all who listened to my ramblings during this time. I owe you.

Date 4.5 happened. I was writing in a coffee shop and he asked if he could join me for half an hour. He was keen but I was still struggling with mixed feelings.

Date Five

It was suddenly upon us and it was during this date that I decided I had to tell him it wasn’t working. During the date he said he didn’t like to be teased. I love to be teased. Clearly we weren’t right for each other.

He was lovely and caring but I couldn’t keep this endless round of dates going. It was time to say goodbye.

In the car, outside my house, we talked for an hour. I explained how I felt and for the first time I saw a very different Banjo. He was funny, sexy and relaxed. The tension had gone. The Banjo in front of me was a guy I’d be happy to get to know better.

And so I did.

Within a fortnight he’d cooked me a roast – that’s a big deal for someone who never saw her dad cook for her mum! I stayed over at his house because he wanted me there and I didn’t want to go home. He even gave me my own toothbrush head!

He met my best friend. We spent my birthday together, we took our first selfie. He tolerated me shouting the pisstake “relationship goals” at him at random opportunities.

BoyfriendBut also I’d never been in a relationship before and I was terrified. We worked through it and all the other issues. Life has moved on and somehow we’ve made it to a year.

Banjo isn’t my obvious type but he’s not the opposite of it either. He’s the man I want to be with and he has something that I always said I needed in a guy but never believed I’d find.

He’s patient.

I can be annoying, grumpy, hard work and exhausting. I also think I’m funny as f***. He puts up with everything and he revels in it too, albeit with a bit of a sigh at times.

Is he perfect? Hell no. Am I? Ummmm.

He even puts up with my incessant need to spank him on the bum whenever he bends even slightly. A “No,” might roar from his mouth, between chuckles, as he quickly tries to get from under his desk because he’s heard my footsteps sprinting across the wooden floor.

We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve learnt what a relationship means to us. At the moment we’re debating moving in together. In some ways it’s a no-brainer but we’re also protective of our space. I believe it will happen before the end of the year but who knows? We may not be together in a year, I’m clueless about this stuff.

What has this relationship taught me?

That a lot of what happens in the dating world is luck. I know we’d never have met each other in real life. At any point we could have said in our early days of dating that it wasn’t working. And if I’d met him three years earlier I probably would have given up before 4/5 dates. When it comes to dating we can be quick to find the faults and not the good points, even in a profile.

Love dating boyfriendThere are no hard and fast rules in dating. Every situation is different. I’m glad we gave each other a chance when not many had given either of us chances before. I got lucky and so did he.

Honestly, I never expected to find a boyfriend that I liked. I went on a lot of dates but I’m genuinely surprised I ended up with someone. I got lucky.

Sorry if you found this post soppy, annoying or a waste of time.

But for once I wanted to talk about my boyfriend Banjo. If you want to share your own dating stories or thoughts then you can do it via the comments section or via my Facebook page or Twitter page.

I Don’t Do Hook Ups… Can’t Say That Anymore (Part 2)

This is the second part of a recent blog post: I Don’t Do Hook Ups… Can’t Say That Anymore (Part 1). Several weeks ago I was horny as hell and not wanting to date some random, unknown guy to get rid of it. Instead I propositioned a previous date. This guy, Rubber Johnny (name changed to protect the innocent/guilty), had no intention of long term because of his own baggage. To find out more about what brought me to contacting him, click the link above.

But moving on.

The day arrived.

Preparation was key.

Best Laid Plans…

hook upsUnfortunately, however much you prepare things go wrong. A mixture of a sore throat and leaving the hair removal cream on for too long sent me into an initial panic. Was that too much information?

I certainly wasn’t feeling the excitement, the nerves were slowly eating away at me, “what if he was a dick about it”, “what if I couldn’t go through with it”, “what if he still looks like a gay pirate?” But I pushed them to one side and drove to his home, mostly undeterred.

On the drive I felt the flourish of excitement that’s familiar before a first date. Usually it’s clouded with nerves because I’m also worrying about the unknown. But then I was yo-yoing emotionally again. Fear and nerves still took over, unsettling my belly like a gone-off yoghurt.

Although I knew we were going to watch a movie and chill out for a bit it was still a hook up. This was completely against character. My sister hadn’t seemed impressed when I told her. What would some of my more overprotective friends think? Would I be okay with their judgements? But that wasn’t the only concern; what if I couldn’t keep it casual and I fell for him again? I didn’t want to spend another evening sobbing over the guy. That had been a shitty Christmas Eve.

Overcoming the Fear

Fears continued to rattle round my head as we met and walked to his lounge. Hearing him grumble about his neighbours, the recycling boxes and the dickheads at work brought my fantasies crashing down. The reality is, when it’s not a date, when you’re, to some extent, a sure thing then there’s no “best behaviour”, the need to impress is unnecessary and while I felt respected I also felt like I was just a hook up. But that’s what I wanted, right?

RJ was awkward in my presence, although now in hindsight I think that’s just who he is, an awkward guy. When he was out of the room and I put my gum in the bin he came rushing back in asking what the noise was. This wasn’t how I’d remembered him.

But, sat in front of the movie, snuggled up together I could tell, unexpectedly, that the chemistry was still there. My body was humming harder than a room full of bees when I felt his hand rest on my bum before he started stroking it with a gentle caress.

The slight touches were exciting, the kissing intense and everything else was… private. But just so you know, the non-sex hook up was kind of glorious. Aspects of our time together will feature in my erotic romance writing, I’m sure of it.

Lessons Learned from my Hook Up

Later, when I was driving home, I realised:

I’m glad I did what I did, no regrets, BUT I’m never doing it again. I enjoyed what we did but there was a coldness to it, it was a little soulless. It meant nothing. It became a series of acts with a guy who was good at kissing and other stuff but I needed more than that. I like the excitement that goes with fancying someone, the uncertainty of a furtive look, the “accidental” brush of hands over dinner, the hope that they might kiss you and the blissful feeling when you realise you had one of those dates that will stay with you for days.

friends with benefitsI like the intimacy that’s accompanied by an attraction of the brain and the body. I’m somewhat reluctant to say I’m a romantic. It was a hook up and I mostly enjoyed it, although I still had to imagine myself with someone else to fully build the excitement. Is that messed up?

  • RJ was still a nice guy. He built up my body confidence and was bloody brilliant at what he did with the rest of me.
  • I’m not happy being single but I want a relationship, not a one off and that can take time. I need to put in the effort rather than expect some dream boyfriend to turn up on my doorstep.
  • I’ve finally got RJ out of my system. I didn’t even realise he was still there, from Christmas, until I walked away. While great in his own way he’d never been worth losing tears over.
  • It was a goodbye for good. Although he treated me with respect and care I don’t want to go back.
  • Hook ups aren’t for me

I Don’t Do Hook Ups… Can’t Say That Anymore (Part 1)

I Don’t Do Hook Ups, I Don’t Do Hook Ups…

One of my life mantras is “I don’t do hook ups”. I know my mind; I need trust when any form of sexual contact is involved, my instincts can block intimacy and I have, on occasion, got easily attached when I’ve really liked a guy.

So, I don’t do hook ups and that has worked out well for me. But recently I was faced with a problem. Several weeks ago I was hornier than a male student living with a team of nude cheerleaders and the horniness wouldn’t go away. Hot guys passed through my dreams throughout the day and night. My previous experiences would revisit me as vivid memories; at work, the gym, while sitting in traffic. Meanwhile current fantasies formed out of nowhere; guys on the train kissing me slowly, the man at karaoke dancing intimately with me (those are the PG ones).

What could I do?

I considered my options:

  • I could go on a night out into town and hope to meet a random guy I found attractive was up for some fun with me. Getting him to come home with me would be easy, right? I’ve never done that before, I’m rubbish at reading signs on a night out and I always get the weird ones following me around, trying to get in my pants.
  • Online dating hook upsOn Bumble I was getting many requests for no strings sex, maybe I could just agree to one of those.
  • I was also building up some interesting connections online for first dates, maybe I could just forgo the usual getting to know each other part and have a bit of a fumble.

I Don’t Do Hook Ups!

The problem is that all these options it meant meeting with a stranger. I needed a level of trust and chemistry already established. It led me to the only option I could conceive of, other than abstinence, his name was Rubber Johnny (names have been changed to protect the innocent/guilty). Last December I went on a date with RJ. The chemistry was overwhelming, he had me quivering from the moment he touched my leg. What had started with drinks had ended with some no-sex fun back at his place several hours later. But because he had major baggage, details of which have since been explained to me, he didn’t want more. A couple of days before we originally met he’d told me that he wasn’t interested in long term but like a fool I thought I could change him. Didn’t I learn anything from my mum’s rambling lectures?

But back to a month ago. RJ had already been in contact and suggested meeting up again, for kissing purposes only. I was adamant to anyone that listened that it wasn’t going to happen and yet secretly I was toying with the idea that it could. But I didn’t do things like that… did I?

Horny for a Hook Up

Eventually the horniness got so that I couldn’t focus on anything but my own boisterous, unyielding needs. It was then, after a week of overthinking, I sent him a propositioning message.

At best, he was unsure. After all, he explained, I’d said no many times. Besides,hadn’t I also told him when we first met that I got attached easily. Yep, he was quoting me. The beauty of RJ was that I knew where he stood when it came to hook ups, I trusted he’d stop when I wanted to and from our previous date I knew the chemistry was there. I felt it was better than going on a date with a random guy and being disappointed, doing something I regretted or ignoring the chance to get to know them because I needed a fix of endorphins.

That argument seemed to be the convincer and so we agreed to meet.

But what happened next? Did he go through with it, did I change my mind, did we fall madly in love?

I’ll save that for my next post, stay tuned…

Insecurities and Taking the Lead, First Date

Sometimes when we’ve been doing this online dating malarkey for a while we can forget that we’re not the only insecure person
doing it.

I have my confident moments but there are also times when I wonder why a guy hasn’t returned my message, why the date we’ve talked about hasn’t been put in the diary or if the man has found someone “better”. We all have our low moments and dating can eat at our confidence, plaguing these insecure times before sending us spiralling, questioning every aspect of ourselves. There are players, idiots and damaged people out there; male and female, but they’re not the only people on online dating sites.

Online Dating insecurities

Dano insecuritiesThis brings me to my date last weekend. A first date. I’m going to call him Fuck ‘Em Dano or Dano for short. Not because he was a guy who fucked around but because he looked like Paul Dano, the actor from War and Peace and There Will Be Blood.

Dano was nervous. Initially he hid it well, so well I was thinking that something was wrong with the date or maybe he wasn’t interested in me. However, as the date continued I realised that the uncomfortable silences were because he felt awkward and didn’t know what to say. It was like a dance and he couldn’t hear the rhythm of the music let alone have the skills to take the lead. Dano just didn’t know what to say and so he said some unusual things for a first date. These included, “Am I really weird?” “I know this sounds stupid but…” “I’ve made this awkward…”

It became one of those dates where I was the confident one and had to offer many reassurances. But I found a way to bring him free from his nerves. I made, yes made, him ask me questions, any questions he liked and I promised to answer. For some reason it worked like a charm.

Dano even shyly told me that the noises we’d heard earlier, while eating, were the urinals. Sheepishly explaining that the position of them meant that he’d had to wee near where my head would have been. Then he blushed.

The guy was adorable and his respect of me endearing. Also, he made me laugh. I can’t abide dates where I don’t laugh, I am a chuckler even in the most unlikely situations. I’m talking funerals.

But there were two problems from my date:

Flirting tango1) I don’t think he knows how to flirt or if he does then he doesn’t seem to understand when I’m doing it. I can be cheeky and naughty on good dates but he never took my lead. None of the questions he asked me were naughty. I did explain to him that I wrote romance books with sex in them but there wasn’t any response to that. It was unusual for me to have a man in front of me that doesn’t join in my naughtiness but I’m hoping I can draw him in that direction. It’s as if we were doing an awkward tango but I’m the lead dancer.

2) There was no spark and very little chemistry. Dano suggested he was on his best behaviour for our date, which might have explained some of the lack of chemistry. But during our time together I wasn’t hoping I would get that first kiss or wondering what an accidental touch of his hand to any part of my body would feel like.

I write erotic romance and while I don’t believe that a real life book boyfriend is suddenly going to appear when I first meet a guy I have had those dates where the attraction and chemistry have filled my mind and formed my fantasies.

So what now?

I am going on a second date with Dano. He asked almost immediately and I’m hoping he’ll have less nerves, which will make for more fun and relaxed chatter. But I’m not holding out too many hopes either. Dano, my toyboy by five years, is a nice guy and I want to like him. I want to fancy him but I can’t force something that isn’t there.

Have you ever been in this situation yourself?

What would you do?