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.
For 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.
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.
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.
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.
But 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.
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.
There 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.