One Week Later

So it has officially been one week since I deleted Grindr and I haven’t yet felt any desire to cave. I started thinking more about that book I’d read about dating. I agreed with 99% of what was written but there was one thing, one huge statement that I have fought against ever since he first said it to me months ago.

He suggested that if someone wanted a boyfriend that much that they would have one. But that statement, whilst it may technically be true, doesn’t account for the people in the relationship actually wanting to be in it. I don’t deny it if I wanted a boyfriend enough, which I do, I could settle for someone who I don’t find attractive and who I have no connection to at all but that’s no way to live.

Yeah I would love to have a boyfriend but I want someone to love me and I want someone who I can love in return. That’s not too much to ask from a relationship I don’t think. The problem with trying to find someone who will stick around is that there is too much choice available. Sex as a Service has started to ruin our chances to find ‘true love’. Sure that might not exist and I’m glad to say I’m starting to realise Prince Charming isn’t going to fireman lift me to our wedding five minutes after we meet. But even getting the chance to date people is getting harder.

The last time I dated someone I wrote a post about it but I left out a crucial bit of information that I gleamed from our final conversation together. I’ll be honest he didn’t put it in so many worse but very heavily implied that if I’d have slept with him on the first date there probably wouldn’t have been a second. Is that all it was, a game to get laid?

People want to have sex, men and women, and as gay men have Grindr to find a man a couple of metres away who is waiting with his pants down, they don’t need to go through the effort of dating. I’ll take ‘Flynn’s’ word for it that maybe he was starting to have feelings for me but that’s only because I forced his hand and for some reason he stuck around once I’d refused sex. But he was still sleeping with other people, which is fine we weren’t any where near exclusive, it just shows how easy it is to come by.

I’m quite proud I’ve made it a week without re-downloading Grindr, which is crazy I know…one whole week. But if I stick to it, it’s the start of something good for me. It just means I need to find a new way to meet a man. I do want a boyfriend and I want one who is at least half decent! But where the hell am I supposed to look?

SaaS

In computing Software as a Service is a delivery model that is sometimes referred to as ‘on demand software’. Being a man who likes to indulge his nerdy side and being a raging homosexual I thought I’d borrow this acronym and apply it to life in the city looking for love. Keep with me and this will come up later I promise. 

A few months ago a friend of mine (the first man from my dating bender) asked if I would proofread a book he was writing and give him some feedback on it. I can’t say my feedback was very good but that’s because I honestly loved (nearly) every word of it. It was a book about finding happiness amongst the modern day hookup culture and it was aptly named Grindr Survivr. The book was enlightening and so educational that I deleted Grindr immediately! For a short while… 

I’ll admit to being a dick to my fair share of people online and I’ve been on the receiving end of idiots on apps like Grindr. Even after dating guys who leave me in tears I go back to it ready to try again and I never learn. It feels silly silly saying that an app like Grindr is addictive but anyone who had or has it will know that it really is. Because it offers sex…as a service. See what I did there?

Call me crazy and tell me I’m not doing it right but I honestly don’t even believe sex is that great. Sure it feels good and you get to orgasm but is it really worth it? Clearly it is because I rarely go more than a few weeks at a time without satisfying my desires with someone who isn’t my hand. But every time, afterwards I’m left thinking….meh. 

Sex is so much better when intimacy is involved, when feelings are involved. Sex with someone you love, now that is worth it. But the fact that services like Grindr make sex so easy to come by have ruined the chance to connect with people without caving in to our base instincts. 

For a while now I’ve been talking to guy whom I met on Grindr, we swapped numbers and chatted but it took weeks to finally arrange a meeting, then we saw each other 4 times within a week. It took till the fourth visit for anything romantic to happen between us. It had gotten to the point where I was thinking okay this guy obviously just wants to be friends. Which I was completely okay with, in fact I thought it was great! This meant Grindr wasn’t just for hookups, actual relationships and friendships could spring from it. 

Then of course we spent a day binging Will & Grace, as you do, and he stayed the night. We didn’t have sex, neither of us even ‘finished’ but there was plenty of making out so our intentions couldn’t be mistaken. He was a good kisser too, such a shame. 

This past week we’ve barely spoken. Before, we text every day and replies were swift and conversation meaningful. No such luck this week. I’m not upset, I’m not angry. Actually I’m just shocked that after a month of effort and going to concerts and talking, that one night in bed where we didn’t even sleep together is enough to end the relationship. I’ve not just lost a potential love interest but I’ve lost a friend. 

Fuck you SaaS. You’re being deleted again. For good this time. (That’s a lie). 

Let’s see how long I can keep it up for, I reckon a week tops.

Pray for me. 

#GrindrSurvivr

America #3 

I remember one of the earlier weeks at camp there was a boy in my cabin…let’s call him Trent. I think he must have been going through a rough patch at home but his dad and nana managed to get him to camp without too much fuss. But he was really homesick and struggled to settle into camp life. He was only booked in for one week so at least it would go quickly for him? 

Kids can be the cruelest people sometimes but this week showed me how amazing they can be as well. The entire cabin tried tirelessly to include Trent in all the activities and I think by then end of it he could call them very loyal friends. Trent still struggled though and most nights he’d be in bed crying. As one of his councillors I felt absolutely heartbroken that this child had been ‘abandoned’ at camp and wears hating it. Missing home every second. 

But a few weeks later Trent was back, what a surprise! And because I’d been his councillor the first time and apparently done such a good job they were putting me in his cabin again. I was so flattered. The fact that despite all his struggles he’d gone home and said he’d had an amazing time was so great to hear. And it was even nicer to hear that some of that joy came from me and that I could spend another week with him!

And that second week was like being with a completely different person. He didn’t get upset once, he made loads more friends and threw himself into the daily activities. And he told me all about his love of Minecraft. A passion we both shared!

After a few short, amazing weeks in the sun at camp I started to realise that this is what I wanted to be doing with my life. Living in the sun. Just kidding, I wanted to be helping people, making a small difference in a small way to peoples lives.

He who saves one life, saves the world entirely. 

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted

After living in a perpetual existential crisis for a few years it’s no surprise that sometimes I have days were I think ‘what the hell am I doing with my life?’ I reckon most people think that sometimes and I had just such a moment the other day.

It was my first day back on placement after six weeks in lectures. I love learning, I feel at my best when I am doing productive work that involves tonnes of learning. I think that was one of the biggest problem with my first attempt at a degree. The first term was packed full of new interesting things, then after Christmas the learning stopped as we began our production module. Don’t get me wrong I love performing but it was not I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life and I didn’t want to be paying £9000 for it!

But studying nursing, there is never a time where I’m not learning. In fact I’ll probably be googling those terms on the handover sheet for the rest of my life. Which is great! But after six weeks of solid learning, being back on the ward threw me a little bit.

I knew how to do observations, I could do a fluid balance chart and I could sit at talk to a patient if I needed to. I got home feeling that sinking feeling that I was doing the wrong degree again. This couldn’t be happening, I had to get this degree. My Grandma would kill me if I didn’t get a degree before she died…

I’m glad to say this is only a short post because the next day I had a renewed sense of purpose and I’m back on track to becoming a registered children’s nurse! So I guess I should be all meaningful and say that even though you have those days, or months, when you don’t have a goal and you aren’t happy, you’l find something.

Actually I’m gonna end with a quote Michelle Visage posted on instagram because she is an absolute babe.                  “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear”

A Powerful Magic

I found myself crying on a train again the other day. Not uncommon for me but it had been quite a few weeks since I had shed a tear and I was starting to become rather proud of myself. What made me cry I have known for a long time I just needed to apply it to a situation with a friend and hope I can move the F on!

I wrote a short while ago about a guy I knew whom I called ‘York’. After the whole debacle at Christmas I was sure that my feelings for him had been thoroughly shed…through my eyes of course. But the first time we aw each other after Christmas I knew that wasn’t quite the case. We had gone to see a show, a regular occurrence for the two of us, and there was a slight air of awkwardness between us. If we accidentally touched he’d be quick to apologise and I couldn’t look at him without wanting to dive into his arms.

Alas time moved on and slowly my feelings and the awkwardness subsided. London can be a pretty lonely place so I was more than grateful to have him as a friend, I couldn’t screw that up. Anyway a few weeks ago we went to an open mic night at the Phoenix, which was amazing, and as it was late and the trains had stopped running he offered to let me stop at his.

I, of course, accepted so I didn’t have to pay for an extortionate taxi home and I coincidentally happened to have everything I needed on me to get up and head straight to work in the morning. He’d had a good serving of wine but I knew it wasn’t quite enough for any funny business. Which was a good thing! I didn’t even like his adorable little face anymore. Dammit.

Naturally we had a bit of a cuddle but it really was minor spooning and I was very responsible and pushed him away..after a while. Okay so maybe I did still have a few feelings but I could deal with it! And actually that’s not when I cried so I did handle it pretty well for once.

The following Thursday rolled around and he text me telling me where to meet. I think he was joking but I was like a night out and potential drunk cuddling with a guy whose seeing someone else, what could be better?! (I’m an idiot I know) So I threw on some half decent clothes and spent the night out with him again. We ended up in Heaven, pretty intoxicated and dancing together. Not full on sex dancing but i made sure to get a few touches in where I could.

And we met these guys in the club and one of them read me like an open book and so I went off to have a little heart to heart about my one true love and our tragic story. That’s when I started to realise…I was in love with the story.

After we got back to his flat we spooned and slept most of the night in each others arms, I even managed to steal a few kisses. And in the morning like clockwork we did the whole oh no we had ‘a hug’ in the night oops. Let’s not do that again. It wasn’t even there that I cried! Crazy I know.

Having those little kisses sealed the deal for me. How could I ever like someone who’d hurt me so much. It wasn’t intentional hurt, I’m not resentful to him at all but I still cried…a lot. I was heartbroken and hearts aren’t so easily put back together.

But the romance of it all, our heavenly first date and then our distance for a while. Then my move to London where he worked, we could reconnect and fall back in love and I would get everything I ever wanted and a happily ever after. But I didn’t…I got 40% on my first assignment and a man who was taken.
No worries, I could get rid of the other guy and our story would just have one more twist. But love is the most powerful magic of all and our love could prevail! He was my Prince Charming. We were meant to be together.

Writing it down has made be realise even more how deluded I sound. Someone send help?

I don’t think I cried on the train home that night because I still loved him. I cried because for a brief moment I knew that life wasn’t fairy tales and happily ever after. Perhaps since December I’ve been working through the five stages of grief at losing my Mr Right. Perhaps those tears where the acceptance that it was over and I had to finally move on.

I might not have moved on just yet, if we have a few too many glasses and start talking about how we met and our kids names maybe I’ll want to start looking for a ring. But I know that I won’t, I’ll leave him and his partner to that and I’ll find someone else who deserves my hand.

America #2

After the training week there were nine weeks of camp. Generally ever week we’d get a new set of kids although some did stay for a few weeks or come back later in the summer. For members of the YMCA (who ran the camp) it costs around £620 for one week at camp. One kid was there for seven weeks! That’s one expensive summer.

Every week followed a similar routine, we’d wake the kids up nice and early to head to the canteen for breakfast and we always tried to be the first to arrive, which we did on several occasions! That meant we got the fresh hot food as we were at the front of the queue. Tuesday was the best day for breakfast and lunch, pancakes and pizza! Although for the entire lunch period on a Tuesday they would play a song called ‘All I Eat is Pizza’ which I loved…some people not so much.

Between breakfast and lunch the kids would be split down the middle, half doing land activities and half doing water activities. I ended up working at the rifle range most weeks, which was absolutely fine with me! Spending a day out in the sun shooting with some awesome kids. What could be better? Then after lunch we’d head back to the cabins for some down town then back out to switch to land or water.

We were assigned our cabins at the beginning of every week and there would usually be two or three councillors (the grown ups) in each cabin with about ten kids. That was our little family for the week. After dinner we’d get ready for the evening activity. On a Monday this was usually some camp wide activity but there would be multiple routes a cabin could take through the story. One week I had the pleasure of being a Chitauri (from The Avengers) and the kids went round camp doing Marvel related stuff…like a real life video game.

As for time off, we’d have lunch to ourselves one day and then on alternating weeks we’d have a long night or a short night. The short night we could leave once the kids were settled in for dinner but we had to be back by…I can’t remember what time but we had a few hours off. On a long night I think the curfew was 1am so we’d go out for dinner, take a trip to Walmart to stock up on sweets then head back to camp. At least that’s what I did.

Ten Thousand Pounds of Regret

Let me be the first to say that I cannot wait to get married. At the age of 22 and with my love life on a forced standby it may be a little early to think about such things. But working in the wedding industry has given me countless ideas and I don’t trust myself to remember them so yes I may have started planning my wedding a little early. 

But I really can’t understand why anyone, including myself, would want to spend so much money on one day. One day which, so I have been told so often, is over before you even realise it’s begun. Take the last wedding I worked, just over 100 guests for the day and night so right off the bat that’s close to £10,000 (now you understand the title). Let’s not forget the extra 20 evening guests, so an extra couple of hundred, then flowers, favours, a guestbook, drinks all night, transport, the church’s fee. Suddenly this very expensive day could be funding a deposit on your next house. Which would I rather have? A house of course!

And the number of brides and grooms who tell us that they don’t know where the day went is extraordinary! They hardly sleep the night before because of stress, they have to be up early to get ready to make it to the church in time and even after the deed is done you can’t relax! There’s an endless list of group shots the photographer wants to take, the staff are shovelling canapés down your throat and you still haven’t thanked Auntie Jean for coming. Oh and those children you didn’t want to invite are starving and will soon be crying if they don’t get a bread roll.

But don’t let me put you off! Because it’s time for the food, thank god! Now let’s assume nothing goes majorly wrong with service, a few plates of beef get sent back because they want well done but that’s fine. But don’t think you can just sit down and eat, how dare you relax and enjoy your day! You’ve got to eat as quickly as possible and meander around the room talking to every single guest, including those family members who you can’t remember the name of that you stuck on table ten. And half of the top table will be shitting themselves at the thought of the speeches. Although you could be clever and have the speeches first, but the staff will hate you for that, I would. Then you finish the breakfast and are whisked away as the room is readied for the evening. 

A couple of hours dancing, some more food that threatens to ruin your dress and that’s it, it’s bed time. And trust me you’ll both be too tired or drunk for any of that wedding night fun people talk about! Then you wake in the morning for breakfast and see that the next days bride is already there setting up for her ‘special’ day. 

I feel as though I’m trying to put myself off getting married here, but trust me, I literally cannot wait till I tie the knot. I’ll just know that Auntie Jean can wait for her thank you like everyone else and that the staff have better things to do than talk to you about this beautiful day. The same beautiful day that they see every day.