Bachelor Number Two: Take Two

So the first date went well but wasn’t meant to be. I listened to a few soppy songs on the way to the bus then thought ‘fuck it’ and started singing Hamilton whilst wandering through the City. One down, two to go!

My next date lived in Brighton but would be in London for work a few days so we decided to grab a drink one evening before he took the train home. He was better looking in person I thought and surprisingly the balding didn’t put me off! Great teeth.

Every now and then the conversation hit a lull but I will take responsibility for that as I am not the most confident when it comes to striking up conversation with new folks, especially dates. But throughout the night we found some really good common interests to talk about!

We could be a bit nerdy about Warhammer and talk about new tech and it was really nice that we had things in common to talk about instead of all the usual first date…how many siblings do you have? Where are you from? Although we did do that too. Turns out he went to Eton as well, a posh boy if ever there was one! But he absolutely didn’t come across as a nob so that’s always good!

I’m finding that dates that go well are harder to write about. Tragedy it seems makes for good reading not a few lines of oh it went well. Date number three is tonight so I’ll shortly be heading out to Oxford. Wish me luck!

Date-ja Vu

I read an article recently that said if you didn’t use dating apps in London then you were more likely to find yourself pregnant with twins than be able to get a date. Which is no mean feat seeing as I am definitely a boy! But after some time away from dating apps I decided I would re-download tinder and have a swipe!

I am very pleased to say that I am still Grindr free and have had no desire what so ever to return to that dark place. I’m also proud to say that after a few weeks back on tinder I was back in the game and arranging dates.

Here comes the deja vu. I have been off this week due to some ill timed uni work so I’ve bagged two weeks extra ‘holiday’. So I arranged a date…and another one…and another one. That’s right, three dates in …well not three days this time. I left myself time in between to recover.

The first date was with a beautiful lawyer who lives in East London so I made the long trip out there to have a drink with him and it was really nice! We talked easily and got to learn about each other and he managed to get me back to his place for a little cuddle and maybe a kiss or two.

Great! My first date and I’d found someone I liked. Alas it wasn’t meant to be and he decided the age gap of 10 years (he was 32) was too much. I never really think about age, if you like someone you like them. But he’d had bad experiences in the past dating younger guys so I completely understand. And I am very thankful he did it on the second date and not a month or two in or I would be sat here drowning in tears and writing.

He was very gentlemanly too and we had the discussion in person. Which is great and all but that’s £3 and a two hour round trip bus journey that I’ll never get back. Thanks.

Glastonbury

Last week I had the absolutely amazing pleasure of being at Glastonbury Festival. For one week you can forget about bills and flat hunting and just enjoy being out in the country doing whatever you want. Where else in the world can you enjoy a conversation about shoving tampons up your nose with a stranger in the queue for the most disgusting toilets ever created?

I’m going to sound like a typical whiny millennial for a while here but the freedom that comes with being at a festival for a week is the best thing. The daily grind of work and university back in London is some days unbearable and although I love being in the big city and I love my job it is so nice to get away and be free.

And it isn’t just about being in a place where there are A-list acts around every corner. My favourite days in the festival where the ones spent watching speakers talk about nuclear power or evolution or how climate change can affect human health. I was learning so much last week that I started talking notes!

So now when my lecturer complains about me missing one lesson that was a repeat of something I’ve already done anyway I can tell her I was at a very important lecture about sustainability within the NHS…followed by a Clean Bandit concert of course.

It isn’t even just about the freedom and the immense number of activities to do. Whilst I was there I met someone who was asking if there were any gay places to hang out. They only exist in reality because they were a safe haven for people but at Glastonbury there was no such need for a safe haven because equality permeated the site. Gays and straights drank tea in harmony and the lay people rubbed shoulders with the stars and we all managed to not get muddy together! (Thank you weather god for blessing us with sunshine)

I long for the day when my life and life around me feels just a little bit more like a festival. I want to wake up every day being excited and not quite knowing what I’ll learn or what to expect. I want to be able to talk to anyone, anywhere and not be met with a look of horror because talking on the tube isn’t the done thing. I want to walk down the street and find The Jacksons playing on a stage in the park….okay the last one I can do without.

But is it so bad that people want these freedoms? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t but that may be a post for another day. For now it’s back to the daily grind. (But not the daily grindr, 27 days without!)

Until next time Glastonbury, Adios!

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

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.