…. is never enough.
Or it used to be.
I have had enough.
I’ve had a real watershed moment this week.
It’s been a long time coming.
And even though I’m in pain and struggling, I think the time has come when I’m actually going to heal properly.
I started dating very soon after the bomb (which was dropped on 25.12.2015). Too soon. Less than three months. And I have constantly dated ever since.
Every time one dalliance ended, I would vow to take a break from dating. But my resolve never lasted and I’d be straight back on the dating apps.
I have attempted to date or have dated so many people, I can’t clearly recall them all. I blogged about the earlier ones, so for those I have detail… but it gets more fussy towards the middle. The ones I remember are:
- Photofit – my first date (30.03.2016). He was 39, a creative, arty type. We had a laugh but I didn’t find him attractive. I ended it after two dates.
- Batman Fink – a 42 lorry driver by day and artist by night. We talked for a few weeks but we never made it to date one.
- Scatter Gun Part 1 – three different dating sites and had conversations going with about 14 different men… a 36 year old Norwegian IT consultant, 41 year old Brazilian hairdresser, 43 year old Italian hairdresser, 39 year old online dating veteran, 36 year old – not sure of his occupation, but he sent a list of interesting question in his intro email, 28 year old entrepreneur, 32 year old Essex wide boy who was a management consultant, 38 year old musician, 45 year old mystery man who refused to disclose his occupation or show a picture but was academically astute, 43 year old store manager, 36 year old care worker, 37 year old stock broker in the city, 36 year old uni lecturer, 29 year old PhD student, 43 year old postman and occasional DJ.
- Postman/DJ – one of the above. Sweet at first. Excellent fun. He got very heavy, very quickly (love at first sight apparently) but turned very weird (super moody and sulky). I ended it with him.
- Argentina – my 26 year old ego boost. Met him in real life at a party. Drop dead gorgeous. Had three dates. It fizzled out during my trip to Canada.
- Scatter Gun – Part 2 – I dived straight back into the dating apps when I knew Argentina wasn’t going anywhere. Spoke to loads of men again: a range of ages and backgrounds. One, Funny Squirrel, a 42 odd job man, was rather intense: we messaged lots and spoke often on the phone but he disappeared when I pushed for a date. This batch did yield two dates…
- Japan – a 44 year old, father of two. He was interesting, kind and caring. We dated for a couple of months. He really liked me. I just wasn’t feeling it. I ended it.
- Psycho-stalker – a 29 year old. Super posh. Super clever. Father of one. He seemed amazing but it soon become clear he was unhinged. I dated him at the same time as Japan. When I tried to end it, he become very obsessed. All very scary. Should have put me off dating apps for good, but it didn’t.
- PhD – I connected with him during scatter gun part one but I didn’t start dating him until Aug 2016. A 29 year old, lead singer in a punk band and doctoral student. He got in touch with me just as I was ending things with Japan and Psycho-stalker. I really liked him: he had a beautiful mind, was funny, thoughtful, attentive, kind, and caring. I dated him for a few months. He was the one who gave me my best birthday weekend ever. I ended it with him on my birthday. He was ace, but, sadly not viable… oh if only he could have been 10 years older.
- Artistic Poet – after the disasters from using free apps, I decided to pay (for a 6 months subscription). AP was the first person I spoke to and we ended up going out for seven months (wasted my £75 😜). He was a 41 year old dad of one. We had super awesome times together. He was romantic – he wrote me the most wonderful poems. And he reawakened my artistic spirit – we spent hours creating together. He had a wonderful mind – our conversations were immense. When it was just me and him, in our bubble world, life was peachy. But we couldn’t do the real world together. I ended it with him.
- Scatter Gun Part 3 – I went back onto the free apps. Tried Tinder for the first time. Spoke to loads of men (again). Can’t recall them all. Arranged dates with Manchester and another one, a 29 year old vegan heavy metal fan, but blew him off last minute in favour of Coffee Bear.
- Manchester – a 37 year old. He was lovely and really into me but I didn’t feel it. Went on three dates then I ended it.
- Coffee Bear – a 40 year old father of two. We connected on Tinder on a Friday night and arranged a date for the Saturday. We had an amazing first date. Sparks were flying all over. It became very intense very quickly – he told me he loved me on the 3rd date. But it didn’t freak me out like before. We had lots in common. I love to cook and so did he, we would spend hours in the kitchen creating feast. We went to gigs, loved the same music, could chat about anything and everything. We had super duper dates. He was kind, thoughtful, attentive, romantic. I felt like we were a couple. I really did think I had met a keeper. Sadly, he suffered from depression. I tried to be supportive but I was going through a bad time too with my anxiety and I know I didn’t always respond in the best way. He had terrible problems with money too: this really worried me. I have always been very careful with money (I hate the idea of being in debt). I think the spending/buying stuff he couldn’t afford was down to the depression. He asked me to lend him money several times – I did at first, but it made me feel very uncomfortable and I asked him to stop asking. He wanted us to live together after my divorce was finalised. I said I would think about it, but thought he should wait for his divorce (and finances) to be sorted first. He took this as a sign that I wasn’t committed. Tensions increased, as did my anxiety and his depression. We went out for nearly 10 months. I knew we were doomed. I ended it. He ended. I ended. We went around in circles like this for a few weeks. It ended once and for all about a week before my divorce was finalised.
- Scatter Gun Part 4 – this was my first post-divorce attempt at dating. I felt so much better. So much more in control. I talked to loads of men and had a string of first dates: it felt good to have the strength to be discerning and say no to a second date (a first for me, I usually feel awful/obliged to go on more than one even if I’m not feeling it). These included: Prof X, a 38 year old yoga loving, sex obsessed, academic – super fit body, super witty mind (we messaged loads and spoke on the phone a few times but never dated), Posh Boy a 37 year old PhD student (we had one date – he found me ‘impressive’ started talking about marriage etc – dear god), Dull Boy, a 48 year old company executive (messaged lots, talked on the phone a few times, never made a date), Lorry Man – a 42 year old dad of two, we talked a few times on the phone and messaged lots, we were planning a date but then I saw some different pictures of him and decided he was not for me, PolyGuy a 38 year old Canadian, very interesting, was going well, and we had a date booked but I cancelled when he disclosed that he wasn’t into monogamy/was seeing lots of other women, Boring Banker, a 42 year old high-flyer (spoke to him for about 6 weeks, went on three dates, I ended it), Fit-bit, a 46 year old dad of one, drop dead gorgeous (we had a lovely first date but he reminded me too much of Ex so I didn’t take it any further), Solider boy, a 42 year old ex-army type (we had nice chats and a pleasant first date but I didn’t feel it ), Player, a 37 year old womaniser (we had one date, which went well I thought then he ghosted me), Dubai, a 36 year old Belgian who worked away a lot (we spoke several times and arranged a date but it never happened), Spiker, a 46 year old (we had one date, I think he put something in my drink as I couldn’t remember getting home), Cambridge, a 34 year old physicist (we talked lots, had a date lined up, I cancelled because I’d met Mountain Man), French Prof (same first name as me) we messaged a lot, arranged a date – I cancelled because I’d met Mountain Man, Sheffield (he had the same first name as me) we messaged a lot, talked on the phone a few times – he had an enchanting voice – and arranged a date but I cancelled because I’d met Mountain Man.
- Mountain Man – he had the same first name and middle name as me – I found that hilarious. He was the oldest person I have ever date. He was approaching 50. But, oh my, he was super fit – had a gorgeously toned body and really didn’t look his age. He had travelled lots and liked to climb mountains, hike and ski – I found his adventurousness exciting and interesting. We had the bestest first date. I really liked him, but was determined to take it steady. He was playing it super cool. I tried to do the same. But felt increasingly anxious and unsafe as I could sense there was a disjunction in our feeling. I was falling for him. He was the most viable man I’d dated in many respects. After nearly three months of dating I forced the situation as the unease was starting to really impact on me. He ended it with me. By text. Harsh. My instincts were right (I wish they hadn’t been). Apparently my thoughtfulness and affection were wasted on him, because he is a ‘free spirit’. The first time I have ever been chucked for being too nice 😊
That was on Tuesday.
That was the day I decided enough was enough.
I cried so much. But it wasn’t really because of Mountain Man – yes, I liked him, felt optimistic about things, and didn’t think he would end it (I sensed he wasn’t where I was at but thought in time his feelings would develop). It is more that the rejection opens up wounds that are not properly healed.
I need to break this cycle. I need to make changes. I can’t go on like this. It is so exhausting, dealing with emotional turmoil constantly. I don’t know why I keep on putting myself through this.
This has turned into a long post. I will write more about the discoveries I’ve made this past week some other time.