Now I wouldn’t say I’m a massive sports fan, and I’m not really sporty. I have in the last few years, succumbed to the inevitability of the extra few pounds in Uni. A stone and a half later, I decided that it was time to say goodbye to my student diet, and to start running. I used to go bodyboarding with my family, but as we didn’t get down the beach very often, it’s been a long time since I’ve caught a wave and rode it through packs of terrified kids all the way in – hey, I enjoyed it, I never said I was any good!
The only sport I really take an interest in is Rugby. I love watching a pack pull together, throwing a ball in perfect unity, crashing across the back line like a wave on beach. The rush of pleasure I get watching a ball thrown into a scrum…the rippling highs and devastating lows of tackles, misses, fakes. I get an almost orgasmic pleasure from it…it just makes me so happy.
Now, at the moment, Wales aren’t doing very well. We have just lost our fifth game in a row, and things aren’t looking great for the next one…up against the All Blacks, one of, if not, THE greatest side in the world. As a rugby fan, I could wax lyrical for hours about the things that need to change etc, but I won’t. Rugby, and the Welsh team right now, are the perfect metaphors for learning the rules of dating.
As you know from my last post, I am currently single. Once again, I have been thrown back into the melee that is the singleton’s meat market, otherwise known as the Gladiatorial pit. You’d think with 12 years of dating experience I’d have figured out the rules by now, and learned a few tricks.
Every time I think I’m getting ahead of the game, something new comes up and comepletely stumps me.
” So where do you meet men?” I hear you ask. In the past, I have gone out with friends, friends of friends,people from school and Uni. I’ve tried internet dating on different sites. I’ve met people at weddings, and on nights out. Never tried speed dating, but only because my plans got interrupted by a relationship forming…still, one to try.
I’ve had a lot of fun, met some cool, interesting people, met some complete freaks as well. I’ve loved and lost and loved again. I’ve had my heart shattered…broken isn’t strong enough a word. I can no longer drink white wine after a horrible break up in Uni, when I drank 2 bottles of white wine, and fell asleep watching Dirty Dancing and Grease, sobbing into an empty wine glass. ( 2 day kidney ache hangover – not pretty). So why no happy ending yet? Are the rules that difficult to learn?
Maybe it’s because of the fluid nature of human response, and social sexual norms. The rules just keep changing. When I was 15, we didn’t even have a computer. Now teenagers and adults alike can upload sexy pictures, and a lot worse, at the touch of a button. Dating sites are a dime a dozen, and sex is not only becoming more acceptable, it seems to be mandatory in some cases. The Avenue Q song says ” the internet is for porn”…well they aren’t wrong. Mobile phones and laptops and i-pads are making connections that much faster, and it’s easier than ever to keep in touch. A friend of mine joked about not really being married, until he was married on Facebook. Yes, you’re smiling, but only because you know just how powerful the dreaded Relationship staus update can be.
And I’m sorry, but I’m finding it hard to keep up. Technology aside, you have to tread a very careful path if and when you meet a potential beau, because social norms seem to be dissapearing fast.
One guy from an internet date told me I wasn’t “girl next door enough” for him – he liked me being forthright,he’d NEVER had a row, or disagreed with his ex over anything, but would I be up for casual sex in the meantime? Taxi for me, Stepford Wife for table 5.
Another took me on 2 dates, was incredibly quiet and happy to just have a beer and watch the football…I was prepared to chalk it as a loss and move on, when he said he’d love it if my job hunt got me something near him, and would I like to meet his mother?
One short term fling swore blind he wasn’t ready to date…I was more than happy to keep it casual. Yeah…few months later, and has a girlfriend, and didn’t see overly keen….hmmmmmmm.
But…on the plus side, I have been lucky enough to have some wonderful memories with exes. I have loved, and been loved. The sex was a learning curve, of fun, laughter, incredibly passionate and intense moments, and warm sunny afterglows that I wouldn’t trade for all the tea in China.
There are many reasons to want to throw in the towel, and many reasons for trying again…what gets confusing as to my next move? Do I try the internet, or speed dating? If I leave it a while will I lose confidence? Should I focus on myself, or put myself out there (to fight the potential broody feelings of worry?). Should I let nature take it’s course, or be really proactive and try and meet as many people as possible? And where…bars or the gym? Weddings or single nights out?
The truth is, all and any of these answers could lead me to my next great love, incredible lust, or my future partner ( who will hopefully be a combination of the 2). I don’t have crystal clear directions…I barely have a map….but through all of the mistakes, and wonderful positives of my love life, at the very least I’ve started to get to know myself, who I am and what I want in a man, even if it’s through the process of elimination.
The world will continue to turn, and, as with rugby, the rules, and style of play will keep changing. I think that when it comes to dating game, it’s OK to make up your own rules and go with the flow. The key is, to not stop playing. Now come on Wales, we still love you, so sort it out!