Giving up the ghost

The following article is interesting, not only because it is well written and for that matter, well written by a pretty girl but it just underlines what it is that I hate about online dating. Before I tried, I was a hopeful sceptic but after many a night, I lost the hope. The thing is that you can never be completely sure of someone’s motivations. And it is very difficult to tell if someone is being genuine over phone call or text. You can meet someone and things seem great and the next moment they disappear. I had some ridiculous situations. So obviously when I hear stories I feel unsurprised. I even told my friend as much the other day who was excitedly telling me about this Italian man she met on one. He can’t meet her yet. He is currently in Italy and he calls himself an entrepreneur who is starting his own business. In what? Your guess is as good as mine. He also told her he wants to take her dancing as a first date. Is it me or is that too good to be true? Too suave? And that’s it. You never know with people these days and with the net.

Give me an old fashioned Hollywood romance any day!

Anna dates

After past experiences with online dating (one of which resulted in a short lived disaster of a relationship), 12 months ago I decided to give it up. Love would have to come to me, to seek me out and fall romantically and theatrically into my arms. That was the plan.

scarf12 months on, I re-download Tinder and Bumble.

A few idle swipes and attempts at riveting virtual conversation later and I find my self heading out on a date. A date with a man. I am nervous and out of practice, but how out of practice can you actually be at attempting to ‘be yourself’ for a couple of hours. He lives outside of London and so we decide to meet outside of Waterloo station and walk in the drizzle to Southbank for drinks.

Initial impressions are great and conversation is interesting, funny and flows well. Hoorah! We both seemingly…

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What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her

I had a flashback today to my university years and a conversation that I had with one of my housemates at the time. I don’t remember the exact time of the year but the days were definitely getting shorter. It was a pretty eventful time really. We were preparing for examinations (Three of us were anyway) and there was a lot of “personal turmoil” going on. I was becoming more and more of a recluse at the time, a knock on effect from the unhappiness I was experiencing as a girl who I very much cared for had began getting serious with another man. I suppose it didn’t help that I and another housemate were both very single and for a very long time while our two other housemates were in relationships. One of them, a very nice guy was spending a lot of time with his girlfriend (now wife) while the other was seeing a girl himself. This guy – he was always a bit strange. He liked to think of himself as quite edgy and cool; he listened to rock music and liked to wear lots of leather and latex. A poser basically. But anyway. He was dating this girl called Fiona (not her real name) who from all accounts was a really nice girl. 

Apparently, he had made his mind up that she was the girl he wanted and he relentlessly pursued her till she gave in. They also had a threesome on my friends mattress with some other random girl (it was early in their relationship and he, well, he lifted my friend’s mattress out of his bedroom, took it into the lounge and did it there – why they couldn’t use his own bed I will never know..). It was a strange deal though. As I understand it, she was quite impressionable and he had convinced her to do this threesome deal but afterwards should had reservations he wanted something serious which he told her he did so the officially became exclusive. 

So they were dating. And after the end of the first semester, we all went back home to our families. Apparently over the holidays, Mr Poser had put an advert out over the internet that he was looking for models and had even visited them at their homes. I thought it was suspect at the time but as I was not around – I gave him the benefit of the doubt. After the holidays, we get back and go back to our regular studies. One night, one of my other housemates and I come back to our house and no one seems to be home. So we head upstairs and unpack and just chill following the long day. Suddenly Poser’s door opens and out he comes with his shirt off and a woman we haven’t seen before. She says hello and seems okay but leaves quite quickly and he comes upstairs to say hey. 

He tells us her name was “Elmo”.  I’m not joking. Elmo. He tells all about how he met her at his college and how she seems really cool. Apparently she has a boyfriend but he happily shared with us that he had sex with her. 
“Yeah, I can’t see it becoming anything” he exclaimed. “She’s fun but she’s got a really crap taste in music. Her sister is quite hot though”. Intrigued, I apologise saying that I hadn’t realised that he had broken up with Fiona. He hadn’t. He said that it is what it is and that he wasn’t going to say no when the opportunity came about. We had a long chat (all three of us, including my other housemate) about the situation. While we both disagreed, he argued that the issue with cheating has nothing to do with morality. “Sex  is sex” he would say. And it didn’t have to be coupled with any feeling. He believed (and on all accounts still believes) that cheating is only bad if it hurts somebodies feelings. And as he and the girl he just slept with will never tell Fiona, she would never get hurt. So it’s fine. After all, in his mind, he would still be the same considerate and doting boyfriend. They will still do stuff together. He will still be there for her. He just does that in addition to sleeping with other people. 

As someone who values fidelity, I struggled with this logic. I asked him if he would be okay if the roles were reversed. How would HE feel if FIONA was sleeping with other guys all the time while she was telling him she loved him. He said he’d be fine with it himself. And anyway, if he didn’t know about it, and it didn’t affect their relationship, so what? I couldn’t help but find flaws in his argument. 

Now, I have always been quite a dedicated/loyal sort of guy. I had my first real little crush when I was 9/10 and then another small crush at 10/11 before really liking someone aged 11/12. This girl I really liked and for the entire time I liked her, I couldn’t look at another girl. In fact, when I was 13, there was a girl in my class who had a crush on me and she got her friend to ask me out. I gallantly replied “I’m sorry but I’m in love with someone else”. I carried on having this crush well until I was 16 where I decided that I should try broadening my horizons and proceeded to fancy a lot of people each day. I think at that point I just wanted a girlfriend. Then when I was 18 and went to uni, I fell in love and that time, I was really messed up. I literally couldn’t look at another woman for years and when I tried, the memory of her came back, even despite friends trying to set me up. So yeah, I’ve always found it hard to be invested in someone and look at someone else. I guess part of that is that my parents have been happily married for years and I have always strived to have the same. He on the other hand, had his parents break up when he was young though his Dad married again and had a settled family so I don’t know if they had anything to do with it. For me, it has always been straightforward though. If you love someone, you do everything you can to make them happy AND you don’t do anything that can hurt them. And whether or whether not she knows about it, if your actions could or maybe I should say would hurt them, then it’s not right. Being with other people is not being devoted. Perhaps that’s why marriages fail so often because people don’t know what they are getting into?

Regardless, if you are not devoted to someone, you shouldn’t be married to them. Which is why to this day I am shocked they ended up getting married. I know he cheated on her countless times and I know she has no idea. Funnily enough, given that he knew I struggled with my conscience, he did his best to limit her and I getting to know one another until we finished uni and then we’d talk on what was the old MSN messenger. And I then did get to know her. Which then made it all the harder knowing what he was getting up to when he asked me to be his best man. He said that he really wanted me to do the honour. When he asked, I thought about it but I eventually declined. I never told him directly why but there could have been no way that I could have ever supported the wedding. Not long after I declined his offer, I began to distance myself from him and not long after, I stopped speaking with him all together. 

As I understand it, they are still together now. So perhaps he was right. But regardless, I will never be that person.

Would you date an OBESE person?

Recently, I’ve been reading some very interesting articles as well as Reddit posts and Yahoo Q&As on a topic close to my heart. As someone who has always struggled with his weight, I have always found it difficult to form intimate relationships with people of the opposite sex. You see, you get this idea that you are worthless; that you are unable to attract women because you are fat and half the time you don’t even bother trying. It’s tough. However, my experiences as a singleton are far from unique. In 2011, 70,000 men were polled by ASK and Cosmopolitan Magazine indicated that nearly half of the men they polled would dump their girlfriend if she was “fat” while nearly 25% of women polled would dump their partner if they got fat. It’s really a rather disturbing statistic. 

I was wondering what your thoughts were on dating someone that was overweight. I don’t want to get too serious about the whole situation or play the proverbial violin. I realise you ladies don’t want to get squashed making love after all! (Though you do know that the guy doesn’t have to go on top!). But it’s a hard one. I realise that initial attraction and attraction in general is more than just a personality thing. You can find a person to be enchanting, inspirational, brilliant and so forth but that doesn’t mean that you want to sleep with them. Physical attraction isn’t something that you can completely ignore. I understand this. Yet, I find myself quite bitter about it anyway. I guess it’s partly because of the stigma attached with being a fat person. If you are fat, then people think you are lazy or that you don’t care about yourself or your appearance. They think that all you do is eat junk food. In many ways, they treat you like a subhuman. I’ve been walking down the street before and I’ve had someone wind down their windows just to make fun of me or to throw something at me. Yes, I am 20 stone. Am I happy about this? No. Is it because I’m lazy? No. Actually, in 2012, I became extremely unwell. I ended up in critical care in fact. I lost nearly 7 stone in weight and was at a great natural weight. But then, as the months went on, so did the medications – medications that I needed to get through the day. Sadly, the consequence of this was some quite heavy weight gain. And now that I find it hard to exercise vigorously because of my health, the fact that these drugs negatively affect my metabolism means that I have gained substantial weight. Does it make me look attractive? Okay, probably not. But when people use that as a reason not to be with you, it sucks. Like I said though, I DO understand. I really do. It’s an attraction thing and you can’t ignore it. Plus I have a big nose ha ha so that can’t help. 

I do really love this “body positivity” movement though. Just check the Body Positive Babe who has a blog here. I have the utmost admiration for her and her confidence. Her photos also do little good for my blood pressure too I should add! But I wish I had her confidence. People shouldn’t be ashamed of how they look! I think that it’s important that people stay healthy, and I mean that not to impress others but purely for longevity. But then again, it’s your life and you can choose what to do with it. However, the idea that people would dump their partner just because they were too heavy makes me very sad. It’s the implication that your weight is such an important factor to someone that they would again use it as a reason not to be with you. It’s not really that fantastic a romance is it? It’s saying – “you were fun to be around but now you are chunky I’m no longer interested”. How do these people survive pregnancy?

It’s not too surprising that people think romance is dead these days. The great love stories of old spoke nothing of true love that was maintained by a treadmill. Imagine Romeo and Juiliet…”Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night. ” – unless she gets fat, then I’ll be off alright!

What I’m really saying in the end is that while I understand that people say there is a need for an attraction, or even a physical attraction, is this attraction really that binary? Should every man look like Jared Leto and every woman look like Beyoncé? Is attraction really that straightforward? Can it be measured by the definition of your abdominal muscles or by the size of your breasts? I really hope we don’t live in a world that superficial. 

The forever sort of love

I heard this beautiful and sad story today that I wanted to share with you all. Just so you know it’s 100% true. The story revolves around a devoted couple who could not bear to be parted during their 60-year relationship and who died peacefully in their sleep within four days of each other.

Ex-RAF serviceman Edward Davies (who was 84 years of age) had been with the love of his life Louie (82) for 64 years after they met at a dance in 1952.

On October 15, as she lay frail in her hospital bed, Edward held Louie’s hand and told her she was the only woman he had loved, seconds before she passed away.

Four days later, on October 19 – after planning his wife’s “perfect” funeral – Mr Davies also went peacefully to sleep on his stroke ward and never woke up. Their only daughter Anne commented that she knew her parents couldn’t stand to be apart, even in death. 

While Louie was in hospital, Edward stayed in the stroke recovery ward opposite. And everyday, he would go and sit next to her so he could hold her hand as time passed.

The lifelong lovers, who came from the leafy Cheshire village of Lymm in England, met at a dance in 1952 at the Dingle Hotel in their village. The story goes that Louie had spotted the tall RAF serviceman during the night but waited till the ladies’ choice song came to approach him and asked him to dance. The couple married 7 years later in 1959 in their home village. Edward later would leave the RAF and trained as a painter and decorator. Then in 1963, Louie gave birth to their daughter Anne, whom was unexpected but happily welcomed after doctors had told them they would never be able to have children. The three of them were very close and spent much of their time together as a close knit family.

This is Lymm

The happy day.

Earlier this year, both of them were admitted to hospital; Louie was admitted due to health complications while Edward was recovering from a stroke. The pair were destined to be together as even when Louie’s condition worsened and she moved hospital, another bed in the same hospital opened up allowing Edward to move there also. 
Their daughter proudly spoke about how Edward would sit with her, they chatted, drank tea and just enjoyed each other’s company – just like they have always done since they met.

As I mentioned earlier, on Louie’s last day, Edward told her that she was the only woman that he had ever loved. He gave her a red rose and thanked her for everything she had ever done for him, their family and for their daughter. A few days later after planning his wife’s funeral, he too passed away. 

A joint funeral was held for the couple on what would have been their 57th wedding anniversary. Their wedding hymn O Perfect Love was played at the funeral. 

While obviously tragic for their daughter, losing both her parents so close together, one thing is true is that the two of them were destined to stay together forever. And whether you believe in a life after death or not, this story is just so moving. I could only hope to have someone with whom I could be so dedicated too. 

What do I want in a partner?

You know, one thing that I have never had a problem with is finding someone physically attractive. I don’t mean that I’m easy. I just mean that usually, there is always something about a person that is attractive, whether it be a nice smile or pretty eyes or even a nice pair of legs. I think most people are actually pretty good looking. 
It’s what is inside that makes the difference. 

I’m sure a lot of you will tut or sigh and say that this is just a line but it’s the honest truth. In fact, if you put a dating app in front of me and asked me to go just based on pictures, I would likely easily pick numerous girls that I’d be interested in on a preliminary basis. I definitely wouldn’t use a person’s skin colour, shape or bra size as a reason not to be with someone. If you connect with someone, you often find that all the superficial things tend to just melt away and vanish into nothingness. 

I always found with online dating that I could message 7 or 8 people and get into a conversation with them and end up having no attraction to them purely based on personality. Like I said, most people are pretty. And while the initial attraction might bring me to the dance, it’s the conversation and shared goals and feelings that will keep me sticking around. 

It’s the chemistry that I crave. I think I’m a warm person and if you and I get on, chases on that we’ll slow cook nicely.  I love talking about this that and everything else and if you can maintain that conversation, then you’d probably get me intrigued. Obviously this automatically locks out when I’m in a relationship but I’m like a mobile phone searching for a router to connect with. 

I think it’s my philosophy on women and dating that scares me about how I am perceived. Indeed, there are a small portion of people that you are instantly unattracted to. It might be a vibe they give or perhaps they just give the impression that they don’t care about how they come across or don’t even make an effort to be presentable.  And no, I’m not saying dolly up but if you are out to date someone, you know, you at least hope that that person doesn’t look like they’ve not showered in three weeks.  But I digress. What scares me if I am in that minority of the population that no one sees any redeeming personal or physical attraction to. I know that  not good looking – this worries me and scares me all at the same time. I ask myself if anyone will ever be attracted to me. It seems so unlikely. 

But I’m just looking for someone that I don’t have to feel like I’m straining to enjoy the company of. Someone who I can be myself around and not worry that something I will do or say might be offensive or seem stupid. I want someone who inspires me to be the best me possible. Someone who I can lie in bed with at night and just talk about anything and everything with. I want someone who I can share my life with and share adventures with. I feel like I’m wanting a lot by wanting this but I want to feel like I’m connected to someone. That’s what confuses me about how people date sometimes. I feel like they can pick people up and put them down. I want someone who if I experience something cool, I can text them or call them right away because I want to share that with them. I want to experience that closeness. Not someone who is like a new hobby. And I know I know, you won’t always share everything in common but to me, the dream is finding someone who you want and to do as much as possible with. 

I don’t know if I’m delusional or a dreamer or a romantic or whatever. I just know I haven’t found what I’m looking for. And hey, it’s tough. 

Dating Profiles and “Selling” Yourself

I wanted to spend some time today reflecting on something I have made a conscientious effort on over the last couple of years – online dating. These days, I think it’s pretty common. Meeting people isn’t easy is it and online dating offers you a way of broadening your selection. Even as little as five years ago, I couldn’t have imagined doing it but everything changed in 2015 after a most random conversation with my Mum. 

Dating has never been easy for me. When I was younger, I always developed feelings for people far too easy. Or I’d get close to someone and grow attached and I’d bottle that feeling up because I was afraid of rejection. At school, I had a major crush on the same girl for 7 years. Then when I went to university for my first degree, I fell in love for the first time and that became one hell of a crazy ride. I won’t go into the specifics but it didn’t end well and I ended up deeply in love with a person who had fallen for someone else and it took me quite some time to even accept or get used to that. I became very reserved after that, even more so than I was before and I only really snapped out of that 7 years later. And even so, it hit me hard when I heard she got married and more so when she had her first baby. But I digress. 

So anyway, I had a chat with my Mum and she said I should give it a go. I was sceptical. You see, four years ago, I became rather sick. Not like the flu style sick but life altering long term kind of sickness. I became mostly housebound, which meant less socialising and meeting new people. My means of meeting potential Mrs David had vanished. After a few years, my dear sweet Mum told me that I should try out online dating, which I swear was driven partially out of her desire for grandchildren. But anyway, I agreed and I signed up for at first. I was really excited but also afraid. You see, being sick meant that my body has changed drastically. At first, I lost 98 lbs in the space of some 4 months. Then, when I got put on treatment, my weight piled back on. These days I am majorly out of shape (not that I ever was in great shape mind you) and this meant that my photos were not as fetching as Joe Blogs topless with his six pack. The fact is, I could never sell myself well. My pictures were unremarkable. I’m a fat guy with a big nose. I’m also not particularly exciting. Sure, I have hobbies but being housebound means that I’m not exactly going to be able to go rock climbing or skydiving or whatever else the crazy kids of today are up to. Basically I’m a bit of a homebody. That doesn’t really match up with active tall dark and handsome. So how do you sell yourself in that position? 

After many months of rejection and insults, I called my time on online dating quits. It was a failed experiment but one that I had to see for myself. For many years, people told me that I’ve got to just put myself out there and I’d meet someone and I did and it didn’t work. Now I know that a guy like me is never going to find it easy in this game. 

So what does a guy like me do?

Do you think love at first sight is possible?

“This is going to sound crazy, but… from the moment I first set eyes on you I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you.” – Leigh Fallon, Carrier of the Mark

Have you ever seen someone or met someone and immediately felt like something magical was happening to you. Like a rush of feelings and emotions. I’m not talking about lust either. Sure, you can see someone pretty and be instantly attracted to them. That’s par for the course but can you fall in love?

 There are many reports about love at first sight. Carla Bruni said, for example, that it was love at first sight between her and the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. She said that what happened “between Nicolas and me was not quick, it was instant.”

But a lot of people are quick to pour cold buckets of water over the notion that it can happen. 

Some people use the argument that love at first sites is never anything more than lust because you don’t really know the person and that you are assigning qualities to a person that may or may not be true. It’s like saying that because Jennifer Lawrence is beautiful and has a warm smile, she is probably a wonderful human being; I mean, I’m sure she is but it is just an assumption. 

The other argument is that you can’t fall in love with someone in a deep way without going through the process or doing things with someone. Like there are various steps that you have to undertake. 

You could argue that you are very perceptive though. A lot of people think they are. What if you could accurately figure out what a person is like? Surely that’s possible?

I think the argument that you can’t fall in love with someone without knowing someone is flawed in the sense that even if your perceptions of someone is right or wrong, the feeling of intense love can be there, whether it is or isn’t based on fact. The fact that love at first sight may perish after a while also does not imply that it was not an intense love. Time is not an exclusive, or even the major, measure of intense love. On the contrary, romantic intensity is likely to subside and even to disappear after a while.

Personally, I think it is possible. Love at first sight is not merely sexual attraction. It is an intense form of romantic love that has a good chance of developing into profound intense love, provided that the characteristics that are not seen at first sight are indeed similar to those the lover assumes, and that no external circumstances occur to terminate the relationship. Sure it might not be the deep profound love that you develop from being with someone for a long time, it cab nevertheless be extremely intense and powerful. 

The reason I even bring this up is because I wondered myself. It would be incredibly easy to view someone’s blog for example and feel immediately connected to someone in a way. Sure, if they have a gorgeous picture, that might help things but nevertheless, would it be possible?

What do you think?

Pia [A Poem]

We were doomed from the moment I met you
But I was too blind to see
That your love wasn’t fair
And my heart could not bear
That your love was not shared just with me.

It was a dangerous liason, a lover you had
But your happiness was never with him
But when your love grew,
You could not break through
Of that mistake that you were in. 

Where you failed was that you told me you loved me
When you were balancing us both at the time.
How could I trust you,
When your words were not true. 
As your bodies did still intertwine.

You slept with him for FOUR months.
When you cried “it was over ” to me.
But you couldn’t quite choose
Which one you would screw.
In the end it wasn’t with me.

But what saddens me most  is the fact we were close
Though the lies they had pulled us apart.
And I’d hate that you cried
Even though that you lied.
And you’ll always have part of my heart.

Epic marriage proposal

I’ve seen some epic marriage proposals in my time. Okay, let me rephrase that. I have “seen” some epic marriage proposals in my time on television. BUT, I’ve never seen anything like this. 

The proposal happened while the couple were playing a game of Speak Out, which requires one player to wear the plastic mouthpiece and say tricky phrases for the other contestants to try and decipher.

With the mouthpiece distorting all of his words, “Will you honour me by becoming my wife?” is heard as “the yarn is tangled in the lights” and “the corn is on the ice”.

It takes multiple spluttered attempts for the man to get his message across, as the couple’s children watch on laughing. It’s really quite an innovative and crazy way to propose. 

And after more than three minutes of confusion, the bride-to-be twigs what her boyfriend is asking – and still can’t believe her ears.

“Are you kidding? You’re not kidding? Are you sure? Are you positive?” she asks as he eventually gets down on one knee producing the ring from his pocket. 
It’s a really lovely story and one that I’ll admit made me smile from ear to ear. Romance is a wonderful thing!

Wise words from a friend

So I had a chat with a good friend this morning and we spoke about many things: football, politics, Christmas etc. We also spoke about a certain lady who has been the subject of a few of my blog posts. Yes, you guessed it. My crush. 

Without getting into the logistics of it all which in itself is a fair point (by that I mean, the beauty and the hindrance of any relationship in the blogosphere is that its participants are worldwide and not often in close  proximity), we spoke in length about my feelings and what they meant. Basically, the thing about developing feelings about someone through a blog is that you base your crush on perceptions of written words and perhaps a photo or two. In that sense, it is even different to love at first sight when you make a judgement based on mannerisms etc. What I’m saying is that I really do not know this person very well at all. Let me break it down further. I am and always have been a bit of a dreamer and silly heart. And I would love nothing more than to have some big amazing romance to happen through the most unlikely of places such as through WordPress. I can’t help but be a bit of a romantic. But my friend said that I had to be logical too. Romances very rarely come out of things like this. They come out of traditional means like face to face conversations or at the very least conversations where you can hear the other person speak. How else can you gauge a person’s sincerity? Hell, he felt that people would be “nice” or complimentary because they wanted you to follow their blog and comment on there’s too. I guess that’s true. We do interact with people on here often not out of generosity but also out of building a universe for you to interact in. And often it is the people that you interact with which are the people that interact back at you. You know, the whole, you like my posts and I’ll like yours. You do have a tendency for people on here to like posts they haven’t read through but because they feel obliged to support the post. I’m sure everyone has been guilty of skim reading and liking a post without fully taking it in. 

ANYWAY, after our conversation, I’ve had a bit of a think about things and I’ve decided that I am going to take a huge step back with things. At the end of the day, she’s the opposite side of the world and I’m in the U.K (Hell, even if she was in America that would be easier as at least I have family there!) so that’s a big stumbling block on it’s own AND like I said, I really don’t know her all that well. Hopefully if she reads this she doesn’t take offence. I still think she is a lovely caring person. I still think she is beautiful. But I really want to meet someone the right way. Perhaps it is time for me to stop being a dreamer and to be a realist. At least that way I was won’t suffer heartache again and that is in essence what my friend was most concerned about. I’ve fallen for the wrong people before and it’s me who gets hurt. Protect myself first. 

Sorry to all those who were encouraging about it all but I think this is probably for the best!