A month ago in a Redhead Rambles I toyed with the idea of writing a post about dating, my thoughts and feelings on the subject and recent experiences (or lack of) that I have had. It’s important to share personal anecdotes because my blog is a true representation of myself and the anecdotes are always well received. The beauty and gratitude segments represent the happy, positive side of my personality and posts like this represent the serious, deep thinking side.
A brief history
I have always been a hopeless romantic since I was a child and I have always dreamed of falling in love, finding love and having someone special in my life that I can share experiences with and do everything with. A romantic relationship to me is a partnership, you support each other, you care for each other and you work together. You enter into a relationship because it’s what you want, you’re not trying to stroke your ego or make yourself feel better. I am the kind of girl that knows what she wants when it comes to dating and love and I don’t see myself as a girl who could go round and sleep with lots of men because I’m bored or feel lonely. Casual hookups are more common nowadays but that’s not what I want. I am more than a body. I am not an object and I will not be used purely for someone else’s satisfaction. I will not judge someone if they are into casual hookups just as I wouldn’t expect someone to judge me for not being into them.
I’m 23 now and I got my first boyfriend when I was 21. During school boys were never really a focus for me, I was very much at school to work hard and pass exams. I was a loner most of the time. At 21 I joined Tinder and that was my first foray into the dating world. I didn’t go into it with any expectations but after a couple of weeks I ended up meeting my ex-boyfriend and we were together for almost two years. To this day I have only ever been on dates with three guys and two of them I never heard from again after the first date. I don’t get upset or think where did I go wrong, I see it as a learning curve and know that won’t always happen.
Standards and knowing what you want
I take dating seriously, I have standards and I know what I won’t put up with. By standards I mean I look for certain qualities in a person; kind, gentle, non-judgmental, good sense of humour etc. I don’t worry about their height or the colour of their hair. For me it’s more about personality than looks. Some people may think I’m tough to please but that’s actually so far from the truth, it’s not always what you do, it’s who you do it with. I’m quite a homely person and tend to prefer indoor activities but if I was comfortable in someone’s presence who’s to say I wouldn’t jump out of a plane and do a skydive or fly in a helicopter. Relationships are about being who you are but embracing qualities and parts of the person you’re choosing to spend your time with, you can’t have your way all the time. Love may not always be easy and I’ve said this before, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore either. Chances are there will be compromise but try and make it positive. If one of you wants to see a new horror movie and you scare easily they may offer to hold your hand during the scary parts or tell you when to open your eyes when the scary part is over. It’s all about turning a situation you may not enjoy into one that is bearable.
I’m still learning to find the balance between give and take. I tend to be the person that gives more than they get and I need to be tougher otherwise people walk all over me. I don’t like confrontation and I have a low tolerance for bullshit. From now on I plan to call people out so they know they can’t treat me badly. (This relates to life more than relationships).
The definition of a prude: “a person who is or claims to be easily shocked by matters relating to sex or nudity.”
Compared to some people maybe I’m considered a prude but personally I don’t think I am one. I’m not embarrassed to talk about sex, it’s not something I talk about all the time with everybody but I understand it’s a natural part of life and an important part of a relationship. My ex-boyfriend and I could talk about sex very openly and it didn’t feel awkward which is something I want for future relationships as well. Where I am more prudish is nakedness. I don’t like to show much skin or cleavage or wear skimpy outfits. I’m not the most comfortable with my body and I know it doesn’t meet society’s ‘standards’ but I’m more confident than I used to be. What I learnt from my past relationship is that my body is fine and my boyfriend liked it because he loved me and the person I am. I’ve got curves and boobs and a bum and some guys like that. I would not tolerate body shaming in a relationship.
I believe sex and intimacy should be reserved for relationships (for the most part). Sex is a very personal connection for me, not everyone gets to experience it with you and I want it to always feel special. If I didn’t feel comfortable or ready I would tell someone no and if they didn’t understand that’s not the person I’d want to be with. Sex is not a bargaining tool, it should be pleasurable for both parties involved and it should be safe and consensual.
When I was a young girl I was paranoid I would never have a boyfriend because I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough and I’m glad that when I got older those thoughts changed. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am more confident with the way I look now. I know I am a good person with a good heart and I have a lot to give.
Despite the above paragraph, when I was broken up with in April 2018 some niggling thoughts came back. I am a little afraid of the physical part of a relationship now. I’m not going to lie the thought of someone kissing me, touching me, hugging me or holding my hand makes me feel sick and uneasy at times. I’m not sure whether I’m subconsciously associating those things with the person who hurt me (although if you’ve read The Breakup you know in a twisted way he wasn’t the one who hurt me). In future when I get to the physical stage I may be more reserved and will need to feel properly comfortable again. Whoever I’m with needs to understand that too. I don’t want to hold myself back but I want to be sure before I give that part of me to someone else.
I have dipped my toes into online dating again and it’s been unsuccessful. I wasn’t expecting to get into another relationship straight away – it wouldn’t have felt right – but I didn’t expect to get as annoyed as I have. I now understand why dating apps and sorry guys, but men in general get a bad rap. 95% of guys only seem to want one thing – it ain’t commitment/a relationship – and having a conversation is nigh on impossible. Most conversations tend to stop when guys find out I don’t have SnapChat and won’t send them nudes. I’m sorry, but how immature are you?! I don’t send photos like that because you never know where they could end up and even if I’m in a long term relationship I still wouldn’t send them.
Another thing I hate is being mucked around and people trying to take you for a ride. Why make out you want to meet someone if you always come up with excuses when I suggest a time/place? It’d be quicker if you were honest and came out and said you’re looking for a FWB situation. I’m not afraid to message guys first and be upfront about what I’m looking for. I’m sure if some people’s parents saw how their children acted on dating apps and what they say they would be appalled. You can be cheeky/naughty but there’s a way to do it and personally I feel that should be kept private.
I see online dating as a chance to be less shy, I doubt I could walk up to someone in real life and just start having a conversation with them, especially a guy. In real life there’s also the fact you don’t know if someone is single or taken. I’m not saying everyone on dating apps is single either but it allows me to be more brave. Online dating does mean people can hide behind a screen and because we already live in such a digital world dating and meeting people can become impersonal. I’m the type of girl that would much rather meet in person and see a movie or get something to eat than chat for days online and never meet. I’m a traditional girl who wants nothing more than to spend time together and get to know each other over a face to face conversation. With spoken words you can hear emotions and tone of voice. Messages can be interpreted in different ways.
Where to from here?
I don’t hate all men and I do want to find love again. Love when it’s with someone special is beautiful and having that companionship is such a wonderful feeling. When I was in love for the first time I felt like I really mattered and belonged. I’m a very instinctive person and follow my gut. I have to be comfortable with a person almost instantly. Comfortable to me means feeling at ease, being able to laugh and be open, conversation flows easily and feeling a warm connection or a spark.
It’s not my job to sell myself to guys out there and try to convince them why they should be with me. If they don’t know what they’re looking for, they aren’t respectful, they play games and they don’t appreciate the person I am, I don’t need them in my life. I am strong, I am smart, I am an individual and one day the right person will find me. Love happens when you least expect it ❤
I hope you enjoyed this post and you can understand where my head has been at. I understand not everyone thinks the same way and won’t necessarily agree. What are your thoughts on dating and relationships?
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