Story Time: My Recent Dating Experience

If sharing something makes me uncomfortable momentarily but is able to help another person I consider that a good result. I see my readers as friends and I like to treat you that way and keep you informed.


Over the past 10 months I have dabbled with dating; I’ve been on four dates with four different guys in that time, all with varying degrees of success. I take dating seriously and one of the most important factors is feeling comfortable around someone. I have always been an anxious person – though not always when it comes to dating – and the past year has magnified that. I do know my own mind and the kind of thing I’m looking for but I can also be laid back and I’m not judgmental. I find I don’t actually get nervous about dates until the day right before I meet the person and once the initial small talk is over I’m fine.

I have a somewhat relaxed attitude to dating, if a guy doesn’t like me for me I can’t change that and I don’t get too worked up and upset if it doesn’t work out surprisingly. My last date however left me disappointed in a strange way. First, a little bit of a backstory. We matched on Tinder in early February and by the time we met we had already been messaging for a couple of weeks. We messaged frequently throughout this time and there were certainly quite a few points it got more in depth than “Hey, how’s your day going?” This guy wasn’t arrogant or self centered, could hold a good conversation, take and make jokes and genuinely seemed interested to learn about me and I them. I am an open book and will talk about nearly everything, I’m not afraid to be honest and I will say if I feel a conversation is heading down a road I’m unsure of or I feel uncomfortable. We talked about break ups, shared a ton of personal thoughts and followed each other on social media.

Fast forward to date day, Saturday February 22nd. I was working my 6th day in a row and I had arranged to come home, get changed and meet this guy after work for dinner – I was looking forward to it. He lives in a different city and traveled to meet me which was admirable. I wasn’t thinking too far ahead and while the distance may have been a hurdle, when we were talking he didn’t make it sound like a problem. He was on time, we sat down and talked before ordering dinner and he was exactly how he had been when we messaged. He told me I looked nice (which I’ve never had on a date before) and I smelled nice and conversation wasn’t awkward. I ran up to the counter to order my dinner and pay before he could do it for me (which he later said was cute) and we both enjoyed our meal. Afterwards we went for a walk around town and had dessert and he invited me back to where he was staying. I’m not going to go into full details but there was some kissing. I didn’t do anything I regret and I didn’t spend the night.

The next morning we messaged each other and made plans before he went home. He picked me up and we went out for breakfast which was nice. We went for another walk, this time a 30 minute track through the Redwoods (a well known location where I live). I started feeling uneasy and nervous, I don’t know why but it wasn’t because of him. I sat down and was exhaling slowly and felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I told him I felt uneasy but not about the panic attack feeling and from then on I became quiet and feel like that’s where I blew the date. After the walk we played mini golf and I didn’t quite feel right through that either but we completed the game. At the end he kissed my forehead and dropped me home. He thanked me for the weekend and said he’d message when he was home safe. I sent him a message when I was through the door apologising for my nerves and said how I’d been feeling then went and had a nap.

I woke up to a message saying he was home and he also said he was tired which was understandable from driving and he hadn’t had the best sleep the previous night. I noticed the change in dialogue, tone and message frequency and prepared myself for what eventually followed two days later. On Tuesday night, February 26th, he sent me a DM on Instagram. He apologised for any pain caused and said I was too shy and too different and he’d only end up hurting me but that I seemed like a “great chick.” I knew it was coming and I don’t know why it was prolonged 48 hours, why couldn’t he have told me in person or said something when he got home that night? If you’re not feeling something there are signs and gut instincts. I asked a few questions and I don’t know how true his answers are or what his intentions were compared to what we talked about when we first messaged, but the two impressions didn’t match up. The previous week he’s telling me he doesn’t half ass things and we’d talked openly about personal topics and now he’s saying he’s not for me. I get personalities may not match in person and distance may have been an issue and if that was it, say – I’m an adult, I can take it. After the messages he unfriended me. Even if things weren’t going to progress and you tell someone you had a good time and they seem like a great person, could you not stay friends in the online sense? I’m not possessive or jealous and that shows more respect rather than feeling like someone’s experiment and as soon as you’re not required, you’re erased. I didn’t develop feelings for this guy but he said all the right things that I can see how I could have. It was definitely one of the better dates I’ve had and I did feel relatively comfortable in his presence.

Part of me feels like I’m making a big deal out of nothing and at least he messaged me and told me what he was thinking. I wasn’t sure whether I should write this post. It’s not a kiss and tell story or meant to hurt the other person involved in any way. I wanted to share and see whether something similar has happened to one of you before and how you dealt with it if it has.

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The Breakup 💔

I contemplated whether writing this post is something I wanted to do and for the longest time I didn’t think I needed to write it. I don’t owe anyone an explanation and I’m not writing this for sympathy. I write and share because I want to help and support anyone else going through a similar situation.

I was broken up with via a text message one Monday evening in April 2018. It is my first heartbreak experience as he was my first boyfriend. The breakup was a shock but after what led to the breakup I wasn’t surprised it happened. It still saddened me. My ex-boyfriend and I had been together for the best part of two years and during that time he was my rock. We talked every day, I felt like I had a true best friend who wanted the best for me and I wanted the best for him. We never argued or fought and in a number of ways I couldn’t ask for a better first relationship. I knew I could talk to him about anything, I could be serious, I could be sad, I could be goofy and he got all of me. I felt a sense of comfort with him that I don’t feel around many people. He made me feel beautiful and he was kind. Naively, I didn’t think he would hurt me the way he did.

We weren’t a typical couple in every aspect and I appreciate that. We didn’t go out for dinner or to restaurants (we’re both fussy eaters), we didn’t take many pictures together (not because we didn’t want to) and we never had romantic time away, we just wanted to be around each other and watch movies or eat pizza and talk and laugh. We always showed affection with touches or cuddles and I would do cute little things like leave the toilet seat up after I’d used it and pull the bed up in the morning. We were a team and it’s nice to have that constant support and sense of belonging and being important to someone. We knew we could rely on each other and we didn’t let the other one down. He was never late to pick me up, he didn’t try to make excuses not to see me, we wanted to be together as much as we could, we were so in love!

When you go from all of that to nothing within a couple of days, it’s terrifying and you ask yourself so many questions. Maybe there were times I could have been a better girlfriend but I know I loved him with all of my heart and I made sure I showed it. Quite soon after the breakup I concluded I loved him more than he loved me and he meant more to me than I did to him or else he wouldn’t have let this happen. I’m not saying his love for me wasn’t real but it was a different kind of love. He was my everything and I also questioned if that’s where I went wrong – making someone my whole world. The more I think about it the more I realise that’s what love is, you’d do anything for that person and their happiness is your happiness. I wasn’t scared to find love for the first time but part of me is scared to find it now.

So, how did it all end? I believe the relationship ended because another person got involved, not because either of the two people in the relationship actually wanted it to. It’s almost as if the decision was forced on him and he could only see the relationship working how it had been and if that changed it wouldn’t work anymore. Two days before the Monday I got the text about “going our separate ways” my ex-boyfriend dropped me home and less than two hours later I received hurtful text messages from his mother. These messages were threatening to say the least and I was accused of being heartless, thinking myself superior, driving a wedge between her and her son, going around destroying families and treating her home like a hotel. She also said she only put up with me because she loves her son. I still struggle with the fact that she never approached me prior to the messages or said anything to my face despite me being in her home hours earlier. I didn’t retaliate to the messages and kept calm but now part of me wishes I had and maybe I would have got to the bottom of everything.

Two days after I was broken up with my ex-boyfriend came to drop off a few things and say ‘goodbye’ and I read out a letter I’d written. I’ve kept the letter and one of the lines I wrote says part of me will love him forever. You always remember your first love and I wish it hadn’t ended the way it did. What hurts me now is not what I was accused of because I know it’s not true but that he didn’t think I was worth fighting for. I need someone who goes after what they truly want and isn’t afraid to fight when things get hard. Love isn’t always easy and I hope he is happy with his choice because I know he won’t find another Chanelle. I’m not perfect and he may not want another Chanelle but I know I am honest and dependable and a good person with a heart so full of love who never wants to hurt anyone else. I would never have hurt him if it had been the other way round and my mum had sent him the kind of messages I got.

You’re constantly reminded of that person and it’s hard when you don’t hate them. I hate what he did and what he let happen but I don’t hate the person he is. What also makes it hard is the fact we didn’t cut contact with each other (told you we weren’t a typical couple). I haven’t heard from him for a couple of weeks now but we’re still Facebook friends and when we broke up he said he wanted to help if he could. Part of me knows I should let him go and from now on I’m going to try not to initiate conversation.

It’s not easy some days. I go through periods of not feeling good enough for anyone and wondering if I’ll find someone else but I know deep down I want to find love again because it’s beautiful. I’ve also experienced feelings of shame and guilt about not wanting to be kissed or touched and it will take time for those to subside and be brave and let someone in again. Going forward I will be even more cautious than I was before and I need to think of myself now.

My advice if you’re going through a breakup or something similar, cry and feel whatever you need to feel to get closure. Your emotions will be up and down and some weeks you’ll be fine until you get frustrated and want to cry and scream. Write down your feelings and even if you throw away the bits of paper afterwards, getting them out often helps and makes your mind feel clearer. Take time to do what you enjoy, my biggest love is music and sometimes singing sad lyrics doesn’t help but music will always be there for me. Confide in people you feel close to, I spoke to a few blogging friends (Claire, Dannii and Katie) shortly after the breakup and they were so kind and made me see this wasn’t my fault. I don’t know if I could have prevented the breakup but through talking to my ex it sounds like the same thing has happened before. He basically admitted if he was living by himself it probably wouldn’t have happened.

I don’t want to feel bitter and I don’t want to be a cynic but you never know when things could change and while that’s scary you can’t prevent it. When my breakup happened I described it as walking down a street and being hit by a bus completely out of nowhere. I don’t like that it happened and it didn’t need to happen the way it did. Try not to be an asshole in a world that is full of cruelty. Whether you’re in love, whether you’ve been hurt by love or whether you’re looking for it, always be kind and accepting.

There are positive things that have come out of this breakup, I’ve lost weight, I’ve bought a car and am starting to drive and I’m getting new glasses. I’m still kind, sweet Chanelle who loves to laugh and wear bold lipstick and no one can take that away from me!


A huge thank you to everyone for their support over the past few months. If you have any questions about this post or advice, please share in the comments!

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Redhead Rambles #18

Hello everyone and welcome to ‘Redhead Rambles’. The series does what it says on the tin, it is a redhead (me) rambling about her week. I share what I’ve been up to each week, how I’ve been feeling and what I’ve been listening to or watching. Occasionally I will my share favourite blog posts and links I’ve found useful or interesting.

  • Before I get into how my current week has been I wanted to let you know I am no longer in a relationship. If you don’t follow me on Instagram you wouldn’t have seen my story announcing it. It was my first relationship and I was in it for almost two years. When another person takes up such a big part of your day and knowing they’re there makes you happy it’s hard to go from that to nothing. I feel like that’s the reason it hurts so much. I know I am a strong person and I will get through, it’ll just take some time.
  • Last Friday I tried to go and see Avengers: Infinity War at the cinema but all the evening sessions were sold out.
  • Saturday was a very emotional day, I cried a lot and cried hard. I spent the day in my pyjamas, read and watched a couple of episodes of Poirot.
  • Sunday was my first day in my current job as a single lady and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I told my team leader and another staff member what happened and they were supportive.
  • Sunday was also the first day I didn’t cry and I’ve managed to not cry for five days straight.
  • I really want to try the sock bun mentioned in THIS VIDEO from But First, Coffee but it seems complicated…
  • I had a one on one meeting at work with my team leader which was very positive and complimentary.
  • The online makeup order I placed a few weeks ago arrived. A post sharing what I got will be up on Monday.
  • Monday’s post will be the last one for a while. I plan on having a blogging break for the next month or so, so my posts will be sporadic. I won’t not be posting but it won’t be three times a week. I will still be on Twitter and Instagram and reading/commenting on blogs.

What I’ve been listening to:

Shane Filan – You and Me – This album is so special to me and is one of my top five favourites of all time! I love every song and what makes an album a standout and worthy of top five status is not only listening to it a lot and knowing all the words but knowing all the instrumentation and all the little vocal changes. I still remember the hype when this came out and how excited I was.

Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry – I have always had an appreciation for Ariana’s voice. Her new track is catchy and I’m excited for what’s to come.

How was your week?

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Hey, It’s Okay… If You’ve Never Been On a Date

Hey It's Okay

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Hey, It’s Okay… and this month’s topic is similar to last month’s. In February I discussed being single (CLICK HERE to read that post) and I was overwhelmed by all the supportive and reassuring comments I received. One in particular stuck with me and it was from Lizzi over at Thoughts and Things. She commented, “Do you date? It terrified me when I was a teenager but I think it’s good for the soul. Gives you good nerves, makes the heart race, challenges me to keep being a confident talker. Also tests my ability to feign interest in many topics but that’s a whole other issue.” and it got me thinking, hang on a minute I could turn that into a post.

Not only have I been single all my life but I’ve also NEVER been on a romantic date of any description. Part of me worries and is a little nervous what dating is like and the ‘rules’ of dating and how to date but those feelings I have in regards to relationships as well. Dating to me is often portrayed as being lots of fun, involves plenty of flirting and very easy when in reality, it’s probably not. The thought of meeting someone new for the first time can send people into a state of panic, “Do I look okay?”, “Will he like me?” and ultimately make them afraid of being themselves. With time and experience, I’m sure those feeling will pass. You shouldn’t have to put on an act to try and please another person. It’s clichéd but being yourself really is the most beautiful thing.

If you’re having trouble finding people to date or where to find people to date, you are not alone! There is nothing wrong with having standards and qualities you find attractive in a person, just don’t let that cloud your judgement. At the same time never feel like you have to settle for something you’re not sure about or don’t want. As for where to find people to date, I have this mindset that I could meet anybody at any time and I want to make sure the impression I give is a good one and I’m putting my best foot forward. I don’t desperately try to get anyone’s attention but if someone does happen to look my way I know that I’m being true to myself and treating everyone with kindness and respect. This relates to all situations from me dealing with customers at work to spending time with friends and family.

One of my favourite quotes sums it up perfectly:

Quote

My conversation with Lizzi also made me think about my attitudes towards online dating. Over the past couple of years apps like Tinder have become more popular. Personally, I have never used Tinder but I have friends that do. I might be old fashioned in the way I think but I’ve always imagined meeting someone and having them sweep me off my feet. If I was chatting to someone online I’d always be wondering if they were telling the truth and how many other people they were chatting to. It’s wrong of me to make assumptions like that but I tend to stay away from Tinder etc. for that reason. I’m not saying I will never use dating apps or other people shouldn’t but it’s a personal choice. There are genuine people out there trying to find friendship and find love but there’s also not.

By fate it seems, I came across dating guru Matthew Hussey when writing this post. Not only does he have the most adorable British accent (and is pretty handsome) I have learnt so much and found his videos so helpful. His thoughts are real and honest and make a whole lot of sense. He gives you tips on dating, early stages of a relationship, how to keep a relationship going and a bunch of other useful information. He’s not afraid to get intimate and personal and the videos are very entertaining to watch. I’ve linked a few of my personal favourites below:

  1. What You Should NEVER Do On a Date With a Guy
  2. Get Any Guy To Approach You With This 1 Simple Trick
  3. The 7 Most Unromantic Romantic Gestures

As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you have any dating tips you’d like to share? Pop them in the comments below!

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Day 14 – A song that reminds you of your boyfriend/girlfriend

If I wasn’t already feeling like my love life is a failure I definitely am after this challenge haha! In all seriousness I’m not someone who needs to be in a relationship all the time and I actually think never having had a boyfriend has helped me to be more independent and look after myself. Of course I dream of finding true love and probably have this romanticised idea about what it’s really like but love should be special, it should make you feel things you didn’t even know you could feel. I’m okay with being alone at the moment, just as long as it isn’t forever 🙂