Life’s too short for lame first dates.

Why can’t you just be your silly, clumsy self? Or boring, I don’t care for fun, self if that’s who you are. I mean, personally, if you’re boring and uptight, I’m not interested sorry…But I’d have a hell of a lot more respect for you if you were just you, right from the start. And neither of us would be wasting our time…Winning all round! So why can’t all first daters think like this?!

Yesterday I lost my Wagamamas virginity with my guy friend. We instagrammed our food, it was awesome. See I love to instagram good food because 1) This is a token of my appreciation and 2) I love to see good food too, so when I am looking for inspiration, it’s thanks to fellow instafood sharers that I have a pretty decent diet palette. Anyway, so he gets a text from his ex girlfriend; within minutes, ‘who are you with?’ Because obviously it’ll now be forever her business until she get bored or meets someone else. Which got us on to the topic, why can’t people just be themselves from the bloody beginning?

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First dates can be pretty nerve wracking don’t get me wrong, and I understand you need a bit of a confidence boost – first impressions and all that. But wouldn’t it make more sense if people enhanced their better attributes as opposed to simply making them up? I’m also aware when you get to know someone you relax and can begin to be yourself. So please don’t misunderstand my point and think I’m being mean to those who are shy (I can be too), I’m simply aiming my questions to the masquerade. The ones that completely fool us with their false representations. Surely, it would benefit them to just not? After all, they’re wasting their own time as well as everyone else’s surely?

It seems a lot of us nowadays are ‘settling down’ a lot later in life, perhaps because we have alternative priorities or (warning – it’s about to get heavy) because divorce seems ominous. Now this in particular worries me, this puts me under even more pressure to make sure I feel it is truly right before wanting to commit to anything (I can’t make day to day decisions very well as it is, especially about food…food envy is real people!). My parents are lucky, they’re still happily married, met at a young age and seem to have this team thing down to a T – but honesty and commitment is rare now. And do you know where I think a large proportion of this comes from? From people being too damn good at acting.

My last boyfriend for example, I first saw him in a bar and I remember my friend saying to me, “You need to go and talk to him…he looks perfect for you!”, “Yeah…No, I’m not going up to him, I can’t. No.” We exchanged glances a few times, I went to the bar and he approached me and we started talking. Cliche I know. He looked so confident and happy, good (very good) hair and rare enough, a genuine guy. A lot to say about someone you’ve never met but sometimes you get a vibe from someone I guess, behaviour and attitude counts for a lot in my eyes. Eventually, he asked if he could take me on a date, “Sure, I’d love to”, I said. He seemed shocked that I agreed to it, but I thought nothing to it.

We arranged a date and a meeting place. A lovely little bar nearby the seafront where we live. I was nervous all week, I stressed about what to wear so I made several visits back and forth to Topshop and House of Fraser (there isn’t much choice here which is great for last minute date arrangements). I think it is the idea of a date and the pressure we tend to put on them which adds to the anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from confident as I assume is the same with a lot of women, and this is where the fine line of pretend comes in. I believe it’s okay to pretend you’re confident. To an extent everyone has confidence, it’s the amount which varies, developed through practice I guess and I think it’s perfectly okay to pretend you have more than you actually do. Come on, you go for interviews, attend social events, important meetings, your everyday life requires you to pretend you’re confident when you’re not really feeling it. So yeah, that’s fine.

I walk into our chosen meeting place, I see him standing at the bar so I take a deep breath and approach him. Believe it or not, I was more excited than nervous, I enjoy meeting people and learning about them. It’s just the , ‘Oh god, what if he’s boring. What if he is a mute now he’s sober? Awkwardddd’. That’s the problem. Luckily, he wasn’t. He talked. A lot. And I remember thinking, ‘ Well, he certainly likes to talk doesn’t he? Is he going blue, I’m sure he’s going blue…he hasn’t taken a breath in too long in order to finish the world’s longest sentence! No, wait…it’s just the lighting. Oh come on, just relax and take a breath, Christ!’. “Sorry, I must be boring you going on and on…”, “No course not, I like hearing about what you’re interested in!” ‘Good save’ I think, relieved he believed me. No alarm bells ringing, just boredom really. Could be worse. But he seemed a nice guy, like a genuinely nice guy. Genuine counts for a lot. There was a lot of nice aspects to him so far. Anyway so the night consisted of more drinking, then dancing, laughing like idiots, more dancing and more of the same. I went home and he was a gentleman. Turns out he was really fun to be around, interested in similar things, we liked the same bands, appreciation for good design, art and fashion, cooking. Winning.

Cut a longer story shorter, we dated a few more times and eventually ended up in a relationship. I was extremely happy, until it seems, this relationship thing happened? Things started to change, and very quickly can I add. His problems and ‘issues’ seemed to become very apparent out of nowhere. I won’t go into these but lets put it this way, he was so far from the guy I’d met and dated for the past few months that he may as well have been a stranger? Problem by problem I thought, ‘Wow, where did this all come from?’ I felt tricked and deceived a little, like he needed to pretend for a while to be this person he maybe thought I would be attracted to, fun, spontaneous, silly, caring, genuine, NOT BORING, then he secured his relationship and no longer felt the need to carry on the act. Because suddenly, he WAS boring. He was selfish and boring, and just very boring. I gather you got he was boring? I wondered whether it was me, something I did that must have made him feel the need to pretend he was someone else? Surely not…? I feel slightly like a bad person for writing this about someone I was once close to, but It seems necessary for argument and proof’s sake. So why does this seem to be a common recurrence? Why does the dating game need to be made more complicated than it already is? Just be yourself?

I’m known for sometimes laughing too loudly in public, with a silly laugh that seems to be contagious and a little embarrassing (for me at least). But that makes me, me. I can’t do a lot about it, If i’m amused, it’s going to happen I’m afraid. There was a Match.com advert which I was reminded of by my friend yesterday where the girl is thinking of how embarrassed she is by her laugh on a date, the guy however is thinking how much he loves her imperfect laugh. I love that. Probably just because I can relate I guess…

Anyway, so my point is, months later I ended up being single again because it never worked out with the bore. I’m too full of energy and life to be with someone like him. I genuinely hope he finds someone and is happy because like I said, he was a genuine guy and has a lot to offer the right person. But please people, don’t waste everyone’s time by making shit up about yourself.

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