Firsts

At some point last year, I went to my GP to discuss getting some therapy. I think it’s still very misunderstood particularly in the Asian community and I knew I wasn’t suffering from depression or anything as serious but I was going through a tough time emotionally and I thought it would do me some good to maybe speak to a therapist and just discuss some techniques for dealing with what was happening.

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My GP said something I thought was interesting – she said that dealing with any kind of break up was exactly like going through the grieving process. Now I understand that no one died – but a relationship I had depended on for the last decade had come to an end so in some way I was grieving a loss of that. She said certain times are the hardest, mainly anniversaries. Your first birthday without them, special events, that kind of thing. Anyone who has lost someone close to them will understand that.

She was right – the first of everything has been really tough.

What would have been our tenth anniversary – I booked the day off work and spent it wallowing in my duvet eating ice cream and feeling sorry for myself.

My first birthday was amazing, surrounded by people I loved who were being supportive but I spent six hours on a coach trip crying my eyes out. What should have been our fifth wedding anniversary I spent again with friends but just feeling really low – it’s one of those things that you just feel even though you try and cover it up. First Christmas wasn’t too bad actually but very lonely. First new year – some relief actually, that it was finally 2018 and everything was could be in the past.

His first birthday without me – bit of a weird one but we were together for a long time so we have a lot of mutual friends who are going. I’m not – doesn’t feel right – but I do have serious fomo.

There’s lots of small firsts too – the first time I had to be the one to drive on the motorway because he always drove. The first time I had to think about who was going to go to the cinema with me because I was used to having a constant plus one.

The first time I’m reminded of a private joke we had and have no one to share it with. The first time I had to watch Game of Thrones by myself even though we had watched the other six seasons together. The first time I went to a restaurant where the last time I was there was with him. The first time something bad happened and I had no one to call.

So, to try and help myself, I’ve booked myself on to a health retreat next week (so to all of you eagerly waiting for the next post, there will be a delay!) – my first solo holiday and one I’m really looking forward to actually. Some time to focus on my mind and my body and just work out what I want. Plus, it happens right before my last first. My first single Valentine’s Day.

x

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Call Me?

What a week it’s been! Huge thanks to Elon for her brilliant guest post – if anyone fancies writing me something just get in touch and let me know.

So surprise surprise, the date I was supposed to have last Saturday cancelled – it’s starting to feel like quite a faff now but I am persevering.

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I was talking to one guy who seemed nice – he asked if we could FaceTime because he had been ‘catfished’ before – which I didn’t think was a bad idea because at least I could also confirm he was not a catfish, and I wouldn’t have to leave my house! So I agreed and he called me.

I wasn’t sure where to sit for the call – sitting in a chair at the desk in my room felt a bit too formal so Phoebe said I should just sit on my bed and be comfortable.

The conversation started off fine – it was a bit strange FT’ing a person you don’t know because I usually would be talking to family or a close friend where it doesn’t really matter what you look like but we had a normal seeming chat until I noticed he wasn’t just on his bed, he was under the duvet and I could only see one hand.

Then it got real weird, real fast.

‘You’ve got such nice hair – I can just imagine myself pulling your hair while I’m doing all sorts of things to you. I’d like to get you on all -‘

ENDS CALL.

Now look, I have no problem with this being what the call is going to be about as long as both people agree to it, and I most certainly did not! His hands started moving under the cover as he was speaking and frankly that’s just not what I’m looking for so yes, I cut the call and deleted his number.

Slightly scarred but actually just finding the whole thing hilarious, I went back onto the app to see if anyone else had messaged and someone had, asking if I was free for a quick phone call.

I had success with the last guy I spoke to on the phone (we have still been messaging but not made another plan, also I have a feeling he is a little bit racist but who knows anymore) so I agreed and he called me.

Initially again, it was just a chat and he gave me a bit of a background on him and basically said that he’s found it’s quite easy to end up messaging someone for quite a while when you online date without never making a firm plan, but a phone call kind of helps you decide whether you’re actually going to get on or not – his logic seemed sound and we were having a bit of a chat and he seemed okay…

As we were speaking, he asked where I was living and I mentioned I was back at home with my mum for a bit. He got a bit fixated on this and started asking about my dad, to which I replied that my parents are divorced and dad lives elsewhere. He got quite judgmental about this, saying he thought people shouldn’t get married for the sake of it and should strive to make it work. I don’t disagree with him but he doesn’t know me or my family so he really shouldn’t have been making such black and white statements.

Plus, I hadn’t even told him about myself so it made me feel really uncomfortable. This is the problem with some Asian people. Divorce and everything associated with it is still such a taboo thing to talk about, and it means that people like me feel ashamed about it, even though logically I know I have nothing to feel bad about.

After this, we were still speaking and after he talked about himself for another twenty minutes (he spent a grand on a suit and when I said oh I’m not really into suits.. he said yes because women should be interested in handbags and shoes..) – he asked me what I was looking for and what I enjoyed about being single.

I think I said something like actually what i’m enjoying at the moment is just being able to make plans for myself whenever I feel like it, without having to worry about someone else. If I want to go away for the weekend with my friends, I don’t have to worry about how that might affect any other plans or run it past anyone – to which he said, well what you need to do is find someone who will LET you do whatever you want. I got a bit stroppy here because I don’t need anyone’s permission to let me do anything which is what I tried to explain to him – when you’re in a relationship it’s not a case of ‘please can I go away’ – it’s more just you want to spend time with the person you’re with and you have to try and balance things out.

To which he said – I have a lot of Muslim friends and I find that the men are quite controlling, so I guess you’re just used to it, growing up with strong men who tell you what to do and stop you from doing things.’

Let me be clear here – my family are amazing and supportive and I don’t think I have ever been told I can’t do something. There is a bit of a stereotype that traditional families are quite firm and strict with the girls and this is partly true, but this guy isn’t Muslim so he shouldn’t really have been assuming anything about me and my upbringing without asking me first. Also, my ex was the complete opposite of any traditional Muslim guy, he would never have even let it cross his mind that he could control what I wanted to do!

Anyway, by this point I was feeling pretty cross and just wanted to get off the phone so I told him I had to go and he said ‘Oh okay. Well, you seem okay so you can save my number. Feel free to get in touch.’

HAHAHAHAHAHA. As if. I’m sure there is someone out there who’s perfect for him, it’s just definitely not me.

I was supposed to have a date with someone on Thursday but I had to cancel due to a family emergency – and I’m supposed to be meeting someone tonight but let’s see if it actually happens!

x

 

Guest Post – Tips from an expert dater

Dubbed Bridget Jones by a scary amount of my friends, I’m the antithesis of Sabah. I’ve been on more dates than Kim Kardashian has Instagram followers. That might be a slight exaggeration, but after seven years of dating, it bloody feels like it.

One blog post would be impossible to sum up my experience of dating – from first dates where I’m boldly told that my date loves sex parties and might also actually be gay, to lending my old boss-turned-lover £100 and being unable to get it back until my step-mum messaged him and threatened to tell his mother.

EWW

Instead, I’m going to list the 5 things I wish I’d known about dating when I started out at 18:

  • If he says he doesn’t want a relationship, He. Does. Not. Want. A. Relationship. It doesn’t matter how many sweet things he says to you, how much he asks to see you, how affectionate he is. He does not want a relationship with you. Don’t do what I did and fall in love with someone who had clearly said this to me. That ended when I watched him go home with a mutual friend on a night out, leaving me to walk home crying so hard a police car pulled over and asked me if I was alright. Silly 21-year-old me.
  • Hollywood movies are UNREALISTIC AND BUILD UP UNHEALTHY EXPECTATIONS OF LOVE AND SEX AND EVERYTHING. EVER. Friends with benefits will not end up in love (shame on you Mila and Justin, for giving us all hope). Guys will not find you brokenly crying about an ex you’re still in love with adorable (Meg Ryan has a lot to answer for). Hollywood romance is one of the world’s biggest deceptions.
  • Don’t be scared to rely on your friends. Don’t be afraid to ask their advice. Friends are everything whilst you’re dating. They’re there to remind you that you are brilliant and special and anyone that doesn’t see that is an idiot. You’re going to need that advice and you’re going to need to listen to it.
  • App dating. Under no circumstances should you extensively message someone before meeting up. If you like someone, aim to meet up with them as quickly as possible. It has happened to me, and many a friend, where you end up messaging someone 24/7 for a few weeks, only to meet up with them and be completely un-attracted to them, or find that their chat is actually really dry in person. It’s already disappointing enough when you have to walk away from a first date that’s fallen flat. Don’t make it even worse for yourself.
  • It’s not you, it’s not you, it’s not you. Apart from when, sometimes, it is you. But that’s okay. After a while, dating is tough and emotionally exhausting. It’s going to make you do some questionable things. Finding love is part luck, part circumstance. Whatever you do, don’t pin things not working out on what you did. Unless you called him at 4am, on Halloween, drunk and crying down the phone because you lost the memory card from your camera and you’ll never be able to retrieve the great pictures of your costume.

And there you have it. Elon’s top 5 tips for dating. If only I could remember to stick to them myself…

Flaky Dates

Hi everyone!

It’s been a whole week since my first date – and I’ll be honest, I’m still flying high from it! Was also first week back at work so I hadn’t realised how hard it would be to keep up with the apps while doing a full time job – it makes the time I do have very limited! Also, there was supposed to be a guest post but it hasn’t been delivered yet… not that i’m judging anyone for that..

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I was supposed to meet someone this week but I ended up blocking him – if I’m honest he just started creeping me out a bit. I’m sure that’s not very fair and he probably meant well but I just found it really of putting. Firstly, he put an ‘ey’ with a weird emoji at the end of every sentence which is not why I blocked him but it was very unusual – then he started making a lot of comments about us being in bed together and other dodgy stuff – we had maybe had one conversation prior to that so it just felt far too forward for me. So I deleted his number and blocked him, then blocked him on Tinder. Terrible of me I know but I was getting a strange vibe and i’m very reliant on my gut!

After I blocked him (I do feel bad, but not bad enough), I was straight back on the app and I found a guy who really intrigued me. He didn’t have any pictures of his face but he was well dressed and his profile was really funny, and he had super liked me which obviously made me like him more. I really wanted to see his face so I matched him back and as it was Bumble I messaged him telling him I was intrigued and wanted to see what he looked like and we started chatting – it was fun!

We exchanged numbers, then he called me and we spoke for about 45 minutes which felt really bizarre but I suppose it’s a good way of knowing if there is any chat isn’t there. It immediately felt very different to the guy I had a date with. We got on, it was nice, and we’ve been messaging every day since. He wanted to meet up on Friday evening which seemed fine – but then didn’t message me until about 6pm on the day itself which just made me feel like he thought I should be waiting around for him. By this time, I had made plans with some of my work friends so we decided to go for drinks instead. I let him know that I was busy and ended up having a great time with the girls – one drink may have turned into three bottles but it was a Friday after a long week so completely acceptable. Dry Jan my foot.

As a team we had a go at both Tinder and Bumble and V and K are very lucky because I got three matches while I was with them – and am supposed to be meeting one of them this evening for drinks! Let’s see if that actually happens. I am losing faith slowly.

After bottle three, we decided it was time to get some food so we went and had a lovely meal around the corner. We had been joined by some of K’s friends and her boyfriend so it was quite a nice group, and that chat suddenly turned to weddings because one of them was getting married so he was on a diet – and I have no idea what happened but I had to leave the table because my emotions just got the better of me, so I went and cried in the toilet for a few minutes.

Let’s be clear here – I love weddings and love and everything that goes with it, and I could not be happier for anyone who has found someone they want to spent the rest of their lives with, but I think this kind of thing is still raw for me and it just creeps up on me without me realising. I really miss wearing my ring and all the wonderful things that come with the security of that kind of relationship. I am excited about this next bit of my life but I also feel sad about what I’ve lost and it still surprises me that I can be feeling totally fine one second and then have a flash of memory about something that just means I have to stop what I’m doing and go and have a cry to get it out of my system. I’m just not sure how I’m ever going to do this.

 

First Date – check!

The guy I was supposed to meet on Friday and I had been messaging for the last couple of days, and we discovered neither of us had plans yesterday evening. So, we agreed to meet for a few drinks… rather than waiting a week since we were both free.

Think it’s fair to say that I was feeling pretty excited but also terrible nauseous at the same time – kind of like when you’re looking forward to something but know that there is a 100% chance of it going completely pear shaped.

Even though I agreed to meet him, it took me a long time to calm myself down – I facetimed with a friend who had to help me stop panicking and then I decided to watch some Netflix and try and distract myself. I got ready really slowly, and was messaging a few friends for some tips in between, as well trying to control my own nerves. I really wanted to go but I also really wanted to cancel. For anyone interested, here’s a picture of what I went with.

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I felt like jelly – everything felt like it was feeling a bit weird and disconnected! As I was told though, the first one is always going to be the hardest because it’s the first one in so long – plus there is always the risk that the person isn’t who they say they are…

I may have cried a little on the tube but I just gave myself a stern talking to, and when I got out of the station and met him, it actually wasn’t that bad. There was some panic just before where I had to message a few friends and ask how to greet him – handshake? hug? nod? I decided on the hug FYI.

I didn’t fall over, I didn’t make a fool of myself and he was really nice and funny. The date itself was pretty standard, we just went for a few drinks and found a nice corner of a pub to sit and talk. We’d been messaging a bit so we knew a few things about each other so we had some things to talk about – it was a bit stilted, I suppose with us both trying to work out what to ask and how much to share – I was really nervous but did relax into it and the conversation flowed pretty easily.

Four hours later, we decided to call it a night. We said a quick bye at the station and headed home our separate ways – and he messaged me to check that I got home and said that he enjoyed the evening. He messaged me again this morning just saying hello and that’s kind of been the end of that.

I did like him, he was easy to talk to and given that we matched on Tinder, I did think he was attractive – but not sure if there was any kind of spark or anything so not really sure if we will see each other again. If we do, that would be nice and if we don’t, I won’t be upset about it.

In summary – I HAVE HAD MY FIRST DATE! Woohoooooo!

I have another one next weekend – I shall update! Guest post to follow later this week.

x

 

TWO DATES!

Yes, you read that correctly. TWO.

Following the disaster that was my first evening using the apps, I was given some sound advice by my friend Phoebe:

‘Don’t worry, not all bumble or tinder messages are sex ones. Honestly! Lot’s of people just talk normally.’

So, keen to not give up and spurred on by knowing this has to get better, I tried again. Bumble hasn’t been that great for me – most of the people I have matched with haven’t messaged me back.. I’m trying not to take that too personally. I’m only a couple of days in so I do appreciate that it’s not going to be an instant thing and also, I’m not back at work yet but other people are so clearly I have a lot more time on my hands than I would usually.

Anyway, I decided to try Tinder again and BOOM. Matched with two attractive guys who both seemed fairly normal… one of them even told me I seemed ‘cool.’

So – he asked me if I was free on Friday evening. I’m actually away from tomorrow for the weekend so it wasn’t any kind of lie to say I wasn’t but OH MY GOD I started having heart palpitations even at the thought of arranging a fixed date.

What’s wrong with me?! This is why I decided to get the apps right, so totally defeats the purpose if I turn around and say no. I don’t know how to accurately describe what it felt like – it was like my heart wanted to leap out of my body and flee, but my brain was trying to be rational about it all and just commit to something.

It took me a few minutes to pull myself together, but eventually I just said I wasn’t free this Friday but how about another date… to which he said sure, what about next Friday.

So that’s it – I mean it’s currently in my diary but I suppose I shouldn’t freak out too much until it’s a little closer to the time in case he cancels or I cancel or something…

During the course of this freak out, I messaged a few friends panicking that I had agreed to this date (I understand I am being irrational because I do want the date, but I also don’t want the date if that makes any sense at all!) – and got some real pearls of wisdom from Elon:

‘Basically, you have to have ZERO expectations. Tinder and Bumble are such number games.’

I know she’s right, but as I said to her, i’m just ridiculously nervous about the whole thing.

This guy, whether it’s him or someone else, will be my first date in approx eleven years. Yes, I do want to meet new people and actually I like to think i’m quite good at meeting new people – in my line of work you learn how to talk to all sorts of people so it’s not actually the conversation i’m afraid of or anything – it’s more like what if I fall flat on my face, or what if I totally choke… This entire conversation took place mainly inside my own head of course.

Moving on – we have agreed to meet next Friday – i’m going to have a mocktail since i’m doing dry Jan which I am now slightly regretting – but maybe it’s better this way! Then, fully boosted by this idea of a date, I then agreed to have a coffee with the other guy I was speaking to. Nothing set there in terms of when but in theory that means it is the fourth of January 2018 and I have two whole dates in the diary.

Now, time to decide what to wear. How does one dress for a date these days?!

x

Thank you

A very quick post just to say a huge thank you – to all my family and friends who have been so supportive already of this blog, and to people who have been in touch telling me they like it – it really means so much! I just wanted to try and turn this into something positive and even if nothing else, I am delighted that it’s being enjoyed.

Anyway, enough being soppy – next post is a very exciting update!

x

Welcome to Online Dating

Well, I am certainly not messing around. Last night, I decided to just go for it and get on Bumble. After spending some time deciding which pictures I should go for with some input from my cousin (first choice was too close to my face, cleavage should only be in the third picture – and other such useful info) I was ready to go.

I blanked. A few words about you. Absolutely nothing to say that didn’t sound super contrived or just too cheesy. It’s much harder than I thought so enlisted the help of A again and managed to pull something together.

I’m not going to lie, at this point I was feeling so nervous and sick, and my hands were shaking. I guess just the thought of people seeing my face and saying no is quite scary – but then i’m doing the same thing so here we go…

Then it’s live! Swipe, swipe, swipe. Accidental swipe the wrong way and matched with someone who I had not planned on matching but it’s all a learning curve isn’t it. Must say, that happened a few more times. I’m not very coordinated.

Then boom – you matched with someone. This is exciting! As it’s Bumble, I had to make the first move. The reason I matched him was because he was a criminologist and I am a true crime fan so I figured this would make for some excellent conversation so I went straight in:

‘Hi – so you’re a criminologist? That’s cool!’ (I appreciate this isn’t the best of lines but give me a chance!)

‘Yeah – so I make better criminals lol’

‘Haha. So apart from making criminals better what else do you like doing?’

‘What gives you stimulation? What’s your favourite sexual position?’

UNMATCHED. As a first foray into the world of apps, it wasn’t too bad but not really what i’m after. A few more swipes and another couple of matches – no replies though.

In my excitement, I then decided to get Tinder. Why not right? The pictures were already selected and the profile was written so no harm, no foul.

Swipe, swipe, swipe – match.

‘Keep calm and let me cum inside you.’

UNMATCHED.

I’m sensing a bit of a pattern here but I will keep at it and keep you posted!

x

A Croatian Love Story

Hi again,

So as discussed, i’ll also be detailing the love lives of some of my friends on here. Last summer, to celebrate turning the ripe old age of 30, I asked a few of my closest friends to come away with me. I don’t tend to do birthdays but as you can imagine I was going through a pretty rough time and I just needed a break with my girls. This was, as it turned out, my first single holiday in ten years – I was excited but also nervous as hell.

It’s not something you ever get taught is it – how to be single. In my head, i’m still in a relationship because I am just accustomed to always being part of a pair. It’s something i’m working on getting used to and I don’t want this blog to focus on my past but to only look forward. If you do have any questions though, feel free to get in touch and i’ll be as honest as possible about dealing with a marriage break up and pushing onward and upwards.

So anyway – Croatia was the destination of choice. Any excuse for all of us to tan and party, plus it’s where they film Game of Thrones so of course the first thing I did was get that tour booked in! We spent one day at an all day beach club and one thing I always say is that if there are fellow Asian’s around, they will find us. And they did.

So the five of us are sunbathing, and next to us arrive a group of three lads also from the UK. We start chatting, very casual, and the next thing we know, one of them has taken one of my friends, i’ll call her A, and they’ve gone for a swim. Approximately 1.5 hours later, they come back, having had a lovely chat – nothing more. They let us know where they will be going out that night, and we were planning on going to the same place so we’ll see them there. A tells me all about this guy – his name is Neil and he works in banking or something, and they have taken a boys holiday because one of them is also going through a divorce and needed a break.

We meet up with them later that evening at what remains one of the oddest nights out of my life – Neil asks A if he can have a word, they go off and return five minutes later where they appeared to have had a few heated words. A says that Neil told her he likes her but his friend also likes her and so nothing can happen. Apparently we’re back in high school but no biggie – they leave and we carry on partying until 5am, the only way to do it on holiday.

A few days later, we return home and A receives an email. Please do read and share the below. This is one of the reasons I am terrified of dating again – who knows who on earth you’re going to come across! Why did he send it? Who is he?

PS – from a fake email address, he located her work email…

Hi you,

Hope you got back home safely.

Sorry for contacting you at work, but only knowing where you work and your first name I didn’t really have any options. Not sure what I am doing writing this, but since leaving Croatia felt a little uneasy. I haven’t really put any thought in to this, just going to let my fingers go and see what comes out.

I guess firstly I wanted to say I’m sorry the way things turned out that night, but after I tell you what I am about to, I guess you will be relieved it turned out that way. I told you that I am a no – bullsh*t kind of guy, and I really am not but there was a web of lies behind us that day, not sure why am telling you and I’ve been told to leave it alone, but I don’t lie very often and when I do it doesn’t sit right.

I am not exactly the person you met, there were a few things missed out of my life that probably shouldn’t have. I’ll start with why we were there, just the three of us, and its wasn’t to do with XX’s divorce, it was to do with me. I had been going through a pretty rough patch in my personal life for a few months, so that lads decided that I needed to get away from it all, which is why we decided that we are going to have one big old flirt fest. XX is in fact very happily married, the good Dr. is engaged and I am also married, I also have two beautiful daughters. Remember its truth time, so everything you are reading is 100% real.

Why did we lie?.we thought we could get away with a bit of banter so started the ‘XX story’, there was no real script, he said it and we just went with it. Stupid…. Totally! but at the time we thought it was completely harmless….at no point did I imagine someone like you would come along. It was always, chat a few girls up, have a laugh and leave it at that. 

Ok let’s get back to me…. I read economics at university. Left university and started a business which grew very fast and after 9 years it was a national company which I sold to a larger organisation, I now handle their mergers and acquisitions (yes, it’s as we spoke about, we buy companies and kill them off or integrate them) for the new company. I also on the side have a property company with my dad and brother. Everything I told you about my family was true.

I met my wife in college, but only started dating when we started university, she was my first serious girlfriend and pretty much the only girl I knew. We dated through university and got married approximately 6 years ago. I have two daughters, who are my world, one is 4 and the other is 2. We got married very young and over the last few years our marriage hasn’t been that great, we both try, but that is the thing, we try! Not ideal but keep it together for my kids I guess.

That day in the club, we stood in the corner and I had to take a little time out about how we went from there, if I was going to be completely honest the only thing keeping me from taking things any further is the fact that I lied to you and that wasn’t fair and my kids. I felt something when I was with you, that I knew I couldn’t act on but I felt something that I hadn’t in a very long time. I appreciate that it’s a lot to take in, but I had to clear this. We spoke in the sea about your faith in men, I wouldn’t let a bloke like me ruin that for you…you are amazing.

Sorry

 

Me

Welcome to 2018

Hi everyone – Happy New Year!

So, as is customary, it’s time for those resolutions isn’t it. Well, here are mine:

  • Launch this blog
  • Try out as many different dating types as possible (speed dating, blind dates, group dates, online dates.. you name it, i’ll do it)
  • Try and update this blog regularly – I don’t want to bore you all but obviously it’s important to keep you up to date on all the goings on

I have other goals too, to travel, to keep fit, to go on my first solo holiday – and those things will feature on here too but let’s not get too ambitious and try to cover too many topics right.

I also plan on featuring guest posts on here from friends and family, about their dating struggles, embarrassing and hilarious stories – and any top dating tips. Keep your eyes peeled for them, I imagine they will offer plenty of insight!

I also have permission from some of my BFF’s to talk about them and their dating lives on here too, so you don’t only get to hear from me but also them. Trust me, some of these stories you have to read to believe!

That’s it for now – another post to follow shortly!

Sabah x