Posted in Single Life

5 ways to get guys to respond on Bumble.

I’ve tried nearly all the dating sites / apps out there and Bumble is definitely up there with the best ones.  I’ve successfully managed to talk to guys, convinced them that they wanted to go on a date with me, fallen into bed with them and then pined to my girlfriends about being ghosted.

I’m not claiming to be an expert in How To Date Men, in fact, this blog is a case-in-point in how little of an expert I am.  However, I’ve worked out a few ways in which I can actually get guys to respond to me, and here they are: (bare in mind that with Bumble, the girl has to talk first, hence why this is all about getting a response).

  1. Be Swipe Happy.  Abuse the judgey-quality of this app.  Don’t bother to read people’s bio’s.  This (rather ridiculously) is too time consuming; in the past, I’ve found I’ve become hung-up on someone I swiped ‘yes’ to because I liked their photos and bio and I awaited that ‘ping’ of a match, hoping I matched with this guy.  If you match with someone, then read a little more about them and start a conversation…
  2. Start a conversation with EVERYONE you match with.  Out of 20 people you match with in a 24 hour period, only about 3 will respond – or is this just me?  To maximise your chances of a response…
  3. Keep it simple.  Contrary to popular opinion, writing a lengthy message to say hello, comment on their photos or their profile and ask them a question seems like a waste of time to me.  It doesn’t guarantee a response.  So far, ‘Hello [insert name here]’ has worked wonders.  And if I’m feeling extra sparky, I’ll add a kiss x.
  4. Bypass all boring chat in the first few messages.  Where do you live?  What do you do for work?  Why are you on Bumble?  Have a giggle, talk shit and discover their [online..?!] personality.
  5. Be flirty, but not outrageous.  A little wink and a suggestive comment gets results.
Posted in Friends, Single Life

Possession.

We’re in our 20’s.  There is no need to sit on top of the guy and snog his face off in the pub.  I was talking to him.  We are friends.  I know you’re seeing him, and shagging him.  And that’s fine.  I did that last year.  It didn’t work out.

You didn’t seem very friendly.  Were you judging me?  Were you threatened?

You don’t need to prove anything.  Yet, equally, you don’t own him.  He’s a grown-up.  He can talk to me and you can still go home with him.

 

Women are clever.

Said my mum.

You’re a pretty girl and she feels intimidated by you.

That may well be the case, Mummy, but it was strange how she snogged his face off in the pub.

Posted in Single Life

How to not give a fuck and feel fabulous (again).

Recently, men have been getting me down.  I’ve become prematurely excited about multiple boys and they’ve let me down.  Time and time again.  And I’ve cried more recently than I have in years (I am not a crier).

So in a bid to STOP BEING PATHETIC AND GET A GRIP, I’ve created a ‘Power Playlist’ on my iPhone.  We all know how music can affect our moods, and being sad is not a mood I enjoy, particularly as I am a bubbly person and eternally happy.  It’s full of all those songs I already have on my phone that, when they come on in the car, I am singing at the top of my lungs and feel indestructible and like no-one can dampen my fabulousness.

Here’s what’s on my Power Playlist:

  • Breathe ft Sean Paul – Blu Catrell.  A total banger.  This relationship isn’t working, let’s call it quits.
  • Mir A Nero (Original Mix) – Michel Cleis.  A jolly Spanish tune; just want to dance every time I hear it.
  • Hiding – Icarus.  “I’ll find somebody better than you.”  Enough said.
  • Ghosts – Higher Self ft Lauren Mason.  You’re no longer causing me agro and I no longer think about you.  Hurrah.
  • Beautiful Liar (Freemasons Dance Remix) – Beyonce and Shakira.  Two wonderful women.  Girl power all around.  You are stunning, but a dick.
  • Together – Tourist.  Despite this reminding me of my ex, and it’s about fancying someone, it’s such a SUPER song and I have this memory of hearing it, seeing my ex for the first time, looking and feeling fabulous and just loving life.  So it’s on here because it’s a feel-good song.  And it reminds me that I am fabulous and men do fancy me.
  • True Colours (Ali Emm Remix) – Sammy Porter ft Grace Fleary.  “Now I can see your true, true colours.  And that don’t work for me.”  Delightful lyrics.  Likewise: “And I will discover, that this [by ‘this’ she means the break up] is better for me.”
  • The Greatest ft Kendrick Lamar – Sia.  The ULTIMATE power song.
  • Sorry ft Lisa Pac – Urban Contact.  Female cover of JB’s ‘Sorry’.  So much better than the original.  I like to imagine my ex is singing it to me (yes, it’s a female singer, but oh well) and I say, ‘Yep, it’s too late.  Piss off.’
  • Elastic Heart – Sia.  Oh Sia.  You are a babe.
  • There is Hope – Zoo Brazil ft Rasmus Kellerman.  Cracking song all around.
  • Golden Ticket – Highasakite.  I heard this straight after I broke up with my ex (round one).  It was a good decision to leave.
  • Set Fire to the Rain (Thomas Gold Remix) – Adele.  Powerful woman.  Reminds me of fun uni times.
  • Trust – Kungs.  Another song that reminds me of my ex because we heard it together and listened to it all the time, but it’s about not wanting to wake up and repeat another day full of arguing.  I hear ya.
  • It Ain’t Me  – Kygo and Selena Gomez.  This came out at exactly the same time I broke up with my ex (round two).  “You were staying out all night and I had enough … I know I won’t be home and you’ll be on your own”.  Not sticking around to deal with your shit.  Farewell, my friend.
  • Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande.  It’s in the name.
  • You Don’t Know Me Now – Mike Mago & Elderbrook.  Brilliant house song.
  • Not Above Love – Aluna George.  I have a weird relationship with this song.  When my ex and I were trying to be friends (post round one, prior to round two), he played this to me and I thought it was fab.  Whenever I hear it, I feel empowered because “I’m not above love, I just run out of air” – round one was too exhausting in the end.  But also it reminds me of that high of being with someone and feeling so totally in lust with them and I miss that sometimes.
  • Bad Karma – RIVRS.  100% this man: Fuckboy F******.
  • Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Remix) – Lilly Wood & The Prick.  Once again, about an arsehole of a man.
  • Just – Bicep.  Fantastic house song.  Shortly after round one ended, I went to my sister’s house party and I was surrounded by friends and my sisters and lots of fun.  Top night.  Top tune.
  • Maze – Aria.  “Told you I was sick of your games.”

(22 songs, 1 hour 39 minutes; plenty to cheer me up).

Everyone needs a ‘power playlist’

Posted in Single Life

They can be a pretty frightening bunch.

I’m confident as ‘me’.  I know what I want and I often go after it.  I give fewer fucks about what people think.  I’m emotionally strong, and getting physically stronger too.  But this still doesn’t stop guys hurting me.  I’m scared you’re going to shatter my confidence.  I hate the effect you can have on me; pathetically waiting by my phone, hoping you’ll text.  I hate how hard it is to feel my strength and independence when I know I was used.  I’m scared you’ll do something to me and I won’t be able to stop you – after all, you are bigger and stronger than me.  I cannot run fast, and I know you can run faster.

There have been times when I’ve had to say ‘no’ firmly to stop the advances.  There have been times when I didn’t enjoy the sex , even though I wanted it, but I have never felt forced into something I didn’t want to do.  I know not all women can say the same, and this makes me sad.

I have never felt unsafe in Brighton, but last night I was walking the 3 minute walk from the pub to the taxi rank and this bloke called after me.  We didn’t know one another, but he caught up with me and we shared a conversation.  He asked where I was going.  Home.  Can he come?  No.  Do I want to go back to his?  No thank you.  Am I sure?  Would I at least like to go to his car?  I am sure, and no thanks.

Fine, bitch, fuck you then.

Excuse me?!  We have been speaking for all of 2 minutes, before which I didn’t even know you existed.  Of course I don’t want to get into a stranger’s car, or go back to their house.  And his disbelief in that I felt this was a bad idea is astonishing.

I wonder how often he has done this; approached a woman with the assumption she’ll be gagging to go somewhere (anywhere?!) and shag him.  I wonder if any woman has accepted his indecent proposal.  I wonder why, WHY, he thinks it’s acceptable to then call the rejecting female a ‘bitch’ and swear at her.  It really ought to be the other way around.  But I fear I would have got a slap in the face, or worse, if I told him to go and fuck himself.

This doesn’t mean I won’t walk back to the taxi rank alone again.  This doesn’t mean I won’t wear a dress and heels again.  This doesn’t mean I’ll bat off any male advances with a fear they only have one thing on their mind.  But what it does mean, is there is something wrong with this man’s attitude.  And my experience of being used then ghosted has shown that this attitude festers in more men’s minds than it should.

Posted in Single Life

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

My friend and I were at a busy bar in Brighton last weekend and table space was at a premium.  We found a table for 4, sat down with our cocktails and enjoyed our evening.  Not long after, two men asked if they could sit at the table with us.  When my friend went to get another round in, one of the guys initiated a conversation with me.  He reckoned he could guess my career, and admittedly he could – by the second attempt.  He made polite small talk and asked if I like to dance.  When I said I do, but not to this music (swing), he presumed I was shy.  I told him I wasn’t, then he asked why I didn’t have much confidence.  I told him I do.  Then he questioned why advances from men don’t flatter me.

Needless to say, on my friend’s return to the table, we found somewhere else to sit and enjoy our cocktails and our evening – without the arsey opinions of this complete stranger.

Posted in Single Life

The Canadian

There was an understated coolness about you.  Much to my surprise, you weren’t surrounded by girls or friends.  I can’t remember who approached whom, but I do remember laughing a lot and the seductive stares that were a fraction-too-long.  We went bar-hopping round my favourite places in Brighton; I really felt I was guiding you through a top-quality Friday night in Brighton.

We had a platonic sleepover.  I found out your exotic (yet poignantly appropriate) name, where you had been, where you were off to next, your hobbies, your quirks, your habits.  We shared so much in our evening together and we clicked in a way friends who haven’t seen each other in ages do.  Sharing a bed (and thoughts) was clearly needed for the both of us.

In the morning, I disclosed to you one of my most sacred things: my fail-safe hangover cure process.

Tea isn’t a thing for us…

Until I convinced you it should be.

You’re so energetic…

And then I proved to you this is the way to be.

Energy and tea lead to cuddles, snogs and life plans.  And then it was time to drive you back to your hotel.

Have an awesome day in London,

he said.

Have a fantastic time travelling,

said I.

Posted in Single Life

I didn’t believe in ‘too good to be true’…

What a phenomenal first date!  Every single thing was perfect.  There was so much chemistry.  It was a long first date – at least 6 hours out and about, followed by a sleepover.

And wow, what a sleepover..!

In the morning, you left for work with a genuine promise to text later that day.

Oh my god.  What a wait.  I have never been more glued to my phone and on the edge of my seat as much as I was that day.

No message all evening…  Fortunately, my housemate was to hand and we had a fabulous night; albeit tainted by your silence.

By Sunday morning, I was feeling very, very low.  And very used, stupid, slutty and embarrassed.  You had so much charm and there was so much chemistry and you genuinely seemed to like me.  My housemates were gunning for you and me to get together.  However, your silence meant I was beginning to think I had read you – and our date – wrong.  The likelihood of you being just another ‘fuck-boy’ was increasing.

All boys are arseholes; there really are no good ones left.

AND THEN THE IMPROBABLE HAPPENED.  

YOU TEXTED!!!

We texted a bit.  Things were looking good and I was getting excited.  But naturally I was being really chilled and cool outwardly.

Another excellent date happened on the Wednesday and you asked if I was free last weekend.

Inevitably, we had another sleepover because you were so charming and we had so much chemistry (have I said that?) –  there was no pressure to shag.  You even said that even if we slept together this evening that wouldn’t mean you wouldn’t want to see me on Saturday.

On Thursday morning we both went to work.  Saturday was pencilled in.

You said you were shit at texting right from the start, so I wasn’t overly worried we only shared a few texts over the Thursday and Friday.  But then Saturday rolled around and I had barely heard from you.  By the afternoon, I dropped you a casual text to find out what was happening in the evening.  You texted back pretty late saying you couldn’t make it because of family arrangements, but was I free over bank holiday?  I replied a little later.

By Monday, you still hadn’t messaged.  I tried to be chilled and reckoned you were just busy: you said you were crap at texting and I had no reason to think you weren’t interested – and we only met a week ago, but we had planned for Saturday night and so I began to panic we wouldn’t see each other.

I have the worst luck with men and I thought I’ve finally met someone who my friends would say is ‘too good to be true’  but I reckoned all of that was bollocks.

Too good to be true doesn’t exist.

Or maybe it does.

By Tuesday evening, I hadn’t heard anything.  I was feeling very deflated, used and naive.  I sought my mum’s advice: I sent a passive-aggressive text:

ME: I didn’t see that one coming.  What an idiot I am.

Subtext: You fucking smooth arsehole.

HIM: I’ve been such a wally.  Should have messaged you ages ago, just been so busy with work.  I think your [sic] such a lovely, warm person but I can’t be in a relationship right now.  Sorry if I pissed you off.

Subtext: We shagged, and now I’m done.

 

 

 

Posted in Dating?, Single Life

22. A phenomenal Friday night.

The immediate attraction.  The flow of conversation.  The seductive looks.  The flirting.  The cigarette sharing.  The 6 hour build-up.  The energy in the cab home.  The touching.  The kissing.  How weightless you made me feel.  How you grabbed me passionately.  How you picked me up.  How you spoke to me.  How you felt.  What you said.  What you did with your hands, your tongue, your…   How you made me feel.  How we fit together.  How natural falling asleep together felt.

 

And after, how my thighs looked and how my heart felt and how my head spun.  

Posted in Dating?, Single Life

You blew it.

Our date was fun but I came home feeling ambivalent towards you.  I was reluctant to accept a second date, but I thought there could have been some attraction there.  I hoped you wouldn’t spoil it, mainly because you had life experiences , motivation and interesting things to talk about – you ticked a lot of boxes but were yet to tick the ‘I want to kiss you’ box.  Basically, I wasn’t sure if I fancied you.  After our date you were really eager over text; borderline pushy.

Since Monday, you continued to message constantly.  When I said my plans with friends were cancelled, you were keen for me to come over to yours.  And then you were talking about our second date (due to be on Thursday) – lots of comments about how we can ‘snuggle’ and how you miss kissing me…  Excuse me?  We kissed once.  And it wasn’t even a snog.  You were already acting as a boyfriend and it was freaking me out.

When Thursday rolled around, you said I should come to yours.  I told you I didn’t feel comfortable coming to your house.

I was beginning to dread our date; I didn’t want to go and it was looking likely that I may have been in a position where I’d have to say ‘no’ or might accidentally recoil when you touched me.  And that wouldn’t be nice.  For either of us.

So I cancelled.

I am not one for bailing last minute, but it was the best option.  It wouldn’t have been fair on you and it would have been a waste of time for both of us.

What I did learn from this is that I should trust my gut instinct and that attraction is something which is felt instantly.  Although attraction can develop and evolve, a ‘spark’ needs to be there and it can’t be faked or forced.

Posted in Single Life, Uncategorized

An education. Or: once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

Recently, I’ve had time to read and my genre du jour is feminism in the modern day.  I wanted to challenge my mindset that feminism is about chopping up bras, hating men and protesting over unequal pay (although I fully support this cause, obviously).  As well as talking with friends and females in my family, my education on feminism in 2017 consists of five books so far:

  • Sex Object by Jessica Valenti
  • Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran
  • Man Up by Jack Urwin (although not about feminism, it tells the story of being a male in the modern day; I’m all for hearing both sides of the story)
  • Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon and
  • The Sex Lives of English Women by Wendy Jones.

Currently, I’ve read the first two and am half way through ‘Man Up’.

The penny 

has dropped.  

Nearly everything(*) has

fallen

into

place.  

 

* Nearly everything because, as you will read, some comments contradict others because I’m conflicted in my views.

I’m ashamed to say it’s taken 25 years, but it’s better late than never, right?

It’s like a light bulb has been switched on, or, as a friend so aptly put it,

Once you see it, you can’t un-see it.

Having many male friends, a few boyfriends and many male housemates in the past, I’ve learnt that guys can be just as bitchy as girls.  No, not bitchy – judgey.  Many guys often give unsolicited advice to girls, ‘Oh she’d get it, if only she lost some weight off her waist’ and, ‘I’d definitely bang her, but she should sort her nose out first’.  Or a favourite of mine:

She’s in the large group of women I’d sleep with and also in the much smaller group of women I’d masturbate over.

Firstly, who asked your opinion?  Certainly not the girls living in this house.  Secondly, excusing these comments as ‘lad-banter’ is not an excuse at all.  It’s allowing this sort of talk to continue and some people believe it’s giving the impression that girls are there for the amusement of men.  But there’s an issue with this argument.  As a female, I can’t go around objecting to men commenting on the appearance of women if I’m a woman who ignores everyone else in the kitchen, stares at the TV, mouthing ‘phwoar!‘ every time Tom Hardy comes on the screen.  Yet many people would argue that ‘objectification of men’ isn’t the same as ‘objectification of women’.  (Jack Urwin, author of Man Up, commented that to assume they are the same thing ignores the historical impact of female oppression).  When I stare at Tom Hardy (and Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Evans as Captain America, Tom Hiddleston and Daniel Craig as James Bond), I’m admiring them: I don’t comment on how they could be improved.  One element of ‘lad-culture’ is the attitude that women are playthings to amuse men.  My male housemates found it hilarious to re-name my number in their phones as a variation of my surname, mixed with a gross word for a vagina.  I laughed it off and joined in the jokes about it, but it’s struck a nerve.  It hasn’t upset me as such, but it’s certainly pissed me off.  And the sad thing is, if I confront them about this, I’d be laughed at and told to ‘not be a pussy’ – an issue in itself.

Yet, despite my new-found knowledge I feel conflicted.

I don’t want to feel I need to dress-up, or put make-up on, or wear heels, or do my hair for anyone.  But I do this anyway.  It’s not because I need male attention; sometimes it’s for myself or so that people know I value my appearance, but more often than I care to admit, it’s so I receive positive affirmations from others about how I look.  It’s not a requirement for self-worth; it’s a bonus, a booster to my existing confidence; it’s vain.  It’s not really okay, and I don’t think it’s okay to admit it, but it’s true.  Walking into a shop last week I asked the retail assistant standing by the door where I could find skipping ropes.  He was attractive (and helpful) and he rather obviously eyed me up and down and smiled.  It’s worth noting, this wasn’t in a pervy, creepy way, rather a sexy, seductive way.  Part of me wanted to object to this: surely I can’t be a feminist and accept this kind of shit from men?!  But then again, I liked it.  It made me feel good about myself.

I’m fortunate that how I perceive myself doesn’t hinge on this attention from men (or women, to be fair), but I find it helps having that little compliment to validate my opinion of myself.  That’s probably not something I should be admitting..?

However, I’m happily single and owning it.  I’m enjoying being 25 and making the most of all Brighton has to offer, as well as strengthening my social life and going on dates.  So as much as I don’t need a man, or his opinion, if a wonderful man came into my life (opinions and compliments abound) I don’t think I’d object.

It’s the needing vs wanting thing again.

 

My new, literary-based education on feminism in 2017 has completely changed the way I see being a feminist.  It’s not chopping up bras or hating men, it’s about equality and not just with a political agenda.  Objectification of women can be so much more subtle and less malicious than I previously thought.  It’s so much closer to home and it can easily be caught up in ‘lad-culture’.  Recently, I’ve raised my guard: I was borderline rude (standoffish?) during a recent date – you don’t get to ask about what turns me on, you can’t make a joke over how I used to want to be a sex therapist and you certainly cannot ask me for a kiss.

It seems the dating game just got tougher.

I hope this’ll weed out the piss-of-shit blokes.