Who I’m looking for in my 30’s

Online dating is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun… but it’s also frustrating and then exciting and then annoying and always so damned time consuming! I have no idea what I did to fill my time before I started obsessively checking my phone for any new messages. Plus, I seem to have developed a massive ego within a week because I have had so many people message me that I think there are so many options out there I can cull at will! Gentleman reading this, take notes, but everyone please don’t judge me too harshly for this bit of truth we all believe to some extent. Let me say, this is not who I want to be, but I will admit a few things here:

  1. if he opens with ‘hey’, ‘how r u’ or ‘what u doin’, he will not get a response from me. I need grammar – and full words – in my life!
  2. if he does not have a photo, he will not get a response back from me.
  3. if he does not smile in profile photo and/or does not show teeth in any photo, he will not get a response from me.
  4. if he has a photo with him and someone who could be his ex (could also be a sister, a friend, a colleague, etc… but since I don’t know this…), he will not get a response from me.
  5. if he has only group photos, he will not get a response from me.
  6. if he doesn’t catch my interest in the first few messages, he will stop getting a response from me.

Now, let me point out that while that’s usually what I stand by, there are exceptions to these rules. And let me also point out that I am a huge sucker for certain things, some of which, are ridiculously clichéd and will make me break my above rules… ultimately reminding me why I created these rules. 😦

  1. dogs in photos. Every time I see this I want to pass the person by, knowing full well it’s a tactic, and not likely even their dog (which would be fine) yet, I seem to always find myself messaging him (good tactic I guess *eye roll*) just in case he does in fact come with a dog.
  2. a good looking body. I know that anyone without an ounce of fat on their body will most likely not be compatible with me (I like to eat and drink a lot, and do not consider going to the gym as a hobby), and yet still, I seem to find myself messaging him.
  3. an egocentric profile. I’m not even interested in this working out, and yet I feel the need to express why, and thus, find myself messaging him. *enormous eye roll*
  4. and the breadcrumbers… yes, like the one in my previous post about this. It’s like an innate sense from deep within that I need to have everyone like me and so the more he plays this game, the more I grasp to hold on. It’s almost embarrassing to admit, but I know that I’m not the only one, cause if I were, then this wouldn’t be a thing, let alone the ‘new trend’ in 2017 online dating apparently. 😦

So here I am, knowing full well the error of my ways and trying my best to get past them. I do not want to continue to pick up breadcrumbs or be significantly disappointed at a date who’s only conversation is about the gym (I’m generalising of course). When I truly think about it, here’s what I really want:

  1. Effort. Effort! EFFORT!! Lazy men need not apply. If he puts the time and thought in, I will message him.
  2. Confidence! oh, I am drawn to confidence (not arrogance) like a moth to a flame and I will definitely message him.
  3. Make me laugh. Life’s too short to have the same boring conversation over and over so if he can do it via message, I will message him.
  4. Depth. I want someone who can challenge me and if I find that, I will message him.
  5. A fun write up. If I can relate to, smile, or laugh while reading someone’s profile, I will message him.
  6. Smiling in photos. I’m talking real, genuine “hey look, I’m a happy person” smiles. I am drawn to happy people, not boastful ones so if he’s posing with a cheeky grin then I will message him.

And if I find all of the above in someone that I am mentally and physically attracted to, I’ll be hooked! That’s what I thought I had found with the breadcrumber… I’m clearly still disappointed, but I have also lost interest – finally! I woke up to a message from him this morning actually, which read ‘Good morning! How are you babe?’ Well, the last time we’d messaged he was checking his schedule to see when he could fit a date in… looks like he forgot about that… nice effort there Mr. Man! But, at least he used full words and correct grammar, so he still has hope in the dating world… with someone else who, hopefully, he will consider a priority.

I think we can all agree that no one deserves breadcrumbing and that people who do it aren’t kind to their counterparts. But… what I didn’t realise until I read about it, was that I actually ended up doing it accidentally. I was breadcrumbing a man while I waited around to see what would happen with this guy who ended up breadcrumbing me (oh the irony!) and I didn’t even realise I was doing it. Once I researched it a bit and recognised what I was doing, I changed tack immediately. I messaged him with a heartfelt apology and asked him out for a drink, on me, as an apology. This is the first time I’ve asked someone on a first date. I mean yes, I’ve suggested we ‘catch up’ to men I’ve dated previously, but never taken the first step. He didn’t respond for about a week, which I took to mean he was not accepting my apology, but when he did finally respond, he was not impolite, but short and said that he’d been out of town and would be for another two weeks. Had I not realised I was breadcrumbing him, I wouldn’t have continued this as I thought the conversations lacked a bit of excitement, but I was just so happy that he’d accepted my apology that I gave him my number to contact me when he got back (without him asking for it: another bold move). He has actually been messaging me from where his work sent him in the middle of nowhere, and while the conversations are not thrilling, they are lovely and kind and he sends photos, or useful resources, etc. with them sometimes. He gets back this weekend and I’m quite looking forward to meeting him in person now and I’m so happy that we continued talking. He does not qualify in my criteria above, and maybe nothing will come of it, but for now, I’m glad he forgave me and that I made the exception to my rules.

I’m still learning about the criteria of what I want in a man, and what that actually looks like in real life, but I’m having fun while I learn. 🙂

Online dating in my 30’s

After my last post, a friend convinced me to join Plenty of Fish – or PoF as a lot of people know it to be. So, that’s where I’ve started talking to a few people now. It’s been good fun so far, but very overwhelming. Apparently this is well known amongst the men on that site as well because quite a few of them started conversations with ‘is your inbox full yet?’ or something similar. As expected, I still got a lot opening with ‘hey’ – and to be honest, I don’t even respond to these. I know it can be hard to start up a conversation, but try a little bit gentlemen, come on! When I start a conversation with someone, I don’t just write ‘hey’ or ‘what’s up?’ or the like. My biggest pet peeve is when people use letters instead of words, and because of this, I found one of the funniest profiles to be a man who started his summary by stating ‘I don’t know what people who write ‘you’ as ‘u’ do with all their free time.’

I’m quite a direct, no bullsh*t kind of person, so I can come across very defensive in text. I’ve been told this twice in the last two days. Usually because I question peoples’ profiles in a sarcastic way and they don’t like it… which is fair enough. My description has people teasing me about it as well, but sarcasm doesn’t always translate as everyone knows! So, here I am, on PoF and I have started talking to two more doctors, and an emergency services worker, a mining supervisor, a teacher, an analyst, an engineer, etc… but wouldn’t you guess, within a day of signing up to this site the original breadcrumbing doctor messaged me again. And, although sporatic, has continued to. We even had another date set up, but he didn’t manage to leave the hospital until well after I was willing to meet him. And since then, we’re still talking. My hopes aren’t high, but he’s making strides in the right direction, so I’m going to see how this plays out… maybe he wasn’t breadcrumbing, maybe he was actually just plain busy. Whatever the reason, I’m not going to be unkind to him and still enjoy talking to him, so I may just reconsider what kind of relationship I want from him.

So now, I have a different date tonight with another of the doctors, and he’s made a very quick transition from messaging to asking me out, which is nice. 🙂 This man seems like the real deal (again). Cute, funny, smart, etc… and yes, at this point, I do realise that I’m quite naive in my hopefulness, but I do like to believe in people and believe the best in them. I have no idea if this is a romantic interest at this point, because we haven’t talked much, but what we have, he seems very nice. He chose a nice little cafe for us to meet in tonight and since it’s a bit out of the way, made a point of asking if I was ok with driving that far to meet him (yay, he’s considerate!). It’s on the beach, which is lovely, and now I just have to decide what to wear. I’ve had another few offers from people who want to go out soon, but I’m taking it a bit slow for the time being – I don’t want to be dating heaps of people at the same time…

But that’s not to say that I don’t like messaging multiple people at the same time. I currently have multiple conversations going, and, after talking to a few friends about it, I’m still not even talking to half the number of people some of those girls are. Which I think is great! Gone are the days of settling for someone just because no one else is around and then having to work through differences, etc. But, in comes the perception that there are so many options out there, that no one should ever really settle for someone because someone better might be around the corner. So many of the men (and women, but I can’t comment since I’m dating men) on these sites are looking for ‘something casual’ or to ‘see what happens’ – which I’m learning apparently means ‘see how good you are in bed’ because the idea of dates is hardly discussed in these situations. I’m actually online to see what happens, not just to hook up, because, if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m very happy with being single for the moment!

PoF is an amazing confidence booster if anyone is considering signing up. I have seen a few profiles that are rude and had a couple of people message me rudely, but for the most part, the men that I’ve been talking to are cheeky, funny, and complimentary. This is a big change to what I saw on Tinder last year – where the majority of people were on there to find a person equally beautiful to them, no matter what the conversational skills. In my opinion, dating is fun. And yes, I’m saying that even after things didn’t work out with the doctor I was so excited about in my last post (even though we’re still talking, I’m considering it to have not worked out since I wanted something more than he appears to and that will never work). There are so many people out there to meet, and I can’t wait to hear more of their stories and learn about what makes each person tick – starting tonight, with my second doctor date – this one works in research and has a PhD. I can’t believe my luck in finding such interesting people within days of signing up!

Breadcrumbed (yes, that’s a thing) in my 30’s

Yesterday I learned a new term, thanks to google and the urban dictionary, which is ‘breadcrumbing’. This is basically when someone keeps in contact just enough so that you’re on the hook, but not enough so that something will ever come of it. Called breadcrumbing because there’s a tiny trail to follow (think Hansel and Gretel), but unfortunately without ever reaching a destination. Apparently it can happen most often in three different situations, and the second one that was described (to sum it up, it’s when a person is looking at dating other people and he/she puts you on ‘hold’ while considering what else is out there) really resonated with me. In the last few posts, I’ve been discussing this dream boat of a doctor that I’d been dating. Well, he’s been flakey recently and constantly saying how busy he is, which I was excusing because let’s face it, he’s a doctor, he’s going to be busy. But there ended up being a few too many:

  • 9-10pm messages of ‘what’re you up to?’.
  • ‘wish you were here… I’d love to see you’ with no follow up or actual date coming from this, just talk in the evenings when he knows I’m busy.
  • conversation starters where he would message me and I could see that he was still online, but not responding for hours, or even days in some instances, with no explanation.
  • random messages (like a youtube link to a (terrible) comedy act) and no conversation.
  • no response to any link, meme or message I send
  • the ‘joking’ insults to photos sent: i.e. send a photo with a friend and his response is ‘stunning’ to which I reply ‘thanks’ and he says ‘not you, your friend! haha’.

I’m confident enough to know that he’s playing a game and that my friend is in fact stunning so self-esteem wise, that last one didn’t bother me… but dating wise? What an idiot! Had it been followed by a ‘just kidding’ with a compliment or something else then that’s fine, I can take a joke like everyone else. But when you leave it there, assuming I know you’re joking (if it was in fact a joke), that’s not cool. Isn’t that called negging? Ugh, I hate all these new negative dating trends. What happened to be charming, flirtacious, and complimentary? That’s the dating that’s fun. Dating shouldn’t leave anyone feeling bad about themselves. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes two people just don’t connect or it’s only one-sided and it may hurt, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of; and that’s entirely different. Negging, ghosting, benching, and (my newly learned term) breadcrumbing… these are cruel modern day tactics that not only lower one’s standards, but also have an effect on one’s mental health, self-esteem and self-worth.

I’m fairly new to getting back into the dating scene (about a month) and I’ve wasted most of that time on this doctor. I find myself surprised by this new dating trend but also relatively unscathed. I can’t imagine that a year or two of dealing with games like this will leave me quite so well-off in mind, body and soul – and that’s scary.

Realistically, I could be quite wrong about him: he could actually be very busy and not at all playing this game, but then why the cagey messages and dodgy responses if at all? Maybe in a few days I’ll have the explanation to all of this and I’ll be confessing my error in another blog then, but for now, I’m quite sure that I finally figured out what his game is: breadcrumbing. It’s a terribly sad truth because I had a major crush on this man – he was as near to a perfect match as I could’ve ever imagined, but at the end of the day, I can’t make him want me back or to stop playing games. I wouldn’t want to… it should come from him. And holding a candle for the possibility that one day he would see the errors of his ways is not really in my personality. I wasn’t rash, I waited and observed his behavioural changes over the last couple weeks, I was direct in texting him that I would like to see him again (to which he waited two days to respond to and then apologised for the delay in response without actually commenting on the message), and I gave him several opportunities to step up. And then I stopped.

With one text, I felt more control over this situation than I have in weeks. I sent him a message telling him that I was sensing his confliction and that while that’s totally fine, I didn’t want to get any more invested while he’s still figuring out what he wants. I actually googled how to say what I wanted to nicely because, had I written from my emotions, I would said something like ‘take your games elsewhere, I have no time for you – jerk!’, in which case, if I am wrong, that’s quite embarrassing! With the text I did send, I have saved face if I am wrong and I’ve given him an out where he can just move along without any defensiveness – thereby avoiding any potential retaliation in the form of more negative texting/games. I was clear with what I wanted, which is typical of my personality, and I left no room for interpretation. I made sure to avoid putting any ambiguity into the text, or any hope, because then I would lose face (as I learned from googling – google is literally my best friend).

I’ve already received a response to that, which was an apology for the delay in response because he was just getting home from work – which is totally fine, but there was no acknowledgement of the message itself, again, so I left it there. Upon seeing his reply, my immediate response was to write him an explanatory text about how it wasn’t just this one time, and that we aren’t really going anywhere and that he’s not been respecting me (whether it was his intention to disrespect me or not)… but that would have been me, picking up another breadcrumb. And I’m done with that. So I left it alone and didn’t reply, which is hard for me to do, but I feel empowered by that decision and proud that I did it, and continue (only 12 hours later) to not give in to responding. I will if he sends anything further that’s worth responding to, because I have no intention of lowering myself to any level, including that of being rude, but no more breadcrumbs. I am and always have been a ‘lay it all out on the table’ kind of person, and I despise games.

So, here’s back to the dating pool to see what else is out there. I’m currently on Happn to meet new people (because no one I know has any single friends apparently), but I’m considering trying something else. I know Tinder is very popular but I think it’s just for hook ups with the occassional good-news story that a couple did meet there. I’ve also recently heard of Bumble, but I have no idea what that is. Aside from that, I guess it’s proper dating sites like RSVP, Plenty of Fish, or Match.com right? I’m not sure about those… for some reason, I feel like the apps are still fun to try but when I sign into the dating sites I’ll cross to the realm of desperate… I know quite a few women who are on the sites or have used them to meet their current boyfriends, but for some reason I have a hang up about the sites that I still need to get over. I’ve actually used one in the past and I met some very lovely people off of it, so I’m really not sure why I’m so reluctant this time. My next hurdle: getting over this ‘stigma’ of online dating sites. I mean hell, if I can get over the stigma around being a victim of emotional abuse (outlined in a previous post) then I’m sure I can get over this!

Onwards and upwards to find someone else worthy of my time and effort. No one should stick around when someone is breadcrumbing them… it may suck, but you’re worth so much more than someone who sees you as just an option. Men who are interested in a relationship with you (or me in this case) will move mountains to build the momentum, which includes a consistent effort to talk/see you. Although I’m looking for a relationship at some point, I’m happy to be single until I find that consistent effort: I won’t settle for anything less.

A busy weekend in my 30’s

Friday, a friend of mine arrived from Europe. She’s come to stay with me for 2.5 weeks while I show her around Perth. But before I get to that, I’ll catch up on the last week in brief. Last week I spent my time getting my place organised for my friend’s arrival and trying to squeeze one more date in with Mr. Perfect. Turns out he’s not perfect, but he’s still pretty amazing. We had a date on Tuesday and it was fun, but it was really short. He brought his dog and we went to the dog park, only to be met with darkness about 45 minutes after we’d arrived and so he left to bring the dog home as he didn’t want him running around in the dark – fair enough. I think we both had a good time on the date, but afterwards, the conversation was very difficult. When I got back home I found my cat stuck on the roof for about 2 hours until I finally got her down. So I know that I was stressed and not really focusing on the conversation either, but it wasn’t great. I messaged him the next day to no response, and then he responded the day after. Anyone in the dating world knows that a few days of no contact either means the interest is not really there or that there is some kind of ‘play it cool’ game happening. Well, I hate games so I assumed he’d lost interest. He messaged me last night to ask how my weekend was and explained that he’d been working 16 hour days and had fallen ill. Ok, so I guess it was a reasonable silence… turns out I have to stop reading into things so much (like most women trying to date).

Now onto the weekend: my friend Julie arrived Friday afternoon to Perth. She’d been travelling for about 24 hours at that point and instead of letting her chill out at home straight away when we got there, I told her to drop her stuff, change and we were leaving 10 minutes later. She’s pretty easy going so that was fine, and off we went to the beach for a sunset and fish and chips dinner. We stayed up talking into the night a bit and then had a bit of a sleep in on Saturday. When we woke up, we had breakky, coffee and then took off to the koala park with another friend of mine. The three of us had a ball getting some amazing photos of the wildlife there, and laughing through most of the day. While my two friends were able to get some very cute photos of them with the animals, mine were dive bombed and/or chaotic… which really is typical of my life. The ‘featured image’ on this post is now my alltime favourite with an epic photobomb by a kangaroo. I don’t take nice selfies, I take ridiculous ones – and I’ve learned to love that, especially where kangaroos are involved!

After the koala park, we drove out to Penguin island but we’d already missed the last penguin feeding so instead, decided to head down into the Rockingham foreshore for a late lunch. While sitting there on the coast, a pod of dolphins swam by, with one even doing a bit of a jump trick – it was a magical welcome to Australia for Julie. After lunch, we came back home and got ready for a birthday party that night. I drove us the 30 minutes to the party, we stayed for about 2 hours and then when we got home, both Julie and I crashed hard. It was nice to get out and see my friends, and also nice for Julie to see a bit of Perth nightlife… although it was not the kind of place I would’ve chosen to go to and we were quite tired at that point.

Sunday was lovely as well, we spent 3 hours at City Beach and then spent the afternoon in Fremantle. I haven’t been to Freo in years for some reason, but it was so chilled and a great way to enjoy the day and end the weekend. 🙂 We came home to eat dinner and chill out for a bit and I was in bed by 10pm. I thought that would be enough, but apparenlty the cat decided to keep me up and not let me sleep so… I’m still exhausted today! Tonight the plan is to get some groceries for the week and pack lunches for the week… or maybe to just relax, we’ll see how much energy I can muster later on! It’s been so fun though so while I’m complaining a bit about being tired, I love having company and I have really enjoyed the last couple of days! 🙂