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O is for… Online Dating tips

Posted on 15th May 2010 in adultery/ Blog/ dating/ dating tips/ girls date for free/ lies/ loopy love/ online dating/ self esteem

I can resist no longer! There is so much talk of online dating on twitter that I feel compelled to share some of my experiences, which may or may not be helpful, in the style of online dating tips!

I have to say that I personally enjoyed online dating. And like most things in life, it is what you make it. When I was doing it, 3 of my female friends were too – which threw up some interesting twists!

I’ve just had a quick look on a site and it would seem the search criteria has changed a little since I did online dating – there are a couple of questions that I don’t remember being there.

For example: Endowed =   a) small   b) average   c) average+   d) bull elephant.

However, this question does lead me nicely into tip 1.

Tip 1) Watch out for obvious lies….

The most common lie that I encountered was height. I’m 5ft4 so not an especially tall girly but even so a lot of men felt compelled to add on a couple of extra inches – to their height. Don’t do it guys, it soon becomes pretty darn obvious when we meet you that you aren’t 6ft!

This applies to women too – if you aren’t a size 10 don’t say that you are! and don’t use a photo that is 10 years old…

Tip 2) Sadly, watch out for married men/women…

When I say married, I am including anyone already in a relationship. This is pretty easy to spot as you will notice a pattern to when they can/cannot contact you. There will be lots of questions that they will be very vague about – their last relationship/where they work/live, their surname, home phone number etc.

Tip 3) Be honest (at least with yourself) about what you are looking for…

Do you want a long term relationship, possibly marriage? Do you just want a few online conversations, with no intention of ever meeting up? Do you want a few elicit bunk ups (for want of a better expression)?

I had one friend who claimed to be looking for love, but very quickly made her way through a vast amount of one night stands. I had another friend who wasn’t really sure what she was looking for and therefore ended up meeting up with everyone who asked whether suitable or not.

Tip 4) Don’t take it too seriously…

This is easier said than done. Much like twitter, online dating can quickly become addictive and before you know it you are obsessed with how many ‘views’ you’ve had, or whether the guy you like the look of has been online but not contacted you – I mean, exactly who is he talking to?! Don’t prioritise online dating above meeting your friends/family, don’t get up early to ‘check’, don’t be tempted to pop online when the boss isn’t looking…

Tip 5) Don’t rush…

Don’t rush to meet up. If someone is pushing you to meet up then you have to ask yourself why. When I was dating I had to fit it around my children, my friends and my job. So if I met a guy online it could be weeks before I had a chance to meet up. If I liked someone then that could mean several weeks of exchanging messages, photo’s, maybe texts or phone calls before an opportunity to meet came about. If a guy wasn’t happy to do that, then good riddance because my life does have children, friends and a job in it!

Tip 6) Don’t dawdle…

Contrary Mary that I am – don’t take TOO long to meet up with someone! It is hideously embarrassing to have exchanged 15/20 emails, 50 texts, 5 phone calls with someone, all with increasing affection – only to meet them and go EWWWW NO! I had one such date, met the guy, knew instantly that a) he was 4 inches shorter than he’d said and b) that I didn’t fancy him at all, and wouldn’t in a million years. A very uncomfortable date – which I had to follow with a very uncomfortable text later on saying ‘I just didn’t feel any chemistry’ which was my way of saying – ‘I really wouldn’t touch you with a barge pole’.

Tip 7) Don’t jump with both feet…

You might think he’s THE ONE. He might think you are ok for a few dates… Don’t become a stalker – if he wants to contact you, he will. So, if he doesn’t that is sadly because he doesn’t want to. It isn’t rocket science.

Tip 8 ) R.E.S.P.E.C.T…

Respect yourself. First and foremost. Don’t do anything that you don’t want to.

Secondly, respect others – 99% of the people you encounter are genuine, insecure and probably feeling a bit vulnerable. Just because someone might not be what you are looking for doesn’t mean you have to be offensive.

Don’t get drawn into trashy conversations – there are some people who abuse the online dating sites, use them in place of other ‘adult’ services. Do you seriously think that someone who rings you/web cams you for ‘adult’ conversations is going to want to have a long term relationship with you? If on the other hand that is all you are looking for – be honest about it and register on one of the sites that specialises in that sort of thing – leave the genuine dating sites to the people who genuinely want to date.

Do not compromise on your values and who you are. Don’t pretend to either like or dislike something to try and keep someones attention. It is a complete waste of time and will make you look a bit weird when they find out!

Tip 9) Time and place…

If you have children, you should indicate it on your profile. A subtle tick box. Don’t go on and on about them in your ‘about me’. Three reasons for this. One – you are looking for a partner for YOU, so you need to tell people about YOU, at the end of the day if you think someone is amazing and a possible future partner then they will be right for your children too – otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen them. Two – you will probably put people off, you don’t want to give someone the impression that you are just looking for a father for your children. Three – sorry about this, but if you bang on about your children in your profile you do leave yourself open to being attractive to the wrong kind of person, for the wrong kind of reason.

Tip 10) Use your loaf…

If you are speaking to a guy/girl who left their wife/husband – do you really want to get involved? If you are talking to a guy who doesn’t see his kids – er, why? Don’t ignore the bleeding obvious!

TOP TIP – Have fun… 8)

Enjoy it. If it stops being fun, stop doing it!

….and finally – be safe – always tell someone who you are meeting and where you are meeting. Meet in a public place if possible. Ladies, don’t give out your home address/kids names/school etc before you’ve met someone a couple of times and are sure that they are ok. Have a friend agree to call or text you after 10 minutes – if you aren’t happy get them to come and pick you up!

V is for… Volunteer

Posted on 2nd May 2010 in Blog/ cats/ child/ divorce/ self esteem/ writing workshop

Am a bit late with my entry for Josie’s Writing Workshop. Like most people (have been reading through the entries!) I have gone for ‘5. Pick an emotion that best represents your state of mind right now and write creatively on that theme.’

The emotion that represents my state of mind is ‘meh’, yes yes, meh is definitely an actual emotion – don’t bother checking the dictionary, it’s there ok!

Am feeling ‘meh’ because sometimes I just don’t feel that I give enough.

I’ve always said that if I ‘won the lottery’ I would:

a) buy my dad a house with a big garden

b) put ‘a chunk’ of money in the bank for my children

c) buy colchester cat rescue

d) buy myself a house

e) do volunteer work for charities

But then it occurred to me that I could actually do volunteer work without having won the lottery. Ok, so I don’t have the time or money to devote my life to it, and I can’t change the world even a teeny bit but I could do something.

So, for the past 6  months I have been a volunteer for a charity called Cat Chat. Now, in my head this should involve baskets of kittens – each of a different colour, but sadly it doesn’t :(

It does, however, involve lots of pictures of cats which is nearly as good! What I do for them at the moment is make their quarterly newsletter, which helps to spread the word about their good work and lets people know about rehoming success stories, as well as highlighting those poor kitties who just can’t seem to find a home. If you do happen to be looking for a feline family member their rehoming pages are a good place to start.

If I ever did win the lottery and could afford devote more time to volunteer work I’m not sure what I’d chose to do. I’d like to help poorly children, or children affected by sadness whatever the cause. Having experienced the shock of having my world turned upside down – I’d like to help support women who find themselves in a scary world after a partner has left them. Today, after reading the article about single dads in Stella magazine, I’d have to say that I’d also like to help men who find themselves in that situation too. I wish I had the brains or the cash to help find a cure for cancer. I wish I could stop bullying. I wish I could cure depression. I wish the world would share it’s money so that we don’t need action aid, or water aid, or even band aid! I wish I could make paedophiles – JUST BLOODY STOP IT. But in the meantime, I’ll settle for cats cats and more cats!

And squash the feeling of ‘meh’ as best I can.

M is for… MADs!

Posted on 25th April 2010 in adultery/ benefits/ Blog/ caffe nero/ cats/ Cattery/ child/ Christopher Biggins/ coffee/ cream/ Cry/ customer service/ debt/ divorce/ doctors/ eczema/ Elvis/ Feral/ guarantor/ health/ house/ Itchy & Scratchy/ James Blunt/ Kreativ Blogger/ MADs/ Rihanna/ self esteem/ skin/ son/ starbucks/ steroids/ Take That/ Titanic/ Twitter/ Vets/ writing workshop

Blimey O’reily my name has popped up in the MADs list!

I wonder if it was my rants about coffee and customer service?

My frustration over my son’s battle with eczema?

My honest account of my recovery after the breakdown of my marriage?

Maybe it was learning that Dermot O’leary used to lay on my desk?

My tale of a random act of kindness?

Maybe someone liked reading about my cats Elvis and Maisy?

I doubt it was my infinite playlist….

Whatever it was I am very grateful to Twitter and the blogging world because it is really fun to share experiences with people, I’ve been reduced to tears (both of sadness and laughter) from other peoples blogs and I know I don’t stand a hope of winning with my 7 posts, but it is still pretty cool to take part!

If you would like to vote for me – I’d be delighted! Just click here and then enter my blog name into the areas where you’d like to nominate.


R is for… Random Acts of Kindness – Pay It Forward

Posted on 22nd April 2010 in adultery/ benefits/ child/ counselling/ Cry/ debt/ divorce/ guarantor/ house/ self esteem/ son/ writing workshop

R is for… Random Acts of Kindness – Pay It Forward

I looked at the lovely Josie’s Writing Workshop prompts again this week and thought – nah there is nothing there I can write anything about… Kept looking back and running through the list and kept coming up with the same answer – nope nothing there for me. But it was obviously still in my thoughts, as when I was getting dressed this morning a random act of kindness came to mind.

So. R is for… Random Acts of Kindness – Pay It Forward

If you’ve read A is for… And Then He Left Me you will know that in 2004 I was left in a bit of a bastard situation.

During that time although I experienced some incredibly low points I also experienced some amazing acts of random kindness that served as a lesson to me that I will never forget. That lesson being – pay it forward.

As mentioned in A is for… And Then He Left Me I was bailed out of having to move my children to another town to live in a B&B by a ‘friend’ who stood guarantor for me on a rental agreement. What I didn’t say was that this person, who we shall call W, had only known me for 2 weeks when they did it. I never once asked them to do it, in fact I seem to recall that I refused point blank, but W insisted. The letting agency initially turned them down because they had only known me for 2 weeks but, undeterred, W somehow magically sorted it out and my tenancy was approved.

It isn’t normally in my nature to accept things off people, especially people that I hardly know, however there was no financial risk to W (unless I missed payments which I knew that I wouldn’t) and I really had no other option so I begrudgingly accepted this kind and generous offer.

The generosity didn’t stop there though, after learning that my ex-husband wasn’t contributing financially, W then bought my 2 boys ALL their school uniform for the new September term – including PE kit, pencil cases, lunch boxes, shoes and winter coats! PLUS new Star Wars duvets sets and PJs. (And a mysterious deposit of cash – although W denied any involvement in this….)

This is where it got a bit tricky for me and my morals as suddenly money was actually involved. W had bought things and I had no money with which to pay W back. When I, repeatedly, raised this as an objection W’s one and only answer was always: “Pay it forward – if at some point in the future you are ever in a position to help someone who genuinely needs help, you can pay me back by helping them.”

I know this post probably sounds a little unbelievable, but I assure you it is completely true. There were absolutely no strings. I only ever knew W for a short period of time but they made a huge difference to my self-esteem and my belief in human nature and the kindness of strangers.

W used to say that it was redressing the balance, just ‘righting a wrong’, ie my ex-husband had wronged me and W was putting it right. I thank you W from the bottom of my heart.

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