It seems to me, right now, as I sit perched at my usual spot at my usual coffee shop, that everybody in the world is taken. Coupled up. Smitten. All of those similar descriptives. Everybody except me. Of course that’s a slightly melodramatic way of looking at it, I’m sure there’s a 13 year old out there that is yet to fall deeply in love with the school ‘hottie’ or whatever the kids call it nowadays. But really though. I’m in a state of perpetual singledom and I’m not there purposely.
Dating in your twenties is scary and it’s tough. So they say this is the age of doing everything, having everything and all that other empowering stuff that’s nice to read on Instagram, but frankly it’s not the mindset I’m in when I see another Facebook official couple or when a loved-up couple sidles up to the table right beside right now, silently judging that I’m here - God forbid - alone. Yes, this is the age of hardly-any-commitment-required but that’s also the devil in disguise eh? When does something magically click into place and make these guys decide that, yes, they do want to just date one girl? Everyone is too available and not at all available at the same time.
Right now, I’m pretty content with my hot chocolate (not allowed coffee anymore #anaemiaproblems) and my self-imposed dating ban, but just for good measure and for you beautiful ladies and gentlefellows, here are some of the things I’ve learnt from my failed dating quests of late…
The Man of Mystery
Let’s start with the most recent failure/conquest/lesson. The Man of Mystery is oddly captivating and elusive. Upon reflection, you can’t pinpoint what attracted you to them in the first place but, undeniably, you believe there maybe was something there at some point. He’s charming and attentive and he makes you feel like you’re his world. He asks you silly questions, big questions, important questions and nonsensical questions. He remembers what you wore the first time you met, you catch him peeking at you when you laugh. He reads, thinks, works and writes. But you never manage to squeeze an answer from him. And one day, he disappears without a trace.
Lesson: Do allow yourself to fall haphazardly for someone who makes you feel adored. Don’t ebb trust and faith into someone that asks but never tells.
The Man Of No Words
Perhaps only a smidge more odd than The Man of Mystery is the one of No Words. Just one date and that was more than enough. One date of perhaps three sentences from him and an explosion of oddments and musings from you to fill half an hour of nothingness. Even the thrill of wandering around a Space Museum(!) doesn’t ease the awkwardness and prolonged silences.
Lesson: Always have a wingman on standby to call and bail you out early from a silent date. The more wild the backstory the better.
Everybody has a Firecracker. That one guy you date and it’s instant fireworks, you get along like a house on fire and jokes are made, semi-awkward flirtatious one-liners are exchanged. You can think of no possible reason to stop the romance freefall. And there it is - freefall. It fell as it started. Suddenly, the spark skips and intense conversations turn into intense arguments. You realise you’d become obsessed with the idea of him and it transcends into unhealthy terrain. The butterflies and excitement of seeing a message from him or hearing a cute voicemail from him dissipates and becomes a bitter resentment of sarcastic remarks played against sweet episodes. But with the Firecracker, you often mistake the arguing for intensity and romance needs that, right? Wrong.
Lesson: Some things are worth fighting for. Nothing is worth crying in the middle of a busy street for.
The Too Good To Be True
Amidst the crazy, though, there will be a guy who’ll prove through and through that there are still gentlemen out there. The Too Good To Be True has an adorable dimpled smile. He’s a family guy, even more so than you. He picks you up and arrives early to schmooze whoever opens the door. He adores candlelit dinners as much as afternoons on the swings in the park. He’ll start reading competitions with you and pretend he’s not winning so you’ll feel confident. He remembers all the things you said you’ve never done and makes sure you can tick them off one by one. But everything is just good. There are rarely fireworks. In short, he’s the opposite of the Firecracker.
Lesson: Someone can be perfect but you should never settle for someone who doesn’t set your heart alight in a glowy way.
The One From Secondary School
Remember those Year 10 days, when you realised boys didn’t have cooties and you spent a large portion of your day slowly falling in teen-lurve with the guy you sit beside? Imagine that 6 years later, he asks you on a date. You’re instantly smitten again. You can’t stop thinking about him and you feel 15 again. There. You’re 15 again. Soon you realise that you’re dating the grown-up version of a school memory.
Lesson: Worth it for a mini school reunion I guess. Tick summin’ off the bucket list.
The Never Was
And finally, the Never Was, the one that’s still slowly ticking. Did you date him? You can’t even remember, it’s been that long. The to-ing and fro-ing is slowly driving you insane and you can’t decide whether to prise it out of the friend zone and risk it all or just to wallow in a state of purgatory forever. Regardless, the Never Was is your BFF who has just helped you through the above d-baggish guys. So there’s that.
Lesson? TBC. It’s a work in progress.
Wow. This was a long one. I shall probably be too embarrassed to reply to comments, but try your luck anyway (: the worst/best thing is: this is all real af hahaha.