When anything to do with first dates gets mentioned, I tend to think about the mad butterfly tingling sensation in my stomach before it gets replaced by calmness when I meet that person. I also think about how I used to consider myself a professional when it came to first dates and the entertaining pool of dating.
Like many of my posts, I came to a be a professional in the dating pool after my Mother, Lois, decided to set me up on a dating website under the context of “I needed to get out there”. Whilst I thought she was joking because I was 18 at the time, she was deadly serious.
Over the next few years, the dating pool would became a backup plan if/when I needed a date for a function. As such, I shall admit I’ve done a couple of laps in the pool while scouting out both the competition and succulent morsels on tap. By the time I decided I no longer needed to put my life’s worth into 160 characters, I’d become a professional at knowing what men wanted and what women hated.
It would be only after having a long winded chat with my Aunt on how she “rooted the pool boy” and why I wasn’t married, I found myself pulling over to the side of the road after leaving her house and had my first panic attack in years. As I mentally told myself to suck in deep breathes and slowly releasing them on a count of 10, I couldn’t help but wonder if my Aunt’s lifestyle choices were going to become mine.
My wonderfully down to earth and slightly neurotic Aunt often showed me how to never become committed to a serious relationship as it prevented you from being tied down, financially drained or finding yourself with a shot gun pressed to your skull. To top it off, a root was simply a root whether the guy had just slipped off his wedding ring or was single.
This thought would be in the back of my mind over the next few weeks and when waking one morning to the sun streaming down on my face, I was taking a sip of my morning coffee when a life changing thought entered my mind. As I washed out my mug, I made the decision I was going to hang up my dating shoes and that was the morning, I officially quit the dating industry.
Like many other twenty something year old gals who decide sporadically to quit the dating industry one winter morning, I spent the next few days coming to terms with what had just happened. This just so happened to feature me in pink faded pyjamas, a pint of cookies and cream ice cream and six seasons of Sex And The City.
Post finale and Big meltdown that saw me crying into my tub of ice cream as I spooned another mouthful while my stomach cringed and groaned, I switched off my computer and promptly fall face first into my bed. Instead of receiving the answer to the question I’d been asking, it would be a few days later when a business man winked at me that the answer came to me.
I decided in the moment as he brushed past to hit on the woman behind me, I was going to take a year for myself.
Listening to the comforting voice of Macy Gray, I thought about the next 365 days and what these days would entail. As the scene in front of me blurred beyond understanding, I thought heavily about what it was that I wanted to achieve and accomplish as a person, blogger and more importantly, as a woman.
In other words, the next 365 days were going to be spent discovering who I was as a woman and person since I had spent so many years hidden behind a facade. It saw me not being able to distinguish between the real me and the person I’d created for protection. Not to mention, I had no knowledge as to how I could actually live life as myself and I couldn’t even comprehend doing something like this if I was in a relationship or seeking one. So as I departed my train and entering the hectic world of Brisbane City, I knew that I would have to put down some rules.
Grabbing a pen from my bag as I quickly pulled out a book, I scribbled down four rules that I would spend the next year living by and they were:
- I come first.
- No accepting dates from a man or woman.
- No flirting, sexting or accepting dick pics.
- No sex, masturbation or anything that implies sex or naked body parts.
After putting myself into the category of spinster and Single Scarlett, I sent Lady Blacksnot III a message entailing her what would be happening. I think it’s safe to say, Dearest Reader, LBS thought I was pulling her leg until she actually realised I was deadly serious one evening over chocolate vodka cake and coffee.
Having said goodbye to Lady Blacksnot after an evening of unforgettable fun and vodka, I settled into the life of being a single gal in the city and as a result, I discovered some pretty interesting facts about not only myself but also things I didn’t know about my previous relationships.
I learnt that when known as someone’s +1 or girlfriend, I often tended to push my own needs and wants to the side so I could try to fulfill whatever it was my partner at the time wanted. This piece of valid information would come about after having separated myself from the alter ego I’d lived as, gaining the much needed confidence in myself that saw me living comfortably within my own skin. It was only after having done this that I was finally able to peer at my previous relationships under a microscope.
As I analytically inspected these various and different stages of my life, I figured out where both of us had gone wrong in the relationships. I took away the important aspects of myself that I’d discovered and it allowed me understand the reason why the relationship with Mr. Wolf had happened as it laid down the foundation of wanting a long term relationship and children.
It also redefined the fact I had effectively made the correct decision to walk away.
During this time of reflecting, I accepted the fact I had gone into that relationship expecting to be betrayed and hurt within a matter of seconds. It was at this point of time, I realised I’d essentially never trusted him. Something that both hurt me deeply and as I closed that chapter in my life, I wondered if he had grown up and become the man I had essentially hoped he would become and if he had found that country bunny, who never wanted to travel and wanted to raise their children in the country.
Funny how a single thought can essentially inspire you onwards with your goals and by doing so, I was able to move through my other relationships like they were a kaleidoscope of images and text. I even gave a couple of minutes to the emotionally unstable psychopath that entered my life at one point of time.
As I peered at this “relationship” with more focus than I’d originally done with the others, I discovered why I was never able to pin point the warning signs of an appending mess. This saw me question myself as to why I wanted to date men in the first place. It would be only after consuming a rather spectacular and cringe worthy cup of punch that the answer hit me like a four by two between the eyebrows.
I’m not sure if it was the punch mucking around with my brain cells or if it was the eye opener of an answer but I learnt that this psychopath managed to appear ‘normal’ because he was the perfect chameleon. Making this discovery, I spooned myself another glass as I found myself questioning as to whether or not I had hit rock bottom when allowing for that relationship to happen.
Guaranteed it was only a brief blimp on the radar in terms of relationships, I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t recognized the signs of emotional abuse and him being freak outside of the sheets. Thankfully I wasn’t dumb enough to see what true freak-tastic abilities he had in between the sheets. However the one thing that plagued me the most was his action of coming to my college one afternoon and when spotting him, my initial instinct was to run.
Always being someone to whiff out post material or ending something completely, I gave him 10 minutes to say whatever he had to say. Something I know most of you will be sitting there going, ‘is this woman insane?’
As I listened to his description of how politically incorrect I was for having written a post on our short, abusive relationship that essentially labelled him as a psychopath before switching tactics by complimenting my writing abilities; it brought back to mind why I had originally written the post in the first place. I wanted to bring awareness and understanding of how un-normal it is to be living in such a relationship as it robs you of your freedom, friends and personal characteristics that make you, you.
Inspecting that crazy relationship with a fine tooth comb, I was able to recognise that I hadn’t hit or even remotely reached rock bottom yet. Not having quite reached the end of the hangman’s noose, I saw where and when I finally gained my balls and as a result, sent that psycho packing with a laugh and a beautiful “get fucked“ message.
Whilst coming down off that high of knowing when I had finally achieved gaining back the much deserved freedom and acceptance of what an incredible woman I am, there was one relationship that I wasn’t ready to end or peer at under the microscope. That being the time I spent with The Sheriff.
I’m not sure if it was a feeling or my ever famous Gibbs Gut that I’ve spoken about many times in the past, but I had this feeling that particular chapter and friendship hadn’t ended. Whether it was the image of The Sheriff walking down my drive way in the early hours of the morning as I held onto that mug of coffee or the tingling sensation his beard always left on my lips; I knew as I waved goodbye that our sexual relationship had ended and yet, something that remained unidentified continued to burn away.
Some two years later after making that decision in my kitchen to quit the dating industry and take some much needed time for myself, Life has once again pulled another Ace out of its pocket. In return, Life is having its final input by changing the process of how things are turning out much to acceptance of some and horror to others.
So after having just written about why I quit the dating industry, where does this lead me?
At this current moment of time, I am neither looking or wanting a relationship because I am still in the process of learning about myself and what it is that I want in a partner. Do not fear Dearest Reader for I shan’t be giving up on Mr. Darcy, who is still as always lost in transit with his brown shoes.
However I do believe this is a perfect time for me to wrap things up in my self discovery and learn how to read a bloody map so I can go after Mr. Darcy myself because I am tired of waiting.
Until next time,