Forgive me, reader, for I have sinned. I left you hanging mid dating disaster tales and then, well, ummmmmm, sort of got rather busy and didn’t prioritise updating you. Whoops. Sorry.
The last time we spoke I’d given up on the anxiety-inducing dating apps and really just couldn’t understand people’s behaviour in this newfound swiping life I’d found myself in. Don’t worry, I’m not back on the apps. I know that sounds like a drug addiction. But actually I think some people are addicted to them. You know how you can get addicted to things like fast food or even your entire smartphone? I think some people are addicted to dating apps! It’s like they want to serve some fast-food romance!
Yes, I’d Like Fries With That
Since I started writing about dating and dating apps I’ve been sent quite a few books to review on the matter. I’m not going to do the whole review of them now because I’m still testing some of the tactics. But what I have discovered is that this whole new game of dating has developed its own set of rules that aren’t exactly carved in stone. Everyone seems to have their own rules and the key to not getting too bogged down in the detail and actually making your dating experience productive, is to set your own rules, and then stick to them!
The whole swiping on your phone to find your next date can be fruitful. But it can also be disastrous. Some people treat it like they are using their phone to order a takeaway and setting up a date to actually meet in person is like deciding if you want fries with your kebab. And let’s not talk about the garlic sauce. Or, well, just the sauce! Because if there ain’t no sauce then there ain’t no date!
There isn’t even dessert! Like, you can’t even get a cake with your coffee because that’s almost like an investment! Actually funny story there, one bloke tried to kill me on our first date. The poor fella offered me a peanut butter brownie. Granted, he was the first of my first dates that’s tried to kill me. They usually wait until at least the third date before they want to do that. Lucky for me, he was hot so I quickly got over it. I won’t let him forget it though.
My Rules. My Way
I’ve sort of figured out where most people go wrong. They want the fast-food romance. They go on an app to get a date and expect the pizza to be delivered, piping hot and totally delicious in no time at all. You may be able to get a pizza and a kebab in half an hour, but you absolutely cannot vet a person as to whether they are date-worthy in the same space of time. And you don’t know if they are relationship material until you’ve met them a few times. And probably taken them for a test drive.
I’ve heard so many stories of men and women who get arsey about others not responding quick enough. Wanting to go straight to sex before you’ve even figured out if they are over 5ft10 because apparently that’s important. The women who after a couple of messages are expecting to have an on-demand boyfriend. Girls, he is not your man until you have the title and he is the one offering the title for you to carefully consider. Until then, you remain on the shelf so calm your knickers. I remember the days of the 3-day contact rule. Now it’s like any longer than 3 hours and you’re toast! It takes me that long to decide what topping I want on my pizza!!!!
Anyway, back to my romance rules.
Don’t Fuck With Nature
Feminists beware. Equality does not apply to dating. I’m sorry. God forgive me for saying this because I fight to the death for equal rights in everything else. But girls, the dating arena is not the workplace, you do not have to be the most powerful or influential person in the room. You have a vagina. You’re already in control. The men just don’t know that because they don’t have one. They just want easy access to yours before he’s thought about the romance.
Nature has not evolved since the stone age. Men, the hunter-gatherer and sower of his seeds. Women, the receiver of the seed, the bearer and raiser of men’s offspring. Nature does not know about contraception, the female orgasm or sex toys. Nature doesn’t know that sex is a bit like sport and that a relationship consists of many more elements.
That old thing about not having sex too soon because a man will just get what he wants and be gone goes back to the laws of nature. Man sows his seed and feels that his work here is done and moves on to the next fair maiden. Women receive the seed and fall in love with the man because they may now be with child. She must love this man deeply to get him to stick around to provide for his offspring.
Shut the front door!!!!
Ok firstly, that man can stick his seed wherever he wants, but us girls have figured out how to not get pregnant. It’s actually easier to not get pregnant than it is to get yourself up the duff. But women make this one terrible mistake, and this is what scares men off once he’s sowed his seed. They succumb to the oxytocin and that stuff is more addictive than crack cocaine!
Ignore Your Hormones
Oxytocin is the chemical that gets released into your brain when you have sexy time. It’s basically a love drug and it floods your brain with all these feelings of being warm and fuzzy and loved up. Like most hormonal chemicals, it’s complete and utter bullshit. It’s not how you really feel and if you ignore it for long enough it will go away. It’s a bit like when you have PMT and you feel the need to stick pins in the eyes of anyone that so much as breaths out of place around you. That feeling passes once the hormones have done their thing and left the building. But so many women make the mistake of falling for the traps this chemical leaves for you.
It’s not having sex too soon that scares men off. It’s how you behave afterwards. If you treat sex like the be-all and end-all and that once he passes the dick test drive then you’ve earned your title then you are stopping the vetting process and falling foul of your hormones. When your brain is filled with this love drug, the best thing you can do is shut the fuck up. Do not get clingy. Do not start making demands of your man’s time. And for goodness sake, do not in your post-coital glow instigate the ‘where is this going’ conversation. Trust me, that’s a sure-fire way to get yourself dumped or ghosted.
He may have had early access to your vagina, but that does not give him any exclusive rights or access to any other part of your life until he has earned it. Think of how you reward a child for good behaviour. Sometimes you give in and let them have the treat, but that doesn’t mean that you always give in. Treats are given at your discretion. And yours alone.
Dating Is Investment
Netflix and chill may be the new norm, but it’s the shittest form of dating going. It’s cheap, requires very little behaviour vetting and makes men lazy. Nature doesn’t know about Netflix! In fact, nature doesn’t even know that the tv has been invented. Nature still thinks that men should woo a woman before he drags her back to his cave. Treat her like the Queen that she is, wine and dine her, open doors for her, collect her at 8pm and even surprise her with flowers. Think romance. This should not be done in the hope of some reward pussy, but because he wants to spend that time, effort and money (yes he should be paying in those early days) in the effort to make her want to be his Queen. He should want to romance you.
He should be chasing you, not the other way around. The minute you chase a man you lower your value and he won’t invest in you because he won’t feel the need to. He’ll get lazy and you’ll end up in a situationship and not knowing where you stand.
These early days of dating are when you should both be on your best behaviour. But if you only ever have house dates then you won’t ever see his true character. Imagine having three months of house dates to then discover that when he takes you out to the local Harvester for your birthday dinner treat, he’s rude to the waiting staff, has no table manners and gets shit faced off 3 pints of Stella. Shock horror and you’ve been having regular sleepovers with this guy! He’s hooked you now but you won’t be able to train him. You’re stuck with this shitty version of him.
You’re A Fillet Steak
Ok so not everyone has a weekend millionaire budget, and you should not expect that either. But if all you’re being offered is Netflix and pizza then that’s the life you are setting yourself up for and it will get very boring very fast.
If you want to date and be wooed then you have to have actual dates to real places that aren’t in your own home, or his. It’s nice to get dressed up, look your best for your date, go for dinner, talk, laugh, the flirty little touches and longing looks. It’s like foreplay with your clothes on. It also gives you the opportunity to suss out how much you have in common with this man who gives you fanny flutters. Don’t get me wrong, sexual chemistry is important, but you can’t bang 24/7, occasionally you have to eat a proper meal with a knife and fork or have a conversation that’s not about guiding him to your clitoris.
That said, as much as I love a good KFC, a date with a Big Daddy meal does not make someone boyfriend material. A nice meal at somewhere with table cloths shows potential. But surprising me with a sharing bucket is good spontaneity. There has to be a mix. You aren’t just a takeaway and film kinda girl. You’re a fillet steak, with dessert.
And fillet steak does not happen at last minute dot com. If he wants prime dating time in your diary then he needs to forward book. Sometimes last minute can be a nice surprise but too much of it will make you just a booty call with the odd KFC if you’re lucky.
Hanging On The Telephone
So in my rules, there’s no chasing and I’m expecting to be wooed. I hope you’re paying attention here. Dating apps create a false paradox. All that chitty chatty over messages is bullshit. Remember what I’ve said previously about not wanting a penpal? My hard and fast rule now is that after 3 days of chitty chatty, if no date has been set, then they are gone. Likewise, after a first date, or even in between future dates, 3 days without any contact (that he instigates) and I’m gone. Why? Because he isn’t wooing me or I’ve not left enough of an impact for him to miss my presence, even if that is just in a message. I’m clearly not on his mind or he’s finding space for me. Once a week booty call? Not going to happen. Taking longer than 24 hours to respond to a text? See ya.
No second chances, no making exceptions, no excuses for being busy blah blah blah. Trust me, I’m a busy girl. I run 3 businesses, 2 blogs, I’m a single parent and have a partridge in a pear tree. But if you offer me a date of value with someone I’d potentially like to consider for a more fixed role with a title, then you can bet your last penny I am going to make time and space for them. Even if it means missing Bake Off. But I’m not waiting by the phone for the offer to come. I’m busy getting on with my life and making other plans. I may not be free at the drop of a hat. And even if I am, I may not tell you that. Women of value don’t need to fake orgasms. They just fake full diaries.
And The Winner Is…….
You’re the prize dear lady. He isn’t your prize. You’re his. And don’t ever forget that. Men will try every trick in the book they can find to get you naked. Don’t be fooled by his bullshit. If he offers you the girlfriend title when all you’ve done is Netflix and chill then be warned, he’s not a keeper and you’re just a placeholder. Likewise, if he offers you the title before you’ve taken him for a test drive between the sheets, then proceed with caution.
If you want to have sex with a bloke, then do it. Don’t worry about the dating, the title or the oxytocin (because you know to ignore that now). But do not, and I repeat do not, get yourself into a just sex situation unless that’s all you want. Don’t go shopping for the fillet steak and come home with a pound menu cheeseburger and say your appetite is satisfied. He may be hot as hell, but you have no room on your dating roster for a situationship if you’re looking for an actual boyfriend. And besides, Christmas is coming.
The Last Word
In my own dating experiences, ditching the apps was the right thing to do. When I stepped foot out into the real world I was better able to pick and choose who I gave my time, and my number to. And one has lasted more than two dates and remains on the roster. He’s even a proper grown-up and rather dishy. Granted he’s probably reading this and if he’s any sense he’s taking notes whilst figuring out where to book a table. It’s ok, I’ll drive.
Doing the app swiping thing does not and cannot ever replace that face to face meeting. Now me and my mate Geoff have set up and started running our Singles Nights (click the link and book yourself on one) I’ve noticed that men have a severe ditching the apps issue. They’ve become like a comfort blanket. Lads, piece of advice here. If you want to find the woman of your dreams then you are going to have to step out of your comfort zone, step up and get out there and find her (preferably at one of our events). Trust me, she’s out there and waiting to meet you, but you’re gonna have to show up, in person! No more swiping and chitty chatting. Think about romance.
Dating was never meant to be easy or comfortable. But all good things begin at the end of your comfort zone. Give it a try, you just never know who you might find. Don’t settle for a fast-food romance when prime fillet steak should be on your plate.
All this talk of steak has made me hungry.