A World Of Opportunity

Walking is beautifully therapeutic and grounding.

After recent events, this weekend has been a chance for me to remember what’s important in life. The things we take for granted. The things in life that are free. Appreciating the simplest moments, the smallest of goings on in the big wide world. Living life in the now.

If being single has taught me one thing, its how to find myself. How to be a better person. How to live for today.

It’s given me the opportunity to further my understanding of the world around me, improve on myself, and taught me how to give back to the world. When you haven’t got someone beside you all the while you realise there’s so much you can give, to everyone. A simple smile, a warm greeting, a kind gesture.

In most of my everyday life I always feel rushed. There’s always a list of things to do, people to see, connections to maintain. I often feel like there’s no time to relax. To stop and take note. In the past I’ve turned to meditation for this. I’ve started to once again,

I also read a lot of self help books. I don’t necessarily read them to make myself amazing. I read them because every time I do they open my mind and soul up to something bigger than myself. This power, this way of thinking that I didn’t think was possible. Something switches on in my head, a door opens. It’s like an addiction. These moments of clarity where the world makes sense. Where the world is good and pure. Where my dreams are possible. Where everything in this life is precious, and amazing, and everything is within reach. I read them for this.

A walk in the woods today gave me that same clarity. As I walked, I kept my focus on my breath, and the sensations around me. Everything around me as I was walking on this sunny, crisp, autumn day became incredible.

The air felt pure and clean within my lungs. Imagining these gentle giants absorbing my carbon dioxide to give the air new life, new fuel for it’s inhabitants, became fascinating. I noticed the colour of every leaf. The beauty of the natural world. The crisp crunching of dry and damp leaves beneath my feet. It was so peaceful, so serene.

As I sat on a log alone it was so quiet. Quiet enough for me, as I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing, to notice the pine needles falling from the trees. To hear the bracken rustling gently in the breeze. To hear the natural cracks of the twigs and branches around me.

It. was. amazing.

As I began to walk back to the real world through the depths of the forest, the more I looked, the more I saw. Mushrooms began to appear as if from nowhere; scattering the forest floor. Life was everywhere. Even on the floor of a forest coming to the end of its time for the year, life was still blooming amongst the debris.

It made me take note that nothing is impossible. I am reassured by the processes of life. That nothing lasts forever. That now, in this moment, is the time to treasure. One day someone will come along who will be everything I’ve ever wanted. Who knows when that may be, but in the meantime this chapter of my life is precious.

Life isn’t about success with material things. It’s about appreciating the fact that we’re alive. Appreciating nature and the world around us. Cherishing all of it. It’s about being the best version of yourself to illicit great, inspiring feelings in others.

No one will remember how much was in your bank account. They will remember how you made them feel. It makes me want to be kind to everyone and everything I come into contact with. It fills me with such love for everyone and everything that I could burst. I want to make everyone feel loved.

So when people roll their eyes at me for reading self help books, or going for a walk on my own, I don’t mind. Because if they felt what I do when I get those moments of clarity, they’d be hooked too.

I hope you all have had a fantastic weekend.

Part 4 of “It could only happen to me” to follow in the near future. x

Dating Lesson #13 – Not-So Shiver Me Timbers

I’ve not posted for so long I’ve actually begun to forget some of the dates I’ve yet to have written about, but seeing as this one has come to me I felt the need to share. After all, sharing is caring.

The dating scene had been quiet for a while and I had decided to take a break; I came off Tinder, I came off OK Cupid, and thought “I’ll have some me time”. I wasn’t expecting anyone to contact me because how could they? I’d removed myself from the dating scene. So you can imagine my surprise when out of the blue I get a text from a number I don’t recognise.

“Hi CountryGirl, remember me? It’s Phil; the guy who lives on a boat? Thought I’d see how you are as we got on well but never met up…”.

I feel at this point I should make it clear it had been a while. Two whole months to be exact since I had exchanged numbers with this guy… Who does that? Who keeps a random girl’s number on their phone when I’d come offline two months before? One of two explanations crossed my mind:

  1. He’s a really lovely guy who kept it in the hope we’d keep texting
  2. He’s a psycho who just wants to get laid.

I was optimistic and went for the former.

So erring on the side of caution I decided to reply but kept things light and non-committal. We ended up exchanging pleasantry’s for a couple of days when he asked me out. Result! Well, why not? What have I got to lose?

We decided to meet at a local bar-come restaurant on a lovely summers evening. We sat outside by the river. It soon became clear that this guy was lovely, but not quite for me. He was really quite shy, and kept apologizing for himself. I’d ask him about certain things I’d learnt about him since chatting; playing the violin, being part of a folk band, carpentry. He had some real talents. But for some reason he couldn’t see it. Every time I gave him a compliment or wanted to find out more about him he’d put himself down.

Example 1.

Me: “That’s pretty cool that you play in a folk band! You must be good.”

Him: “Oh no, no. Not really. I’m not very good”

Me: “You may be better than you give yourself credit for!”

Example 2.

Me: “You’ve been traveling? I’d love to hear about it”

Him: “It’s really not that exciting and a bit of  a long story, I’d bore you. Oh god I’m boring you aren’t I”

Me: “Not at all, I’d be interested to hear”

Him: “Well to cut a long story short…”

Just tell  me the story!

Etc, etc.

It’s a real shame. He seemed like a genuine, pleasant guy, but there was just no self confidence, no assurance or self belief.

I could see my old self reflected in his attitudes towards himself. It was like I was looking into the past at what I must have been like when my ex broke up with me and if I’d gone on a date then what I’d have been like.

Perhaps he’d had a big knock. Perhaps he’d always been like it. Who knows, but unfortunately I’d decided by the end of the date he wasn’t for me. I needed someone with self confidence. Not arrogance, just someone who respects themselves and doesn’t put themselves down all the time. I’d been the stronger one in a relationship before, and was certain that wasn’t what I wanted again.

After becoming single, I’d learnt about my own self worth and had changed for the better in that respect towards myself. It was strange seeing it from the other side rather than being the one who felt worthless, or at least projecting that view of themselves to other people.

A few days later he messaged me and asked me out again. I let him down gently (at least I think I did), told him he was a lovely guy, but that I didn’t think we were compatible. I got a rather rude reply back with a sarcastic comment at the end. I think he may have even asked if there was anything he could improve on. I so desperately wanted to tell him to work on his own self esteem, but thought better of it; I didn’t want to hurt his feelings even more.

Needless to say I never heard from him again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating Lesson #12- Zero Dark Flirty

So.

After a while of being on POF and being little bit more proactive, I started talking to a guy code named “Mark”.

He was chatty, flirty, and came across as quite confident. After a few days of talking he asked me out on a date. Because we both had things planned during the days and evenings (us being such socialites),we arranged to go on a breakfast date. I know right…very cosmopolitan!

We decided to go to a cafe near where he lived and is a short drive from me. It’s quite a hip, vintagey, bits-and-bobs type venue. A cool place to hang out and have breakfast, an afternoon tea venue, and in the evenings changed into this awesome bar, come mini club playing “Kill Bill” on a projector whilst retro 80’s music boomed across the crowded dance floor. ANYWAY, I digress.

So I arrive early, and he strolls up looking even more attractive than he appeared on his pictures, and I’m thinking “yes! finally someone I’m attracted to physically!”. Now I know that looks aren’t the be all and end all, in fact far from it, but when you’re online dating that is the single most important thing that gets you interested in someones profile. I also feel there has to be some physical attraction initially in order to want to get to know the person on a romantic level. So that was the first big tick. All my other dates had been nice and the guy wasn’t unattractive, but I didn’t get that “yes, I fancy you” feeling.

So we hug, go inside and get ourselves seated at an arcade table which turns out to be a great conversation starter! He’d got great arms I noticed; obviously works out or plays sport. He’d got great eyes, and unusually for me he was blond; not what I’d usually go for. And the more I find out about him the more I like him.

He played rugby – big tick in my book! He’d been to university and low and behold it turns out he went to the same city as I did for uni, just the rival campus; what are the chances! He’s close with his sister, likes kids, has ambition, is a manager for a gym and was a personal trainer. He was well spoken,witty, articulate, and intelligent. For me this was, and is pretty much what I’m after in a potential romance, so I was overjoyed!

Obviously, I tried to play it cool. I made jokes, flirted as best as someone like me can (that is to say I do not know how to play the game!), and was generally open and engaging.

We played a bit of Pac-man, realised that we’d been in there nearly two hours, and called time on the date.

Now, as we left I made a bit of a mistake in how I handled the goodbye. This is only from a book I read, but you should let your date know if you had a good time, but not suggest another date or seem too keen. I however, on walking away from him said “I’ll text you”.

Not cool country girl. Not cool at all. I immediately knew I’d made a mistake as soon as the words left my lips, but the damage was done and I would have to be the one to text first. My only saving grace is that he replied with “make sure you do…”

“YES!” I thought. “He must like me if he wants me to text him”.

So again, I tried to play by the rules of dating, or what I think are the rules of dating; you should leave it at least 24 hours before texting. I was patient, and did exactly that. It wasn’t anything big, just something along the lines of “Thanks for a great time. How was London?” (He’d gone there to see friends after the date).

Did I get a reply? No. Did I want one? My god yes.

Eventually he did respond, but each time I replied (in a not so eager manner) I didn’t hear anything for at least 3 days.

I didn’t understand. It had gone so well. I was gutted.

One evening about a two weeks after the first date he decided to see if I was going out on the town. I said I wasn’t but he tried to get me to come out and “bring my friends”. I declined, and told him if he’d like to go out again for another date I’d be more than happy to. He said he’d check his calendar…

…and I never heard from him again.

Why? Who knows. But I do know the following:

  1. I should have taken the hint when talking about Netflix and he replied “yeah but no Netflix-and-chill sadly”, that perhaps we was looking for a hook up.
  2. I should NOT have said that I’d text him.
  3. That he just wasn’t that into me.

As hard as that is to hear myself say, he wasn’t. I can’t control how the date felt for him. Perhaps I wasn’t his type. Perhaps my confidence put him off. Perhaps he suspected I wanted to do things properly, and he wanted casual fun. I don’t know and I’ll never know. But if he was interested, he’d have made the effort.

That is one lesson time and time again I haven’t yet quite grasped. I am worth being chased. I am worth a phone call. I am worth dating.

Slowly but surely, that is registering somewhere in me. As you will see later though, I haven’t got it, just yet.

As a small side note, is it just me or do other people out there wish that if a guy wasn’t interested you could get some feedback on your date? What they didn’t like, what they did, what could be improved on? Thats the one thing with dating that really gets me. How will I know if I’m a good date if no one ever tells you if it’s good or not?

Would love to know your thoughts.

Love as always,

Country girl x

 

Baby Got Back.

Hello!

Wow. It has been AGES since I updated my blog! Apologies.

Honestly, I just fancied a break from the whole dating thing. After a while it becomes like social media; an automatic reflex to do on your phone, and I didn’t like that. I wanted to be free from the commitments of checking my profile, updating photos, deleting messages from people who can only be bothered to say “hi”.

I can confidently say it was great…for a while.

I got my life back! Suddenly I found myself making my time much more productive. I started a crochet project and made a cute elephant for my friends baby. I did more exercise. I worried less about what people thought about me and just enjoyed doing things for me. There was no pressure to make an effort with men online and it was empowering. I was on a dating holiday; a hiatus from the stresses of keeping up POF, Tinder and OK Cupid appearances. I was sunning myself up on the hypothetical beach of the island ‘Nondatius’.

I spent a good three months not worrying about dating and began to feel more like me again, without the annoying thoughts of:

Do I like this guy? Should I go on another date with him? Why isn’t he relpying? Oh wait it’s only been an hour. Three days later..WHY isn’t he replying!? Maybe I should message him…NO countrygil, NO. Don’t you dare! You are worth more than that and you don’t want to appear desperate. OH but why won’t he reply? Whats wrong with me? Why can I not seem to find someone decent?  I think my heads going to explode…AAARRRRGGGH!!!

Etc, Etc.

Problem was, I wasn’t really meeting anyone new either. I always thought, and hoped, that when I do meet my match it would be organically. There’d be no online dating involved…Drifts off into a romantic dreamy daze…I bump into someone in the post office, dropping my letters all over the floor. He helps me pick them up and then as we rise together we look into each others eyes and get that instant click of chemistry. Or through a friend, or maybe even through work. A spontaneous arrival at my workplace to ask me out. A phone call offering to take me out to dinner. You know, good old fashioned dating. Where a guy chases a girl, where he knows how to behave whilst still having a cheeky flirt. Does anyone else have this problem? Not being able to meet people in day to day life?

Perhaps that will still happen. Perhaps it won’t. But regardless, meeting men in this day and age just doesn’t seem very easy.

So, after three lovely men-free months I’ve decided to brave it again, if for nothing other than more dating practice and for when Mr Right comes along. Oh, and of course for you blogging amusement!

I’ve still got a few stories up my sleeve so stay tuned for much more regular posts than there has been recently.

As always, comments are always welcome. Would love to hear of similar experiences of people who don’t particularly like online dating but can’t seem to meet men otherwise.

See you soon!

Countrygirl x

Close Encounters Of The 1st Kind

Well I talked that up didn’t I…They say thoughts create your reality and perhaps my last blog did just that.

Today, for the first day since he walked out the door never to return, I saw him. I was on my way to work and despite never in a year and a half ever seeing him anywhere, there he was. An early morning drive by from me as he walked to work. I knew it was him before I even got close. I could recognise his trainers a mile away. I knew his walk like the back of my hand. His hair was similar but slightly different. As soon as I saw his head turn slightly I knew it was my ex.

I kept my hands on the wheel, slightly panicking as my car was approaching and did the only thing I could think of in that moment; I didn’t look. I drove like it was any other day. I tried not to look in my mirrors. I hoped he hadn’t recognised the car although I imagine he probably did. My body was going through the usual motions. My autopilot steering me to work was ticking away nicely. But I felt sick to my stomach. Butterflies of nerves washed over me like a wave. My breathing changed.

Before I knew it the feelings I thought I’d let go of, that day when he left, came flooding back. They were filtered somewhat, not quite so paralysingly pungent as before but still recognisable. Hurt. Betrayal. Loneliness. Worthlessness. Longing for someone/something that’s no longer there. That I couldn’t stop looking at with rose-tinted glasses.

It affected me for the majority of the day despite my best efforts. I did what I needed to to get it out of my system. I texted friends, I almost cried at work, I got on with things. When I was distracted it was fine. But that image of seeing him there this morning was like a cloud hanging over me.

I tried to use it at lunch to help push me during my workout at the gym. I kept forgiving him in my head, sending him love and best wishes, hoping he was happy as though I was having a conversation with him face to face. I sent him only happy thoughts.

But I was disappointed in myself. I’d come so far. I’d grown so much. It felt like a backwards step when I thought I was almost at a place where I could be over it. I began to question that perhaps I wasn’t. It left me feeling deflated and empty. Can you believe it…all this from a single sighting of him. I didn’t look him in the eye, I didn’t have to speak to him, yet here they were, these feelings were trying to ruin my day. And they almost succeeded. Almost.

I was supposed to go on a date tonight. Unfortunately he had to cancel but I wasn’t willing to go home after work. I’d been wanting to see a film named “How to be single” for a while but I hadn’t had the time or people hadn’t been free. So I did what I wanted. I had a date night with myself. I took myself to the cinema in massively clashing gym clothes (because I wasn’t willing to be seen in my work clothes out and about) and had a GREAT time!

That film was exactly what I needed. Spending time with me doing something I wanted to do was exactly what I needed. And I’m beginning to love cinema dates with myself!

I was scared about watching the movie. From the trailers I had watched I thought it was going to be about drinking, sex, more drinking and more sex. I’m not that kind of person so that would have made me feel even worse about being single as though I wasn’t doing it right. But it was the complete opposite. It appealed to every type of single person out there. Everyone being single in their own ways, no one doing it wrong or right; no judgement. It was so uplifting, side-achingly funny, and inspirational.

It made me realise how great my life is and how my previous posts about the positives of being single are true; this is truly a time to be cherished. I have so much less free time now than I’ve ever had because I’m doing so much more with it. I work in three different places. I have so many wonderful groups of friends. I’ve made so many more new friends as a result of being single. I’ve been travelling to places I don’t think I would have been able to if I’d stayed in that relationship; Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, France. Trips with friends instead of just me and him. And I wouldn’t change those experiences for the world.

I volunteer, I meditate, I eat better, I sleep better, I exercise more, I go out more, I read more. There’s so much more to just finding someone. NOW is the time for me to find myself. NOW is my time. I may never get this again! I may never be single like this again.

I’ve come home after singing in the car at the top of my lungs to a feeling of satisfaction in my life. I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. And I really don’t feel like I want anyone at the moment. I choose to be single. I want to carry on developing myself.

It makes me want to delete my Plenty of Fish profile, and I may well do! It makes me want to take a break from Match.com (and if they hadn’t screwed me over for another 6 months subscription I probably would!).

Today has been a rollercoaster of emotion, and it’s ended on a high thanks to a date night with myself, and a fantastic film.

If any of you singles need a pick me up, go watch it. I promise you it will fill you with happiness.

 

Please feel free to leave any comments; love hearing from you.

Until the next time,

Countrygirl x

 

Dating Lesson #8 – Singledom Part 3

Evening all,

I haven’t been very well recently so I’m afraid all of my positive single mojo vanished for a little while, hence why I haven’t been blogging. BUT you’ll be pleased to hear I’m getting my positive cap back on and am ready to continue the “how great it is to be single” saga!

So lets get cracking…

Singledom Lesson #6 – Freedom

Quite possibly one of THE best things about being single!

Some people see it as being lonely; a recluse, a hermit, a sad way to be…living on your own. I happen to think otherwise. Why? Because I can do whatever I like, whenever I like!

Hey, fancy dancing like a crazy person in your underwear in the middle of the living room with the music blasting? Don’t mind if I do… How about going out on your own, sitting in a restaurant having a date night with yourself, eating whatever you like without worrying what someone will think of you, then hitting the cinema? That sounds perfect! Or if you’d rather you could just stay in for the whole weekend and binge on Netflix watching the entire “Making a Murderer” in one sitting? Errrrr who wouldn’t!?

I have never had so much freedom to do anything that takes my fancy. I have learnt and am continuing to learn that being alone, and living alone doesn’t have to be a miserable, boring, lonely time. It’s MY time. My time to choose to read a book from cover to cover, whilst sitting in silence and not having to make conversation with anyone. My time to hog the TV and anything I’d like to watch. My time to play the music I like, to run a bath, to go out and do something on my own, to learn a new skill, to play guitar, to watch random pointless video’s on youtube. And it’s absolutely 100% fine to do that!

Whatever makes you happy, whether you usually need someone to do it with or not, just go do it! I promise you although it will feel weird, it will be so liberating knowing that most things you would have done with someone you can do with your own very best friend; yourself.

The possibilities are endless; you can literally do anything you feel like. It makes me appreciate this time of being single, because in years to come I may not have as much freedom. I may have more responsibility, have other people to think about and take care of. Thats why it’s ok to be a little selfish when your single, to take some time to yourself and give yourself some “me” time. Because who knows when the right person will come along and sweep you off your feet. This is your time to grow as a person, and just be yourself entirely.

Singledom Lesson #7 – Dating

Unless you are one of those people who decides one person isn’t good enough in a relationship and goes wandering, when other time than being single can you have the opportunity to rummage through the abundance of men on this planet looking for the right one?

Yes granted, some of my dates, OK lets be honest…most of my dates and encounters with the male sex haven’t been ideal, they have still been dates; lessons if you will. I have learnt something about them, and about myself from each dating experience and it’s quite exciting knowing that maybe one of these dates may be the last, first date.

Now despite me trying to release my inner sexual goddess on a number of occasions (see previous blogs) I have come to the conclusion the bed, breakfast and goodbye scenario may not be for me. BUT, if you are someone who can do that, then blimey being single is a treasure trove of potential make out sessions, netflix and chills, and friends with benefits! You’re not tied to anyone. If you feel like it you could go to a bar, window shop a bit and go home with someone you fancy a bit of the sex with. Now having not experienced this myself I’m taking a guess at whether this is good or not, but if you take it for what it is with no emotional attachment, I reckon it would be pretty great.

But if you’re like me and find being intimate with someone more of an emotional thing to do with someone you trust, then this next point is equally as good…

Singledom Lesson #8 – New Love

Getting over a breakup isn’t always easy. To this day I’m not even sure I’m 100% over it. The scars are still there, I still get nervous if I see or hear something about him or his family, but I’m definitely getting there. But one of the good things about being single is learning what went wrong in the previous relationship, consciously deciding to try and improve on the things that you were able to control next time around (because there will be at one point or another a next time around), and moving on from it.

I haven’t given up on love. I still believe in the kind of love that exists in books and in films. I see how my parents are together and I know that that kind of love does happen. I still know in my heart of hearts that everyone deserves real, true, honest love and if you believe it enough, your thoughts will create your reality.

One thing that always makes me feel better when I begin to worry about not finding someone is this thought:

“Somewhere in the world, out there right now, is my soulmate…”

And one day when I least expect it he will enter my life and it will all make sense. The waiting. The nights of wondering if I should just settle so as not to feel alone or worrying if I’ll ever love someone again. The dates that went ok and thinking “meh, maybe it could work” then realising they’re not the right person for me.

How exciting it is to think that as each days passes the person you could be ridiculously happy with, who could turn your world upside down and show you what love is supposed to be like, is edging closer and closer until one day…there he is in front of you! How exciting to imagine and visualise, to feel those feelings that will manifest when you’re with him on that first date. The nerves, the shy excitement, that giddy happy feeling knowing you’ve found someone you can just click with. How exciting and wonderful to imagine what that first kiss could be like, how it may be the best kiss you’ve ever had! Any and all of those thoughts fill me with such positivity that I feel immensely happy, and it hasn’t even happened yet!

I can’t wait for those feelings to turn into reality. To feel that sense of belonging, safety, security, and pure love to fill my being. I’m learning to create those within myself as I can be all I need, but having it from someone else too will be amazing.

And with that person a new, exciting chapter of my life will start.

Now if thats not one good thing about being single, knowing that all that is going to happen sometime in the future, I don’t know what is!

 

I hope for anyone reading this who is single, that this has helped you feel better about your situation (if you weren’t happy with it that is!). I hope these blogs help you to see some of the good that can come out of being on your own. This is just another phase in my life, which I aim to get as much out of as possible before it’s too late, and I hope this inspires you to do the same 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this. As always I’d love to hear any thoughts anyone has so please do comment if you’d like.

All the best, and until the next time,

Countrygirl x

 

Dating Lesson #8 – Singledom: Part 2

Welcome to the second instalment of why being single can be pretty darn awesome!

So in the continuing theme from yesterdays post lets get right down to it!

Singledom Lesson #3 -There is no rush!

I used to sit around thinking to myself “I’m going to be alone forever…I’m going to be single for the rest of my life…I’m never going to have a boyfriend again or get married or do all the things I want to do with someone else”.

Do you know what I’ve realised in my year and four months of being single? I’ve not really in the grand scheme of things even been single that long! People go years without having another relationship. Men and women who have lost their life-long partners sometimes decide to never let love in again, some people decide to be single for their entire lives. I need to chill the F out! I’m 27 for crying out loud with hopefully a good 50+ years ahead of me yet there I was with this somber attitude about being single.

Well folks thats all changed. Sure I get moments where thoughts like that may cross my mind but I am confident that at some point in my life I will find someone I love again. I have faith and am comforted by the thought that sometime, someday, probably in the way I least expect, that it will happen. As they say, what you think creates your reality and despite those occasional worried thoughts, I believe with that one solid, true, belief that I hold about finding love again, that love will find me.

It provides me with the most valuable asset we all try to get as much of as possible; time.

Without the worry of “will I ever find someone” it switches my thinking back to being grateful again. Grateful that I have this time of being single to do the things I want to do with my life before I share them with someone else. To have time for myself. To do the things I’ve always wanted to do before I may not be able to in the future.

I now look at being single as a treasured time, a precious phase of opportunity which I should grasp with both hands and use to live life to the fullest.

Singledom Lesson #4 – Taking Opportunities

Friends:

“Hey fancy going on holiday with me this year?”

“Fancy going to this festival with me?”

“Would you like to come travelling with me round this country?”

Yes, yes, and hell yes!

There’s no thought required anymore. If there’s something fun being offered and I have the funds to be able to do it, I’m there. Do I have to consult with my partner to make sure I can go? No. Do I have to worry about if I have enough money so that we’re both comfortable with finances? No. My money is my money. My time is free to spend as I wish.

Do I want to learn a new hobby? Sign Language? Learn to paint? Sure lets do it!

Since becoming single I have done more than I have in the 3 years being in a relationship since university. I’ve travelled to more places in a year than I can remember, been to my first music festival, spent more time with friends and family, taken up a new pastime, tried new things. Life has so much to give to someone, anyone in fact not just single people. But being single has opened my eyes up to all the possibilities. I have more life ambitions that ever before, and I love the freedom I currently have.

I feel like the options are limitless at the moment. If I wanted to up and move across the other side of the world, I could! I won’t, but I could…

Singledom Lesson #5- Working on myself

I’d been in a relationship since I was 16. I would be confident in certain aspects of life; I knew with enough work I could succeed in a career. I could chat to people despite having social anxiety. University helped me come out of my shell the most. But I can honestly say I don’t think I ever truly loved myself, or even began to love myself at all. I always put others first. I would put myself down with negative thoughts about my self image, my appearance, how I would never be attractive, how I wasn’t really wanted there when I hung out with my friends.

Since becoming single, I have begun to learn how to truly love myself. Im not there yet by any means but had I stayed in that relationship I would have never come across such inspirational friends and writers to help me on the path to self love. Louise Hay is an inspiration to me. I read a lot of self help books about how to be a better person e.g. How to Make Friends and Influence People, The Power of Now.

I took a long hard honest look at myself and my life. I went to therapy; something I never thought I’d do or even need.

Affirmations and being kind to myself have changed my life. All because I became single.

I still get anxious about social situations. I still worry about my appearance. I think that’s only human. But the difference between myself then, and now, is a marked improvement and I’m excited to continue using my free time as a singleton to further develop my self love and love for others.

 

There’s still more to come; I’m not done with how great being single is just yet so keep your eyes peeled for another blog soon. Hope you enjoyed, and feel free to comment. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

CountryGirl x

Dating Lesson #8 -Singledom: Part 1

Good evening to you all and thanks for joining!

The dating scene has been a little dry recently (oh don’t worry I’ve still got some stories to tell!) so it’s given me some time to think about where I am and about being a member of the land of singledom.

So a slightly different lesson plan today folks, but it’ll be bright and cheerful none the less.

It’s been one year and four months since I became an elite member of the singles club. I thought being single would be a handicap. I thought people would come up to me and be all “Oh, your single? Oh I’m so sorry, why can’t you seem to find a man?!”, and on the rare occasion that has happened. I thought I would be miserable, sat at home like a loner with no one to spend time with or cuddle up to. Basically I saw being single in a very negative light, probably because I hadn’t been without a boyfriend in a looooong time and the thought scared the life out of me!

Being in a relationship can be pretty darn great. Being in a relationship seems to be the socially accepted thing to do. You find someone, possibly even “settle” for someone, get married, get a house, have children. It’s the done thing for the vast majority of people and at some point in the future I hope to do those things too. Being single seems to be seen as something undesirable; a way of living that isn’t by choice but forced upon someone by the breakdown of a relationship. Something people seem to be sympathetic towards.

But you know what? Being single is pretty blooming great too!

I’ve learnt so much since becoming a single lady (All the single ladies? All the single ladies! All the single ladies? All the single ladies! Put your hands UP!), and I’d like to share with you the lessons I’ve learned so far about being unattached that make it so darn good…

Singledom Lesson #1 – Gratitude

This is the seldom most important lesson I have learnt thus far since being on my own. In the early weeks and months following my break-up, it was hard to stay upbeat all the time. In fact if you asked my friends at the time they’d probably say I was a pretty big crying mess of a person! But a simple and easy way for me to remain positive and happier came along when a friend (and the book they gave me) suggested I write a gratitude list every day of all the things in my life I was grateful for.

I can safely say this is one of the most valuable lessons I have EVER learnt. It turns my attention to all the wonderful, fantastic things and people in my life. It makes me remember everything good, simple and pure in my life. The simplest, teeny tiny things that usually get taken for granted don’t escape my focus anymore. Such basic, life-giving gifts that so rarely get thought about but that so many in the world go without. Clean water. Available food. A roof over my head. Warmth. A bed. Clothes. People who love me and who I love being part of my life.

It never ceases to make me stop and go “WOW. I am SO lucky to have all these things! I am SO lucky to have been given the opportunity for an education, to have healthcare, to be able to go to university, to have time to have fun”. And it always puts a positive spin on my day. Ever since the day I picked up that pen and wrote in my journal for the first time my gratitude list, I make one in my head or on paper every day of what I am grateful for in my life.

And I’ll never stop being grateful for that. For being given the chance to learn this lesson.

Singledom Lesson #2 – Friends and Family

I have never been more grateful for the caring, lovely, funny, wonderful friends in my life since becoming single.

I’ve never been one to ditch my friends when I’m in a relationship; I liked to have my own life outside the “us” that was my boyfriend and I.

But when you go through a break-up you realise how many friends you truly have, and I was very lucky to have lots and lots of people gather round and support me when I needed it. They stayed with me in my house to comfort me when I woke up most mornings crying, they made me laugh when I felt like curling up into a ball, they forced me to go out and socialise when all I fancied doing was staying in my house and moping. They were my ROCKS. They were, and ARE everything to me, as are my family. They are my extended family, and I don’t know what I would do without them. So if any of you are reading this, I love you a hell of a lot!

I am also more grateful than I have ever been for my family. I’ve never appreciated so much just how much they have done for me, and how deep their love goes. My pain after the breakup was their pain. My tears became their tears. My hurting heart made theirs hurt. It made me realise how deeply connected with them I am despite how much or little we tell each other we love each other out loud.

My family have never been the “I love you” sort, but we all know. Its a given between us all. If there was ever a family emergency, we’d all be there for one another in an instant. But going through a break up has highlighted how much I love them. I hug them more, I tell them more how much I value them, the bond has deepened further than I knew it could.

So again, if any of you are reading this, I love you dearly.

To be continued…

Wow I’ve said more than I was expecting and only covered two amazing parts of being single! Im itching to write the next instalment already! Stay tuned for more in the following days, and I hope this has put a smile on your face.

Thoughts and comments are always welcome 🙂

See you soon,

CountryGirl x

Dating Lesson #7-Dangerous Liaisons

Well hello there…

So let me tell you all about how a date could have happened but he freaked me out, and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you why his texting made me block his account.

Ok enough with the Will Smith (brownie points if you got that!) Hmmm maybe I should do a rhyming rap date blog…watch this space!

I shall call him…Valentino. A charmer to begin with, he looked quite nice, he was smiling (we know how I like that), he had himself for his profile picture in a tux posing like James bond, and he was a bit different to what I’d usually go for (by that I mean he had quite a few tattoo’s). But hey, I’m open, not going to rule someone out for tattoo’s if I can help it, so we got to talking.

And it started off quite well.

Before we begin, I should just day this dating book I’ve read in the past said to me that in order to get more than just the weirdo’s messaging you, that I had to be proactive and message people first; they like that as it’s usually the man who has to make the first move. So I sent the first message and was trying to be flirty and mysterious…

Online…

Me: “Hi Valentino, I see you’ve been checking out my profile…so tell me, did you like what you saw? :-)”

Valentino: “Hey, yes I did very much, but how do I get to meet you face to face?”

Me: “You do what most people do if they want to meet, you ask me out on a date”

Valentino: “Would you do me the honour of going out for a drink with me?”

Me: “Sure, here’s my number if you wish to call me to arrange it”

He never called, but texting began immediately.

Valentino:”So did you like what you saw too? Am I the kind of guy you go for? What attracts you to a man?”

Me: “Yes I did, and no I guess my friends would say you’re not usually my type, if I even have a type! I like a man who has ambition, is loving, funny, and knows how to treat a lady. What attracts you to a woman?”

Valentino: “Confidence and a nice bum doesn’t hurt”

Alarm bell…so he’s only bothered about superficial things? Lets dig deeper…

Me: “Anything else?”

Valentino: “And sexy eyes”

Hmmm maybe there isn’t anything more to this guy…

We’d arranged a day and time to meet by this point, which was a couple of days away.

Valentino: “Can I see some more pictures of you?”

Me: “Are my four on Match not enough? It’s not long to wait then you can meet me in person”

Valentino: “So have you dated a lot of guys? Why are you single?”

Wow he’s to the point

Me: “I’ve been on some dates yes but I haven’t yet found someone I really click with, and can see it progressing with. I don’t like to lead people on if we’re not compatible. I’m not in a rush to find someone, I’m happy as I am but if someone came along that would be nice. And you?”

Valentino: “I’ve been messed around quite a bit so same really”

Oh ok, maybe he’s just trying to make sure I’m not going to mess him around too

The next day the questions continue, but there’s no flow of conversation. It’s all just messages about attractiveness and dates:

Valentino: “So have any guys made it to the third date?”

Me: “Unfortunately not no, like I said I don’t see the point of carrying on seeing someone if there’s no chemistry.”

Valentino: “Are you hard to please or something?”

Whooooaaa there boy! Crikey is that an insult or simply a question? Ok just play it cool…

Me: “No not at all, but I know what I’m looking for. Never know maybe you’ll be the first… :-)”

I later realised this was the worst thing I could have possibly said! When I told my friend later that day about how I was texting this guy but how I wasn’t sure what he was after, she read my conversation.

Friend: “You do realise what the third date means don’t you?”

Me: “No, why?”

The moment when it dawned on me what the third date meant…SEX

Me: “Oh God. I sent him back something which I didn’t realise at the time would be seen sexually! Bugger!”

In an effort to try and rectify my WAY too flirty message, I sent another text…

Me: “Just so you know, if we get to the third date I won’t be putting out so if that’s all you’re talking to me for you may as well stop talking to me now.”

Valentino: “A kiss maybe?”

Me: “Im not ruling out a kiss”

Valentino: “Fingers crossed…”

So I’m still feeling uncomfortable at this point but decide to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The day of the date arrives and he texts me that morning saying he has to postpone as tonight is the only night he can see his niece before christmas.

That’s quite sweet really, may be he’s not such a superficial guy

I’m understanding and we rearrange for two days later. But then the texts come again:

“So do you find me attractive? Why am I not what you’d usually go for? Pj’s or naked? Sex or chocolate?”

He sends me a picture

“So do you still fancy me?”

And by this point I’m thinking this is a bit much. I know hardly anything about this guy, he’s asking me nothing but stupid attractiveness questions, he’s either a player or he’s very self conscious about himself. Either way, thats not someone I want to date.

Valentino: “So what time shall I pick you up at yours?”

HELL NO! You are NOT finding out where I live.

That was the final this really doesn’t feel ok moment. So, he got blocked.

A day later he sends me a message on Match.

“Hey have you blocked me?”

He gets blocked on match.

He finds me on Plenty of Fish.

“Why you being rude and blocking me?”

Me: “To be perfectly honest with you Valentino I don’t think you’re what I’m after and to be blunt you scared me, hence me blocking you. I wish you luck in your search”

Valentino: “If you think I’m scary then you aint worth it and you going to be unhappy and single for a long time”

Me: “Actually, I think I’ll be just fine. And a word of advice, when you ask a girl out how about having a normal conversation with her, find out about her personality, don’t ask about her ex, her dates, or if she’ll kiss you. Don’t be so shallow. Good luck”.

BLOCKED.

Perhaps I didn’t go about it entirely the right way; I tried to give him a chance to just chat normally but it was a gut instinct and he didn’t seem right at all. They say your gut is never wrong, and it hasn’t let me down so far.

So if anyone has anyone like this in their phonebook you deserve a lot more than that.

Until the next time,

Countrygirl x

 

 

 

New Beginnings

One of my favourite quotes I’ve read since becoming single is “Some things fall apart so better things can come together”, and I’ve never known it to be so true but not for the reasons you might think…

After 9 years of a serious long term relationship that started when I was 17, I suddenly found myself single. A shock? Tell me about it! Looking back now I can see that things weren’t quite right. We started off in love as giddy teenagers, sharing all our first experiences with each other and learning how it felt to be with someone; it was filled with laughter and love, and before we knew it we were best friends.

But over time little alarm bells were going off inside my head. We had different goals in life, different priorities. I’ve always been a get-up-and-go person, whereas he wanted to just sit in and play computer games. I wanted to save for a house, he spent his savings on a motorbike. I wanted to meet his friends, he didn’t want to spend time with mine. We began to drift apart.

In retrospect I had all the warnings laid out in front of me, but I chose to ignore them. I was comfortable, not unhappy but not truly happy either. I was too sacred to be on my own that I would have never have left the relationship. If someone had asked me if I was in love with him, I don’t think I could have honestly said yes. I loved him to the world and back, but I wasn’t in love. My self esteem was so low that I just wanted security in any form. I needed someone to love me because I didn’t love myself.

Then one Saturday, it all collapsed. He walked out of the door, out of my life, forever. I’ve never felt pain or sadness like it; I’d lost my best friend and I knew that there was no going back.

To be honest he did me a massive favour. He was willing to do what I was not in order to make us both happier, and I’m grateful to him for that. Things would have been so much worse if we had bought a house, got married, or even had children. There are no feelings of resentment or bitterness, and despite him literally disappearing off the face of the earth even though we both live in a very small town, I hope that he’s happy.

That was just over a year ago. How different a person I am now to then. How much more I have done with my life since then. I’ve travelled more in the last year than I’ve ever done before. My life is busier seeing friends, doing things for myself, and learning new skills that I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

This time in my life has been invaluable. It’s given me time to learn to work on myself, to appreciate myself, to love myself; I’d never done that before. It’s taught me to make the most of every moment because life can be taken away in an instant. To love without inhibition my friends and family. It’s given me the space I needed to find who I am again.

And now a year into the land of singledom, I’ve ventured into the realm of online dating. And boy was it not what I was expecting!

This blog is for everyone who hasn’t been on the dating scene in a long time, who doesn’t know what they’re doing, and who have never done the dating thing before like myself.

I’m going to share with you the lessons I’m learning during my ride down the dating river, the funny embarrassing stories, the out of this world first kisses (not to have happened yet but I’m optmistic!), and everything in-between.

Until the next instalment…

Country girl x