I’ve been single for 5 years, with a few dalliances along the way but nothing substantial enough to call a relationship.
The History Of Wrong Guys
My first “boyfriend” was a boy from the wrong side of the tracks.
We would hang out in his house and smoke, and mum hated him. With good reason! When I was about 20, he and his sister appeared on Jeremy Kyle because she was apparently selling her body to pay for drugs. We broke up because he cheated on me.
My first real boyfriend was a rocker who I met online. He had shoulder-length hair and a hat permanently stuck to his head.
We would see each other once a month and it was normally me who would make the trip from Lancaster to Leicester to stay with him. He had no drive and no determination to succeed. As I drew closer to my graduation, I knew that I had to end it. I just couldn’t be with someone who was happy to live a mediocre life.
My next boyfriend was a chubby water engineer who inhaled food as if it was about to be taken away from him. He was the worst boyfriend I could’ve chosen for myself at that time.
He would call me fat but would only order me takeaways; he would smack his dog and have such a temper that I thought it would turn on me; and worst of all, he would call me selfish for no reason. Looking back, it was emotional abuse and I’m so proud that I got out of that situation.
I have been on dating apps for YEARS and I’m not sure why – probably because I’m a scaredy cat and don’t like meeting people face-to-face!
I’ve been on Plenty of Fish (please don’t ever do that to yourself!), Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, the free trials of eHarmony and Match.com… Yep, I’ve tried them all. It’s always been a boredom-killer; have a quick swipe, check out some guys, have a quick flirt, but it rarely went further than that.
There’s something so fake about dating apps.
You put up your best pictures, try and be witty in your profile and talk to your matches like Mary Poppins when really you’re swigging wine out of the bottle because you couldn’t be bothered to wash a glass. Or is that just me…?
I am a typical people-pleaser. Even if I don’t like someone, I don’t want to be the one to end things, so when I met O, he wasn’t what I would normally go for and he was just a nice guy. Yep, I said it. He was a nice guy and I didn’t see anything else.
Of course, in true Naomi fashion, I met him twice and was planning on another date, even though I knew that it wasn’t going to go anywhere. I didn’t have the urge to hold his hand or kiss him, and I didn’t think about him naked (which is a sure sign that it’s not going to go anywhere!) but I tried to soldier through because he was good on paper.
Then I got The Text.
He dumped me! Apparently, he had reservations and we were “very, very” different people.
Agreed. Totally agreed!
At first, I was shocked and I had no idea what to do – I’d never been dumped before and it sucked that I was dumped by a guy that I didn’t even like. I mean, hello??
Delete The Drama
On the 1st of January, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to create the life that I’ve imagined if I’m trying to date.
I plan on going to Canada (if I get the visa!) and teaching abroad in South Korea or China for a while. A boyfriend might not help me with that. One of the things about O that was holding me back was my plans with Canada. He wouldn’t be able to come with me and I don’t think I’d want him to!
The thought of having to consider another person really dampens my wanderlust. I want to be able to pack a bag and jump on a flight to an unknown place but people have responsibilities, and that’s ok.
I’m in a place right now where I don’t have anything to think about; I don’t have pets, or a partner or a mortgage, all of which add up to me being as free as a bird. Of course, I have my family to consider but they are supportive of me wanting to go and adventure and they’ll be here when I get home.
Onwards and Upwards
I have to admit that it’s really weird knowing that I don’t have those apps anymore.
They’re not taking up space on my phone or filling in those moments where my brain can only stare at pictures…
There’s a mixture of emotions linked with it.
I’m a bit scared that I’ll end up alone but I’ve never wanted to get married or have kids, so that’s an irrational fear that has never been an issue. I think removing the option of me being alone has brought this fear to the surface.
I also feel liberated because I’m not constantly having to be my best self to impress people. I’m also just accepting who I am, but that’s for another post.
There’s a sense of freedom as well because I’m not tethered to my phone, constantly worried about if I’m going to get a match, or if that cute guy has responded to my message…
My self-confidence is boosted because I’m not basing my worth of the swipe of some random guy that I’ve never met (and will most likely never meet because they’re all flakes on there!). I’m here and I’m awesome. They can’t see that through an app, and that’s their loss.