Updated: Dec 31, 2020
"So I know you're probs not even bothered by what I'm about to say...I did find you attractive and stuff, but the TikToks and that, I'm not into that sort of thing..."
Ouch. I re-read the feedback form that he had so kindly Insta DMmed over to me after ghosting me for two weeks.
The last guy I dated began with such potential, he really did. I was 20 years old, relationship experience age of 0. Dating expertise age of about 16. Let’s just say I had been reading Matthew Hussey’s ‘How to Get the Guy’ book since I had popped out of the womb so I wasn't a stranger to the thrilling game of pursuing a man. In the lead up to my date with this 10/10 potential dude, I had pretty much binged all of Matthew’s YouTube videos - “how to have a successful first date”, “how to get him to like you”, “how to show you are girlfriend material without scaring him away”, to name a few. Not that I needed the preparation. I had his advice ingrained in me like an under-the-skin tattoo. I just wanted to confirm what I already knew and get the pre-date energy vibez going.
The date was… average. He was hot, I kissed him on the way out, but he didn’t tick a lot of the things off that I was looking for in a guy. He didn’t feed my ego as much as I fed his, still, I played the role of oh-so-happy-to-be-here and i’ll-laugh-at-all-your-jokes. The poster girl for "I AM WIFE MATERIAL" the musical - super amused, interested (not to mention interesting… but did he think so?) and tactile. What more could a guy want?!
He told me on the train home that he couldn’t believe he had met a girl like me. Oh we’re in, babes! He’s not Mr. Right, but he’s Mr. Right Now. I turned my feelings of deflation into feelings of hope and excitement… the red flags aren’t really red flags are they, they’re just ‘quirks’, stuff I can iron out. He’s interested in me, not to mention really hot so I should definitely see him again and make my mind up after date 2. Oh he’s got such big things planned for date 2, I can already tell based on his favourite places to go and the way he’s groping my leg…
and then… the dreaded ghost.
“You’ve gone quiet. Take it no date 2?” I was confused, perplexed, doubting everything I had thought to be true. He was SO INTO ME ON THE DATE?!
“Ahh I’ve got an exam in December I need to be studying for.” It was SEPTEMBER.
I fell straight into self-pity, 'woe is me', i’ll-never-ever-get-a-guy-to-love me reflexes. And then it dawned on me… I had spent all of my time thinking my techniques and tips for ‘bagging this man’ had failed me, when he was never ever the type of man I wanted to bag in the first place.
Yep, you heard it... he thought my silly TikToks were an indicator of my personality (he found my profile himself and proceeded to tell me it just 'isn't his thing') and, eh, it really put him off. I mean, they are an indicator of my personality I guess... I'm goofy and wacky and I spend most of my time making creative content and meme material because I don’t think life gets much better than that. It's just who I am.
But it's not entirely me. That's my 'out-there' self, if he had taken the time to peel my layers he'd know there's a lot more to me. Shocker: you can be a TikToker and still be emotionally mature and a profound person.
I can’t lie though, I felt really knocked. Unbelievably embarrassed to be exact, but I tried to laugh rather than cry. Still, I went back to my girls a lot after that with a new existential crisis every day. He's right...I'm lame, I'm weird, I'm a freak. I impulse deleted anything that could be considered cringy on my social media feeds - be it an inspirational IGTV, a singing video, or me dressed as bloody Trump.
That's so embarrrrrraaaaazzzzzzzing.
I do believe that you have to keep some of yourself private. Not every part of you is ‘for sale’ on the internet. Sometimes I worry that over the years I have divulged so much of my personality online to the point I now irrationally think this might be why I haven’t had a serious relationship yet. Is there anything left to find out? Is there any intrigue or mystery in dating me seeing as any guy can find out every inside thought I've had since I was 14 years old if they research hard enough and find my old unerased blogs? Maybe I am just too much.
My best friends soon enough whacked me round the face and brought me back to remembering who I am. That is how I choose to present myself to the world because I love to be creative and life is too short to not do daring or silly things. I shouldn’t have let a man make my confidence waver about the woman I am and whether she’s somebody that I rate. I know I am a good person, and that’s why I’m thankful for this date as it taught me that I still have a lot more self-loving to do.
Or as Ari sums up in a much shorter and sassier way - thank you, next.
In order to have a good date with a man, you want that man to be equally committed to the date, as invested in it as you are. Why did I have to make myself into a totally loveable specimen if this guy was going to tell me he was “tired” and “is grouchy when he’s tired” in the first minute of meeting. Oh - and when I complimented his outfit, he said it was the “only thing that wasn’t stained” and you guessed it, didn’t compliment mine back. To put it lightly, the effort wasn’t mutual.
To put it even better, he gave me love kernels. And I was there with an XL bucket of love popcorn.
It takes two to tango. There’s no point in us women being legs-a-kicking, limbs-a-flying, magical ethereal creatures if the men aren’t going to straighten up and dance with us too.
We don't have to be 100% perfect to somebody to be seen as a potential love item, that’s what I believe anyway. What I mean by that is I wasn't 100% convinced on Stupid Dating App Boy, I really wasn't, but I was 100% up for giving it a go. I put all of his 'weaknesses' (subjective to what I like) aside because I like to see the good in people and quite frankly I wanted an opportunity at love.
So if this guy was going to bin me off because of a few videos on an app, I did really well to avoid him. If they aren’t to love me exactly as I come, I really don’t want it. Settling isn’t going for a guy that doesn’t have any imperfections, it’s going for a guy that isn’t confident enough in his manhood to accept your imperfect ways.
Being liked back has nothing to do with your inherent worth, it’s simply down to compatibility or the roll of the dice with the person that is sat opposite you
(I told myself he was a narcissistic sociopath to make me feel better).
I told myself that I wasn’t the loser in this situation because I wasn’t able to ‘get the guy’, it was him that had lost cos he missed out on a real good girl. Oh and he was the biggest loser of all for missing out on the pure joy that can be found on TikTok.
Girls - have you noticed that if you google any type of dating advice for us there is a whole world out there on the internet - and yet a quick YouTube search of ‘how to get the girl’ brought up ONE LONELY VIDEO (with over 1,000,000 views I must admit - you’re the men I want to marry!), oh and a bloomin’ Taylor Swift song.
You know what that says, don’t you? Men don’t place nearly enough pressure on themselves to mold themselves into something desirable.
I don’t want you thinking that I think women are better than men. I actually love men. Hence why I date them so often. And I look forward to devoting my life to a man someday.
I'm just saying the sooner us women work on ourselves for ourselves, without letting any constructive criticism question our entire identity, the sooner we can accept the fact that nobody can grant us happiness, confidence or fulfilment other than ourselves.
Back yourself, baby. It’s not your life if you are letting other people’s opinions define it, and your opinion of yourself is the most important. And Jesus's of course (slash whoever you believe in).
I know who I am and what I love, and I'm not prepared to diminish such a huge chunk of my personality to make any man feel comfortable or more attracted to me. P.S get a sense of humour and don't take life so seriously, man!!!
I know there are good men out there, great men in fact (over a million according to the video views) and something is calling inside of me and telling me that these inherently good and special men are looking for their inherently good and special woman.
I'm out here and waiting patiently….
….and I cannot wait to meet my adorably cheesy, wholly loving, sexily confident to make a fool out of himself, TikTok-obsessed man.