Monday, 4 May 2015

Dating Disasters with a Happy Ending

Hello My Loves

Happy Bank Holiday Monday to all my Irish and UK readers and Happy Monday to the rest of you all. I wish you too could have today free from work and college or school. 

After chatting to a girlfriend over the weekend I felt compelled to write to you all.  My girlfriend was telling me that she is ready to give up the dating game, having had her fill of dating disasters over the last few years. She has dolled herself up for numerous dates, taken crap while in relationships and all in the hope that a loving relationship with a good man was within her grasp.

I remembered, that not so long ago, that girl that had no hope left of finding love was me. After coming out of a long term relationship (5 years) at 23 years of age, I eventually dipped my toes into the dating pond after having a bit of 'me time' after being in such a long relationship so young. 

The dating pond however, turned out to be a shark infested, rough seas kind of place and after a few years of dating, I remember just being so fed up from it all, that I, like my friend, was so ready to give up. I had had enough of the terrible first dates, the awful relationships and just generally feeling like every man was out to batter my self confidence and hopes of finding love with a sledgehammer. 

Just to give you a little tasting of the kind of bad dating experiences I have had I shall tell you.  These always make my friends laugh so hard and are anecdotes at parties. Tell so and so all your dating disasters my friends would nudge me at parties. My awful love life was like my party trick. It was like the universe was mocking me. Oh you may be terrible at dating, but at least it amuses others. 

- The guy who stole off my friends. 

- The guy who had been in jail (I didn't find this one out until after I broke up with him)

- The guy who tried to cheat on me with my best friend

- The guy who did cheat on me successfully for a year and a half

- The guy who was an alcoholic

- The guy who was a White Supremacist 

The list could go on and on my friend. Yes, all men who I met over the space of 4 years and with each one, I honestly felt like I was just meant to be alone and not be in a relationship. I watched Sex and the City and thought maybe I'm meant to be like Carrie Bradshaw where she speaks about some women are just meant to run free. Maybe I was like that? 

But only one problem...I wanted to be in a loving relationship. Don't we all want to be loved? Wouldn't it be lovely to share your life with someone?  Someone to tell chat about the highs and lows of your day with?  Have someone to give you a cuddle and tell you they love you?  Well I don't know about you, but I wanted that. 

As you know, I am happily married now.  But don't think that this comes from a smug, oh look at me with my great relationship, kind of a place. Because it doesn't. It comes more from a place, that if you are feeling fed up from dating, if your belief in a loving relationship is going down the drain, I want to hold your hand and tell you that I get it. I have been there. I have cried the tears, I have scraped my self-esteem off the ground.  I have cracked open a bottle of wine and drowned my sorrows. 

There is light at the end of the tunnel friend, I assure you. These absolutely stinkers of men had taught me a fantastic lesson. They taught me exactly what I didn't want in a relationship. I knew what my boundaries were, I knew what I wouldn't put up with anymore, I knew what way I wouldn't tolerate being treated, I was crystal clear on what I didn't want.  They managed to focus my mind completely.

When I first met my husband I fancied him so much and thought well he must be another one that treats girls like crap so I didn't even bother pursuing him.  When he asked me on a date I was so hesitant and said to my friend that I didn't think I would go because I didn't have another bad date left in me. My friend told me to cop on, that he seemed like a nice guy and unless he chopped me up and put me in the boot of my car, that I would get over it because I had gotten over everything else.  A valid point, if a bit graphic!! I went on that date. 

So focused was my mind on everything that I didn't want from all those horrible dates, that when my lovely husband to be showed me love, kindness and decency, I grabbed it with both hands. I didn't play games, I didn't take him for granted, I affirmed his love and I protected what we had like a lioness. 

I'm sorry if this post is a bit long but there was a lot I had to get out (kind of like therapy is this!)  and I just wanted to let you know that if you are where I was, if you have had one dating disasters too many and you are loosing hope, just know that you are actually learning from each one.  And when the right person does come along, you will have an appreciation for them that perhaps someone that has never had heartache may not have. 

So keep hope, stand your ground and don't settle for anything less than your perfect partner.

Love , Mini


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