Round the world, the web, and back again…

I promised myself after my last relationship ended that I would no longer date within my friend group. Or friends of friends. I was sick of getting to know great people whilst in relationships then losing not only my partner, but all the other contacts and friends I’d made during that time.

With this in mind, I have now been single for let’s just say three years, cause it nearly is.
In this time I have loved being single – doing what I want when I want to, finding myself more as a person and I’ve even traveled the world and seen things I probably never would have if I were in a relationship.

After about 2 years of this, and having absolutely no new love interests in this time (apart from the odd ‘fun’ night out whilst travelling) it was time crack on with things and decided to try out online dating.

Starting out, it was Plenty Of Fish. I was chatting to one guy on here for around 4 MONTHS and finally decided to meet up. Eeek! The first date was actually really enjoyable and included an activity to avoid the awkwardness and we genuinely got on really well because we had got to know each other over 4months prior. This was all good to begin with, until the dreaded questions of doubt started popping into my head. The main one being ‘So, he lives and works in Central London, a good hour commute from me, and with my shift patterns all over the shop, if this turns into an actual RELATIONSHIP, how often are we actually see each other?’
And sure enough, after three dates spread over the course of 2 months with messages getting fewer and further between, that person just slowly fizzled out of my life.

Ok. Time to try other sites recommended by a friend of mine – OKCupid and *gulp* Tinder. Oh, and this time don’t message the guy for 4 months before a date. Just swipe and meet… perfect!
This worked well for two people I got talking to, went on two dates, both of which I went pretty well but then heard nothing after. Odd.

After a few months of this I was starting to get a bit fed up with online dating and decided to take a break. Perfect timing as I had an impromptu solo trip to Budapest booked. The trip was great, met some cool like-minded people, and even found a love interest, woohoo!

We dated (I think) for around 2 months after the trip and I started questioning what it was that we actually had going on.
We would meet up around once a week, in Central London, spend a few hours together and head back home. In between these dates any messages that were sent between us I soon realised I was the one initiating and even this was only a couple of messages every week or two, tops.

I woke up. It was my 26th birthday. I had a realisation. I was wasting my time on someone that didn’t really care about me. I mean thinking about it, If I were to ask this guy what my brothers name was, he wouldn’t be able to tell me (I live with my brother) or what shifts I was on the next week in order to try and arrange meeting up. It was always me arranging stuff with and around him, me asking him about his life without him returning the questions and interest. I guess I got caught up in actually meeting a love interest whilst I was travelling, who didn’t know any one I did! How exciting! Although shame it was just someone who wasn’t right for me.

Two days after my birthday realisation and cooling it off with this guy, a friend of mine (who I actually went on a date with a few months prior) asks me out on another date. Got to give him credit for being quick in there this time!
The date we had a few months prior was actually pretty great. We didn’t know each other too well before hand which made it more of a ‘getting to know you outside of group gatherings’ kind of date. Very casual. Very comfortable. The only doubt being, how is this going to affect the group? Our friendship group has got pretty tight over the last two years and I didn’t want anything jeopardising that, so I kind of put the next date off a bit. Until now.

Also two days after my birthday it was my Nan’s funeral and after getting to see and talk to some family I hadn’t seen in a while, including a heart to heart with my Uncle (which never happens) telling me I have my head screwed on right and as long as I’m happy, that’s all that matters. I know my family is FAR from perfect, divorces and different partners all over the place but you know what I realised? Everyone was getting along and everyone was happy. So now, after much debate I’m now thinking sod it. I’m going to do what makes me happy and I feel that right now dating this friend of mine is going to make me happy. It may not end up how I want it to. I might end up married 3 times before I’m 40, but for now, I’m happy. That’s all that matters. It’s up to others to see that and accept that too.

We have yet to tell the group, as we want to make sure it’s going to work and go somewhere before potentially stirring things up, but hopefully they’ll see how happy we are and just be happy for us and with us. In an ideal world.

Till next time,
Gem x

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