Is Something better than Nothing?

This is a question I’ve been asking myself over the last couple of weeks as my relationship with ‘scrabble friend’ has ended. We got to that same place we’d been in before where we realised that the whole time we were together neither of us was likely to meet someone else as we either didn’t look, or we compared everyone else to each other and they didn’t match up.

We talked about making a real effort to look for other people but I just couldn’t manage that. The thought of him telling me he’d found someone he wanted to pursue things with, and so our relationship would have to end, broke my heart; if the relationship had to end better to be now when we both cared for each other deeply than when I felt angry and bitter towards him. I think part of me wanted him to say we should give it a go and be more than friends with benefits, but I also knew that would never happen. I’m not sure if he knows it, but he has some ‘finding’ of himself to do before he gets to a place where he could make that commitment. He is still searching for someone he can settle down with and have children, I can’t offer him this, so unless he had a radical rethink it was obvious to me our relationship would never move beyond what it was. I loved what we had but wanted more. I want someone to share my life with, to come with me to see friends and family, someone who feels like my partner.

We discussed the situation, went round in circles and then realised that the most sensible thing to do was to say goodbye and cease all contact – because without that we would likely slip back to where we were. That was a couple of weeks ago and now I’m trying hard to cope with the aftermath of saying goodbye to someone who has been my best friend for a year, who I love very much and who I don’t regret one minute of the time I spent with him. He gave me a confidence I was lacking and I will always be grateful to him for that. We had a lot of fun together!

I’m in that place now where I feel like I have nothing and I wonder why I gave up what we did have. Should I have just let it continue and see what happened, isn’t something better than nothing? Maybe neither of us would meet someone else and we could have continued enjoying each others love and friendship. I know it’s unlikely and that we did what we did because it was the sensible thing to do, but sometimes being sensible sucks. I miss him loads and he was such a formidable scrabble opponent!

I’m alone again, questioning what my life is all about, whether I will ever get to a place where I feel content. I know being in a relationship isn’t the answer to all that. I see many people in relationships that don’t make them happy but they fear being on their own; I see how insecure those relationships make them and realise the longer they stay the harder it will be for them to leave. My friends tell me I’m strong for having the courage to end something that wasn’t right; I hope that’s true.

I would really like to find someone to share my life with, who is that ‘special person’ to me. I fear this won’t happen, that I’m destined to be on my own forever. I know it’s common to feel like that at the end of a relationship, the challenge is not to let myself sink so low that I go to that dark place of depression where it feels impossible to get out. I must think positively but it is hard as internet dating doesn’t seem to work for me and I don’t really meet anyone any other way. I’m trying to engage myself in activities to meet others but more importantly just to enjoy myself, but I’ve never really found that hobby that gets me excited. The more I question whether I will find anyone the more I wonder if something is better than nothing and if I shouldn’t have left things as they were because I miss my scrabble friend so much.

Heart versus Head – that age old dilemma!

I have always been ruled by my head. I used to wonder what people meant by being ruled by their heart, for me that seemed so illogical. People have described me as being a strong, intelligent, grounded, sensible individual (they have also described me as being an awful lot of other things too, some not quite so pleasing, but that’s another blog!). I’ve always thought that I’m viewed this way because I follow my head and don’t let emotions rule. I’m sensitive to people’s feelings but logic and rationale have always led my actions.

That is until now. Now for the first time in a long time I am having a head/heart dilemma and don’t know what the right thing to do is. Last July I met scrabble friend. He emailed me through a dating site suggesting that from our profiles he thought we would get on. I thought he was too young, lived too far away and pretty much represented everything I didn’t like in people. I emailed him a cut and paste email giving him the brush off. He responded immediately saying that he would have appreciated a personal response rather than a standard email. I found his cheek appealing, it seemed we were both online at the same time, so I sent him another email and before long they were flying back and forth as we started to get to know each other. To my surprise I enjoyed his conversation, had similar views to him and when he showed me his pic I found him to be cute, if not a little young looking!

We discovered a shared love of scrabble and it wasn’t long before we were meeting up on cam and playing scrabble on a regular basis. We had a real connection of minds, I felt I knew him from the moment we started talking together and although I have struggled all my life with trusting others, I trusted him. I have no idea why I felt this way but I just knew I was safe with him.

I decided that it might be fun to spend time with someone younger, that I might not find them intimidating and so would feel more open to exploring my sexuality. I have never been body confident and this has hindered my exploration of my sexuality as I didn’t feel I deserved to enjoy this side of myself. With this in mind I met up with scrabble friend and we started to enjoy having fun together and he truly helped me develop confidence in myself with regards to my body and sex.

We both agreed that we weren’t suitable long-term companions. He wants to meet someone he can marry and have children with, this is not my future. There was a time when I hoped it would be but I have long passed that phase and now I want to find someone who can bring out my adventurous side, help me to take risks, someone who passionately adores me and who I adore back. Someone I can travel the world with, whose mind I like, who knows me and loves me anyway!

There was a blip in our relationship when scrabble friend was unexpectedly, and if you ask me totally inappropriately, asked out by a nurse while visiting the dentist. She was bright and cute and he couldn’t resist her. Not to be hard done by I found myself a fireman and for a few weeks we were otherwise occupied, but checked in with each other regularly over scrabble. When both our relationships came to an end, we started spending more time chatting on cam and playing scrabble. Inevitably we decided to meet up and of course one thing led to another and we started having a sexual relationship again. Only this time round we agreed that we should both be free to date other people and look for our long-term partner, but that we would enjoy each others company until such time as one or other of us met someone else. We are both logical rational thinkers and this seemed like the sensible approach to take.

This has been working well. We have enjoyed each others company lots; when we’ve had a bad day we get on cam and talk about it, when we’re feeling in need of some company we meet up but if that’s not possible we get on cam and spend the evenings together playing scrabble and talking. It’s not unusual to start chatting at 5pm and have to make ourselves say goodnight at 1 or 2am. I have no idea what we talk about, other than knowing we’ve talked about anything and everything and there is nothing we can’t talk about. We communicate well and are very open and honest with each other. I truly love his company and find myself choosing this over other things in life, particularly dating. I think of all the awful people I’ve been on dates with and none of them are a patch on scrabble friend. The thought of spending even a few minutes with them when I could spend that time with scrabble friend is horrifying.

It seems neither of us have done anything about dating other people and quite frankly I don’t know where would we find the time given we spend all our free time with each other! Our we in a destructive relationship? This is a question we have begun to ask ourselves. Whilst we continue with how things are the chances of either of us meeting someone else is limited. I’m also mindful that the longer we spend with each other, the more attached I will become to him and the harder it will be when he meets someone else. My head tells me that I should end this relationship because it isn’t healthy for either of us. We are becoming emotionally attached to each other.

We talked about how I was feeling and scrabble friend acknowledged similar thoughts but said he was trying to put them aside. I’m not sure what happened, I’m usually someone who has quite a good control of my emotions and rarely let them cloud my judgement. However, the moment I came to the realisation that I had to let him go I felt intolerable pain, it was unbearable and I knew that there was no way I could let him leave my life. When he too thought about what ending the relationship meant he cried and told me he wasn’t ready for that happen. We spoke about how much we adored each other, how much we loved each others company and just wanted to spend time in it. I told him I was worried that the more time he spent with me and got to know me the more he would learn about my ‘madness’! He told me that he loved who I was and nothing could change that and he wanted to know all of me. We spent hours soul searching, trying to decide the best thing to do. We even discussed losing the sexual element of the relationship so we could just be friends as the thought of having nothing was just too hard to manage. We went round in circles, our heads telling us to end and our hearts not letting us do it. Neither of us had the strength to finish it, we both enjoy it too much and have both benefited so much from having each other in our lives.

I have spent years protecting myself from pain, keeping myself safe from the possibility of abuse and have struggled to take risks. Years of therapy has helped me understand why I have done this but it has also shown me that if I continue to do it I am going to miss out on opportunities to experience all the highs and lows of life that make it rich and help us develop. I have to learn not to over-think and trust that even though I might experience difficult emotions that feel overwhelming, I will manage them and get over them, I’m stronger and more together than I give myself credit for and I need to get on and live my life. For the first time in a long time I am experiencing fluctuating emotions and feel more in touch with my emotional side.

I’m taking a risk, I am going against my head and following my heart. Scrabble friend and me, I know it isn’t forever but it is for now and I want to enjoy that while it lasts.

Another bad date!

My computer pinged as an email entered my inbox notifying me that I had a message on an online dating site. I logged into the site and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

He was 43, looked fairly fit, appeared to be self sufficient and sounded relatively interesting. This had to be worth a try. After a while internet dating has a tendency to become a bit of a drag, it is hard to sort the wheat from the chaff and most emails I get go straight into the delete box.

A few emails later telephone numbers were exchanged and he was soon on the phone. Our first conversation went well. I liked how he sounded and we chatted easily for a good while. In our next conversation he was a little full on, a bit too eager for my liking and I found myself telling him he needed to calm down or he would frighten me off. I was still interested but was beginning to feel cautious, he talked a lot and it didn’t appear to be down to nerves. However, he was new to the ‘scene’ so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and decided he was just over eager.

We met for coffee and I was relieved to find that he didn’t give me any psycho vibes. He was quite relaxed and we quite quickly got into conversation. It wasn’t long before I realised that we weren’t compatible. I’m not sure if it was that he thought he should get a tax break for privately educating his child and having private healthcare or because towards the end of our second coffee he still didn’t know anything about me, but the signs were growing! I asked him about an emblem on his top and he looked at me disparagingly and said “I’m clad head to toe in Vivienne Westwood”. If I had any doubt that put it too bed and I knew that there would be no second date with this fella.

To be fair the date wasn’t boring like many I’ve been on. We did in fact have quite stimulating conversation as I challenged his views but nothing had prepared me for his next clanger. He was telling me about the sport he participates in and said that he loved his food and put on weight easily so it was important to him to get in lots of exercise to prevent this. He then said he was very annoyed with obese people, he couldn’t understand how they could let themselves get that way. He questioned why they didn’t reach a point where they could see they were getting to an unacceptable weight and do something about it. I suggested that obesity was a complex issue and there might be many reasons why a person had become overweight and struggle to lose it. He didn’t acknowledge this and went on to moan a bit more about obesity, finally declaring “and to top it all it’s our hard earned tax payers money that ends up having to foot the medical bills for their greed”. It was all I could do not to choke on my latte, not quite believing what I was hearing.

I challenged his views, asked him if he felt the same way about people who drank and smoked, or people who received cancer treatment when the cancer was caused by lifestyle choice. He wasn’t able to make the comparison. It was quite obvious to me at this point that there was no more to be said, the date was over. We left the coffee shop and I thanked him for the date and said I was off to get a bus home.

He indignantly exclaimed that he would take it from that I wasn’t interested in pursuing things further. I asked him how he thought things had gone and he said that he thought it had gone well and he knew that he was happy to take things further. I laughed and said that part of the difficulty was that it was all about him, I wasn’t sure how much he really knew about me because he hadn’t actually taken any interest in me. He said he knew that I liked to argue and that he wanted to kiss me. Before I realised what was happening he had moved in for the kiss and would you believe he was a ‘slobber’, the worse I had experienced for some time. It was revolting, like someone drooling into my mouth.

I pushed him away from me and asked him what he thought he was doing. Without waiting for an answer I declared that I was one of those fat people he really hated who put a burden on the NHS by having weight loss surgery and I was off to get my bus. I turned on my heel and didn’t look back, pleased to find the bus was there for me to get straight on to.

So it’s back to the dating sites and single events to continue the search for someone; and in the meantime scrabble friend is coming up at the w.e to play and that’s good enough for now!

Too many ‘Slobbers’ for my liking!

I can remember when I was in my early teens worrying about whether I would be able to kiss properly, it seemed so important to be able to be a ‘good kisser! Some of my girl friends and I would practice on each other, hoping to master the art so that when we finally had our first kiss with that special boy we would be ready. Little did I know that these experimental kisses would turn out to be some of the best ‘snogs’ I’ve ever had!

When you kiss someone you have connected with it can be amazing. It can feel so intimate and tender, conveying desire, closeness and connectivity. I love a good kiss! Unfortunately in my experience there are a lot of really terrible kissers out there, men who just seem to want to slobber all over me! I can feel quite excited by a guy and then he kisses me and it is such a horrible experience and huge disappointment that he never gets any further.

This year I have been dating again and have suffered some pretty horrendous kisses! One guy came in to kiss me and in doing so pushed against me so hard it was all I could do not to fall backwards. He then proceeded to try and suck my tongue out of my mouth, it felt like his teeth were in the way; it was an immediate turn off!

Then there was the guy who loved to lick! Now don’t get me wrong, I like a man who knows how to use his tongue, but using it to lick all over my face is just wrong; maybe he thought he was a dog!

The most common problem I’ve encountered is slobbering and I appear to have a sign on my head that says please come and slobber all over me because I’m sure I have more than my fair share of them! Instead of melting my heart and making me theirs, it is a sure fire way for the guy to close the door on anything further. I call these men ‘slobbers’. When they kiss their tongue seems to wander all over the place and it feels so sloppy. I have also found that slobbers seem to dominate the kiss, hardly giving me an opportunity to decide what I want to do. Most of the time it is like they are trying to get into my mouth and in doing so quite literally drool all over me. When there is a pause all I want to do is wipe my mouth and do all I can to stop the kissing!

My heart drops in despair when someone who has been entertaining me all evening with their charismatic conversation, intelligent discussion and enjoyable flirtations turns out to be yet another slobber. I have tried to make myself tolerate it, hoping that their technique might improve or together we can find a groove but with little success. The sad truth appears to be once a slobber always a slobber and it is something I just can’t help but find intolerable.

Anyone for Scrabble?

Since I have been dating I have found that establishing whether or not a person plays scrabble is very important to me. Furthermore, if they are a scrabble player I then find myself interested in how they play the game as it tells me much about their character! I like someone who plays the board, blocking where they can’t use spaces themselves, taking the whole game seriously and playing to win!

I have bonded with a couple of guys online through scrabble, one in particular has become a good friend. We started chatting one evening, both of us just wasting some time as neither fitted what the other was looking for. Anyway, we found that we were similar in many ways including having a love of scrabble. We both consider ourselves to be able to hold our own and soon the challenge was set. Our first game ended in a tie, the perfect start to our championship and we recognised in each other a player of the same standard.

Scrabble friend, as he is known, has become a dear friend who has helped me through a difficult transition in my life. I had weight loss surgery a couple of years ago and scrabble friend was the first person to see me naked, outside of the Dr’s, since my transformation. He was lovely, gentle and said the right things to help me feel comfortable. He was then the first person to see me after I had surgery to remove the excess skin, again saying all the right things and supporting me.

Sexually we are very compatible, as friends we are very compatible but as long-term partners we are not right for each other, which is a shame because I rarely meet people I like as much as I like scrabble friend. But he is not the person I’m to fall in love with, I adore him, love playing with him but he’s not what I want. I’m also not what he wants, he’s a younger man and ultimately wants to settle down with a wife and have children, this is not something I am offering.

Tonight we got on the cam and enjoyed a game of scrabble. He was telling me that he had told someone at work how we had met but they got the wrong end of the stick and thought we had met on a scrabble dating site. “That would be brilliant” I said “If there was such a thing I’d definitely join!” “Me too” he exclaimed, “you can tell a lot from playing a game of scrabble with someone”.

It got us thinking about other games that people could play together – cards, chess, monopoly to name but a few – to spend time getting to know each other and play a game both parties enjoy. Online dating is such hard work this seems like a good way to make it slightly more bearable!

As for scrabble friend, well we still play together and will do until one of us meets someone we want to spend more time with, besides, he is a good challenge at scrabble and that’s very important!

Missed opportunity to join the Mile High Club!

Now don’t ask my why, but for some reason ever since I found out about the ‘Mile High club’ I’ve had a secret desire to become a member! I expect it’s much harder to achieve in this day and age, with the consequences of being caught far more severe! Yet the desire to join is still there!

During the early hours of this morning I boarded a flight home after a wonderful holiday visiting my bf in Dubai. It was great having my bf around to talk to about my experiences in the dating field and all my worries about not meeting someone. As I was leaving my friend laughed and said “Don’t forget, opportunities to meet new people are everywhere, you never know you might even find someone you like sitting next to you on the plane”. Little did she know how right she would be!

Prior to boarding I had been for a lovely slap up Turkey meal for Thanksgiving and consumed a couple of glasses of wine, for someone who has had weight loss surgery this is a lot as my ability to process alcohol is poor so I get drunk very quickly! I’m stating this to try and absolve myself of my behaviour, but really it’s no excuse as some hours had passed before the flight left, enough time to sober up!

I always go for an isle seat in the middle set so that I can get out easily and am less likely to be disturbed by my neighbour if I’m having a kip. Today was no different and as I took my seat I hoped that I wouldn’t have anyone annoying sitting next to me. I looked across at the person seated in the other isle seat and saw he was looking at me. My immediate thought was how attractive he was – a tall Indian guy, dressed well with a cute smile. Then I remembered bf’s words; I smiled and said hello. He immediately introduced himself as Z and asked if I was also hoping that the middle seat was going to stay free. I agreed it would be nice but had been told it was a full flight so feared it was unlikely. Z had been told the same but we both agreed to hope for the best. We began to talk to each other about why we had been in Dubai, discovered our paths crossed through our work, shared a love of a lazy Sunday playing scrabble, listening to music and chilling out in the house. He was easy to talk to and it wasn’t long before Z had decided that he would ask the person in the middle if he could swap seats so that he was sat next to me and he scooted across. As it was we were two of the few lucky people who never got anyone coming to sit with them but we didn’t make the most of this opportunity.

I’m not sure how we started talking about relationships but we established that we were both single and had a similar outlook on dating, relationships and the importance of finding a real connection. As he was talking he would touch my arm and I reciprocated by smiling and laughing, signals were being exchanged! It wasn’t long before lips locked and for the first time ever I didn’t notice that we had taken off as I was so busy! I couldn’t quite believe what I was doing, when did I turn into such a slut? It suddenly struck me that my opportunity to join the ‘Mile High Club’ had just presented itself and I’m sure the same thought must have passed through his head because when I got up to go to the loo he asked me if I wanted him to accompany me! It was very tempting but I was convinced we’d be caught and as we were abroad a Royal Brunai aircraft I feared the consequences would be too great to bear!

I don’t know if I’ll ever get another opportunity to join the club, or if I’ll ever dare to take it if I do, but for now I’m happy with the decision I made! As for Z, well he’s already text me to see if I’ll meet up with him, I’m not sure there is any life in it but hey, you gotta keep trying!

Buy 4 handbags -get the bag seller for free

My time in Dubai is flying by – sunbathing, the beach, the pool – it’s a hard life. But today I was on a mission – to buy a handbag for my friend. And yes, I might have found one, or two – maybe even three or four, but the funny thing was I nearly came back with the handbag man, too.  

As I got out of the taxi, I was greeted by a rather handsome fella asking me if I wanted to buy some copy bags. “We have Louis Vuitton, Prada and Mulberry, we give you good price.” How could I resist, not only had I been accosted by a good-looking man but he was offering to sell me cheap Mulberry bags – what more does a gal need?

I dutifully followed him down a dark alley, up another one, through the winding streets until we reached a doorway. There he led me up some stairs to a thick bolted door which he knocked twice on and waited.  

The door opened and I was led into a room that was wall-to-wall full of bags – thousands of them, all shapes, sizes, colours and makes. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

Once you’ve chosen, the next task is haggling over the price. This is the bit I find hardest, but I’ve learnt you must play hard to get the best bargain. And so we went back and forth until eventually we settled on a price. It was 100 Dirhams more than I wanted to pay, but 1,000 Dirhams less than they had initially said so I was satisfied.  Walking away with four Mulberry bags for less than £200 is definitely a bargain; they may be copies but you’d never know!

I went to leave but the guy who had taken me to the shop insisted on walking out with me and asked if I would like him to take me round the gold souk.  I explained I wasn’t in the market for any jewellery this time and was just looking. “That’s ok he said, I just want to spend time with you – here have my number and if you want to meet up and see me again you can call and I’ll come running”. I was flattered by this, I wondered if he thought I was a rich white woman who could ‘keep him’ but nothing about me suggested this so maybe he really did just fancy meeting up!  What a shame it wasn’t a rich Emirati local who could buy me all the handbags I’ve ever wanted and more!

After I was done, I got in a taxi to head back. The driver was in Muslim attire and had a full beard so  I wasn’t expecting the conversation to go as it did. He was a friendly man and immediately started talking about how awful the traffic was and how annoying other drivers could be. I confessed that I had driven in Dubai but had got completely lost and found myself going round and round in circles in the rush hour until the stress got too much and I pulled the car over and burst into tears! He thought this was highly amusing and regaled me with stories of other women he had seen driving in tears as they tried to negotiate the madness that is driving in Dubai.

Tongues loosened and it seemed no topic was taboo. Before too long he started talking about religion, then he moved on to relationships and out came the words I always find difficult to answer: “Are you married?”  I really dislike being asked this because people can give me such a look of disbelief, concern, sympathy and confusion when I say no. “Why?” they ask, “What is wrong?”  This time I was more surprised by his response. “Are all the men in the UK gay then?” he chuckled.  I laughed and thanked him for the compliment.

Despite his humour I could see he was struggling to understand that a 40-year-old woman would be single and asked if I had split up from my partner. It was too complicated to go into the reasons for being single so I agreed that I had split from my ‘boyfriend’ about six months ago and was indeed on the look for someone new!  Good he said, because too long without sex isn’t good for anyone. 

I nearly choked on my own tongue! He went on to tell me that people call it love juice but he calls it poison and thinks that you should expel it from your body regularly through good sex. He laughed at his words and I did too, agreeing whole heartedly that regular sex was good and that given a choice I would definitely like to find someone to help cleanse my body from the poison within!  Maybe I need to call the handbag seller after all!