MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 2, Part 1

Oh, no no no it’s not over yet…

All good things must come to an unexpected start…

I’m still here, you sadistic bunch of so-and-sos. Over the months, I’ve had numerous requests to stay single forever so I can keep writing about my dating misadventures. Well, I’m sorry to inform you, but I’ve met someone.

And yet, while even I thought that I’d stop writing about dating once I had gotten myself into a relationship, I feel that this is simply a new chapter in my big ol’ book of relationshipery. And with that, I’ve decided to keep this going, only now, you can laugh, cringe and cry at my anxious internal monologue as I blindly stumble to impress, woo and not fuck up a good thing – Poor guy.

Catch up on Chapter 1: Singledom

MTB Dating Diaries: Part 1 – An introduction to me, nude photos and two fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 2 – Intimidation, confidence and two more fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 3 – MTB Hoe Bags, dating jargon and more delightful fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 4 – Sex
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 5 – Find out what my ex’s say about me
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 6 – Is age really just a number?

The first four weeks of a relationship is crucial; The first date, the first kiss, the first time, the first fuck up… lots of firsts. Guess how many of those firsts I fucked up? More than one.

The First Date

So, what could be more obvious for a couple of mountain bikers than to go for a ride as a first date? With him visiting, the trails were home territory for me and a quick blast around a favourite trail of mine seemed a good way to ease into it.

Now, I’m not super fit or pretend to be any more of a rider than I really am so it was no surprise that he lapped me on climbs as his itchy pedal pins were aching for a proper session. As I tried to regulate my breathing and suppress the look of dying pain on my face as I pedalled harder, I was relieved to reach the top of the climb.

I offered him to hit the descent first because I knew following me would be like getting stuck behind a learner driver on the road without an option to overtake. He declined. Fuck.

So, I set off down the trail that I knew and loved, and then yep, I ate shit. Front wheel slipped from under me and I go somersaulting over the top with a hell of a landing. Pinned under my bike, I lay on my back, waiting for him to come get me and in that time, which felt like forever, I’m fighting back the adrenaline-fuelled shakes and stinging tears behind my eyes. I lay there, accepting what had happened and feeling like an utter twat and just wishing that the trail would open up and swallow me whole.

He pulls me up, sits me down and checks I’m ok. I’m not fucking ok. I managed to hold back the tears, smile it off and accept that shit just happens… to me… at the worst times. C’est la vie.

The First Kiss

I’m not really the most romantic of people. I don’t like grand gestures and anything that seems planned in any way. I like to just go with the flow with many things because I believe things are best when they happen naturally… so, how did I fuck this up so bad?

Still nursing my wounded pride and a sore body from the date-gate, a chilled evening on the couch watching films was the only thing on the agenda. Cosied up under a blanket, enjoying a cuppa, he was being warm and careful to not make me feel more stupid about stacking it in front of him, so when he sat forward, turned to me and leaned in… a rapid fire of “fuck, shit, oh god, now?” bombarded my head. I was caught off-guard and not expecting it to happen in that very instance, and so, my fuck or flight mode engaged and as he firmly pressed his lips to mine…

I blew a raspberry in his mouth.

Thanks, brain. Thanks.a.fucking.lot. I could immediately see the shock and shimmer of hurt glaze his eyes, and my heart sank. He stood up and walked off into the kitchen. I felt like such an awful human and I hated myself more than I had in a long time, but a tiny little cunt voice in me was laughing nonetheless. I followed him into the kitchen, tail between my legs, murmured an embarrassed apology and kissed him… properly. I could tell that I hadn’t totally redeemed myself and I’m not sure I ever will.

The First Time

I’ve already explained my fuck-or-flight theory on sex and how there are a lot of thoughts, emotions and feelings which culminate to form my final answer to, “Do I want to do this?”

Given my track record of the first date and the first kiss, the thought of possibly having sex with him was totally frustrating. Terrified I would inadvertently cock it up (haha), I almost didn’t want to put myself through the anxiety. But you know what it’s like, you’re in bed, you’re kissing, he looked amazing, felt lovely and then… sod it. If I fuck this up, I’ll apologise and go die of embarrassment somewhere after I’ve kicked him out, moved home and erased myself from social media existence.

And without the graphic detail, the no-pants-dance gets underway and all seems to be going well… until… he burns up red in the face, pulls out and walks out of the room. I shit you not, he just bailed on me leaving me lying on the bed like I’m at the gyno clinic, whilst he buggers off downstairs.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so hurt, confused and concerned in my life. Fuck it, I didn’t know what to feel so I just felt all the things. I tucked myself back into bed and whilst I can hear him coming back, my insecure chick-brain kicks in; “What did I do? Doesn’t he fancy me naked? Was this some head-fuck game? Payback even?” I panicked but told myself to just wait for an explanation before getting worked up.

He climbs back into bed and with an impossible silence between us, I asked what happened. Turns out, he overheated and made himself feel nauseous and needed a break – with that, we went to sleep.

Getting to know you

When it comes to dating someone new, it can be pretty exciting. Your mood is all up in the clouds and it’s like no other feeling out there. Your stomach turns with dancing butterflies, your mind wonders and relives moments you’ve already shared and you do think to yourself, could he be “the one”?

Then again… falling for someone and feeling all the feels in the world is fucking agonising. While you feel super stoked on your new beau, you’re often plagued by common thoughts like… Does he have skeletons lurking in the past? Are his intentions true? Do we want the same thing? Am I enough? Is he enough? And then there’s the whole past relationships conversation that you question whether you want to know about or not. In this instance, I’m at a major disadvantage because he’s followed my Dating Diaries in which I’ve shared a great deal.

And then there’s the fear of him finding out about things you’d rather hold onto for a little longer. Like how you have the dietary habits of a 5-year old, or how you like to watch cartoons in bed in the morning, how you have a fear of wind turbines, along with other historical negativities which ultimately made you the person you are now.

All of that. All of those emotions. All of those doubts and concerns. Fuck me, if I thought being single was hard, dating is changing the difficulty level to expert.

With so many more firsts to come our way, this won’t be the last entry, not by a long-shot.

Catch up…

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 1

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 2

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 3

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 4

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 5

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 6

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 5

“Why are you single, what’s wrong with you?”

Before you feed your greedy eyes with Part 5 of my dating misadventures, are you up to date with all the crazy happenings? If not, here’s a quick recap:

MTB Dating Diaries: Part 1 – An introduction to me, nude photos and two fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 2 – Intimidation, confidence and two more fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 3 – MTB Hoe Bags, dating jargon and more delightful fuckwits
MTB Dating Diaries: Part 4 – Sex

Ok, so I know I ended Part 4 with a bit of a teaser regarding “successful” dates that I’ve had but I’m still shaping that feature so, I figured it more important to first dig deep and pick open some old emotional wounds.

Reflection is a good thing. Taking a step back to look at your life; is it going where you want it to? If not, why not? And, how can you change this? I’ve come to realise that while I can ponder these things tirelessly, I won’t have the right answers and can only hazard a guess at many of my own life’s mysteries.

“Why are you single?”

Perhaps the most common question I’ve been asked is; “Why are you single?”

Well, if I knew… I probably wouldn’t be single. I also don’t like how this question comes with a negative undertone which is delivered in such a way that it implies there’s something wrong with me. Why isn’t it just okay to be single? I’m probably single for the same reason that many other singletons are single, just haven’t found the right one yet.

I’ll admit, however, that this question did get me thinking; “what am I like as a girlfriend?” and “is there something wrong with me?” – Instead of looking within myself which would undoubtedly yield a bias conclusion of; “Nah, I’m fucking awesome“, I decided to do something in a momentary lapse of sanity and contact my ex-boyfriends to ask them. I know what you’re thinking but in the name of research, dating dedication and curiosity, I ran with my wild idea. So, let’s hear it for these valiant ex’s of mine who chose to take part – bravo!

Lee – “I have no idea why you’re single… but dating you was always a thrill, it was always interesting. You weren’t an arsehole, you were stubborn, but not an arsehole.”

Stubborn – how very dare he?

Joe – “ I think you were always looking for something. It’s like you weren’t content so you were oddly materialistic. You were caring and needy, but who isn’t at that age? I have no negative memories. I didn’t think dating you was hard work, we had fun but we’re both just very different people.”

This is true. Doesn’t matter how much you love someone, if you’re not right for one another, it won’t work

Adam – “I don’t think you were a cunt during the relationship but I do think it had a bad dynamic. At around 17, you think you’re all grown up and adult… We were both in generally bad head spaces when we were together… getting out of Switzerland, high-school and all that associated bullshit probably weighed a lot on the relationship”

Oh, those high-school first loves.

Annon – “I think there were times in the relationship where I felt like I didn’t know who you were, you could act out of character or be very cold towards me… over time this had an accumulative effect. Also, I felt that even though you said you had forgiven me [for stuff] it had been brought up at later dates and ultimately, I felt it was always looming over me seemingly indefinitely.” – yea, that’s true.

Cons: You would close yourself off or not be fully open about things – If you were in a bad mood it would cause tension in the room, but if you were in a good mood you could make everyone happy and brighten their day – You can be stubborn, where we would end up at a stalemate.

Pros: You have a great capacity for kindness, and you can be very thoughtful – You were very helpful and with most things in my life, you would get involved and find the best way of doing it… working as a team together and always fully investing yourself into what you do – You were fun to be with. I remember all the fun things we used to do and be silly and laugh, it did genuinely feel like I’d had the best times with you.

I can’t argue with any of that.

Just for good measure, I asked my sister for her unwavering brutal honesty in the matter by naming three pros and three cons about me, here’s what my dear sister said:

Cons: can be insensitive and harsh with banter – not overly feminine – stubborn

Pros: strong – independent – decisive – easy going – up for a laugh

So when my sister says I’m insensitive and harsh with banter, it’s because I have virtually no filter. Something pops into my head and I say it, usually followed by a gasp and immediate apology, but it’s hard to keep a lid on these naturally occurring, and hilarious, burns.

So, what have I learnt from all this?

Well, there appears to be a reoccurring theme around stubbornness being a problematic trait of mine. Now, this doesn’t shock me as such, but I always considered this aspect of my personality to be more “head-strong” rather than stubborn; a need to defend myself and/or stick up for myself. I’ve now realised that perhaps, my desire to be right is not as important as the need to be fair. That’s some serious food for thought…

Another thing that I’ve taken away from this insightful insanity trip is that each of these relationships occurred at various stages of my life with an ever (d)evolving maturity level and a need to find my own self… as cliché as that may sound. 

I can’t say whether I would recommend contacting your ex-partners for some personal insight, but I think I came away relatively unscathed. Phew!

Next time, I promise to attempt to talk about the successful dates… but I’ve found that to be just as difficult, if not more so because they come with their own web of entanglement, mixed messages and general what-the-fuck-is-going-on-ness.

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 6

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 2, Part 1

Catch up…
MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 1

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 2

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 3

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 4

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 2

And the sobering journey continues…

Right, so I’m single and if you’re not up to speed with my dating adventures, you can catch up by reading Part 1 of my MTB Dating Diaries here. If you’re eager to continue on this runaway freight train of confusion with me, then please do take a seat, get comfy and enjoy the scenery.

Intimidation game

When it comes to deciphering fuckboy messages and trying to fathom the complex inner workings of man, I often consult boy-friends to serve as interpreters. After part 1 was published, I chatted with a friend of mine and I learnt something that never occurred to me before…

Social media has effectively constructed a social hierarchy – a popularity contest if you will. How many likes your posts get, how many followers you have and the tone of comments you receive all come together to formulate an associated value to your profile. In my case, I’ve amassed a number of followers across social media and this, apparently, can work against me when it comes to dating. According to my male source, this social popularity can intimidate men – or, so I’m told.

I use social media to keep in contact with friends and family, to post things about bikes and to brag about the majestic Gomez Thunderpaws… I most definitely do not live my life like the final days of Caligula nor pretend to be anything that I’m not. I don’t validate myself by a number of likes, comments and dick pics that come my way, so it seems unfair to think that I’m falling at the first hurdle by something so silly and beyond my control.

With this in mind, I welcome opinions on whether you yourself are intimidated, or put off potential partners based on their social media standing.

The confidence bluff

From my experience, most men have said they like confident and smart women who have their own independence in life. Yet, if you’re too confident or too smart, then you run the risk of scaring men away. Similarly, if you stand your ground in a given situation, suddenly your strong mind becomes an “attitude problem” – Someone explain this to me, is there a balance that I’m missing here?

In my line of work, I talk to a lot of men and it has really improved my confidence so that I can fight off the socially inept hermit that resides within me. However, despite the practice, I’m far from smooth when it comes to talking to men that I’m interested in. Two things can happen when trying to talk with a handsome man; word vomit or silence. This is where social media messaging really helps me out as it gives me the luxury of time to consider an appropriate response.

Confidence is perhaps one of the most difficult things to gauge. Too much confidence comes across arrogant and cocky, which for me, is off-putting. However, confidence is an attractive quality and getting the balance right is extremely hard, for both sexes.

MTB Dating Diaries: Part 2

Here you’ll read about two individuals who both suck but for very different reasons…

To protect the identity of these persons, I’ve omitted their names and I won’t name them so please don’t ask me.

The Holy-shit-what-was-that Guy

In this industry, a business meeting for me can be in an office, at a coffee shop or on a bike ride so it’s not uncommon for me to meet up with bike-heads like this.

A certain individual approached me under a work pretence and so we arranged to meet at a café to talk about some products. However, from the get-go, I knew this was different. His quiet voice, his lack of eye-contact and entire demeanour oozed nervousness, which in turn made me nervous because I quickly realised that this wasn’t really about work.

The tea was flowing and with conversation largely comprised of bike stuff, nerves apparently began to settle, on both sides of the table. With a pleasant enough goodbye, we parted ways and that was that.

…like fuck was it. Shortly after “work-date-gate”, I began receiving messages about our meeting and more personal than what I’d expect from something that started out so seemingly business. “I like your accentYou’re so interestingWhy are you single?Why did your ex dump you?” – thanks for that, prick. Later on, his side of the messages would take on a more sexual tone, to which at first, I thought was nothing more than his awkward attempt at humour, which went from “I’m in a hotel room full of riders and horny for you“, to, “I’d love to tie you up in the back of my van“.

Weeks passed before we met again, only this time it was with a different perspective and I felt more mentally prepared. You might be thinking, “why did you meet up with him again?” – well, I always give people the benefit of the doubt I guess.

As expected, his quietness returned and there was no trace of Mr Hyde lurking beneath his true Jekyll-facade. One alarm bell rang out to me though, and that was his obsession with money, and telling me just how much he had sat in his bank account.

Now, I couldn’t care less about how much money you do or don’t have, or what your job is. So long as you’re happy in life with what you do, and you earn enough to support yourself – sweet.

Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm for his ability to make it rain in cash then spurred on his genius idea to take me away for a few weeks; anywhere in the world, it was dealers choice. Not wanting to seem rude with my “hell the fuck no” instant reaction, I simply said, “That’s so lovely of you to offer, but it’s not realistic“.

At the end of work-date-gate-part-deux, we walked back to the parking lot where we said our goodbyes, only for him to blurt out “Can I have a kiss?“, to which I couldn’t contain my rudeness and just said “no“. With that, I very swiftly walked back to my car, got in, and drove away.

Afterwards, I politely declined his text advances. I wasn’t interested in anything more and some things hadn’t settled right with me. After his persistence and him saying, “…but I want you to be my girlfriend“, my patience withered. Despite my genuine attempt to be kind and tactful to let him down, his messages soon became cruel and insulting as he bombarded me with abuse and lies to get a rise out of me. He found himself blocked and deleted shortly after.

… only to come back via a different platform of communication, begging for forgiveness, and asking me to allow him the chance to make it up to me. I said no. This was followed by some more shitty abuse before it finally stopped and ties were cut. Phew!

The Flake

So, I thought I had found a guy with the same dark sense of humour as me and we hit it off – well, he found me, I think. I can’t remember because, after however many months of being socially connected online, we’d only ever shared comments here and there.

Out of the blue, a proper conversation sparked up, and through insulting flirtations and the ability to out-creep one another, I discovered that we not only shared passions for the same bizarre stuff but even felt similar about more thought-provoking topics on culture and dating – funnily enough.

Anyway, he asked me out and given my previous encounter with The Clueless, I confirmed that this was to be a real date. Due to busy schedules, the exact date of the date proved problematic to pinpoint but we narrowed it down to a range of days we were both free, with the finer details to be made nearer to said time.

In the lead-up to the date, we exchanged messages about this and that with both parties seemingly excited for the eventual date. All the while I could feel myself falling for this guy but knowing I was foolish to do so seeing that I’d never met him in real life, but I felt a connection was there based on personality alone. It was at this point that my chick-brain kicked in and I paniced.

With banter and creepiness turning increasingly sexual in nature, but still quite funny and light-hearted, I feared he was only interested in sleeping with me, to which he said he most certainly wasn’t and that he “wasn’t like that“. Oddly enough, he then confessed he only asked me on a “mate’s date” and nothing more. Ouch, and what does that even mean?

Messages slowed down after that and even though he still spoke of the date, when it came to setting a day in place, he said he couldn’t make it and maybe another week would be better… of course, without actually rearranging. Double Ouch.

I gave it a few days before the confusion got the better of me and I messaged him to find out what the hell had happened. Why the sudden flake out? He came back with a seemingly legitimate reason which I accepted and empathised with, only when I suggested a new idea for a date that would compromise with his reason, it was ignored and so, I dropped it and conversation ceased.

I respect honesty above anything else, even if it’s not what I want to hear… but guys and girls, don’t ask someone out, take it back, bail on a date without good reason or totally lead them into something under false pretences and expect a relationship from it.  If you’re not sure then be honest about it because you don’t realise the hurt you can cause someone by keeping them in a perpetual state of uncertainty.

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 3

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 4

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 5

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 6

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 2, Part 1

Catch up…
MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 1