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 cafĂ© 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

MTB Dating Diaries: Chapter 1, Part 1

I refuse to suffer this alone so I’m taking you with me…

*Reader discretion is advised; excessive use of the word “fuck” with some full-frontal nudity*

With the bitter-sweet contagion of the world wide web, the whole dating concept has become somewhat warped where all pre-conceived notions and ideologies have been well and truly digitally fucked.

The modern-day language of social media has left many of us singles puzzled as to whether there is any underlying subtext behind a message, and if there is a truer meaning clinging on to every like follow request and read receipt. While social media has done wonders for connecting the world, it has also complicated an already complex tangle of emotions associated with dating.

Know Thyself

 Hello, my name is Jessica Strange and I'm a single as fuck
Hello, my name is Jessica Strange and I’m a single as fuck

I’ve learnt that to know what you want, you have to know yourself.

A couple of years ago, I was in a long-term relationship which was so intense with emotion that it was unhealthy. I lost myself within the toxicity and my very identity gave way to its consumption.

Since that train wreck ended, I’ve had a blast rediscovering myself, the things I like, the beliefs I have and, all in all, it’s really chilled me out not having to think of and for another in fear of being “not good enough”.

My journey to self-re-discovery has been confidence inspiring, to say the least, and knowing what I do about myself, and feeling pretty comfortable with that, I’m ready to find my partner in crime – an Eddie to my Richie… a Tango to my Cash… a John McClane to my hangover.

Now that I have a pretty good idea of who I am, what am I looking for and where do I start?

“Foxy Stoat Seeks Pig”

I’ve never been on a dating site. The notion of online dating has always made me feel uneasy. Perhaps it’s because I’m old-fashioned and I like to meet someone through more organic means, or perhaps it’s owing to the trashy viral click-bait horror stories that I can’t seem to avoid.

Saying this, however, I’ve heard some great stories about online dating, even within the MTB community and with those few success stories, I thought; “fuck it” and I signed up to Tinder.

I think I was on there for all of ten days before deleting it. Fuck that.

Swiping through a series of faces felt like walking the halls of an endless library. Overwhelmed by potential options with shitty blurbs that didn’t reel me in, Tinder did teach me one thing, what I didn’t want. Working and playing in the cycling industry, it’s safe to say that bikes dominate a significant proportion of my life. I need someone who at least understands that, and yea, it’d be cool to date a guy who’d want to go on rad adventures with me from time to time.

Send nudes

I can’t honestly work it out; perhaps men are more fragile than I give them credit for and simply don’t know how to talk to women, or maybe they think we really want nothing more than to see a strategically angled photo of their genitals? Please, if you know the answer, enlighten me.

If I’m asked for nude photos, I have a selection of favourites I choose from including my cat, my cat’s butt, myself dressed as a cat (not the sexy kind), photos of me IN clothes (quelle horreur), or hideously vulgar photos of train-wreck porn-stars which I find from Google – that’s what the internet is for, right?

My train of thought is this… why send a nude photo of yourself to a person you’ve not met or dated? You’re ruining all mystery and intrigue so that if an opportunity for sexy fun time should arise, they already know what’s coming. It’s like someone showing you your birthday present before you’ve got to unwrap it, which let’s face it, is the best part!

I’m going to stop right there because I’m not condemning those who do send nudes and want to. Some women I know find it empowering, confidence inspiring and just a bit of fun, which is totally fine. So long as no one feels pressured to send them, then go right ahead.

MTB Dating Diaries: Part 1

My initial plan for this piece was to invite an open discussion about modern-day dating with the MTB juxtaposition, but as I began to write, I felt myself ranting, venting and pouring myself in until I eventually decided to sod my intentions and just write it all out there.

My MTB dating diary entries will drag you along to share the high’s and low’s of my dating life whilst introducing you to some of the characters I’ve had the delightful fucking pleasure of conversing with this far – You know what they say, misery loves company.

*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 Clueless

How do you know when a date is a date-date? Without actually asking, it’s very hard to tell if a cuppa tea is more than just tea.  

Upon a friend’s suggestion, I reached out to this “sound guy” he knows well. I approached him under false pretences about something totally convincing to test the waters and after what seemed like a very brief to-and-fro of messages, it was he who suggested we meet up, and we did. Only, I couldn’t tell if it was a date so I went with the flow.

The non-date-kinda-date went well, or so I thought. Plenty of laughs, discovered shared interests, plenty of tea drinking and bike talk ensued, and yes, he was very handsome. Could I read him? Like fuck.

After the non-date-maybe-date, I didn’t hear much from him. I assumed he wasn’t interested and that bothered me. Not because he possibly didn’t like me, but because I didn’t know what it was and I thought that I wouldn’t have minded seeing him again but felt too uncertain and insecure to ask.

Shrouded in mystery and frustration, I finally reached out to him. We resumed messaging briefly with funny low-brow quips until it felt like I was trying to get blood from a stone, so I stopped and finally gave up.

To this day I have no idea whether it was a date, if anything, or what he felt about me, if anything, and now too much time has passed to ever find out.

Lesson: Find out if a date is an actual date before the kinda-maybe-possible date takes place. At least you know that if it’s a date, there’s an element of interest and potential there, whereas a tea date with a friend is just that.

The Omission

When someone catches your eye, you wonder if they’re single and what better way to check this than via their social media profiles.

Indeed, someone caught my eye and I snooped to find no trace of a female across any of their social media pages. With the coast being clear, I engaged in conversation with Mr-sponsored-rider. I consulted my inner circle of beings for their opinions – as you do – and the general consensus was that this guy was a good egg. Sweet.

Aside from his crass sexual innuendos, to which I wasn’t impressed, we discovered we had a number of things in common which lead to a discussion of meeting for a date. The date escalated into an adventure riding trip paid for by his brand sponsor – his idea, not mine.

After a conversation with an industry friend, with whom I confided details of said adventure date, I was taken aback when told that Mr-sponsored-asswipe had a girlfriend. I got my best wing-woman on the hunt and sure enough, after some intense digging around, she shared with me a profile of a very pretty girlfriend – why he would want to hide her, I have no idea.

After confronting this guy, I was immediately deleted from his social media existence. What a dickweed.

Lesson: Find out if they have a partner by any means necessary before engaging in extreme adventure date planning

And now…

On my quest for courtship, I’ve found social media to be more damaging than anything else. While it’s great for communicating with people, it is very much a glorified highlight reel of your life. When chatting with guys, the only information I have is what they’re messaging me and the carefully selected posts they choose to show the world.

Mangled within that, you have petty associations that stir up even the most laid back of people… Why has he read this and not replied?If I don’t like his post, will he think I’m a cunt?I don’t want him to see I’m online because I’ve not thought of a good enough reply to the last message… then the usual, checking your phone every 5 mins (or less) in case he’s messaged while slowly losing your sanity in the process because you know deep down you’re better than this but before you know it, you’re writing a list of potential baby names for your future cat children.

Editor note: I know not all men are creepy sex-driven dipshits and yes, I know women can be just as bad. I’m only speaking from my experiences, so before you flex your keyboard warrior fingers and prepare for war, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride…

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 Diares: Chapter 2, Part 1