COLUMN | It’s been 3 years since my last date… but I’ve found love
A lot of my friends wonder why I don’t really date.
I recently wrote about how I feel I’ve met my soulmate but it just wasn’t and still isn’t the right time for us. Is my hesitation to date some pathetic attempt to stop time, in hope that he changes into the man I need him to be in order for us to have a successful relationship? Or is there something deeper?
Since he and I broke up, I have dated. My first date was with a French guy I had met on POF. He seemed nice enough when we chatted. When we met in person he asked if I minded running a few errands with him. It was entirely unromantic but I agreed. I instantly regretted this when we made awkward chat in a line at a Post Office. It was the depths of summer so I was sweating, my feet hurt and I felt instantly unsexy. We went for a coffee where he told me about how he hated most ethnic minorities and felt that most gays were a disgrace. Now, I hadn’t dated in a while so instead of listening to the voice in my head that was screaming “run”, I went back to his apartment.
Now, I hadn’t dated in a while so instead of listening to the voice in my head that was screaming “run”, I went back to his apartment.
His apartment was gorgeous with stunning views. We drank champagne and ate strawberries as the sun set. It was romantic and I melted as he told me how he missed home and missed his mother. It deleted all memory of that fact he was a racist, self-loathing homosexual. What can I say? I was fickle and horny.
What can I say? I was fickle and horny.
We eventually went to his bedroom where he suggested we shower. I found this sexy until he suggested we shower separately because it was a hot day and we’d been out all afternoon. Despite alarm bells now ringing loudly in my head, I waited my turn (that’s right, he went FIRST) and then came out in a towel only to discover he was fully dressed. I awkwardly went back into the bathroom and dressed also. We sat and watched a film for a while and then he started kissing me. I reached down to unbutton my shirt and he SLAPPED (PHYSICALLY. SLAPPED.) my hand away. “NO NO NO” he growled, “I DO THIS”. Every single time I tried to undress myself, he’d slap my hand away.
After some very mediocre sex-adjacent acts, I excused myself to the bathroom. In there I noticed, sat on his bathroom shelf, was a tube of cold sore cream. I took a look at myself in the mirror and laughed. I darted out of there without so much as a goodbye. How did I let myself get into that situation?!
Despite this, a few months later, I allowed my friend to set me up on a blind date. “You’ll love him, you have a lot in common” he smiled. I turned up to the date 15 minutes late due to traffic. I
“You’ll love him, you have a lot in common” he smiled. I turned up to the date 15 minutes late due to traffic. I apologised a few times to which he yelled, “STOP F*CKING APOLOGISING”. Startled, I simply replied “sorry” which, admittedly, seemed a little sarcastic. Throughout the date, which was in the romantic Manchester hotspot Wetherspoons, he would avert his eyes to other men. A group of lads walked by our table and he checked them out.
“I would, wouldn’t you?” he smiled.
“You’re supposed to only be looking at me” I laughed, embarrassed that I had to remind him of that.
The date continued in that vein. He told me he loved One Direction which wouldn’t have been a problem until he decided to start dancing to “Best Song Ever” which wasn’t even on the radio. “I know all the moves” he grinned.
Eventually, we got into more serious chat. He told me he had been engaged 3 times (he was 24) and that the longest relationship was 2 years. I told him that I’d been in a serious relationship and was getting ready to date again.
“HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FER YER TO CALL SOMEWUN YER BOYFRIEND?” he bellowed, in his loud Yorkshire accent.
“Um, probably 4 to 6 months” I replied, confused as to why he’d even ask.
“TWO WEEK FER ME”, he grinned.
Two weeks. I sighed, this clearly wasn’t going to be the love connection my friend had envisioned and I wondered how he’d got it so wrong. After he told me how he loves to watch his partners sleep, I made an excuse to leave.
I called my friend in the taxi. “Honestly, I only spoke to him for 30 seconds but he said he likes wrestling and One Direction so…”. I made my unhappiness extremely clear.
This was three years ago. I haven’t been on a date since. Am I traumatised by my experiences? A little. But the real reason is because, on each of these dates, I allowed it to go a little long. The French guy was an awful human being and the Yorkshireman was way too intense. Yet I stayed with them for hours. Why? I was weirdly grateful they’d even go on a date with me.
I realised that I felt so bad about myself, about how I look and who I am, I was willing to put up with almost anything. My previous boyfriend always told me I was attractive and smart, beautiful and capable. He made me believe in myself. So without him, I crumbled. I needed to learn to believe in myself what he had believed in me. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I keep working on myself and sometimes it works and other times I have set backs. But until I can truly learn to love myself, I cannot date honestly. I am willing to wait to find somebody who gives me what I deserve and who lifts me up. Because, as the great philosopher RuPaul Charles once said, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”
Now, can I get an Amen?
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Writer. Pop culture & Politics obsessive with a prominent forehead.
Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.