Like 2014, not dissimilar to 2013 and comparable to 2012 (etc.), 2015 has proven to be another 365 days of emotional turbulence.
I started the year in Australia and finished it in East London with one connecting factor – I remain single. But this isn’t a cry for sympathy, it’s an invitation to revel in the peaks and troughs of my ever eventful and ironically named ‘love life’.
Being as unoriginal as possible, last year I had an had an epiphany that it was time to leave my then unforgiving job and make a move down under. It seemed that 99.9% of twenty-somethings had already done it, so what wasn’t there to look forward to? The sunshine. The beaches. The wildlife. The lifestyle. The men. Well, unfortunately, it turns out there was a lot not to look forward to. Having moved to the other side of the world on my own and struggling to match the life I had made for myself in London, it became painfully apparent that I was destined for life in the big smoke.
Undeterred, of course, I managed to fit in a few dates before my four months abroad came to an abrupt end. Firstly we had the one with the puppy who turned out to be an avid homophobic, then there was the one that labelled me a”gypsy” for having tattoos, there was the almost- dream-boy who ran his own doughnut business and of course not forgetting the one who called me “fucking ugly” for mocking his mustache.
It goes without saying that I didn’t meet the one (because I don’t believe in the one) but I did discover one important thing; Aussie boys hate my sense of humour.
On the brink of exile having offended one too many people, it was time to embark on the epic journey back to Essex. But having treated my impermanent move as more of a holiday, I’d managed to gain an impressive amount of weight in such a fleeting period. If you don’t believe me, just ask my mum who tried her best not to grimace when she saw her beautiful daughter’s bloated figure for the first time.
Teaming my new found physical insecurity with a hint of loneliness – we had a recipe for disaster. Selfishly I coaxed an old flame into committing to me, knowing full well that I was soon to slip through his fingers out of boredom. And sure enough, I did.
Like a strange addiction, it was time to once again set up a ‘Lifestyle‘ folder on my iPhone, brimming with dating apps and irritating notifications. What ensued was months of disheartening and relentless dating with men that numbed my soul. Nice men that I fought to find tenuous linked interests with. Good looking boys with one agenda. Scores of arrogant misogynists and handfuls of painfully awkward types.
Deflated and questioning my self-worth after wasted hours sieving through databases of undateables on apps, it shames me to admit that I was weak enough to crawl back to the men that had so frivolously discarded of me times before. The one who treated me like a girlfriend without the technicalities of commitment. The one who never text me back after weeks of time spent together. The one who left me crying in Starbucks (basic bitch, I know).
But always one to shrug men off like they never existed, it wasn’t long until I was back on the dating band-wagon. And in keeping with previous themes, my next victim was an Australian in Essex. Initially I felt so smitten and thought I might have met someone I truly cared about. But in true me style, it only took a few weeks to see how outrageously mismatched we were. He the emotionally draining type, and me the distant and unaffectionate sort.
Your typical ‘nice guy’, my friends questioned my mental state when I legged it and did everything in my power to never speak to him again. My advice? Don’t listen to your friends. No matter how much the nice guy cries, begs and manipulates you, never ever settle.
So yet again, I was back to living the life of a strong independent woman. I landed a new job and finally moved to London. No longer was I sending “Hey. Long time no speak…” messages, now I had the upper-hand. Yes, I was back on Tinder, Happn, Bumble and more, but I was no longer using men to kill time. Vowing to myself that I’d only date the ones who had something to say for themselves, these past few months have undoubtedly been a peak in my dating career.
From a rendezvous in Shoreditch House to fine-dining in converted viaducts, perhaps I didn’t stumble across love in 2015 but I did have a fair amount of non-committal fun on the way.
I know what you’re thinking, “surely she’s had enough by now?”. Well yes, to a certain degree. As great as my own company is and however much I thrive off the excitement of dates, it’s an undeniable human instinct to find a mate.
I entered 2016 with an open mind and guarded heart and just one week in, I’ve met someone who made me laugh until I cried. Could this be a sign of good things to come? Maybe. Unlikely. But maybe.
Images via Giphy.