At the age of 10 I met the boy that I would eventually marry. He was a beautiful, funny, caring boy that turned in to a wonderful man. We became boyfriend and girlfriend at 15. It was serious from the get go. On Friday nights, we would get dropped off somewhere in the city and we would go on dates. Dressed up we would go to a restaurant and have dinner, and then just see how the night unfolded. We married when I was 22 and he was 23. What I don’t think either of us realised was that we were still kids, and as much as we loved each other, we wanted very different things from life. So by 25 I was divorced and single for the first time as an adult.
For a long time I didn’t tell anyone that I worked with that I was single. I needed time to get my head around it. Finally I started letting people know, and my very first date was a blind one. I was told how amazing this guy was. He was successful, driven, fun. I knew I needed to date at some point, and these people were signing this man’s praises. I thought, why not.
Things were not right from the get go. He picked me up from work. On the drive to the restaurant he told me he felt like he was breathing for me… ‘What??’ Apparently he thought I should be taking deeper breaths.
As we pulled up out the front of the restaurant he parked illegally, telling me that he didn’t care if he got a ticket. At this point I’m thinking this guys is complete tool, but I had no means of escape because I had stupidly agreed that he could pick me up. As I’m opening the car door to get out of the car, he tells me I need to be careful not to damage the door because they’re so expensive to fix. My response was that I wasn’t in the habit of damaging car doors, but if I did, I would pay to fix it.
Over dinner things improved a bit, and I was thinking that maybe I was over reacting to the things that had been said up to that point. Then when talking about his dog, he announced that his dog was dying. I asked what was wrong with him, and told that it wasn’t anything that had been diagnosed but rather a feeling that he had. The conversation then moved to cars, and I was asked what my favourite car was, I told him without even thinking ‘Mercedes ML55 AMG’. He then asked if tonight was the first time I had been in one. Funny thing was I hadn’t even noticed what car he was driving, the car someone drives generally doesn’t mean much to me, I was more interested in this man and finding out who he was. As we were leaving dinner, he asked me if I wanted to drive the car? Hell yes! Then he said that I should meet his dog. My response was ‘sure, but not tonight’. At that moment, I was told that then I don’t get to drive the car. NO problem!!!!!
I ended up running in to this guy 12 months later at a party, and after he looked me up and down and told me how great I looked, he said we should get together again. Ahhh NO!
My next date was another blind date, but this time it was a closer friend that set us up, so I thought surely she knows me better than the last people setting me up did, so it should be a better date than my last one. I was very wrong.
We decided it would be a double date as the guy I was being set up with was friends with my best friends boyfriend. Perfect, that should take the awkwardness out of it. WRONG!! From the get go, talking to this guy was like pulling teeth, he just wasn’t forthcoming with any sort of conversation, and I can generally talk to anyone. At some point while we were in the café my friend and her partner said they wanted to go and look at something. Ten minutes later I realised they had ditched us. I laughed, but secretly wanted to kill them, as I was struggling to connect with their friend. All he was worried about was that he would have to pay the bill, and pay for everyone. As it turned out, they sneakily paid the bill before leaving us. I’m not fussed if someone has a lot of money, but I can’t deal with people who are cheap, and the fact that instead of having a laugh (even if it was awkward) about what our ‘friends’ had done to us, all he could talk about was the bill (which I had said I would pay).
I was hoping to end things there, but he was insistent we go to the movies like we had originally discussed when it was going to be the double date. We get to the movies, choose one and he explains that he’s going to use his student card to get a cheaper ticket. I told him I hadn’t realised he was still studying, at which point he proudly informed me that he uses his expired student card, covering the date, so he could still get concession rates. I couldn’t believe he was bragging about this on a date. We ordered our tickets, I was asked if I too had a concession card, to which I answered ‘no’. The girl at the counter then looked at him and told him what the total was. Begrudgingly he paid, but I could tell he wasn’t happy. As we headed towards the theatre I asked if he wanted anything from the candy bar. He said no, and then when I said I was getting a drink and I was paying, he gave me quite a large order.
We sat through the movie, he walked me back to my car, and our friends came and said goodbye, trying to check that we had exchanged numbers. On the drive home I called my girlfriend and informed her that she would never be allowed to set me up again! In a very short period of time I had dated a very wealthy man that thought by leading with his money, he could get me in to bed to then dating someone so cheap he bragged about using his expired student card to get concession rates and actually did it on our date. Things weren’t looking too good.
Since then I have had a couple of relationships, and many dates that have been disastrous. I dated a guy my friends and I affectionately call ‘the teeth licker’ Yes, that’s right. He was a funny guy, who I did enjoy spending time with, but there was an awkward moment when we did kiss and he told me what beautiful teeth I have, and then licked them as if we were in a Colgate commercial. End of date right there.
At a café I used to go to regularly the manager told me about someone he thought I would really get along with. When I asked him to tell me more, his response was ‘he has 7 Ferrari’s’. I explained that wasn’t what I was asking, I wanted to know if we have similar interests, can converse well and have fun together. After hearing that he was a family orientated guy and really down to earth, I agreed to let him have my number. He messaged me that day, and we went back and forth a few times. The next day he sent me a text asking me to meet him in a couple of hours for a drink. I explained I couldn’t as I already had plans, but suggested we organise it for another night during the week. I never heard back from him until 6 weeks later. Apparently he doesn’t take someone saying ‘no’ to what he wants very well. I have since found out that because of his money and cars, women usually make themselves available for him. To this I explained; I am not like the rest.
I have had married men approach me and ask me for a night, or to become their mistress, with everything from perfume to housing promised. Every time I have said no, they don’t seem to understand that I am not interested in coming second to someone else or interfering with someone’s marriage.
With all of these things said, I have met some incredible people along my journey of dating. There was a lovely guy who was a butcher (ironic considering that I have been vegetarian since I was 13). I even went on a reality dating show, figuring trying something outside the box might be the key. Some of these people I am still friends with, or have remained friends with some of their friends.
A little while ago, after meeting a guy out at a party and really clicking we agreed to go out. On three separate occasions he either didn’t send through details of where we were meant to be meeting or asking me to meet him quite late at night in a bar, I decided to let him go before actually making out on a date. A friend offered me some really great words of wisdom ‘a person will show you who they are very early on. It is then up to you if you are happy with that person or not. The signs will always be there – pay attention’. These are words that I now live by.
Throughout all of this, I have walked away with some great memories, some wonderful friends and so many stories that keep my friends entertained. Dating really is a funny world.