Dating Myself

I took myself to dinner the other day.

Except, I’m poor and cooking is fun, so I made myself dinner, opened a decent bottle of wine and left my phone far away.
I talked a lot. I’m glad my flatmates weren’t around.
It was like going on a date with a good-looking, intelligent, funny partner – only better, because I could interrupt myself whenever and not get into trouble. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When things went bad in relationships, I’d often resort to meals to sort shit out. “Let’s go for dinner” I’d say whilst meaning “Let’s go for dinner and discuss your depression and the best steps for getting you to deal with it…again.” And then the dinner would be awkward. There’d be huge gaps in the conversation that gave birth to grotesque statements about the weather whilst we danced and skated in a parody of happiness around the issue. I don’t think we ever tasted the meal.
I’d thought I could sort out my issues over my meal.
The nice thing about running both sides of a conversation is you don’t have gaps in the conversation. You never quite end up saying “weird, it’s Saturday and the sun’s shining. I wonder why.” You say stuff like “So this whole pain/pleasure thing that might possibly be linked to self-hatred and masochism” then you interrupt yourself to say “Damn this steak tastes so good! Have you tried it with the wine?” “Yeah I have, and I’m loving the fried apples and onions!”
I’m not burying it. I’m not denying it. Every time I look at my arm I’m reminded. And every time I’m reminded, I want to do it again.
Not for the mutilation: for the pain. For the control. For that little tingle of pleasure that runs up my arm to my spine and sits there, giggling happily.
It’s weird.
My dinner found other things to talk about. Like my writing. Like my studies. Like the next 11 months (and 2 days). I didn’t make plans. I held onto ideas and swirled them with the wine and the steak and the apple and the onion and the sauce. They tasted good.
Once the meal was finished, I headed to the pub. This was a bit surprising: following a date at home, I seldom go out. I’m always “too tired” or “too antisocial” – both excuses for “I’m too coupley”. But I’d promised myself I’d go and I couldn’t disappoint me, so off I went.
I’d hoped to meet people there, people who’d said they’d try make it, but I suspected I’d be drinking alone. I was quite right. I was a little surprised when I walked in and two girls stopped chatting to two guys to straighten their backs and eye me repeatedly. I ignored them (I don’t know why) and ordered a drink.
I realised quite quickly that I couldn’t expect things to happen to me. No one was coming to drink with me, so I had to go drink with them. I found two colleagues having a night off and talking wine: I chased them through a history of cocktails and alcohol as the bar closed and we made a mess discovering just how strong a proper cocktail should be.
And then I stumbled home to bed with me.
And when I woke I realised something: I’m happier alone.

Happy Foots

I went for a walk this morning. It took me and a hot coffee over wet grass to a small bench and – when I looked back – I realised my feet can’t even walk straight.

I like feet. I especially like small feet in high heels with painted nails and the right amount of sensitive spots.
So when I shared a bed with Dutchy and we slept back to back on opposite sides of the bed and she kicked her feet back and tucked them between my legs because “they’re cold” I discovered I was very much awake.
And I really wanted to sleep. I’d had four hours the night before and had to walk two dogs in five hours. So I told her about me “liking” feet. Normally, if I say anything that slightly resembles a move on her, she increases the distance between us tenfold.
This time, she simply responded “Oh. I like that being done to my feet. Now I’m turned on.”
She then insisted on swapping sides of the bed. Which involved climbing over me. Which reminded me that, though she’s not my ideal (her bum’s too small, for one), she’s still incredibly hot.
She curled herself up against the wall, pushed her feet back between my legs and fell asleep in 13 seconds flat.
It took me quite a bit longer.
 I’d already accepted that I’ve fallen in love with her. Not as in “OMG I want to bang you really bad, you’re so hot” but more as in “Let’s go sit on a beach under the stars and cuddle and talk and kiss…and then let’s find a bed and fuck  – hard.”
All of which proves to me that yes, you can fall in love with someone platonically; that yes, love is definitely and inescapably a choice; that yes, it doesn’t need to be acted on; that yes, you can love more than one (or even two) people at the same time.
It also reminded me of all the reasons I don’t like relationships.
There’s a sense of entitlement to a relationship – a sense of ownership. Your actions are no longer your own, decisions are shared. You become “someone-and-Gareth” and refer to yourself as “me-and-someone” and somewhere in that hyphenated world you can lose all sense of who you are.
And that would be ok, if life were simpler. If life was all about getting married and having kids and creating a family and identifying as said family and that was all I-and-whoever wanted and had ever wanted, then losing myself in those hyphens would be perfect.
But if that were me, then I’d probably not be interested in the people I am and I certainly wouldn’t be writing.
It doesn’t matter to me if she loves me back or not.
Because when I woke up in the morning (feet still entwined) the attraction had faded with the alcohol. It’s still there, but it’s not a motivator. I was kind of happy when she left: my space was back.
And though my space is lonely, it’s mine. It’s been damaged and bruised and hurt by the expectations and conditioning of a generalised populace, but it’s still there.
It’s hard to stay in that space though. I keep having thoughts along the lines of “I should totally ask her out.” I can never work out why, though. Why should I ask her out?
And there isn’t a single reason that comes from in me. I don’t even know what answer I’d want from her. It just feels like the norm. “oh look, pretty girl, you like her, ask her out.”
I don’t get the need to add a label. And what I’m slowly realising is that what I have with Dutchy is what I’d like with many people (although, I’d prefer it if sex and lips and tongues and feet slipped into those relations).
She does not make me happy, but I can create happiness with her. Just like I can with Porsches and writing and whisky and math and drifting and books, though to a more complicated degree. And that’s what I want: people with whom I can create happiness – who preferably have sexy feet.

Euro Whore

Sitting on the bonnet of Someone’s car, talking to Her like we used to, not even noticing that we’d been there for two hours and She still hadn’t given me the key, I realised something: I’m a complete an utter Eurowhore.

For a good thirty minutes, we spoke about nothing but cars – almost extensively European. We spoke about the Ferrari She’d sat next to in traffic, admiring the way it’s engine note rebounded off the vehicles around Her. Moments later, it drove by us, blinding us with its gorgeous lights. I’ve photographed that car so many times, I’m surprised he still drives by my house.

I told Her about the Rolls Royce Ghost I see at work and the smug driver. We talked about the Mercedes G55 AMG and how sensual that engine sounds, and discussed in detail what straight six turbo could be blasting past my house every afternoon.

I also told Her I still love Her.

I told her about the Danish girl (who’ll get annoyed if I call her Dutch) and how Someone seems almost sane in comparison. She told me about Her new hangout. I got annoyed that She spends time there, but never spent time with me.

She told me She thought She was happier where She is now. I told her I am happier single. I told Her and She told me how nice it was to not say “I’ve just seen such and such and I’m going here now” and we both said how much we missed getting those texts. I told Her I missed Her annoying “Hey hun how is work?” texts and how I checked for them every half an hour. She told me She missed having someone to call at 2 in the morning.

We both agreed we dated too soon. We both agreed breaking up was a good idea. And I think we both cried once we said goodbye.

I told her how drunk I got; She told me how sober She stayed. I told Her how sorry I was for the things I said; She said it’s ok, but She can’t get my voice out of Her head.

I will fall in love again – often, repetitively, with broken European girls. Hopefully, I will grow. Hopefully, I’ll learn to love myself first. To soothe myself first. To not need someone to care for me, but to care for myself.

And I’m going to hold on to Her. Because the fights were epic and the conversations eternal, the sex was magic and the love was open, and there’s a part of me I’m locking away that says “I belong to Someone” and that won’t change.

I’m ok

It took me 10 minutes to pile all of her things on one side of the room, ready for her to pickup. I didn’t feel a thing. There was nothing as I picked up her collection of perfumes and nail polishes, nothing as I piled up her books,nothing as I took down her clothes. I knew she wouldn’t take long to get here. Once she was here, she could take her stuff and be gone. Out of my life. Nothing left. Just me – free.

For some reason, I couldn’t quite read the words on the cds. I couldn’t work out which where hers and which where mine. I just kinda stared at them, trying to classify them – if they’re about cars or movies that make me cry, they’re mine, otherwise hers. But I couldn’t remember which ones made me cry.

She arrived whilst I was still bent over them. And she just kinda stood in the room, staring at the growing pile of stuff in the corner. Her eyes sprung a leak.

It’s not like either of us have an easy life. It’s not like either of us is worse off than the other. It’s not like either of us is not giving their all.

But there is so much fucking anger inside of me, I’m struggling to forgive. I’m struggling to see another side of the picture. All I see is my view, and my view is all that matters. Everything else is an excuse, a reason to not love me, a reason to not want me.

It’s so hard to keep trying when you feel you’ve given your all, and the only thing left is your anger and you don’t want to share that at all.

Her stuff’s back where it belongs now. It stayed sitting in the corner for a day. It made my room lonely. Where before there’d been little essences of femininity, there were now simply stark walls. So I returned it all from where it came, I replaced those touches that sparked off memories and thoughts and good ideas and my room is mine again.

Am I happy?

No.

Every day is the same day with different spelling. Every day, the same patterns, hopes, dismays, dreams and anger blaze through. I’m slowly being crushed under a weight I can’t hold.

I’m not fucking giving up. God no.

There is no going back. There is no “it get’s easier.” It fucking doesn’t. don’t fucking lie, it never gets easier! It only ever gets harder, there’s always more to add on, there’s always more to do, there is no quick fix, there is no point, there is no attainable dream.

The only options are to give up or to get stronger. Stronger and stronger, till what was heavy is light and light is unnoticeable. Stronger, until what took everything takes nothing and smiles are easy once more. Just keep fighting, keep pushing, keep holding on. The only easy way out is death, and that comes eventually so I may as well keep holding.

I don’t know if it’ll be enough. I don’t know if I can make it through. But I’m going to try. Though it hurts and every part of me is telling me not to, is asking what’s the point, I’m going to try. Just in case I can.

Pussy 101

Don’t you just love pussy?

I do.

Especially when you storm out the house late at night in little more than underwear and sit under a tree. You slap away mosquitos and imagine a world where the worst has happened and you can just leave it all behind.

Out of nowhere sounds a meow. A small, vibrating mass of fur walks up and headbutts you with enough force to start a minor earthquake. You stroke his head and he meows and purrs and walks off, looking back at you. Because everything else is fairly fucking directionless – and those mosquitos are fucking annoying – you follow.

A racing WRX sounds in the distant, doing “the loop” – a lovely stretch of road that I’ve also driven way to fast through. He’ll reach the road at about the same instant I do if I walk down now. He’s going very quickly. I should teach him a lesson.

Which, frankly, is a stupid idea because I think he has the right idea. I’d love to be doing that right now. I’d be so pissed off if some angry idiot decided to step in front of me. Why?

The cat meows and there’s only one thing I can do: head home and claim the cat loves me more than she does because he came after me.

Because, obviously, that’s the point of all this shit.

“If you cared for me, you’d come after me like the cat did!”

Did you know that? You can only show you care if you go after someone who’s walked off. And walking off? Is that caring?

Somehow, I don’t think so.

Happy 1 year love. Yep. It’s our anniversary today. And we spent the night fighting. I even had to throw all our alcohol down the drain because I thought downing shots of Vodka would help.

It didn’t. It just made me realise that – no matter how much I drank – I’d never forget everything.

Which is a huge pity. Because I wanted to forget everything. Or, many things. I wanted complete and utter emptiness. Just take it all away. Everything, every relationship, every request, every desire, every dream, goal, wish, accomplishment. Just give me sweet nothing and a way to survive. Please.

Then there’d be no pain. There’d be no hard decisions. There’d simply be today. Every day. Nothing happens. A holiday, really.

Dating sucks.

I miss being single. I miss the selfishness. I miss the required soul-belief. I miss my decisions being mine – including their consequences. I miss the times spent doing exactly what I want. I miss the ability to honestly lie and say “I’m ok.”

I miss the simplicity of being happy single. I miss the rejection and bouncing back from my own wallowing because there’s no one else to save me. I miss the ability to say “I’m going to do this” and being the only one accountable for it.

But most of all, I miss knowing – constantly – that I’m alone.

Because a relationship pretends you’re not alone. A relationship pretends that because Someone else cares for me, She’ll come after me and make it all better.

It’s so easy right now. All I have to do is sulk. Someone joined OkCupid. She was still setting up her account when the first person messaged Her. Within the hour, She had messages flying in. Some of the people messaging Her were seriously attractive. And they want to meet up…now. Right. Now. Or else tomorrow if you’re free?

Considering I’ve spent many hours attempting to send the wittiest messages to every girl it is heartbreaking to know that She doesn’t have to try. It sends my self-confidence free-diving. In a locked Audi. Filled with cement. In the Mariana Trench.

(Some guy just sent “If you were a triangle, you’d be acute one.” Which doesn’t even make sense.  Oh, best pickup line, guaranteed to send girls squealing in terror (seriously, I tried): Lick your finger, then wipe it on their clothes. Say “Let’s get you out of those wet clothes.” )

Seriously, it would be so easy to sit here and sulk. Because I told her how I’m feeling. I keep opening Facebook and hoping she’ll reply and talk to me about it.

It’s truly pathetic.

Because I also told her earlier I want to do other things – I don’t want to talk on Facebook all night.

It doesn’t matter what she does: she’ll be in trouble. She can’t fix it. She can’t come after me and make everything better. There’s no possible way for her to do this.

The only person that can make things better is me.

And that is why I need to realise I’m alone. Because only when I realise I’m alone will I realise I must make the effort. Only then will the change be made.

Only when I realise that I’m alone can I begin to make our relationship work.

And if I don’t realise I’m alone? I’ll definitely end up so.

Worthy of me

Today,I walked into a room. It was rather scary.

My legs turned to jelly, my heart raced and my face flushed. Fear split me. I spotted a corner. One of my legs headed for the corner, the other remained frozen in place. I performed an odd pirouette, smiled at the one person I knew and said “Hi, how are you?”

And so began my training as a contracted salesperson.

One of the very first things I learnt was the value of self worth. It is a crucial concept of a closed sale: I have to be more than just the stereotype of a salesperson.

Self worth is self confidence. And I don’t have much – which is more than none.

I hate writing “abouts”. Even with my books: I can write a 10 000 word story in a week, but I can’t write a good synopsis. Like the rest of my life, it seems my books have all the good stuff in them whilst I modestly say ” I have no experiences.” and expect people to listen.

That is stupid.

I realised I needed to gain confidence. So I asked people how.

Someone answered “change your perspective”. Apparently, I told Her the same thing earlier this year.

A friend commented previously saying “Your self esteem is yours, don’t let other people’s actions devalue the way you see your self. Be the person you admire, not who somebody else admires.”

It’s odd how confidence and sales have been on my mind lately. It’s odder that James Altucher’s recent blog post was about sales. How from being a “Sales Snob”, he now sees everything as sales. We don’t like it because we give it a shit connotation.

My lack of self-confidence comes from believing I have nothing to offer. This is not true.

I’ve written a book or two. There’s enough of you reading this to tell me my blogging is good. I blogged about hitting on girls and dealing with shitty circumstances and people loved it. I’ve lived through – and forgiven – huge family issues. I’ve moved countries. I’ve driven over 20 different cars. I’ve studied more maths courses than your average graduate. I’ve been a developer. I’ve been a team leader. I’ve been a driver. I’ve read – and commented on – the entire bible. I’ve slept with seven wonderful women, many prostitutes and been in a three-way relationship. I’ve been an analyst. I’ve been a mechanic. I’ve researched so much theology I can’t ever be a christian. I love christmas myths.

And I’m only 25.

Whilst none of these uniquely or collaboratively give me the skills to be a salesperson, they do give me something: worth. It may not be a lot in some peoples’ eyes, but I don’t think that’s the point.

I think the point is simply that by saying I have nothing to give, I give everything I’ve done the sum total of nothing. By realising, instead, that I have something to give, I give myself something worthwhile.

Tenaciously Open

Being Useless is both a positive thing and a negative thing.

Because, jobs are dependant upon you and Open Relationships are hard.

Relationships – in general – are hard work – if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be worth it. Open Relationships free you (read: me) from Jealousy, Betrayal and secrets. That doesn’t mean they are boundaryless. It also means they’re not  just about sex.

Boundaries still abound. Because whilst we are free, there is still a relationship.

Some open relationships have a strict no-tell policy: I don’t know what you do, you don’t know what I do – I just trust you to work at me and keep yourself safe.

Others have a strict – check-first-then-tell-all-after-and-I-better-like-them-too policy: I tell you whom to date and vice versa, and – if they’re open to it – let’s attempt a three-way-date!

We fit somewhere between the two, edging towards the latter. Recently, a paintball-selling-british-accented individual caused us to tear our boundaries into little shreds and realise we needed better ones.

It was quite hard. I’d stuck – not too happily – within our boundaries. I knew they were too restrictive, and probably should have been more forceful with them. Of course, Someone being Someone, she reached the boundaries, went “Oh, I see what he meant” and shattered them.

That hurt.

But when you believe you are absolutely useless and someone tells you “I’m so sorry, I hope you can forgive me, I love you and I miss you.”, you can’t help but know they actually mean it. It’s not like I had anything else to offer her.

And that is where it started – I reckon. When we started dating, it wasn’t easy. I was quite happy in my single life with my single problems and my single expenses and my single nights and my single joys. I can’t remember the last time I went for a random night drive for fun. Probably Last New Years.

So when I realised that I was hiding a heart-sized love behind 7 inches of lust – and discovered she’d fallen for me a while ago – the only thing to naturally do was safe-guard my achy breaky heart. And the best way to do that is to ensure that it can’t get shattered like a math-nerd shatters her degree (I’m not bitter, I promise).

To stop something shattering when it falls, you either put it on the ground or you cover it in protection. She’d cut through the protection, so I put myself on the ground and I said “I just want to make it clear that I have absolutely nothing to offer you but me.”

I think I might have gone about making that true.

And by making it true, I’ve taken my self-confidence – that casually gathered currency I worked so tirelessly toward last year – and stored it carefully below the floor.

And a low self-confidence is not helpful when you’re applying for a sales job. Especially one with a commission. Especially one that – if worked at tenaciously (I taught the sales manager – my interviewer – the word “tenacious” today. It was funny) – could lead to a salary that might be considered adequate by even my exacting standards.

And I’d get to drive everyday. Like, 500km-1000kms a week. Heaven.

Apparently, I come across as an educated and thoughtful person. The manager said his only concern was whether I had the tenacity to stick out a sales-pitch to the close. I believe I do. I think my writing has shown that – I have books for sale, I have more on the way, I wrote a novel in a month. He’ll let me know tomorrow if I’ve got the role.

My biggest concern is can I bring back the self-confidence? Can I do more than fake it? Can I really and truly love me?

I hope so. Because if I can’t, this job won’t suit me. But if I can, this job could be the best in the world.