Thursday, 25 March 2010

And so, finally...?

It feels so odd to be writing a further post on this blog almost two years after the last one, but I'm hoping that in some ways the process of writing leads to an almost cathartic release of emotion following the rollercoaster of the previous two years.

Because, dear readers, The London Dater is getting married.

When I originally set up this blog, I did it with a view to sharing my exploits with others on the web, musing about dating, women and relationships in general. There was no real structure to my posts, just a series of random thoughts that I hope would reflect the period in my life that I was going through.

And now, I'm betrothed and soon to be wed (well, next year) to a wonderful woman who I love very much.

But do I miss dating? Hell, most definitely.

I miss the feeling you get when you lure an amazing woman that you've been thinking about all night, and the feel of her kiss when you first come together.

I miss the thrill of the chase and the feeling of smugness you get when you wake up next to someone beautiful, knowing that it was your words and actions that caused them to fall for you.

But above all I miss the fun and unpredictability about lust that love just doesn't provide. Not everyone wants to drive a Volvo Estate; sometimes the fast-but-impractical sports car is just too appealing.

So, this post is an update to you to let you know the score. I'm engaged. And I'll miss single life. A LOT. But I'll try and keep this post updated. Obviously not with dating, but perhaps some love and life musings on relationships in general.

Yours betrothed,


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Yes or No Game

I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars.
The rest I just squandered.

~George Best

On my journey to work every morning (except Tuesdays, when I work from home), I take the crowded tube deep underneath the cabal of London just a few stops from my flat to where I work. And at each stop I indulge my ludic desires with what I believe is known to many as the 'yes or no' game.

It really is quite easy to play. You just cast your eyes along the row of women (or men, if you are gay) on the opposite platform and decide whether you would - in a free world with no pressure put on you - sleep with each one or not. Yes, you would? Or no, you wouldn't?

I play this game quite regularly. In fact, I tend to use it as a yardstick for how much potential somewhere has for dating. London used to be so good - if you're getting around 5% yes's then you're sitting on a goldmine - but recently I'm starting to think it's losing its charm.

Maybe it's because the nights are getting shorter and people are wrapping up more, but I can't help but struggle to find the English roses that littered the underground barely a few months ago. Gone are the graceful brunettes and light-footed blondes, only to be replaced by harsh, cold and abrupt faces of city and business types.

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about this. In my soon-to-be single life, I've been trying to decide what qualities and characteristics I really want from a woman. I came up with a list (that adorns this very blog, on the right-hand side!) when I first started this blog, but it's quite out of date now and my tastes change on such a regular basis that it's almost not worth keeping up. A year ago I liked blondes, now it's very much brunettes. Not long ago I preferred small but pert breasts, whereas now I like curves and sassiness. Times change. Tastes change. And London changes too, but perhaps not for the better.

Which brings me to the point I've been trying to get out throughout this post: I'm thinking perhaps I should leave London and move back to LA for a few months. Just to get a break. I'm stressed, tired and I get annoyed by this city's life. Just waiting for the tube tonight I found myself biting my lip as I played the yes or no game. Across the platform from me there were no stunning brunettes or ravishing redheads. Just a lifeless mass of monotone suits and pale skin.

I really could do with a break. In America, the English accent goes down so well that dating is like stealing candy from a baby.

Maybe it's time to leave this town behind....


Friday, 19 September 2008

I kissed a girl...

I see girls
Here there and everywhere
Short skirts long hair
Love the way they walk yeah

I See Girls ~ Studio B

It's 4:08pm on a Friday afternoon and right now I'm sitting in an empty office, all on my own, gazing out of the window (well, when I'm not typing this) out onto a gorgeous sunny square in the middle of London. I do see girls - lots of them - smiling, strolling, prancing and beaming with the sassy sexiness that singledom brings. It's time for me to join them.

Since my last blog post, very little has changed. My girlfriend has become more enraged, more psychotic but this has also made my job a lot easier. Breaking up with someone who annoys you is much less difficult than ending it with someone you love, although I do realise there's a certain element of 'I'm a bastard' when I read that last line. The truth is, I think my girlfriend needs professional help, which is where I'm going to direct her. I can't be a punchbag any more.

In preparation for my new-found single life, I've been doing a lot of thinking. And I'm a little bit worried that I've lost my dating touch. I don't 'feel' single and my current relationship has really taken its toll on my energy levels. I just don't think I could simply walk out of the office and swoop the nearby stunning brunette off her feet any more. That's not to say that in practice I couldn't, more that I'm not sure I can bothered. And that is worrying me.

I think there's always a certain weariness whenever a relationship ends; a certain period of reflection whereby you don't really want to date anyone else and would rather have some 'me' time. Up until last year even, that 'me' time would have involved dating, but now I am not so sure. Perhaps it's a sign of growing up? Or maybe it's just a reflection of how much my existing relationship has drained me of enthusiasm. I'm going through the motions, running on empty, following the stream. It's time for a change.

So, I'm going to set the date for doing it. And the date shall be 3 weeks' time. Saturday 11th October. Dumping day. Let's call it D-Day for short.

Until then, I'm going to work on getting myself fit and toning up. I'm smartening my act up. A change of clothes. A change of aftershave. Maybe even (if you're lucky) a change of underwear.

We'll see how we get on.


Saturday, 16 August 2008

Breaking-up is hard to do

Ooh baby needs some brand new shoes
You get out on the street, you got nothing to lose
I feel you're crazy and everyone says it
Southern girls, you got nothing to lose

~Southern Girls (Everclear)

You may remember that in an earlier post I discussed the midwest theory in which a man and a woman - if placed in a shrink-wrapped environment with few other people - will grow attracted to one another even if that attraction would never exist if they were to live amongst a wider pool of people. Well, currently I'm revisiting it in my mind in relation to my current relationship.

My current girlfriend is a wonderful person with many excellent qualities, not least the fact she looks hot and is charming and sweet. She is also, however, a total psychopath and the most oppressively clingy, intense and annoying person I have ever met, which has slowly driven me insane over the past few months.

Well, since I've been back from holiday, we've seen a lot of each other and things have actually got a lot better. But that - as the midwest scenario reflects - is largely because we haven't been sociable or seen anyone else. Towards the end of this week, though, I've been really busy and have been out a bit more, during which time my senses have been reopened to all the eye candy passing me by. And during which time her clinginess has also returned.

So now, I'm left in quite a difficult position. As much as The London Dater enjoys sleeping with women, he doesn't enjoy messing them about, but he is incredibly fearful over breaking up with Psycho Nutjob because of the risk she will be to herself. She is incredibly fragile - as delicate as a snowflake - and I'm just a bit worried that if I end it with her she will do something crazy.

So, women of this world: how do I extract myself from this situation?

I'm terrible at being nasty: that is my problem. I can't stand people crying or knowing that I may have influenced their negative state of mind. But friends are all advising me I need to be selfish and end it with her with the view that whatever actions she takes are not my responsibility. But the truth is: I'm a little bit scared. She really does worry me. I wouldn't trust her not to continue following me on facebook, or setting someone onto me. I have to be really really careful.

Of course, you might argue that the grass is always greener and that actually I'm a bastard who can't make his mind up. And you'd be right - to a degree. But at this stage of my life, I don't want to settle down, get married or have kids. I just want to flirt, sleep with beautiful women and get inappropriately drunk at social gatherings. My home is in the bar, running game on the hot brunette with the southerly dress. Or in Starbucks, persuading the perky blonde that the caramel praline macchiato she's about to drink really does contain fewer calories if she sleeps with me first. That sort of thing.

I really don't know how to end it. I would welcome your honest advice.


Friday, 8 August 2008

This Summer

Patti Page and summer days
On old Cape Cod
Happy times making wine
In my garage
Country shade and lemonade
Guess I'm slowing down
It's a turned-back world
With a local girl
In a smaller town

~ Disney Girls (The Beach Boys)

So, I'm back from my holiday, tanned and refreshed but also very tired and worn out. Spain was lovely, albeit full of Brits, though there was also a very generous compliment of scantily clad women with their merchandise on full display.

I'll write a more comprehensive blog post when I've turned my brain on and have caught up on sleep, but for now I'll just grumble silently and complain that it's cold and wet here.


Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The London Dater goes on holiday

Right, no sooner had the fun started than it's going to take a temporary break - as I'm going on holiday tomorrow for 10 days with some friends. Eight of us are renting a villa over in Spain, complete with a swimming pool and hot tub.

I can't wait!

I'll be back to blog upon my return on the 9th August but in the meantime I leave you with this question:

Is it better to date someone hot with no personality or someone unattractive but with a great personality?

Thoughts in the comments please.

Until then, have a great week.


Monday, 28 July 2008

The etiquette of hitting on work colleagues (Part I)

I like to think of myself as a fairly principled guy, although of course at times my virtuous compass seems to deviate from true north when it encounters underdressed and attractive women with negotiable morals. Which is why I was particularly flummoxed when W - a female colleague of The London Dater - asked me why an attractive guy such as myself had never hit on anyone in the office.

Now, this question interested me for a whole host of reasons. Up until this point I had never even looked at any of my work colleagues in anything but a professional light. However, given that I've handed in my resignation and am idling at my desk while my notice period trickles down, perhaps it's acceptable to make approaches after all? Is it?

Putting this in context, I work in office of 40 people, 35 of whom are female and most of those between 20 and 30. Within that group, 11 are single and (assuming I'm decent enough not to hit on those in relationships) there are 4 who I would rate as worthy targets. I'm loved at work - heck, I'm a goddam office hero - but there's something inside of me that says it's just wrong.

So, let's analyse each side of the argument:

Why it's not acceptable to hit on a soon-to-be-ex work colleague:

  • The public opinion of your time at the office could be soured
  • Your reference might be affected
  • If you crash and burn, your exploits will be publicly advertised in your absence
  • You may encounter your colleagues in future career paths

Why it's perfectly acceptable to hit on a soon-to-be-ex work colleague:

  • Any sexual interest they've had towards you will have built up for so long, it'll be an explosive release
  • You're leaving, so there's no commitment expected
  • No employment fallout to deal with
  • You've spent so long working with someone without making a move, you've already gained their trust
  • You can take advantage of the sentimentality towards your departure - it's easy!

When you put it down on paper, the benefits outweight the negatives quite comprehensively, but no matter how much you analyse it, it just doesn't feel right in practice.

Or maybe that's me?

So: my leaving party is coming up. Several targets will be present.

Do I launch the missile or keep the weapon wrapped up?


Sunday, 27 July 2008

Meaningful relationships

I recently had the good fortune to go away for a week's camping in Spain with a good friend of mine from my university days, who for the purposes of this blog I will refer to as 'RS'. He is the same age as me but where we differ is that he has been in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend for five years. She is the first serious girlfriend he's had and only the second person he's ever slept with.

RS regularly cautions me about my playboy behaviour - and has done ever since we've known each other. It's not a case of disapproval or of him looking down on my 'liberal' appreciation of women - in fact, I think he peers over the fence of singledom from time-to-time and is a little jealous of the fun I'm having - but on this recent trip he suggested life might be more meaningful if I 'just picked a girl and settled down with her'.

Amongst all my friends, I guess you could say I've always been the black sheep. My closest ten friends consist of five couples - include RS and his girlfriend - all of whom have been together for a long time (6 years average). Whenever we meet up - which seems to be about once every month - I'm either single or in a relationship with someone new. I almost feel like a fraud every time I introduce a new girlfriend to them:

'Oh hi! This is Jenny...she works in management consultancy but we're going to break up next week so don't get too keen...'

None of them lecture me, but this time RS added just another nudge towards the view that perhaps I should settle down and see the benefits it brings.

His logic, it seems, was that although meeting women, flirting outrageously and then screwing their brains out was fun, it wasn't meaningul. It had no purpose. Which led me to question what meaninful really is.

Meaningul - rather tautologically - means 'to have meaning or purpose', thereby implying that those in meaninful relationships are working towards a purpose of some kind and that those who meet women with no desire to settle down are lacking in this regard. But is the act of dating without commitment really purposeless? Surely dating can be an end just as much as a means?

Right now, I don't want to settle down; something that psycho GF has illustrated very clearly. Even if you strip out all her insecurities, paranoia and clinginess, she wants to settle down, find someone to marry and continue fulfilling her purpose in life: presumably to have babies and contribute to society's grand biological plan for her. But I'm The London Dater - and that's not part of my plan.

I want a girl who sticks two fingers up to biology and does the opposite to what everyone else is doing, just because they can. Someone who swims against the tide and rebels against confirmity. Not someone wild or crazy necessarily, but an out-of-the-box thinker. The marriage/baby types are really not where it's at for me.

And so, it made me smile this weekend when I came across - a site that perhaps I'll need in 6 years time. Spurmo, you will learn, means 'Single Proud Unmarried Men Over Thirty' (overlooking the fact that the acronym doesn't fit the title for one moment) and is a campaign for men who have shunned relationships and marriage to come together, bond, form an alliance and defy society's ritualistic expectations.

The question for me is: is this a good thing? Will I feel different in five years' time when I qualify to become a member? Perhaps there is something tragic about a thirty-something being a member of a club for guys like him: the sort of men who regularly go down the gym to make themselves look better, even though there is no-one within their age group left still single for them to impress?

I guess that's the danger though. And perhaps that's where RS is right.


Reading recommendation: I hope they serve beer in hell

I hope they serve beer in hell is Tucker Max's account as a Chicago playboy. The two of us have a lot in common: an affection for the opposite sex, moral irresponsibility and frustration with society's definition of us and them.

Read it. You'll love it.


I love Alicia

Do you ever find yourself in the situation whereby you know someone for years - or have at least been exposed to them - and then suddenly one day, something happens and you realise how attractive they are?

I just had this moment with Alicia Silverstone.

I've never realised how attractive she was until I just finished watching Blast from the Past on Channel 4.

Wow. She's perfect.