Musings on Life – what a year!

So as I mentioned before it’s been a bit of a crazy rollercoaster of a year. I started this blog as somewhere to document how I was feeling in the aftermath of the end of my long-term relationship.

To be honest this year has probably been one of the best and worst of my life. I set myself the challenge that I was going to enjoy myself, spend time with friends and family, be open to opportunities that came my way and take as many holidays as I possibly could!

And I have, I’ve been incredibly lucky…

I went on a skiing trip with my family to Sestriere in January and then because my mum has become so hooked on skiing the two of us went back for a cheeky week in March.

In May I got to go to Georgia for work for a week then I came back for a week and then I went back for three weeks in June, on my own, in a strange country which I had never considered visiting where I don’t remotely speak the language.

I came back from there and jumped on board a friend’s boat at the beginning of July where we sailed from Cork in Ireland to close to Santiago de Conpostela in Spain.

I flew back from there and then spent a wonderful couple of weeks relaxing by a pool in a beautiful Gite in South West France. Whilst I was out there I was revising for my final exam of my degree with the Open University. I came back, took that, aced it (though I say so myself!) and have since found out that I have a 2:1 (hons) in my Business Studies degree to go alongside my first degree.

My mum and I jumped on a cheap flight and spent a great weekend walking many many miles around the fab city of Milan, Italy in mid-October.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg of my year but when I write it all down like that and look at all of the things I’ve done I feel really proud, because these are things that are all me, no one else. I have met some truly amazing people this year too and in spending time with friends discovered the people who really matter in my life.

Carpe Diem, Sieze the day!


A year has gone by

Wow, it’s definitely been a while since I posted on here and so much has happened that I need to get posted up. Can’t believe that the last time I wrote I was in Georgia – it’s been a hell of a year. And yes, that dreaded year milestone has been and gone and I’m still here.

It turns out it’s true that time does start to heal and that all of those cliches are cliches for a reason. When I look bad at some of those blog posts and how bad I felt this time last year I can hardly believe it. I’m not saying it’s been easy, in fact just over a week ago I heard from Mr D for the first time. Which threw me completely I won’t lie, I got off the phone and bawled my eyes out. He called me to say that his dad had passed away, which is horrible.  But he cut me out of his life not the other way around and so there’s not much I feel I can do. I sent a couple of texts and tried to be supportive, as a friend. However, I don’t want to do too much or make too much contact because I know that I do still have feelings for him and there’s a part of me that misses everything we had still and I don’t want to end up back where I was. I could feel myself starting to think about getting my hopes up which is bonkers and stupid. He knew where to find me a year a go if he wanted me, which he didn’t so why am I moping around after someone who was so selfish and doesn’t want me in their life.

Anyway, enough ranting, enough moaning I’m setting myself a challenge to blog every day for December even if they’re short and sweet. So I’ll be keeping you posted on my workout training, work (and my lack of work/life balance!) and funny comments from online dating apps and the suchlike.

time moves

Time heals – taking myself out of my comfort zone

So it’s been a while since I’ve written, to be honest I’ve been pretty crazy busy.

I got asked out on another date but I’ve had to ‘put a pin’ it for now as they say…

I applied for a secondment away from work working abroad. I managed to persuade work to give me a month off in order to do it (that in itself not a small feat) and then I applied and got the job.

I’m currently in Eastern Europe working out here and I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved, I’ve come to a country where I don’t speak the language and been out here a week and a half now. I’m doing a good job that I know.

But sadly it’s not all fun and games. Just after I found out I got the job I had a little too much celebratory alcohol and ended up texting Mr D, the message was all….” You’re the only person I wanted to tell” and to be honest I wanted him to know that I’m going places, successful. I think maybe I was thinking that he’d realise what he’s missing…

And last night I was walking along the sea front after yet again another meal out in a restaurant by myself and there were couples walking along in the evening and young families and it made me really sad. I want someone to be able to share that with. I want someone who I can call to tell about my day out here, someone who will celebrate those successes with me and be happy and proud for me. If I’m brutally honest all of the things that Mr D never really was – he didn’t ever remember or deem the things I was doing to be important enough. However, as is always the case these things are clear in the light of day and I know them in my head. But my heart still hurts, it’s been a while and I still hurt, sometimes I still cry. I’m desperate and determined to get over it and I know that in time I will I just never thought that it would really take this long. I find myself googling how to get over heartbreak and other things such as that, but I’m doing everything that they suggest and it’s just not enough. I think maybe it is true – the only thing that truly heals is time… (just wish time didn’t take so long!!)

In the meantime I’m seizing every opportunity, every chance I can to do something different, to take myself out of my comfort zone, to be a better person. Hopefully when the right person comes along, I’ll be ready.

Thanks for reading!

Miss LIL xx

DUMPED: I HATE that I still miss you

I hate, hate, hate that I miss you. That pretty much sums up how I feel right now, I miss you as a friend more than anything…

I still miss him a lot of the time, in the morning, in the evening, when something reminds me of him.

So, this weekend marked a bit of a milestone – it’s been six months since D day (the day I was dumped, unceremoniously and completely out of the blue just before a friend’s wedding) and it was also a weekend where I went and spent time with the couple whose wedding it was that Mr D dumped me before for pretty much the first time since. I saw them briefly at Christmas, but it was part of a group.

The problem with going over to see them is that Mr D is inevitably the elephant in the room; you can tell that people want to ask, but they don’t want to upset me and then they sort of don’t really know what to say.

So we took the horses out, which was great – I haven’t been riding in so, so long so it was great to “great back on the horse” and it felt like a bit of a metaphor for everything else as well.

And inevitably Mr D did come up in conversation, although they’ve not heard from him. It’s so hard when I go back to see old friends because those are the things that remind me of the good times, and the fun times. And suddenly it really hurts and my fingers are itching to add him back on Facebook or ping him a text and I have to remember that he told me…

I don’t think I love you and I don’t see a future for us.

It’s sort of branded onto my brain, but apparently still not enough to stop me missing him.

But I’m just massively frustrated, I’m getting on with my life but I can’t I make my feelings all go away – that’s the thing that I can’t change, can’t stop.

And there’s no time limit on it – I’ve googled every single item on how to get over your ex, how long does it take, things to do. I’m not really talking about it to friends as I don’t want to be that bore, only if people ask like at the weekend. I also think it’s really sad that as a result of this he’s cut so many other people out of his life, my family, our friends. Many are disgusted by the way he behaved and I’ve been very clear that I don’t want people to feel difficult about it or awkward, at the end of the day the facts are the facts and the way he behaved was incredibly selfish and they’ve made up their own minds.

Another thing that happened this weekend was that I saw my friend’s wedding photos for the first time. For those of you who don’t know – he broke up with me after 7 years just before we were due to leave for the wedding and we kind of had to spend the day pretending to be a happy couple because I didn’t want to draw attention to our drama, it was not our day.

And so I also saw what was the final picture of the two of us together outside church, I can see from the photo how much I’ve been crying, but also sadly it’s a nice image. They’ve actually chopped him out of the other couple of group ones….! So I guess that hasn’t helped as it was hard to see and a bit of a set-back.

In some of my readings I read that when you go through a massively unexpected breakup, like mine, then it’s like coming down from an addiction. They’ve done tests on people and apparently the neurological changes are similar to as if coming off cocaine, which if you think about it does make sense. So I’m still coming down off the high, still trying to cut it out of my life.

So I’ll keep on trucking, picking myself up, getting back on the horse and try and remind myself of all of the cheesy phrases that when you meet the right person, that’s when you realise why it didn’t work out with anyone else. He wasn’t my right person – now…come on brain catch up and get with the programme!

Right…back to swiping on Tinder now….

Thanks for reading!

Miss LIL xxx

DATING: It feels like I was cheating (even though I’m not!)

So, the last couple of days have been a bit of a set-back really, or maybe it’s something that I just need to get through… I went to see a friend last night and we were talking about everything and I was explaining how upset I’ve been for the last couple of days and she’s someone who has been through something similar. And she said, you feel guilty… and you shouldn’t. You know what? She really hit the nail on the head with that one. I feel like I’ve done something wrong. When I was with Mr D I never looked at another guy, I don’t believe the people who say you don’t notice. I would see guys in the street and think that yeah they’re quite attractive, but my relationship was based on the whole thing, I was attracted to him physically, but mentally he challenged me as well. We would argue and debate and when we first met I feel like we pushed each other to be better versions of ourselves, perhaps less so in hindsight towards the end. It’s not that I’m not a whole person without him; I don’t need someone to “complete” me. I’m successful, confident, independent, I don’t think I’m unattractive (reckon I can make an 8 on a good day/well-made up!). However I never thought I’d be sitting across the table, dining and flirting with another guy and it feels like I was cheating. I think cheating and lying is kind of the worst thing you can do to someone, that total betrayal of trust and so it’s something I’d never do, I guess what I’m going through now is part of the habit that I need to break! Also the rejection that I went through is hard to get over, I need to remind myself I am worth the effort of getting to know. In my day job I meet lots of people casually and I can seem relatively confident, but in terms of friendships I think I take a little longer to get to know people, so I can seem maybe cold and a bit aloof – it’s not intentional (it’s more that past the pleasantry’s I’m a little shy!) it’s something I’m trying to work on but I think that sometimes people can get the wrong idea.

I subscribe to that idea that there’s not just one person for everyone, people make choices in their lives and they could meet any number of different people. So there is someone out there for me and in the meantime I’m going to continue living life to the full so that when I do meet them I’m exciting and interesting. I’m counting down the days now to my solo trip to Venice, I’ve been working on a degree part-time (self-funded) through The Open University and I finally finish this summer, so my present to myself is this trip. It’s going to be the first time that I’ve really gone somewhere alone and spent the trip alone. I’m hoping for lazy days in Italian cafes – basically having my own mini eat/pray/love moment or at least lots of the eating part!

Following that I’m going to be joining a friend on a yacht hopefully to sail from Cork to Northern Spain and then two weeks in France at the end of the summer so there’s plenty to look forward to! I also need to brush up on my language skills since that’s three countries in the next 6 months…And if anyone has recommendations for Venice – give me a shout!

Ciao for now!

Miss LIL x

DATING: Date one… the aftermath (how to turn someone down…nicely!)

So, the last couple of days have been pretty hard. Having been on a date seemed to drag me back to where I was six months ago and I’ve been pretty teary-eyed. Work on Friday was a bit of a fail, I couldn’t concentrate, couldn’t stop crying (thank god I have my own office now) and then I basically forced some food down and went to bed early.

I feel truly pathetic for behaving like this, I’m not a regular crier, I don’t cry in public and I’m not the sort of person who loses control in public (too much of a control freak) but I guess this is all part of it.

The last couple of days have also been hard in terms of desperately not trying to contact my ex to either scream or cry down the phone that I miss him and want him back… even though the rational side of my brain knows that he behaved like an absolute dick and I don’t think I’d really want that back!

Anyway so I spent the weekend decorating my flat, I’ve lived there a year now but haven’t really made much of an effort to unpack, I’ve painted walls been out bought a sofa and dining chairs and made it much more homely and somewhere I’d actually want to spend time. (I’ve also bitten the bullet and got Sky so now I don’t need to date or even leave the house…. I can just become a recluse and you’ll find me 20 years from now rotting in a corner….) No seriously I’ve made an effort to make a commitment to staying and settling in Liverpool for at least another year, even though my heart would really like to be back in Manchester.

However, what this blog was really about is the aftermath of Thursday’s date with Ski boy. There wasn’t a kiss at the end of the night, I had a fun time and it was nice to meet him (and to be honest he was so so lovely I really wish that I felt the spark) but I thought that that was it… until the text yesterday asking when he could see me again….I definitely wasn’t expecting to hear from him again and I wasn’t obsessively checking my phone either….

So those of you’ve who’ve been following will gather that I’ve never really done the dating thing… at the grand old age of 28 this whole thing is new to me. So I fired off panicked emails to all of my friends with the SOS in of what do I say??! It was such a nice thoughtful text that I didn’t want to just ignore him – that has always seemed wrong to me. We are all adults here and the last thing I’d want to do is lead someone on. However, coming out of the other side of a massive rejection (and I know this isn’t the same level at all) I would never want to inflict that on anyone either.

So having consulted many of my dating guru friends decided to send a friendly message to say that I’d had a lovely time, it was great to meet him. Sadly the spark wasn’t there but I’d be happy to meet again as friends…. And then braced myself….

I think because of my recent online experience with getting such an aggressive message back from the blow off I was also nervous about being honest.

I needn’t have worried, he replied later on (confirming everything I’d thought about him being a nice guy) to say thanks for the message and that he appreciated my honesty and that if I ever wanted to grab a drink or snowboarding lesson as friends that that would be cool.

Crisis averted, but the plus points to come out of this are that it proves there are nice, genuine guys looking for dates (yes even on that much ridiculed Tinder!!) and that honesty from the start is definitely the way forward, so I think I’ve gained a friend and all’s well that ends well.

So I’m back out there looking, I might take some weeks off as I still feel much more emotional about the whole thing than I expected but I’m back on the horse!

Thanks for reading

Miss LIL xx

DATING: Lost my online dating virginity last night – Date 1

So, last night I went on a date, probably my first date ever in the truest sense. All other boyfriends etc have been friends first and then it’s developed into something more so I don’t think I’ve ever actually been on a date with someone I don’t know.

And do you know what, it wasn’t so bad. Literally beforehand I felt so sick that it was the closest I’ve ever been to calling my ex and saying, I’m about to go on a date, I don’t want to, I thought I’d never have to do this, I just want you back. But in reality the guy I met was a perfect gentleman, we’d got chatting (on Tinder – so take hope there are some normal people on there!) and he’d suggested that we go to an indoor ski slope and I’d said that could be fun.

So we met after work yesterday (ironically on one of the nicest evenings so far this year) to hit the slopes. I’d worried about the initial meeting thing – I mean do you shake hands, kiss…ahh social nightmare! But it all was okay, hug and a kiss on the cheek and then we needed to go get changed, sort out boots etc. So there was a focus which took away from the nervousness and gave us something to do. We spent 2 hours on the slopes, this worked as well as we chatted at the top and the bottom but there was always a break, stopping it from feeling too intense – plus you could always point and laugh at some of the others on the slopes (sorry that’s my inner bitch coming out, but I’m sure people were laughing at us too). Afterwards we went for some food, this was a bit more difficult, it’s a lot more focussed sitting across the table from someone and sometimes there were a few gaps in the conversation.

He was a really nice guy, really genuine, a real gentleman in the opening doors, text me to let me know you got home okay kind of a way. He paid for everything, although I did offer but he said, “no, no, I asked you”. But sadly there just wasn’t a spark there. However, in the grand scheme of dating stories I’ve heard and been torturing myself with this was probably the best thing for the first one. End of the night, hug and thanks for a lovely evening. Will I see him again? I don’t think so, it’s kind of open and the offer’s there – I think the ball is in my court but it wouldn’t be right.

Afterwards I got home, and here’s my big confession… I bawled my eyes out. I miss what I thought I had with Mr D, I never wanted to have to date anyone else, there were some moments where I definitely wished it was Mr D sitting across the table from me. And I’m so ashamed to admit it to be honest, it’s been six months and I doubt he’s thinking much of me so why can’t I stop thinking of him?

I’m trying every trick in the book recommended to get over someone, I’ve been out and had embarassing crazy drunken nights (more on that soon…!) I’ve kept busy, eaten well, taken up other hobbies, exercised, tried not to talk about it too much, been out and made an effort to meet new people, spent time with friends, made plans for amazing trips/holidays this year.. what else can I do? How long is this going to take? I don’t think I ever really understood what heartbreak meant until this past year. But yes I am heartbroken, he really really hurt me. And despite all of that, I STILL miss him, but I wish I didn’t. I am lonely, surrounded by friends and I’m supposed to be strong, professional, independent, but inside it just hurts. I went to a concert this week and the orchestra were playing a particular piece, one of many that reminds me of Mr D and to be honest I was pretty close to having to get up to leave. How long before I can enjoy pieces of music again? Until I don’t have to turn off the radio for certain songs. I hate him for that, I hate that he’s taken that from me as well.

And I feel like an insane crazy person, I never thought I’d be this girl, I think here’s about the only place I can admit it to be honest.

So, a dilemma really… last night was always going to be hard – I needed to get back on the horse, but it also confirmed that I’m not at all over my ex, so do I keep dating, is that fair to other people, but then what are the expectations of first dates? Or do I still need to give it time? How much time? What else is there that I can do to get over this?

Thanks for reading…Miss LIL x

DATING: I’m going to need to grow a thicker skin!

So, as those of you who’ve been following know I’m dipping my toe into the (very scary) world of online dating! Well I have to say that if it’s going to go on like this I’m going to need to grow a thicker skin. I’ve been called a b*tch twice this week already and I’ve not even met anyone yet following my failed tinder cancellation!

I’m finding it strange as to be honest I’m not one of those deliberately instantly confrontation people. I work sometimes in a front facing customer environment so believe me I’m used to being called all kinds of things. However, in my personal life, sure I fall out with those who are close to me and I argue with them, but for anyone else I’m just not that person. I was asked once in an interview what my worst enemy would say about me and I had to answer, I’m just not sure I inspire that level of hatred in people to be honest! I think if people don’t like me they just don’t think about me at all…and to be honest I’m fine with that.

This week started with crazy tinder Alan, he’s a guy I’ve been having a conversation with for a bit and to be honest the conversation was getting pretty dull, wasn’t going anywhere and was sort of petering out. He sent me a message on Tuesday and I glanced at it quickly but it had loads of questions in and then I was at work and busy and didn’t respond, so he sent another one…alright then…. and then another one…I see how it is…. and then followed up by calling me an effing b*tch because I hadn’t replied when actually all of the time I’d been at work. So needless to say he’s been blocked and deleted.

Then today on OKCupid I had a message from a guy and to be honest when I guy takes some time to craft a message based on information from your profile I do think it’s a little rude not to respond. So I read it and took a look at his profile which was all about his two sons (10, 8) and his divorce (VERY prominently written). And I’m not really looking for baggage right now, I’m not saying never but I’d like to ultimately meet someone who yes I could have kids with but with whom it would be a first for both of us which we could share. I mean let’s not beat about the bush here we’re both on a dating site so seriously. So I wrote a message back saying thanks for his, I’d had a look at his profile, and he seems like a nice guy, but I don’t think that I am what he is looking for… I mean I made it about me and I thought I’d be straight up from the start, what’s the point in the doing the hey how are you when his aims and mine are clearly different. To which I got a really offensive (too much to right on here) rant straight back at me! Clearly I was right to nip it in the bud, it was apparent why he was divorced and I wondered if maybe I should be calling social services worried about his sons and this guys’ obvious anger management issues!

I mean what is it about online that means that people could say stuff like that, this guy may well be so crazy that he’d say it to me in real life as well. But one thing this week has definitely done is made me realise if I’m going to continue down this route I’m seriously going to need to grow a thicker skin… oops I’ve had another OKCupid message so better go… but my dating escapades to be continued!

Thanks for reading

Miss LIL xxx

DATING: The Tinder brush-off

So those of you who’ve been following will be aware that today was supposed to be D-day – the first blind date, my first ever Tinder meeting. I was kind of looking forward to it, the guy seemed nice by messages and I figured we had enough in common to pass a pleasant morning and it wouldn’t be anything as he’s here on tour so will be leaving in a couple of weeks so that took some of the pressure off as well…

I was cautiously excited, until I got a message close to midnight last night with the oh-so-casual brush off. Sorry I’ve got a rehearsal, I can’t make it, sorry that it’s short notice but let me know that you’ve got this message x Maybe that’s the problem with musicians, I mean I know that it can be a problem but it was definitely the brush-off… and so I’m back to square one… oh and also I’ve completed Tinder “there’s no-one new around you…”

I’ve read some articles in the past that it’s part of the problem with the easier social media type sites, people forget that there’s a real person with real feelings on the other end and that makes the brush-off all the more easy. I mean in real life unless someone had been really offensive/rude you probably wouldn’t just get up and leave, you’d at least say “bye” but it’s a whole different ball-game online.

So I need to find a new site (and it won’t be OK Cupid!) I’m toying with the idea of paid ones on the grounds that at least everyone on there is a little more committed to the cause, but I’m not sure if that’s the case? Anyone got any experience of this? Are the paid ones better? Let me know!

Miss LIL xxx

LIFE: Putting myself back out there – Meetup and Tinder

So, I mentioned that I’d joined a meetup group and last Saturday I went along, dragging my long-suffering London friend Miss L along as well. We headed for a bar in Liverpool which was a band night to meet a bunch of people who I’d never met before.

All went well and as people communicate through the app and the meetup coordinator tends to describe what they are wearing we were able to pretty quickly spot the group. I wasn’t the only person there for the first time and not everyone knew everyone else so it was good because there was a real feeling of openness towards meeting new people. To be honest the conditions weren’t the best for getting to talk once the bands got going…perhaps I’m just getting old but definitely found myself struggling to hear and/or shouting in other people’s ears. However they seemed like a friendly bunch. I’m okay at meeting peole (it’s what I do all day long at work) but I struggle to form more meaningful relationships and I also have a tendency to be a bit of a wallflower at these types of things. Perhaps it’s because I’m so used to being part of a couple that it’s been a long time since I’ve had to attend social events alone. Anyway whatever the reason I need to get better and so I’m throwing myself into this. The other good thing about it was it didn’t feel like a singles event or anything like that, it definitely felt like meeting new friends of both sexes. To be honest I’m just desperate to meet people I don’t work with, i.e. girls I could head to the cinema with and talk about something other than work!

I was due to go to a couple of others but sadly for various reasons (work-related for one and my mother ending up in a and e for the second) it hasn’t been possible but I hope to head to another one soon.

In other news I am back on dating app Tinder and actively swiping (so much so that I’m a little scared I’m going to end up with repetitve strain injury in my thumb…!) It’s been good, I’m not taking it too seriously, I’m not sweating the little things, I’m starting conversations, having a little flirt and seeing how it goes. I have my first ever date tomorrow (so obviously I’m cr*pping myself!) but he seems nice so we’ll see how it goes. I’m just hoping to get through my first online-date-meeting in one piece without tripping over – to be honest everything above and beyond that is a bonus. Anyway I’ll let you know how that goes – wish me luck!

Miss LIL xxx