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2018 Dating Resolutions

"What truly hurts is that I was happier before you arrived and letting you in was like inviting chaos into my life, allowing you to invade my peace" 

- R.H.Sin "A Beautiful Composition of Broken 

I'm back. Happy 2018 everyone!

I don't much believe in resolutions, my only one in fact was to be kinder to myself this year but to  kick off my return to blogging I thought I'd come up with some dating resolutions based on the events of 2017 - or what I'm referring to as "the year that can fuck off." My first year as a single(ish) person for a long time was challenging. I know they say that wisdom comes with age but I feel like I'm mentally going backwards as everyone around me settles down and makes babies. Not that that's a bad thing. I'm actually embracing the freedom and excitement that single life is affording me because quite frankly I have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to love. I'm not entirely sure where my blog will take me this year, I lost my creative spark for a while and now that it's back I'm scared to push too hard in any direction but I know that when I write and take photographs and share the weird and wonderful thoughts that dance in my head that I feel happy and whole again. Thank you for your patience, here goes some advice from a single girl in 2018

Delete the dating apps

This is probably quite unrealistic as I enjoy playing with them as much as the next person likes the SIMs or angry birds or whatever it is people do to avoid productivity. But I'm not under the illusion that dating apps are the be all and end all of meeting people. They are a fantastic way to facilitate things between people who struggle with face to face interactions but c'mon, I don't struggle with that. If anything I'm annoyingly over-confident for someone that fails in matters of the heart as much as I do. But the conventions of tinder recently caused me to unmatch a guy who, when I met in person, was actually an absolute dream. I haven't quite forgiven the app for almost letting him slip through my fingers. At the moment my phone remains dating-app free, how long will that last in 2018? 

Stay in the now 

They don't call my Milldaydreams for nothing. If I like someone I often find myself imagining our first holiday together, cosy Sunday afternoons, walks on the beach, joint burial plots... all while they've been at the bar fetching our second glass of Sauvignon Blanc on date number two. When everyone around you is settling down and you've met someone that you like, it can be easy to convince yourself that a relationship is what you want. I started 2017 keen to embrace the single life and had to battle with myself hugely when I entered into a relationship later in the year. Despite the fact that I had made myself a promise to stay single I managed to convince myself that it was "meant to be." This sort of bullshit, fairytale thinking is going right in the bin this year. Its especially hard to do this if the person I"m dating has a tendency to act like this too. Which is why I ended up with an apartment key, a public declaration of "Love," an invitation to christmas dinner and a rather unfortunate tattoo on my elbow after that eight week relationship. Too fast, too furious. In 2018 I plan to live more in the moment and enjoy things as they come instead of rushing ahead and using plans to paper over cracks

Do not ignore Red Flags 

It can be so easy to turn a blind eye to signals that he probably isn't a good guy when you've fallen for his winning smile or his sparkling brown eyes or that bulge in his trousers (his wallet) but gut instinct is something that I've learned not to ignore and I learned the hard way. Explaining away bad behaviour, shielding friends and family from your pain, lying to cover his tracks. It's all bad news that won't get better. I feel like I'm going to be so much less forgiving when a man exhibits traits which put my back up early on now because I've seen the evolution of these tiny flags into real issues that have destroyed huge parts of my self-confidence. I am learning though. I recently had to call off a date halfway through because they guy had some issues with a couple of male friends of mine we'd bumped into. Whether it was an "off day" for him, work stress or whatever extenuating circumstances he wanted to cite, I just don't have the time or patience to wait around to find out anymore. I'm trying to be stricter with what I allow myself to put up with, time is a commodity to be spent wisely on those who deserve it  

Do not try to fix him

It's not your job Milly and to be honest you definitely aren't qualified. I think because I have some issues of my own with anxiety and depression I'm a lot more forgiving of other people when they exhibit signs of the same issues. I tend to think that because the person that I care about is having a rough time that I can help them and that we can help each other in a mutually beneficial cycle of personal and spiritial growth... Blah... Blah... No. You. Idiot. I spent so much of last year working on myself and then I let myself down in the final few months by gambling on a dodgy emotional investment and then dealing with the fallout when we had the Wall Street Crash of break-ups. I cannot afford to sacrifice any of my growth again this year.  Seriously, childhood trauma, insomnia, addiction, emotional abuse and jealousy - I've heard  it all over the years and they are not things that I'm prepared to deal with. I'm your girlfriend not your therapist and whilst a certain level of understanding is required I'm not going to dish out kindness and understanding and patience for it to be abused and ignored. Some people need the kind of professional help that your attempts to fix them only makes worse. I'm shedding my 2017 naivety so that in 2018 I can continue to work on my own self-worth instead of starting work on a mans happiness

Allow yourself to be emotional  

I tend to be an all or nothing type of person with my emotions. I either pick up and dust off like you meant nothing to me or I completely go to pieces. After my previous relationship I did the latter, publicly. I was as raw and honest as I could be about the process of heartbreak because I truly was heartbroken and I struggled big time to get back on my feet. I poured every single ounce of pain into those (now-deleted) Instagram captions, documenting my heartbreak and connecting with men and women experiencing the same thing. It was the hardest things I had to go through last year after almost losing my daughter to illness in February and I took three weeks off work to cope with the stress of it all. Despite this (and a couple of blips after that... 14 ignored calls at 3am) it was actually the healthiest break-up I've ever had and now, two months later, I feel better then I have after the break-ups where I've pretended to be fine. So perhaps there is something to be said for allowing yourself to indulge in emotion? I'm not embarrassed that I paraded my weakness as a target because nobody really took a shot. Perhaps I'm just getting old and soft but to me it feels like it takes a lot more effort to pretend to be strong then to admit to vulnerability. At least people bring you cake and valium when you're vulnerable 

Have fun 

Above all dating should be fun. I love meeting new people and hearing about their lives. I love visiting new places and learning new things. I adore the fickle excitement of the honeymoon phase, before the boredom sets in and it tends to set in quickly for me (again, goldfish syndrome) I couldn't even get past door one on my advent calender. That's why I love dating, every date is a chance to enhance your life with the presence and influence of someone new. I missed that hugely when I was with someone, I began to resent how quickly our life as boyfriend and girlfriend had slipped into the mundane and my eye wandered. These days it's nights spent dancing until 4am, walks hand in hand home from the restaurant, good morning messages, bouquets of flowers, giggling until our eyes fill with tears, those tummy butterflies when you see someone, flirting like it's a sport, a piggy-back through a thunderstorm. I just don't want to do them all with the same person. I want first kisses, first dates, first chances again and again and again. A life fizzing and bubbling over with fun an excitement and laughter. Cheers to 2018 


So those are my resolutions, I made my own rules to a game that no one seems to know how to play. We all just move our pieces, some hoping to reach the finish line, some content to pass go and collect £200 indefinitely. As a sidenote - if you are going through a break-up the book I have quoted at the top of this post is a must-read. Scribble in it, fold the pages down and let it heal you. I still have pages stuck to my fridge even now  


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