Things being single in London has taught me

Experience is the best teacher. It’s also the shittiest, so sometimes I wish I were better at listening to other people’s words of wisdom. As someone who is not infrequently found in bed alone before 9pm in mismatching pyjamas demolishing a tub of Pringles, I clearly still have a lot to learn about leading a fulfilling life. However, here are some pearls (ok more like some cheap precious stones) of wisdom about dating that I have picked up along the way:

If a guy just talks solidly about himself for 2 hours, he really isn’t worth a second date. Seriously, I thought he might have been nervous and just couldn’t stop babbling and said yes to a second date. But no, that was no better. Well, he did finally ask me a question about myself – but as it was “do you scuba dive”, which I don’t, our first proper conversation was short-lived.

If he can’t stop checking his phone constantly, just get up and leave, he probably won’t even notice.

Most people are guilty of having their smartphones out when hanging out with their family and friends. I know I can be a culprit. I’ve tried to become better at ignoring my phone and it has just highlighted how bloody annoying it is when other people are constantly on their phone – you just think “is my company not good enough?”.When this happens on a first date – just go ladies, he’s clearly not someone capable of giving you proper attention if on your first one-on-one meeting he can’t be asked to put his phone away.

I went on a date with someone like that – to be fair to him (not) he did deign to look up from his phone to tell me abortion was bad and to ogle some blonde in a not-really-there skirt. Yep, I hooked a good ‘un there.

If you are putting on more make-up than you normally do to see them and panic buying more matching lingerie sets quite a few dates into whatever the hell you call this (because god knows you can’t call it a relationship in case he runs for the hills), he’s not a keeper.

It’s a corny but true– if he doesn’t like you the way you are, he’s not ‘the one’. Seriously though, if you feel uncomfortable about the way you present your body to them after a certain period of time, and dolling yourself up becomes an expectation rather than a treat, chances are at best it’s not quite clicking, at worst he’s a massive douche.

I’ve had guys whinge at me why don’t you wear high heels/sexy lingerie more. At uni I even turned up to a date so happy to see someone, in casual clothes, after a really stressful day to be essentially told “what are you wearing, I look like I’ve brought my kid sister out”. What a slap in the face. When I did wear super high heels to an event, he told me I looked like a drunk baby giraffe. Ladies, AVOID men like that. Not only are they unappreciative morons, but also, as their obsession with outward appearances suggest, they have some serious underlying insecurity issues.

Finally, there really is more to life than men.

We live in a society that constantly tells women that the route to happiness is being in a relationship with a man. (Funny how that message doesn’t seem to be hammered home quite so brutally at men.) It alarms me how automatically conversations with female friends or just time spent thinking about  my life plan turn to the ‘problem’ of getting a man. Being in a relationship with someone you are suited to and who treats you well is great and fulfilling and fun. But as I have also been slowly learning, being single is also great. You have time to do all the hobbies you’ve been putting off, visit the places your other half wasn’t that keen on going to and spend time with people you’ve been meaning to get to know but didn’t have time for, because it was paramount that you and your partner at least saw each other 3 times a week to make this a ‘healthy’ relationship.

Plus let’s face it, we all sleep better when we can starfish in bed and sleep really is the best thing ever.

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