The Dating Rollercoaster!

I started the night secretly retrieving tissue from my pocket……to wipe sweat from my forehead. I ended the night forgoing the tissue as tears streamed down my face. 

What a night. 

What a mixture of emotions. 

Such is the life of a single girl, diving back into the world of dating. 

As I’ve mentioned on a couple of occasions, I am single! In my post, ‘The Single Side of Me’, I delve deeper into how I feel about it. 

One of the reasons I started my year of vulnerability was due to my single status, which – I put my hands up and admit – I am to blame for! 

As the great Jim Rohn said: “For things to change. You need to change.”

And boy do I want things to change. 


So I’m looking at my situation from different angles, donning different shoes. It’s scary, staring my demons head on, feeling the emotions. But with it I come through the other side with a lesson. 

Although……..I wasn’t expecting tears on the tube, on the way home from an event, to be part of the journey. 

It all started Wednesday night when I nervously arrived at Farr’s School of Dancing in Dalston, for a silent dating event. The event Shhh party, was something that I’d never experienced before but it wasn’t totally out of my comfort zone as I proudly have ‘improv skills’ on my CV. Plus, silliness definitely is in my DNA. 

Not a stranger to being alone in a room full of people due to countless networking events and courses I’ve attended, I found it interesting that I confidently strode up to 2 women and asked if I could join them. Usually I would linger around the side of the room waiting for someone to approach me. 

Dating stories were swapped and I admitted that it had been over a year since my last date and that I was eager to ramp it up again. Hence the deep end. This event!

We started off with a few warm up games, making our way around the room, in silence, introducing ourselves in various ways. There were about 30 men and women, almost equally split, so there was always someone new to greet. Each round of games required more energy, confidence and movement than its predecessor, which didn’t bode well for my skinny black jeans in an already hot room. 

As I mopped my brow, taking off my freshly done makeup in the process, I realised I didn’t mind as I was having so much fun. My face ached from smiling and I was eager to see how the night would unfold. 

The games continued, not all in silence. The host, Adam Wilder, was the perfect compère, hilarious and engaging. He explained the reasons for playing each game, which also turned out to be perfect life lessons. Totally up my street.  

After the break the games took a sensual turn, shining a respectful light on intimacy. Something that lacks in so many people’s lives, not just those that are single! I don’t want to divulge too much into the event for those that may be interested in going themselves. So I will just say the last game was surreal, powerful, beautiful and……….sad!

The evening ended with people staying on for drinks to talk, finally introducing themselves by name. Some people coupling off and leaving together. 

I got a number. 

A woman’s number. 

Yup. I got me a wing-woman!

On the phone to my friend as I headed back home, I was laughing as I expressively explained the set up. All of a sudden, without warning, the gloom set in and I was……..despondent. I felt rejected and further away from my goal. 

And I moaned. 
“In dating situations today you have to vie for attention and it often feels like the guy is the one pulling the strings. Making the decisions. Whilst the girl patiently waits. Takes unnecessary digs at herself. Compares herself. Why do I let myself get pulled into this situation time after time, without actually giving my permission?”

And I cried. 
“I was sad that no-one showed an interest, even though I wasn’t particularly interested in anyone. I was tired of always having to try when others only have to look at someone to be in a relationship. I was fed up of constantly being the 3rd wheel amongst friends. I felt happy and independent one minute and then so alone the next.”

And I blamed.
“Damn the time of the month making me extra hormonal. Is there a full moon? It feels like it. I’m tired. I’ve had a few to drink. It’s been a long day. It’s probably the stress of the election. Damn you Theresa May.”

And my friend.
Knowing how I feel about advice and papering over problems with sickly sweet throwaway words of comfort, remained silent. I loved her for it ❤️

I can’t speak for all single women, nor would I want to, but I’m sure the majority will agree when I say that there are a list of things that we’re sick of hearing. I scribbled my top 5 down to include in this post but then realised it didn’t flow. So my ranting list will be in a separate post – you lucky folks you! 

Sometimes all anyone needs to feel better, is a non-judgemental person who will sit and listen. Listening is underused and underrated – in my opinion. Thanks to my friend’s ears, my tears soon dried and I was able to move on and the lessons, they came a-knocking. 

Lesson 1
Putting on some size 9 trainers, I looked at the guys that I had turned down in life. Who had bravely asked me out and I had snubbed their advances. Why was it any different when it happened to me? It’s hypocritical. We are all entitled to our choice. It just feels like I’m playing snap with no sets of pairs in the card deck. 

Lesson 2
As I was drifting off to sleep I laughed as I realised that this was what vulnerability felt like. I had asked for this. To be open, on my quest for love, could mean……..hurt, pain, rejection! I was firmly on the right path. This made me feel okay. Actually, this made me feel more than okay!

Lesson 3
When walking back from the polling station yesterday evening. I thought of Jim Rohn’s quote again and began to dissect it further. 

‘You need to change.’

I see this as not changing my personality to fit into someone else’s perfect partner mould. Instead, I see this as an opportunity to change into the person I want to be. A ‘me’ that would fit into my ideal relationship mould. 

I want my partner to be outgoing, open-minded, healthy, sporty and love the outdoors. I laugh as I try and remember the last time I went camping without it been a festival. Or the last time I went to the gym or picked up my kettlebells (which I’ve only used once). How can I expect to attract someone like this when I’m not this person myself? 

The lessons are always there. After the demons – they are there. Many people choose to spend most of their time entertaining the demons by playing hide and seek or wallowing with them. 

This time I chose to sit with them, with the pain. And I hurt. I moaned. I complained. I cried. Coming out of the other side feeling stronger and more certain than ever that I will not settle and will not give in! 

It cemented the fact that I still believe that I will get what I’m looking for. 

I’m so grateful for Shhhh Party for getting me there in the most fun rollercoaster dating experience I’ve had. I highly recommend it to anyone. Maybe you’ll meet your partner, a wing woman or a demon with a message. Whatever happens one thing I can almost guarantee is – you’ll have fun! You can check it out here www.shhhdating.com

Finally I am beyond grateful to my friend who was ‘silently’ with me as I battled my demons. You know who you are 😘. 

Emma x

p.s. On Sunday night I deactivated my Facebook for a much needed break, you can see why in my post ‘We are on a Break’.  This has resulted in a more open and raw account of my feelings. As the amount of people that this blog will reach is smaller than my other posts I felt more confident sharing. Plus, I don’t have the opportunity to sit watching FB waiting for the feedback. Phew!! 

If you have liked this post feel free to give it a share. 

We are on a Break!

I’m

A

Woman

Obsessed!

Infact. I’m starting to actually believe I’m……..possessed.

With Facebook!

It’s taken control of me. My mind. My habitual functions. The slip of my hand mindlessly reaching for my phone. A scroll. A like. A glance. A smile. A sigh.

Feeling like I’ve got the extra oxygen I need. Before I repeat. I repeat. I repeat. Over and over again.

No notifications. Is the phone needing to update? Is the site on a go slow?

Notifications. Beam. Oh, I have no interest in them.
Or
Ooh….. that’s interesting. You have my attention. For a moment…….

Yup! Possessed!

I love Facebook. I love the ways it has improved my life. How it’s easy to connect. To find my tribe. To have a voice. To live another part of me. The part that’s not as introverted.

I’m always found on the defensive side when people try and blame Facebook for what is wrong with the world today. Like a caring big sister who can hate on her sibling but woe betide anyone else who tries to!

Knowing deep inside that my defensiveness comes from agreeing with some of the opinions that are aired. I once downloaded an app which tracked where you were spending most of your time on your phone. After the 2nd day – my defensive reaction was to delete the app! Well of course I’m on it all the time. I need it for work! Ahem……

When I first heard about Facebook I was in a relationship with a guy that thought it was a “load of tripe” or words to that effect. As soon as we broke up I didn’t run into the arms of another guy – ready to rock the rebound. No – I joined Facebook.

I believe that’s one of the things that helped get me through a challenging breakup. Facebook was the distraction I needed during the day whilst my super strong sleeping pills took care of the night. (Which I had to use sparingly as the doctor said that one prescription was my lot).

I connected with old friends and started to live an adventurous life. I was opening my eyes to a world outside of Leeds. I started to see what was possible. The places I could go. The things that I could be. I didn’t just see them. I did them.

Facebook saved me.

So actually admitting I have a problem is tough!

It doesn’t help that I’m a procrastinator. Facebook is like catnip to me. Always wanting that extra hit. To find out what’s going on. It’s not all positive though. I unleash the Comparison Cashier and start passive aggressive arguments in my head at something someone has said. Their views. Their opinions. Pitching up camp in my mind.

Too much Facebook and I’m tired and feel guilty. A tad empty inside. In my previous post Partying with Guilt and Fear! I mentioned that I often feel lazy. To which, the feedback I received from a few friends that know me. “Lazy is the last word I would use to describe you”.

And I get why they said that. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been called ‘busy’ and was even embarrassed with the word at one point. I agree, I don’t appear to be lazy as I’m always ‘doing something’. They don’t see the other side though. The time wasted – doing absolutely nothing but aimlessly scrolling until numb. When I have:

  • people to text back
  • books to read
  • documentaries to watch
  • items to declutter
  • a novel to start
  • a blog post to write

I actually started to write this post yesterday at 11.50pm! I said I would be in bed by 11pm. I always lie to myself when it comes to bed times. I get caught up with something that needs to be done/viewed/researched – immediately! Normally on Facebook.

So after almost 10yrs of using Facebook as a crutch. I’ve admitted that a break is called for. Not a long break but a break nonetheless.

I’d decided this some weeks ago but after finishing ‘The Circle’ by Dave Eggers on Monday evening, it was the extra push I needed. It’s a dystopian novel about how technology and social media is taking over our lives.


The book itself was a simple read and kept me engaged. Plus, I could actually see how this could be a reality. People, myself included – I’m up near the front of the queue – are continuously doling out sections of their lives for technology/others to control. Maybe:

  • For an easier life
  • To always be entertained
  • To never be lonely

Lonely!! 

And that’s when it struck me!

Although I’ve been single for 10yrs. I ran head first into a different type of relationship. I’d been screwing Facebook!

Longest rebound ever!!

Maybe I thought without Facebook I would be lonely, bored and……..vulnerable?

Not even half way through the book and I knew that I was going to take a break from Facebook. I decided a weekend would be enough. Then increased it to a week and just now I have further increased it to 3 weeks!

To many this isn’t a big deal. But to me – I see my oxygen reserve slipping away. In addition to connecting with friends and stalking. Come on – we all do it! I’ve used Facebook for networking, business and learning. It’s a HUGE part of my life! That statement itself hit a nerve. It’s really quite sad.

A lot can happen in 3 weeks. So I’m excited to see what my creative mind has in store for me. Will letting go of Facebook present a new, tangible love? Will I read more books? Sleep better? Be happier?

It is widely said that it takes 21 days to break/make a habit. So I therefore announce that from 5th-25th June (inclusive) – I will deactivate my Facebook. The messenger will still be on as a way of contact but that is all.

I would love to hear your thoughts on Facebook and social media in general. How attached are you?

I will still be updating my blog – you’ll be able to see new posts via my Twitter and Instagram.

Here’s to me taking control of my life.

Facebook – we are on a break!

Emma x

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday
Twitter: @boomerhalliday

Bitten by the lonely bug!

 “Today I am alone but I choose not to be lonely”

Those were the words I uttered with gusto………………maybe out loud, with a mini fist pump and a nod of the head. Those words pulled me out of the victim mentality mode I’d been in for the past 20mins or so.

Couples in love, the laughter of friends and happy families all enjoying the sun and soaking up the atmosphere on a busy Brick Lane.


I felt alone!

At that moment, if time was to pause, I would have happily swapped shoes with many people on that street, not giving a thought to what size and style the shoes were nor where they had been.

It’s not like it was my first time alone in a busy place but this time I felt like I stood out, shining brighter than the sun, wearing a hat that yelled loner!
I recalled the comment a friend had made years earlier.

“As great as London is, it can feel like the loneliest place in the world.”  

The words highly resonated with me today and a quick search on Google brought up a survey conducted by TimeOut on 18 cities, to see which one was the loneliest. London came up top.

That is when I made the decision that I wasn’t going to be lonely. I was going to enjoy the glorious sunny afternoon and right then I made London my friend.

Immediately I looked at London from a different perspective. I sauntered down the street, head held high, free Bud Light in hand, making it look way tastier than it was. I decided to walk home from Shoreditch, looking on this spectacular place with innocent eyes – I saw buildings, shops, trees and graffiti that I’d never seen before.

Walking past 2 guys, I saw in one of their eyes that although he was not alone, he looked really lonely. It hit me that I’d been there before and that type of loneliness hurt me more than the one I had felt mere minutes ago. Loneliness when surrounded by people. I’d been crippled with it numerous times.

I then thought back to a conversation I had with a friend when I moaned yet again about being the ‘eternal singleton’. 

“You’re out all the time and so busy and independent, where would you find time for a relationship?”

Struggling to hold back the flash of emotion that had popped the fuck out of nowhere, I finally replied. “If I wasn’t busy and doing things all the time, I would feel more alone and…………..down”. I had really wanted to use the word depressed but, we didn’t talk like that.

If only I had said “Today I am alone but I choose not to be lonely” at these times.

The saunter continued, I was smiling and genuinely happy. Enjoying the weekend, my new £5 sunglasses – that were already hurting my nose, the fact that I had escaped a hangover and that I had another weak, albeit free, Bud Light in my bag. I was loving the fact that I was owning my day!

Suddenly I was seeing more people that were alone, these people will have been there all along it’s just I was choosing to focus on what I didn’t have before. 

With my new sense of focus I took a pit stop at the first park I saw, kicked my shoes off and got stuck into my book.


Will I feel lonely again? Damn right I will and this could be triggered by a number of things. 

Sometimes choosing not to feel lonely won’t come as easy and at times like these I am fortunate enough to have a really great set of friends and now this blog, which is like a personal diary to me.

Apparently loneliness is an increasing problem in modern life, with some sources saying there’s actually a ‘loneliness epidemic’.

If you don’t feel like you have someone you can open up to, try and change your focus as there’s always someone listening. Maybe I can be that someone?!

Emma x

http://www.facebook.com/Hallidayshealthzone

Instagram: @emmalouhalliday