The first night as a single woman!

I spent my teenage years and my twenties hopping from relationship to relationship without ever breathing, I’d meet someone I liked through friends, and without a second thought we were boyfriend and girlfriend, hand in hand, merrily skipping into the happily ever after. I was known for being a serial monogamist… so much so that when my childhood best friends mum asks my friend if I’m still single, and he confirms I am, she thanks god. From the age of 15 to 30, the longest stretch I had spent single was 8 months. I had managed two 5 year+ relationships in my twenties, and when all my friends were out there getting silly drunk, meeting different kinds of guys and girls, and figuring out this whole dating agenda, I was busy picking out curtain fabric and living in smug coupledom.

Then in summer 2017, my circumstances changed, and I found myself properly single for the first time as an adulty adult, and it dawned on me that I had no idea what was next! For the first few weeks, I built my dream spinster house in my head, named my imaginary cats (Tiddles, Frank and Snowy) and happily consigned myself to a life of celibacy and work… then I got bored and realised I liked sex and intimacy far too much for that carry on! So it was time to get back on the horse… so to speak. Or in my case, learning what the horse was first.

First stop for me was figuring out what the lie of the land was in Dublin. Not only had I entered a new state of singledom, I had also moved away from my small hometown, and up to the big lights of the city (yeah… totally…. big lights….). This meant that not only was I having to learn about ‘dating’, but I was also trying to establish a social life for myself again and reconnect with old friends. I was entirely out of my comfort zone. After spending so long in a couple, I’d forgotten how to flirt… or maybe it was that I’d never mastered it to begin with!

One of my first steps was dragging my cousin down to Dublin to come on a fact-finding mission with me, also known as a boozy night out. We started off trying to get into The Academy… because it advertised 90’s and 00’s music… we realised very quickly that a. 30’s is too old to queue to get in somewhere, b. we were old enough to be parents of some of the kids in the queue and c. these kids were queuing to hear retro music… we were queuing to hear the music we knew. We gracefully manoeuvred our way out of the queue (which involved me putting on flats… it’s fine…. I’m old…. I’ve accepted it) and decided to head to the Workmans.

I’d been to Workmans once or twice before, and knew it was more our age group. The bouncers made my day on the way in when they asked for ID… we had a drink and realised that we were surrounded by hipsters, and music that we couldn’t even attempt to dance to. I admit…. I’m slowly coming around to admitting that I may have some hipster tendencies (if I wasn’t so lazy), but at that point, I wasn’t willing to admit it to that level… so we had a think about where we could go that would have music we knew and could bop to, and men that I might find remotely interesting…… and there was only one logical answer… Fibbers.

So we arrived at Fibbers and happily grabbed a table and started chatting and drinking. Shortly upon our arrival, a very drunk English man took a seat with us and started chatting away… and this my friends was my first introduction to negging of a sort. Now my journeys into the dating world over the last few months have introduced me to many new terms, such as ghosting, tinder, nsa, unicorn etc. but negging was something I’d heard about before, but never witnessed.

For all those that, like me, have been oblivious to the influx of new terms, negging refers to when someone gives you a backhanded compliment, basically complimenting you by insulting something (or in this case someone) else. For instance; ‘that dress is nice on you, it really hides your hips’. I’m sure I’ll get around to explaining all the others as I come across them!

This man decided that he had the hots for my lovely cousin (what man in his right mind wouldn’t), but instead of being a decent human being and showering her with lovely compliments and telling her how wonderful she is, instead he went the route of complimenting her by insulting me. In the space of one sentence the man referred to me as staid and boring, and stated that he wished women like me wouldn’t wear the type of shoes I had on, as it portrays a false impression (my shoes were lovely pink stilettos that I couldn’t for the life of me walk in) about the person. He commented that he was amazed that we were spending time together and assumed that our parents had made us hang out together as kids because we were obviously so different. I should add, at this point, that physically, myself and my cousin are opposites, but in terms of personality and general interests we are very similar. My cousin is blonde and willowy with piercings and tattoos, whereas I’m a curvy brunette who looks a bit more girl next door.

Now in fairness, he wasn’t gods gift either, he was a balding man in his mid to late 40’s who was sweating profusely and very very drunk, but I applaud anyone who puts themselves out there and tries to chat up someone they find attractive, but for the love of god, read the signals! My cousin repeated a number of times about her boyfriend at home, and this guy still wasn’t getting the message, so we finished out drinks and headed home sharpish. First night out as a single lady, and I get run out of the one club in town that a woman is generally safe from unwanted approaches, by a man who insults me to hit on my cousin. However, the night wasn’t a failure, I learned a few things;

  • When dating… you’re unlikely to meet anyone coherent after midnight in Fibbers
  • Negging is a thing… avoid it
  • Don’t go to The Academy… they are all young enough to be your kids, and you’re not a cougar, well unless you want to be a cougar!
  • Accept you’re a hipster at heart and join the plaid wearing masses
  • Learn to walk in heels, this is a skill you now require

I also learned that you need to take a deep breath and be prepared for the negative if you’re going to put yourself out there, but if you’ve got close friends and family, you can laugh off anything. Keep your head up and don’t give up faith. Also… the guy who called me staid… he couldn’t even explain what staid meant!

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