When we’re younger, we learn the difference between whats right or whats wrong based on two things – praise and punishment.  I’m learning this with Ted, a sharp “no!” or a tap on the nose to discourage puppy behaviour and lots of cooing, cuddles and “well done Teddy!” when he does something good.

We’re treated in this same way as children and when we’re older the praise and punishment routine sticks and moving forward in life can affect our behaviour in relationships.  When your fingers have been burned, you stop wanting to play near the fire for fear of it happening again.  This happened to me (not so) recently in the murky depths of which we like to call the “dating pool”.

The last proper date I had was back in February (gasp, horror, terror – I KNOW) – for a single gal about town this is a long time.  On this date, I had my fingers burned/I got chucked off the horses back – pick a metaphor and run with it as you will.  Whichever you pick, it was a bad experience and without going all Dawsons Creek on you, I’ve only just gathered up the remnants of my self confidence that were lying all over a bar somewhere in Walsall and I’ve tentatively been looking at saddling up, putting a foot in the stirrup and jumping back onto that horse and actually start dating again. 

What made my last date so horrific was that it was a really, really, really good date.   


(welcome to my world)

One of the best dates I’ve had in my whole 25 years worth of existance all ended rather abruptly with him “supposedly” boarding a plane to Canada like a Chandler/Janice/Friends situation.  Now you’re probably sitting there thinking “this girl is mental! He obviously didn’t enjoy the date, she created this amazing fantasy in her head, move on woman!” – and believe me.  I wish I was mental, I wish I had created this amazing date in my head, that would have made the whole situation less confusing.  But he agreed with me on the “amazing first date” theory.  Around this first date had been a good month or so of 2 phone calls a day, texting constantly, those whispers of sweet nothings and him serenading me via Facetime with Paolo Nutini songs on his guitar.  HOOK LINE SINKER. 

And then.  Well…

…then he moved to Canada.   Or he didn’t, I’m not quite sure whether he ever did, as communication ceased to exist (despite him proposing that we spent Valentines day and the subsequent weekend together and some general post date chit chat… all of this never materialised as he “died” on the plane to Canada/got eaten by a bear *fingers crossed*)

This whole experience to me was like the tap on the nose of a dog.  I wimpered away from the scene of the crime with my tail between my legs, licking my wounds and cowering in the corner everytime the word “date” was so much as mentioned.   I’ve peeked my head up apprehensively, taken a sniff at a potential suitor and then decided against it in favour of the comfort blanket of my own company or the company of female companions, purely to try and avoid the risk of another tap on the nose or being tossed outside in the rain.

…This road only leads to one destination, and thats an island of cynicalness and fear.  That’s right, I, Charl of Ginger Girl Says is scared (gasp) – scared and shaking in my stylish yet affordable brogues to start dating again and open myself back up again to that rejected and bewildered feeling that comes hand in hand with dating.   

I think I need some guaranteed “good dates” to break me in gently – anybody?

  • I can’t believe you even date, I mean you’re from Stoke. What happened to a good ol’ litre of cider and one night stand with some bloke you bumped in to at Reflex? (This has never happened to me, but I heard this is how Stoke birds pull?)

  • This is totally how I feel right now. I’ve been texting this guy, and we get along, but I’m afraid to meet up with him for fear it all goes wrong. I might just give up and be a spinster…

  • Amy

    The exact same thing has just happened to me (bar the moving/not moving to Canada part). We spoke every day, made “plans” for the future and then nothing, no texts, no phone calls. Absolutely nothing, literally like he has disappeared off the face of the earth! I keep going through the angry/upset/glad I got away now emotions but why?!?!?

  • Charlotte

    That happened to me. I went out on lots of dates with this boy over the period of three or so months, then he ‘moved’ out to Germany for work. A month later I bumped into him in town…awkward or what!

  • Another fab post, and I know what you mean

    Its the same with me, I’ve loved the one relationship (July 2007) I’ve been in and the one date which I’ve been in since (October 2012), but as you say, if you keep getting hurt, (well I anyway) have become a right pessimistic optimist with this whole dating malarky. Being now of the age of 25, and my record with relationships not great, I’ve either convinced myself (or just naturally) gone with the attitude that, I may not ever find that someone but every day is something new and you never know (although I have often thought to myself that can I go through all that heartache and me feeling just plain sorry for myself, wallowing in self pity again and again)

    I suppose it goes back to your wristband idea, if you knew instantly what/who your ideal partner was and they were labelled up accordingly, then (in theory) you would get the good dates that we all know deeply, we all deserve. Whether that be a quick fling, or something a lot more deep and romantic and again, in theory, that may mean you could stay friends afterwards if it didn’t work out. To me anyway, its not so much your fingers have been burnt, but at least you’ve kept a good friend at the end of it, so it doesn’t feel like a total rejection (well I know what I’m on about anyway!)

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