I was a late starter with boys. It wasn’t for lack of interest on my part. It was more a lack of interest in me.
My first boyfriend, Vince, was at 18. We’d been really close friends for ages, but I did that thing where I fell for him. He had all sorts of issues with his ex-girlfriend though. She was awful to him, and all I could think of, was how much better I could have treated him. We did eventually get together but we weren’t really seeing each other for more than about 4 or 5 months.
I don’t really remember things ending with us. It just must have done. To this day, I think of him fondly. A couple of years ago in fact, I had a missed call from him. I called him back, and it turned out he’d just “bum dialled” me but we had a good catch-up all the same.
When I was 20 I met my first “long-term” boyfriend if you can call him that. I was with him for 18 months but it wasn’t the healthiest relationship and not one I remember as fondly. I was oblivious to how bad it was though, and only truly understand what a bad relationship I was in as I’ve grown older.
Whilst still living down South, I had one further boyfriend, who quite frankly treated me like shit. I’m still not sure whether he ever cheated on me, but on the basis that he’s now married to the person that I suspected he cheated with, it’s difficult to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Since that boyfriend, there was a string of dates, some that went on for more than 1 date, and others that didn’t. Then there were the ones that never actually materialised…
When I moved up North, I signed up to Plenty of Fish. Tinder wasn’t even a thing then. Imagine that. A time before people swiped right! To this day, I wish I’d written a blog whilst I was doing the online dating thing. I met some absolute horrors!
One that particularly sticks in my mind is the Fireman from Wythenshawe who saw it appropriate to turn up to our date at the Trafford Centre absolutely pissed out of his head. How I even remained as long as the 90 minutes that I did will forever remain a mystery!
I met some really lovely guys actually, but so often, when meeting them face to face the chemistry that had been there via all means of messaging, just wasn’t there. There came a point when I realised that the constant building of a relationship online, and then feeling no spark when meeting them was actually more soul destroying than being single.
When Dave messaged me I’d all but given up on online dating, and remained on dating sites with absolutely zero intention of pursuing anything.
Dave’s first message to me was:
“What’s the chances of a girl like me getting with a guy like you?”
Which of course is a quote from Dumb and Dumber. It wasn’t that that got me though, since I didn’t even notice it. It was the picture of him and one of the players for Wigan Warriors (my Rugby League team which is a story for another day)!
I screenshot his picture and sent it to my best friend at the time. She responded telling me she knew him, I thought she was joking about knowing the player, but she said “no I actually know HIM!”
With some encouragement, I went against my “no dates” policy and messaged Dave back and had arranged a date for within a week.
Dave booked us tickets to GoApe. This was a bit different to the usual dates I arranged. I favoured a chilled out coffee somewhere in the afternoon. That always felt like a safe bet. No pressure to pull out all the stops and look like a complete knock-out and pretty low risk for all cost wise. Plus, if you can make small talk and get on over a coffee, you’re half way there!
I had no idea what to wear. I knew what GoApe was, but as it was the first time I was meeting Dave, I wanted to make an impression. And an impression I made all right, in my completely inappropriate chinos and leather jacket. Having said that, he may have been dressed appropriately but he was wearing the worst track suit I’d ever seen on anyone in all my life! I know you’re not meant to judge a book by it’s cover but I didn’t hold much hope for him based on his dress sense (actually, as it turns out he has awesome dress sense but that tracksuit was SO deceiving! He’s never worn it since)
We had a fab first date, but I wasn’t sure on whether there was a spark or not. So a few days later, I went on my planned trip down to see my Mum and Dad in Essex which gave me time to think about what I wanted.
I text him throughout my break down with my parents, so even though I wasn’t sure, I was still keeping in touch with him which must have said something. I remember texting him on my train journey home asking for the phone number of a local taxi firm so I’d be able to get home from the station. He came and picked me up.
The next night, to say thanks I cooked him a meal and baked him a cake (I was really into baking at the time). Clearly it’s true that the way to a man’s heart is through his belly, because from that point on, the rest was history.
I fell for Dave really quickly. A fact that he regularly likes to remind me of. He on the other hand took a little longer, finally telling me he loved me after about three months and spending a weekend with my parents who were visiting.
And do you know what I did? I laughed at him! I’d already told him how I felt probably a month earlier, and it had been so long since I’d heard anyone say them words to me, I honestly had no idea how else to react!
Five years on, and honestly, no-one has ever made me as happy as Dave does. He’s not perfect, but he is so perfect for me. Dave doesn’t read anything (especially instructions) and is hopeless with technology, whereas I am not. I lose my head in a crisis, but Dave’s the guy you need. It’s such a cliche, but we really do complete each other.