For years, I went on date after date. Some of these dates turned into relationships, but none of them lasted more than a few months. I’d describe myself as your average girl next door, fairly pretty, reasonably funny, independent and with a healthy social life. So why wasn’t I connecting with any of these men? We got on really well, often had many things in common, but somehow I always ended up single again. What was I doing wrong? I decided to do go all Sigmund Freud on myself and started to analyse my most recent (and what I would consider more serious) relationships. I really wanted to know why these relationships never went anywhere.
Date No 1 – Eric
Eric and I had so many things in common, he could have been a male carbon copy of myself. We both loved photography, the outdoors and shared the same taste in music. We could talk for hours about our favourite bands, artists and places. We had so much fun together, so I didn’t put much weight on our sex life being on the snooze end of the sex scale but honestly, we simply had no chemistry in the boudoir. Looking back I am not surprised we stopped seeing each other and I’m glad Eric was brave enough to end it. Had he not done so, we may have ended up settling for something that just wasn’t right.
Date No 2 – Mark
The relationship with Mark was the polar opposite to the one with Eric. Mark and I enjoyed many steamy, sweaty and exhilarating romps, but our conversations resembled short awkward mumbles of teenagers at their first school disco. We didn’t have anything in common and frequently argued about trivial things, only to end up in bed again. I have to admit I had felt a great sense of relief when he stopped calling me, thereby ending our sexventure.
Date No 3 – David
David and I met at my weekly yoga class. We got talking, spend many afternoons putting the world to right over our soy lattes. It was evident we had great connection on a spiritual level, yet just like Eric before, we didn’t click in bed. We cuddled, snuggled and tried often, yet it was all too clinical. We soon parted ways as a couple but remain great friends to this day. Looking back, David was only ever going to be a mate but I didn’t want to see it at the time.
So, what do all these relationships, or more importantly their failures, have in common? I had connected on an intellectual level, on a physical level and on a spiritual level yet somehow, I finally realised, I never connected with any of these men on an emotional level. I guess, I never really wanted to in the first place because I was afraid I was going to get hurt again.
As soon as I had realised this, things started to change for me. Suddenly I was no longer afraid to say how I felt, what I liked and what I didn’t like in a relationship. I felt confident asserting myself in my relationships, without drama or judgement and before I knew, I had made a connection. With a man. My man. Michael and I have now been together for 5 years and we couldn’t be happier. I asked him the other day what had made him fall in love with me in the first place and he simply said: “You showed me your heart.”
I guess the moral of the story is, if you hide your true self from the world, you also hide yourself from your true love.
Have you been struggling to connect to men in the past? What do you think is holding you back?
If you and your ex are now happy campers in Friendsville, you won’t need to read today’s blog (but you are still welcome to of course). If however the split is still raw and you are struggling to come to terms with it, then tread carefully my friend as you could be opening up old wounds and adding fresh ones if you don’t avoid these 7 text traps:
1. Pet names and terms of endearments
Your ex is your ex for a reason. They decided that they no longer want to be with you and no amount of Snookiepops or Diddikins calling is going to change that. The truth is, they have moved on and it’s time you do too.
2. Blowing off steam
This is the flip side to my first point. Sadness is often followed by anger and you really want them to feel just how much they’ve hurt you. But sending rude or angry messages serves no purpose other than to validate his/her reasons for breaking up with you in the first place. And all this is going to make you worse. Instead pour your heart out to someone who you trust or punch a sofa cushion until you feel better.
3. No response nagging
If your ex hasn’t answered to your first text, we are pretty certain they don’t want any contact with you. They’ll have their reasons and for your own sanity, respect them and stop texting.
4. Reminiscing the past
This is similar to point 1, as in you are still holding on to the past. Lamenting about your lost love should be reserved for your diary or closest friends, not the one who broke your heart.
5. “Thinking of you” messages
Of course you are! It’s normal but your ex shouldn’t hear about it, they lost that right when they left you. Go out and live your life and soon you’ll forget about him/her altogether.
6. Sexting / Nude pics
This is probably the worst thing you can do – to yourself. Desperate measures often lead to further heartbreak. Avoid at all costs.
7. Pleading with him/her
It’s hard to accept that the person we love, doesn’t love us back. It sucks, we understand. But you need to ask yourself, if they broke up with you once, is getting them back going to solve anything? Things happen for a reason and you may simply not be right for each other. The other person has just come to the realisation sooner than you. At some point you will see it too. Give yourself time. We promise it will get better.
When in doubt it is always better to avoid texting your ex. If you can’t trust yourself, delete his/her number from your phone. Your future self will thank you for it.
Have you ever sent text messages to your ex you later regretted? Tell us, we’d like to hear your stories.
All your friends are taken, acquaintances all seem to be settled, even your slightly odd neighbour seems to have found Mr Right. In fact, from looking around it feels as if the only singleton about is you.
Ever felt like this? Everyone has at some point.
For some, being in this position creates tremendous amount pressure to find a partner quickly. You crave what you think everyone has: “The Perfect Partner.” However, it’s important to take into account that the relationships of your friends are probably entirely different to what you see. External appearances can be deceitful! Just because they have a partner it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve got it all!
It’s not worth dating Mr or Ms. Wrong for dating’s sake and neither is it good to enter a relationship merely because someone has shown a large amount of interest in you. If you do this, you may find you’re constantly entering relationships below your standards. This will, in turn, increase your insecurity and cause you to think negatively about dating. Settling for Mr or Ms. Wrong isn’t a good move for this reason.
It’s not fair to ‘make do’ with someone just because you want a relationship. You will find yourself trying to mould them around what you want them to be. You should never try and change someone. If you feel yourself trying to do this then it’s fair to say – they’re not the right one for you.
Our advice to you would be, make sure you’re happy in yourself before going into a relationship. There are so many singletons out there, there’s absolutely no need to rush. Rather than rushing into anything and settling for mediocre, decide what you want from your next relationship. You don’t have to match your future partner with everything on your list but at least it’ll point you towards the right kind of person for you!
As a member of Plenty More Fish, you have the option to meet new people from all over the UK and Ireland but would you message those who live a bit further afield? What’s the cut off point? More importantly, would you be prepared to commit to a long distance relationship for the foreseeable future?
I guess it’s all very much down to personal preference. Some people like to know their partner is always around and others prefer their own space. For the latter, long distance relationships are bound to be more successful. It also depends on what you want from the relationship. If you want something a little bit more laid back then the distance might even be a good thing!s a member of Plenty More Fish, you have the option to meet new people from all over the UK and Ireland but would you message those who live a bit further afield? What’s the cut off point? More importantly, would you be prepared to commit to a long distance relationship for the foreseeable future?
There seems to pros and cons with a long distance relationship. One positive is that you’ll probably make a bigger deal of the time you have together and plan something great for the weekend but the negative may be that you can’t be as spontaneous as you’d like. Hmm…
We’ve had some great feedback from our followers on Twitter – so thanks! It seems most of you think long distance relationships have a higher chance of working now than ever before due to the numerous methods of communication such as Facebook, Twitter, Email, Text, Skype etc. Others think that if the cost of travel were cheaper, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. The general consensus was that you have to like the other person enough from the word go to make the extra effort associated with long distance relationships. Which, is sometimes difficult to figure out straight away.
What do you think? Have you/ would you give long distance relationships a go?
After a long term relationship dating again can be pretty nerve-racking for some. Getting back into the swing of things can be like entering a whole new world – an exciting world nevertheless. We have racked our brains here at Plenty More Fish and come up with 5 top tips to help you make a smooth return back into the dating game.
1. Keep some information back. How many details should you give away? The best way to decide this is by asking yourself how much you would like to know about your date. By all means, tell them you have just come out of a long term relationship but there’s really no need to rant about your past. Your date is there to get to know you and for now, this doesn’t include your past.
2. Be yourself. It’s so important to be yourself. Don’t try and change who you are just because you think you’ll meet more people. If they don’t like you for you then they are obviously not the right person for you. It’s also extremely hard to keep up an act and it’s much less stressful just being you!
3. Single Friend Advice. Ask your single friends for advice. If you have been away from dating for a while then you may be feeling a little rusty. Getting advice from your single friends and learning about their real- life experiences is a great way to feel more confident and prepare yourself for a date.
4. Don’t be too picky. After a relationship you may think you know what you want and sometimes this could even be a clone of your ex. If you’re looking for someone specific, you could risk missing what’s right in front of you. You may not think she or he is your type but how do you know without trying?
5. Do what feels right. The biggest and best tip we can offer would be do what feels right for you. If you feel pressured to start dating again but don’t feel ready too, then don’t. Do what feels comfortable. If you go on a date and there’s no spark, it’s no big deal, just chalk it down to experience. After all, there’s plenty more fish in the sea!
Last month I wrote a post on “Being Friends the Ex” where I decided that generally, staying friends with the ex wasn’t such a good idea. Well, staying friends with MY exes hasn’t always worked out for the best so I guess I am biased. Just because it didn’t work out too well for me, it doesn’t mean it can’t work well for others.
After writing the post, I have received lots of feedback from you ( and thank you!). It’s always really good to hear your views which, in this case were pretty different to my own. It seems many of you have remained great friends with exes so I thought I’d take the time to approach the topic from a different angle.
Let’s not kid ourselves, staying friends with an ex is not always easy. From your feedback it seems that the way to do it successfully is to be completely honest about your feelings for one another. If you still feel more for them then you need to decide whether this will affect your friendship. From your input it’s pretty clear that whatever happens, being “besties” straight away isn’t going to happen. Both of you will probably need time beforehand to come to terms with the split and deal with any unresolved feelings.
It seems many of you have managed to overcome this and remained friends. One reader made a really interesting point. He told me that after a long-term relationship and getting to know each other so well it’s a “shame to just throw it all away” and I would definitely have to agree with him. I think it’s so hard to just wave goodbye to the person you spent so much time with, knows you inside out and have so many memories with. It’s so final. If you can work things out after a split and have a stress free friendship for the both of you then, ideal. It’s just getting to this point that can be problematic. As one reader told me, staying friends “depends a lot on the circumstances of the split.” If someone cheats or treats the other badly then at some point in the future, the animosity may kick in ( if it hasn’t already) and just end up getting messy. However, if the split is amicable then friendship may come pretty naturally. One of our Twitter friends recently told me that she has remained great friends with her ex and that “he even baby sits my son which isn’t his and likewise me for his daughter!”
I think it can be tough but given time, if you really want it to work it is possible to salvage a friendship after a break-up providing both parties are honest and upfront with each other from the beginning.
Thoughts? Drop us a line below…
The many myths telling us what to expect when in a good relationship can be very destructive. They can create problems by forcing you to question whether you or your partner should be behaving differently. You could find yourself asking; “Why doesn’t he do this?”, “Why does she say this?” because apparently it’s the “done” thing. The thing is, everyone is different, every single relationship is different and all that matters is whether it works for the two people involved in the relationship. It shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks or how you’re “supposed” to be.
I have come up with 5 relationship myths and *shockingly* (perhaps not so shockingly…) disproved all of them.
- If you’ve got a good relationship you won’t have to work at it. All relationships have their ups and downs and even good relationships require effort. If everything was simple and straightforward you would soon find yourself becoming bored so putting work into your relationship is a good thing. However, if you are spending too much time tending to your relationship than enjoying it – you are probably working too hard in order to keep it afloat.
- You should know each other’s needs and feelings. Just because you’re together it doesn’t mean you should be able to read each others minds. This is essentially what you’re expecting if you want your partner to just “know” how you’re feeling. Communication is absolutely key and if you don’t talk about your needs and feelings then how are they supposed to know?
- Passion will never fade if you’re truly in love. We’ve got the movies to thank for this one. No matter how much you love someone, passion will generally fade with time. Daily routine is usually one of the culprits and unavoidable if your responsibilities grow because you will have less and less time and energy for each other. Don’t panic – It doesn’t mean that passion is lost! It just means you may need to take time to plan in order to make time for each other.
- Jealousy is just a reflection of how much you care. Wrong! Jealousy often reflects your own insecurities. If you feel jealous often then you really need to work on your self confidence. It is a problem you personally need to address as it can be extremely destructive to your relationship if not dealt with. Equally, you shouldn’t aim to make your partner jealous to see whether they care- for exactly the same reasons.
- Arguments ruin relationships. Not necessarily – it all depends on the type of argument and the temperament of the people involved (e.g. mild tempered..strong willed..etc.) Chances are you spend a lot of time with each other so you’ll feel comfortable enough to disagree with them. If something doesn’t sit well with you then why not air your problem? Keeping schtum could just lead to bigger problems in the future. Like I said before, communication is key. What actually ruins relationships is not resolving your arguments.
I recently came across a 2008 university study discussing the way Rom-Coms can help to promote unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. They found that we are influenced by portrayals in the media – more than we realise.
This made me wonder whether love and relationship expectations could stem even further than this? I remembered all the Disney movies I used to watch as a kid, my burning desire to run (or fly) off into the sunset with Aladdin and my dream for thinner, more lady-like feet so I could easily slip them into THAT dainty glass slipper.
Without hesitation, I created a poll and took to Plenty More Fish fans and followers on Twitter and Facebook. As you can see a whopping 62% of you reckon fairy tales do give out an unrealistic view of love and relationships.
Phew, so it’s not just me.
Thanks to my childhood obsession with Disney films I’m adamant I adopted an unrealistic view of love and relationships from a very early age. Prince charming rescuing you and dropping everything to be with you, sure. Being able to date a beauty even though you look like an angry hairy beast, absolutely. Stealing the heart of a handsome prince regardless of being half girl, half fish, of course. Oh and sharing a bowl of spaghetti bolognaise could in fact be the most romantic thing you’ll ever do.
The latter- not true, for sure.
I’m not saying BAN DISNEY…I LOVE Disney and I’m not saying you can’t live happily ever after. I just think perhaps they should’ve come up with a sequel to Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast, Aladin, The Lady & The Tramp…etc and show that relationships actually need work. When the honeymoon period is over, most relationships have there ups and downs and good communication is absolutely key.
Oh and DON’T get me started on period dramas. 😉
Jen from Plenty More Fish x
Recently there’s been an influx of films out there such as “Friends with Benefits” and “No Strings Attached” and it made me wonder…can this kind of relationship ever work out as planned?
These movies demonstrate a clear difference in emotional attachments between men and women. Is this a true reflection of what happens in real life? Do you think women are more likely to become attached than men?
….Or is it?
Does there become a point where either party is bound to eventually catch feelings or throw out a bag of mixed signals?
I wonder how hard it is to not become emotionally involved. Personally, I think crossing the friends/lovers line is likely to be a recipe for disaster and risks the end of a great friendship. However, I am not talking from experience and I would love to know if it’s worked for anyone out there? I wonder if it’s ever possible to overcomes feelings of jealousy if either party were to show interest in another person?
Have you ever had a friend with benefits? Fill us in!
Madonna & Brahim, Demi & Ashton and Clooney & Stacy are just a few celebrity couples with large age gaps. The media tend to make a huge deal about age gaps and fob it off as some kind of publicity stunt. Surely if they are happy then age shouldn’t matter? I mean, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have been married for 6 years now so to call this a publicity stunt would be ridiculous.
I couldn’t help thinking though, in the ‘real world’ can relationships really work when couples have an age gap of 20 years or so? As nice as the saying “age is just a number” is, is 20 years perhaps just too much of an age difference to share common interests and similarities which can often form the base of a relationship?
I’m curious as to what our members think. How much of an age gap is TOO much. Answer in our poll below!