Happy Monday Purgators!
We have the absolute pleasure of introducing a fantastic dating and lifestyle blogger Paul Thomas Bell (oh and he is a total babe, but that’s just a perk;)). Paul has a long list of notable mentions, including being an online columnist for The Evening Times, featured blogger for FHM and recently nominated for the UK Blog Awards (check it out here). Without further ado, here are Paul’s two favourite dating stories!
I’ve read a lot of articles in recent times about how dating has become pointless, about how we’ve gotten lost in a world of technology and how most guys are only after one thing. Sure, the world has lost a little bit of its romance, but I’m not convinced it’s time to give up hope just yet.
In my teens and early twenties I dated quite a lot and as much as some of them were completely forgettable, some of them went a long way in building both my confidence and my ability to grow up (even if the second one is still an ongoing process). I honestly believe that dating is a vital part of growing up, it’s a chance to build your social skills, to find out who you are, what you want and of course to have a little fun along the way.
There are two dates for me that stand out beyond any others. The first one was when I was nineteen, I’d not long broken up with my first love and was pretty down in the dumps to say the least. But still I was making the effort to go out with my friends and on one particular night I was approached by a girl who by all accounts was completely out of my league. We chatted and she asked for my number, I left that night pinching myself and did so just about every single day until our date a week later. I hadn’t put much thought into the date, we’d agreed to meet for a drink at the student union and basically just went from there. That’s when things got a little bit crazy. I hadn’t realised that it was ‘games night’ at the union which basically consisted of two comedians hosting an event where a number of games would be held with the sole purpose of making a complete fool of anyone who took part.
Bearing in mind I was a very skinny, self-conscious teenager at this point and trying my utmost to look cool and impress this girl, the first game involved a group of guys who were sent into the crowd to find as many items of red clothing as they could. I happened to be wearing a red t-shirt and red converse trainers. Within seconds I was sitting beside this girl with no top on and no shoes, desperately trying to cover up my puny frame with my even punier arms. After the game had finished there was no sign of my t-shirt or shoes and so I had to tentatively make my way on stage to ask the comperes if they could help me retrieve them, which much to the amusement of the crowd they did via microphone. I promise you this is one way of facing your worst insecurities head on! My humiliation, however, wasn’t quite over. I was picked at random to do the next task. The game was to see who could eat the most dry crackers without water within an allocated timeframe. I just went for it, I didn’t think I had much to lose at this point. As I stuffed five or six crackers into my mouth however, I found myself in fits of laughter which in turn made me spew the crackers out of every corner of my mouth in a fountain-like manner. I could see my date in the crowd with her head in her hands. I knew the date was pretty much over.
To my complete surprise, I got a second date. As it turned out, making a girl laugh is one of the most important things you can do and ever since that date, a good sense of humour is something I’ve always looked for in a girl. But that night taught me so much more. I realised that you should never put yourself down and that you should never believe someone is out of your league. So long as you treat everyone with respect, be yourself and remember that there’s a reason why they wanted to go out with you in the first place, then you won’t go far wrong.
My second memorable date was about eighteen months later. The reason it was so memorable was because it was when I had finally learned to be comfortable in my own skin. I was a lot more confident by this point and I didn’t get as nervous about dates anymore, not in a cocky way, it was just that I’d started to appreciate a date as simply an opportunity to meet new people and have fun. Although don’t get me wrong a few nerves can still be good in these situations. This time my date was a French girl, she was quite quirky in all the right ways and I was determined to do something a bit different than just sitting in the pub for the thousandth time. We’d spoken previously of how much we loved that feeling of going on holiday, getting ready and heading to the airport. So however crazy it may sound I decided to take her to the airport (with no intention of actually going anywhere), I picked up a couple of bottles of wine and we spent the night watching planes, chatting to holidaymakers and generally just running about like a pair of kids. We ended up dating for a while actually, but if I’m honest in the ten years that have passed the only thing I really remember about that relationship was that one particular date.
I think it’s amazing how certain dates can live so long in the memory irrespective of how significant or insignificant the relationship was. Dating is a part of life that we need to start embracing again, maybe it’s time we put the phones down and just went out and started meeting people again? As much as I understand times change, how nice would it be if we all got back to enjoying the romance again? Not necessarily in a soppy way, but just getting that buzz and that excitement back. These dates mean more than just a date to me, it’s life experiences that have contributed to who I am today. So when people say to me “dating is pointless” I always greet them with the same response: “So’s your face.” Told you I haven’t grown up.