Saturday, February 27, 2010

An American Affair in London

A Monday night in London. Two hot single Americans meet up in an apartment in Chelsea. After doing the required round of casual catching up, what else is there to do in London, but go to the Pub? So, off to the Pub we go. But unfortunately we only have time for one pint before we are kicked out. For some absurd reason Pubs close at 11 pm here - even on the weekends. So, said Pub sends us over to strange "smelly" (they did warn us) dive bar/lounge across the road. They were right, the place smelled bad and at 20 pounds for 2 drinks, it wasn't even cheap! I mean if you are in a dive bar/lounge, at least the very least the drinks should be cheap! After one drink and several funny pictures later, we decide that the only good thing about the overpriced and smelly place was the company (meaning us) and the conversation so we decided to head back to my apartment and continue to drink there.

As I've decided this blog is rated PG 13 (I accidentally told my parents about it), the rest of the night is censored, but you get the picture - cuz you're smart like that. But let's just say the boy still looked fabulous without a shirt on!

After approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes of sleep, needless to say, the next day at work was not fun. I found myself unable to finish any sentences because I kept loosing the point of what I was saying and forgetting to listen when other people spoke. It's amazing what sleep deprivation can do to you (and I am not even a person who generally needs a lot of sleep). I actually managed to speak on the phone to the manager of my Russian team for about an hour and hang up with literally no memory of the entire conversation. However, because I am kind of awesome at my job, I have perfected a very good auto-response mode. I can make really good sounds as if I'm actually listening to people while paying absolutely no attention at all. I think I'm pretty good at this - at least no one has really called me out on it yet. I also have a really good radar that enables me to tune back in for really the important parts. The problem is that by the time I realize that they are actually talking about something important, it's a bit late and I have to ask them to repeat themselves. But this is usually taken care of easily by a simple: "I'm sorry. The connection is bad and I missed that last part, can you repeat it? (Thanks to Skype and poor international mobile phone connections - this is usually pretty believable)

Anyway, continuing with my newly found rock star lifestyle, the Hot American Boy and I decide to take on the London nightlife on a Tuesday night. What do you know? There is quite a lot of nightlife to be found in London on a Tuesday night! After an amazing dinner of Indian food with the best Chicken Tikka Masala I have ever had, we went to Boujis a nightclub rumored to be a fun place during the week. Let's just say Boujis lived up to its reputation. To quote the Hot American "A Tuesday night in London is way better than any Saturday night in Boston." The place was great. The music was ok (he is a DJ so we did spend a lot of time critiquing the music and talking about how he could totally do it better). He liked to dance. I liked to dance. And we had great fun dancing and drinking together.

But the best part of the night was definitely the extreme mopping. Suddenly not one but two men wielding mops appeared on the dance floor. It seemed that their instruction was make sure to keep mopping all the time for as many hours as the club was open. HILARIOUS! I have never seen anything like it. We speculated a lot about what the reason could be behind the extreme mopping... We convinced ourselves that there must have been a major incident - possibly even a death - that caused the need for this particular club to pay TWO men to mop all night and physically move unsuspecting dancers and drinkers out of their way so they could make absolutely sure they kept the floor absolutely slip-free. The mop men took their jobs very seriously. They had their eyes to the floor the whole night circling the club - at times shining flashlights to make sure there weren't any puddles lurking about in the shadows. We were a witness to one serious crash as a drink fell and smashed all over the floor sending dangerously spraying liquid all over the floor where drunken dancers might accidentally fall victims. But we were very relived to see that the mop men had it covered. They seemed to have a special radar because in 2.5 seconds of the glass crashing, both mop men were there, running from across the room to clear the glass and liquid ensuring a safe environment for the drunken dancers.

But even rock stars need their sleep, and after another late night we finally headed home. I had decided to take the next day off from work so thankfully we got to sleep in. Miraculously we woke without hangovers and decided to go for a run in the park. I am a really good runner and I work out a lot. Usually when others work out with me they tend to regret it for the next few days as I make them do interval running, push ups, lunges, squats, step-ups for a minimum of one hour. I also have a competitive spirit that borders on unhealthy. So, of course I felt the need to tell the Hot American Boy it was ok if he felt he couldn't keep up with me... BAD IDEA. Note to self, when a guy has a six-pack, do not challenge them to a running competition. I was trying to make out like the tough girl that I pretend I am, but secretly I wanted to die the entire run - I couldn't breath! We ran way faster then I'm used to and did lots of push ups and burpys (not sure of the spelling here buyt it involves throwing yourself on the ground then jumping straight up in the air over and over again). He even did lunges better than me! When we finally got back to the house, I claimed "first shower" and hid myself immediately in the bathroom where I laid on the floor for the next 10 minutes trying not to throw up.

The rest of the day was spent in a more relaxed and less competitive manner with a trip to the V&A Museum where we saw an amazing Digital Design Exhibit, followed by afternoon tea (how British) and then a trip to Harrod's. I really hate shopping but for some reasons Harrod's is one of my favorite places in the world! It feels more like a Museum than a department store and I find it amazing how may luxury, unique and random things you can manage to stumble upon. Then back to my apartment where we opted for a night in with take-out and movies and cuddles on the coach. I admit... I was starting to really fall for this guy.

One interesting dynamic between me and the The Hot American boy is that we are both from the same place. We went to the same school, had the same teachers, knew the same people, had similar childhood experiences and reference points. I have lived abroad for so long now, that I forget what it's like to connect with someone just because we are from the same place. In my office of 150 people, we have 32 different nationalities, I spend my days explaining myself, trying to understand others, trying to relate to other cultures and looking for common ground. I had forgotten how powerful a connection of "hometown" can be.

But more important than the hometown connection, we seemed to be able to connect in the present as well. To be honest, I had kind of thought of his as just another pretty boy... I didn't expect much from him intelligence-wise or compatibility-wise. I apologize in advance for whoever I'm about to offend with this next part - it is most likely (as you will see has been proven) that my prejudices and stereotypes are part of my own ignorance and not the other way around... The thing is, this boy is from Western Mass. He is AMERICAN (I haven't dated an American since I left America 8 years ago). I expected him to be like the stereotype I have of an American boy from Western Mass (I won't go into details here). I also kind of expected him to be stupid or at least not that intelligent (because he's hot, not because he's American). But the Hot American Boy totally proved me wrong impressed me with his worldly knowledge and experience (he has traveled to quite a few places). In addition to having an impressive job and being seemingly a reliable and honest person, he is completely open-minded, moderately well-read, and open to new people and adventures, and curious about the world. He loves to travel and seemed envious of all the travel I had done and didn't seem to mind listening to my stories. Our common interest in traveling and general curiousness about the world even had me in a brief delusional moment vividly fantasizing about backpacking through South East Asia with him (something we both want to do)...

In addition to his general hotness, the fact that he looks fabulous without a shirt on, that we had tons of fun together, that we had great conversations, everything with him just felt so easy. We just got along. We never ran out of things to talk about, but were able to exist in silence without it being awkward. There was no arguing, no complications, no hidden agendas, no manipulations, no stress - just fun! He even gave me compliments on how I looked "your hair looks amazing" and on my clothes! If all that wasn't enough, the deal sealer was the boy even helped clean up around the house! Seriously. He won major points for making the bed (I can't stand an unmade bed) and doing the dishes and when he noticed that the table we had been eating on was messy, he even found the Windex and wiped it down! I love a man who knows how to clean - especially when he doesn't have to be asked (or nagged). What can be more sexy than that?

If the days we had spent together could be considered a first date, it was one of the best first dates ever! It almost restored my faith in men. It was admittedly the most fun I've had with a man since my Ex - the Beautiful Swede - he was maybe even better than the Beautiful Swede. My time with him was at least definitely way better then when the Swedish Adventurer came to visit. Rather than counting the hours until he would leave, I was wishing that time would stop and we could keep hanging out. But all good things must come to an end. And sadly, no further relationship was discussed and no feelings were revealed - I am not one for sappy relationship conversations and in fact, I try to avoid them at all costs. What would be the point anyway? He lives in Boston. I live in London. And also, I have to admit there was still a little bit of awkwardness surrounding the fact that I was essentially still "just his friend's sister." So, when he shut the door to go and catch his plane, I turned back to my empty apartment to face the harsh reality that my fun fling with the Hot American was over. I hate to admit it, but I felt really sad when he left and I kind of miss him...

I guess it's back to good old for me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Hot American Boy

My brother is two years younger than me. The funny thing is that all my life my mother told me that I was lucky to have a younger brother since someday I would want to date his friends. I had a hard time understanding this because my brother and his friends and their skateboards and their snowboards seemed so young to me and so not cool. I was like popular you know? Besides, it was high school and your could easily become a social outcast by doing something much less incriminating than dating a YOUNGER GUY. Back then younger men just weren't cool - it was all about the older boys with cars... and beers. It wasn't until I met the Hot American Boy that I realized my mother might have been on to something.*

I was home from Stockholm for my parent's annual Fourth of July pool party when in walks an extremely hot shirtless guy - think Abercrombie and Fitch model. My jaw drops and I stutter to my brother - WHO IS THAT? He looks at me as if I'm crazy and tells me that hot American Boy is his friend from high school who was 4 years younger than me... I was like: Boy has grown up! And he sure does look fine without his shirt on! Wow.

I won't go into the details of that Fourth of July night - mostly since large quantities of alcohol = memory gaps which make the night impossible to piece the night together coherently. But I will say that it started with a keg party at the pool (where else do Fourth of July parties start), followed by a karaoke battle, at some point there was a broken window and a drunken run (in high heels to say the least) from the police, a loud stumble home, an almost missed flight, a strong scolding from my mother that went something like "you and your brother are NEVER allowed to hang out again" and somewhere in the midst of this drunken chaos, I managed to steal a kiss from and cement a crush on the Hot American Boy.

Fast forward 5 years to Christmas time at home and a trip to Boston where my brother decides we are going to stay with the Hot American Boy who has apparently just broken up with his girlfriend (coincidence - or destiny....). And in a moment of further coincidence - or destiny - The American Boy tells me he is thinking about doing a trip to Europe. And of course being the nice person that I am, I offer him a place to stay in London. He says "It is very likely that I will take you up on that offer." Well, I've surely heard that one (ahem - all you friends who keep telling me that someday you are going to visit and then never ever follow through) so I don't read too much into and I try not to fantasize about it - too much....

But what do you know? He actually follows through and books his flight to London. He Originally plans to come with 2 other boys who mysteriously drop out of the trip at the last minute. Ok. Awkward? Weird? Good? Destiny? I don't know. But the Hot American boy is coming to hang with me in London!

*I feel that I must point out that my Mother is always right. Actually she has been wrong exactly once and it was a big wrong. But I will save that story for another day. The problem is that she is not always right at the right time. With this prediction she was about a decade off. It took me awhile to realize my inner Cougar but my Mother was right as usual and I'm much more inclined to date younger men than older ones these days.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Good First Date Does Not A Good Second Date Make

I heart musicians. Or at least I have a very soft spot for musicians (in fact sometimes I will even make exceptions for musicians such as even if they are not that tall or that hot, I might still date them - or at least make out with them). I think it has to do with my father and brother both being really into music. It feels like something I grew up with. Or maybe it's because I'm not musical and arty and therefore I admire those qualities in others... Either way, if a guy plays music, he is that much more sexy in my book.

Anyway, I met this guy on Match, let's call him The Musician. He is a singer songwriter in London and also does lots of cover gigs and teaches performance. Sounds cool, right? We wrote back and forth for weeks and he seemed pretty interesting so we decided to meet up.

Our first date went well enough... We met for drinks and had good conversation. He was good looking (no exceptions necessary - phew). Tall with dark hair and blue eyes. I was looking forward to meeting him again.

The second date seemed doomed from the start. As usual I was running late (and he was early) but I was only 5 mins late and I had texted him to tell him so. Not really a big deal. Anyway, I get to the restaurant and he had texted me that he would be upstairs in the bar. So, I go upstairs. He's not there. So, I call him. He doesn't answer. I walk back downstairs starting to feel a little bit silly and I look around all confused and there he is watching me! Awkward! Nevermind the fact that I totally blew my entrance where I was going to strut in all sexy hair blowing everywhere... Huh. Anyway, I tried not to think too much into it at the time - I mean why would someone do that? But after the rest of the night played out and his mean-spirited personality was revealed, I can't help but think he actually watched me walk up the stairs looking for him and then ignored my call... just to see my reaction and make me feel uncomfortable. Creepy!

So, after that exciting entrances he then launches into me about the fact that I live in Chelsea (one of London's most posh neighborhoods) as this had been a topic we covered on the first date, I felt annoyed it had come up again. Yes, I live in Chelsea. My workplace is in Chelsea. It's a nice place and it makes sense for me to live in Chelsea. Who wouldn't want to live here? It's fabulous. Yes, I realize that somewhere out there is the rest of big bad London with homeless people, crime, bad neighborhoods, long underground commutes, small apartments and horrible flatmates. But hey, I'm lucky and I work hard to pay my exorbitant rent so I can live alone in nice apartment in a nice area without a commute involving any kinds of public transportation (I have a phobia). I enjoy the area I live in. And you could call me a snob, but I do realize I have a very charmed life and am very thankful for it. But have I mentioned I also work VERY HARD for it! He is not the first man I have dated who couldn't get over the Chelsea thing. I just don't get it. I guess they are intimidated and insecure. But over the area I live in? Get over it! Or at least don't bring it up every 5 minutes! But I digress...

So, after we go over the reasons that I live in Chelsea again, The Musician then proceeds with an even more fun topic as he tells me he felt my message from the day before was "too forward." I was taken aback since I do not recall sending any outrageous messages (being the good girl that I am, I usually leave this kind of behaviour to the third or fourth date at least). So, I did what any normal girl would do, I checked my phone.

I had texted him around 9 the night before to say "Hey you. Are we still on for tomorrow night?" That. Was. It. The reason I texted him at all was because I hadn't heard from him - he was supposed to text me during the day to tell me if he was free to meet the next night or not. At 9 pm when I hadn't heard from him, I figured I would send him a text so that I would still have time to make other plans if he bailed. Once I pointed this out to him, he says "oh, must have been your other messages. Time to put the phone away now. It's rude to check your phone on a date." Whoa...

Feeling a bit awkward, I began to chatter away about silly stuff - my job, my upcoming travels, weddings that summer I was looking forward to. So, he cuts through this and sneers at me (seriously - the best way to describe it was a sneer) "Do you really think that even have time for a boyfriend?" Umm... point taken and he might be right, but jeez it's our second date and at this point boy is very far away from being considered for the boyfriend job. And his bitterness (dare I say jealousness - yes I realize I invented a word here but it really should be in the Dictionary) about my busy life is so not the way to my heart!

He then tried a smooth move to win me over by telling me that he thought I was "really arrogant." This was brought on by the fact that I made some silly - and I had thought flirty - comments such as: "of course, I was popular in high school," and "you might be a singer, but I'm sure I could give you a run for your money at karaoke." Both of these statements were said in a sarcastic and exaggerated tone. And yes, ok I was popular in high school and yes, I kinda do rock at karaoke but I'm saying these things to be flirty and funny, not to be arrogant! I mean singing is his profession, of course I'm nowhere near as good as him! I was just trying to flirt with him a little bit and show that I'm a really confident and fun girl. Basides Buddy, if I am so arrogant, why are you even on a second date with me? Seriously. There is the door.

I couldn't wait to get away from him but he seemed to be drinking his wine as slowly as possible. I honestly thought he was doing it on purpose, as if he could sense my discomfort and was enjoying it and trying to drag it out for as long as possible. And I was not sure I really wanted to stand up and make a dramatic exit so I patiently waited until I could escape.

While waiting for him to finish his drink, I did have a long conversation with myself (in my head) about what justified storming out of a date and causing a scene, and if this was possibly one of the worst dates ever, and wondering if these kind of things happened to other people. But then I reminded myself that I'm totally awesome and it's not my fault this guy is such an insecure jerk. Well at least he was right on with the arrogance accusation!

And after all that, he still had the nerve to ask me if he could come home with me! I politely told him that it was probably not going to work out between the two of us. Then I went home and watched Sex and the City reruns to make myself feel better.

For all you men out there, the way to a woman's heart is definitely not by insulting her and making her feel bad about herself! Especially on a second date!

How To Be The Perfect Boyfriend

So, a Match boy sent me a poem about how to be a perfect boyfriend along with a Charming little note. I loved the poem so much I couldn't help but share!

In Case you are wondering, I thought the poem was great, but alas I didn't like his picture and being a totally shallow person, I didn't go on a date with him or even write him back. I know. Try not to judge. I have other awesome qualities but wasting my time writing back to unattractive but sweet boys isn't one of them.

How are you? Was looking through your profile and you sounded lovely so thought I would give you a mail and see if you will get back to me. Hopefully you will - I promise to be at least 60% interesting if you do (which isn't bad nowadays).

I will leave you with this - A Poem: "How To Be The Perfect Boyfriend." Not that I think anyone could ever be the perfect boyfriend. Including me - I have way too many faults. Anyway, here it goes.......
Hope you get back to me soon
D x.

How To Be The Perfect Boyfriend
Sometimes you've got to be macho
And do loads of things that are tough
But sometimes it's best to be quite and gentle
And say loads of soppy type stuff
You've got to have hundreds of muscles
And girls always like a nice bum
But you mustn't be hairy or sweaty or fat
Or have any flab on your tum.
Don't ever talk about football
Or make nasty smells in the bed
Or joke about bosoms with mates in the pub
Or drink till you're out of your head
You've got to be funny and clever
And do loads of things by surprise
Like shouting out loud in the back of a bus
My girlfriend's got beautiful eyes."
You don't have to have too much money
But make sure you've just got enough
To buy loads of presents and chocolates and flowers
And sexy silk undies and stuff
Say to your girlfriend "You're gorgeous
Your body's a twelve out of ten
You're sexy and beautiful, clever and kind.
Then tell her all over again.

Very nice poem don't you think? But the question is: are there any men out there who can live up to this? What do you think?

Internet Dating Vs. Old-Fashioned Dating

If you are single these days, then most likely you are using the internet in some way to meet people. In the past couple years internet dating has gone from being a weird thing that a friend of a friend has done... to being a normal thing that all single people do (or at least that's what I tell myself to make myself feel better).

While I don't rule out meeting someone the old fashioned way - i.e. bumping into them in my daily life, I definitely think that meeting someone on the internet is a good alternative. Having both options gives you the best of both worlds - and should also make you twice as likely to find a good match - so far this part hasn't actually worked out for me... but here's hoping!

Let's compare the two options side-by-side:

Meeting the Old-Fashioned Way


  • Can quickly decide if they are shagalicious (I live in London so I can now use words like this

  • Can quickly size up their clothing and grooming style to see if it's up to par

  • Can smell them (seriously, this is important)

  • If after a few minutes of speaking with them, you realize you don't like them, you can run away and leave no trace so can't stalk you electronically (as long as you haven't already given them your phone number)

  • It's more organic and therefore less stressful: you meet someone, you speak to them, you decide if you like them... there is no stressing about should I or shouldn't I meet him? Will he look as good in real life as he does in the pictures? Will he think I look like I do in my pictures? Will it be terribley awkward? Is it worth it to waste my time on this date?


  • Alcohol might seriously impair the judgement of all the pros above

  • Lust might get in the way of reality - You might have a passionate night with a total hottie but wake up the next morning to find he can barely compose full sentences

  • The fact that he's divorced and has 3 children that live at home might not be readily apparent

  • It's difficult to meet people to date in your daily life! My routine focuses on work and gym and travel... I don't have the luck to meet hot men at the supermarket or on a plane, most of the men at my gym are gay, many of my colleagues are very good-looking but are unfortunately all married - and work relationships are a bad idea, and meeting guys at bars and clubs has not really been working out for me lately

Meeting on the Internet


  • It's easy and can be done in the privacy of your own bedroom (I mean the sitting in bed with your laptop searching through profiles! What were you thinking)?

  • You can quickly compare your interests to his (especially if he has filled out the handy side-by-side comparison form where you eve get a compatibility rating)

  • Easy to practice selective searching to find your type such as: ovser 6 feet tall, no children, makes 6 figures

  • Important things are stated clearly up front in print such as: marital status (never married, divorced, separated), number of children and if said children live at home or away from home, the number of children they want to have in the future (for some reason most men choose 3), whether or not they smoke, how often they drink (never, regularly, social drink - maybe 1 or 2), whether they live alone or live with roommates, what pets they like, how often they exercise, what their interests/hobbies are...

  • It's easy to tell if you are his type since he has specified the qualites he is looking for including: age range, hair and eye color, body shape (curvy, slender, about average, a few extra pounds, athletic and toned), education, and if they find the following things to be turn-ons: brainiacs, long hair, thunderstorms, skinny dipping, candlelight, assertiveness

  • Sweet emails from attractive men are like the modern day love letter - who doesn't get a thrill out of man telling you that you are the most beautiful woman he has seen out of all the millions on

  • It can be a Big confidence booster. When I'm feeling down. I "Wink" at men and hope they write me sweet nothings back - seriously even if you are luckier in love than me and are actually in a relationship, you should still sign up for Match just to try this out. It's awesome!

  • There are so so many men to choose from - don't like one, another one is just a click away


  • Can't accurately judge clothing style or grooming habits so you might end up on a date with a guy with high wasted khakis and Birkenstocks with socks (so far this hasn't happened to me)

  • Their entire profile might be one big lie - or at least full of little small lies - I mean they are trying to make themselves look as appealing as possible
  • They might not look like their picture in person

  • You get a lot of emails and winks from men you deem not compatible (i.e. NOT HOT) - seriously out of the 500 winks and emails I received in the last month, I "removed" 455 men
  • It's time consuming (especially the "removing" the not hot men part) - you can literally spend hours in your little virtual world of searching for and writing to hot men on the internet

  • Men sometimes get obssesive and stalk you - this can get ugly but luckily Match invented a handy "Block" function to prevent ugly stalkers from bothering you just with a click of a button! Isn't technology amazing?

  • No matter how many times you write to someone, it's still a blind date, you are meeting a stranger and it's kind of stressful

  • You might decide you really like someone on the Internet then never hear from them again - I mean you are just one in a million of accessible women competing for the seemingly few decent men

  • Might accidentally stumble across a colleague and then they can see that you have checked their profile and they can go and check out yours!*

After comparing the two side by side my conclusion is: Why choose? Why not do both?

*This actually happened to me! Embarrassing! I don't really want my colleague checking out all my sexy flirty pictures on my Match profile page! However... I guess in the world of Old Fashioned dating, you would probably stumble across your colleague at a work Christmas party and bring him home with you to check out your sexy flirty panties! At least I have heard that sometimes happens at work Christmas parties - not saying that this is ever something that I have done! ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Don't Let Your Friends Set You Up!

One of the many 'joys' of being single is that your friends often try too hook you up with men they think are "perfect for you!"

My Swedish girlfriend had been trying to set up her colleague and I for a long time. She would always tell me how "perfect" he was for me. In fact, we had actually met each other a few times but each time one of us had been with someone else. He was someone who on at least on paper seemed good for me: tall, moderately handsome, Swedish (I love those Swedish men), good career, smart, motivated, hard working, and well traveled and in fact really into adventure travel... For the sake of this post, let's call him the Swedish Adventurer.

Anyway, on a trip back to Sweden, I randomly met up with the Swedish Adventurer and we found that for once we were both single and also were needless to say quite intoxicated at this point of the night. This realization of course encouraged a drunken make out sesssion in a stairwell while our even more drunk friends waited for us at McDonalds - Classy - I know). Despite our drunken state we did manage to talk about him coming to visit me in London.

Maybe it was the alcohol (blame it on the.... ok enough). Or maybe it's because my friend had been encouraging us for ages, but mostly I think I just WANTED to be interested in him. I wanted to be interested in anyone BUT the Beautiful Swede (who I was actually in Stockholm to see). But if I had been really honest with myself, I would have had to admit that our chemistry didn't feel right.

But I selfishly went ahead with the idea of using the Swedish Adventurer to get over my Ex and I continued with an actual delusional hope that maybe he was the one. And right before Christmas-time, just a couple weeks after that Swedish trip, the Swedish Adventurer came to London to visit for the weekend.

I was actually excited for his visit. The first night we had a great dinner and good conversation - I could definitely see why my friend thought we would be a good match. But something just didn't feel right, there was really no chemistry and I again had the feeling that this just wasn't the guy for me. This was confirmed the following day when I realized that his idea of a "fun afternoon" in London was to spend it SHOPPING. Ok. I do not like to shop. I like to have new things (often) and this causes me to need to shop (frequently) but I honestly don't enjoy shopping.

My rules for shopping go something like this:
  • always shop alone

  • never spend more than an hour shopping

  • only shop if it's necessary

  • never shop if there is something better to do

Therefore, I tend to limit my shopping to lunch time runs. Being dragged around London shopping with a guy was NOT fun. Especially since he wanted to go to record shops and men's clothing shops. I was BORED out of my mind. After a polite amount of time standing around trying to pretend I was having fun, I attempted to excuse myself (I was having a small Christmas party that evening and I really wanted to get home and prepare) but this guy did the typical girl shopping thing: "just 5 more mins, I promise and we can leave together..." I was hoping that he would come with me so I could get him to carry some groceries from the store. So, I sucked it up and waited for TWO MORE HOURS for him standing outside the store in the cold.

Finally we headed back home and right before we got to the grocery store, he ran off into ANOTHER store to just "have a look." So, I ended up carrying all the alcohol and groceries by myself anyway. Amazingly I managed not to turn this into an argument. Unusual for me. I guess I really did want this to work out...

The other notable event of the weekend involved a fish bone. That's right. A fish bone. Before his flight, we went to the pub for a traditional British dish of Fish and chips. And the guy chokes on a fish bone! Ok seriously, this guy is into adventure travel and has pictures of himself standing next to lions and stories about all kinds of crazy adventures in Africa and other places, and he manages to get a fish bone stuck in his throat and almost die in a pub in London (ok I don't think he was near dying but there was a actual discussion of whether or not going to the hospital was necessary)! If you have never seen someone choke on a fish bone let me tell you, it's not a pretty site. There he was coughing, choking, turning red, making loud gagging sounds, spitting and generally disrupting everyone else in the pub. I was verging between trying no to laugh, being embarrassed, losing my apptite, being concerned, and just being ready for him to leave. He finally coughed up the fish bone and then caught his flight.

But it was the second visit that turned catastrophic. I really didn't have any feelings for him but I when he sprung the second visit on me, I was feeling a bit down over my Ex - the Beautiful Swede - so in a moment of weakness I told him "yes" as I thought it would at least distract me a bit and if nothing else, at least we could be friends. By the time the trip actually came up, I realized that I could have done a good enough job distracting myself with the many men in London. I also realized that I really didn't want anything romantic with him and there was definitely going to be any physical intimacy between us (not that there had been much the first time anyway).

But I didn't have to worry about him trying to put the moves on me and me having to reject him because I was saved by the violent puking sickness. One minute he was fine and drinking champagne with my friend and I before we were to go to a club, the next minute he was puking his brains out. My friend and I being the sympathetic people we are went out with out him and had a blast meeiting other men.

I tried to feel bad for him, but I couldn't. Men are big babies when they are sick and having him moping about in my apartment all weekend was a real buzz kill - especially when I had a massive hangover and all I wanted to do was mope around on my couch without a pukey germy guy sitting next to me. I was also extremely worried about getting sick myself, I had a huge week at work the next week with a product launch that I'd been working around the clock to help pull off. This was not the week for me to be sick - the puking sickness is contagious in the extreme. So,I counted the hours until he left and shut the door behind him with a huge sigh of relief. I don't think I will be seeing him again. And I definitely don't hold it against my friend who set us up - she only had good intentions. But I think I will be very careful before throwing myself into another weekend with a man I hardly know. Famous. Last. Words.

Lessons learned
  • Always go with your gut instinct when it comes to men

  • If it didn't work out the first time, don't give it a second chance

  • Don't make a first (or second date) with someone into an entire weekend - WAY too risky

  • If you don't like to shop, don't date men who LOVE to shop

  • Eat fish and chips very carefully and check for fish bones

  • If a fish bone does get stuck in your throat, eat bread

  • Sometimes, men just look better on paper

  • Don't let your friends set you up

Trying Out "Different" Men

After my first couple Match Dates, I decided to put aside for a bit and see what happened when I went out with guys I met in a more traditional way: at a club. I also decided to see what would happen if I put aside my ideas on my "type" of guy for a minute and tried to push my cultural boundaries...

So, next up was the Indian. I met him at a Club on a crazy Thursday night. I say a crazy Thursday night because I do not recall a single Thursday night since my early 20's when I managed to stay out until 3 am and go to work with a huge hangover the next day... I thought I had left those days looooong behind me. Apparently not. I was "chatted up" - as the British say - by an Indian guy at the bar and after giving him my number and texting with him throughout the week, decided to go on a date with him the following weekend. We met at the bar at the Sanderson Hotel - which by the way, I totally recommend. All in all, a good date. But no chemistry. I'm not sure Indian men (or Asian men as they are called here - apparently in the UK 'Asian' means Indian or Pakistani; I always thought 'Asian' met Chinese or Japanese) are my thing.

After that there was the Muslim. I also met him at a nightclub. I basically just wanted to hang out in the VIP section of a very boring club and he was my girlfriend's and my ticket in. But, he ended up being kind of interesting and managed to convince me to go on several dates with him. Actually, all in all we had a very nice time together having dinner at various expensive restaurants around the city. The best thing about London boys is - they pay! Hooray! None of this Swedish split the bill (or let the girl pay) crap. My problem with the Muslim was that he was Muslim. He didn't drink. Gulp! He didn't seem to mind if I had a glass of wine with dinner. And while he did seem to want some kind of relationship more serious than I was looking for with him... he did make it very clear that if I were ever to become his girlfriend, he would by no means introduce me to his Muslim family as they would not approve of any non-Muslim girl. They were waiting for him to move home and meet a nice Moroccan girl. Unfortunate for him, he seems to have a thing for tall blond girls and instead keeps them secret from his family. His last blond British girlfriend of 3 years didn't seem to mind. He was interested in adding an American blond to the list. Ummm... no thanks.

And then the Man with a Plan. Another Match Date. Nothing too wrong with him. We had a nice evening. But he was one of those men with a "plan." He would meet a girl. They would date. They would get engaged. They would get married. They would move to designated spot in the country (I can't remember the name of the place but it was picked out - he literally described his future house to me). He would continue to earn ridiculous amounts of money and she would quit her job and have babies. And they would live miserably - I mean happily - ever after. So, "the plan" in addition to a seemingly unhealthy fascination for Cheryl Cole and Shakira (I mean, why should his obsession with woman pop stars even come up on the first date - MORE THAN ONCE) made him not the man (with a plan) for me.

So, dating "different" men didn't lead to true love but at least I got some free dinners and drinks. And that's what matters right?

Getting Back on the Dating Horse

So. When you fall off the horse, you're supposed to get right back on, right? But I thought I would take the old adage to heart and try to get right back up there. Well, easier said than done when it comes to dating.

I will admit that as soon as the Ex and I broke up, I signed up for and started to look for hot, tall, single men in London. I will also admit that I was not a complete stranger -or virgin, if you will - to Internet dating. In fact, I actually met the Beautiful Swede via a Swedish Internet dating site (Thanks Spray Date). So... with approximately 5 Internet dates in total under my belt, with the last one resulting in a year plus relationship, I decided to venture back into the big bad world of Internet dating.

The first guy I met - Busy Boy - who is only worth noting for the fact that his incessant questioning about what I did "for fun" outside of work and how I "released my creativeness" made me realize just how sad my life had become. What did I do outside of work? Who was I? Where in the world had I managed to loose myself? This guy had a serious job plus several serious things going on outside of work. He was actually really interesting but I left him wondering how in the world he found time for all the things he claimed to be into. In my own defense, I had just moved to London (rather unwillingly for my job) just a couple weeks before and I was having a tough time. Work/Life balance for me didn't exist and probably hadn't for the last year. I was feeling pretty low. But maybe this date was exactly what I needed to realize just how much I had lost myself in the Stockholm to London shuffle. I found myself thinking a lot about what I was doing. When did I stop doing the things that made me me... like reading, writing, throwing parties, hanging out with friends, singing... When did I stop having fun and start working all the time? Was a career woman all I was destined to be? Is this what I want my life to look like in 10 years? I realized that before I could seriously start dating, I needed to get back in touch with myself! So, I think the Busy Boy for starting me off on the soul searching that in turn led me to once again start writing which has now resulted in this blog.

The second guy I met - The Investment Banker - is most noteworthy for being the world's shortest dinner date. We met and we ate dinner in under ONE HOUR! I'm not even sure how that's possible. The hard thing about Internet dates is they are basically a blind date. You are meeting a STRANGER! And if that isn't intimidating enough, you are often meeting them after a looong and sometimes a very bad day at work. This is what happened the day I met the Investment Banker. I had a terrible day. So so terrible, that I thought a lot about cancelling but didn't want to be rude. So, I went to the date anyway. I can't say it was terrible. In fact, he was extremely good looking but very very boring in that Investment Banker sort of way. But he the date was terribly short. However, as I look past at most of my last dates... well it unfortunately ranks somewhere near the top. Short and Sweet is not necessarily a bad thing!

So, I'm offically back on the horse, but I'm not exactly sure that we are moving anywhere yet!

You Can't Be Friends With Your Ex

This euphoric feeling of relief and freedom gained from breaking away from my Ex - the Beautiful Swede continued throughout the month of December until Christmas. Then suddenly I was thrown back in to the old pattern of thinking about the Beautiful Swede and missing him. This was most likely due in part to the fact that I did spend a weekend with another Swede: The Swedish Adventurer, and over the course of that weekend, I realized that I didn't have half as much fun with the Adventurer as I did with my Beautiful Ex. And also in part due to the fact that the Ex and I began again to communicate via text and Google chat. Basically, for a breif delusional second, I actually thought that me and the Ex could be friends!

And then I went home to the US for Christmas and suddenly I found myself really missing the Ex. Last Christmas, the Beautiful Swede had come home with me. It was the beginning of our relationship and we had an amazing time together ringing in the New Year in NYC. He also came home with me this summer.

So, suddenly 'home' - my sanctuary, my escape from the rest of the world - became a reminder of the Ex. I found myself thinking a lot about "last year" and wishing he was there with me... It didn't help that he had met everyone in my entire family plus all my friends and it didn't make this easier that everyone had loved him. Family, friends, everyone was asking about him. So, I did what should never be done - I made contact with the Ex via the phone this time. And he told me he missed me too! And I believed him.

And just as I found myself once again planning a future for us, he told me that he was dating someone new and would be spending New Year's Eve with her. I was devastated. And enraged! Why did he keep trying to contact me? Why did he tell me how much he missed me? And how hard it was for him? How can he possibly be dating someone else? (Ok. I'm dating too but not anyone serious)!

And then all the insecurities began to surface... What if he has more fun with her than he had with me? What if she's prettier, smarter, funnier, cooler than I am? What if they have better sex? What if he likes her more than he liked me? What if she's the "one?" Ugh - see what I mean? I should not be allowed to talk to my Ex and he should not be allowed to contact me. It just sends me down a horrible destructive path and for no reason - at the end of the day, the fact that we are not right for each other still remains. So, why beat myself up over it? So, what if he likes her more than he liked me? So, what if she is prettier, cooler, smarter than me? So what if they get married and have beautiful children and live happily ever after? HE AND I ARE NOT MEANT TO BE. It's definitely time to move on.

So, I spent New Year's Eve as the only single person at a couple's party, missing my Ex and missing my friend's in Stockholm, feeling sorry for myself, and wondering if 2010 would really be a better year than 2009. And post New Year's the Ex and I had at least one more conversation where we said hurtful things to each other and did enough damage to ensure that friendship would never be an option. And then I spent a few more days moping around and then I got on a flight back to London and decided to really GET OVER IT.

So, we have resumed not speaking and I for the most part feel better. However, he of course is up to his old tricks, trying to contact me in various ways with silly messages like - I saw this and it made me think of you. And I have a new resolve to be strong and not fall for it, because I know that if I do respond to him, then I will be met with the same words again: "I miss you. But I'm dating someone else. It's time for you to move on."

Well all I can say now is I'm moving on: ON TO THE NEXT!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Closing the Ex Files

"Have You Ever Tried Sleeping With a Broken Heart, Well you Should Try Sleeping In My Bed" - Alicia Keys

It feels that in order to give an honest summary of my dating escapades this fall, I have to begin at the beginning. And that would be with my Ex Boyfriend: The Beautiful Swede.

One of my biggest problems or downfalls is that the Beautiful Swede keeps trying to creep his way back into my life and has been around a bit too much this fall. Officially we broke up in August. Unofficially we kept seeing each other until well... I guess the beginning of December when I last saw him in Stockholm. We stopped talking every night at the end of October. So, it feels like the real break up began then... Actually, what am I talking about? We were breaking up and hurting each other all fall! That was the problem. Every time I made a little bit of progress and got away from him a little bit, he would push his way back in and hurt me all over again.

We keep deciding not to talk. I keep telling him we are not going to be friends. He usually respects this for a short time and then starts to try to contact me in various ways. I mean dating has become so complicated with technology! In addition to the phone, we now have emails, text messages, Skype, Blackberry Messenger, Google chat, Facebook... Ugh. There are so many ways to keep in touch or get in touch. And yes, emails count as contact. The problem was, when the Ex contacted me, I thought he missed me! And unfortunately, I sure missed him...

Christmas was a low point for me. I had made a lot of progress in getting over him in the fall. In fact, in part due to an introduction of a new man (The Swedish Adventurer - see future post) while visiting Stockholm in December, I actually felt like I was finally ready to close the Ex-files and move on. Seriously. But against the advice of my friends and mother, I decided to see the Beautiful Swede at the beginning of December and stay with him for 2 nights while working in Stockholm. I knew it might not be a good idea. I knew that it might open the door again. I knew there was really no point in seeing him since we had decided again and again that our relationship wouldn't work out in the long run. But I really wanted to see him. So, as usual, I didn't take the advice of those around me and instead I followed my heart and saw the Ex.

And, it was good! Good to see him but also good to leave him! I really felt like things were over. We still had amazing sex (why oh why is break up sex always the best) and he could still make me laugh with his dorky sense of humor and all the reasons I had dated him for the past year plus were still there but at the same time, it felt like the blinders were off and I could see all the bad things very clearly too. And the overwhelming realization I had was - he just doesn't love me enough. And why would I want to be with someone who doesn't love me enough... And the funny thing, is I actually felt ok with this realization. So, when we kissed goodbye and I went off to catch an early morning flight back to London, this time there were no tears, and in fact I felt ok, relieved almost that I had survived the time with my Ex without doing more damage to my broken heart. Ready to get back to my life in London. Ready to meet a better man. Ready to put the Beautiful Swede behind me and close the Ex Files.

Dating in London...

"Boys on My Left Side, Boys on My Right Side, Boys in the Middle But You're Not Here... " -Tori Amos

In an attempt to get over my my Ex Boyfriend - the Beautiful Swede, I have entered the dating world in a very serious way.

And for lack of anything else interesting to write about... Or for the fact that I guess this is my life... I'm going to start by writing about dating in London... But before I begin, I should mention one or two other things.

First, my main way of meeting people these days is via the Internet. is my current dating site where I have spent many an evening trolling away looking for handsome tall men who sound interesting and use correct English grammar. Most likely I will have to devote a full blog entry to the joys of Internet dating (seriously) but I will save that for later.

Second, dating takes up a lot of time and energy! I once had a colleague who listed dating as her hobby when asked by another colleague what she liked to do outside of work. Everyone laughed when she said this but since then, since entering the busy dating world myself, I understand what she means! It take soooo much time! It could be a full-time job. Really. And you think about it a lot. You obsess over the dates, you stress before you go on one, you wonder if he's going to call. You wonder if he's right for you. You spend time online - deleting people mostly (in my case) or writing back to people, deciding if you want to meet them. Carefully composing interesting and funny emails... So, shallow as it may seem to write about my dating life... Well, outside of work - and the gym of course, dating is sadly what's taking up my time!

Third, I have a "type." He is tall and dark and usually incredibly handsome. When I say tall, I mean over 6 foot three (preferably around 6 foot five). I also like kind of geeky guys. And I have a soft spot for musicians or creative artist types (kind of opposite of me I guess). Without sounding racially biased, I should mention that my 'type' also happens to be white... I think... At least so far. That being said, I realize that this definition (especially the height one) is incredibly limiting. So, I'm attempting to be more open-minded and try "new men." I'm always up for trying new things...

Fourth, it should be noted that the dating saga that follows takes place Post-Break up with my Ex - the Beautiful One. It also takes place post September when I moved to London. So, new city, new life, newly single... well... you get it.

Stay tuned for the tragic yet slightly hilarious details.

New Year, New Blog

So, it's a New Year. Thank God. I for one am very glad to put 2009 to rest. For me, it was an incredibly tough year. I am absolutely determined to make 2010 much more fabulous! But at the end of 2009, I took a critical look at myself and in addition to be overworked and over-traveled, I also found myself creatively destitute and lacking passion. I usually keep myself busy with small projects, but during the last year the only projects I worked on were work related. Basically, when I finally stopped long enough to look around, I could no longer recognize myself outside of the career woman I had become. So, after some deep soul searching and a lot of self questioning, I came up with a list of things that I liked to do that had nothing to do with work and decided to start doing them again.

One of those things I like to do is write. I used to write a lot. I enjoy writing. But somehow it has gotten lost in the shuffle of 70 hour working weeks and massive amounts of travel. Say nothing of the moving between countries and trying to keep up with friends and family all over the world. Besides frequently updating my Facebook status, exchanging a few emails with friends... I never write anymore. I realize that I have not even kept up with my journal in the past years.

So, in 2010 as part of my attempt to have a more fabulous year, I'm going to start to write again. What better way then to start a blog and add to the already over-saturated world of egocentric whinny people writing about their pathetic lives and looking for attention. Hmm... maybe not. I definitely have been having second thoughts. But what the hell? Why not. Maybe my friends will read it - then at least I can cut down on catching up so much over emails and Facebook status posts.

So, here it is: my first blog post. And what exactly am I going to write about - you might be wondering? Well, so am I! Ha ha... Well, what does anyone who blogs write about? Usually themselves... so, I thought a little bit about what's going on in my life and what I could write about... And I came up with the fact that I just moved to a new city and I mainly do three things: work, work out, and date. Well, you tell me what's the most interesting here?

So, having recently moved from Stockholm to London and having recently broken up with a guy and been re-initiated back to the Single World. Well.... I'm going to write about dating in London. Or looking for Love in London. Or the International Woman of Mystery takes on London. Or LIVING IT UP IN LONDON, Or how about just having a more fabulous year in 2010. Oh - who knows... I'm just going to write. And if you like it, you can keep reading. And if you don't... at least I'm writing again and it makes me feel better.

What I'm not going to write about... well is work. I spend so much time working and talking and thinking about work. I sometimes think that work has drained all my energy and that I've given my life and my youth to this company I have worked for for the past 9 years. So, I'm not going to write about work here. Of course as my work and my travel due to work has a large impact on my life it might be mentioned as relevant background information, but I do not think it will be a central theme. And as I feel the need to keep my work and my private life as separate as possible (which is very hard at the moment) I will keep this blog anonymous for the time being. So, if you happen to be one of the few people that I work with who I have mentioned this blog to, please do not pass this around the office. I don't really need a boost in the office gossip category. That seems to go pretty well on it's own without any help.

So... as for my blog and why anyone should read it...

If you are single, then hopefully you recognize some of the things I'm writing about and you can laugh commiserate and celebrate with me.

If you are married, then hopefully you will realize that you should stay married. It's really not that fun to be single.

And if you met someone before you had the chance to actually try Internet dating, then please read on and live vicariously through me.

Either way - well, please laugh with me and know that I don't take myself or this blog very seriously. ;)