Well, shock horror it turns out that writing about a dating month is complicated. It’s one thing writing honestly about myself but it’s another thing writing about other people.
Even though I’ve changed details, the guys concerned would recognise themselves if they came across this blog and I don’t know how good it would make them feel. It wouldn’t make me feel good to have someone talking in public about my hair, my clothes, my job, my money.
It didn’t make me good to be the kind of person writing about that stuff.
While some of the guys knew about my dating month, others didn’t, including the Mad Scientist.
I told him this week and he wasn’t happy. ‘So I’m part of some experiment and you’re writing about me?’ he said. I didn’t see him as an experiment but of course I can now see that that is how it would seem to him.
What I did was not fair or kind and we have not met up again. His choice. It makes me sad because I liked him – but I have no one to blame but myself.
The truth is I got more interested in telling a good story than being a good person. It’s too easy for the whole dating thing to become a big soap opera, I wanted to keep giving the next instalment rather than thinking about someone else’s privacy and feelings.
This was a mistake and it’s not one I’m going to make again. It’s why I took down Monday’s post – sorry for the frustration caused by sending a link that didn’t work.
The thing is I treat this blog like a cross between a diary or an email I’m sending to friends – but of course that’s not what it is. It’s a real, public thing and to that end I have to me much more mindful of what I write and how it affects other people.
But this brings to me to a bit on impasse. How to write about dating without actually writing about the people I date?!
I guess it’s a matter of bringing it back to me, me, me (I know, sorry) for the last week of this dating month.
The bigger questions underpinning this whole month are: Do I want to meet someone, get married and settle down? Do I want kids? Do you need to be with someone else to live a good, full life or can you lead a good, full life on your own?
I’ll think a bit more about those questions next week.
I’m also going to knock Tinder on the head for now. It brings out a not pleasant, callous, judgemental side in me. It makes dating feel like a game, just more material for a funny story.
I need to get back to actually putting myself on the line in real life. Matthew Hussey is absolutely right when he says that online dating can be used an excuse to stay in your shell when you’re out and about in the real world.
I have not been pushing myself in terms of smiling at strangers, giving them compliments or interacting with real men in real moments. It’s so much easier to type messages onto a screen.
So anyway, onwards, in a new form.
Love to you all and thank you very much to the people who put me straight in the comments to the post I put up and then took down on Monday. You were absolutely right.
Have a nice weekend.
Sign up for sporadic updates from self-help land and life in general, including details on upcoming talks and events. Promise not to bombard you.