Hello Blogging World! It has been a long time between posts and so much has changed in my life. The last time I wrote on here I was telling you about the struggles that I was having adjusting to life in Paris. So, I took a trip to London and it became the beginning of some much needed healing. Since then I have jumped into life, often head first without any regard as to what I was jumping into. All I can say, is it has been an adventure and I am all the better for it.
It all started with a trip to Portugal after I finished school for the year. I went by myself and saw it as a reward for surviving and successfully completing the first year of the program. I feel like the trip finished what my trip to London started. It felt like a new beginning and as one night I sat with new friends in a beautiful restaurant terrace in Faro, listening to traditional Portuguese music, I could feel all the past stresses melting away and the spark coming back. It was magical and as a result this piece of the world now has a special place in my heart. When I arrived back to Paris, a new chapter began, and I have been going a million miles an hour ever since.
I started my summer internship at the Ministry of Health and that has been the first big change. I will not lie, it has been extremely hard working in French, and two months in I still feel like I am fumbling around a lot of the time as everything takes me twice as long as it normally would. Along side of my internship, I have continued tour guiding and on top of that my social life seems to have exploded. So as a result, I have been extremely busy which has been both fabulous AND exhausting. One thing that I have taken on this summer too has been jumping back into dating. The last time I really experienced dating was when I tried French Internet dating in 2012. It didn't really go so well, but it was a memorable experience. So this time, I decided I am a little older and wiser, why not give it another go, what did I have to lose?!
I signed up to both OkCupid and tinder and decided to give them a one, possible 2 month time limit max. For those of you that are not familiar with these sites, OkCupid is a free Internet dating website where anyone can sign up and contact you. So as a result, you get a lot of attention from people that you may not want it from. Then tinder, oh tinder, this is an addictive phone app which has the reputation of just being a hook up app like the straight version from Grinder. However, I had friends who had met people on there who were looking for something a little more serious, so I figured, why not, you won’t know if you don’t try right?!
I think in total I went on 3 dates from OkCupid and maybe 4 or 5 from Tinder, so I felt like I got a good feel for both sites and the people they attracted. I have to say, most of the guys I met were polite and came across as pretty normal, which if I am honest surprised me. There was only 2 real disaster dates which managed to happen on the same day! I guess I was being ambitious organising 2 dates on one day, but I really wanted to meet people and figured, why not?! Life is short, so the first one I scheduled for early on a Saturday afternoon after I finished work. I remember in the morning I was telling my girlfriends that I was going on this date after work and they asked me what I was going to wear. I told them I was just going to go as I was, which consisted of my work t-shirt, Jean shorts and runners. I got a few raised eyebrows and a couple of friends telling me I should make more of an effort. To which my response was, well I spend half of my time in these clothes, so if he doesn't like me wearing them today, he won’t like me wearing them in the future. So I finished work and went to meet the unsuspecting gentleman. When I got there, I discovered that the gentleman and I had very different ideas and he decided to rock up in a suit. We took one look at each other, had a little bit of an awkward laugh and could both tell instantly that this was not a match made in heaven!! We entertained conversation with each other for about an hour before I politely excused myself, said goodbye, never to see him again.
Ok, so maybe my idea of turning up in my work uniform was not a good one and for the one later that evening I decided to make a little bit more effort. This second gentleman was a man I had been talking to over tinder and he told me he didn't really speak much English so our conversations were primarily in French. It was great practice for my written French, which isn't so bad, but I was a little nervous about having a date in entirely French. I figured though if I didn't know a French word I could just replace it with an English one and he would understand. Yep, no, that didn't happen at all and not only was this guy nothing like he looked in his picture, his little English turned out to be no English at all. He was extremely nervous and as a result completely awkward, meaning I was the one having to steer the conversation. I can not emphasis enough how painful and incredibly difficult this was. I had met him in a bar where I knew the bar tender, so I pleaded him for help. He came over and asked the guy why he wasn't trying even just a little to help me out with the English he knew and they guy just kept saying.. ‘Je peux pas car je suis nul’ not exactly what you want to hear from your date. The worst part was he just wouldn't leave so 2 excruciating hours later, I told him I had to go home and ended the date, only to walk him to his car and then go straight back to the bar where my friend proceeded to laugh at me and ask me what on earth I was thinking!
So, these experiences were not completely horrible, just more so completely awkward and made me realise, it really is hard to meet people these days. There were 2 guys I met on tinder in which I did see the potential. With the first one I had the perfect first date and was very excited about the second. We had the second date maybe a week later and during this date, I could see it more heading towards friendship, but none the less I was still excited about it. Then after a couple more message exchanges, he vanished without a trace, never to be heard from again. So I was disappointed, but didn't let it stop me from going out and meeting more people. Then a few dates later I met the second one, we had instant chemistry, had a great night and I again felt really good about it. So we kept in touch during the week trying to schedule another date, settled on a day a week later, only to have him cancel a few hours before the date saying he wanted to watch the football (understandable when France is still in the world cup) but also that he had met another girl and could only be friends. I was disappointed initially as we didn't even get a real chance to know each other, so I agreed we could try and be friends, until the reality set in that he was probably wasn't really interested in that either. I am not letting it bother me though, just see it as part of the adventure and looking forward to what the next few weeks bring!
So this dating game is hard and I am trying to fumble my way through it. I have deleted the OkCupid account and think it’s safe to say tinder will follow in the not too distant future. I don’t have any regrets and it has been a great way to get out there again and gain some much needed dating confidence. It is hard being a single woman, in your thirties, living in a city like Paris. So I am trying the best I can and like Aaliyah said, ‘if first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again….’ :)
So my Internet dating career may close to over, but I am hoping my dating one has just began.