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Dating blogs are like chocolate - messy when things warm up

I joined Twitter just over a year ago, not long after I'd managed to fuck up the most important relationship of my shiny, new, post fucked-up-relationship, life.  While I wasn't going to write that disaster story any time soon, because it was all still too raw, there were tales I'd shared with a couple of friends of my previous dating exploits, and the urge was strong to actually write some of them down and tell them anonymously, while I surfed the wake of my broken-hearted malaise and took some time off from Tinder & Bumble.

What also inspired me to write a bit, after I finally came out of my miserable funk for long enough to start to read what was going on in the outside world, was that there were a few other people out there on Twitter linking to their dating blogs.  And they were (mostly) good.  And they were (mostly) anonymous, and other people commented on what they'd written and followed them on Twitter.  And although it sounded slightly like a massively narcissistic WankFest, isn't that the point of social media?  And, frankly, if nobody ever read my newly started dating blog then I didn't give a shit I'd probably give up on life altogether.  I was lonely, new at this, and desperate for validation.  Especially from strangers.  Because somehow that means more than when it comes from the people who already know you.  I know.  I need help.  Unfollow me now.  Actually please don't.

The brilliant writers who inspired me initially; especially the challenging, unconventional and deliberately unattached Not Your Average Girl and the (fortunately for blog readers) clever, beautiful, yet bizarrely single and therefore unchallenged Queen of Dating Dating Blogging; Lucy Goes Dating; were hugely kind and supportive in those early months; making me surge with emotion at the thought Twitter could actually be a nurturing environment for creative output.

Obviously I'd missed the mark here by a country mile, as we all know it's largely about bigging up one's Instagram make-up selfie account, dog/cat pictures or arguing about Tommy Robinson.  Which is quite bizarre, as he's a nasty little unelected racist prick who smells of milkshake.  So surely no argument there?  But he's not writing a dating blog anyway, mainly because Eva Braun died a long time ago, and Marie Le Pen is French, and therefore a nasty foreigner.  Enough of him; but even beyond the obviously odious; within Twitter lurk many fucktards.

But actually, it turns out that non-fucktard Twitter is a hotbed of people blogging about dating, dick pics, ghosting, relationships, polyamory, virginity, sexting, buttplugs and eyebrow shaping. Sometimes all in the same tweet. These weren't all topics I'd considered or expected in dating blogs, and I maintain the choice to keep cock shots and eyebrow shaping reasonably at bay, but they did lead me to any number of other entertaining and provocative writers.

Which is a good moment to give a shout out to some of the few others I've met, specifically at our low key "UK Blog Awards 2019" celebration.  Not just because they're lovely people, which they genuinely are, but because they write clever, funny, articulate stuff about dating in 2019 (although the splendid Eve is technically retired from dating, because loved up. Which is sweeeeet).  She also won "Best Dating Blogger", so can now retire undefeated.

The glamour of the UK Blog Awards is such that there was no live ceremony this year, so we dating finalists had gathered around an "all dressed up and no-one to blow" table for six on an early April evening. In Bloomsbury, where we were huddled around a buffering YouTube feed on Eve's phone.

Present at the table alongside Eve and Lucy were Twitter's most famous virgin, Alice; all beautiful and delicate and fragile and robust at the same time; because nonstop brainsplode, but in a good way. And the marvellous Glenn, AKA A Dating Dad, who has so many children that he should be legally required to live in a shoe. A handsome, sharp dressed man, virile, prolific (in a writing sense) and the ideal partner for Lucy.  Except he's not, obvs.  Otherwise we'd be doubly the poorer in terms of snarky insights into 2019 dating.  And no doubt subject to tiresome couply posts about soft furnishings, interior lighting and matching shoes.

I couldn't talk at the UK Blog Awards 2019 table about my love life.  Because, almost exactly a year after I started blogging after heartbreak, I'd repeated the same pattern.  With the same person. We'd miraculously got back together after my friend Eddie died (his parting words to her from his hospital bed: "You're too good for him!")  Turned out she was.  I very much miss his counsel. But even had he lived, he couldn't have saved us.  It took her nearly 9 months to convince me I was toast, and I hung on far tighter than Leo managed to cling to the floating toilet door in Titanic, but the final block and delete has now plunged me irretrievably beneath the icy waves, where not even Plenty of Fish can find me.

A whole bunch of stuff happened during that last year, including some discomfort with the boundaries between social media/dating bloggers and real life.  Such is the lot of a dating blogger.  One day I'll find the beans to write about it all, but even though it died some twelvemonth since, it may be another year, before, unlike Billy Shakes, I can dip my quill into that one.  You know when you find someone so outrageously perfect for you, except that they don't like you any more?  Yeah, that, more or less, with added nuance.  So after dinner on that celebratory evening I kept quiet, and desolate, and watched as Alice dug into her chocolate ice cream*

Actually, I may have eaten LOADS of it. Because she shared.  But this is entirely irrelevant.  Unless you hate greedy people.

Point is, it took me back 25 years.  I know,  That's a fucking lifetime.  But in my very early twenties, sharing a small London flat with Jim, I'd experienced the emissions of both Ben and Jerry in a way they don't show you in the adverts. And a brief reverie of a quarter century ago gave me a chance to forget my current troubles for a moment, and Alice a chance of some of her own dessert.

Jim was dating Carrie.  He knew it wasn't going to be a long-term thing, not least because Carrie gave a disconcertingly toothy blow job, and he wasn't sure his penis suited the corduroy look. But Carrie's flatmate Delilah was keen to meet Jim's flatmate, and if double denim was acceptable then so was double dating. 1993, I'm telling you.  You should see what you can do to a pair of stretch Pepe's with a bottle of household bleach. So we went out, no doubt to Henry J Bean's or somewhere similarly destined for concept bar failure.

And when we got back, it appeared Delilah was staying.  In my room.  As far as I remember, this was never really referenced, but simply happily accepted by all parties.  And continued to be so over the next few weeks.  We clearly liked each other, a lot, but I don't recall any social activity with Delilah, beyond drinking and shagging: an adventurous early-twenties exploration of what could be achieved without ever discussing the future.  Even after she earned the #Jim&BumblingDadOnly nickname of "Guffer" following some extremely enthusiastic post-dinner 69'ing. That was never acknowledged between us either.  Perhaps we were too carried away, but I suspect we were both too polite to mention it.  Nowadays I suspect it would lead to gales of laughter, because noises happen, but we were young and far too enthusiastic to be reflective.  Or in any kind of a relationship.  Clearly.

So the chocolate ice cream.  I knew there was a point I had to return to.  A point as hard and sharp as Delilah's nipples when engulfed with a mouthful of the Vermont Stoners' Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  Taking a pint of it to bed on a rainy Sunday lunchtime transformed an afternoon otherwise only destined for a rerun of The Guns Of Navarone,  Whoop Whoop.  Cold, slippery and sweet, it lent itself to dairy based intimacy of a kind unavailable on daytime television, with delightful dark nuggets of chocolatey goodness... You can see where this is going, can't you?

Reader, it was fucking carnage.  When the post-coital Willy Wonka dozing subsided, we awoke to a scene akin to the aftermath of a coprophiliacs' convention.  Trainspotting's Spud would have been less embarrassed.  Not only were we streaked with dark brown effluence, but those promisingly cocoa-based chunks had secreted themselves in the most intimate of orifices.  And were melting, uninvitingly.  It's hard to maintain a degree of amorous intensity when alongside what appears to be Bobby Sands' sexy cousin.  Particularly when she's already farted in your face.

Jim broke it off with Carrie not long after that, mindful of enamel-influenced damage, and as a result of general fecklessness, too, I lost contact with Delilah. Not in quite the same way as I've lost the one who inspired this blog.  But she's gone too, so I'm going to have to move on.

At least I've learned some lessons:
  • Vanilla/White Chocolate are probably better for sex play on white bedlinen
  • There are some brilliant dating bloggers out there.  You should read them
  • Even though it might look like shit, it'll probably come out in the wash


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