Close your eyes and imagine this: you’ve been in a comfortable relationship for five years.
You haven’t even had to think about dating in your adult life, and then all of a sudden you are thrust into uncharted waters full of 11.30pm ‘Hey, you up?’ messages, super-likes and serial ghosters.
I wish I could join you in this fun imagination exercise, but late last year my heart was broken and this became my reality. I thought I would be devastated forever, but now, a few months into 2020 I’m well and truly over my ex, and have a completely whole heart that is open to love and dating.
So just how different is being a single woman on the dating scene versus being a long-term girlfriend? VERY. Let me tell you all the things I’ve learned.
Oh, you don’t believe in ghosts? THEY ARE OUT THERE.
My dating apps share a strong resemblance with everyone’s favourite movie: Paranormal Activity. You’ll be talking to a guy for days, weeks even. You’ll meet up for drinks, maybe it’s even looking promising, and then all of a sudden…nothing. For all you know they could have fallen off the face of the earth, you might even double-text to make sure they’re alive…listen to me. They ARE alive, they are just making a conscious choice to ignore you.
It’s rude, and you deserve better. Move it along.
First dates can be tedious.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t potential, but before you get to the good stuff you have to cover all the basics. You’ll recap your family trees, your age, your death-row meal, your favourite subjects at school, and where you grew up over a glass (or three) of house white. These are all entirely thrilling discussions, especially if you’re going on one or two first dates every week…and there is a chance you’ll forget who you’ve told about your dog, and which guy is the teacher with two brothers. I suggest doing a read through of your messages before the date to refresh your memory.
My preparation for a first date v ‘date night’ in a long-term relationship is wildly different.
Date night used to be pizza and The Great British Bake Off on the couch in my comfiest pyjamas, and the only makeup I’d be wearing was the last-remaining hint of mascara that had managed to stay on throughout the day.
Now that I’m dating, I like to look and feel my best. I’m much more confident when I’ve got a bouncy wave going on, maybe a little bit of gradual tan and a beaming white smile. So the night before I’m exfoliating and shaving, applying my gradual tan (followed by thoroughly washing my hands to avoid tan-hands), giving myself a fresh blow dry and topping up my pearly-whites with Colgate Optic White’s Overnight Teeth Whitening Treatment Pen (which works simply and effectively overnight, and is enamel-safe). It gives you visibly whiter teeth in one week, and three shades whiter teeth in two weeks. I wake up feeling like a brand new woman.