Saturday, 23 January 2010

It’s a google thing……

Okay I’ll admit it, it’s one of my guilty pleasures – spying on exes that is. And I know it isn’t just me. Whether we’re happy in a new relationship or you’re single and hoping he comes to his senses any day now we’re all a little curious about what our exes are up to.

Even with exes who I despise, and would rather sleep with someone like Darren Day than bump into them, I weirdly find myself googling their name or stalking down their facebook page, in the vain hope that I may find out who they’re dating or what life has thrown at them since we parted ways. But what am I looking for? Something to tell me they’ve moved on? Something which shows they’re having a miserable life without me? Or just for a little giggle?

When I facebook stalked an ex last week I found out he’d gone on a blind date. I couldn’t help but have a little chuckle to myself – if you knew him you’d understand. I could just imagine him turning up to the date with as much enthusiasm as a clown on crack cocaine, the poor girl would leave wondering who the hell it was she just met.

And as my Mum always says (Yes I know Mums are always right!) you’ll never find anything good from snooping. But of course curiosity gets the better of us. And if they’ve dumped us we obviously want to know about how painfully unhappy they are since he made us cry (for at least two days – straight!). So of course we want to know if our recurring dream of them being dumped by their new girlfriend, losing their job and reaping that karma back has happened yet. But usually you’ll just find hurl inducing pictures of him and the new girlfriend smiling back at you.

A recent ex, annoyingly, had an open profile on facebook. And believe me, I tried my hardest not to facebook stalk him. When I dated him he proclaimed that he had an open profile because he had nothing to hide. Of course I realised the real reason when he dumped me - he was just a big show off. Especially as his profile gave me a running commentary of just how quickly he was getting over me and moving on, it quickly made those daydreams of reconciliation as realistic as ever snogging Bradley Cooper is.

And then, secretly of course, the comparisons start. ‘Why the hell is he seeing her? I’m so much prettier,’ ‘ha, gutted, he’s still living with his parents,’ ‘yes, he lost his job,’ and the list goes on until you feel like the gold medal winner in the race for ‘who has the better life’.

And it’s not just facebook which has been at the hand of my guilty stalking. I’ve also been known to use a little tool called google too. Being a journalist of course it's just research but sometimes I feel like I’ve crossed that line from sane individual to a deranged one. Do I really need to know how they’re doing at work, what they ate for dinner last night or how well they did in the egg and spoon race in 1988? Well you never know.

A friend of mine bumped into my first ever boyfriend the other day. Being over four years since we split up you’d think he’d have forgiven me for dumping him by now. After all I didn’t do any dirty deeds on him like cheat on him with his best friend, spit in his Mum's face or cut off any of his manly parts. But his childish behaviour would make you think I might have. So when my friend asked him why he wouldn’t accept her ever so polite friend request on facebook his reply was ‘well you know Sarah don’t you?’ Unlike me he had gone the other way –he was making pretty damn sure that I would never pop into his life unexpectedly and probably hoping that google will cease to exist any day now.

I’d like to say I’ll give it up one day, be the bigger person, get on with my life and not care about what they’re getting up to in cyber land. I’d like to think I could drag myself along to SEBA (stalking ex boyfriend’s anonymous) one day and say ‘My name’s Sarah and I google my ex boyfriend’s,’ but I really don’t think it will happen. Mainly because I’m sure a group like that doesn’t exist but also because it’s only a bit of fun. Of course, if I’m ever issued with a restraining order I may change my mind. But for now I’ll happily keep on googling and facebooking them – in secret of course, I mean I don’t want everyone knowing!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

It’s a Bliiinnndddd Date!

I’ve always frowned upon the concept of blind dates – at least when you’ve met a guy in a bar you sort of have an idea if you fancy them and get on. And the same goes for internet dating – their picture has caught your eye and you’ve had a chance to assess his height, if he’s a smoker and if he can spell correctly.

So when some friends of mine told me they had found me the ‘perfect guy’ I brushed it off. Did they really know my type? What if I didn’t like the look of him – would I hurt their feelings? Would I have to let them down gently, as well as him, if the first date was disastrous?

None of my blind dates have ever been that bad – but I've heard enough horror stories. The one that didn’t even bother to show up, the guy who bored my friend stupid about his ex girlfriend and the guy who was so far from my mates type she thought they chose him for a joke. And then there’s the rejection – before and after the date. When the matchmaker shows them your picture and apparently it’s a no go, when your friend says ‘actually I better not set you up – he’s a bit fussy’, or your date acts fine on the night only to forget you exist after you leave his company.

A friend of mine had a pretty disastrous blind date. She’d met him online only to realise that his profile had forgotten to reveal one small minor detail…..that he was the most boring guy she would ever meet. And once she got past the fact that he was 30 and still living with his parents, she wondered why she had given up a perfectly good night to spend it with Mr Boring Geeky Guy. So she did the only thing she could – she faked an illness! And after her golden globe winning performance, he left and she quickly threw on her dancing shoes and had one of the best girlie nights she’d had in a long time! Who needs men eh?!

And then there’s the guy I dated who had actually been on Blind Date, you know with Cilla and everything. Apart from him boasting about this and thinking he was famous because he had been the ‘picker’, it made me wonder how far my luck would stretch if I had ever got on it. Would I be date number three who went home empty handed and dribbling over the guy who rejected me? Or the one who picked date number one because of our shared interest in Matt Damon and musicals – only to find out the real reason he went on the show - a free holiday and a chance flirt with some Spanish boys?

But of course there are the exceptions. Some people have gone on to meet the love of their lives after an ever so kind friend set them up. I bet Gary Linekar got more than he bargained for when he turned up to meet Danielle Bux on their first date. He probably couldn’t thank his friend enough for setting him up on a blind date with her - and at least she gets free crisps for the rest of her life!

So when I turned up to the date I ‘tried’ not to have any expectations. I’d seen his facebook profile and a few emails had gone back and forth, but he was still virtually a stranger. So I was pleasantly surprised when I turned up to meet him - he wasn’t a loser with a chain smoking habit and neither did he bore me stupid about his Lego collection. In fact, he was pretty damn cute.

And he seemed pretty normal too. No other weird hobbies. No puffing on cigarettes on the way to the next pub. He wasn’t abnormally tall and seemed quite good at making sure the evening didn’t go from ‘good date’ material to potential ‘yep I see a blog in that – but not in a good way’ material. So it was just down to me to f**k it up really.

But I didn’t. Well only if you count how drunk I got and the amount of times I told him it was my birthday soon. But that’s just a normal date, right? And as the night progressed I realised we actually had stuff in common too, we made each other laugh, there were no awkward silences and he even let me share his crisps – what a gentleman!

The conclusion? Maybe I should let my friends pick all my dates in the future – especially when they obviously know my type more than I do.


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