Archives for the month of: October, 2012

There’s something I’m not that good at doing. It’s something integral to meeting other people, and it’s something everyone else seems really good at.

I can’t really tell if someone is interested in me, or just being friendly.

It’s a stumbling block, that’s for sure. For instance I’ll be out having a drink with friends, and the person behind the bar smiles at me as I order new drinks for everyone. I smile back, but inside I’m thinking is she being friendly? Is she smiling at me because she wants to sleep with me?  Is she smiling at me because I’m buying stuff from her? And then it’s all she’s making eye contact, is that pay me eye contact, or you’re quite hot eye contact? If it happens every time I go up to the bar is that a sign? Or am I reading way too much into nothing at all?

How do you know people? how do you know? It’s all terribly confusing.

I guess I should elaborate, I have little experience in this aspect of singledom, I’ve always been ‘chased’ so to speak, so haven’t really had to do this whole working out who’s interested thing, as the people who have been interested have made it pretty clear ( using poems, ( yes I had a poem written about me, an awesome poem, I was a fucking muse for someone! Seriously, it doesn’t get better than that ) and kissing and such ).

A friend said her tactic is to give a compliment to the potential person, and if they give one back you’re probably got a shot. I can see the logic in this, but I don’t want to get into a feedback loop of compliments, which is a very real possibility with me as I’d want to be sure they actually were interested…..

Me:”oh hai, I love your dress! ”

Them:”why thankyou, I love your hair!”

*awkward silence*

Me:”also, love your erm….hands”

Them:”uh, thanks, I think? I need to go over there now”

Me:*sad face*

I guess you have to practice, and get knocked back  a bit when you get it wrong, and then pick yourself up and try again. I can do this, I know, I’ve done way tougher things than trying to find out if someone is interested or not, and yet I still can’t help but think… why is it so tricky to tell what someone else is thinking?


I tried moving my bedroom around today to make more space. It did not go particularly well. Here are some useful tips I’ve learnt along the way which may come in handy if you should decide to do the same……

  • Measure the stuff you want to move. Then measure it some more, and measure the space you think the thing will fit into. Using your out-stretched arms as a measurement is not actually an accurate measurement as such.
  • Move all the stuff that’s likely to get in the way of moving big things, like beds for say, out of the room. Furniture Tetris is not as fun as you’d think.
  • When you do move stuff out of the room remember to start putting it somewhere away from the room to allow space for other stuff being removed from the room. The doorway to the room is not somewhere away from the room.
  • When lifting things remember that you do not have slayer like strength, so things will sometimes be heavy. Heavy things are bad and like to hurt your back. Hurt backs hurt and make you feel old.
  • Things that are heavy include mattresses, piles of books, books in boxes, random stuff also in boxes, chests of drawers. (Note-Everything seems heavy after you hurt your back.)

In the end I had to put everything back to how it was in the first place, because nothing fit where I thought it should. I effectively achieved nothing for the mornings work, other than a slightly broken bed ( from being move about too much ), a sore back ( from lifting heavy stuff ) and a sense of overall disappointment and failure.  Like I said, it did not go particularly well……

One thing I’ve noticed with being single is that I have lots of free time. When i was in a relationship it seemed that all my free time was used up being with that person, free time become couple time, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but it has made me less aware of actual free time. I think, because there’s someone else around to fill that time you become less aware of it.

But anyhow, I digress, whenever I’ve had free time, I’ve always tried new things out, to try and fill this new time I have. Sometimes these new things become things that I do all the time, and sometimes these things become things that don’t really fit, and I leave behind.

Things I’ve been into….

1. Dinosaurs (from  about 4 yrs old to about 12 yrs old ) – Dinosaurs are cool, they’re stupidly big, great to draw ( they look like how you’d draw them if you didn’t know what they looked like ) and they evolved into birds. What’s not too love?

2.Spirograph (for about 3 years in the 70’s ) – you make patterns with pens and shapes, the patterns mesmerise you, you make more, until every available surface is covered with  hypotrochoids and epitrochoids  of various colours and sizes. 

3.Playdoh (evolved form- Fimo) (from 4 to 14, on and off) – kind of went with dinosaurs, in that playdoh could be made into 3d dinosaurs, or at least vague representations of dinosaurs.

4.Guitar ( for 2 weeks when I was 16) – mostly hormones are to blame for this free time filler ( playing guitar=being in a band=being cool=sex ).  I was convinced as well that I’d have a natural talent for musical instruments and just be able to play them with minimal effort. Neither of these suppositions proved true. See also French Horn, Piano, Violin, Recorder.

5.Not doing things because people wanted me to do those things ( like forever ) – things that fall into this category include learning to swim, becoming a teacher, liking Pink Floyd,  sleeping at a reasonable/traditional time, being awake at a reasonable/traditional time, eating beetroot.

6.Body Combat ( now ) – you get to pretend to hit and kick whoever has pissed you off recently. To loud music.

7.Horses ( for 2 days in 1980 ) – I’d been toying with the idea of being into horses for a while, as it seemed pretty popular. Then I met actual horses and found them to be big, angry, bitey and unpredictable/sentient.

8.Soft Metal ( for most of 1989 ) – We’re talking Toto, Poison, Bad English, Mr Mister, Whitesnake, Europe, the list goes on and on. I can only apologise and move on.

9.The X-Files trading cards ( when i was 23 ) – I know. It seems a bit old to be into this to me as well.

I’ve just got home. I haven’t slept in my own bed for two nights. I’ve danced to obscure indie songs, most of which I didn’t recognise. I’ve watched Girls ( you should too, it’s very very good ) at at friends. I’ve stayed over and slept on a couch. I’ve rubbed someone’s back whilst they were sick and then cleaned up the mess. I’ve worked a stupidly busy day at work. I’ve drank a lot of rum, and also green tea. I’ve spoken to the person I miss most in the world using the magic of the internet, even though she’s 5,000 miles away. I’ve laughed till I cried at something that wasn’t even that funny really. I’ve had a very exciting time. Life is good…..

And yet…. I don’t know…. I see my friends in their relationships, and I think sometimes, even if it’s just for a while, even if it’s just a casual thing, even if it isn’t all whirlwind, heat and flash, maybe I’m missing something. I guess which ever side you’re on the grass always has patches that look greener from a distance…..

Last time I was single I used an internet dating site to try and meet people. It was exciting, weird and fun, and also often awkward.

There was a guy who I was messaging on and off for quite a while. He seemed really nice, into the same things as me, definitely ( or so I thought ) a possible candidate. He seemed quite sweet, which I like, and he’d shared some fairly personal stuff with me ( not that sort of personal stuff, I never open emails with photographic attachments from people I’ve met on t’internets, obvs ), which endeared me to him.

Now I know what you’re thinking, you cynical internet people, you. You’re thinking, classic seduction move, what’s wrong with you! He’s only sharing supposedly personal stuff because he thinks that’s what chicks dig. To which I reply ‘uh dur, I know.’ and then ‘also,”what chicks dig” ? hate to tell you this but we’re not in 1955 any more Marty‘  

But anyhow, I know its all part of the dance, so I went with it. We made plans, and decided to meet up. I followed the rules, public place (pub), tell someone where you’re going (flatmate), pack a weapon ( fork cellotaped to inside thigh ). We both arrived at the same time, sat down, had a drink, went to the ‘toilet’ to let our friends know we weren’t dead/kidnapped and then, just as things were going reasonably it happened.

Hotel Yorba by The White Stripes came on.

We were mid conversation when it started playing, and he held up his hand. He held up his hand dear reader, in my face. I’d like to imagine that the pub fell silent as he did this, like in a western, and then I kicked his ass ( with my fork ). It didn’t. I didn’t. Things got worse.

 “you know”  he said “they were so much more real, more like proper musicians before they sold out to the man”  He paused dramatically. “Of course I was into them years before that happened , when they were raw and untouched by commercialism, it’s such a shame everyone started liking them”

Now, the hand thing was bad enough, but a music snob as well? Suddenly my future did not include him in it.

I expect you’re thinking that I came up with some witty and clever put down about how it must be awful for Jack and Meg to have millions of people loving their music, and how he’s ( the date ) just a prick, but life of course doesn’t go like that. My hilarious and genius reply?

“erm, I kinda like them, Hotel Yorba makes me happy”  

Needless to say the date didn’t go on much further, and we didn’t see each other again. And yes, Hotel Yorba still makes me happy.

I haven’t been on a date since my last relationship broke up. It’s been like 6 months now, but I sort of don’t miss dating. I also sort of do.

I guess the solution is to actually go on a date, which is all fine and dandy, except erm… I have no-one to go on a date with. Everyone I know, with a couple of exceptions is in a relationship. A few years ago it was the opposite, where I was in a relationship and everyone I knew was single, but the universe has flipped the cards again.

The people I do know that are single, and possibly interested in me, I don’t actually find attractive anyhow ( Dating rule #1 find them attractive ) and anyhow, if I was to go on a date, I’d like them to be totally new to me ( Dating rule #2 don’t date friends ).

The thing is, life is great at the moment. Being single is a lot of fun, I come and go as I please, I do what I want, when I want, I am totally my own person, which is very very important to me, so maybe it’s not the right time for me to be dating anyhow. And yet, there is still that little part of me that’s you need someone, everyone else has someone, that’s what normal people do.  I don’t like that part of me, and I do discount it most of the time, because what’s normal anyhow, but you know how these things go, sometimes they get more of a hold than they should.

I guess if I was too start dating again, and I want them to be new, so to speak, then I could always do Internet dating, although that comes with it’s own risks ( Dating rule #3 when doing Internet dating, make sure they’re not serial killers or people you’ve already dated, which in turn leads to Dating rule #4 never go back, there’s a reason you broke up ).

On the plus though, it could lead to many amusing tales to tell……..


You know what’s hardest thing about breaking up with someone? What keeps me up at night if I think about it?  Even though it was for the best for both of us, even though I know it was the right thing to do, the fact that I hurt someone really, really badly is the worst thing I know right now.

 I think I know it’s the worst thing because I’ve been there and I’ve felt that hurt. It rips through you, it crushes your heart and it seems like it’ll never go away. And as much as I can compartmentalize it, every now and again it pops out of the box, and I realise I made someone feel like that because of something I chose to do.

Reading this it probably sounds like I regret breaking up with my ex, but I honestly don’t regret it, it was the right thing to do, I just wish it could of happened without her feeling like shit, and me feeling like a complete asshole.

I know time does it’s magic, and makes us feel less about things we felt more about once upon a time, and that is the way things should be, a world of lovesick people would be a very, very bad world indeed, it’s just it would be good if we could fast forward a little, to the time where they’re okay, in a relationship, moved on, and I’m not feeling guilty about something I had to do to save myself.

There will be times when I feel differently, but sometimes, in the dark night, or the early morning, I’m not so sure I want another relationship……..

I’m a fairly happy person. I potter about, in a perfectly happy mood, most of the time. Sometimes though that mood is broken. Sometimes something happens, normally something small and dumb, that flips the mood right round into bad mood.

Things that put me in a bad mood.

1. Not having enough sugar. ( actual sugar, not sexual innuendo sugar )

2. Being tired/Being woken up when still tired

3. Techno

4. Fancy dress

5. Being cold or wet

6. Banging my funny bone

7. Stubbing my toe

8. Queueing for stuff. Especially food.

9. Other people

10. Technology being a dick

11. Adults with baby voices

12. Adverts with made up words that sound vaguely scientific in them

13. Making lists of things that put me in a bad mood. Grrrrr.


So, being the Dumper is a different world. In the world of the Dumpee you have no choice, you future is dictated to you by another. In the world of the Dumper though, you make the future.

It sounds exciting right?  Changing the future, rushing headlong into new adventures, exploring new territories, living the dream. And it kind of is, but there’s a price. As always there’s a price.

In my case, and I imagine many others as well, that price is making someone else, someone you cared about, someone you may still care about, feel terrible. We’re talking making them feel rejected, ugly, empty and torn apart. It’s not an easy one to take. Being told by someone that they wish they’d never meet you,  that you’ve destroyed their faith in people, that you’ve broken their heart kinda sucks.

Dumping someone is hardcore, everything is tougher, the guilt, the trying to stay friends, the actual dumping. The being the Bad one, even if you know you’re actually not.

Saying all this though, if you have to do it, then you have to do it. After all, at the end of the day, the only person you’ll spend every waking hour with, for the rest of life, is you. And if you’re not happy then that’s going to be one miserable life. Without getting too theological about it, what if this all there is? If this is it, and then you die, you’d really kick yourself if you spent it being stuck in a relationship that was broken just because you didn’t want to hurt someone.

I dumped someone. I felt pretty shitty about it. I still feel shitty about it. But despite this, it was the right thing to do, because i’d feel even more shitty if i’d stayed.

Freiya Benson

Writer & Photographer.

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