Suddenly finding yourself single can often leave you reaching desperately for the Ben and Jerry’s, in front of Love Actually, The Notebook or anything with a scantily clad Ryan Gosling, wondering where things went wrong. But after the chocolate fix and the support of loved ones you dust yourself off and have that moment of realisation, you now answer only to yourself. It’s your time to do whatever it is that you want, whether it’s learning to knit or skydiving – your life, your choice!
Unfortunately, however, some people tend to forget it’s your choice, as did my sister when she thought it would be amusing to enter me for Channel 4s ‘First Dates’. On a dusk run through the countryside I noticed my phone flashing away. I manage to answer with an out of breath ‘hello’ to the caller, Jessica, who was calling on behalf of ‘First Dates’. I was, of course, clueless on the other end of the line until my darling sister ‘fessed up to applying for me! I still haven’t worked out whether it was out of kindness or spite, or just the humour of watching me squirm on an awkward first date watched by millions. I begrudgingly set off to London for my preliminary interview, in the hope that I am matched with someone fairly sane. Ideally the love child of Ryan Gosling and Tom Hardy but you can’t be too picky these days. Stay tuned – the filming and blind date will take place next month…
For the travelling girl it can be tough at times to meet someone, especially someone that understands spontaneity and adventure and can deal with an empty bed most of the year round. But in some ways, the answer lies in your phone. Yes I am of course talking about the Big T. The virtual matchmaker. Tinder. A dating app that brings memories of terrible first dates, embarrassing stories or on the rare occasion a mediocre dinner with someone that (if you’re lucky) just about resembles their profile pictures. Nevertheless you can’t deny it’s a great way to meet someone anywhere in the world. For those of you that are novices, here is some advice, that might just get you that number, date or even Netflix and Chill. First and foremost, the art of a good conversation is a total winner, remember, the first impression is the most memorable! “Hey”. No one will bother replying to a message that can be typed with a broken hand. At least ask a girl how she is? It’s a bit unoriginal, but it’s better than nothing. At the other end of the spectrum, simply asking for a night between the sheets will get you nowhere. Stick between those boundaries and you’re off to a flying start.
I will admit, now being a Tinder connoisseur myself, around 3 in every 100 guys you swipe might just take you on that breath-taking date. Whether it be in Utah on a business trip or reviewing a hotel in Rome, the days of ordering room service for one are over. So far I’ve enjoyed cocktails on Bournemouth Beach in the setting sun, historical castle tours and Sushi in Covent Garden, whilst being entertained by street performers. I say, for all the single readers, embrace it.*
Recently, and topping the leader board for me was an evening in front of an open fire at a quirky, and quintessentially British pub, a bottle of rose on ice and a guy that listened to all my adventures and had plenty of his own stories to share. I won’t go into detail about how lack of food and too much wine will only end embarrassingly – it’s a miracle that he want’s to see me again!
But dating is not always easy for someone who always has a suitcase packed and her passport ready to go (Unless you want to marry that Malaysian taxi driver that kept proposing to you or those cheeky Italians that constantly yell out ‘Ciao Bella’) If you’re lucky you’ll get the odd genuine guy that goes out of his way in a luxury spa to have a hand written note passed through to the changing rooms by a slightly irritated beauty therapist. Hang in there girls! Real gentlemen are still out there, you just have to know where to look.
Travelling for a living will always come with its challenges whether you want some company on the beach or a life-long partner in crime. Not only do they need to have a few extra qualities to put up with dating a travel writer, there’s the extra trust needed when you’re both apart and the logistics of dating someone that is half a world away. I am yet to have a Skype Dinner Date, a concept that is fast becoming a popular form of dating for those in long distance relationships – I guess it brings a whole new meaning to online dating! It’s just one way of how we as humans can adapt and will continue to adapt so that 5 miles or 5000 miles won’t interfere with matters of the heart.
*It goes without saying, have a little common sense before you meet someone online. Always let someone know where you are going, who you are meeting with and check in with them through out the date.
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