Taking a break from all your Dating

If you have been reading my recent blog posts, you will know that I joined OKCupid about a month ago. I also joined Tinder (twice). The reason? I decided that the time had come to put myself out there, seize the day, to stop saying that I am probably going to die alone and be found weeks later having been partially eaten by a cat and a couple of hamsters without any clear justification. 

Well it’s been almost a month. And I am ready to run screaming to the hills.


Partly this is down to the fact that if the amount of likes I have recieved are any indication, I am about as attractive and interesting as a pint of curdled milk-which I kind of already knew, but it’s still not nice to be reminded of the fact on a pretty much daily basis. Partly it is because when I have messaged people I have been mostly ignored or, when I have recieved a reply, acted like an idiot. A pompous, kinda creepy idiot. It’s Freshers Week all over again.

But mainly it’s due to the fact that I cannot deal with this right now.

I don’t mean to be rude. Or to say or do things that make people cut contact with me as soon as they can. I really don’t. I just get scared. I get scared because I can’t read a situation and don’t know what people mean when they say things to me. I get scared because any minute now the person I am talking to will see the real me and so I try to be funnier or cooler than I am and succeed in being neither. I need to be on my own to recharge and think, but I’m scared that they will move on and leave me behind again, so I force myself to stay and become worse and worse and eventually I am just someone unpleasant they used to know and I am on my own.  Again.

Hey, remember when this Blog used to be funny? Remember Skins: The Abridged Series? Oh, the times we had!

I think I lied earlier. I didn’t start online dating because I wanted to put myself out there. I wanted to prove to everyone-most of whom I hadn’t seen in years-that I had moved on as well. That I had really changed. That someone cared about me. I looked at all the weddings and dream jobs and travelling and wanted to be able to say that I was like them. But I’m not. I’m still as slow as ever, struggling to catch up. Maybe I’m not meant to. Maybe that sort of life will only be in images and Facebook posts. Maybe it’s not for me.

So I’m taking a break.

I don’t want to end on a down note. Here’s the latest trailer for Justice League. 

Say what you want about Zak Snyder. The man knows how to polish a turd.

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How Honest should you be on OKCupid?

One of the biggest questions I have about my current foray into online dating is “What if this shit actually works?” On the one hand, I will have theoretically found a companion, someone to talk to and who doesn’t mind me touching them, etc. On the other hand, I will have to explain to this person just what the hell my problem is.

To recap:

When I was sixteen, a change in situation coupled with my first real experiences with sexuality triggered a series of obsessive and maniac behaviours which isolated me from everyone. I spiralled into depression and before I could completely recover, I went to University, which in turn triggered more obsessive/maniac/depressive behaviours. At some point I realised the only thing I was halfway good at was running and losing weight, so I kept doing that and developed an Eating Disorder which stayed with me for years and eventually led to me being hospitalised. I got out of Hospital and now live on a fixed routine designed to keep my anxiety levels low enough that I can force myself to stay healthy. Oh, and speaking of routines, my reliance on structure, my lack of physical coordination and inability to read social cues. I’m on four different medications, I feel scared and angry if something is out of place, and find eye contact nearly impossible.

I think that’s everything.


To be clear, none of what I just wrote made into my OKCupid or Tinder bios. For one thing it’s too long. For another, I thought that I could maybe get away with ugly, but not ugly and mentally ill. I’ve seen enough TV shows set in the Arrowverse to know that that is not a good combination.

Which still leaves the question as to how to explain to this hypothetical female what she has gotten herself into. I suppose I could always sit her down with a glass of wine, an iPad and every blog post I have written up to this point before wishing her good luck on her quest and jumping out the nearest open window. Or I could break it to her casually, like over a period of weeks or months as we get to know each other (“Sorry about freaking out in the Harvester Beb, but hey, at least you know why my Parents won’t go on Holiday with me again”). Or I could keep quiet and hope she doesn’t ask why I’m on first-name terms with the Chemist.

I feel it would be more honest to be upfront with any potential partners. I also feel that this is a terrible idea. In the past people have gotten uncomfortable when I talk about this stuff. And I knew them in real life. God above knows what the average internet user would make of my medical history.

It must be hard for people with mental illnesses to find someone. Granted, I know people with medical conditions who are happy and in love. But if they are anything like me, then striking a balance between being honest and baring all will always be an issue.

I suppose the correct answer is that the right person won’t care. The trick is not scaring them off first.

My first OKCupid conversation: Post-Game Analysis.

I have been part of the world of Online Dating for a little over a week. In that time, I have worked out that for every woman who might express an interest in me, there are exactly six hundred and twenty who think I am gross, or at the very least will swipe left. I have also worked out that even if you try to break the ice by sending a message to someone, it is very likely they will not respond. 


This is not uncommon. According to the internet there are literally hundreds of people (mostly men, admittedly) who have tried to start conversations and have been completely ignored. It is tough to strike a balance between “interested” and “creepy”, especially when the reciepiant of said messages is probably out of your league. Online dating gives people (again read:men) a lot of false confidence-they fall into the trap of thinking that any woman on a dating site is just as desperate and weird as they are. They are often wrong, hence the number of angry Reddit posts and Pick-Up Artists offering to redo a Tinder profile for a small fee.  

I think I have fallen into this trap myself. When I like someone, I tend to not only swipe right, but send them a message to break the ice. Nothing shady. Just boring (“Hi, how are you?”) or desperate (“Fancy a Chat”) or kind of weird (“I like your profile, is that a quote from Zombieland?”) It will come as no surprise to anyone that not a single person has responded to my messages. 

Except yesterday, someone did. 

I won’t go into exact details. I liked them, they liked me back, I said hello and they said hi. I won’t tell you what was said next. What I can tell you is this:

1) Physical compliments are good conversation openers, but be careful. Things like “I like your glasses” and “cool tattoos’ are fine, but don’t go further than that. I don’t know much about women, but I’m fairly certain that they don’t want to spend the conversation wondering if you have a Chubby On or not.

2) Try to keep it brief. If they wanted to read a novel, they would read a novel. You wouldn’t tell everyone your life story in real life, why do you think you could get away with it on the internet?

3) Good Grammar is an excellent indication of how well it’s going. If they are taking the time to write full sentences, they clearly think you are worth impressing. The choppier the syntax, the weaker the attraction.

4) One or two word answers to questions are a sign that they want to end the conversation. If they liked you and wanted to ke talking, they would say more. “Kl” means that they really want you to stop talking to them.

5) Don’t try to prolong things by asking questions. “Where do you work?” “Where do you live?” “Where do you see yourself in a years time?” are not only examples of creepy and annoying, but also makes it sound like you are conducting a job interview. Not sexy.

6) If they stop messaging you, stop messaging them. Don’t try contacting them or following them. In real life that would be considered stalking behaviour, so why do it online?

So there you have it. Talking to people online is just as difficult talking to them face-to-face. There are also a lot of entitled jerkoffs out there that use these sites, and I will have to be extra careful if I don’t want to end up one of them. I’m not sure if there is a third lesson.

Adam’s Continuing Adventures in Online Dating.

So, to recap: I have joined OKCupid. And have re-joined Tinder, having got over my initial anxiety regarding meeting people and wanting to cast a wide net. I’m not sure if this is sleazy or not. It feels pretty sleazy, if I’m honest.

Anyway, one interesting feature of dating apps such as Tinder and OKCupid is that you have the option of seeing how many people have seen your profile. Which means on top of knowing how many people “like” you, you can also work out how many times you have been swiped left.  It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this that I have done the maths, and (counting the people who I have summoned the courage to directly message who never responded, plus the the number of times in real life I have been told politely, firmly, loudly, or violently to fuck off) I have been rejected by exactly two thousand, two hundred and ninety-seven women. 

Bloody hell.

Look, I get it. I know I am not the stuff that dreams are made of. And almost three thousand women agree, apparently. If not more! 

Look at this Handsome Devil.


So how to proceed? Usually, when faced with confirmation of my neuroses, I would get very depressed and disheartened, give up whatever I had been doing that lead to this information coming to light, and spend a couple of week moping and telling everyone that will listen that I am dying alone. But I don’t really want to be that person anymore. As the woman once said, “No one will want to shag you if you cry all the time”. 

So what to do?

-Spruce up my profile

-Take a better picture than the one above.

-Maybe stop messaging people out of the blue

-Try doing something else. Like find a new job or write the novel I’ve been working on for a while.

-Don’t take it personally. Even though, bloody hell two thousand, two hundred and ninety-seven rejections. That’s a small town of people who think I’m gross. Not without cause, but Bloody Fucking Hell.

I’ve been Liked on OKCupid, and I’m not sure how to deal with it.

Once, for some reason, I thought it was a good idea to join Tinder. I saw sense and deleted it after five minutes. I then wrote a couple of depressing blogs about my romantic life up to this point (God, don’t you miss the days when all I wrote about was my mental health? I know I do!) and tried to move on with my life. However, I realised that unless I had actually done something and tried to put myself out there, I really had no right to complain about my lot in love. So I downloaded another dating app-OKCupid-set up a profile, and went to have my dinner satisfied that at least now I had proof that no-one in their right mind would ever think of me in that way.

That didn’t exactly happen.


As it turns out, people like me. OKCupid works on the same basic principle as Tinder. Swipe left for no, swipe right for yes, and you get a notification if anyone likes your profile. And I have gotten notifications. Not many notifications. Less than five. But it’s still more than I thought I was going to get. 

Women like me! 

I am not prepared for this. At all. It’s nice, but I have spent literally years telling everyone who could be bothered to listen that I was ugly, weird, and basically unlovable. To be shown that there are at least a few girls out there who think I am okay-looking at the very least flies in the face of everything I have ever believed. It’s possible that they have made a mistake. Or are Robots. Or that they have low self-esteem or every other man on OKCupid is either Fred West or Old Gregg the Funky Merman. But am I going to let any of these very real possibilities bring me down? No.

So what do I do?

Really, what the hell do I do?

Logically, I know the best thing to do is to talk to them like human beings and just be myself. But I know myself. You know myself. Myself is a car wreck at best. A car wreck that is guaranteed to disgust and frighten away. But I could at least message them.

“Thanks for the like!”

Yeah, that doesn’t sound too desperate.

“I’ve been on your profile and watched the YouTube videos you linked to. I really like them :)”

You know what else I like? Tracking you down on Facebook. And Twitter, and hiding in the bushes outside your house. Oy.

“Are you a robot? It doesn’t bother me if you are, I just feel I have a right to know.”

You entitled prick.

How do other people do this? I know that they manage somehow otherwise the human race would cease to exist, but seriously? What is the right thing to do and say in this situation? Not that I’m complaining. I mean, it’s nice. It’s nrealkt nice. I just need to find a way not to blow it.

Boogie Nights

Happy International Women’s Day! I hope you are feeling empowered. I know the owners of The Charcoal Burner are. My local Pub is to be turned into a nightclub, and while I have several questions regarding this venture-such as what this will mean for parking, how much noise there will be, and how on Earth they are planning to fit a whole nightclub into there-I thought that instead we could talk about one of the greatest examples of Female teamwork in the modern age: avoiding the Creepy Middle-Aged Dude in the Nightclub.

The easiest way to tell if you are dealing with a Creepy Dude is not, in fact, his overabundance of body hair or facial expression. In the dim light of the average nightclub it is pretty difficult to tell just how hairy someone is, and strange facial expressions could be the result of strobes going into their eyes, those drugs that the kids take, or finding out just how much a beer cost him. No, the two easiest ways to tell if you have a Creep is by gauging their age and regards for personal space relative to yours. If it looks like someone a good ten years older than you is about to grind on that delectable booty of yours, then you have a Creep. If they are the same age and keep trying to make eye contact, you have a Creep. And if someone a good ten years older than you is trying to get all up in your grill while making eye contact with the other girls with you, you have a Creep.

First contact is usually as fast and dirty as a kebab on roller skates. The Nightclub Creep generally makes himself known in much the same way the man wanking on the Tube does: He positions himself so that his genitals are pretty much the focus point, and then refuses to go away. He usually focusses on one girl, maybe to the edge of the group, whom he obviously thinks will be easy to isolate and potentially seduce. More fool him. What follows is, in my experience, a thing of beauty and tactical planning unmatched since the glory days of the Roman Centurion.

The first step is to draw the Targeted Girl back into the group. This is done subtly-someone takes their hand, maybe a couple of people dance/step to either side of her and force her into the middle of the dance crush. Either way, the first Girl Nightclub Creep went for is now out of reach.

Next, apparently ignoring the Nightclub Creep entirely, the group manoeuvres itself away and allows the crowd on the dance floor to form a second barrier of bodies.

Finally, they leave the dance floor, all the while treating the Nightclub Creep as if he were not even there. OR DO THEY? Look behind you-yes, by Jove, they’ve doubled back to exactly where they started! Nightclub Creep is trapped by the second barrier of bodies he is fighting his way through to get to the girls, who are just enjoying their evening exactly where they started.

The truly disgusting thing is that this group of girls may have to do this several times a night.

Anyway, an impressive little hack for if you are ever glommed on to by some Creepy Dude on a night out. If you are pressed for time or space, an alternative approach was perfected by the students of the (then) Bradbourne School for Girls. 

1.Identify the unwanted male’s penis.

2. “Accidentally” break bottle of drink on the floor.

3. Pick up broken bottle.

4. Drive glass into Urethra.

Either works.

A blow-by-blow account of trying to Friend someone on Facebook.

Thank God for the Internet. Thank God. In the not too distant past someone with my social skills would be cast out of society, living in a cave and eating rodents while observing the normals through a high-powered telescope, coming back into civilisation but once a year dressed like Santa in order to steal Christmas. But now thanks to Social Networking sites, my awkward brethren and I can have a wide social circle without all the hassle of going out, having conversations, or engaging in physical contact. It’s great.

Not that there aren’t any potential risks. Catfishing, Trolling, Piers Morgan’s Twitter account and casual racism/sexism…these are just a few of the things that could make your life a misery when you put yourself online. 

You could also get me trying to add you as a Friend.


Imagine, if you will, that you and I share a history. We might have gone to the same school or university. We may have worked for the same company or found ourselves burying things in the woods together one moonlit night. Due to the passage of time, you and I stopped talking (if, in fairness, we ever did much of that to begin with) and we have gone on to different lives. 

One evening, I find myself wondering what exactly happened to cause us to drift apart. I would like to know what happened to you in the years since we’ve last seen each other. Everyone I usually stalk on Facebook haven’t posted anything in a while. So I search for you. I find you. I friend you.

What follows is an account of what usually happens next. To me, anyway. 

1 minute-Feeling pretty pleased with myself to have found my new/old friend again, I go over their profile to see if I can come up with any clues as to what they have been doing for all these years. Most people have their profiles set to private now, but you can still look at Profile Pictures and Cover Photos. That means potential employers will still see what you look like drunk. 

5 minutes-As the old saying goes, a watched pot never boils. I put my phone down and do something else. Read a book. Write something. Listen to the yelling coming from the flat above me and try to work out who has been sleeping with what this time.

20 minutes-Still no notification that my friend request has been accepted. That doesn’t nessecairly mean anything. They might be in the Cinema. Or at work. Or be one of those people that just use Twitter now. Hey, I could look for them on Twitter!

50 minutes-Starting to worry now. Maybe I shouldn’t have sent that request. I mean, we did not part under the best of terms. There was the whole obsessive behaviour issue, for one thing. And some things that people find odd, such as the eating habits and watching The Mighty Boosh on my own in the corner. And the whining. SO MUCH WHINING, YOU GUYS.

1 hour, 20 minutes-I cannot find them on Instagram, despite my best efforts and going through mutual friend’s followers. Someone has posted a Story about Bath Salts. I die a bit inside.

1 hour, 58 minutes-Composing a message to try and break the ice. “Hi” doesn’t feel right. Neither does “Long time, how’s things?” “Are you okay? It’s been too long!” and “I’m sorry I creeped you out beyond belief, I am very embarrassed by it now, you have every right to hate me, please don’t call the police”.

2 hours-Maybe I should just cut my losses and withdraw the request. I think you can do that. But what if they’ve already seen the notification? WHATDOIDOWHATDOIDWHATDOIDO?!”

3 days later-WHATDOIDOWHATDOIDOWHATDOIDOWHATDOIDO

Don’t worry. You are still my best friend. This is just meaningless flirting online, it doesn’t mean anything.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Inpatient Snacks, ranked.

It’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I’ve made no secret of my time with an Eating Disorder, especially the part where I was basically sectioned in order to prevent my death. But one thing I have not spoken about-at least not at length-is the snacks. You see, if you go in for Inpatient treatment, you are expected to eat at least three hearty snacks a day on top of three hearty meals you heartily spend time attempting to avoid by any means nessecary. (You always fail, but you try to escape anyway as a means of something to do. You’re like a very skinny Steve McQueen that way.)

Unlike meals, there are a wide variety of snacks. Not too wide. That would freak people out, and no-one wants that. But there are a few different options for the discerning Inpatient. I hope that you, Constant Reader, will never find yourself in the situation where you are hospitalised with a severe eating disorder. But just in case you are, here is a Former Inpatient’s guide to the best and worst Snacks the NHS have to offer.

5. MILK


I spent almost four months drinking Milk under the watchful eye of Nurses who would much rather be playing Angry Birds. FOUR MONTHS. I’ve had hot milk. I’ve had cold milk. A few of the people in the unit mixed Nesquik in with their milk, but the Anorexic side of my brain (which I ended up calling Reverse-Adam despite my counsellor’s claims that I “wasn’t taking the exercise seriously”) firmly put its foot down at that point. So I carried on drinking Milk. Every. Single.Day.

Why is Milk even on the list if it was such an unbelievable pain in the rectum? Because the very idea that one day you might be well enough to never have to drink a single drop of milk ever again is a superb motivator. As snacks go it is pretty underwhelming, but as a way of getting you to actually work on recovery, it is second to none.

4. POPCORN


New at this whole “Recovery” business? Want to look like you are eating Crisps but feel like you are somehow getting one over on the Nurse who took your iPad away for trying to research the calories in Supper? Then this is the snack for you! For some reason everyone thought these were less salty and sugary than Walker’s Crisps, which is a bit like thinking a Pigeon is a bit less of a bird than a Duck. No-one stopped to think that the reason we were allowed to have it was because the staff knew we were in no danger of losing weight by eating it. But Anorexia is like that. 

3. NAKD BARS


You’ve got that thing

That I’ve been looking for

It says that you are Gluten Free

And so that means you must be health-y

You’ve got that thing

That I’ve been looking for

Been searching the list for so long

And I really hope that you won’t go

You are, you are, you are, you are, you are, you are

Everything that I’ve dreamed of, a bar that isn’t chocolate

You are, you are, you are, you are, you are

Making this whole thing much easier

Yeah yeah

Just say you feel the way that I feel

I’m feeling I won’t gain weight,But really I will gain weight

Just say I won’t, can’t we make a deal?

I’m feeling it’s like Popcorn, a placebo that you won’t hate….

2. BISCUITS


The humble biscuit can be pretty terrifying to someone in the grip of an Eating Disorder. Which is why they are given two of them a day and made to eat every crumb. Biscuits are there to act as a way of conquering fear of food. They are there to remind people who are being treated for an Eating Disorder that food is nothing to be afraid of and even enjoyed if you dip it in your hot milk. Biscuits have about a forty per cent success rate. But points for trying.

1. MOCHAS


Once you reach a certain weight, you are allowed to go out once a week for a Coffee and a Muffin. There is nothing quite like drinking a Mocha out in the real world. Or the M and S cafe. (Delete where applicable). Mochas represent independence. Mochas represent getting better. Mochas represent considering doing a runner, but realising that there is nowhere really to go in the industrial park, and so deciding against it. For now. Just don’t leave any doors unlocked! Or do, whatever.

Stay healthy, boys and girls. Don’t do anything I would do.