Have you seen the Sound of Music? You know the scene when the eldest daughter, Liesl, sneaks out into the night to meet Rolf and is so overcome with happiness she spins round and round laughing in the pouring rain? Well, right now I am Liesl von Trapp, apart from I’m not 16 going on 17 (and luckily my man is not a Nazi).

Did I actually spin around in the pouring rain? Of course not. I think I would have scared him away. The one great thing about age and experience, is that it makes you cool and collected… on the outside at least. I suppose girls never truly age when it comes to matters of the heart!

So let me tell you about my day at the seaside in the pouring rain… Wake up naturally at 7:56am. Check train times (9:12am), check weather (wet and cold). Get out of bed at exactly 8:36am feeling calm, and excited, and slightly apprehensive that I only have about half an hour to get my train. What do I wear for our date out of London? I’m thinking warm, comfortable, slightly rural, but cute. Abercrombie & Fitch skinny jeans, Ralph Lauren beige top, Nine West black leather flat biker boots, Abercrombie & Fitch burgundy lamb wool fleece, Barbour beige quilted jacket and green checked scarf. Make up? Natural. A bit of Mac Solar Riche bronzing powder, Mac shimmer blush (nice pink cheeks), some Benefit the’re Real! Mascara, and Vaseline aloe vera lip balm. Hair? Long, down, and a bit messy (well it’s going to be windy). And I’m out of the house by 8:56am and walking at a slightly rushed pace to the station.
Oh sh*t! I forgot my Young Person’s Railcard but there’s no time to go back. So my journey is £19:50 more expensive, but I don’t care.

10 minutes to spare in my changeover station, so I pop to Caffe Nero and grab a skinny chai latte and some porridge with soy milk and berry compote, and I’m off out of London on a 2 hour train ride!

During the journey I think again about how nice it is that I am not worrying about his opinion of me or what he thinks. I do momentarily worry that he will stand me up, and then I remind myself that I’m being silly. I suppose I am slightly apprehensive though… Because what if I don’t like him? And then I smile at the change in my perspective.
Then comes the first big decision to make… Where do we meet? He’s just had a serious operation so is unable to drive and living at home (his parents’ home) whilst recovering. He can pick me up from the station, but his mum would have to drive us (*is he cool with me meeting his mum? or does he feel obliged to offer?* … Stop over thinking things!). Or I walk 20 minutes into the city centre… In the rain. I worry that meeting parents goes against our agreement to take it easy and not be intense. So I… Take a taxi. You can take a girl out of London, but you can’t take London out of the girl! :)

What do you do in a seaside town when there are strong winds and heavy rain (obviously going back to his home is an option I quickly rule out)? You apparently get dressed head to toe in water proof clothing and embrace it. He brought a whole bag of waterproofs and warm clothes in case I wasn’t prepared for the weather (aww). I have fun trying on his waterproof trousers, but they don’t fit… so I settle for a wooly hat, and an oversized waterproof coat… well there goes my attempt to look cute, thank god I didn’t spend long planning my outfit! And I like being dressed a little bit dorky, it makes me all giggly.
And we go out onto the pier. And we laugh. And we walk along the beach. And he catches me when I nearly get blown away in the wind (Damzel in distress!). And we kiss but our faces our so wet that our faces slide off each other. And we giggle. And we clash teeth. And we laugh. And we go for food. And he pays (which means more when your man is poor and unemployed). And we take turns drying our jeans in the bathroom with the hand dryers. And we walk through the town. And we drink hot chocolate. And he gets whipped cream on his nose. And I giggle. And he wipes it over my face. And we laugh. And we go into the woods and have a woodland walk. And we sit on a waterproof (he picks a spot with a nice view). And we kiss. And I stop myself from singing love songs in my head. And we kiss. And we get wet. And we don’t care. And we kiss (*man, I wish we had a bedroom!*). And a squirrel comes right up to us, and I compare myself to Snow White, and then I remind myself to get a grip and stop turning my life into a Disney love story! And then finally, when we are so cold and wet we can’t kiss anymore, he decides that I can’t get the train back to London damp. So his mum comes to pick us up. And we go to his house. And we meet his brother. But I don’t care. Because I’m not freaking out, and I’m not over thinking anything, and it feels nice. And I have a cup of tea, and put my boots by the fire, and see his room. And I get in his shower. And… Oh hello, you’ve joined me in the shower ;) (a lady never tells remember) … And about an hour later and I’m back on the train to London.

And I’m not stressing. And I’m not worried that it’s intense. And I love that we laughed and had fun despite the miserable weather. And I have butterflies. And I’m smiling. And I giggled like a little girl all day. And I’m trying to snap myself back into reality… but I’m comparing myself to Liesl in the Sound of Music. Well I did warn you I was a hopeless romantic!

How do I feel? I just feel… And. Because and is a word that needs something to follow it. And who knows, maybe something will. Or maybe it won’t. But that’s also fine, because everything happens for a reason, and at least I don’t have Sunday blues. :)

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For those of you not familiar with cockney (people from London) rhyming slang, ‘telling porkies’ means telling lies. And my dearest readers, this is an apology to you, because I have lied to you. It’s something I would like to call a white lie, but it’s a lie nontheless.

What did I lie to you about? I hear you ask. All will be revealed, I promise. How could I lie to you? I know, I know. I am new to the whole blogging-about-my-private-emotions thing, and I felt guarded, but going forward I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me God.
In my last post, ‘Hello! is it me you’re looking for?’, I wrote about some of the men that have been in my life since breaking up with Jules. I wrote about their V’s, their N’s and the reasons our romance came to an end. Well… it has not exactly ended with the man I named the extremely personal Number 4. Why did I say it had? Well that gets me onto a discussion surrounding the complication and confusion of new relationships. To do that, and to make it up to you for my dishonesty, I suppose I must tell you the story of this man, and how he made it into my life. As I have previously mentioned, I do respect his privacy, but I do need to give him a name so that he becomes a slightly more personal character than just 4. So I name him my man. Obviously, he is not literally MINE (and maybe he never will be), but he’s the only one I’m interested in right now…

So let me tell you the story of my man and I so far…

We met about one month ago whilst on a yachting holiday in the Adriatic sea. Josh was with a big group of his friends, and I with a big group of mine. I was attracted to him from the moment I laid eyes on him, and luckily for me, the feeling was mutual. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a yacht, but there is not much privacy. On top of that, I’m a classy girl, and I did not want to give him the satisfaction of being his holiday romance. This meant that during our week’s holiday, we developed a rather lovely emotional relationship. It also felt a bit like a teen romance, because there were no mobile phones and we had no mutual friends, so were excited to bump into each other and slightly nervous to be around each other. And, wow, did we kiss like teenagers! We kissed because there was a crazy attraction, and because, well… that’s all I would allow, despite his many attempts on yachts, pavements, deck chairs (ok, so it may have happened once on the deck chair!) , club car parks, et cetera et cetera. But my rule was clear, I was not the type of girl he could mess around on holiday (and he was kissing other girls, and I knew because he told me as he didn’t want to betray me, which I suppose you have to respect). By the end of the holiday, I couldn’t wait to spend time alone with him, so I did something incredibly bold and invited him straight back to mine from the airport.

I landed the day before, and well, it seemed a logical thing to do given that we developed a nice bond and he was flying back into London. And it was fun. And intense. But fun. And he told me that he was ‘into me’, and I told him that ‘I liked him’, and he came back to London a few days later, and then a few days later. And he took me on our first date (it’s a weird order I agree): we went to the theatre in London, and then for Mexican Street Food, and I thought things were great. Intense, but great.

And then it happened. The moment that the fantasy and the unsustainable intensity came crashing to reality. I got into my bed after the date … and I lay on his shoulder… and looked up… and he was … texting a relatively famous TV Presenter. I didn’t even mean to look. I just looked up and I saw the name. And, oh God. Why is he texting her? He already told me he kissed her before we met, and said he was flattered she paid him attention, but he made it out like that was it. She took someone else home that night (she must be a slut!). Why did he tell me a half truth? Why oh why oh why oh why is he texting another girl. Sure, guys had asked me on dates. But I liked my man and I wanted to see how things went without any risk of ruining the present.
So I got angry and I did was any other irrational girl would do and… let my rage fester and not say anything. And have him pester me to tell him what’s wrong. And fester. And pester. And fester. And pester… and WHY ARE YOU TEXTING A GIRL IN MY BED! Ok, there we go. Playing it cool.

One thing I would recommend, is not allowing yourself to have ‘the chat’ with someone when you are not sure the outcome you want yourself. Because then you end up in a conversation like this: “I like you but I don’t know how much… I don’t know what I want from you, I don’t care… but I do care… oh this is really intense, we don’t even live in the same city…” I’ll let you put it all together.

So he went home, confused at what he had done wrong, because it was just ‘innocent flirting’ (again, too much information but I love his honesty). Confused at what he wanted from me. Worried that things were too intense, and worried that we had told each other too much. And I was left at home and I felt… well, what did I feel? Hurt. Hurt because I liked him, surely… or because, as I have told you I am proud, and he should respect me, and like me, and not want to message other girls. Why does he not like me? Why are all guys cheating a**holes like Jules? Why am I comparing him to Jules? We aren’t even officially together, I don’t even know how much I like him… But I want him to like me. Oh no, what if he doesn’t like me anymore because he thinks I am a crazy jealous person. Am I a crazy jealous person?

And that is exactly what ran through my mind over the following days, and that’s exactly what I felt. Anger. Sadness. Confusion. Worried about what he thought of me. Worried that he didn’t like me anymore.

And then I met the psychic, Katie Winterbourne (see my earlier post), and I got my pre-Jules-days confidence back. And through this confidence my attitude and anxiety shifted. I stopped thinking about the ‘What if he doesn’t like me?’, and ‘what if he thinks I am too…’, and I thought what do I think, and what do I want, and how does he fit into that? And that is an empowering feeling. And I realised there is really no need for the anxiety, no need to worry about ‘what if’, and no justified reason to be angry, so I swallowed my pride. And I messaged him. And I was just honest. Honest about liking him. Honest about feeling hurt and WHY I felt hurt. And honest about feeling it was too intense. And I realised that the beginning of relationships are always confusing, and awkward, and uncertain. But that should be part of the excitement and not the reason for anxiety. And I am the one in the driving seat. I act because I feel, I will no longer act because of how he might feel if I don’t. I am myself. And if he doesn’t like it, then it is his loss. And this feeling is really empowering, because men will no longer be able to project their own vision of me onto me, and I will no longer bend and stretch myself because I am concerned about them liking me. And I think (hope) men will like that confidence.

So I decided that it’s ok if it doesn’t work out. And it’s ok to try it, because it doesn’t have to be about pride. Pride is just a barrier for fear. Fear that someone might betray me like Jules did. But pride might prevent me from moving forward. Is my man a bad guy for messaging other girls? Well maybe for doing it from my bed, but maybe that proves the innocence of it all. And I suppose he really didn’t do anything wrong because we aren’t in a relationship, and by messaging girls it doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect me. He respects me because he is honest with me when I need him to be, and that is enough. And that is already more than Jules offered.

Today I text him, and I said I wanted to get out of London (well I’m not going to be too keen and tell him it’s cause I want to see him ;-) ). And in 7 hours I will be on a train to spend my Sunday with him by the seaside (I really need my beauty sleep).

So, yes, I did lie to you. But I also lied to myself. Because it’s easier to walk away, than to risk getting hurt. But if you don’t take a risk, then you will never know. So until tomorrow night, dear readers, I already can’t wait to tell you about it. Let the adventure begin! :-)

In my new found enthusiasm to take me and my heart on an expedition into the uncertain land of the male species, I decided to join some dating sites today. That’s a good way to find the perfect man, right? We’re in the twenty-first century, so it’s a perfectly acceptable way for busy London professionals to meet their soul mates…right? I mean, come on, there were 8,174,100 people in London in 2011 alone! That number can only have increased in the past year, and, let’s be honest, I only have a few hours in the evening and the weekends to get searching. That may sound like a lot of time, but once you subtract essential girl-time, me-time, and extra-curricular free-time, that does not leave a whole lot of hours to narrow my search down from 8,174,100 to 1. And since I am constantly being bombarded with adverts assuring me that “more couples get married on match.com than any other dating site“, I naturally decided it was a pretty good place to start.

I don’t know if you’ve ever joined a dating site, but it’s not as easy as it looks, trust me. There is one crucial part of the application form, and that is … describing your ideal man. They try to make it easier for you by offering tick boxes. But this is equally as stressful! What if my dream man turns out to be ‘heavier build‘ and I never meet him because I only ticked the ‘athletic build‘ box. To make it worse, there’s a little note in the top right of my screen reminding me that the more specific information I offer about ‘my type’, the more chance I have of finding my perfect man. No pressure then!

So all this got me thinking about what it is I am really looking for. Are we really so shallow that our dream man can be discovered by his aesthetic qualities? Is it just the romantic ideallist in me, or can’t the perfect man just be anyone that makes you laugh and sweep you off your feet? But then the question is, what is it that makes me laugh, and what is it that would force my feet to leave the ground?

The more I think about it, the smaller it makes me feel in this huge city of men. Can it really be possible to describe a man you have never met? And what if you can describe your man? You can describe him so well, in fact, that you shut your eyes to all the other wonderful men that pass you by because they aren’t tall enough, or rich enough, or multilingual enough. Will that mean you are a bitter and lonely 50 year old still blogging about being alone in London? It’s a scary thought.

And then I joined a dating site called Whatsyourprice.com. This is a website where beautiful women sign up and receive offers to go on dates with men. Cash offers. Men will pay you money to take you on a date, and there really is no catch or sex obligation at the end of it. Sounds ideal right? Right…? That was until I began to receive offers. It was the offer of £140 (really, I’m not joking) that it made me think that this is the kind of man that I really DON’T want to meet. Flashy men. Men that have nothing to offer but stone cold cash. The kind of men that London is full of. Men that want you to sit at their table in a Mayfair club. Men that think dinner at Nobu, or a glass of champagne in Mahiki is enough to get into your pants, and probably your chest as well (your heart, I mean, not your breasts, although I am sure the latter is much more appealling to them).

So then I thought, maybe I can find out what I do want, by ruling out what I don’t want. And what better way to work this out than by looking at some of the men that have been in my life since Jules… And I did promise you some ex-lover information! I respect the privacy of these men much more than THE ex, so I shall merely number them, I am sorry to be so untrusting of you dear readers.

1. Profession: Rugby Player (professional). Height: 6’8. Build: BIG (read that however you will, but I’m far to classy to confirm, darrrling). The V (which you will of course know from my first post to mean ‘The High): Seeing Adele live in a small Concert. The N (the Low, not that I am insulting your intelligence!): Finding out his ex girlfriend was a famous actress. Ended: Because I was still in love with THE ex.

2. Profession: Law (student). Height: 6’1. Build: (m)anorexic. The V: First Date at Winterwonderland and he bought me Jack Wills hat, scarf, & gloves as a surprise to go iceskating. The N: No girl wants to eat more than her man. Ended: Because I wasn’t comfortable with being his Jewish Princess, although the designer gifts were great, it just wasn’t me.

3. Profession: Manager of a rather well known American clothing company famous for its shirtless models *cough cough*. Height: 6’5. Build: Muscular. The V: The sex (ok, maybe not so classy, but I’m not going into details). The N: Not having a great deal to talk about. Ended: Because hearing ‘I really need to go to the gym more’ (despite going daily) not only becomes tedious, but doesn’t do wonders for your own self-esteem.

4. Profession: Olympian Athlete (I know, I’m still impressed too). Height: 6’5. Build: Athletic (I know!). The V: Having a crazy beautiful holiday romance. The N: Him kissing and texting nearly every other female that showed interest. Ended: Because he was texting a TV Presenter from my bed, and I’m not good at ‘letting things go’ or ‘acting cool’ in certain situations.

And unfortunately that brings us to the end of my number sequence (for now). What does that tell me about my pattern of men, and therefore my type? Perhaps that I have a poor judge of character. Certainly, that I like tall men (that’s one box I can confidently tick!). But all these affairs were wonderful and awful in their own way, and the men are completely uncomparible. And most importantly, they clearly weren’t The One. So dear readers, I suppose what I can decipher from looking back into my romantic closet is that I really don’t have a specific type (do I?), and it really isn’t as simple as ticking (or not ticking) a box. And that’s ok. Ticking lots of different boxes does not mean I am desperate. In fact it means quite the opposite. It would be much more desperate to stay with someone because they tick the boxes despite the fact you do not feel it in your heart of hearts. What I know is that it is great to date different people. And it is also great to end it with wonderful people. Because wonderful people don’t always mean they are perfect, for you.

So I suppose this doesn’t get me any closer to knowing anything about the type of man I’m looking for, so my adventure is no nearer completion now to when I joined match.com. But I am sure as hell open-minded to meeting some different men along the way, although I’m fairly convinced I won’t be meeting them online!

This afternoon I went to visit a psychic.

I  suppose I should have established that I am not a crazy person before I dropped that into post number 3 of my blog. But I am not ashamed of it because it’s the best money I’ve spent in my life.

How does this fit into being aloveinlondon? Well I didn’t expect it to, until the first ‘energy’ she picked up was relationships, particular the “disappointing” role a particular one has played in my life.

I suppose this is the opportune time to bring up the dreaded story of my ex-boyfriend. I won’t give him a secret name, because he doesn’t really deserve one. I am also optimistic that this will be the last post I have to write about him (famous last words). So let me tell you, very briefly about the story of Jules…
Boy sees girl. Boys likes girl. Boy facebooks girl (oh come on, it’s the 21st century right?). Girl ignores boy. Girl’s boss bigs up boy. Girl not interested. Boy starts calling girl (thanks boss). Boy texts girl. Boy gives final facebook plea to girl. Girl takes pity on boy and meets boy for a drink. Girl falls for boy (there were many wonderful dates in between, it’s not that easy). Girl feels wonderful and stable with boy who adores her. Girls tells boy he’s amazing. Boy tells girl… He’s not over his ex girlfriend. CRASH BOOM POW! There we have it, the first emotional explosion that shattered what was really quite a lovely love story.

If only that was the end of it. That would be enough for most people. This is where the romantic ideallists differ from your regular girls. So certain was I that Jules was right for me. So shocked was I that this man who whisked me off my feet was having doubts (how dare he), that I decided to wait by his side. In fact, I encouraged him to face his ex girlfriend (an actress from New York) and next thing he was off on a plane to New York to see for himself that perfect Kate (real name) was nothing but nostalgia. In the mean time I sit and listen to Mumford & Sons’ album Sigh No More, and Ellie Goulding‘s album Lights – two albums that sum up my feelings at the time more perfectly than any words will ever be able to (and both still my favourite albums, but I digress!).

And sure enough *cue Halleluja music*, a few horrible months later, and we are reunited, and he thanks me for my understanding, and is assured that what we have really is greater than he ever had with Kate. … FINALLY ♥ ! … and then two weeks later he was cheating on me with a supermodel whilst in South Africa. Crash! Boom! Pow! … and you only find out months later after tortuing yourself as he’s closed off to you, and so you do the crazy phone detective thing that no girl ever likes to admit to doing, or want to do, and you discover he’s texting said supermodel and arranging to fly her to London and then to Paris for the weekend. POW!
It wasn’t so much the story of infidelity that shattered my confidence. It wasn’t even the year and a half this pitiful (one-sided) love story dragged on for that drained me. It was all the words, and all the put downs, whilst he tried to find out who and what he wanted, that left me feeling completely and utterly deflated. Being told by the man who you perceive to be the love of your life that you (and I quote) just don’t stimulate him enough intellectually. Being told that you are better than… well actually everything that makes up your life. Which in reality means that your job, your friends, your hobbies, actually everything about YOU is just not good enough.

How does that make you feel? It makes you feel, no, it makes you BELIEVE, that YOU are just not good enough. And how do you pick yourself up from that?

Well according to the psychic (she’s called Katie Winterbourne and is absolutely divine, I would recommend her to any of you based in London), you are left not really knowing who are you. You are left “introducing yourself without knowing you are introducting the person to”. You are left sad and angry. But let’s not forget that I am very PROUD. So this is all kept very very low beneath the surface, and on the outside I am vibrant, and on it, and energetic! And well, that’s exhausting. And you can’t expect someone to know you when you can’t even show them who YOU are. So they project an image of you onto you, that either you don’t want to be, or you just aren’t. And you EXPLODE! And, in 50 beautiful minutes, Katie Winterbourne allowed me to say goodbye to the anxiety, and the heartache, and the self-indulgence of Jules.

And that’s HUGE!

It huge for me, dear readers, which means it’s huge for you too. Because finally I have let go. And that means that life is about to start. And according to the lovely and magical Katie Winterbourne, it WILL end with me falling in love. And it will involve a ski resort (I don’t ski!). And that means, that aloveinlondon has just become a very, very exciting adventure… and it’s still only Day 1! :-)

I suppose you should know a little bit about how my mind works. I’m not soppy, or overly romantic on the outside, but on the inside I am just like any girl I suppose, waiting for someone to sweep me off my feet..!

I suppose the name and caption of this blog would suggest I am trying to start a dating site. Well I suppose that would be convenient, but it’s certainly not my intention.

I don’t quite know where to begin, so I will just give the facts. I’m a 25 year old lady (I still feel like I should say girl) living in London, and well, I’ve been single since my ex cheated on me nearly a year and a half ago.

Cry me a river, I know.

Why do I feel the need to write about it? Well, because I’ve always been attractive (I promise you I’m not arrogant), and I just can’t find any nice guys in London. So I presume I’m not the only one and so MAYBE people will relate to what I write about, maybe some of you might care about it. Let’s see.

Why aloveinlondon? Well, let’s just say there’s all to often a feeling that the V gets turned upsidedown into a rather depressing N (it does look like an N upsidedown right? Not in this font maybe but it does!). And that’s what this blog is about. The Highs (the V days) and the Lows (the N days).

I will go back into my dark, and let’s be honest, partially embarrassing ex-boyfriend/lover history, and also take you with me in my love adventures, and also share my thoughts about my future (and I can get really far ahead of myself way too quickly). Will I fall head over heels and stop writing? Hopefully. The most likely scenario? I’ll end up in my mid-thirties, and be London’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw – and definitely not as fabulous!  But you’ll see me every step of the way.

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