An Anti-Valentines Round-up

I have to be honest I did not manage to stay off dating websites completely during Anti-Valentines. Admittedly it was a rather quick decision and there were a few conversations in progress which I wanted to continue.  Although nothing has come from those conversations.

I haven’t had much time to go job hunting but then February was always going to be busy. Having said that I did spot a few interesting looking jobs so I’m keen to update my CV.  I have a few ideas for changes so that my CV provides a broader reflection of my skills. I really am feeling the need to do something different.  I just need to find something which uses my skills and interests in a different way so that this move is furthers my career and increases my income.  Interesting question: How do I combine my love of blogging with a career in Engineering and research?

A few nights ago my niece wanted to know why I was out so much these days.  She was effectively telling me off for going out more often. Lol. This shows that my mission to embrace life is starting to pay off. I signed up for a local ballroom dance contest. Something that previously, I would have been too scared to even consider.  Sadly my dance partner had to withdraw but I’m actually kinda relieved. I was struggling to figure out how I would find time to practice and not entirely comfortable dancing with a boy I hardly know. He was very sweet but I felt weird.  Nonetheless it gave me the confidence to try more now things.

I signed up for a competition on the local radio. I have listened for a few years and I enjoy playing along, so when they advertised for competitors I figured why not give it a try. A few weeks later they phoned me and asked me if I wanted to compete that day. It was rather stressful but also rather fun. I didn’t get through to the next round but I answered a good number of questions. My Mom, my sister and my niece gathered round the radio to listen and my niece was super excited. Scary to think what she would have been like if I had got through.

Then a few days ago I was talking to someone where I work and we realized that we were both keen to visit some of Cape Town’s fabulous rooftop bars so I suggested we make a plan to go. We have a weekend in mind.  Until recently I would not have dreamed of suggesting we go somewhere as she is a long younger than me. But we get on well and we have some common interests so why not. I invited one of the ladies from my office and somehow that led to plans for this weekend as well.

So all in all I am feeling very positive. I haven’t given up on dating. I want to fix my profiles on a few sites before I reactivate them and my plans for the following for weekends might create opportunities for getting some good profile pics. Also making plans to visit places which really interest me is the right formula for meeting someone who is suitable for me. Having said that I might try to keep the online dating at a slower pace and keep doing other things.

A Valentines ‘gift’ during Anti-Valentines

Last week I subscribed to a local gin club which sends out regular boxes containing the best South African gin and local produce based on a theme. Craft gin is something which has really grown in popularity over the last few years and there are a lots places opening to support this industry. Looking at pictures of some of the spectacular bars I can’t help thinking how romantic it would be to go there with someone special. Alternatively going with a few female friends, could be a good way to meet someone. Why is it that all my female friends are either married with children or don’t drink or both?

 

So when I stumbled across the gin box last week I figured I would give it a try. I could learn more about craft gin and who doesn’t mind the odd gift’ showing up in the post. The website said that boxes are typically sent out in the first week of the month. Being the middle of February I assumed that I would get the March box. It turns out that the company is more efficient, and 2 working days later the February box showed up. With … surprise, surprise … a Valentines theme. So much for Anti-Valentines.

 

Cocktail for my valentine

 

I’m starting to appreciate how much time I have been spending online dating. I few times recently I have found myself with a few hours in the evening and not quite sure what to do with myself. Especially later in the evening when I just want to chill and relax. I am starting to make some progress with some of my other projects but  most of that is activities I do not have the mental capacity for later in the evening.

 

One of the reasons I started blogging is that I was curious about the idea and where it could lead. I also wanted to learn more about how to blog and use social media. Those who have been following for a while may have noticed that recently I have been trying out some additional features and different things with pictures and screenshots. Small things, that hopefully are making my blog more interesting. A priority is getting more traffic to my blog and I found a useful article on search engine optimization in the Community Pool’ which I am planning to try out. Food for thought: How best to add blogging to my CV if I don’t want prospective employers visiting this site.

 

I also managed to find some time, over the weekend to look for jobs. In the process I realized that there are key differences in my LinkedIn profile compared to my CV so I need to review both. My CV is a little bit too focused on the type of role I am doing but I think there may be a few useful bits on LinkedIn.  I would like to widen the search because staying in South Africa is more important to me, than staying in my current role. This means I am going to have to think more creatively about the jobs I apply for.

 

Overall it has been a good week and I’m glad I decided to go for the Anti-Valentines month.

 

Local News Update

Today is that day many singles dread.  Particularly frustrating for me this year as I have been making an effort to meet someone.  Ironically a few people I have met through online dating, wishing me ‘Happy Valentines’.  In the spirit of this year’s Anti-Valentines it seemed appropriate to write about some of the other things happening around me.

Cape Town and South Africa seem to have been in the international news a lot recently.  Plenty of stories about President Jacob Zuma reflecting badly on the country as a whole.  There is also the embarrassing possibility of Cape Town running out of water.  More recently things are starting to look more positive.

The water crisis is far from over but in the last few weeks Day 0 has been pushed back a month.  Cape Town relies primarily on large storage dams for water.  We have a winter rainfall so the water is stored for the hot, dry summers.  Three dry winters and a growing population mean that the levels in these dams is very low.  Day 0 is the point at which most taps in Cape Town are turned off and people will have to queue for water.

Over the last year the council has steadily been increasing the water restrictions.  When you start to think about it, it is surprising how much water we waste.  Water tanks have been appearing all over the place, and are used primarily to collect rainwater.  Many grey water recycling systems have been installed.  It seems that water saving measures are widely discussed at the school gates with many people taking pride in how much they are doing.  2 min stop start showers are now normal.  This involves wetting yourself, turning the water off, then washing with soap, then a quick rinse with the water to get the soap off.  It is encouraging to know these measures are working.  It looks like we will make it to the winter rain.  Fingers crossed there is plenty of it.

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Today’s big story was the arrest of one of the Gupta brothers.  President Zuma has been implicated in a series of scandals involving corruption and state capture.  In one case it seems that money intended for poor black farmers was funneled to the Gupta’s.  It seems that even one of Jacob Zuma’s sons will be arrested for his part.  The people involved in these scandals have been described collectively as the Zuptas.

This time last year things were looking bad for South Africa’s relatively new and fragile democracy with various government officials including Zuma openly defying the laws and the constitution.  The opposition parties have been working hard to make sure they behave.  Finally at the end of last year the ANC voted for Cyril Ramaphosa, who campaigned on the basis of anti-corruption, as their new leader.  I am not naive enough to think that this is the end of our troubles but it does seem to suggest that our fragile democracy is still working.

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Finally we got together

A day after my post about Artisan guy, discussing challenges around organizing a coffee date he started messaging me again.  We traded messages for a few days.  Then on the Saturday he asked if I had an old phone that he could buy from me.  He wanted it for his son.  I had an old one that did not work very well but he seemed to think that he could fix it.

He joked that we would finally have to meet.  He seemed to have some idea that it was me avoiding meeting.  But yet he also admitted he did not like coffee and had clearly taken my insistence on coffee very literally.  Lol, other drinks would have been available.  He also told me some rather personal things and left a bunch of voice notes of him singing along to music he liked, which made me wonder about how many drinks he’d had.  Initially we tried to make a plan for Saturday evening but by the time we got to this point it was getting rather late and the earliest he could manage was 9:30 pm.  Which I felt was way too late.  I decided it would be better to make a plan for the following day.

The following day I heard nothing from him.  I had another date planned so I did not really want to meet.  On the Monday I noticed that his profile picture had disappeared from WhatsApp.  I started planning another rant about his wierdness. Then on Wednesday he left me a message on Facebook asking for my number.  He does have terrible luck with phones.  In the end we arranged to meet on Friday evening.  I had a really nice evening.  He seems like a nice guy with lots of character and personality.  I would like to see him again.

Nonetheless I do have concerns.  I know he is looking for someone for the rest of his life but the idea scares me.  I suspect it is because we want different things, so I can’t see a long term future for us.  The issues with his phones and elements of his communication suggest he is not that reliable.  But my biggest concern is about what happened on Saturday night, which is part of why he lost his most recent phone.  He had a fight with his adult son which resulted in the son laying charges.  I don’t know exactly what happened or how bad it was.  He seems rather upset that his son felt the need to lay charges. The way he told the story, it sounds reasonable he got upset.  Yet, the more I think about it, the more it worries me.

For now I think I will go with the flow,  try not to over analyze the situation and see what happens next.  He has many good qualities, I’m just not sure if he is the man for me.

A worthwhile rant

I first came across this guy on Tinder late November.  From the start he was very funny and flirtatious so we started chatting on WhatsApp.  He kept me very amused for 4 days and then went quiet.  I figured he gave up when he realized that I would not be meeting him on the Saturday afternoon, just for sex.  So I didn’t stress too much.

Then a few days before I deleted POF he showed up there, and messaged to say hi.  I told him that I was going to delete POF and we moved back to WhatsApp.  I was slightly bemused and made a mental note to ask why he disappeared in November.  Of course it did not take long for him to ask when we were getting together so I pointed out that I was looking for a proper relationship.  He said he wanted that too.

We chatted some more and eventually a coffee date was arranged for Sunday.  He asked me to suggest a place and even sent a nice message saying that he did not care where, he just wanted to meet.  He has a very intense, no nonsense attitude that I find intimating and after a while I noticed that he had tattoos on his arms.  It is fair to say, that if I had encountered him in a bar a few years ago I would have run the other way.  Having said that, as the time passed I found myself warming to him.  He was funny and confident.  I made a point of texting him later to say that I had fun.

So I was not terribly pleased when the following day he asked me how I felt about fwb (friends with benefits).  I was not quite sure what to say.  No and that would probably be the end.  Even if I said yes, would that ever lead to the sort of relationship I want?  In the end I went with ‘Probably not.  It depends what you have in mind’.   A discussion about relationships followed.  As the conversation neared an end, I paused briefly to consider expanding on a point and when I picked up the phone again I realized that his profile picture had disappeared.  He had deleted me!

I fumed in the car all the way to the restaurant where I was meeting family.  By the time I got there I decided I would indulge in a rant.  I felt he owed me a better explanation and a good bye.  Why invite me out for coffee, after I made it clear that I wanted a relationship, then propose fwb?  A little later he left a voice message saying the meeting was not a waste of time, he had enjoyed meeting me, he wanted a relationship but there was no spark and in some ways we wanted different things. I got home to find a message wishing me all the best so I responded in kind.  In some ways that thoughtful ending was the most painful part of the experience.

I’m feeling kinda sad today.  I was hoping we could take things further.  But I’m glad I’m stood my ground and stayed focused on what I needed.  Otherwise this would have turned into a variation of the Import-export guy theme.  I like him and we have a lots of fun but I’m not getting what I need from the relationship.  Such a situation will end badly and mean I face a bigger struggle to move on and find the person that is right for me.

I’m glad I indulged in the rant.  I have a better understanding of what happened which means I can think of this guy and situation in a more positive way.  Even thought it did not change the outcome.  Now there is one less dating distraction from Anti-Valentines month.

 

 

Anti-Valentines Month

Last night I responded to a post titled ‘Moderating my psycho’.  I was trying to suggest the author might benefit from focusing on being happy single and this got me thinking about how well this advice applied to me right now.  So many things I could say about my recent experiences that I was struggling to keep it short and relevant.  At the same time an idea was starting to take shape in my head.  Seeing all the Valentine’s displays in the shops is depressing this year, particularly as I’m feeling the need to take a break from online dating.  I like the irony of making February Anti-Valentines month and hiding my dating profiles.

Instead I could use the time to focus on me.  I have mentioned before that I am feeling the need for more changes in my life, so February could be the month I focus on that.  I took some books out of the library before Christmas but I never found time to read them and eventually took them back unread.  I used to read a lot and I am starting to feel the need for a good book.

Regardless, it looks like the next few months are going to be busy.  There are a lot of birthdays in February.  I decided to sign up for another year of volunteer mentoring.  I have also found a nice pilates class and I am really getting into it.  Interestingly a friend from school is also in the class and we had a nice chat a few weeks back.  Next time I get a chance, I will suggest that we go for a drink and a proper catch up.

Ironically some of these changes are driven by my experiences with Guy 0Import-export guy and online dating generally.  Thinking about a future with one of these guys let me to accept that I was not happy with my life.  In doing so I started to think about what I needed to do, to change things.  With this mindset I did something really crazy and scary for me.  I signed up for a ballroom dance competition.  I know I am going to hate some of the attention but better than missing this opportunity, then secretly regretting it.  So far everyone has been very supportive about the idea.

One thing I have enjoyed about online dating is getting to know new people and learning what they are doing with their lives.  The Canadian lawyer, I met said something that resonates with me.  So many people our age settle for jobs they dislike and are simply waiting for retirement.  That idea scares me a lot more than taking a few risks.  I can’t sit around waiting for retirement or a man to ‘rescue’ me from a boring life.  If there is something I want from life then I should go for it.

So I like the irony of turning Valentines Day on it’s head and using February to focus on my life instead.  Now what would be a good way to mark Anti-Valentines Day?

What is he playing at?

Some of the information I look for on profile is education level and type of work.  While a good job and education is not absolutely essential, I figure a guy operating a till at the local supermarket is unlikely to hold my interest and attention.  Nonetheless a guy working as an artisan fixing machinery managed to slip through the net.  He recognized that I was more intelligent and that he need to make an effort to impress.  Actually I think he might be underselling himself because it sounds like he really is very skilled at making and repairing machinery and has in the past been involved in some interesting projects.

While I say he has been making an effort we have been chatting since November and so far no date.  We had a brief discussion about meeting for coffee in the week before Christmas and I suggested the Friday but looking back at the messages nothing was finalised.  He mentioned a sore back a few times over the week and on Friday he decided he needed painkillers.  Eventually he ended up at the hospital on Friday evening and he was given a cortisone injection for the pain.  In some respects the messages were rather amusing first with him complaining that they didn’t need to do tests just give him the injection.  Then the tone of the messages changed, clearly indicating he was under the influence of drugs.  I had a good laugh knowing he would be embarrassed when he sobered up.  So no coffee date.

The following Friday he suggested that we should meet for coffee and we made plans for the Saturday.  I was tired and suggested that we finalise the details the following day.  I should add, that by this point I was keen to meet this guy.  He has a weird and wacky sense of humor showing there is more a person than their education and job.  I was trying to decide if I was just flattered by the attention or if this thing had any long term potential.  I figured I should make an effort to meet this guy to get a better sense of where things might go.  There were no messages from him on Saturday morning.  Eventually about lunchtime I forwarded him a joke.  He responded to say he was out with some younger friends.  Being the sensible ‘adult’.  So no coffee date.

The following week he went a bit weird.  He became obsessed with wanting to come over to my house rather late in the evening.  I said no.  He even left me a message complaining about how little trust people had.  Erm we met online I think it I’m allowed to be cautious.  Still no coffee date.

He then went completely silent.  I considered messaging him but given his rather disturbing requests to visit I decided not.  Then I saw a post on Facebook saying he was having trouble with his phone and would be offline for a while.  A few weeks later I heard from him again.   It seems he had cracked the screen.  He went back to being funny and charming.  After a few days coffee was again mentioned but no attempt to fix a date.  Knowing he is in the very early stages of working for himself I tentatively suggested that money might be tight.  Under such circumstances I don’t mind paying for both coffees.  He made it clear that was not a concern.  Still no coffee date.

Now I seriously am wondering what this guy is after.  Actually I have not heard from him since the last mention of coffee.  He has some conservative values and is hoping to find someone for the rest of his life.  He says very nice things about how he likes me.  But he seems to flake at actually making plans to meet.  Could he be scared to ask?  Or is he another one just messing me around?