POUR A GLASS, HERE'S MY ADVICE THE SYDNEY JOURNAL

I SO CAN BE BOTHERED

I so cannot be bothered. I walked back to my car, defeated. I had completely overdosed on The Dating Bullshit. I needed to detox.I ended up going into the hotel. He never saw me. I just wanted to see it for myself. There Tom was, sitting at a table with a brunette woman, each of them with a wine in hand. I watched as she reached out to squeeze his arm. He laughed at something she said, and she responded by flicking her hair to one side. That’s all I needed to see. That’s all I could let myself see. I so cannot be bothered. I so cannot be bothered. 

I said it to myself a hundred times over. I said it to my girlfriends, my sisters. I said it under my breathe as I sipped on the wine bought by my last Tinder date, as he explained to me why swiping right to advertisements for brothels was deemed hilarious. Seriously, this was a, Why the hell do I keep doing this to myself? moment.

And from what you’ve ladies have told me, you too so cannot be bothered. Feel free to say it a hundred times over – to yourself, to your girlfriends, to your work colleagues, under your breath as you sip on the drink bought by your Tinder date, (who sure doesn’t look like his photos). But, come on, let’s be real here. Chances are, if you’re reading The Dating Journal, you can relate to the I So Cannot Be Bothered mantra, but you’re still getting bouts of The Dating Bullshit (TDB). How does this make sense? Please, come sit, this may take awhile. 

If you can honestly tell me you’ve reached your wits end with TDB – you’re tired of: waiting for him to text you back; the confusing dating app opening liners, that recent one: What’s your favourite instrument? really struck a cord – pun intended; the Tinder conversation marathons; questioning why he hasn’called after you slept together; the lack of commitment after six months of “seeing one another” (because any other label is too much too soon); the lack of communication (the idon’t-really-give-a-shit abbreviated text you received Saturday at midnight, Hey wat r u up2? does not count) Then girl, please, come sit. Grab a notepad, a tea, wine, what have you, and let’s chat. 

Just to be clear, unless you’re really at your wits end – you’ve yet to meet your Tom, be screwed over badly and hit rock bottom – then you’re probably not going to appreciate this journal entry, and that’s more than okay. If you still consider late night meet-ups, texts after midnight, last minute date plans as “spontaneous”, then that’s great! Have a field day! Have a field day for as many days, weeks, months, years you feel works for you, and when you’re all ‘danced’ out so to speak, then come back to me; grab a notepad, a tea, wine, what have you, and then we’ll chat. 

Do you know how many times I walked away from a dating experience, literally talking to myself aloud on the drive home, in between belting out the lyrics to a Taylor Swift number, trying to convince myself  that I so cannot be bothered? A lot! But, it wasn’t until Tom irreverently forced me to wake up and smell the roses, that I actually came to my senses. Not following? Let’s flashback to 2014. I like to refer to this year as, ‘The Year of First Dates’. 

It was approaching New Years and I was blissfully happy. I was living the life of a free-spirited, single woman of Sydney – no real responsibilities, living alone, and house sitting rent free. I was averaging two to three dates a weekTruth be told, If I didn’t have plans with the girlfriends, a night in with a bottle of faux tan or a date with The Bachelor, I’d be out on a date, with a random, a stranger, who I’d hope would be my Prince Charming. Looking back now, I can easily say that I was nothing but a walking crisis and no Prince Charming genuinely wanted to kiss me until death do us part.

My life was all about TDB. Truth be told, again, I dealt it out just as good as I got it. The thing was, I had just moved out of a share house into a one bedroom apartment. It was quite the adjustment to say the least; I’d get home from work and it was quiet. I’d get home from yet another disappointing date, and it was quiet. I’d wake up and it was quiet. And to be really honest, I just wasn’t quite there yet. I couldn’t handle all the alone time. Even though I had been single for two years, I still wasn’t ready to be alone, night in, night out. I craved company. Any company. So, as the walking crisis I was, I wasn’t just attracting the wrong men, I was, self-admittedly, the wrong girl. For any man. For every man. That was until I hit rock bottom. 

I was done. I was emotionally exhausted. Not just with men. I was emotionally exhausted trying to keep up with TDB – and it was all as a result of… self-sabotage. I was single, not because I hadn’t found Mr Right. I was single because I was way too available yet emotionally unavailable . I was all over the shop. No amount of fake tan was going to convince a potential Prince Charming otherwise. Then, once Tom ran a mile, it hit me. Why was it that I was I So Can Be Bothered with men I hardly knew, but I felt I So Cannot Be Bothered with myself?

I knew why. I had little self-confidence and low-self esteem. Yep, that old chestnut. 

‘Transforming’ myself into a I So Cannot Be Bothered (CBBgirl took time. To be really honest, it’s taken me years, and I’m not going to lie: I still have moments of weakness. I’m not here claiming to be a self-titled ‘CBB Perfectionist’; I’ve most certainly rolled head first off the CBB wagon over the years while trying to master the art form. And yes, a certain red alcoholic liquid may have been consumed when the rolling took place. Really living the CBB lifestyle is bloody hard work – to begin with. But, once you’ve got it down pat, oh the life you’ll live. Breakups with men like Tom will roll off you like water off a duck’s back.You will better off. You will. And you know where to begin here? By not dating? No, keep dating! This has nothing to do with dating, or men for that matter. This all starts with you. 

So, first thing’s first. To truly commit to the CBB dating lifestyle you need to work on yourself. 

Self-confidence. Self-esteem. They need a good kick up the bum. Easier said than done. I know. 

This year, I’ve seen three men. One was a one-off Tinder date. Wasn’t that one a waste of time. Waste of makeup. Waste of a good outfit. The other one was CharlieDreamy Charlie. Wonder how the shy guy from a big city is settling into London… And the other was also a Tinder date which ended up turning into a three-month relationship. Another dating journal which I will happily share. It’s on the list. And although none of these men worked out, this has been my happiest single year to date. And when I say happy, I truly mean happy. This year has been amazing. I can count on one hand the amount of kisses I’ve shared with some very lucky men, and I’m honestly happy with that. Who would have thought 2014 Simone would have thought so? I stopped with the So Can Be Bothered with everyone else and started to I So Can Be Bothered about me!

I started cooking. Yes, I started. Prior to 2015, my cooking skills were less than impressive. Actually, they were inexistent. I’d happily eat popcorn or toast for dinner, because cooking for one seemed like a chore. Grocery shopping seemed like a chore. So, instead I’d eat chocolate, ice cream, biscuits, anything with sugar, numerous times a day, every day. Oh, Cadbury CaramelloYummy Cadbury Fruit & Nut. I could easily eat a block of either, or both, in one sitting and wash it down with a two-sugared tea. My fridge was never without the company of the delicious stuff. These days, I won’t go without chocolate, but I opt for the dark variety and treat myself to a portion size when I feel I deserve it, which let’s face it, its daily. I started putting aside time to prep meals and I allocated extra money to groceries to purchase the real, good stuff not the microwaveable rubbish. 

I started exercising. I’ll admit, I’m not one to really sweat it up and the gym, and I do love a solo romantic stroll on the beach. But, going to the gym before work has done me wonders. I blast some Tay-Tay through my headphones, which I stole from my sister because I lost my last pair which were also hers, and follow a program designed by one of the Personal Trainers. I end the session with some stretching and meditation, and I walk out happy as Larry, full of energy, like I can take on the anything TDB world wants throw at me. If Taylor tells me that he and I are never, ever getting back together, I’ll take her word for it. 

I went back to school. Most of you don’t know this, but for the past six years, I’ve been juggling my makeup business and a career in Early Childhood. I’m Diploma trained, which I completed last year via correspondence. I worked, and I still work, five days a week in with little ones under the age of five. After work, I’d go to the library until late to work on my assignments. I figured the less reality TV I watched during the week, the less mid-week drinking I consumed, the more study I’d get done and more free time I’d have on weekends. And it worked! I completed the course it in record time. But I knew I could do better. I want to do better. So, I enrolled into University, via correspondence. I once again, work full-time, go to the library after work with my pre-pasked dinner like a cool kid, and study until late. Saturdays I work and give myself Sundays off. Sure, it’s not ideal. But you know what? It’s short term. The time is going to pass anyway. Little sacrifices for big gains, right? Come next year I’ll be seeing out Summer with a Bachelors degree and new career options.

I stopped drinking so much. Alcohol, as we all know, is a depressant. And for me, getting over my four-year relationship meant drinking and partyingdrinking and datingdrinking post bad date, and drinking mid-week because, why not? See, told you! Wobbly walking crisis. These days, I drink in moderation and very rarely drink to the point of: feeling the need to drunk dial, the inability to book an Uber, or lose my self-respect to some random on the dance floor like a teenager at an underage dance party. Ahhh, those were the days. Let’s be honest. It’s not flattering. It’s not attractive. It’s not lady-like. It’s not necessary. 

I saved money on beauty treatments. Yesterday, I treated myself to my first mani and pedi in four months. This is kind of gross, but I’ve been busy werkin’! Truth of the matter is, although I work a lot, I’m not at all living a life of luxury. And neither are the majority of the people you follow on Instagram! It’s Sydney for goodness sakes! I’ve got bills to pay! But, I like to look nice and be polished so to speak; I sure don’t want to look like a homeless person if and when I meet Mr Right by chance, despite Sydney’s rental prices almost forcing me out on the street! As much as I love treating myself to a salon mani and pedi, I like to look good. Look good, feel good, right? So, I try to keep myself weekend ready by giving myself a DIY manipedi, and tan every week. The point I’m trying to make here is – if you look like shit, you probably feel like shit. Who wants to date someone who lacks self-confidence and is self-promoting a lazy persona? You don’t need to be earning Benjamins to look good. As Mae West put it, ‘There are no ugly women, just lazy ones.’ You heard the lady!

Forty plus Tinder dates later, accompanied by numerous heartbreaks, countless drunken nights, plenty of horrendous hangovers, so much text regret, oh the text regret, and still not feeling great about myself, I shifted the energy of my bothering. These days, no matter what is going on in my life, I always feel content with what belongs to me and only me. Even if it is a can of lentils and a gluggy nail varnish. I can date with dignity; I can date without being cynical. I can date with a clear understanding of TDB. But, more than anything, today, I can date with self-confidence because when it comes to me, first and foremost, I So Can Be Bothered. And you should be bothered too. 

 

 

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