My first guest post in my Love Story series comes from #EnglishRosiee, one half of the dating blog Rinse Before Use. She blogs about dating, love, sex, friendship… all the good stuff really. She’s navigated being a late bloomer, long distance relationships, and the highs and lows of the modern dating scene, and she’s here to share today!
Being a typical and spending the best part of my teenage years trapped at girls only school I suppose it easy to see why I was a late bloomer when it came to dating and relationships. Despite having an active social life and regularly drunkenly falling onto faces, I failed to make any significant progress when it came to men, even during the first years of real freedom at university. Sure, I had the standard school-girl crush and a summer romance or two, but nothing worth writing home about.
Well, that was till my early 20s when I found myself caught up in what can only be described as a holiday romance (and then some). I was in Cape Town, South Africa doing some research for my thesis over the summer, when a friend and I happen to get accosted by a couple of strange South African men. We were young and tipsy, they both had good banter and one even had his own teeth so we hung out with them for the evening. Well, I hung out with the one who had his own teeth while my friend bummed cigarettes from the other and spent the rest of the night trying to avoid him and his lecherous ways. Anyway that nice boy from the club did try to take me back to his at the end of the night. However, in an attempt to break the stereotypes of Brits abroad (just FYI, they all think we are easy, sex obsessed binge drinkers, which may or may not hold some truth) I dismissed his offer by saying I promised not to return to the UK with something that couldn’t be cured by antibiotics.
I expected that to be the last I saw of him but the universe works in strange ways. One drunken night out turned into a 8 week long romance which involved epic road trips across a beautiful country, romantic sunset walks along the beach (yup, there probably aren’t many better places to fall in love) and buying a baby African grey parrot (don’t ask!). Eventually though, the time came for me to return to Blighty and the South African and I prepared to attempt the long-distance thing. I suppose when you’ve waited 23 years to experience butterflies, you are more willing to go the extra mile to make something work.
Thanks to joys of modern communication, we managed to successfully manage to keep things ticking over (luckily, we had enough to talk about and when we didn’t we played battleships online – old school I know) but it was by no means easy. Luckily, there was an end in sight and I eventually bit the bullet and moved to Cape Town for my #happilyeverafter (or so I thought).I’d love to tell you my story ends there with me sailing off into the sunset but the universe other plans for me (after all, it would have never been able to co-start a dating blog if I’d only ever encounter one man all my life, would i?).
So, after 5 ish years after the start of that epic holiday romance, the relationship came tumbling down around me. Being stubborn as a mule though, I decided to stay put in the Mother City because as I always told that ex, I fell in love with Table Mountain long before I ever set eyes of him. Jokes aside, breaks up are never easy and picking yourself up isn’t a linear process either. Having never really dated in the formal sense, at the age of 28 (when I probably should have been settling down) I entered a whole new sparkly world and learnt that there was still a lot to discover.
Dating up a storm has had its highs and loves but blogging about my experiences along with my bestie, co-author and general agony aunt aka #zlotybaby has helped me maintain my sanity. I’ve been on and off the whole dating scene now for almost half a decade and of course, the pressure to get oneself sorted is real. However, I’ve learnt that it’s all a bit of a process and there are plenty of life lessons along the way and I’m far too much of a princess to settle for mediocre. And as with most things in life there are good days and bad days. There are dates that are full of good conversation, banter, wine (there must always be wine) and sometimes ever those elusive butterflies. Then there are those days where you roll your eyes at every other Tinder profile you come across and wonder why the universe has a personal vendetta against you. So, here I am a 30-something, without a clue as to what the world has in store for me next but with no doubts that I’ll find plenty of stories to chase as I continue my mission to hunt down Prince Charming.
If you would be interested in having your love story featured, please get in touch and let me know!
I am also running the Reading Colour Rush in August for The Pamoja Project who do amazing work in Tanzania, so please donate/ share!