Having 10,000 spoons when all you need is knife isn’t ironic, it’s bad planning by the caterers. A free ride when you’ve already paid isn’t ironic, it’s bad timing at the fairground. A traffic jam when you’re already late isn’t ironic, it’s you being an idiot and expecting the Dartford Bridge to be moving smoothly so not allowing any extra time for your journey than you would if it wasn’t there at all. No, I’ve learned the lessons from the work of Alannis Morrisette and am wary about calling anything ironic unless I’m sure it is.
I am, however, unsure on the irony levels of having a blog about dating, along with Twitter and Instagram feeds to match and a podcast to boot, all of which talk about dating and relationships and which aim to help other people with their own love lives, but all of which appear to hinder those of the author. Ironic?
Such is the lot of a dating blogger. There are remarkably few of us out there, certainly few who not only actively blog but actually blog about dating. From the queen of UK dating blogs through to that of one of the best writers out there full stop, dating or no, the dating blogosphere isn’t particularly deep, and I would hazard a guess that each and every writer out there has, at one point or another, debated whether or not to continue.
I, myself, have taken something of a sabbatical over the past few months. While it coincided with a relationship I very much enjoyed but which then came to an end, the hiatus was actually prompted by an incident immediately prior to that. It gave me pause to stop and consider whether having a dating blog and Twitter account was actually doing me way more harm than good, and very nearly caused me to walk away entirely without looking back, like the cool hero in the climactic explosion scene of an action movie.
I am not one to talk about people I’ve dated so I shan’t go into any detail here, but the key reason the date didn’t progress into anything more, despite being a very good match on paper and in person, was that my date felt this very blog proved I wasn’t looking for a relationship and was merely interested in becoming the best dater I could be. This built on previous dates and relationships, who have said that me writing about dating and relationships made them feel uncomfortable or under scrutiny, that perhaps I was merely using them for content or that they feared their words, actions and names would later be strung up for inspection and potential ridicule around the world.
Few of them actually read what I wrote. Few accepted that this was never about them and all about my own thoughts, nor that I wrote for myself and to help others along their own journeys and would never, ever expose anyone in that way. It’s impossible to prove a negative – the fear was always that just because I hadn’t done so yet didn’t mean I wouldn’t in future. There’s simply no way of arguing against that logic.
So I debated. I wondered about whether I should close this whole thing down. Delete the lot, or at least stop contributing new pieces. I don’t like hiding this passion project, and don’t think I will do so in future as I don’t want to give the impression of leading a double life. But if it’s actually hurting my chances of finding love, isn’t that the opposite of what should happen? Shouldn’t this all be helping me?
Many dating bloggers do give up. Most, in fact. Some find love and either retire their writing or pivot their blogs to relationships, reviews and general lifestyle stuff. Others don’t, and get tired of saying the same things and exposing their hurt and hopelessness and despair to the world. And some just get bored. Blogging is hard work, despite what you may think. (Well, good blogging is anyway. Bad blogging is frustratingly easy and common…)
When I therefore found myself single once again, stuck in lockdown and without much to do most evenings I had a choice. I could give it all up, close it all down and start from scratch, knowing that my previous words would no longer cause problems for my future self, or I could get back to writing and hope that I find someone who gets it. Who trusts me. Who is secure enough in themselves to not question every post, every tweet, every photo I share and wonder if it’s secretly about them.
They’ll know that if I do post something about them because I’ll be sure to tell them, as I’ll want them to see it. They’ll perhaps get a kick out of helping me find new article ideas, or try out new date venues to visit when life returns to normal, or actually take a couple of photos of me that I can share with the world without it being a selfie. They’ll also believe me when I promise that it will never be about them, at least not without their full involvement and blessing.
Does this mean I’m going to inevitably filter out some amazing women who would otherwise be perfect for me? Probably. Does this mean I won’t change my mind in future? Absolutely not. Does this mean I’ll get back to blogging every week, come rain or shine? Who knows. There’s a lot of time ahead of us, and all I can think of for now is the immediate future.
But, and even more importantly, is it ironic that being a writer who writes about dating is actually making it far more difficult to find dates and to turn one those dates into a long-lasting, loving relationship? Well, that’s something only a certain pint-sized Candian songwriter can truly ever answer.
Ironic, isn’t it?
Great post! I imagined that writing about dating would mean you could DM m/any of your female followers and ask them out and it would be a resounding yes.
Your content (as much as I’ve read, which isn’t a great deal, anyway) makes you come across as kind, solid, got-shizz-together… supposedly all desirable traits in a mandem. However, perhaps it also takes away some of the ‘mystery’… meeting someone we click with is possible in part because we get to fantasise about who they COULD be… your blog gives away a fair bit, or a fair impression, of who you actually ARE. It shows that you are another fallible human bean, and perhaps that kills the buzz for some people.
Also, anyone can see that you’ve probably got chatty online relationships with many women, and perhaps some would feel threatened by that.
I don’t really understand the notion of one ‘not really looking for’ a relationship. I never have. My view is that what you, or anyone, is looking for, depends on what’s on offer. It’s not a pre-set thing. People change their minds all the time based on what’s on the table. No one would rule out meeting the love of their life… would they?
*Maybe I should start a blog*
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I totally understand the idea of mystery, that makes a lot of sense! If there was a better way of being authentic in my writing without spoiling the mystery then I’m all ears!
As for the chatty online relationships, as much as they’d change somewhat, the other person would need to trust me I guess, and I appreciate that trust like that is hard to find.
Great post 😁
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I was a blogger who wrote because I had noone else to tell things to and because I find it far easier to be honest to people anonymously. I needed to get it out there somehow or I would have gone mad. I would never tell anyone I know about my dating past. That’s exclusively for this blog. The few other blogs I run don’t require me to rip my heart or my brain out and stick it on a plate. I guess if someone you date knows you are a dating blogger they will wonder if they are blog fodder and in one way or another they always will be, no matter how anonymous the inclusion. I would never tell someone I was dating I ran a blog about dating. Noone wants to be talked about behind their back.
Truth is, anyone who blogs about dating will inevitably stop writing about it if / when they get into a happy relationship. I stopped because who’s interested in single people who just get on with their life hassle free? Noone. In the same way that dating bloggers who get into happy relationships stop blogging, Because who wants to read about the happy ever after? Ok, so maybe I’m an eternal cynic. I rarely dip into this blog now. All the blogs I followed here seem to be in the same situation they were in the last time I was here about 5 months ago. Either still looking or still in a terrible relationship they can’t resolve. Those that have disappeared have made a resolution that doesn’t require them to write it all down anymore. And like you say those are the standard fates of most dating blogs. I don’t think people blog about dating for any other reason than self-administering. Unless you are a counsellor who wants to help others, or are being sponsored and making money out of it. Most dating bloggers are there to try and resolve their own problems, but in a public way. Perhaps they want advice. Perhaps they just need to get it out there. And when or if it is eventually solved, they drift off. I can see how being a dating blogger and dating someone who knows, could have a very damaging effect on the relationship. It’s something to consider.
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