Ridiculously Single

Are You Justifying Your Being Single?

Sometimes I meet people and I think they’re great. Then when they tell me they’re single – I’m actually a little bit shocked. I made up a name for it – “ridiculously single” – it’s ridiculous that they’re single.

Smart, secure, family-oriented, financially aware, with their own passions. It doesn’t make sense that these women are not in a fulfilling relationship. What’s going on with women like this? Are they justifying being single?

AVOIDING NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES

Fundamentally, fear is always going to be there: of rejection, of making a mistake, wasting time, getting hurt, letting people down (family, the other person…)

Being single is the easiest way of protecting oneself from these negative experiences. Make no mistake – they’re painful. Therefore, staying single keeps you safe.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling this way – it’s human. We’re human.

RESIGNATION

When I asked a girl out on a date, and she said no – it hurt. When it happened again – I shrugged my shoulders and carried on. After the third time – and when I was told (yet again) “You’re really nice, but we can only be friends” I resigned myself to life in the so-called “friendzone”.

Resigning myself to my fate; expecting that things would go a certain way – it became the new normal. Actually, it just became normal. This level of resignation kept my situation the same, and prevented any action; this was how life was.

Does this sound familiar?

HATING THE GAME

I also developed an “enlightened” answer to being single. I was above the game. I wasn’t going to chase anyone. I “needed to be in a good place before I could ask anyone out”. I had to work on myself. The real problems were all the “players”. I used to complain to myself that women said they wanted to meet a nice guy, but when it came down to it, they preferred “bad boys”.

It was nothing to do with me, and there was nothing I could do about it – the game was rigged and the odds stacked against the nice men.

Ultimately, deep down, I’d given up.

ADMITTING THE TRUTH

These three ideas are probably just a flavour. There are lots of other reasons I’m sure. The really interesting and subtle part of being “ridiculously single” is telling oneself and others “I’m genuinely ok and happy being single” when actually it’s covering up how you really feel. I used to pretend to be fine to hide the fact I was desperate. What I was pretending became the truth – and of course, everyone around me could pick up on the fact I wanted to be with someone.

Admitting the truth about why you might be “ridiculously single” is the most difficult part. Actually being willing to stick your neck out and say “I’d like to create a wonderful relationship” is the first step. This is incredibly courageous because the first thing that shows up when you share what you want – is everything that’s NOT that. Being real is the first step to moving forward.

SUGGESTED ACTIONS:

  • Write down what you think is stopping you from being in a relationship. Be brutally honest – what do you find hard to admit to yourself?
  • Consider that you’d rather be single than in a relationship. Ask yourself – what are you really committed to? Does your behaviour match your words?
  • Pick a friend you trust. Talk through your ideas.

Let us know what you come up with in the comments!

This guest post is from James D’Souza – coach and founder of findaniceman.com. As a trained coach and happily married man, he’s committed to giving the women he coaches the tools to create great relationships. His approach focuses on discovering your unique talents to attract a quality man. He’s also one of the coaches supporting Grandeur and Love as part of our authentic and personalised matchmaking service.

 

Our Top 5 Summer Date Spots

Our Favourite Summer Date Spots

It’s June. The sun is out (sometimes), people are happier, our wardrobes are colourful. Summer is finally here….

We tend to find there’s always more dating when the sun comes out. So here are out top 5 favourite locations  at the moment!  Whether it’s that first date, rekindling the romance on that 56th date or even if you just want to have a fun night out with some friends, check these places out and let us know how it goes!

Rumpus Room

A roof top area overlooking the amazing views of St Paul’s, along with the classy decor and sensational cocktails. What more can you want on a summers evening?

Rumpus Room says… 

“Expect lush greenery, plush sofas and comfortable lounge spaces, perfect for enjoying the iconic view morning to night-time.”

Jin Bo Law

The Asian inspired bar overlooks views of The Shard, Walkie Talkie, The Gherkin and Tower Bridge. Impress your date with cocktails in the summer heat for after-work drinks or for brunch drinks with friends!

Dalloway Terrace 

A perfect venue for British weather. It’s indoors and heated when needs to be, with a picturesque background for summer-worthy photos! Perfect for cocktails and mocktails, catering to all.

Coppa Club

The all day restaurant is the perfect place for a date at any time. Breakfast, lunch or dinnk food and drinks to cater for all types of dates. Check out their spectacular Paradise Pods this summer!

Coppa Club says… 

“The [Paradise Pods] will be splashed full of bright bold colours, lush palm leaves and spiky cacti. Knockout views of London’s iconic skyline, an outside beach bar and a bohemian themed terrace, makes this the ideal spot for sundowners.”

Sushi Samba

Head to Sushi Samba for great food and a breathtaking close up view of The Gherkin, The Thames and beyond. Gorgeous cocktails with a great view. Definitely one to impress your date!

Let us know how your date goes!

For more date locations this summer, click here!

Top 10 Date Questions

Our Top 10 Questions to Ask on a Date 

Sometimes dates can be awkward. It could be it’s the first date and you’re not sure what to talk about or it’s the second date and you’ve already exchanged all the pleasantries!

Either way, it’s always good to have some back up… So here are our top 10 questions to ask to keep the conversation going!

(NB: Don’t ask them all at once, you don’t want it to turn into an interview!)

  1. If you could have any job aside from the one you have now, what would it be?
  2. What was the most memorable family trip you took as a kid?
  3. Which family member are you closest too?
  4. What was your favorite age?
  5. What’s the last movie you saw?
  6. What’s something you’ve always wanted to try?
  7. What’s your hidden talent?
  8. What’s your favorite joke?
  9. Would you ever get a tattoo?

Bonus 3 questions if you’re feeling confident! 

  1. What small seemingly insignificant decision had a massive impact on your life?
  2. If you could have the answer to any one question, what question would you want the answer to?
  3. If you unexpectedly won £20,000, what would you spend it on?

Questions are a great way to break the ice and keep the conversation flowing. It’s a chance to get to know the other person and it can give you an insight into whether you’d want to see them again!

Next time you’re on a date, try one or two of these conversation questions and let us know how it goes!

Men: How to Get That Second Date

Men… Let’s talk about you!

(Women, before you disappear, it’s worth a read to gain some insight into how men work. Trust us.)

Did you know studies have shown that men only use around 3000 words per day, with women using a range of 7000-20,000 words per day?!

Now before you jump back and worry that I’m going to make you use a 1000 of those words right now, think about this… If women use around up to 20,000 words per day, conversation must be an important aspect for them right?

On a first date, it’s important to build on connection vocally. Ask her about what she likes to do in her spare time and what her job is like. Women work on rapport so they want to know you’re interested in more than just the ‘facts’ of life.

(Women: This let us know that when a man is sitting there quietly, it really isn’t a reflection of you… He just really likes keeping the words to 3000!)

Top Tip: We recommend coffee dates for those first meetings. You can focus on getting to know each other without the nerve-wracking idea of having to worry about whether you have food in your teeth or on your shirt!

Did you know 52% of women rated personality as the most important factor when choosing a romantic partner, along with 53% of men? Something both men and women can agree on is personality is key.

Although looking good is important, focusing on how showing the best aspects of your personality is vital. We know it’s easier to talk about the facts of what you do but how about letting her know what you like to do when you’re not working or what your favourite film is?

Top Tip: Women want to know about what you’re like, not what you do. Show off the best sides of your personality and leave the business talk at work.

Studies have found that women take up to 3 minutes to make a judgement compared to men who take up to 5 minutes.

A later study concluded that physical attraction, along with positive social behaviours, determine whether someone would have a relationship with you.

Those first few minutes are essential. Yes, some of those minute will be based on a physical aspect (attraction is still important, be sure to look your best without trying to hard!). However, some of these moments will be based on your social interactions on the day.

Top Tip: One of the first things women pay attention to is how you talk to the waiter or the people around you so make sure your manners are present! Be sure to keep appropriate eye contact and get on your best smile!

(Women this goes for you too, so be sure to have your best smile ready!)

Try it out and let us know how that second date goes!

Letting Go: It’s Time to Move On…

We all have that person. They were our first love. She was the one that got away. He is the ex that no one can match up to. There was just something so special about them that they’re still on your mind years later (romanticising is what this is but we’ll get to that later!).

Either way, they were important.

Psychologists have often described the first experience of love a lot like skydiving. You’ll remember the first time you jumped out of an aeroplane a lot more than you’ll remember the 10th time. That first time is the scariest, you don’t know what to expect. It’s exciting, scary, unpredictable and then you have all the expectations to live up to, not forgetting the possibility of rejection…

Sometimes these experiences of love and rejection can stay with us years after they happened, meaning it may be hindering us from the possibility of finding new love and a new partner.

So how do we move on from these past experiences?

Think of it as an experience

Rather than holding on to feelings of love or hate, why not think of it as just an experience that taught you a lot? It happened and we can’t change it so let’s focus on what we can take from the experience and what we can let go of.

Let go of the template

Without realising, it’s easy to put your ex on a pedestal and compare everyone new to them. While it’s important to remember the good, it’s also important to remember the bad. You broke up for a reason so take it as a lesson learned for the future, rather than romanticising the past.

Lesson 101

Use this experience as a way to learn about yourself. Learn about what worked and what didn’t work. What did you like about that relationship? What can you work on to make things different with the next partner?

Talk about your experience

Okay, we’re not saying incessantly go on about the relationship but have a healthy conversation about the good times and bad times. Remember that you were with that person for a reason and that you also broke up for a reason.

Actions to move forward

So what’s the next steps?

  • Coaching: Coaching provides a practical way of viewing the situation. It allows you to think about what worked and what didn’t and gets you to move forward. Coaching works toward a personal goal which could be finding your life partner.
  • Therapy: Therapy focuses on resolving a problem. Why did it happen and how do we solve that problem? How did those experiences make you feel and how do we let go of that?

These experiences that stay with us aren’t about the other person, they’re usually about us and how we felt at that particular time. Are you wishing you could go back to being that youthful? Or maybe it’s because you miss that feeling of being in the honeymoon phase? It’s time to get present and focus on the here and now. Rather than dwelling on the past and what could have been, focus on today and what we can create. Who knows, your life partner may be just around the corner…

We have a range of in-house coaches that can cater to all your personal needs.If you’re interested in finding out more about coaching, please contact us on info@grandeurandlove.com

Dating with Loneliness: How Do We Cure It?

You hear people say that they’ve found the one. They just knew that this person was going to be the one they were going to spend the rest of their life with. And it makes you wonder, am I ever going to have that feeling? Or is that feeling even real at all?

There are many reasons people get into relationships. Some are based on love, lust, convenience or simply just loneliness. So how do we know when it’s real?

For now, let’s focus on loneliness.

Loneliness is a longing for attention, understanding and comfort from another. It’s searching or waiting for companionship. It’s feeling incomplete on your own… It’s a weariness from doing everything by yourself. It’s thinking your prayers will be answered if you could just find someoneBrenda Knowles

Have you ever had that relationship that you look back on and think, what the hell was I thinking?? It’s likely those relationships were built out of the fear of being alone and the longing to share your life with a partner. Julie J. Exline (Ph.D.) suggested that if loneliness is in the driving seat we’re more likely to impulsively jump into ‘high-risk sexual encounters or soon-to-be-regretted relationships’ (ring any bells??). Similarly, loneliness can often be felt by those in relationships… Maybe these relationships were created out of fear rather than genuine commitment?

So how do we “cure” our loneliness?

Surprise – there is no cure, only action! I know it’s cliché but when it comes to relationships, the best place to look for any insight is within ourselves. How do you feel about being alone? What do you believe a relationship will change for you? It could just be you want someone there to change the lightbulb and share the bills, or someone to fill a void and distract you from what you’re running from.

Whatever the reason, the first place to look is in the mirror.  

Single time is the time to work on yourself. What are your key values? What is it you’re looking for in a person? It’s the time to clear out the emotional closet and make space for something new. Figure out whether your current or past experiences have been based on genuine love or simply just attachment?

It doesn’t work when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

It’s important to learn to love yourself and to learn how to respect yourself. Then, when you come across someone you think you could be with, you’ll know what you deserve, what you will and won’t put up with and you’ll know exactly what it is you want from the relationship.

We all have choices and we all have responsibility. So make sure your experiences are worth it! Focus on those in your life. Let the people around you know you love them and see those friends you haven’t seen in months.

And be proactive. Use the time alone to figure yourself out and create the space for someone new! 

Men & Vulnerability

Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally – Oxford Dictionary 2017

But is that really what it is?

 Vulnerability has long been considered a weakness or that thing we keep hidden deep down to protect ourselves. But is it really a state of being that hinders us, or could it possibly be a state of being that brings us closer to the people around us?

A recent study by Eli Finkel (2017) found that mutual openness, such as being vulnerable, played a crucial role in creating healthy relationships. But what do we mean by being vulnerable? We mean the ability to express our emotions freely, to be intimate (and not just in the physical sense) and to be able to express the raw, unfiltered version of ourselves that we usually keep locked away.

As women, we are socialised and told that is it okay to be emotional, okay to openly express our feelings and that it is okay to not be okay. For men, it’s clear there is something different. With the increasing awareness of men’s mental health, with campaigns such as C.A.L.M and #MendTheGap , it is evident there is a lack of understanding of what it means to be vulnerable as a man. Men are aware, that although they are asked to be vulnerable, their vulnerability may be met with uncertainty and sometimes misunderstood.

Following from our last blog, we recently discussed what is “rejection” and what it is to be vulnerable with men of different ages and races. Many perceived rejection as something that only occurs when (and if) they approached a woman for a conversation. We also found that this is biggest reason as to why men don’t approach women at all. Many went on to say they found women can be mean in conversation and this deters them from approaching women at all!

We also found that men saw vulnerability as something that happened rather than an emotional way of being. One participant said they felt vulnerable when they were in a state of financial uncertainty and they were unable to provide for their family. Many of the men saw vulnerability as a state of being weak. So how does this affect relationships?

“If there are prerequisites for worthiness that we carry either knowingly or unknowingly within us, then we apply them to ourselves as well as other people” – Dr Brene Brown

Dr Brene Brown carried out research for her book Daring Greatly and found that we really can’t offer people more compassion than we have for ourselves. Her research found that for us to be able to tolerate vulnerability in others, we first must be able to accept the perceived imperfections within ourselves.

For men, intimacy is often synonymous with sex. It has been said that this is one of the few areas where men allow themselves to emotionally and physically vulnerable (being naked usually does that to a person!). But intimacy is far more than just that, it is a something of a personal or private nature that we allow ourselves to share with someone else with freedom, regardless of how the other person may receive that sharing. Without vulnerability, how can we have love, trust and intimacy?

We can’t expect a person to “change”. But what we can do is transform our expectations, develop our understanding of intimacy and vulnerability and understand that we really can’t offer more compassion than we have for ourselves. Let the ones you’re with know that they can talk to you and really mean it, let them know that you love each other because of your imperfections, not despite of them, and that it is okay not to be okay.

Rejection: A Female Perspective

“We cannot change the actions of others, but we can change how we let it affect us”

In the last post we talked about how rejection affects us all and how, sometimes, the rejection we experience may not be personal but instead an outcome of what someone else is going through. In order to help us understand the difference, we suggested splitting an experience into 2 lists to distinguish what really happened – and what we felt happened. This enables us to separate feelings from fact; ultimately, allowing us to realise these experiences had nothing to do with us at all.

This month we decided to ask a few people* about their stories of rejection  and the decisions they made from the experience. This is to illustrate to our readers that  everyone experiences what is perceived as rejection and how we let it affect us.

 

Anna | 36 | London

I was in a relationship with this guy for about 4 years. We got along really well in the beginning and I knew that he liked me. However, his work (he was a doctor) meant that he had a hectic lifestyle and looking back, I don’t think he had time for a proper relationship. Due to his work schedule, and the fact he lived quite a distance away from me, I was always having to plan my life around his and I felt I was the one making all the effort.

What did you decide? I felt that I was second best to his work, family and social life and that his lack of effort was a reflection on me. He preferred the situation the way it was because it was best for him. Since that relationship I’ve found that I don’t make enough effort with guys and I get put off really easily. I’m so adamant that I won’t get myself in a situation like that again so I won’t entertain someone who doesn’t seem like they have enough time for me.

Jess | 24 | London

I dated someone last year, who on paper was my perfect guy. He ticked all my boxes and it seemed that it would work well with my family…he was basically my ideal guy. However, as we got to know each other and went on more dates I found that he would take longer and longer to reply to my messages and he would keep coming up with excuses about why he’s been so distance. It went round in a circle a few times before I eventually stepped away from that relationship.

What did you decide? I decided that, if the next person I date, isn’t consistent with his communication then I won’t put up with it. I felt that his lack of attention was personal to me as he always seemed to be on his phone. It made me feel insecure, so I decided that I’m going to set my rules and hope to not experience something like that again!

  

Bhavini | 28 | London

I met a guy online and we were dating for a few months but then out of the blue he said he couldn’t date me anymore because he had too much going on (but I think this was just an excuse because he had been acting distant before then). I didn’t hear from him soon after that.

What did you decide? At the time I felt used and annoyed at him and the situation, so I decided that I would be more laid back about meeting someone and not be so active because I didn’t want to feel used like that again.

Rochelle | 26 |London

I was in a relationship for about a year and a half (on and off) and found out during the last 6 months of the relationship that he had cheated. We talked about it and I decided I could deal with it and we could move forward. However, I eventually found out he was talking to another girl and decided to no longer continue that relationship. 

 What did you decide? I decided that I wasn’t pretty enough or I was missing something because why else would someone cheat, right? I also think I decided that this was something that men would always do and it left me with a lot of trust issues. I decided to keep my guard up more next time and not be so vulnerable and open with someone as I once was.

So…what can we take away from these stories? It’s safe to say an experience of rejection has happened to most of us, in some form or another. The decisions we make after that experience can stay with us for years, sometimes without us even realising it. But, what does this mean? It means we might enter a new relationship with thoughts we decided from our past still lingering. The presumptions that ‘he’s too busy, therefore, he doesn’t care’ or ‘she’s not replying to me fast enough so she isn’t that interested’ are created before we’ve even given someone a chance!

Without belittling our experiences, why not change the way we view them? See them as learning curves, as experiences that have shaped the way we are in the world but that do not define us. We cannot change the actions of others, but we can change how we let it affect us. Do we really want to be letting one bad experience in a relationship affect how we view the next?

 

Look out for our next blog post, we’ll be discussing ‘Men & Vulnerability’…

 

*Names have been changed due to confidentiality.

It’s Not Them, It’s You: How You Can Be Your Own Worst Enemy When It Comes to Dating & Love

The dating world is continuously changing. From a time when you would usually only meet someone through physical social interactions, it’s now easier than ever with the digital culture that has given us social media platforms and online dating! Research carried out by the online publication Psychology Today found that 1 in 5 relationships started on an online platform. However, even with the increased accessibility, the most common phrase heard is that “it’s so hard to meet someone.” Although dating on online platforms is easier, it still appears to be unfulfilling for most.

It seems to be in common agreement that it’s still as hard as ever to meet the perfect partner or even suitable contenders. What many don’t realise is that we have a part to play in our dating experience, and the narrative that we bring is just as likely to alter how our experiences pan out. So how is it that we get in the way of our own desires to find a meaningful and genuine relationship?

1.  High expectations

The fairy tale says that when you meet the love of your life, you’ll know. But if the focus is predominantly on how tall they are, what their hair colour is, how much they earn, acknowledging whether they’re compatible with you won’t even come into question. Putting up these high expectation barriers from the get-go means finding someone that will tick all those boxes is next to impossible.

According to a recent article written by Marie Claire, Dr Gary Lewandowski suggested that, although physical attractiveness initially is important, this changes over time and getting to know someone sways how it is you feel about them. His research also suggests that what you think you want, may not actually be anything like what you end up with.

By all means, having expectations are good, they give an indication of what is expected in a relationship and how the relationship should be. But too many high expectations can be damaging. If your love interest ticks all your boxes but happen to be 5ft’10 instead of 6ft – is that really something that can’t be compromised on?

2.  Always on the lookout for the ‘next best thing’

A recent article written by Forbes magazine included a study that found there was a strong correlation between social media use and unhappy marriages and divorce. The study didn’t suggest that social media caused problems, simply that it played a part in adding pressure to relationships. Through the internet and media platforms, we’re often reminded that there are 6 billion other people out there in the world, which yes may make the process of finding love easier but also means we’re often presented with the idea that there may be something better out there.

Coupled with high expectations, it is easy to look at the partners we have and compare them to the online relationships we think look perfect. We only go out to dinner once a week but that person we see on social media is going out to eat several times a week with their partner. Getting caught up with wanting to emulate other people’s portrayals of an ideal relationship and partner, often means that we take for granted what we actually have. Appreciating what is in front of us is important, and the willingness to compromise on the factors we think are the most important is essential.

3.  Unrealistic demands

He has to be 6ft, earning over £100,000, prepared to father 3 children, and must own his own house – but never mind, he’s starting to bald so all bets are off.

She has to be at least 5’5ft, independent, loves to cook and be willing to stay at home when the kids come into the picture – but darn it, she’s not a fan of dogs.

Sound familiar? In the real world, it’s highly improbable that you’ll find someone to tick all the boxes, and a reality check – that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are settling.

Unrealistic demands often mean we create barriers that stop us from embracing a dating experience that otherwise might, surprisingly, be something quite enjoyable. Keeping an open mind means unravelling some of those demands and asking the question – are they ALL really that important? Ask yourself, if the tables were turned, would YOU tick all the boxes on someone else’s list? Or would you expect them to compromise on some of them for you?

It’s clear to see that the dating culture today has changed, the digital online landscape opens doors and allows us to meet and mingle with many different types of people. The downfall with this is that it might not be a great platform for those looking for something more meaningful. However, with all the different ways we can now date and find love, it is important to continuously self-reflect and see how we can affect the narrative of our experiences. So, embrace the dating experiences and get out of your comfort zone. Take those chances and have fun with it. An open mind will allow you to be more reasonable and realistic about what it is that you want and what it is that you need. Love isn’t just going to fall from the sky, it takes time, patience and self-reflection!