The Proverbial Shit-Show that is ‘Dating’

The Proverbial Shit-Show that is ‘Dating’

Let me start by saying, by no means am I an aesthetically attractive guy.

I mean sure, there’s the attention to hair, what I wear, how I smell (super important), how I talk, listen and respond – all the significant values that you’d assume would mean something. Naturally however – I’m dumb out of luck.

But I’ve had my run of amazing dates, and let’s face it – I would happily say I’ve never dated or propositioned someone to a date who I didn’t feel was a 10 in some form.

A 10 when it comes to personality.
A 10 when it comes to chemistry.
A 10 when it comes to aesthetics.
A 10 when it comes to crazy scale.

A 10 when it comes to everything and anything I’d ever be attracted to.

So how do you know, when she’s a 10?

The reality is, I can’t tell you. Why?

Well it’s pretty clear, isn’t it? We’re all different. We all have different priorities in life, what we like, what we `love`, hate – heck even what we’re neutral about.

We’re all pretty passionate people who care about different characteristics and aesthetics, so of course – of course, I  can’t tell YOU how YOU define your 10. The best I can do is explain how I end up at that conclusion (which I’m about to do now).

So how do I know when she’s a 10 hot and a 10 crazy? How do you know where she lives on the crazy/hot scale?

(Disclaimer: I didn’t design this matrix, but I ran into the matrix on this video

So again, how do I know that she’s a 10-hot, 10-crazy and the unicorn? I know, because she clears my checklist.

I’m not talking about just the smart, funny, likes long walks to the fridge.. no. I’m talking about the REAL checklist. For instance, some of examples taken from my books (not all) would be:

She has a sense of wanderlust

She has passionate in what’s a priority to me, but at the same time – also has passion in what’s unfamiliar to me.

She’s just as impulsive as I am

For anyone who knows me personally, you need to get me to do things there and then because I’m a serial no-show if I’m not reminded. I’m highly impulsive so, expect most of the girls I date to be rather impulsive too.

She’s looking for someone better than me

Yeah ok, none of the above REALLY matters and this point might sound like it sucks – but it’s actually a good thing. Think for a moment, why would you – settle for someone?

Settle means that you’re allowing yourself to be happy with ‘something but not everything’ you want. So why would you let someone else think of you as ‘something but not everything’?

The key lies in what’s not there *yet*.

You’re not the perfect guy *yet*.

She’s invested in you as much as you are invested in her

She still needs to learn about every cavity in your personality, characteristic, aesthetic.. any possible gap that MIGHT be there – they’re naturally going to assume it’s there.

There are these are cavities in you that you are trying to fill with ‘substance’. Substance that makes you ‘unique’ and as an individual it empowers you. It gives you the confidence, not cockiness. The one job that you have, however, is to just not fuck it up.

Don’t fuck up who you are – because that’s not you. Your attraction to her is beside the point here, this is about you and only you. Don’t expect her to change for you because you shouldn’t expect yourself to change for her. You do that on your own buddy and she will too.

So where are these ‘unicorns’ ?

The reality is, they’re all around you. You just need to see which horses are actually unicorns in hiding.

That is all.

That is it.

Nothing more to it.. right?

Here’s the thing – dating is kind of like taking a cold shower for the first time.

At first, it’s fucking freezing your insides.
Your heart slows down.
You can’t think or speak as fluently.
There are goosebumps everywhere.
Dropping the ball is like preparing your arsehole for when hell freezes over.. And finally you’re left cold, wet and all alone regardless of the outcome.

I remember my very first date. Like an actual date that wasn’t the movies, going to the local shopping centre or eating together at some cafe – where I would pretend to not be hungry because I was saving every penny for whatever activity was next (yeah, $8/hr is still $8/hr).

It was hilarious.

I had already built this massive rapport with her. I knew how to make her laugh, how to make her smile, how to get her heart racing and prayed to god that she’d fall in love with me.

Having a dozen heartbreaks before that, you learn a thing or two about charisma and charm.

Beyond that – I have two parents that worked in sales at the time. It was pretty essential as a kid to negotiate and learn how to be well-mannered (shout-out to Mom) to get my way.

So how did I first meet this girl?

Well, I worked at this camera store, and I was a pretty prolific guy amongst peers and university students around that time. I had a following online and I was popular because of what I did and who I was followed closely as a reason.

So what happened, this girl – about 5’6” walks in. Holding hands with a guy, carrying a camera over her shoulder with a misbranded neck strap. (Let’s just say it’s the equivalent troll level of a girl placing a cucumber in her pants and claiming she has a penis).

We talk, she notices me and we’re disconnected after that initial encounter.

The same month, a friend borrows my very elaborate camera setup – which was THE holy grail for a lot of uni students and professional photographers alike.

The same month, she’s also recognised me in a few other places, and mutual friends would talk about my achievements (heh, told you I was popular 😉 ) – so the interest became pretty mutual. Organically – I had socially retargeted her without me even knowing.

Being in today’s world, I added her on Facebook and we started chatting. Instant chemistry and I could feel that rush you get when you laugh for 10 minutes straight. 1 hour went by.. then 2…3..4.. 5 hours later we’re planning a lunch the next day and it was already 2AM. That lunch happened and eventually – I asked her on a date, which she surprisingly said yes to.

Just before first ever date, I encompassed the need to squeeze literally EVERYTHING I wanted to do with this girl. All the awesome things we spoke about during our initial connections leading up to the date.

I tried to fill all the things I wanted to do with her into the one night and as much as I had planned out what felt like a 10-day workshop on romance, it was one of the most first relaxed dates I had.

All those plans? They basically flew out the window. We couldn’t even get passed the first item on the agenda.

As a bit of background, we both loved photography so I felt it was pretty natural to run a ‘photo-date’.

Neither of us had been on one so we were both fairly new to the concept (see how wanderlust applies here?)

Have you ever heard of a time lapse before? Effectively, it’s when you take a photo every X seconds and turn it into a video. (Wicked cool stuff).

So what does a ‘time-lapse date’ mean when you’re standing at the corner of George and Park St in the middle of Sydney CBD at 11PM on a weekday?

It generally means you’re standing there.
For 2 hours.
Doing nothing.
Waiting for this camera to take 1000 photos to get 40 seconds of footage that looked like shit.

Yeah, how’s that for a first date? Am I attractive yet?

Having that as the primary part of our date – we ended up back at this shitty hotel and having eaten sweet fuck all, lying there – Hungry. Tired. Drained.

She worked during the day, from early morning till late afternoon – to then come on a date with me that night, and onwards to beyond midnight (See the flaws yet?)

You’re probably wondering – “Ok well, what happened? Did you even kiss?”

Truth is, yes. Yes we did.

Somehow, someway – with every fibre of me attempting to have SOME self-control, I managed to legitimately ‘steal’ a kiss from her. It was.. *clears throat* – ANYWAYS.

She basically passed out after that kiss and well, the rest is the history of a near 3-year relationship.

So what did I learn from this date? Did I learn anything at all?

Short Answer: Yes. You can run along now.. (but how exciting would that be?)

Long Answer: Hell freaking yeah I did!

It’s part of the fun of dating these days. You text for weeks, catch up for the odd lunch but then when you setup an actual ‘date’ to go on.

I didn’t really learn anything about dating until after this relationship crashed.

It’s true – you really do learn from your mistakes.

For me, it was not seeing the whole picture the entire time. I always thought selfishly, and had my own perspective confused.

You see there’s a distinct difference when it comes to the reason why you do something for your partner.

It’s not about the completion or non-completion of the task. It’s the emotions behind the motions. Think, why did you do that for THEM, and more importantly are you really sure you did that for THEM?

That was my biggest blindspot. Seeing the truth behind what I was doing.

I encouraged her into the fire-pit of the Australian fashion industry because I wanted to look good around my peers with a 10-hot around my arm.

I trained her on how to frame, edit, light and compose images because I wanted her to be immediately as successful, if not more successful than me.

I bought her a phone because I wanted the pride to say “I did this for my girlfriend” and never have I ever been more ashamed to say ‘do it for the social media’ applied IN A RELATIONSHIP.

I got angry at her when she didn’t give me the quantity of time and attention I demanded. It was selfish and I was blind to the fact that she worked early, long hours – to then try to please me without being given the identical time and attention she deserved.

I enabled her to think she was wrong when she wasn’t. I made her believe it was not ok to feel tired, to want personal space or to feel appreciated.

I broke down and didn’t want her to leave me the first time because I realised what a jerk I was.

But my biggest mistake of them all? I let her feel like she was ‘settling’ for someone.

So was the relationship worth it?

What I haven’t mentioned was all of the hell she put me through – and to be fair, I don’t think I’m ever going to be in a right place to ever identify her wrong doing publicly.

She may have put me through hell three times. But it was all worth it.

There have been some serious downers in that relationship and she may have pulled out the ugliest side of me. Heck, I’d go as far to say she even put me through a nervous breakdown and clinical depression.

But beyond saying it was all worth it – I wholeheartedly give her the highest respect for having to deal with me the whole time and putting up with my shit.

What I’m sorry for most? I’m sorry for wasting 3 years of her life.

So what was next? After learning all these fundamentals of dating, what did I do next?

Of course, I continued dating.

And who did I date?

One of my sister’s best friends of course.

Now before you jump the gun on me, let me just say – she was like lighting a flare gun on fire in the middle of a rock concert.

You could spot her from a mile away – not just because of how gorgeous she was – but you could feel her presence around you.

So at my sister’s birthday, we met for the first time. My sister’s pretty cluey when it comes to this kind of stuff so I suspect she had an inkling that somehow – we’d end up on a date. She wasn’t wrong.

That night of my sister’s birthday, it was quite clear there was chemistry.

Me, a suave, sweet tongued lad with a vibrantly charming aura, was challenged by her identical traits of being suave, charming, sweet tongued and additionally to that – she was the perfect textbook girl.

To this day, I still believe that chemistry happened because we were both in the right place at the right time, with the same mindset and inevitably – the similarities were uncanny.

We both worked in premium sales arenas. She had a background in high-fashion/upmarket jewellery and I had the background in professional photographic sales. So of course, when you put the two together at a high sync speed – the match will ignite on the striking surface.

I took onboard a lot of the mistakes I had previously and funnelled them into my mantra of always being the best version of me.

That’s exactly what I did and I played my cards right.

I made sure the reason behind every action I did was because it was natural to me. Little gestures like:

Opening doors for her because I knew it was important to her.
Making intellectual jokes with her because we both appreciate them.
L-I-S-T-E-N-I-N-G to what she has to say because I’m genuinely interested.
Giving her my true feelings, opinion, and thoughts because she deserved my complete respect.

The best part? To this day, we’re still friends.

As a matter of fact, I can hold my hand over heart and say she’s one of the most reliable friends I have when I need someone there.

So where did it all go wrong?

Well.. let’s just say we didn’t want things to get messy. Because holy hell – did we realise how quickly things could get messy.

Did I want to jeopardise my sister’s relationship with her best friend? NOPE.

Did she want to jeopardise my sister’s relationship with me? NOPE.

Plus, we only saw each other complete values when we were both happy. We’ve never seen each other mad, either at each other or at something else together.

This meant that she only saw the best of me. Not ‘all of me’.

So that was that. We both recognised that as much as we had fun, it just wasn’t meant to be. Not now at least. Additionally to this, I’m glad she only ever gets to see the best side of me.

Again, I put myself on the market, but not before giving her the crazy-hot matrix score:

Let’s sit in Doctor Emmet Brown’s DeLorean time machine for a moment.

Who I want to talk about now, is someone completely different. A girl, who I met – 11 years ago. As a hopelessly romantic teenager that I was.

11 years ago, I couldn’t help myself. Hormones just had to take control of me, giving me a false courage, and a sense of hope.

11 years ago, this girl walks into my life – or rather, I forced myself into hers.

Imagine this, some guy (aka. me) working at a fish and chip shop inside of a shopping mall food court. Now the initial events occur just after most of the local schools finish, so all the school kids would meet up there.

I’m there, minding my own business in this quiet time of the food court.

Literally empty.

Now this girl.. THE girl, comes in, sits right in front of our kiosk with her friend and – yep there it is. 16 yr old hormones jacked up to maximum surge.

She giggled at something her friend said and at that very moment – I was in, hook, line and sinker.

Now bear with me, because I’m going to put it out there – this was a first.

I had to.. I’m sorry, but I just had to do what was quite possibly the stupidest thing.

I wrote down my number on a piece of paper with my name.

Ran out to her and her friend.
Told her she was cute.
Gave her my number.
Then just walked away.

Roars of laughter were heard and I was left with a face redder than my hair at the time (I was REALLY into manga hair).

Don’t get me wrong, but holy shit.. soul crushing to the extreme.

I genuinely felt lucky enough that she contacted me the same day. So, not all hope was lost at that time (yet). But heck, did this girl know how to crush a heart.

The world knew pretty clear what I thought about this girl. She’s smart, she’s funny.. she was the pinnacle of what every guy wanted. In her own words, guys liked the idea of her – and I have to agree, they did. It didn’t help that she ticked everything off the list either.

We talk pretty proactively, get along fine as you’d expect two teens with raging hormones to be. But I was infatuated with her. Like SUPER infatuated to the point where there’s no equal.

At this time, she was dating a slick guy called Tom/Thom. And obviously, I can’t compete with that shit. I’m some giant nerdy ass asian guy with a comical sense of humour and a youtube video of me styling my hair for 30 minutes (bear in mind, it’s at 40,000 views today, just Google “Crazy Asian Hair” and you’ll find me on the first page).

So regardless of her telling me no, regardless of her telling me  she has a boyfriend – I still agree to be friends.

A few weeks, months later – I get her a job at a Thai takeout shop at the same food court. 2 weeks later – I’m working with her in said Thai takeout shop.

As a clue, some of my best memories of my childhood were thanks to this place. It had a warm feeling that is impossible to shake.

Some of the funniest moments I can recall include:

  • her telling me her favourite flowers are white, and on her birthday – I buy her white flowers… which of course in asian tradition is the colour you buy for dead people. (f*cking genius ay, thanks for telling me AFTERWARDS).
  • Her being sprayed from head to toe from the water of the kitchen hose. Then being referred to as ‘the wet dog’.
  • Gambling in a game of baccarat, and in the truest nature of beginners luck – she sweeps my entire pot in less than 5 hands.

It’s super uncanny — but I can’t think of my childhood without her. It wouldn’t have been the same and she always knew how to talk to me about improving the person that I was becoming.

Little things like how I should act or talk, when I was overwhelming or when I was being a jerk.

She would tell you everything that most girls in High School wouldn’t have told you about because they didn’t know better either.

She could tell me how to be a better version of me. That’s a gift only a few people in this world pertain. Inclusive to this skillset, she also knew for a fact that I was wrapped around her finger and of course, of course, she played it to her advantage.

“Marcus, can you cut the carrots? I don’t want to.”
“Marcus, can you carry these drinks? I’m small and it’s heavy.”
“Marcus, I don’t feel like washing today.”

Sound familiar? Don’t worry, I only recently found out that we’ve all been there. Eventually, I moved on and went through a dictionary of girlfriends as a result.

Fast-forward 11 years to today, I’d like to say she’s on my shortlist of true friends. I only recently met up with her for the first time in at least 5-6 years and truthfully, it doesn’t feel like we ever drifted apart in the first place.

Sure, there are things that have changed: house, careers, partners, hairstyles (I’d post the photo but she’d probably kill me).

But as for everything else? Nah, hasn’t changed. And I hope nothing changes either. She still just as (if not more) beautiful as she was 11 years ago, inside and out. I’ve just been lucky enough to dig deeper into the inside more recently.

She can still create a reaction when she wants to.. but only when she wants to. She can still tell me to do something for her, and subconsciously, I just oblige instead of stopping to think about things analytically – like I do with everything else in my life. (Heck, you might have even noticed the tone has changed when I talk about her in this post).

It’s quite clear that she still has some powers over me – but, I’d like to say I’m not as stupid as I used to be 😉 Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and assume I have some self-control and am as stupid as I play it out to be.

So where does she sit on the crazy-hot matrix? The reality is, she can’t be placed in one location. But rather – an entire field. Let me explain graphically:

The simplest way to put it: She’s a 10-hot with a every level of crazy attached. Not because she’s nuts, but because she has the capacity to make me – go nuts.

She is the perfect identity to end this post with because, truthfully – I’ve never have a sad moment with her, and that’s a fact worth stating. I’m very grateful to have a such a fantastic friend for so long and I know that if I truly need her for anything, she’ll be there – the same way that I’d be there for her.


(this is what our friendship looks like)

As the maturity of friendships loom, the unicorn friends separate from the horses and you work out rather quickly who you want to keep around.

Taking a look back at some of my dating history (though, the last one I described to you – I have never officially been on a date with), the only common denomination I can identify, is a practical sense of learning from the mistakes, building self-awareness and improving the quality of consideration when you’re thinking about someone.

I’ll follow up with a part 2 on more dates but for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed the pleasures of my discomfort as I begin my search for comfort of blankets, pillows and a heavenly mattress. And remember, the most important part of what I’ve mentioned today is why you should never settle, and never be settled on.

Never Settle