Mea Culpa

Well, shock horror it turns out that writing about a dating month is complicated. It’s one thing writing honestly about myself but it’s another thing writing about other people.

Even though I’ve changed details, the guys concerned would recognise themselves if they came across this blog and I don’t know how good it would make them feel. It wouldn’t make me feel good to have someone talking in public about my hair, my clothes, my job, my money.

It didn’t make me good to be the kind of person writing about that stuff.

While some of the guys knew about my dating month, others didn’t, including the Mad Scientist.

I told him this week and he wasn’t happy. ‘So I’m part of some experiment and you’re writing about me?’ he said. I didn’t see him as an experiment but of course I can now see that that is how it would seem to him.

What I did was not fair or kind and we have not met up again. His choice. It makes me sad because I liked him – but I have no one to blame but myself.

The truth is I got more interested in telling a good story than being a good person. It’s too easy for the whole dating thing to become a big soap opera, I wanted to keep giving the next instalment rather than thinking about someone else’s privacy and feelings.

This was a mistake and it’s not one I’m going to make again. It’s why I took down Monday’s post  – sorry for the frustration caused by sending a link that didn’t work.

The thing is I treat this blog like a cross between a diary or an email I’m sending to friends – but of course that’s not what it is. It’s a real, public thing and to that end I have to me much more mindful of what I write and how it affects other people.

But this brings to me to a bit on impasse. How to write about dating without actually writing about the people I date?!

I guess it’s a matter of bringing it back to me, me, me (I know, sorry) for the last week of this dating month.

The bigger questions underpinning this whole month are: Do I want to meet someone, get married and settle down? Do I want kids? Do you need to be with someone else to live a good, full life or can you lead a good, full life on your own?

I’ll think a bit more about those questions next week.

I’m also going to knock Tinder on the head for now. It brings out a not pleasant, callous, judgemental side in me. It makes dating feel like a game, just more material for a funny story.

I need to get back to actually putting myself on the line in real life. Matthew Hussey is absolutely right when he says that online dating can be used an excuse to stay in your shell when you’re out and about in the real world.

I have not been pushing myself in terms of smiling at strangers, giving them compliments or interacting with real men in real moments. It’s so much easier to type messages onto a screen.

So anyway, onwards, in a new form.

Love to you all and thank you very much to the people who put me straight in the comments to the post I put up and then took down on Monday. You were absolutely right.

Have a nice weekend.


13 thoughts on “Mea Culpa

  1. Anne Thorn

    I did wonder, but we all live and learn. I think you could still write about the experience without writing about the guys but just be honest up front and you may find it is not a problem. You don;t want to end up like Liz Jones, old, bitter and alone so maybe just stick to writing about the self-help journey but leave out the dating details. Sending love and hugs xxx

  2. Arthur

    I have to admit I had my reservations about your writing about real people. I generally try to use abstract examples, but it isn’t always possible, especially with something as personal as dating.

    That said, it is a shame the IT guy saw himself as a test subject in an experiment. When we’re really honest with ourselves, every date is an experiment, and if the first one works out we experiment some more (generally referred to as “getting to know each other”). So where do we draw the line with our own double standards?

  3. Mary

    Yikes. I really hope the Mad Scientist rethinks his stance but onwards and upwards. And don’t forget – it’s the weekend! Mxx

  4. Adrian Vincent

    I once met a girl on a boat in the Galapogas Islands and she told me about her secret dating blog that she used to share her gossip with her girlie friends. At first she refused to tell me the URL. Eventually she let me in and I got to see what she wrote about me and the other guys. It was mostly all complementary and positive stuff, so I was happy to be included in it. It was nice to read about some fond memories months later and when we were continents apart. You’ve definitely got to be careful what you write though 😉

  5. Liz Farsaci

    The book Sex at Dawn, which came out a few years ago, is really thought-provoking when thinking about relationships and what we want. The sound bite from it is that we should all be non-monogamous, but I think that simplifies what the book is about. It has helped me to rethink relationship narratives – and assumed relationship goals – that we all take for granted. Keep up the good work!

  6. Dalai dink

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think you have done well enough to hide the individuals concerned and it appears to be an honest account.

    P.s. Sorry for “running you over”, nerves took over the connection between my brain and my mouth.

  7. Edmund

    Well I don’t think you should feel bad. Adele wrote songs about an ex and go on to launch the most successful album of 2013 while sex and the city was about a columnist writing about her personal relationship in a column albeit fictional, it’s how the written form has been inspired by. If he feels bad then it’s his problem. I think you should focus on what you believe in and maybe a helpful tip is not to write it so explicitly or have a more fictional spin on it with thought starters

  8. Karen Jones

    Ever the romantic, I’m hoping the mad scientist realises what an amazing, fabulous, funny and intelligent woman you are and gets over it, as he’ll never find one quite as good as you!

  9. Rain

    I’ m sorry things are not working out with The Mad Scientist because I really liked him and thought that maybe he could be The One for you. I think he’s probably pretty shocked to hear about your experiment and that he’s likely feeling seriously hurt right now. Maybe he will come round and see that he wasn’t the experiment. You’ve done the right thing now. You have certainly learned a great deal from this experience. We all mess up sometimes, it’s part of life. I love your honesty Marianne and I think that is an essential component to having a fulfilling relationship. I wouldn’t give up on him yet. Have you thought about sending him a hand written note? Marianne, you are awesome by the way. hugs, Rain

  10. bob whittle

    Don’t push it don’t force it let it happen naturally for love is bound to happen if love is meant too be.( The lyrics to a song sung by Leon Haywood back in 1980.


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