2fm Radio presenter Ruth Scott talks dating in Ireland, finding that perfect match, and how NOT to talk to single people!
It may seem odd to start this piece with the honest declaration that I now have a boyfriend. Let me explain: it took me a long time to find one & even now, 2 & a half years later, it is still quite the novelty!) I would love to say that I was inundated with many offers down through the years & that I had many dalliances along the way. That is simply not the truth! Yes, I meet a lot of people for work; I possibly meet a lot more new people than some. Why was my dance card* never filled, but resolutely ignored? (* reference to my mother & fathers courting! Cute & archaic!)
Here’s the check-list that I used to mentally tick off to assure myself that I was not a Neanderthal:
Excellent! Probably spent far too long in the bathroom anyway so I’d give myself an A+ for that. (In hindsight, deduct some marks for spending so long on my own in the bathroom & not out mingling with boys. B-)
Well I’m a radio presenter so I’m never stuck for something to say. It’s not always going to be the right thing so I’ll give myself a B for that.
Willingness to mingle with potential male suitors:
I could fill a book with every chapter entitled “Stuff I did To Meet Nice Boys.” Hill walking, (all males were approx twice my age) Bootcamp, (you can’t talk to someone if you’re constantly breathless) & DIY classes. Apparently every boy knows that stuff already & therefore they don’t turn up in their droves. I immediately discounted car maintenance for that same reason.
I thought outside the box. I thought that if boys in my night-class area already know the “traditional” boy things, maybe they need to learn the “traditional” female things. I went to a cookery class in the hope of recreating some beautiful falling-for-each-other-over-a-plate-of-something moment. The class was filled with girls & their mothers, gaggles of school mates; It was a veritable United Nations of every single type of female ever. Perfect in every way. Not so much as an atom of testosterone in the group.
I continued to go to nights out in the pub where I was enticed along with the magic phrase that sends a shiver down our spine ….. “He’s bringing his friends!” I went to everything & anything mixing & mingling & having a great old time. With the women there. It turns out that you’ll have the best crack ever hanging out with the girls. (not a boob reference!) A time when there’s nothing as good as starting a conversation with “Well, have you heard from him since?” And I stand by that. It’s immense fun. After a while, I would feel twinges of “why isn’t it happening to me?” I would size up couples & think (sometimes in a cruel fashion) “What is he doing with her?!” Yes, I was a bitch & it’s not something I’m proud of.
Well what happened to get me from “Betty-no-boyfriend” to “Loved-up-&-never-having-to-worry-about-who-I’m-going-on-holidays-with?”
I didn’t go on dates. I would meet guys & chat to guys. In fact, within moments of a conversation starting with a guy, I would happily, willingly & quite unbeknownst to myself, enter the dreaded “friend zone.” Eeek! This is that weird place that you don’t want to be in if you’re looking for a potential partner as at some point, he will ask you your thoughts on such & such girl & should he ask her out. Queue your already teetering emotion to crash through the floor.
I only copped onto this geographical phenomenon of the friend-zone after quite some time. It really does help when you listen to your friends. I gave up caring for ages. Initially I listened wistfully to the wise ones saying “It’ll happen when you least expect it.”
I was not expecting anything for almost 12 years.
And then a boy who had played a quiz on the radio show (Weekenders with Ruth & Paddy, Saturday & Sunday 2-5, gratuituous plug!) asked both Paddy & I to a table quiz in city centre. I missed the quiz but called into the pub anyway on my way home from something else. It was a Fr Ted themed quiz so he was dressed as some freak-show character from the show! Despite the costume, we would Facebook each other after that for a few weeks with tentative veiled hints at “I take 2 sugars in my coffee.” (Sounds terribly dull but it was the most spine-tingling thing ever to know that I might be meeting this nice boy for a coffee!)
Precisely 4 coffees & countless Facebook messages later, I was asked to host a ball in the Mansion House. Something in my spidey senses tingles & I remembered the nice boy had said he liked wearing a tux. And hey presto, a reason to invite him to a proper night out was unearthed.
The rest is history. Not a long history. Just 2 & ½ years of great old times. Turns out there are nice boys out there. I found a VERY nice boy!
If I did it all over again, would I do it differently? I might not be so focused on finding the treasure at the end of the boy-hunting rainbow. Easier said than done.
In the interests of those who love a “Ah well, if she found someone after that long, maybe there’s hope for me” story, I know someone whose mother, at the age of 70, is getting married again this year. There is no time limit on it. What’s for you won’t go by you.
If you learn anything from this, learn that you should never throw those clichés at single people. It makes them mad as hell!