In my previous post I put forward my plan to give something up each month consecutively for a year. This is my first follow up entry for January, a time where many people give up alcohol, in the name of ‘dry January’, I however went for a slightly different drought known as ‘dry MANuary’. That’s right, I decided to start the first of 12 months of ‘going without’ by actually going without. The rules were as follows, No dates and no ‘adult sleepovers’ or any of the activities that might happen during said sleepovers, but the biggest rule was that I couldn’t let on to any men what I was doing. I didn’t want to turn into the object of someone’s game of chase, nor the main feature of a bet amongst mates in the pub, ergh, not cool.
I started off by deleting both of the dating apps I frequent ‘Happn’ and ‘Tinder’. For about a week, I’m ashamed to say it but I felt a bit lost. All the times sat waiting at the train station, waiting to meet friends, waiting for the kettle to boil, my poor thumbs didn’t know what to do with themselves. I quickly nipped this habit in the bud by going way, way back to the old school by compulsively playing minesweeper and solitaire on my phone, Windows ’97 style. It’s really sad that I had to go to such a measure, but I did and it worked. So judge away.
January was a blast, I did a lot of drinking, mostly with my best female friends whilst listening to a hell of a lot of ‘IDFWU’ (for my white married friends, this is an abbreviation of a song called ‘I don’t fuck with you’, give it a listen, it’s a game changer and will make you feel full of sass.) and taking on that general vibe as my attitude to life. I was on fire, I was having the best time and the only men I was relying on were the bartenders responsible for my supply of gin and my uber drivers. As a result, I’ve found that not all men are sex-crazed monsters, some are actually gentlemen (rare) and some are actually interesting to talk to (extremely rare).
On a serious note, I do think I learnt a lot from my dry ‘Manuary’ experience. Firstly I learnt to stop giving my phone number out to anyone who asks. I usually use this as a tactic to encourage men to leave me alone, thinking they are safe in the knowledge I will contact them the next day (never), therefore easing off and not creeping too hard in the bar I’m trying to enjoy myself in. However, I didn’t feel it was fair to give out my number during my dry streak, and a few short ‘no you cannot have my number because I don’t want to give it to you’s later everything was A-OK, it wasn’t that hard. Which kind of brings me to my next point.
Learning to say ‘No.’ That statement sounds a lot more serious and dramatic/Grange Hill esque then intended. What I’m trying to explain is my complete inability to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to men when they ask me to go for a drink/dinner/dry ski slope tobogganing/to an owl sanctuary (all amazing date ideas BTW).
Quite often, just because they haven’t done anything douchey I will agree to a date, even if I’m not even remotely attracted/interested in them. It’s as if I feel they have to do something wrong for me to have an excuse not to go on a date with them. What’s wrong with the good old fashioned let down? Why do I and thousands of other women let men we’re not half bothered about pester us into dates and giving them our phone numbers, just because we don’t want to feel like we’re being a bitch or have a ‘valid’ excuse not to? Ultimately we’ll par them off anyway so isn’t it just better to nip it in the bud? I would sure as hell respect that treatment from a chap. Plus, I’ve landed myself in some shit storms with men I’ve strung along in the past. For example I shall quote the final of a whole series of voicemails I received from one particular pest I met on the train;
‘Why would you give me your number then not contact me back? I just think it’s rude… well you must be init ‘.
The rest of the voicemails really were hilarious and made for great listening, and if I hadn’t received them from some jumped up rude boy then I would have felt bad and taken what he had to say seriously. And that’s the point, It is rude to string men along or show false interest and I shouldn’t do it. (Also, guys, don’t make us feel like we have to when we’re clearly giving you ‘fuck off’ vibes). So now I don’t and it’s a change I’m happy to uphold. No string along zone, girl power etc etc.
I also haven’t gone back on any dating apps or sites, I really don’t think I can stomach any more unwarranted ‘dick pics’ being sent to me from shady men, I’ve had enough of those revolting shockers to last me a lifetime. I also have found a new happiness in myself and think I’m worth slightly more than having someone judge me on five photos and a sentence long bio before deciding to inevitably ‘swipe left’.
I really recommend giving up on men for just a short time to any single ladies who read this. There’s much more (gin) out there to enjoy and I grantee you’ll come out on top.