In the past week my timeline on Twitter has been full of bloggers tweeting about how they’ve been shortlisted in their category of the UK Blog Awards, which of course is great news for them. They’ve put themselves forward to enter a competition to win the prize of a stamp of approval on their blog, and if they want that verification then all well and good, it certainly doesn’t mean that any blog without it isn’t worth reading. I for one read blogs that interest me, keep me entertained, and have something I can relate to, and I usually like a person’s writing style. But some people don’t care if you’ve won any awards or not, some people want something for nothing which means asking some bloggers to write for them for free.
I’d not been blogging for long before someone in the dating industry got in touch and asked would I write a piece for their newsletter seeing as how I’m in a bit of a niche as an older dater, (free of course.) Yeah no problem, did an article for this woman but then I noticed that whenever she tweeted it she always “forgot” to tag me in it so I never got much credit for that, it was just free content for a newsletter that she didn’t have the basic manners to acknowledge me for. Lesson learned.
More recently a woman based in Manchester asked me if I would be willing to contribute blogs for her start-up business which was to cover all aspects of dating. Again, she wanted this for free but then went one step further by saying I could be an ambassador but there was absolutely nothing in it for me. She said anyone visiting the website would be sent links to my blog but I was sceptical about this arrangement. I said I’d think about it and after a couple of days I saw that she had obviously paid a company to look after the social media side of her business, well if you can pay them, you can pay me. After taking some advice from someone who is at the top of her game in the dating industry, I was advised not to do it for free, but to charge. So I did. I wrote one blog for her and that was it, after that her website was “having some changes” and I believe her business has folded now so god knows what she’s doing these days.
Most bloggers write for themselves but obviously we all like to think that someone is actually reading it. I know that some people read mine, they might not always comment on it or “like” it when posted on Twitter but I know that one particular person read the most popular post of all (interview for Playboy) as she went in fancy dress as a bunny one night, wearing something that she could only have known if she’d read the post, but at least people read it. But fake people pretending that they’re doing you a favour in order to promote their business is something else, I now say I don’t do anything for free unless it’s by choice if they want to pay fine, if not, fine. In the meantime I’ll just carry on as normal, but I won’t be entering any competitions for bloggers.
But to all the bloggers going to the final of the UK Blog Awards. Good luck.
I’m not a fan of looking back, it reminds me that I could have probably handled a couple of situations better than I did, and it’s too late to change that now, but having said that it’s also nice to see all the good things that have happened in the past year so I’m going to concentrate on remembering all those as we wait to welcome in a new year.
- Back in January I moved into my lovely new place which is unofficially known as “Goddess Gardens.” At the start I didn’t have much but by the end of the year it’s not looking too bad if I say so myself.
- I didn’t realise how many radio interviews I’d actually done over the past year, usually about online dating of which I know a lot about unfortunately.
- In May someone on Twitter let me know there was a picture of me in Heat magazine. After an awful few minutes of hoping it wasn’t one of me stuffing my face with a sausage roll while sat in the smoking section outside of where I work, I was relieved to see it was a promo shot of Channel 4’s First Dates.
- Back in the summer I went on a really good date, was looking forward to a second date but on the day my date decided (after a lot of indecisiveness) to leave it until the week after. I think he might have double booked to be honest and couldn’t decide who to go for on the day but the fact I have met someone half decent has given me hope. And no, I didn’t meet him again, we had a date, he changed his mind a couple of hours before we were due to meet. Game over.
- In September when Hugh Hefner died I was invited to be a guest on the Dr. Pam Spurr show on Talk Radio talking about being a bunny back in the day. One of the questions she asked me did make me smile though, “So, did you and the other girls ever get excited thinking Hugh might walk in the club any minute?” The guy lived in America for god’s sake so I answered truthfully. “Not in Manchester Pam, no.”
- In October I went on a blind date for a national newspaper, all expenses paid for at the restaurant of my choice. After listening to Colin telling me the most outrageous things that apparently he never tells anyone, (why me Colin?) we left the restaurant to walk to the train station/bus stop. I’d already warned him about trying to grope me outside the restaurant, but unfortunately he didn’t listen. Grappling with a 64 yr old at Piccadilly Gardens bus stop in Manchester isn’t my idea of how a date ends, so there was no second date for Colin.
So here we are, it’s that time of year where we all reflect on whether it’s been a good year or not. For me it wasn’t all good, some bad stuff happened but I’m going to focus on the positives and hoping next year will be even better.
Hope it’s a good one for everyone.
Now and again I ask Twitter to stop recommending that I follow other dating bloggers, as I have now reached my absolute limit of following so many women in their 20s/30s who all have a tale to tell but which inevitably becomes the same one.
I’ve been where you are, dated the same guys with the same bad result. The narcissist, the commitment phobe, the guys who have already got a girlfriend, the ones who are on a rebound, the ones who want you back when they hear you’ve found someone new. The insecure ones who are controlling, abusive but it’s all because they love you so much. The ridiculously good looking ones that rely totally on their looks and have the personality of a cobweb. The charming ones who always have a really good story as to why they let you down big time by not turning up for your sister’s wedding/nephew’s christening or Christmas day at your parents. The cheats, the liars, the ones who say you’ve got issues when you try to confront them with the latest Facebook message from some girl you don’t know telling you bad things about your guy and what he’s been up to. I’ve dated them all at some time or other and as you get older you’ll realise that there are certain things you won’t put up with anymore.
As an older dater you probably think we don’t have much in common but believe it or not, some guys don’t learn lessons. I’ve been breadcrumbed, ghosted, catfished and been let down at literally the last minute on the way to meet up. It would seem some things don’t change and as we all know the problem with dating apps/sites is that guys are not willing to commit in case there’s a shinier prettier, funnier younger version of you just around the corner.
I totally understand why some women a lot younger wouldn’t feel as though they could relate to an older dating blogger, how could we possibly be on the same page? I’ve had my family so the pressure is off for me in hoping to meet someone to start a new life with, so there is that difference. But no one gets married to get divorced, you just never know where life’s going to take you so all of us on the dating scene is actually meeting the same guys, they’re just called different names but at my age mine are certainly not known as “the boy”.
So here’s the thing. As much as I’d love to read each and every blog it does become a bit like groundhog day where I feel as though I’m reading the same story all the time, and sometimes it’s a bit like all the teenage angst we all went through. Does he like me? Should I have said that? He’s seen my message on Whats App 5 hours ago and not replied? What if he thinks this that and the other? Was going to tell him I love him but not heard from him for 2 weeks? The ones I end up visiting on a frequent basis are the ones that tell me about other stuff that’s going on in their lives as well as all the dating drama. Sorry ladies but there it is.