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Princess Ruby on: Could your next date be sitting next to you?

10 Jun

Definition:

‘A meet-cute is a situation in which a future romantic couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. It can also be applied to two people destined to become buddies’.

Meet-cutes are, without a doubt, probably the best thing about being single. Those little surprise encounters where you bump into someone (sometimes quite literally) who momentarily stops you in your tracks and makes your heart do a little flip. They often happen when you least expect them, or as I’ve recently discovered – while waiting for a bus or a plane!

I guess this is what makes them so cute; because they’re completely organic and even the most unromantic can’t help but think that maybe fate is playing its part. And so my story begins…

Meet-cute #1

One evening, my friend was sitting at a bus stop shivering, staring out at the road optimistically willing a red double-decker bus to turn the corner, rescue her from near hyperthermia and take her home – when a guy also sharing the same fate asked her for a lighter. Not a smoker herself, she was unable to help, however this prompted a conversation which lead to him suggesting they give up on the bus and go for a drink together instead.

They dated for a while, and would often laugh about their cute encounter, however unfortunately cigarettes weren’t his only vice – he also had a taste for snorting a certain Class A drug to help him deal with his high pressure city trading job.

When his nasty little friend started making an appearance before, during and after their dates, my friend conceited defeat and realised that perhaps fate hadn’t bought her prince. But nonetheless, her little ‘meet-cute’ does make her smile from time to time when she’s shivering waiting for the bus.

Meet-cute #2

On route to India a few months ago, I was browsing an uninspiring sandwich counter at Heathrow Airport when I looked up to catch the eyes and the very inviting smile of my next beau. After buying my sandwich I hesitantly walked out the store while flashing my best flirty smile back (one I have done my best to perfect over the years!).

As I waited outside the store for a friend, I froze when I noticed Sandwich Boy was coming over.  He introduced himself and gave me his business card, asking me to get in touch upon my return.

I took him up on this offer and we ended up going on one those amazing first dates where you instantly click, laugh (and well, eventually kiss) for hours!

However, alas, the second date was not such a success. Unsure whether the wine from the previous date had clouded my judgement, he started the date off by making jokes about a slightly overweight girl in the pub, then went on to brag about how much money he made (yawn) right before promptly pointing out that it was my turn to buy the next round, despite only being half way through my drink.  The date rapidly went down from there spelling the end of our ‘meet-cute’!

Meet cute #3

Around the same time, another friend had a transport ‘meet-cute’, however this time while boarding a flight to Australia. He spotted the lovely lass as they were boarding the plane, and to his luck, she sat in the same row as him. Unfortunately, he fell asleep, and when he woke he noticed he had not only missed dinner, but the girl too – as she had moved to the row behind him.

Hungry and disappointed, he looked around to notice her moving back to his row and told him that she had left a chocolate for him in the pouch of his seat as he had missed dinner! The chocolate was not the only thing that melted… he was smitten (after all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach). They have since gone on a few dates, however as she’s an air hostess from Portugal… it has made dating a little difficult.

Although, just goes to show… you never know who you might meet on your next journey!

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Princess Ruby on: when the thrill of the chase brings no thrills

16 Mar

To continue on from my last blog, it seems Mr Do You Have Nice Feet was playing a game of phone roulette – although neither of us hit the jackpot! He text the day before the date to say he forgot his sister was coming to stay so asked if he could rearrange for the following week.

The next week came, and my phone was silent as a mouse. No beeps, squeaks or tweets. But in these fickle circumstances, easy come, easy go; best dust off those stilettos (without the threat of any feet perverts) and shrug it off.

However what did intrigue me about Mr Do You Have Nice Feet was that he had asked me repeatedly over the course of our texting marathon to go out with him until I said yes. I couldn’t help but wonder…. why go to such effort???

I started to think of dates-gone-by, and a stream of outlandish broken promises that would make Pinocchio blush came flooding back. Everything from romantic holidays to running away together!

When you’ve only had a few dates, it’s safe to assume these sweeping comments are just displays of affection, rather than actual promises. But when they come from someone you’re dating, it’s only natural to get a little swept up in these fantasies and the potential fairytale, as I found out last year.

So it begs the question, is it an ego thing, or do some people really like the thrill of the chase?

Ego or chase – part 1

Early last year, I met up with an ex for dinner. My stomach was in complete knots – possibly serving as a warning that danger was imminent. Despite him breaking my heart, it’s true what they say about bad boys… they’re really hard to get over!

From the moment we met, I exerted a cool ‘I’m so over you demeanour’… however rather unexpectedly, he began reminiscing about our past and confessed that he never got over me. I initially dismissed his affections and continued with my nonchalant attitude.

Although by the time our mains arrived, resistance was futile – he asked the waiter to move the table so he could be ‘closer to me’, and then suggested that we move away together where nothing could get in the way of us and I could have his children. I nearly choked on my dinner.

Tales of the Urban Princesses

So when we met up the following day, and I suggested dating before running off into his fantasy sunset and bearing his children, the confusion really kicked in. He began to physically squirm at the thought of having to commit, and then voiced his concern about me not wanting to play games. Clearly something he was unable to do…

I’m happy to report this episode permanently cured me of my infatuation.

Ego or chase – part 2

Later in the year, I began seeing a seemingly lovely guy who had accepted a job in Australia before we started dating.

As a constant joker, it was hard to know when he was being serious, but every time we met, he joked about me moving to Australia with him, or kidnapping me. This went on for a few months…and occasionally via email after he left.

However when I visited my family in Australia a few months later and asked to meet up, he panicked.

Initially he said he had some ‘special plans for me’, however a few weeks before my arrival, he cut communication completely. When we finally met up it felt like enduring a gruelling boot camp in a thunderous storm would have been preferable over sitting by the Sydney Opera House on that balmy night with me!

Clearly terrified I may have taken him up on his offer, he was awkward and defensive and seemed more interested in sending pictures of the Harbour Bridge to his mother in England than engaging in any form of meaningful conversation. Oh the disappointment.

Months on….and this date still makes me shudder (and not in a good way!)… !

So what do you take from such experiences (besides your slightly battered pride)? Is it really about the thrill of the chase and unwavering egos for some people? Or have I made some particularly poor romantic choices? I think in the above instances, it is a little of both!

However with all being fair in love and war, best to put my armour back on and keep heading for victory.

Princess Ruby on counting calories – sex vs dance

15 Jan

I have welcomed the New Year with a rather monumental list of resolutions. I’m certainly a woman, or Princess as it may be, on a mission for bigger and better things. Gone are the days sitting around in a castle waiting for your fairytale to happen will do. You have to get out there…. glass slippers blazing and make it happen!

With an ambitious year ahead of me… I started out with one of the least extreme items on my ‘to-do’ list; learn to dance.  In hindsight, opting for a fast-paced street dance class may not have been the best place to make my debut – with the class resembling something out of Flash Dance; my two left feet began to sweat before we even started the warm up.

Trying to keep up with the class as they gyrated, jumped and spun was much more of a sweaty challenge than Beyonce makes it out to be. However two classes down…and I’m hooked! It also turns out to be a great way to release some semi-sexual energy, albeit in a slightly clumsy manner. And with little happening on the Prince Charming front, it got me thinking… which is a better workout? Dancing or sex?

Princess Ruby on sex vs dance

My research produced interesting results. According to one website (one which I suspect is yet to yield a scientific stamp of approval) you only burn 25 calories during the act if the woman is on top, add an extra 7 calories for bouncing, 22 for urgent begging, 33 calories for trying to keep your eyes open, and 27 for orgasm! Giving you a grand total of 114. However for someone my weight, an hour of fast dancing would have burnt 272 calories. Dancing wins!

Although according to the same questionable website, I could have upped the ante and produced better results if I were caught misbehaving with someone other than my partner – apparently trying to explain would have given me 165 calories, getting dressed in one large motion 300, jumping out of the window 15 (add an extra 5 if the window wasn’t open).

So if I were prepared to get myself in this messy situation, jump out of bed and into a closed window, sex would win hands down.

Therefore the results are open to debate, and of course a combination of both activities, with the dancing being the back-up, would be ideal. However in the meantime, I shall continue with my resolutions, which now may include testing out some of the above….perhaps minus the cheating.

Princess Ruby on: are you dating for love or for sex?

4 Nov

The dating business is huge – you can’t escape a tube carriage without an advertisement for online dating beaming down at you. However I’m starting to notice that for as many services there are devoted to finding ‘true love’, there’s an equal number of services looking to help you get your groove on….no matter how that might be. Here’s a few I’ve stumbled across this week…..

Are you dating for love or for sex?

Shag lotto anyone?

While scanning one of the many London lifestyle newsletters which bombard my inbox, I noticed a singles dating night with a twist – anyone for a game of shag roulette? For £1 (after all, these are frugal times), you can enter the ‘shag lottery’ where and you and one lucky punter are paired-up and sent off in a pre-paid cab at the end of the night. (Is anyone else hoping this also comes with a police check????)

Mood clothing – the dress that asks for sex for you

Also to pop into my inbox this week was an article about hypercolour clothing making a comeback. Somewhere between the hypercolour t-shirt days of the 80s’ and the naughty noughties, heat sensitive clothing has come a long way. Introducing the transparent dress’ – a dress that turns transparent when you’re getting a little hot under the collar and want to give your date the green light.

From what I can gather, it’s just the top half of this very low-cut crazed creation that radiates this subtle seduction technique.  Therefore if your come-to-bed-with-me eyes are letting you down, or, if you can’t find the words to say ‘it ain’t gonna happen sweetheart’ … this dress is for you!

Playing ‘dress-ups’ for adults

And finally, if hiding behind the privacy of your laptop is a little more your style before you hop into the hot seat (or bed) there are a host of websites that can cater for your individual needs…no matter how diverse. For example, ever wanted to slide down a fireman’s pole (literally)? Well, there’s a website that can help you do just that – by pairing you with someone who works in uniform. Now that’s customer service for you!

So it seems dating for sex is no longer a taboo matter. Gone are the days the ‘desperately seeking’ section hidden at the back of the newspaper is the only port of call for this audience.  And why should it be if conventional dating doesn’t float your boat?  However for now, I might leave the shag lottery and flashing transparent dresses to the more daring!

Princess Ruby on ‘The Great Drought’

19 Jun

Most girls exploring the realms of singledom, except possibly Samantha’s character in Sex and the City, have at some point experienced a drought. As you’re probably aware, I’m not referring to a lack of rain – but a different natural phenomenon.

During these tough times, friends will comfort you with sayings such as: ‘buses are like men, they all come at once, or not at all.’ In my particular situation, it’s not that buses haven’t gone past; in fact, there’s been a few I’ve flirted with the idea of getting onboard (excuse the pun). However, they just haven’t been the right ones, or have been going in my fussy direction. Despite my increasing…erm, frustration, it seems I’m not just looking for anyone these days, but for a particular type of someone. Let me explain the ‘buses’ of late.

Bus number 1 – the Parisian Express

Upon being introduced by mutual friend at a party, Mr Paris was sweet, funny and shared my love of Prosecco and dancing to cheesy ballads.  He got my number and promptly organised a date, however despite his sweet Parisian ways there was just no attraction on my behalf. Not wanting to judge a book by its cover, I waited until the goodbye kiss to cast my final vote. The verdict was not good. The only way I can describe the sensation that followed is by likening it to kissing a lizard. ‘What happened to the French kiss?’ squealed my mind as his tongue rapidly poked in and out of my mouth.

Instead of my foot curling up and getting lost in the euphoria of the first kiss, it headed straight for the front door and up the stairs. Needless to say, I let the Parisian Express go by.

Bus number 2 – the Out of Service bus

I met my next ‘bus’ through my flatmate and was attracted to his no bullshit personality and hysterical sense of humour. A few months, emails and one rather embarrassing case of mistaken identity later, Mr Out- of- Service and I met for drinks. As far as first dates go, the night was a success; he had me alternating between fits of laughter and the kind of intimate conversations you usually reserve for your nearest and dearest. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the next date.

However, there was a slight problem. He had recently broken up with a long-term girlfriend – and despite the troublesome death that relationship endured – Mr Out-of-Service was leaning towards rekindling things with the waiting ex.

The night ended on a gin and tonic induced high, and with us kissing in a garden in a central London square. But alas, an email explaining he didn’t want to mess me around soon followed.  So there goes the out of service bus – and just like an actual out of service bus, despite alarm bells ringing in your head and the knowledge it’s on the road to nowhere, you still hold a little glimmer of hope it will stop and pick you up.

Bus number 3 – the Broken Down Bus (the ex)

We all know this is never the right bus to get on. But at some stage (usually after a few cocktails) we’ve all done it. Having gone down this rocky and regretful road with an ex gone by, I have refrained from doing it with an ever-so- sweet, muscley boy I was seeing for a few months late last year.

Mr Sweet-Bulging-Biceps, was without a doubt, the best when it comes to anything in the bedroom. And I’m not just talking about his toe-tingling talents.

This boy would cuddle all night, stay up chatting with me if I couldn’t sleep (despite it being a school night) and routinely would give me an hour-long massage in the morning (although he works for a top business consultancy firm, he actually wants to become a masseuse).

Perfect you say? Oh yes, how I wished that things had worked out. But before you tut and scream ‘WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU!!’ there was a heartbreaking flaw, despite the unbelievable connection in the bedroom, it didn’t stretch beyond this. With him being a few years younger, and us having very different interests and senses of humour, which incidentally is more of an aphrodisiac for me than a bottle of Moet on a yacht, I sadly didn’t see a future (beyond the bedroom that is).

Months went by, and the more he stared longingly into my eyes, the more ashamed I felt for not being able to do the same. Each week, my friends would stare at me disapprovingly, knowing that heartbreak was imminent.. it being his and not mine.

Eventually, I worked up the courage and broke the news. It didn’t go so well…leaving me feeling absolutely terrible for letting it go on for so long. Therefore, despite the temptation – my guilt over hurting him has prevented any selfish late night dialling.

So, let’s just hope the bus rule does indeed apply to men, and I’m soon able to dangle more than just a heel off the next bus that goes by.

Tube encounters and missed Hollywood fairytales: a tale by Princess Ruby

15 Apr

For most Londoners, the tube has many negative connotations – it is often a means to a sweaty and quite often unpredictable end.

In summer, overheating and overcrowding almost always  ensures a passenger alarm bell being pulled. Whereas in winter, the possibility of frostbite increases each time the train is delayed and the doors remain open – the only benefit being the wind easing the stench wafting from the black sea of woollen coats.

However, despite these unpleasantries, the tube can have its advantages; as often when I have been caught short of a book or paper, my next source of entertainment is to check out my fellow passengers.

Providing you like what you see, it turns out the tube can be a playground for old fashioned flirting. Trapped in a carriage until your eventual departure, it gives you a chance to engage in a cheeky smile or two, or for the more brazen, prolonged eye contact and a phone number scribbled on the back of your Metro. That is, providing you have the courage.

And so my tale begins. One autumn morning, I peered up from my newspaper to see the most beautiful man standing in front of me. So blown away from his perfectly formed dark features, I believe my jaw dropped ever so slightly causing me to giggle at my reaction, and more embarrassingly, at him spotting it.

As my face burnt up, I buried my head into my newspaper before being stopped by an unexpected cheeky, yet perfectly carved smile flashing right back at me. For the next 10 minutes, a similar scenario of cat and mouse unfolded. Using our smiles as bait, and oblivious to the other 30 people in the carriage, we exchanged glances, blushed and exchanged glances again.

Miraculously, a space two seats down from me became available. Tube Boy then strategically manoeuvred his way over at the first signs of its availability and sat down. Checkmate. Smiling from ear to ear, a swarm of butterflies flew through my stomach, releasing a sudden wave of fear– there were only two stops until my office – who was going to make a move?

I’m usually the chattee, rather than the chatter, when it comes to chatting up. So I was fairly certain my nerves would impede any form of role reversal at this point, especially when sober and on an uncomfortably quiet rush-hour train.

However, as the next stop approached, the person sitting next to me got off, and the greatest sense of relief cast over me as Tube Boy stood up and moved next to me.   His leg then began to nervously tap and we eventually turned and looked at each other, before nervously turning back in the other direction.

The doors then flung open. It was my stop. ‘This is my chance, you can do it’ I anxiously told myself. I stood up and proudly put my handbag on my shoulder.

However, unsure of what to actually do next, my confidence suddenly abandoned me and I made my way out of the door and onto the cold concrete platform without so much as a cheeky smile or glance back in his perfect direction.

As the train departed, I stood on the windy platform deflated and confused while scanning the crowd to see if he was there. But he wasn’t. Given the rarity of our encounter, I even waited outside the station in case he came after me like they do in the movies. Maybe this was my Hollywood moment? But it wasn’t.

To ease the disappointment, I have since tried telling myself that maybe he was married or had a voice like David Beckham, however months down the track, I still curse my lack of courage. So much so, each morning, I get in the same train carriage and my new ritual is to always check the crowd before my book even makes it out of my handbag.

Princess Ruby ponders: is texting a disqualification round for dating?

28 Mar

A tale of a twenty-something princess called Ruby

Last year, I had two interviews for a job I really wanted.  The position was for a more senior position and for a high rolling company. Given that it took my flatmate an hour to help me find something from my wardrobe that wasn’t too short, too tight or damaged – it’s a safe assumption that I’m not a corporate kind-of-gal.

So after the first interview, it came as a great surprise to hear that the interviewer thought I’d be perfect for the team, stating something about ‘chemistry.’

Blushing with pride, I was confident about the second interview. However, something changed. My charms failed. The interviewer did not feel the same way about me the second time round and subsequently I did not get the job. Feeling rejected and deflated, I wanted to ask, ‘what changed’?

I have found texting a potential date similar to going for a job interview, except the interview process can last weeks, and you can generally ditch the suit for your pyjamas and Ugg boots.

The art of texting

Stage 1 of the interview – you’re sailing through

Flirty, carefully designed snippets of information are then exchanged over days or weeks like foreplay. With every beep of your phone, you gain an extra spring in your step. You begin to smile at stone-faced commuters, oblivious to their suspicious reactions. And even the most mundane activities are more enjoyable – as you plan your next witty response and first-date-outfit in your head.

Stage 2 of the interview – you start to stumble

The flirting has now continued for weeks, attempts by both sides to meet up have been made, however for some reason, the date seems to be getting delayed. Mini-breaks, birthdays or the World Cup are getting in the way.

Stage 3 of the interview – it’s slipping through your fingers

Your phone begins to experience some form of malfunction – because it’s not like him to ignore a text from you. You scan your sent messages and despite its unwanted presence in the sent folder, you decide something is clearly wrong. You can’t receive messages. That must be it. However you then receive one from your mum, and then Orange to say they haven’t received your recent phone bill payment.

Feedback – you didn’t get the date

After a few weeks, and many consoling words from your girlfriends, defeat is accepted, you will not hear from him again. Ever. So this raises the question…. when the text-flirting continues, but the date never happens, is texting a disqualification round for dating? And if so, are your texting skills up to scratch?