Chapter 47 – Extemporaneous Tinder Date #10

 

Friday, 12 February 2016.

 

Day 54

 

Diary of Mine,

 

Today has been a good day. 🙂

Just coming home from our Youth Group (my way to contribute).

I started these youth evenings twice a month a year ago, as a way for Kristiina and Joey and other young people to make new friends and have some Friday fun in a safe environment. We play board games, talk, have a snack, play hide-and-seek in the dark and anything else we can come up with.

 

It’s not easy to be leading the youth group at the moment (separation and all), but I told the pastor I’ll give it a try. The young people appreciate it so much and my teens have made some nice friends. And they seem to have no one else yet who could do it instead…

Last time, I had to tell the group about my separation, as they know Mr. Pedro (he used to help me with these gatherings sometimes). So I spoke about forgiveness and determination and the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Kate, one of the oldest teenagers there, was very touched. She came to hug me and say, “Anna, you are always so inspiring. Thank you very much for your words.”

I think she is inspiring. What a great person and talented artist Kate is. Some people just know how to shine their light. 😊

 

This time father was our special guest. He held a short devotional – and tried to turn us into an instantaneous choir (dad is so cool)! We weren’t that successful with the singing, but ended up having great laughs.

Tonight’s theme was seeing the good in others and letting them know it. I repeated a “building up your self-confidence” dynamic I sometimes have with my pupils at school. Will tell you more later.

 

Today has been a very good day – yeah.

Sunny. I looked cute – better yet, I felt it! And we all know how fantastic that is for a woman. 😁

 

As for random updates:

Remember Frederick, Tinder Englishman #1? I think we’re becoming friends. We chat on Messenger and have started ringing each other sometimes, too. Nice guy. Wise. He‘s a good listener and sharer. He tells me his thoughts and general feelings concerning his recent separation – still feeling pretty angry at his ex – childcare, immediate goals and such.

His voice is manly and pleasant, but we haven’t flirted at all. Not even once. He lives in Reading – England, and since neither of us is planning on meeting in person any time soon, virtual friendship is the option.

I think what we have feels like some needed encouragement – comparable with divorce therapy groups? Appreciated and retributed.

 

With Christian, Tinder Englishman #2, it’s been intriguing to say the least – very curious to meet him soon. Chatting daily from Good Morning to Good Night…

I love that!

It inpires the artist in me. Triggers good feelings with dopamine.

 

This is a new life phase and I won’t complain about the attention I’m receiving from some interesting men. Won’t complain too much! 😊 Sooner or later I’ll find him. I just know it. ❤️ ‍No hurry.

I do have some dates set up for this Sunday to Friday. 😅 Guys who seem eager to meet up…

…I booked them in a long time ago – one at a time – for this coming week, since the teens will be going back to their dad’s place. My only chance!

This is my project at the moment. When I decide something, I go for it. Obstinate me!

 

However… today I broke one of my own rules. Had a shorter day at school and went on a coffee date straight from work. Number 10.

Yes, I know I wasn’t going to meet anyone when the teens are home with me, but this guy insisted the whole week!

I caved in.

So busy, sorry! 🙁

Kids at my place this week, other dates next week… But all right.

If you’ll come to IKEA in a couple of hours – it’s on my way home – I can meet you for a coffee straight from work. Would that be OK?  🙂

How it went?

Oh, extemporaneously…

Cute foreigner. Muslim. Pianist – very artistic, very cultural. We had a long chat and he smiled a lot, looking appreciatively into my eyes.

But, was Tom right about perfume…! 😷 😟

Seriously, Soner’s perfume was sooooo strong, and to his misfortune, I really, really disliked the scent. Made it very hard to relax and concentrate on the other aspects of the date.

Soner asked to meet again soon, but I told him I really didn’t feel the chemistry.

Smelled it? 😂

Eurgh. All the best to him!

 

Anyways, today has been a great day.

My workouts have been working. Finally!

I’m back to jogging two-three times a week (usually 3-6km). I think it’s such a perfect workout because it takes 20-30 minutes, but feels great and gives nice results.

Going to the gym, playing volleyball, lots of brisk walks. And on top of that, I just go by bike everywhere I need to. Even well dressed and in high heels. Haha. I haven’t had a public transportation card since I moved back to Helsinki three years ago.

OK, if it’s raining reeaaally hard, I’ll take the tram. Otherwise, steps it is.

 

Healthy foods, good thoughts, support from my parents. Determination.

Life’s to be lived happily now. I’ve just had enough hard times.

 

Aaahhh, best of all, I’ve gotta tell you this –> even my hair has been looking exactly the way I like it. 😁 😁

That’s no small feat, you know. Mom and sis tease me about it all the time. They say I’m never happy with my hairdressers, nor with my hair.

Is it my fault that I’m usually very unlucky with the results??? Mom and sis seem to think I’m fussy about it. Very funny. 😑

The tenure position I fought so much for is something else I’m grateful for. A flat I love, a broken loving heart under repair, quality time with daughter and son.

Joy.

Don’t you just love Fridays, Anna?

© 2017 rf

 

Obs. All names have been changed, and chat messages were published with the match’s kind permission.

 

 

Obs. Day 54 of life comes in waves, good days, bad days. Good years, bad years? It’s all part of the journey. Just enjoy it.

 

 

Chapter 27 – Make You Feel

What to wear? After Tinder Date 7, I feel I need to mentor guys a little.

“Hey, casual but nice. I think that men look so gorgeous in smart shirts! What do you say?”

 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016.

 

Day 45

 

Diary Dear,

Hope you’ve been having a nice day. Have you…?

Me? Thanks for asking. 🙂

Ah, I’ve been thinking…

 

Have you realized how we tend to show different sides of our personality to different people?

Some folks trigger our sense of adventure. Others bring about our empathetic and caring sides.

Or our rage, for that matter (as if I knew anything about that! 😅).

 

With some martians you may feel like you talk too much and – uh-oh – just suck at listening. (I hate the feeling)… With others it’s infinitely better – there’s great balance in the interaction, a 60-40% split.

Some mortals have the natural ability to calm you down, maybe even make you experience a wonderful sense of abundant satisfaction. Contentment, pure and simple.

Sigh.

Isn’t it so?

There are adoring guys out there that make one feel happier, pretty and valuable. Visible! While other people perhaps treat you like a bit of an outsider. Stupid? Miserable? Nervous? They make you feel like you are a little bit boring?

Fat!! Gosh. Please, not fat!!

That’s why I prefer taller, chubbier guys. I feel slimmer and… They’re so cute! Snugly 🐼😍!

 

With Mr. Ex I always felt fat. 😕 Unaccepted.

He was too fit for me – and the guy didn’t go through one single fat day is his life. Lucky bastard.

Unfair!

Anyway…

We tend to like the people that help us feel good about ourselves. The ones who bring out our best sides. Our favorite qualities. Especially human beings who just make us feel loved and accepted for who we are.

People there for us through the thick and thin. Challenging us and helping us grow as a human bean (like Kristiina likes to joke). Those immortals are irreplaceable.

I have always been lucky to have friends like that. Thank God.

 

Hey, I need to tell you… Something’s up!

Yesterday, Riku wrote in light our date tomorrow. Remember the Norwegian god? I told him, “Well, finally! You haven’t been chatting with me at all!!”

“Anna, I feel there’s some important information I need to disclose before we meet up. I don’t know how you’ll feel about this, but I just need to tell you that I am blind of an eye.”

Oh, poor guy! That’s sad. 🙁

“And it has affected my appearance. The aesthetics of my face. Will you mind much? If you want to cancel the date, I’ll understand.”

Gosh, no!

“But I do wear an eye patch.”

“Oh, sorry to hear about your condition, Riku. I hope it doesn’t hurt… Of course I’m coming to the date. I’m not a superficial person… and I’m not perfect either. Who is?”

(I tell him about the big scar that I have in my abdomen).

 

“Riku, what will matter to me is our chemistry. Will we have any? You don’t write much. Is there a special reason for that or are you a very calm type?”

He tells me he’s wasted way too much time chatting with women he never got around to meeting in the end, so he’s got no more energy for that. But yes, he discloses again, he’s the very peaceful, very calm type.

“Hmm. That could be a problem… You see? I am very energetic and like lively conversations and interaction.”

He assures me it’s just the written chats that he doesn’t like.

“OK, then. Let’s meet tomorrow and see what kind of chemistry we feel around each other. You look handsome, I’m sure. Your pics are great!”

Now I understand why his artistic photos only showed half of his face…

 

And then we just discuss the basics.

What time? He asks to meet at 16:30. Only half an hour after I get home from work – ops!

Where? Well, since I’ll be in a huge hurry to get pretty, I ask him to come to the Nepalese restaurant in my neighborhood.

What to wear? After Tinder Date 7, I feel I need to mentor guys a little.

“Hey Riku, I’d say casual but nice. I think men look so gorgeous in smart shirts 😍! What do you say?”

 

So, Diary Dear… I’ll let you know how it goes, I promise. My curiosity sure is ignited.

Let’s see.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 45 since moving out.

 

Chapter 25 – Justin, Dustin’

Ding! Christian’s sending me messages on Whatsapp! Aww. And Riku! Plo-Plim.

 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016.

 

Day 45

 

You look out the window and it’s freezing, but Finnish apartments are always warm and nice in winter about 21°C.

Anna’s wearing her favorite pj’s: a navy blue tank top with pink text, and flannel shorts with a tartan pattern. So comfy! She’s braiding her hair loosely, ending in a pony tail slightly to the right side.

Hmm, time to get my highlights redone.

Tonight, Anna’s just chilling. Strolling around her house, dusting off here and there, feeling good. Headphones on she’s swinging to Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself, playing on her iPhone.

🎶 You think you broke my heart, oh, for goodness’ sake
You think I’m crying on my own. Well, I ain’t.
And I didn’t wanna write a song
‘Cause I didn’t want anyone thinking I still care.
I don’t,
But you still hit my phone up
And, baby, I’ll be movin’ on
And I think you should be somethin’ I don’t wanna hold back
Maybe you should know that…

…Didn’t see what’s going on
But now I know
I’m better sleeping on my own

‘Cause if you like the way you look that much
Oh, baby, you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I’m still holdin’ on to somethin’
You should go and love yourself 🎶

So melodic — she likes the songs her pupils suggest — Yeah… moving on. That’s the spirit — and she’s humming along.

OMG, that reminds me. Meeting up with the Norwegian god tomorrow! And I still haven’t researched how to say no to a second date.

Anna googles “Let him down easy,” hitting the search button.

Articles, forums… Oh, a video! Here we go. Let me listen to this while I have a snack. Just in case I need it tomorrow.

 

DON’T LIKE HIM? Let him down easy like this (by Matt Boggs)

▶️  “… why would this be important in meeting your man? Because the path to meeting your man… is through the dating process. It’s by going out with people…

“Inevitably, when you give people a chance, you’re going to meet people who are just not a great fit for you.”

You don’t say! 💀🤑🤖👿🤡👺

“Until you end up meeting that person and it just clicks – feels amazing and there’s tons of chemistry.”

Uh, I want that! 🙂 

“…Reframe rejection… to have liberty and freedom to go on more dates…”

Nice.

“…But first, let me explain why this is so important: if you’re afraid of rejecting someone, then you’re not going to go out with a lot of guys who, at first glance, look like, ‘ahhh, I might end up rejecting this guy.’

“But you go out, and you find out that this guy is amazing! This guy blows your socks out!”

My socks!! 😍🤩😍

 

“You see, he’s everything you never knew that you always wanted (to quote a line from Fools Rush In)…

“So, you’re going end up going out on more dates, you won’t be afraid to disappoint them and you’ll be able to reject them in the kindest, most humane way possible.”

Hmm.

“So here’s the key: men respect people who are (1) honest, and who are (2) direct.”

Seriously??! It’s that simple?

“And you want to be absolute. Let me explain. A lot of women like to dance around the topic. They like to hint at things…

“Let me be clear, men don’t speak hint… And letting a guy down easy actually creates more pain through the process than just being honest, being direct and being absolute.”

 

⏸  Wow. I had no idea. I like it when people let me down easy. I can take a hint…

Man, are we different!

OK. I do want people to be objective with me. But still, in a very warm way, giving me their honest reasons. Having a talk about it… Then I don’t feel hurt and it’s easier to move on.

▶️ Oh, gosh! Boggs is telling us not to give guys the reasons!? Haha. That would just be a challenge for the guy to overcome. Or something like that. Interesting…!?

 

“So there’s one thing that nobody can argue, when it comes to calling it quits in any kind of dating experience. It is absolute. That you just don’t feel the chemistry with this person.

“…Two ways that you can reject a man…

“(1) If you’re talking to a guy online:

“‘Hey, thanks so much for contacting me. I’m flattered, but I don’t really feel we are a good fit. You sound like a great guy, and I’m wishing you all the best. Take care.’

“…Great text. Direct, to the point. It’s confident. And you’re wishing them well, you’re being respectful – an open, honest person.”

I like that.

“(2) If you’ve gone out with the guy and it’s face to face on a date (you’re not really feeling it with this guy, but you can tell that he’s going to ask you out on a second date):

“You can simply say, ‘Hey, I really appreciate going out with you tonight. But unfortunately, I’m not feeling the romantic chemistry. You’re an amazing guy, I know you’re going to meet someone really special, and I’m wishing you all the best’.”

Oh, I could have said that to Tapio – he was so sweet. But, I wouldn’t say that to a nutjob. Hmm. Better screen them better from now on.

“…That’s all you need to say. It’s that simple… Understand that it’s just part of the game, no big deal. You’re going to reject people. People are going to reject you. But you’re all gonna live on, and ultimately you’re going to find that special someone and create an extraordinary relationship….”

Hmm. Thanks, Matt! I’ll practice. I’ll try…

Values. Anna believes in self-respect and in treating others with respect, too.

 

Ding!

Yay, Christian’s sending me a Whatsapp message. Aww…

 

Plo-Plim!

And Riku on Tinder.

Plo-Plim!

Ding!

© 2017 rf

 

 

 

Obs. Day 45 since moving out.

 

 

Chapter 12 – Tinder Dates #2-5

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Monday, 18 January 2016.

 

Days 29

 

Very Handsome Sami is a sight to behold. An older psychiatrist, that surely means he’s to be trusted, right?

Anna invites him over to her place for evening tea. It’s a spontaneous invitation. She’s not used to so much alone time and someone to talk to feels like a good idea.

He’s kind and well-mannered and they converse serenely about an array of different topics.

He says he thinks she’s beautiful, but also that he’s shy and doesn’t really know how to do relationships.

No sparks are flying. Yet, it feels interesting, though very, very strange to be serving tea alone to a new acquaintance at her place, with no one to answer to about it, for the very first time in her life.

No one who will even ask! Or know, unless I tell.

They hug lightly as they say good-bye at her door. They don’t kiss and will never see each other again.

 


 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016.

 

Day 30

 

Aaro is a very fit psychologist/ masseur / ballroom dancer. By the look in one of the pictures, he must be really good at his dancing. Wow. A great smile with professional body language.

On the chat, he says he’s won prizes and really adores it all. 👍👍

They meet late in the evening – in a park – after an animated phone call. He looks excited, but has come straight from dance class and is smelling of old sweat in his bright green and pink skiing outfit.

OMG. Old sweat impregnated in the flashy fabric.

As they talk, he bends and stretches in all possible ways. Anna starts feeling very sad.

He asks her about her recent separation and she starts crying. He switches on his psychologist mode and gives her good advice, while taking the liberty of rubbing her shoulders.

He thinks she’s crying over her separation, but honestly?

She’s crying because she’s so disappointed at the date and is starting to feel lonely, longing for companionship with chemistry!

It’s been a month and a half since I separated from Mr. Ex… Gosh! Will it be hard to find a man I’ll be attracted to and have a boyfriend again??

Back home, she writes to thank him for the free appointment(s) before they say goodbye and unmatch. And hopes he’ll find himself a great dance partner.

 


 

Friday, 22 January 2016.

 

Days 33

 

This one doesn’t speak English, so they are online, chatting in Finnish.

After the Aaro experience, she’s been thinking… So she tries to convince Tapio that people should give each other some clear feedback after dates, so they could improve themselves. He finds her whole idea of ratings hilarious.

He plays volleyball, Anna’s favorite sport, so she decides to give him a chance – despite the fact they’ll have to speak Finnish.

He wants a proper date. Would she like a picnic and a walk in the freezing February weather or a restaurant meal, he wonders. She chooses the dinner.

They meet in front of Tennispalatsi and walk down to the Nepalese restaurant by the Central Railway Station.

Oh! He’s nicely dressed! Charming!

With a ¾ black woolen overcoat that looks quite new, jeans and a casual shirt – Anna thinks it’s very sweet when guys put in the effort to do things nicely and give a good first impression!👍🥇 🤸‍

Why is that too much to ask?

They chat in Finnish as they walk to the restaurant.

By the time they sit to eat, however, she has already realized that there’ll be no chemistry between them, so she decides to order just a salad (more about that later – it’s a dating protocol she’s developing).

 

He’s having a full course meal, which takes forever to eat, and inwardly, she’s getting very impatient.

Gosh, this was a mistake! It’s so draining to try to date in Finnish and much less exciting.

I’m super bored!

So, she excuses herself to go powder her nose and there she texts Timo, another Tinder guy she’s been chatting with. 🤥

Timo told her earlier that he was going to be at the Finnkino cinema nearby tonight, so after asking him if his movie was any good, she suggests they meet up for a drink in an hour.

Yeah, sure, I could have a drink! 😀

 

Back at their table, nice Tapio wants to pay and won’t take no for an answer. She feels bad. 🤦‍

Then, he insists on walking her back to her bike, parked by Tennispalatsi in the upper part of Kamppi.

After they hug good-bye, he doesn’t release her, but instead kisses her mouth, to her great surprise!

He asks if she still wants to hang out some more, and she lies that she’s feeling a bit tired.

“Bye-bye. Let’s chat later and thank you very much for the date!”

Anna waits and then carefully cycles back down to Casa Largo, near the Railway Station. She doesn’t want to hurt Tapio’s feelings, but there was just no attraction and she doesn’t know how to tell someone that, on the spot.

Hmm, another Google research coming up!

 

The next day, when Tapio cutely asks for his feedback, she messages him:

+ You were really sweet

+ Well dressed

+ Walked me back to my bike like a true gentleman

+ Gave me a proper date (my first dinner date ever) and even insisted on paying for it (thank you!)

 

– You don’t like to speak English

– I get tired speaking Finnish in my free time

– I don’t feel we have enough things in common

 

He thanks her, amused.

Wow. You really are a teacher!! 😂

 

They never unmatch on the app and mention that perhaps they’ll end up playing volleyball together, one day.

 


 

A few minutes later.

 

Timo is waiting for Anna on the second floor of Casa Largo. Anna is feeling a bit naughty.

He’s having tea at the bar, as she sits next to him. It is his tea-total month, he explains.

He works for the Parliament and his English is amazing. Timo’s just a little taller than Anna, probably around 1,68 or so. But personality-wise he’s a big man, lively, making her laugh a lot.

After half an hour of talking, it occurs to her that is she’s having a good time.

His eyes shine like a little boy’s as he talks in this fast and furious pace about events, museums, galleries, festive parties and all the people and places he knows around the center of Helsinki. He seems passionate about his work, friends, art, kids, traveling!

He tells her about an art history course he’s taking at the Atheneum. He likes traveling abroad, but says that in Finland anywhere outside the city center feels too far for him.

Anna, on the other hand, loves the Finnish countryside and tries hard to stay away from organized events, concerts and fixed programs. This won’t work!

 

He says he knows for a fact that he never ever wants to get married again, because he loves being a bachelor. Hmm. He seems to have had a great time, too, and they say good night with a surprisingly warm, firm hug outside the restaurant, agreeing to see each other again sometime soon.

Back at home, she realizes she’s feeling very thirsty.

Ha! He didn’t even ask if I wanted to go get my own tea.

He texts her on and off, not really asking Anna anything about her life. He just sends her pics of his events, expositions and trips. He’s friendly – but she finds this kind of interaction really strange.

I interact, but he’s not trying to get to know me better at all! It’s one-sided.

A few weeks later, he writes.

We should meet up, Anna!

By then it is too late. Drumrolls! Anna’s got a massive, heart-warming crush on Tinder Date #16. 😍

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Day 29-33 since moving out. What now?