Relationships – Part 2

Happy Valentines Day! I had this blog sitting unfinished for months now so decided what day better to finish it than the day of love itself. If you are single and hate this day, this could be a good chuckle for you because even though you may be single, you are better alone than with any of the crazy cats I encountered in my time being recently single. So tuck in with some chocolates, put a boy hating playlist on (Maisie Peters/ O Rod) and enjoy my dating tales of woe.

My last blog ended with the end of my last relationship (which was June 2021) and me looking around my one bed apartment wondering what to do next. I actually wrote a blog about the types of men that I met whilst dating on the apps but somehow lost it. To summarise, I will categorise the type of men I met for you (and for those that insist that it’s fine the apps aren’t that bad). From memory, this was the process:

  1. Downloaded the dating apps with some encouragement from my friends.
  2. Set up my first date – thought it went well – got ghosted afterwards, great start!!
  3. Second date – lovely guy but realised I liked him more as a friend – sent the awkward text ‘you’re so lovely but..’ I had a couple of dates like this, one who continues to re-add me on Facebook every so often. He had a weird convo small talk thing where he kept asking me what I was having for tea. He definitely wanted to wife me but more like a 1950s wife way. He was also English so there was that.
  4. Third date – was already jaded by it all and made little effort – ended up falling in love with him but it wasn’t a fairytale and instead, a gut wrenching, heart breaking, 6-month situationship. Honestly, if they act all ‘oh I just don’t want to commit but I love you’ tell them to fuck off back to the man child kingdom they came from. They certainly are not your Prince Charming cause have you ever heard of a love story that’s completely one sided? NO. This was a waste of time. I was extremely delulu. Finally plucked up the courage to block contact but not before I lost my phone in Budapest after a friend intervention to stop me texting him. I was obsessed. Mental health was super bad at this time. Big thanks to the English fellas who took me in that night – faith in English men restored.
  5. Fourth-date – I decided to stop waiting for the situationship to come to his senses and realise he was in love with me and go on a date with a new guy. This one lasted 6 dates before he asked me if ‘I had ever gotten on the wrong side of the law’ , shared a story about losing his licence and then proceeded to drink drive home.  This one tried to crawl back but I didn’t return for another life lesson about mental people. He’s super skilled at making kitchens and the like and I was prob more sad that I would never save the money on a cool kitchen than losing him as a prospect.
  6. Deleted the apps for a while – I was a strong independent woman who didn’t need no man.
  7. Fifth date – I downloaded a different app this time, maybe that’ll do the trick. I went younger this time, sure why not. Really liked him and got on well so we saw each other a few times. But alas, as soon as I got hopeful, I realised I had attracted another commit-aphobe.
  8. Rebound-date – this date was attended purely out of boredom. It was dry January and there was nothing else to do. We had three dates, I wasn’t into him, but somehow he beat me to the post and said ‘he wasn’t sure about his feelings’. Yikes. I mean I didn’t want him but it was rude he didn’t want me. I just reread that sentence and realised how savage I sound. But online dating definitely makes you a bit cold-hearted. It’s the wild west out there.
  9. The texter – it took this fella 3 months to take me on a date, I drank Jameson & Gingerale at dinner and got unbelievably steaming. We ended up in a club. Despite getting on well we couldn’t see eye to eye about religion – him being a 12th July attending Rangers Fan and me being an Irish History nerd who could not understand why anyone wanted to continue to celebrate an ancient victory over a Catholic king. It started off as a joke but our last text was along the lines of ‘sorry we wanted equal rights and an education, how rude of us’. Yes that was from me. No he did not appreciated being schooled in the history of the troubles. Yes that was the last I heard from him.
  10. I basically gave up at this point. I hadn’t been on a proper date in months, it took me a long time to cut off the texter. In this period, as corny as it sounds, I decided to date myself. During the time it took the previous guy to ask me on a date, I decided to take swimming lessons. Something I had wanted to do for myself for years.
  11. The one that turned into my boyfriend. More on this later 😊


The only date I want to elaborate on further is the finding a home in myself one because all of them except for my current boyfriend don’t deserve any more text characters than they already have. Online dating was a shitshow and sadly my experience is not unique. If you are still going through it, I recommend Dolly Alderton, she writes about it in the most hilarious and relatable way. I’m also reading a book at the minute called ‘Really Good, Actually’ by Monica Heisey and she perfectly describes what it’s like to go through a breakup/divorce. My personal favourite so far is being billed by her solicitor who itemises every rant she had about her ex amidst random legal queries before advising her to get a therapist or someone she can talk to who won’t bill her by the minute. It made me laugh so much because after a breakup you do have a serious case of word vomit.  Someone could literally ask me how my day was out of politeness and I would be like oh you know I rage cleaned again and you know when you think about it, he WAS a narcissist and I’m better off without him. Sorry for the delay in responding I was napping and then eating an entire dairy milk to myself. Okay bye now I’m off on a hot girl walk.  Wait, should I start ceramics? All of this was in the once breath and conversation. Online dating is just a distraction and eventually you have to start actively doing things that will help you. None of it is easy, but the alternative is being a raving lunatic forever who still word vomits about her breakup in 2021….so yano. Growth, yay.

So what did I do instead?

  1. Therapy

Honestly, I didn’t really know how I would cope living on my own so I decided that going to a therapist post breakup might help me navigate the murky single waters that I hadn’t been in since basically 2013. There is no shame in going back to therapy. Especially if you have never had to deal with the fact that you don’t do well on your own. I was constantly looking for someone else to make me feel better and never considered that I had the power to do that on my own. I know CORNY but it’s kinda true. Probably the most important thing I read during the whole messy era was basically, remember that you were also what made all your previous relationships magical and you just need to make that effort now for yourself.  Like if I could melt into someone else’s routine and life why couldn’t I make sure I did that for my own good habits and things that kept me happy? Anyway, she was brilliant and I really recommend you have someone to talk to who won’t judge all the phases you will inevitably go through post breakup. It can be hard to talk to the people you usually do because they are either going through it themselves or don’t understand what it’s like to be single in your 30s. If you can’t go to therapy, start journalling and notice things that make you happy. Read this blog and laugh at how many disasters I had but still survived, get your inspo from somewhere, it doesn’t matter if that is from The Kardashians or Succession. Notice things that make you happy and things you can do alone, shopping, checking out new museums, a new coffee shop, a funny podcast (My Therapist Ghosted Me got me through work every Monday)


  1. Routines & Hobbies.

When you are finished eating icecream, lying in bed watching friends and bending everyone’s ear with your breakup story, you will have a space in your life that you kinda don’t know what to do with. Yes, if you are a parent you probably don’t care about a single person not knowing what to do with their time. But even those parents will someday have a gap in their life when their kids grow up. The time you spent pouring yourself into someone else is now for you. Which yes is great, but when you feel a bit lost and already live alone it can be a bit strange. I notice a lot of people in relationships melt into each other in terms of interests and hobbies and it is honestly the worst idea. You need something just for you. You need to be able to create a little world where you can still thrive regardless of having another half. This isn’t easy to do when you maybe liked your little routines that you had before and find it difficult to do things alone. It’s not easy but I think everyone could benefit from having that little gap and taking time to think about what you really enjoy, not just going along with someone else wants to do . I wish I could say that I was always focusing on myself and not bothering with online dating but it was a mix of both. You would focus on yourself and then get bored with the routine and redownload the apps, go on a disastrous date and delete them again. I can guarantee that there are many single people in this cycle as I write this. For me, I was beginning to build a routine that I wouldn’t adjust for anyone. My time felt precious and when I went on a bad date I couldn’t help but think what I could have done in that time instead of listening to a random stranger make small talk.  Therapy really helped me establish a routine that suited how I was in that exact moment. Not a difficult routine that I struggled keep up with, but a bare bones strategy for Christine to survive mentally and physically. When I look back now I can see how far I have come even though I still think I have so much further to go. I used to wake up on a Saturday not knowing what the weekend held. Even though I hadn’t seen any friends during the week I still didn’t want to see anyone. I didn’t want anyone to know that I didn’t have my shit together. Everything made me anxious. Leaving the house was a huge task and one of my first routines set was a Saturday morning. My social anxiety was so bad, my therapist told me to leave the house as soon as I woke up so I wouldn’t avoid going for a food shop. Basically, I was to leave before my anxiety took a hold on me and I decided to not bother going. Every task seemed so daunting and I always felt like I didn’t have enough energy to do it. Cleaning seemed like a mountain I couldn’t fully climb and it was the start of me actually looking at my time and trying to work out how I was going to move forward. I had to break everything down to simple tasks. Even something like cleaning the bathroom I had to break down to 15 minute segments. The aim behind this was to move me out of my anxious freeze state that I got into. I basically would start a task and feel a huge feeling of dread, decide I couldn’t do it and then go into a freeze state which ultimately led to sleep attacks and my body shutting down.


  1. Overcoming a fear

The fear of being alone lead me into the wrong relationships in the past. The fear of feeling uncomfortable and not being good at something also kept me from trying new things. In a way, a breakup means that you live out one of your fears, losing a person you love. When you begin to pick yourself back up I think your brain makes the connection that actually a thing happened that you were afraid of and you survived.  Then it becomes the notion of well what other fears could I face and still survive. For me I felt like my fear of things was keeping me in a box that I didn’t even want to be in but the fear was so big it was blocking my exit. I decided to take up swim lessons as it’s always been something I wanted to do. I will never forget sitting in my sister’s house before the first lesson, she had made dinner and I could barely eat it with nerves. I went to the lesson and was relieved that my instructor was so lovely and friendly. The feeling of accomplishment I felt from actually going through with something I was originally terrified to do was amazing. It wasn’t even that I was unreal at swimming, it was more the reintroduction of the idea that I could do difficult things. What I had built up in my mind was completely different to how it turned out. I believe a new cognitive pathway was formed that day in that when I fought against the intrusive thoughts I could actually win. The first time I went to therapy I learnt the phrase that when thinking about worry and intrusive thoughts you should think of  fear as standing for False Evidence Appearing Real. Our anxiety sometimes feels like it’s trying to protect us so it spins a little story in our minds about why you shouldn’t try something new. If this is you, please know that you are not alone. All that chat about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks is nonsense. It’s hard but it is so worth it. I have been mentally preparing for trying new things for years but actually putting it into action was a different story.


After I did the swimming lessons, I saw an ad for a boxing gym which was specifically looking for women’s beginner boxers. Without thinking I filled out the online form and was surprised to get a phonecall the next day. After a few questions I was signed up and booked in for my intro session. Again, the day I had to go I was absolutely bricking it.  Boxing? What was I thinking? But although I was nervous a wee voice reminded me that what if they were as nice as the swimming instructor? If they were then I had nothing to be afraid of.  I’m happy to say that is exactly how it went and I felt so comfortable in an environment I previously would have ran from. The instructors were friendly and unbelievably patient when explaining everything. For my first PT session I was asked what my experience was at the gym and I was like ehhhh none.  It makes me laugh so much when I think back to my first classes, I couldn’t have told you what a dumbbell or barbell was never mind what they wanted me to do with them. There is no such thing as a stupid question but I would say I gave them a run for their money!  I still ask silly questions and I am by no means brilliant at it but the fear of trying it is at least fading and for the first time I have actually stuck with something.  I also think boxing for women is a brilliant release for all the anger we think we have to keep inside and instead smile and look pretty.


I had my first session back in April 2023 and I have been going now for almost a year! Am I going to be the next big female boxer? No. Can I deadlift my weight? Also no. But am I hopeful that these little small victories will continue? Absolutely.



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