Advice, Blogging, Dating

What. Do. I. Wear??

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After weeks of messaging and phone calls we’ve finally agreed on a date! I’m currently waiting for the girls to “sign off” on my outfit choice and I have yet to decide what to do with my hair! How do I greet him? Should I tell him about the time I went back packing across Europe or is that too much, will I seem like I’m trying too hard? What if I don’t like him? What if he doesn’t like me??! I should definitely do a Google search, check all social media make sure I don’t have any nasty surprises, or maybe wait to see how we get on… I’m not going to tell anyone other than the girls, for now.

I can’t believe, after all this time, I’m finally going for an interview!

I bet you thought I was going to say date. Look back over that last paragraph, based on what I have said, couldn’t it be either one?

Initial application

I’ve done both recently, gone on a date and had an interview, and even though I was not flirting with my now manager the fundamentals of the preparation and execution of an interview/date are very similar. Take, for example your CV, there are various ways to go about applying for a job, from LinkedIn to a recruitment agency, 99.9% of the time they want a copy of your CV. Think of this as your online dating profile, the concept is the same, list your credentials and past experiences in a way that paints you in the best light, it’s like a dossier of tiny white lies and half-truths. Just because you helped a little old lady cross the road one time it does not mean that you volunteer at the local day centre, and saying you are 6 ft. does not make you 6 ft.

I hate it when you apply for one job online and you find your inbox overloaded with messages from agencies sending you up to 20 vacancies a day. I did a one week stint of POF (Plenty of Fish). Never. Again. 10 messages a day, 450 notifications in five days and a genuine fear that someone wanted to wear my skin, it’s safe to say that I will stick to the old fashioned way of meeting boys.

What to wear

So, you’ve got past the initial “getting to know you phase”, all involved parties like what they see and wish to meet face to face, what will you wear? If you’re anything like me, you’ll pick several outfits and send them to your friends, be prepared for comments like “that’s too bright”, “you want something that shows off your ass, I mean, personality”, “that dress is sexy but in a professional way”. Whatever they say, the rules are simple, don’t overdo it, and leave something to the imagination. We women have certain assets at our disposal, I wish I was hinting at myself but I have the chest of a 15 year old boy, saying that, I don’t believe that this is how we should “get ahead in the world”. Imagine walking out of an interview and feeling like they were staring down your top the whole time, what would you say if you were offered that job?

Dressing for a date is slightly different, you might want that person to look down your top or admire you ass-ets, but you’re still sending out a message that you’re easy/a prude, the line is not that fine girls, it’s pretty easy to find. As for guys, avoid overdoing the aftershave, it’s much hotter when we have to lean in to smell you and please please please wear clean shoes. I cannot speak for every girl in the world, in fact, I’m probably only speaking for about 10 of them right now, but your shoes say a lot about you and turning up to a date with dirty shoes or trainers that literally flop open when you’re walking say “I don’t care” and that is not necessarily a good thing.

Research

You can see where my priorities lie, outfit first, prep later. Whatever you said on your application has caught your prospective employers eye, make sure you memorise key points from your application and have examples to back them up. Easy enough right? So how much do you know about them? When did they go into business? How successful are they as a company? What are their strengths and weaknesses? They know the answer to these questions, what they want to know is how interested you are in the role and what you have to offer. On the flipside, you can’t rock up to a date and reel off the person’s date of birth, how funny you find the FB banter they have with their friends or how hot you thought they looked in that Instagram post you found when you were 57 weeks deep. I find that meeting the person and talking to them will give you a fairly good idea of what they are like, once you know that you are attracted to them take a step back and look at (look at, not MI5 analyse) their friendship group and hobbies. Are these people that you will be willing to make bonds with? Can you support them in their goals and interests? It might sound a bit intense but they will become part of your relationship also. 

Time keeping

There may be very valid reasons for why you are late to an interview; your car broke down, you missed your train, your hair wouldn’t do what you wanted it to. Most of the time you are given 2 weeks’ notice for an interview date and time, so that means you have plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements to avoid any mishaps. A lack of punctuality gives the impression that you do not value the time of your potential employer or date, it’s just plain rude! If you know that your beard needs trimming or your legs need waxing give yourself a contingency plan, add an extra 2 hours to your prep and travel time, depending on the level of hairiness of course.

Post-date/interview

After an interview it can be good practise to contact the interviewer with a short email thanking them for their time, making it clear that you feel you are the ideal person for the role and you look forward to hearing from them. It goes without saying that a date is less formal, send a text saying you had a good time, but only if you did. It may have been the best date/interview ever, you never ran out of things to say, you were bouncing off each other, it felt really positive but what if the “spark” is not there? Don’t waste their time or your own, finding the ideal mate/job is not easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy and learn from your experiences along the way.

S x

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Blogging, Cheating, Relationships

“Cheater, Cheater, Compulsive Eater” – The Other Woman’s Story

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It is often said that there are 3 sides to every story, yours, mine and the truth… Between the cheater, cheated and the other man/woman it is not fair to say one is more honest than the other. But, before we delve into the politics of cheating let’s have a look into how the “other women” felt, maybe it will answer questions that you have often wanted to ask. 

Q – How did you meet? A – At work, he was 8 years older and had a senior position. I started working with him a year after I joined the company,I had to have monthly review meetings with him so we were communicating frequently.

Q– Did you know that he was in a relationship/married? A – I knew he was married

Q – Was he happy in his relationship? A – At first it seemed like he was content in his relationship, but as I spent more time with him I learnt that there was not much left of the marriage and they were both unhappy with each other (or so he said)

Q – Who made the first move? A – We started spending more and more time together after work and had long phone conversations, it felt innocent as none of us admitted to the reason behind it all. One day he told me that he liked me, that’s when the can of worms opened and i knew I couldn’t pretend any more.

Q – Are you still with him? A – No

Q – How did it end?  A – He wanted commitment and a marriage (ironic, considering he was the married one and I was single). I wasn’t prepared for the baggage (4 kids). He tried to push me to commit to him and marry him in secret but I didn’t want to and realized he wasn’t for me. It was just a short term thing for me. I tried to keep it going and wanted things to be the way they were before (meeting for secret lunches, long phone calls) he wanted more though so I finished it. He said that if I wasn’t prepared to give him commitment he didn’t want to continue.

Q – What did you do together (what kind of dates?) A – Lunch dates, cinema trips, Dinner dates, sight seeing in Europe (he took me away for the weekend)

Q – Did you love him? A – I thought I loved him at the time.

Q – Would you be with him if he was single? A – Not now, no.

Q – Do you still speak? A – Only when I have to, he owes me £1.5

It’s safe to say that situation didn’t end well… Regardless of how “unhappy” he was in his marriage “it was just a short term thing” seems a cold and detached way to describe an affair with a married father of four. Had I not known this person I would assume that she couldn’t care less about what she had done, but the reality of it is she cried and agonized over her situation for a long time, it’s easy to point fingers and make judgments but you never know where life will take you or what you might end up doing.

The below experience is very similar, it is no better or worse that the previous interview it just provides a different perspective.

Q – How did you meet? A – At work,  he was in a different team but we had to work together for several projects.

Q – Did you know that he was in a relationship/married? A – Yes, one of the first things he told me was that he had a long term girlfriend.

– Was he happy in his relationship? –  Whenever he talked about his partner it was in a positive light, their relationship seemed pretty perfect, always trying new things together but able to maintain a balance that allowed them plenty of time apart to pursue their own hobbies.

Q –  How did it make you feel knowing that regardless of how happy he was in his relationship that he still wanted you? A – Cheap. No one wants to be the second choice, and that’s exactly what I was. He showered me with compliments, made me feel like I was the most attractive, captivating and funny woman in the world but somehow I always felt like the worst version of myself.

 Q – Who made the first move? – He did. He made several first moves but I didn’t want to believe that someone as happy and ‘committed’ would be making advances.

Q – What do you mean several first moves? A –  He’d take me out for lunch but we’d end up doing something random and quite sweet like dancing in a park or climbing a tree or he’d send an ambiguously flirty message then tell me outright that he wanted me. 

– Are you still with him? –  Was I ever really with him? No, is the simple answer, we are no longer involved.

– How did it end? – I told him that we couldn’t continue seeing one another, I knew he wasn’t going to end his relationship and I didn’t really want him to, at least not for my benefit, so I ended it.

– What did you do together (what kind of dates?) A – We went on long walks around secret gardens, had cozy pub dinners, went for cocktails, the cinema… Fairly normal dates.

Q – Did you love him? A – Can I skip this one? … Getting over him was incredibly painful and I never thought that it would hurt as much as it did when it ended, so on some level I guess you could say I did.

Q – Would you be with him had he been single? A – No, I can’t trust him.

Q – Do you still speak? A – We don’t speak regularly, we have no reason to but I wouldn’t malice him.

Q –  Did his partner ever find out? A – Not to my knowledge, but I do feel like she would have her suspicions…

Q – Do you feel any remorse? A – Of course! I have always said that I would never cheat, and just because I wasn’t in a relationship it doesn’t mean that I wasn’t helping someone else be unfaithful. 

Q – Thinking purely about how you felt about him, would you do it again? And why? A – No, as messed up as this will sound, he lied to me. I asked him if he had ever cheated before and he said he hadn’t but after we finished I found out that he had been having “an affair” with me and hooking up with several other people… Serves me right.

Just because he wasn’t married and children weren’t involved it doesn’t make it any less wrong. It sounds to me as is if her heart was broken, do I think she deserved it? No, but getting involved with someone who is already taken only ever ends with heartache and you can’t guarantee that it won’t be yours.

In summation, if there are three sides to every story does that apply to an affair? Who is telling “the truth”? Honestly? I think that when a man or a woman tells someone other than their partner that they love them, in that moment it is the truth, or at least they believe it to be. When the other man/woman says that this is the last time they will meet their lover in secret, they mean it, until the next time. And finally, when the cheated partner denies ever knowing or suspecting infidelity they badly want to believe their own words.

For the final installment of Cheater, Cheater Compulsive Eater we will be talking to The Cheated, if you have any questions or comments please let me know on Twitter @88Shaunna or comment below.

S x

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Cheating, Relationships

“Cheater, Cheater, Compulsive Eater”

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Once a cheater always a cheater..?

After learning that someone has been unfaithful the one thing you want to know is “why”, I took the time to meet with an old friend to discuss that very question in an attempt to delve a little deeper into the thought process of someone who has cheated.

Dean and Stacey worked together and had been dating for about a year when Ayesha joined the team, she was also in a long term relationship and the total opposite of Stacey. Where Stacey was shy and sweet with porcelain skin and auburn hair Ayesha was rude, flirtatious and a lover of the lime light with dark features.

Q – Would you agree with the term “once a cheater always a cheater”? A – Not at all, not every partner is the same; just because I have cheated it doesn’t mean that every man out there will.

Q – Have you cheated again since or been tempted to? A – No.

Q – Why were you unfaithful? A – We shouldn’t have been together at that point, I had wanted to end it with Stacey for some time but I just couldn’t do it… It sounds harsh but the affair suited us [me and Ayesha] as there was no commitment and no real risk.

Q – Did you feel guilty or regret? A – I felt guiltier about the fact that there were people hiding it for me, people at work who were my close friends but I knew they would never say anything. As for regret… Not really as no one got hurt, Stacey never knew and it ended amicably.

Q – Did you love your girlfriend or Ayesha? A – I still cared for her… But I never loved Ayesha, it was more about the excitement.

Q – Have you ever been cheated on or witnessed someone being unfaithful? A – I’ve not been cheated on to my knowledge (he looks dubious). But when I was 18, a friend of mine was away on holiday for 2 weeks; whilst he was gone his girlfriend was having an affair with our mutual friend. I approached him and told him that he would have to come clean after my girlfriend at the time insisted I said something, he actually asked me to tell our friend when he returned.

Q – Did you ever think that you would be capable of cheating? A – I don’t think anyone does, I never set out to cheat it.

Q – Would you say that there are signs to look out for when someone is playing away? A – It depends on the living situation, if you live with your partner and they’re not coming home or coming in a lot later than normal then that’s going to make you suspicious. But you can’t generalize, anyone is capable.

Q – How long did the affair go on for and how did it end? A – We saw each other for about 3 months, it naturally fizzled out, and we decided to end it.

Sitting across from Dean it’s not clear if he feels the weight of what he did, maybe because he wasn’t caught or maybe because it happened over 6 years ago but I knew him then and I know him now. He was young, reckless and selfish and that is no excuse but I’d like to think that he knows himself well enough to step away from a relationship before being unfaithful again.

I have met people who have been painfully unhappy and needed to escape from the strain of their situation, or others who were in full and loving relationships but loved the thrill of cheating or just the variety of different partners. Some people stray out of boredom and others purely because the opportunity has presented itself, whatever the circumstance, you are risking hurting someone you care for deeply, opening yourself to STI’s and making everyone in your life see you in a totally different, and potentially, very ugly light.

As for “The Ayesha” in these situations… I remember her turning to Stacey once and saying that there is no way she would ever let her partner say no to her in the bedroom, knowing full well that Dean had been with her the night before and the night before that (so that was probably why he was saying no). She would often give Stacey ‘advice’ on how to deal with her relationship woes as if they were the best of friends, and when confronted about it she would shrug it off. Who does that??!!!

Look out for the next post where I will be talking to the misters/mistresses, if you have a question let me know on twitter (@88Shaunna) or comment below.

S x

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