Self help books- a help or hindrance? How it got me dating online.

In a few days, when Christmas has passed, advertisers will move away from ads enticing you to eat as much as you can, to ads encouraging you to lose weight because now you are of course, way too fat.  So we will be treated to a feast of dietary food plans and exercise DVDs from Z list celebrities and if you don’t subscribe, you will be both fat and manless on Valentine’s Day, and thus not able to enjoy the next round of advertisements for overpriced flowers, and romantic meals for two. 

I read somewhere, that memberships to dating websites, peak at the beginning of the year, in the same way as gym memberships, so clearly a trim waistline and a new man, features high on the list of goals for the New Year.

For the past couple of years, getting back into the dating scene has been on my New Year’s to do list, but come February 14th, I am relieved that I don’t have to buy anyone a gift and by the end of February, I really can’t be arsed to trawl through a catalogue of mostly undesirable men. However, one of my goals was to read more, and although it took me until April to get cracking, I got there and one of the books I bought was You are bad ass . Yes I am!  This book was clearly written just for me.  As I started reading the blurb, I discovered quickly it was not for me at all, as it was one of those horrid self help/manifestation books, you know, the ones where if you focus long and hard enough on a picture of your dream house, it will be yours.  Nonsense!  But having walked away from the “self awareness” section, (i didn’t realise that’s where i was), I was feeling drawn to it. 

Around that time, I had spoken to two women on separate occasions, who swore by this self fulfilment/manifestation way of life.  They both had mantras which they would say to themselves everyday, about how wonderful they are etc, and both claimed that their lives had been improved.  Both women appeared to be sane (ok one was a little strange, a life coach, but she wasn’t entirely barmy). 

I talk to myself a lot, but chanting mantras is not me. However being in my forties and fabulous, I am open minded and open to trying new things and the book being on special offer helped (a lot), so I  bought it.  Surprisingly, it was not a bad read.  With many of these books, you should not read them with the expectation that everything will resonate with you. You take on board the bits that make sense and reject the rest. The single most important thing I got from the book, is that if you want something (that thing being something reasonable and attainable with effort), then go for it.

This is common sense, we all know this, we don’t need a book to tell us, but the difference it made to me, was that it gave me the kick up the bum to do those things on my wish list instead of just hoping for things to happen.  So I set about looking for a new job.  This is harder than it sounds.  You gain several privileges when you have worked for a company for several years, e.g. the official start time may be 9.00am but I happily flounce in around 10.00  with a look daring  anyone to comment, and if I feel like I’ve  had a taxing day, i’ll leave early without so much as a by your leave.

However the book was a wake up call about how much I was worth and I set about approaching leading firms in my field, and what do you know?  Job done, I start my new job in the new year. Tick.

I’ve always wanted to write, and here I am blogging.  Tick.

Now for the failures.  I know I should save more money- big fat fail.  I am a live for the moment woman and I want what I want now. Better luck this year.

My other failure is my attempt at online dating.  Massive flop.  I enjoy my life as a singleton and because of that,  I genuinely don’t want a full on relationship, although I am open to friendship/companionship.  What’s the difference?  Essentially, with the former, you have to do things like compromise, with the later you can tell your companion to get lost at any time and certainly at the end of a pleasant evening, he can piss off back to his house or I to mine. Puuuurfect!

Many years ago when I was far too young to be set in my ways, I was listening to an interview with a committed couple who had been together for years as LATs, that is “Living Apart Together”.  They had set relationship boundaries, they were monogamous, they lived apart but were very much together.  It sounded perfect to me then, and sounds perfect to me now.

Now imbued with the confidence of being bad ass, off I went to find my LAT partner.  I chose (first mistake).  I mentioned the experience in a previous blog, (

Briefly the first guy seemed to have forgotten to take his meds, and the second, was a needy ridiculous man, who two months after dumping him, I can’t get shot of the bugger.  He is blocked on my phone and WhatsApp, and I have  had to turn my landline to silent.  The last i heard from him was around 2 weeks ago.  There I was, watching Outnumbered for the 100th time, feeling chilled, when the landline screamed into action.  It so rarely rings, that when it does, it makes me jump.  Instinctively, I knew it was him, so I picked up the phone but said nothing.  Then he said quite cheerfully,     ” are you there?”.  His voice alone was a windup, which set me off. “What the fuck do you want, have you no shame, you fucking lunatic” and so it went on and on and on.

I asked him on numerous occasions what the fuck he wanted, but did not give him the chance to respond.  I hurled every bit of abuse I could muster, except for one, which I am saving should he dare to call again.  In the short time we knew each other, he told me that he did not have a lot of confidence around women, because on 2 occasions, women had laughed out loud, when he had dropped his pants to reveal what he explained was his tiny willy.  Why he told me that, at this early stage of knowing him, is unclear, possibly to test my reaction.  I resolved never to see his tiny appendage , but was nevertheless sympathetic and nice about it.  However should he call me again, I won’t be.  Unpleasant, I know, but the man needs to go.

I’m sure not all men online are weird, I did meet a nice guy once and although it didn’t work out, we remain good friends. But for the time being, I am putting online dating on the back burner for now.  Should I meet my LAT conventionally without effort on my part, then so be it, but I will certainly not go looking for it.

I was however heartened to see in the news last week, an acknowledgment that mature people still date, with an ad for a new dating site for the over 50s, but disheartened to read that it had been banned, as the 58 year old male depicted, was too hot to handle.  Apparently the offence was that he was being objectified. I wonder if the same would have happened if it was a female? Bizarre.  I do hope that when i’m 58, I will be objectified by someone- anyone.

Anyway, I have just ordered a book,  My Favourite Half Night Stand,  a comical look at online dating, I will let you know if this has put me off even more.

Happy New Year to you when it comes.  May 2019 see you fabulous as ever.

Author: minitrix

I started this blog because being in my 40s is by far my best decade - it is that transitional stage between being young and old where I feel grown up without feeling old. My only child is now an adult which means I have regained my freedom, and I have experienced almost everything that life tends to throw your way, which in theory means that my judgement going forward, will be on point. However, as this is a period of transition there are stumbles and fumbles along the way but that's ok. I look forward to sharing the highs and lows of glorious middle age with you xx

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