6 Bad Signs You’re In A Good Relationship

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It saddens and slightly sickens me how some people will always look for the negative in whatever positive things are occurring.

Point in fact is this article: 6 Bad Signs You’re in a Good Relationship

Although I think the author meant it all in a somewhat slightly humorous way, for me it came across a bit ‘wasn’t life more fun when you were single’. That being in a happy, healthy relationship is just plain boring.

I could just be reading too much into the article (it is a bit fluffy lol), but I’m more inclined to point out how the media and our own community seems to want to pigeonhole us all into a specific stereotype – sex-crazed, overly groomed, partying social butterflies.

Hell. Sometimes I WISH my life was as fun and interesting as they all make it sound like it should be. Lol

But I think it’s more the generalisations that, once in a happy stable relationship, that we’ll all become smelly, chubbier, ungroomed, lazy versions of who we ‘really’ are.

Personally, I think that’s a load of bollocks.

That’s like saying the ‘single’ version of ourselves is the real us and the ‘partnered’ version is fake.. Or vice versa if you’re looking at it the other way.

Sure, once in a good relationship most guys will put their partying days behind them and settle into coupledom. But that doesn’t mean they’ll become boring.

If anything it’ll give them more time for things that interest them (and presumably their partner) instead of spending most of their free time looking for sex/dates/boyfriends.

But then again, maybe that’s just my skewed view of what it’s like to be in a relationship…

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Kiss My Patella

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As mentioned in recent posts, I’ve been struggling with ongoing knee pain (the patella, which is the kneecap), which has made life extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Basically what the doctors seem to think I suffer from is patellofemoral pain, which is pain in, around and behind the kneecap.  Most of the time when the pain flares up, it can feel like the kneecap itself is grinding or grating against another bone along with a bit of swelling around the knee itself.

Put it this way – it ain’t a fun feeling to have, especially when it makes it extremely difficult to do pretty much any day-to-day thing, like walking, going up/down stairs, sleeping (can’t get the leg in a comfortable, non-pain inducing position), and sometimes even sitting.

Luckily (I think) this has been the worse flare up I’ve ever had. Usually it only lasts a couple days then it’s back to normal.

Unfortunately, it’s been ongoing for about a month now, some days better than others, with only mild pain over the past week or so. It’s so mild at the moment that I’ve stopped the pain/anti-inflammatory medication and cream.

Today though could be a turning point of sorts – I finally had the MRI scan the doctor recommended (agonisingly sad how long you have to wait for an appointment).

This was the first time I’d ever had such a scan, so I was understandably nervous about it. Even after reading up about them and knowing there was nothing to be afraid of really.

Luckily when they put me into the machine my head was sticking out. I’m not claustrophobic but the idea of being inside the machine completely didn’t seem pleasant.

What I did find interesting is how I was trying so hard to not move at all, the technician admonished me after the first set of scans for moving too much… I hadn’t moved a muscle!!

Guess it goes to show how much we fidget when we don’t think we are. Or maybe they’re overly picky and expect people to be like a statue. Lol

Anyway now I get to wait up to 2 weeks for the results and hopefully find out what’s actually causing the pain. And whether they’ll recommend a course of action other than simply losing weight/eating right/exercising.

Cause we all know that’s always a doctor’s first recommendation, regardless of the problem.. Even if it might be partially true. 😉

For more information about Patellofemoral pain, click the link here –>> Patellofemoral pain

‘If Only I Were Single..’

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‘If only I were single, I would so date you!’

That’s a phrase I’ve heard way too many times to count over the years. Partnered guys who are (sometimes) very lovely and sexy, who’re playing around on their boyfriends (openly, presumably), who seem to think that little phrase will make me feel good about myself or that it’ll keep me interested to see if it ever comes to fruition.

Well it doesn’t.

If fact, the few times these partnered guys have become suddenly single down the line (why leave if you get a free pass to screw around?), not one of them called me up to ask me out on a date or whatever. Instead I usually only found out after they started dating someone new.

Why? Because by then I’d been ‘friend-zoned’. Meaning they ‘valued’ my friendship too much to risk losing it. That means, at least to me, that their feelings or attraction to me somehow changed over time to the point that they no longer saw me as dating material.

To say it sucks is a massive understatement.

I remember this one guy I was sleeping with fairly regularly a few years back who used to place ‘if I were single’ game after sex. He kept describing what-ifs scenarios, wanting me to respond.

All it did was piss me off, as it felt like he was playing mind-games. Like he was trying to emotionally ensnare me so that I’d get attached.. which would have meant my getting hurt when he stayed with his husband, as I’m sure he never had any plans of leaving him. Regardless of how love-less he said the relationship was.

And when the relationship did finally end? Not only did he not tell me, but I only found out via Facebook or some other social media app. And no, he never once asked me out (we’d stopped sleeping together by then) before jumping in a new relationship.

Of course then there’s this one guy from years ago who never once mentioned in the three or four months we were playing around that he had a boyfriend at home.. When talking to me, he’d always mention him as his ‘flatmate’.

I only found out when I was invited overnight to his house for Boxing Day dinner.. And I had to sleep in the ‘flatmate’s room’ which was clearly a storage/spare bedroom, while the ‘flatmate’ slept in his bed like he normally did every night.

When I confronted him about this years later (I’d stopped talking to him after that fiasco), all he did was brush it off. Like I was making a bigger deal about it than it was.

Anyway, whatever. Getting involved with a partnered guy is just asking for trouble. They all say the right things at the time, and maybe even mean it too. Or at least act like they do.

But in the end they’ll always do what’s best for them, not you.

I’ve obviously stopped myself (once again) from even considering playing with partnered guys after realising a few months back that I was falling into the same patterns I always do.

The problem is – when I reject the advances of those partnered guys, it doesn’t leave much behind. In fact, it leaves the gay dating/hookup apps scarily quiet with little to no activity at all.

What’s a single, lonely, horny guy to do??

And people wonder why I’m a wee bit bitter about gay men these days. 😉

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Unlucky In Love

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Anyone who knows me or has been reading my blog for awhile knows how I’ve never been lucky in love.  How, at 41 and after almost 20 years of being out, I’m still waiting for that first boyfriend/relationship to come into my life.

This is a subject I’ve thought about, written about and over-analysed so many times I think I’ve done it to death.  LOL

When it comes to guys, I’m finding these days that I tend to meet 3 types of guys:

  1. Single guys with a mutual attraction, but they are always too busy to meet up for something as simple as a coffee or a drink.
  2. Singles guys I’m not physically attracted to, but whom are constantly after me to meet up (usually for sex).
  3. Partnered guys I’m physically attracted to and who want to meet me (usually for sex or friends with benefits), but are obviously emotionally unavailable from a dating point of view.

finger kissI’m finding it extremely difficult to think of a single guy I’ve met in the past year who was as interested in getting to know me as I was them, and was actively looking to spend time together.

Isn’t that sad?

I’m not necessarily having a moan about this (okay, maybe just a little), but I can’t help but wonder if I’m sabotaging myself in the romance department.  That despite wanting to find actual dates and eventually a boyfriend/partner, that maybe I’m missing out on something else by accepting the advances of guys in section 2 or 3 just for the sake of feeling like someone finds me attractive.

I have no idea why I would do that, but it could be a self-confidence issue, where perhaps deep-down I don’t feel I deserve a boyfriend or love in my life.

Pretty deep huh?  Of course all that could just be my own insecurities playing with my head.

I’ve tried to talk about all this with friends repeatedly over the years, but I usually just get the same old story – that I just need to relax, have some fun, and then something will come along when I least expect it.

The problem I have with that advice is I’ve been trying to do that for close to 20 years now, and it hasn’t gotten me anywhere.  I wish I could just stop caring about finding something more meaningful than a shag and just get on with living life, but that’s easier said than done.

Man being comfortedOf course, some of these friends can’t really relate to what I’m going through despite what they say.  A lot of them are either already partnered (many in open relationships) or they’ve been through many long term relationships (good or bad) in the past.

But what I find interesting is how many of them try to scare me off relationships.  They keep telling me how hard and horrible some relationships can be, and try to paint a negative picture of what it’s like to be in a relationship.  They’re basically trying to convince me how being single is so much better and fun.

Of course some of those same guys seem to find more extra-curricular ‘fun’ in a month than I do in a year or two.. And then still get to go home to curl up with their hubby afterwards.  Yeah, right.

Perhaps I’m over-dramatising it all.  Or perhaps I’m just one of those unlucky souls who aren’t meant to find someone special.  As much as the media and society keeps telling us that there’s someone out there for everyone, perhaps that’s actually a lie and some people are meant to be alone, regardless of how they feel.

I do find it somewhat interesting (and very annoying) how everyone makes it seem so easy to just stop caring or worrying about all this.  That it should be as simple as flicking a switch and turning off how I feel.

Soul needsIt’s not.  I really wish it was.

I do wonder where my life might have ended up if I hadn’t spent so much time over the years obsessing about my love life (or lack thereof).  Perhaps I would have expended that energy on other things, like writing, finding a career, travelling more, making more good friends, or any number of things I would love to have in my life.

Ultimately all I want out of life is to be happy.   Happy with my life and where it’s headed.  Obviously I know a boyfriend won’t make that happen or solve any problems…

..But it sure as hell can’t hurt. ;-)

Flathunting, Moving, and The New Neighbourhood

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Well, look at this.  Finally I’ve got a bit of time to give an update of what’s been going on over the past few weeks in regards to moving flats.

I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with bated breathe, sitting on pins and needles, just desperately waiting for me to let you know how things have been going since my last post ‘On Borrowed Time‘.

Yes, I’m in a cheeky mood tonight.  But aren’t you glad I’m back??  LOL

imageObviously, I’ve finally moved into a new place after a month of searching and looking at tons of crap places I couldn’t afford.  Flathunting is never a fun thing in London, especially when you’ve got a specific budget and area you want to live in.

Since I would in South-East London, I naturally wanted a place that was relatively commutable to work, as well as from Central London in case I went out on the town (as much as I dislike Soho, it seems to be where everyone goes..).

Despite seeing some places perfectly located for my commute to work and in areas I was interested in, they all seemed to basically be too expensive (what are these people paying so much in bills for each month??), or just plain crap/too small/just a joke/gross/unclean/etc.. Or both.

There was this one place that sounded good on paper, and just within my budget.. but when I arrived, the bedroom literally only had enough room for a double bed.  No dresser, wardrobe, shelves, or storage of any kind.  Nothing.  It was so small the bedroom door scraped the end of the bed when you opened it.

Woolwich CentreUmmm… no thanks.

In the end I did find a super nice and (hopefully) cozy place in a gay-flat share with the flat-owner, and it’s well within my budget.  And that’s with the bills on top, shockingly.

Sadly though, it’s not in any of the areas I was looking to move to, but instead is in Woolwich (a bit east of Greenwich, for those who know London).  It’s not an area I would have considered before, but I’m sure it’ll grow on me.

Oh, and the commute?  Sadly it’s twice as long as I had before as there’s no direct route to work, but I think I’ve managed to find one that gets me there in about an hour each way.  Which is a pretty standard commute for London I suppose (I was spoiled before lol).

The area is pretty cool though, as I’m literally at the end of the main high street with pretty much any shop you could possibly need, and it’s very well connected considering how far out it is (I can get to Central London near Trafalgar Square in about 25 minutes by train).

Woolwich FerryIt also helps that I have a friend who lives just across the river near London City Airport who already knows the area.  In fact, we met up on Sunday afternoon for lunch and then a stroll around the area a bit.  Very handy indeed.

All I know for certain right this second is that I’m SOOOOOOOOO glad the flathunting is over with and now I can settle in for at least the Winter in my new place (hopefully much longer, as I really hate moving LOL).

Now, next thing to get sorted is the issues with my knee.  I have a scan scheduled for next Friday, so fingers crossed they’ll figure things out.  :D

On Borrowed Time

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A month ago, my current landlord advised me he was serving me notice as he’d decided he wants to live alone for awhile mainly due to some family issues and personal stress he’s been going through.

It sucked to hear it, but I understood.  Sometimes when you’re going through a rough patch, all you want to do is to simplify your life.

Though I’m not that sure how my living here complicated things for him, but whatever.  Not my problem..

Well, actually it is in a way.  I’m the one who needs to find a new place to live, and fast!!

Technically I was due to move out by YESTERDAY.. but because I haven’t found a new place to live as yet, he’s given me another week or two to sort things out.  I’d originally brought it up as I was viewing a place the next day where the move in date wasn’t until the middle of November.

But because of this, I now feel like I’m intruding on him and his life.  And that I’m starting to overstay my welcome..Like I’m becoming the flatmate who won’t leave.

Of course that could all just be in my head, as he said he had no issues with extending my move out date.  In fact when we talked about it last weekend, he said he’d meant to let me know there was no problem if I needed an extra week or so.

He’s been super flexible about it all.

The crap thing about it all is how few responses I’m getting to the messages I’m sending about rooms to rent.  I’ve been looking like crazy, especially over the past week or so, and have only seen a couple places – one that was absolutely lovely but way too outside my budget, and another that was ok but the landlord turned me down due to his ‘acute sense of smell’ (I’m a light smoker).

moving_4-resized-600It’s extremely stressful to be still looking to find somewhere suitable after a month’s time, and to know that I should already be moved or at least packing to move by now (I haven’t started packing yet since I have no clue where I’m going…).

The only offer I’ve had is from a friend of mine from my old softball group, who has offered to rent me a room really cheap.  She hadn’t been planning on renting it out until after the holidays, but is willing to make an exception for me.

It looks lovely from the pictures/videos she’s sent me and she’d probably be great to live with, even it was only short-term.  But the problem I’m having is that it’s even further south than I currently live.. Making getting home from a night out even harder than it is now, and the commute to work twice as long.

*Sigh*  I’m still thinking about the idea.  It would be great cause I could save a bunch of money, but is that worth it to have the extra transport issues.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things turn out.  I’ve got a couple more viewings tomorrow (Sunday), so maybe one of them will turn out.. or maybe I’ll just stop overthinking things and accept my friend’s offer.

Fingers crossed x

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I’m Still Here

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For any who may be wondering, I’m still alive and kicking.. I’ve just been taking a bit of a breather due to so much going on these days.

Between being super busy at work, looking for a new place to live, and health issues surrounding my knees, it’s been hard to find the time and energy to sit down and write about it all.

Or about anything at all really.

I’m tired and been in pain constantly for the past week. And when I get home from work, the only thing I want to do is relax, read, or just try to chill out.

I know this’ll only be a temporary thing. I’ll be back to normal soon, so please be patient with me.

Chat soon xx

World Mental Health Day

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This past Friday (October 10, 2014) was World Mental Health Day.  And although this year’s theme was dealing with Schizophrenia, I think it’s an important day to reflect on where we each are with our mental health.  Regardless if you feel you might have mental health issues or not.

Mental health is about the way you think and feel, your ability to deal with ups and downs that occur in your life.  We all have good days and bad ones, and it’s important to have a foundation there to help you through the bad days so you can enjoy the good ones more.

Here are a few tips how to look after yourself and your mental health.

Talk it out

Some may think talking about your feelings shows weakness, when in fact it’s the opposite.  Those that can open up about their feelings and express them generally have a better chance to cope or take charge of their mental well-being.  Not to mention the feeling of being supported and less alone.

And if you’re having difficulty expressing how you feel in a couple words, then that’s fine.  Use as many words as you need.  Allow yourself time to ramble about how you’re feeling in your head and how those feelings are affecting you.  There’s no rush.

Watch what you eat

bad-diet-habitsMost people when they’re feeling down will turn to food as an emotional replacement.  They try to eat their feelings instead of expressing them, and that could potentially be harmful long-term to both your physical and mental health.

By grabbing some chocolate, a highly caffeinated drink or a greasy take-away, you aren’t helping yourself get out of your downer but are instead feeding it and giving it ammunition to grow.  As much as that oh-so-delicious kebab smothered in garlic and chili sauce may taste when you’re feeling blue, it really isn’t going to make you feel better.  In fact, your body and mind would thank you more for a well balanced meal.

Don’t be a stranger

One of the big mistakes people make when feeling down is they don’t reach out to their friends and family for support, because they think that is being weak and they should only deal with the issues themselves.

However reaching out helps you feel included and cared for.  When you discuss what’s bothering you with someone, they can give you a different view of the situation, give some advice, help you see the bigger picture, and hopefully get you out of the house to stay active.

Sometimes the best thing to help you mentally is to just chill with a friend and have a few laughs.  You’d be amazed at how much that helps.

Take a break

Sometimes a change of pace or scenery can do a lot of good for your mental health, and it doesn’t have to be some big holiday to a beach resort.

man reading in bathIt could be something as simple as putting your feet up, exploring a new neighbourhood, reading a book in the bath, or even a quick nap on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Basically give yourself some ‘me’ time to relax and let the world wait for you to come back to it.  There’s no rush, things can wait.  If you don’t take time for yourself, then your mental health can suffer and concentration can go down.

Rest.  Recharge. Revitalise.

Value yourself

Let’s be honest.  Having good self-esteem helps you cope when your life makes a sharp left turn out of nowhere.  By feeling confident about who you as a person, you can better handle the things that come up without them dragging you down.  Not only will others find you more confident, but you will value yourself and your own contributions more.

It’s about being proud of who you are as a person, where you are/come from, and focusing on what you’re good at instead of obsessing over what you’re not.  And if there’s something about yourself you’re not happy about, then take the time to work on it and improve that part of yourself.

Stay active

This isn’t about becoming a gym-bunny and working out like crazy.  Sure, a good workout can do your body and mind a load of good, but this is more about just getting up off the couch and getting out there in life.  It could be as simple as a walk in the park, or doing some housework, or dancing your butt off at some club.

The important thing is to maintain some regular activity that will release endorphins and other chemicals into your brain that help you feel good.  And feeling good boosts your self-confidence, helps you concentrate, and generally makes you feel better about yourself overall.

Drink Sensibly

article-1190860-05701F1E000005DC-908_306x343A lot of people turn to alcohol as a way to deal with their problems, thinking that a glass or two of wine will help you unwind and deal with the issues at hand.  But this is only temporary, and when you’ve drunk to excess, the bad feelings are compounded due to the withdrawal effects of the alcohol.

Basically excessive drinking (or smoking or using drugs) only give you a temporary reprieve from your issues and can cause larger issues long term.  Getting drunk to change how you feel when you’re stressed is unhealthy and doesn’t allow you to deal with the issue at hand.

Speak up

Not enough of us are willing to speak up and ask for help when we can’t cope with something.  For whatever reason society has dictated we must all be super-humans and deal with everything internally ourselves, without ever showing any signs of weakness.

Not enough of us will ask for help, even if it’s as simple as talking things over with a loved one.  And those who need more than just a friendly shoulder to lean on, we need to be more willing to ask for professional help, be it from our GP’s or a councillor or therapist.  Or you can join a peer support group of some kind.  Whatever works to help you get through the issues at hand and allows you to move forward with your life.

Enjoy yourself

When you’re feeling down, go do something you enjoy doing and are truly good at.  By doing so, you’ll feel you’ve achieved something and it can help boost your self esteem and forget your worries for awhile.  It changes your mood and forces you to concentrate on something other than the issue at hand.

It can be anything as long as it allows you to identify as yourself, not as someone in relation to someone else.  It can something competitive like playing a game of football, or something creative like spending an hour with your sketchpad drawing.  Just have some fun and get away from yourself for a bit.

Caring is sharing

helping-handTaking care for someone else can be an important way to improve your mental health.  It doesn’t have to be as in-depth as physically caring for an elderly family member, but could be as simple as showing those around you that you value them and care for them.  It helps maintain those relationships and could also bring you closer together.

For some people, this can be done through volunteering or charity work, or could be through caring for an animal.  Regardless of how you do it, it allows you to create bonds with those around you, structure to your day, and gives you a link to other people.

Click here to read the original article –> 10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health.

Walk Around Edinburgh

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Here are just a few (dozen) of the pics I took on my recent trip to Edinburgh.  My best mate P and I went wandering around the city centre, up to the Royal Mile, and then back around again.. And since I love old architecture, there’s tons of pics of the buildings.

Enjoy x

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Throwing a Wrench in the Works

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There definitely seems to be a lot to get caught up on, especially my recent visit to Edinburgh and spending the weekend hanging with my best mate, partying our way through the various BearScots parties.

But that can wait.. I’d meant to write about this last week but hadn’t gotten around to it.  Plus I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it…

I’ve been given notice to move from my landlord, meaning I have to move house by end of October.

It was completely unexpected and totally caught me off guard.  Since I moved in over a year and a bit ago, everything has been great.  To the point where he’d said I totally fitted into the house, as I’d basically made it my home alongside him.

Now I’m not going to go into massive details of the situation or talk about my landlord/housemate as I’d promised when I moved in that I wouldn’t.  And I’ve done my very best to honour his wishes in that respect.

Basically he’s decided he’d like to live alone for awhile, as he’s had a rough year (his business, so not going to write about it of course) and would like to go into the new year refreshed and regrouped.

When we discussed it, he did tell me point blank that the reasoning behind this decision (which he was almost as upset as I was about) had absolutely nothing to do with me.  There hadn’t been anything I’d done or anything he was upset with me about, just that he needed to do his own thing for while.

To say this is a pain in the ass for me is a definite understatement.  Just as I was truly settling into the new job (almost three months now) this happens to throw a wrench in the machine.  It was not something I really needed right now, especially as I’d been quite comfortable and happy living there.

So.. what now?  Now I have to look for somewhere else to live, something I absolutely hate to do.  I’ve been putting off actually looking until I got back from Edinburgh, but now is time to see what I can find.

I have been taking a quick look here and there online to see what is out there, room or flatshare-wise, and in the areas I’ve been looking I’m not sure I could afford what I’m seeing.

The rent I’m paying at my current place totally fits my budget and salary, and getting to work from here is super easy.. both of which I’m looking for in a new place.  But I also want to find something that isn’t so far out from Central London, as it’s always a chore to get into town and back again if I go to meet friends.

Admittedly if it wasn’t for where my job is (Forest Hill), I’d consider moving to North London for a change of pace.  But if I were to do that, it would take me a lot longer to get to work.  Plus I would have to travel through Central London, meaning my transport costs would be much more than they are at the moment.

Oh well.. I’ve just over 3 weeks to find some place new.  I just really hope it’s somewhere nice and affordable, and if it’s another flat/houseshare that the people are really easy to get along with.

Just sucks that finding a place of my own is out of the question, budget-wise.  :-(