I moved to Glasgow in September for university, but I’m worried about my relationship. I’m still with my boyfriend from home, and we now live a few hours away so can’t see each other as often. Everyone jokes about it and tells me our relationship won’t last, saying “if you don’t cheat first, then he will”. I hate this attitude and it’s making me really anxious, to the point where I’m doubting myself. Is this attitude still present later on at uni? And what can I do to stop myself from worrying about our relationship?” – Long Distance Lover
“I’ve been looking forward to Freshers’ Week since I got accepted to uni, and now that it’s here I can’t wait to get stuck in. I’m really worried about missing out on things or not getting to know people though, because I don’t drink. Everyone I’ve met in my halls so far has been lovely, but everything we do seems to revolve around getting drunk. I knew drinking would be a big part of Freshers’ Week, but I don’t want to be left out or seen as no fun. I’m also worried I won’t make as many friends if I’m not out getting drunk with everyone. How can I make the most of my week whilst staying sober?” – From Fresh Faced Fresher.
“But what if you get a boyfriend?”
That was the initial reaction I had to approaching the idea of a dating column. Well, this is now my final column, and I am still very much without a bae. Does this feel like a loss of sorts? Is the accusingly cold side of my double bed finally starting to bug me? No, I can honestly say it isn’t. Although it never felt like it at the time, I feel I’ve done nothing but learn from my losses, my waterproof mascara purchases and awkward post-date briefings with the girls. (I also bought a hot water bottle.)
Of course, romantic rejection and the embarrassment and confidence setback that comes with it never does feel like it’s doing any good when it’s happening to you, and it’s taken me a year of being back on the dating game to realise that. Never when they stop texting back and you’re not sure why, when you realise they’re only in it for one thing, or even when you realise they’re texting other girls, all of whom appear to have smaller noses than you. It’s a big ask to remain sassy and still manage to strut into uni the next day all whilst quietly thinking “you’re going to regret being a dick to me if I feel a bit bitchy and play this one out for qmunicate”.
This is what you didn’t want. You approached it jokily with some nervous laughter, and just enough of a cautious tone to let me know that you’d really rather I didn’t ever do this. “Just never write about me in your column, okay?” I remember you saying. You didn’t want me to ever write about us.
Picture the scene; he and I wear the same shy smiles. We exchange fleeting, nervous glances now and then, before our eyes fall to our laps once more. This is a classic “start of a first date” situation; we are tense, excited, our minds dancing with questions for this stranger sitting before us.
“Looking for a girl with low standards and no gag reflex!”
Those honeyed words on a profile were my introduction to the modern dating phenomenon that is Tinder. Understandably, they did nothing to disprove my long standing opinion of the increasingly popular app (“Christ, I’m not that lonely”) but after a pal revealed she actually found her boyfriend after a fateful right swipe, I swallowed my pride and pressed download. I mean, it’s 2014 – does anybody meet their other halves “in a bar on a night out with the girls” anymore?
I’m writing this on what I presume to be the eve of The Sun’s second round of ‘Check ‘em Tuesday’ (unless the newspaper has come to its senses and dropped the campaign – I’m doubtful). If you haven’t heard of it by now, the coyly named ‘Check ‘em Tuesday’ is The Sun’s latest cynical attempt to rebrand its infamous page 3 as something other than a creepy 1970s hangover.