Lately, I was ‘lucky’ enough to discover a very old online diary of mine, which I used to write in daily religiously from the age of sixteenish onwards. It was a real eye opener, reading what I got up to on a day-to-day basis at those ages: the people I hung out with, the jokes we had and the many, many boys I claimed to be head over heels in lust with.

It may have sounded dramatic – I went into painstaking detail about a lot of my dates – but then again, I was a wannabe emo kid at that age. So I decided to share some of the most embarrassing entries with you all today because, well, who doesn’t like laughing at that type of thing?!

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Dating | Confessions of a 17 year old wanna be emo kid | Online dating

THE MYSPACE FRIENDS CALAMITY 
He started calling me everynight. He gave me his braclets to wear. He put my picture as his phone background. He put me in his myspace top friends before I put him in mine…

Oh the woes and dramas of Myspace. I wrote this when I met and started seeing a guy (who I’m actually still friends with to this day) and who at the time led me on before getting a new girlfriend. I wrote about the things he did to lead me on; how he was the one putting out all the stops and pursuing me. But the worst part was that he made things almost official by adding me to his top 8 friends on Myspace. FIRST. I only followed suit once he did it, and almost immediately I was replaced by his new girlfriend, my top 8 status long gone. I was so angry. It was like a slap in the face and we all know that being taken out of someones top 8 Myspace friends is the equivalent of blocking someone out of your life entirely these days. I laugh about it now of course but there’s still a bit of aghast there when I look back…ha!

THE COLLEGE STALKER
Boys confuse me. B****, this fittie from college, ive spoken to him a few times on myspace and he’s always pretty friendly. I commented his pic and he commented mine back saying ‘You look nice in that dress love x’ and usually I mail him first on there but the other day he emailed me first. But anyway I see him in college, only plucked up the courage to say to him Hi once, but I see him a lot. The other day apparntly at lunch he was proper staring at me and turned right around in his chair to do so at one point. Hmmm confuses me.

There was this guy who went to my college who I was always too scared to strike up conversation with in real life. We occasionally said hi, but as a whole, college was two years of us flirting timidly on Myspace but never making any effort to speak properly. It was a confusing time.

WHY? JUST WHY?
She’s his best mate and he’s in love with her but she doesn’t like him like that..he told me he was nearly over her but. Anyway she got with his mate at the weekend and its caused loads of issues between them so we went downstairs and J**** went upstairs again to talk to her (for about 2 hours :|) and then she came down the stairs and left the house crying.

What even? I had a date with a boy, a girl he was in love with turned up and he left me to have a two hour serious talk with her which resulted in her leaving in tears. AND YET I STAYED. Why did I not just leave? Why the hell would I honestly think it was a good idea to wait or that it was an okay thing for that boy to do that to me?? I hate that boy to this day and still curse him for breaking my heart ladyboner.

COLLEGE STALKER PROGRESSION
Then on the way to reception I was by myself and so was B**** and he saw me and looked away shyly and looked back and smiled and said hey and I was like F*CK YES GET IN THERE lol. Then mamaw was here and he walked out behind me and shimmyed off to look on/investigate the minor crash that had taken place in the car park to which I replied ‘Students’

I tried to act aloof and sophisticated, shaking my head in dismay at bad student drivers. It was also in this entry that my friend claimed the male above watched us play table tennis, laughing when I missed a shot and staring on at my cookies in jealousy/lust. No, cookies is not a enthusiasm. I actually did have cookies.

MYSPACE TRAGEDY STRIKES AGAIN
Hearing from a friend that J**** was seeing someone (b*stard, she’s already number 1 in his top friends. I was in his top friends for what, a day? And I was still the last one and I still had to put him in mine first)

Did I not learn the first time?! This time around, J**** from above (the one who was in love with his best friend) angered me by getting a NEW girlfriend and putting her at NUMBER ONE in his top friends. Blasphemy.

HANGRY
Then I woke up to find SOMEONE had eaten my crisps I bought Monday especially for a crisp sandwhich and there was no dog food so I rung mamaw then rung Janine..she bought the dog food but not the crisps. Nevertheless this put me in a bad mood.

I know this isn’t about boys and actually, looking back, it’s not really over dramatic because I react the same way now when someone eats my food but lolz.

Although I clearly loved the drama at the time, I can’t help but read over (and laugh and cry at) these entries and count myself lucky that I don’t have to deal with this type of sh*t anymore. I mean, sure, up until I met my boyfriend I still used to meet tons of pr*cks that acted like the boys above, but I like to think I’m now a lot wiser to that type of behaviour.

I’ve also learned how to spell properly. Go figure.

Wiser than me and looking to put your practices into motion? Why not try online dating? Free dating sites such as welovedates.com are a great way to meet potential dates.

Just remember remember the five golden rules:

  • I know Myspace doesn’t exist anymore but DO NOT GIVE A CRAP about online stuff/the modern equivalent of top eight friends. If you’re together and he aint willing to show you off online, he aint worth it.
  • If you speak to someone online but not when you see them in real life, GROW SOME BALLS.
  • Don’t fall in love with boys who are in love with their best friend. No good will come of it.
  • Acting aloof sometimes works, but also don’t take the p*ss out of student drivers who crash, especially if you can’t even drive yourself!
  • Hide your treats.

Do you have any embarrassing memories from being a seventeen year old wannabe emo kid? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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I’m at the stage in the break up now where I’m flitting between making plans with everyone left, right and centre – not wanting to spend a single evening at home alone – and making pit stops to Tesco on the way home from work to grab Ben & Jerry’s, Amaretto and general junk food for some seriously corny romance movies. What can I say? Rom-coms help store my faith in love again..!

I love a good rom-com, but I also enjoy any indie gems too – as well as the really romantic-corny-snot-into-your-tissue type of movie. Basically, I like a good mix, but the best part is that the majority of these movies still leave me feeling somewhat hopeful after the credits roll.

Here are some of my favourite romance movies that are just perfect for that stage of a break up.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Dating | My favourite post break up romance movies | Movies | Romcom | Romance

LIKE CRAZY
Like Crazy is one of those movies that you’ve probably missed, despite starring big names such as Anton Yelchin (RIP), Felicity Jones and Jennifer Lawrence. It tells the story of Anna and Jacob who shyly fall in love when Anna is studying in LA. Despite falling deeply in love with each other, it’s not long before Anna has to return back home to the UK and thus a long distance relationship begins. If you’ve ever been in a long distance relationship, you’ll agree that this movie has gotten the gut wrenching pain of being so far apart from someone you love down to a tee. It’s beautifully tragic and will help you realize that love definitely isn’t easy and love isn’t always enough.

TONIGHT YOU’RE MINE
Oh my gosh. This may be one of the corniest movies ever but it’s so bad that it’s good. It’s pretty damn hard to find online these days (and it’s also known as You Instead), but it’s worth the search if you’re looking for that all consuming-totally-unbelievable-love. It follows two rockstars – Adam and Morello – who are both performing at T In The Park festival (where the film is set, featuring lots of cameo roles), who hate each other but get handcuffed together (yes, really). The story follows them in real time as they spend the evening trying to find a way out, taking to the stage and eventually finding few and fleeting moments together throughout.

THE NOTEBOOK
I don’t really need to explain this one but guaranteed you’ll be sobbing your little heart out by the end of the movie, crying out ‘WHY CAN’T I FIND A LOVE LIKE THAT’.

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
I still don’t entirely get this movie, but it’s one of those ones that sort of make you happy to be alone again, because it helps you realize that you should never really settle. It’s a real oddball type of movie but, if anything, it taught me that extraordinary love is the best and if you haven’t got that then maybe it’s just better to be alone.

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
Revert back to your teenage self and relish in this classic. Cultural? Tick: the movie is based on a Shakespeare play. All star cast? Tick. The film features Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Kick ass female lead? You got it. Julia Stiles’ character Kat was who all us alternative girls looked up to when we were teenagers – she didn’t take sh*t from no one. The film also includes that all important musical number/romantic display of affection, beyond cute ‘first kiss’ (that made me want to try paintballing) and an amazing soundtrack. Need I say more?

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER
Another gem featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt – opposite  Zooey Deschanel in the noteworthy manic pixie dream girl role, this popular indie rom-com is almost a giant ‘f*ck you’ towards traditional romance – but somehow still leaves you with that fuzzy feeling inside. This is great to watch when you’re finally seeing your previous relationship through new eyes – at last you realize it wasn’t always amazing and, more often than not, your ex was kinda a douche. But hey, life goes on, and this movie proves it. It’ll also make you want to visit IKEA (alone) if you haven’t in a while..

NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST
Believe in that first love feeling again. This cute movie follows a couple who go on an epic night time adventure all over New York whilst falling for each other in the process (and misreading each other’s actions). It’s really sweet and will leave you pining for a fun night out – plus the soundtrack is one of the best movie soundtracks ever.

THE BREAK UP
I don’t think this movie did too well commercially, but it’s super funny and is ideal for that stage when you’re feeling really petty about your ex. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn who try to survive the living conditions of still sharing an apartment post break up.

THIS MEANS WAR
This movie is a total girls movie and perfect to watch with friends. It’s a romantic comedy spy film starring  Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy. Is it moving? No. Does it have some life lessons behind it? Not really. But it’s still really bloody good, even if you just watch it to perv on Chris Pine and Tom Hardy and fantasize about them fighting over you.

This stage of the break up calls for yummy junk food and lots of movies like the ones above, am I right? Have I missed any out?

Well past this stage and looking to start dating again? Why not try websites such as Surrey dating, West Midlands dating, Aberdeen dating, Hampshire dating or Lincolnshire dating.

What are your go-to rom-coms to watch when newly single? Let me know.

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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Since becoming single, I’ve thought a lot about the idea of dating again and, in all honesty, it’s a scary thought! The idea of meeting someone new and having to impress them, having to get over the hurdles of winning them over and doing things like meeting the parents definitely isn’t easy. But it has got me thinking about dating in general and ways I prep for a first date – especially going on a first date in such a long time – so I thought I’d share them with you.

Here’s some go to (and sometimes funny!) ways to prep for a first date.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Dating | How to prep for a first date

DO YOUR RESEARCH – BUT TO AN EXTENT
There’s nothing worse than going on a date and asking those boring questions like ‘so, what do you do?’ only for them to remind you you already discussed that subject last week and had an entire conversation about it. Remembering the basics; name, age, job etc is just being polite! But at the same time, don’t stalk them on social media beforehand or, if you do, at least be careful about it. Leave some things to the imagination so that you actually have some things to talk about on the date.

PLAN YOUR JOURNEY
I go on a lot of dates in London and more often than not, I make an educated guess of how much time I need to get ready and how early I should leave – only to turn up late in a faff, all sweaty and stumbling over my words having rushed. Luckily most people are quite laid back about a bit of lateness – especially in London when it comes to getting the underground – but only to a certain extent and if you don’t take the p*ss. It’s also not a good idea to turn up feeling stressed and rushed about. You want to arrive early or on time, feeling relaxed and confident!

…AND YOUR OUTFIT
You might have an outfit or two in mind but if you’re anything like me you’ll do your hair and makeup and go to get dressed – only to find that top you wanted is in the wash or that statement necklace that this outfit ONLY goes with is nowhere to be found. Seriously. If you have an outfit in mind, at least take a few minutes a few days beforehand to find everything you need and put it together, just in case something needs washing.

DO ALL THAT GIRLY STUFF
Shave your legs, paint your nails, have a nice relaxing bath – even if you’re convinced you’re just going to meet this guy for a quick drink and there’s not going to be any spark so you’re definitely not going to sleep with him – well, be prepared just in case. Because there’s nothing worse then turning up and deciding that oh, he is actually pretty hot and you wouldn’t mind a bit of fun BUT YOU HAVEN’T SHAVED YOUR LEGS. Plus even if you do decide you don’t like him in that way, putting all that effort in (and probably having silky smooth legs for the first time in months) will give you a huge confidence boost regardless. Shave your legs once for the first time since winter and you’re suddenly channeling your inner goddess. You are the supreme. And all that…

NERVOUS?
Your first date after a long term relationship can be totally nerve wracking. Have an alcoholic drink before you leave to calm your nerves – don’t drink too much, but if you do happen to accidentally get wasted, don’t sweat it – not everyone is perfect and you’re only young once. If you’re worried that you won’t have anything to talk about, prep some questions in advance and save them on your phone, or visit one of those ‘100 questions to ask a stranger’ websites! They’re always super fun, especially when you’ve had a few. Enjoy the first date butterflies too. Yes they feel kind of weird and make you feel sick, but first date butterflies is also a kind of really beautiful thing too.

BE SAFE
This is probably the most important step, especially as so many of us find our dates online these days. You always need to take precautions in case the unthinkable happens – luckily, such cases are very rare, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Do give your date a quick Facebook stalk beforehand – just to ensure they’re not catfishing you! Let a friend know their full name and where you’re going on your date. I’d also recommend swotting up on the Ask For Angela scheme – basically, a lot of bars offer you the chance to leave a date discreetly if you go to the bar and ask for ‘Angela’. The bar staff will then get you out of the place and in a taxi safely. You can use this even if you’re date is just coming across ‘just a bit weird’, so it’s a great scheme. If you know where you’re going beforehand, it is worth ringing up to check if the location does this scheme though, as some bars do this by getting you to ask for a certain shot or ask for a different name – so it varies.

These are just some tips to keep in mind when prepping for a date. But there’s always the fun stuff too, like researching cool places to go or the build up beforehand! And don’t forget that if you’re still looking for a special someone for a first date, why not try visiting some dating websites such as dating Lothian, dating County Downdating Edinburgh, dating Birmingham or dating Isle Of Wight? No matter your location, there’s someone (and a dating website!) for everyone..!

What are your pre-date rituals? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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I love a good date. Whether it’s the first date with someone special (complete with first date butterflies!) or the first date night in a long time with your other half, a date is such a wonderful thing. You get dressed up, you flirt, you try and impress…and after all, there really is nothing better than going out with someone lovely who thinks the world of you.

I also love a quirky date. Though for first dates I tend to stick to drinks or the cinema (meals out are a terrible idea because if you don’t click it can be super awkward, whereas the cinema is usually debatable. I like it because although you can’t talk, you can still discreetly hold their hand in the dark without them seeing you blush…!), there’s been a few dates that stand out as quite memorable in my mind. One guy took me to Southend beach front and we spent the day riding roller coasters, whereas the first date with my ex was spent mooching around town (coffee, to Tesco’s for avocado and ice cream, to food, to drinks…) because we didn’t want it to end.

Although I wouldn’t suggest something really out there for a first date (unless you know they’re super special!), it’s always good to have some ideas for third or fifth dates (perhaps when things go from dates to ‘seeing’ each other or boyfriend-and-girlfriend), anniversaries or special times.

So I’ve put together a list of my favourite wacky/unique/uber-fun/out there date ideas in the UK…

REGENT’S OPEN AIR THEATRE
Even if you’re not a huge fan of theatre, seeing a play at this open air theatre in the middle of Regent’s Park just oozes romance. The setting is beautiful – think rustic stage surrounded by greenery and twinkling fairy lights when night falls – and there’s dining options on site too. The most romantic choice is a picnic or luxury hamper you can order in advance though. The picnic costs £49.95 and includes a mouthwatering menu of quiche, pork pies, freshly prepared sandwiches, chef’s ‘world famous’ sausage roll, crisps, dessert and even wine. Can you imagine scoffing this on the grass before the show on a warm summer day? So romantic.
Perfect for summer dates when you’re a few dates in but still looking for a date to impress.

ZED EVENTS
Horror and adrenaline fans; this one’s for you. Zed Events boast the coolest zombie apocalypse experiences – and they’re not for the faint hearted. Their last venture (still running until the end of February) saw groups undertake realistic training before being let loose to explore an abandoned mall, following a storyline to avoid getting bitten by zombies. The event even included realistic weapons which could be used to shoot at the ‘zombies’. This experience is just finishing up as the team put their newest venture, due to be launched very soon. We know little about it – except it’s based in a Wasteland (in Reading) and if it’s anything like the The Mall, you can be assured that it’s going to be a totally immersive and heart pounding experience. Stay tuned and keep your eyes on Zed Events to discover more.
Perfect for special events and group dates.

THE FORBIDDEN CORNER
The Forbidden Corner in North Yorkshire has been on my bucket list for years now. Annoyingly, I discovered it not long after I left uni, which is a shame because I was studying somewhat nearby for three years and would have had plenty of chances to visit! This wonderfully weird outdoor attraction is hard to explain but an exploration of the grounds will find you discovering bizarre statues and sculpted grottos, braving subterranean chambers and finding secret gardens. It’s kind of like a huge oddball real life fairytale, but more like a Tim Burton version. It’s best visited to really discover the place as words don’t do it justice.
Best for long term couples that want to mix it up a bit.

SOLENT FORTS
Solent Forts have been on my radar for a long time now. The three island resorts – off the coast of Portsmouth – have a lot to offer despite floating in the middle of the sea! Horse Sand Fort is great for history lovers – a visit includes the chance to explore the ‘living museum’ on the underdeveloped fort. No Man’s Fort is like a party hotel and is ideal for events and weddings with seven function rooms, a cabaret bar, games room, lazer battle area, a sauna and spa, rooftop hot tubs and a fire pit. Plush indeed. Spitbank Fort is the best of both worlds – it’s smaller and slightly cheaper than No Man’s Fort but offers just as much luxury. It boasts eight luxury bedroom suites, a function room, wine cellar, games room, a sauna and fire pit, a rooftop pool and a beyond beautiful lighthouse. If an overnight stay is too pricey, you can also visit the forts for just lunch or afternoon tea.
Perfect for special anniversaries or proposals. 

DRIVE IN FILM CLUB WITH EXPERIENCE CINEMA
Another London based date, but one that oozes old school romance. Drive In Film Club is just like those amazing American drive ins – you park up, you can order food direct to your car (hot dogs, popcorn etc) and channel the movie’s audio through your speakers. It’s so much fun and takes place in really stunning locations like Alexandra Palace. The added benefit is that it doesn’t matter about the weather because you’re inside your car and it’s super cheap – entry is based on per car as opposed to per person. Experience Cinema are the company behind Rooftop Film club and other cool movie experiences too, so you know you’re in good hands.
Perfect for first dates and mate dates.

These are just five of many, many quirky date ideas that will never fail to impress – may I suggest bookmarking this post for future reference? And if you don’t have a special someone to take you to these places, why not look online for potential dates? You could try Dorset dating sites, Wiltshire dating sites, West Yorkshire dating sitessingle women in Lancashire and date Surrey singles.

Do you have any go-to quirky date ideas? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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Relationships are a beautiful thing. There really is nothing better then falling head over heels for someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Relationships give you memories you’ll never forget, whether that’s romantic holidays or jokes that make you both laugh so hard that you snort. Unfortunately though, sometimes things have to end and sometimes you have to go through the gut-wrenching pain of trying to mend a broken heart.

Accepting that a relationship is over or is no longer working sucks big time. But it’s important to remember that you need to look after yourself as well, so here are some ways to help mend a broken heart when the inevitable happens.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Relationships | 7 ways to mend a broken heart | Dating | Love | Relationships |

ALLOW YOURSELF TO WALLOW IN SELF PITY
It’s entirely natural and healthy to mourn a relationship, no matter what way feels best for you. Hole yourself up in your room for a weekend and binge-watch Friends with a tub of ice cream, or go out drinking with your friends for however many nights straight. Neither way is more healthy than the other but you need to wallow and do what you do. It seems tempting to put on a brave face and look ahead, but it’s important to feel your emotions too because if you don’t, how are you ever going to heal?

FOCUS ON YOUR FUTURE
Although it might seem that your whole future has gone down the drain in a matter of weeks, it’s important to remember that there is still a future there, even if it’s not as you imagined anymore. You might not have motivation to do much or look ahead, but there should be at least one thing to focus on whether that’s blogging, getting to the gym for a workout or writing in general. If you’ve ever wanted to pick up a new hobby or research a side business, now is the time when you actually, y’know, have time.

BLOCK YOUR EX
No questions asked. Yes it’ll hurt and yes it may seem extreme but still talking to them so soon after the break up will not help one bit because you’ll either feel like you’re getting on really well and want to get back together or you’ll spend the whole time convinced they’ve met someone which will hurt like hell. Blocking them is the best thing to do because you’ll both have space away from each other to move on.

UNDERSTAND WHY IT DIDN’T WORK 
Relationships don’t just end for no reason. You always learn something from a relationship – good or bad – and you should take this away from the relationship. Maybe you weren’t understanding enough. Maybe they didn’t communicate very well. At the end of the day, if it’s meant to be, it will be – as my nan always says. So if it was meant to work, it would have done.

MOVE ON
You’re probably nowhere near ready for a new relationship yet but that doesn’t mean you have to be entirely alone. Your confidence is probably at an all time low right now so talking to some good looking guys online or going on one or two dates could probably be really helpful when the time comes. Try heading online for websites like an Essex dating site, Cumbria dating sites, dating in Birmingham, to date Dorset singles or even single women in Gwent if that’s your thing (and there’s nothing wrong with moving on from men completely and experimenting a bit this time around either!). The important thing to remember is not to rush things: my cut off point for the end of a relationship is always when either one of you does the deed and sleeps with someone else. In my mind, there’s no going back from that. So if you want to move on for the sake of yourself but still want things to work out, by all means, go out and date but hold off on jumping into bed with someone until you’re entirely ready because once you do, there’s no taking that back!

TREAT YO’ SELF
Always, always take time to treat yourself. Go out and splurge money on some pretty lingerie from Boux Avenue or get yourself a stunning new hair cut. You deserve it.

A NEUTRAL MEETING WITH YOUR EX
Finally, after all the tears or once you feel like you’ve accepted things, I believe it’s also important to meet up with your ex on neutral grounds, especially if you still have things to give back to each other. This could be months after the break up, but you’re always going to have to see them again one day anyway, so why not get it over and done with? A quick coffee will be the perfect opportunity to show them you’ve moved on and you’re okay and is also the ideal way to say goodbye for a final time on good terms. You could also use this time to discuss once more why things went wrong; after so much time has passed and you’ve had some space away from each other, it will be a lot easier to talk about things without feelings involved. Plus, who knows, you might find yourself both understanding what went wrong and might want to give things another go..!

The important thing to remember though is that when you break up with someone, you must always focus on yourself first. Even if you do want to try to fight for things and get back together, there’s no use waiting around and putting yourself down waiting for a chance that might never happen. It’s always best to focus on making yourself feel better because, if anything, this is more likely to encourage your ex to see you being mature about the whole thing. If you’ve both had time apart to work on yourselves and realize what went wrong, you’re more than likely to eventually rebuild things if there are still feelings there months down the line.

What do you think? What’s your fail-safe way of dealing with heartbreak? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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