Have you been wondering who is the real Lucy behind the stories? Who is the woman behind the giraffe avatar and all the swearing? If you have, you’re not alone.
A few weeks ago Lucy was approached by a lovely lady called Zainab from dating blog called Tinderella Worldwide. She very sweetly asked if she could interview Lucy to find out more about her and her views on dating, and Lucy, who is always amazed that anyone at all reads her blog, and was even more flattered that someone should be interested in finding out more about her, said an enthusiastic yes.
So for those of you who wanted to know more about Lucy, here is the interview in full.
1. What made you start writing Lucy Goes Dating?
I’ve been online dating on and off for over 10 years, so I’m probably as much of an expert in the subject as anyone. I also love to write – I’ve always said there’s probably a novel in me somewhere, but I could never figure out what to write about. So all the elements have been there for a while, but it was really in the last couple of years, after my ex left, that the timing was right. I was going on so many dates, and having so many crazy experiences, that my friends started telling me I should write some of the stories down. So I did. It’s the perfect outlet for me: it satisfies my creative urges, and it’s a fantastic form of therapy when online dating all gets too much. Now if I get treated badly, or things go wrong, I can feel positive about it, because it’s all great material for the blog!
2. Is there such a thing as ‘the perfect guy’?
Short answer: no. No one is perfect, and I don’t even really believe in the idea that there is just one perfect person out there for everyone. That would be a terrifying and depressing thought! People change and grow over time, so someone who might not be perfect for you right now, might become so in a few years when circumstances are different. And relationships aren’t easy, and require give and take, so you have to be prepared to compromise. Having said all that, however, I do still believe in finding someone who is, if not perfect, then perfect for me, whose crazy matches mine, whose values and outlook complement mine. I’ve seen my friends meet, fall in love with, and marry that guy, and I still remain optimistic that he’s out there for me too, and when I meet him, it won’t be hard work, it’ll just feel right.
3. What qualities do you need to have as a ‘dating veteran’ these days?
The number one thing, above everything else, is resilience. Dating is so bloody hard! Endless swiping, endless rejection, endless getting messed around and ghosted. You need to develop a really thick skin, and never, ever take it personally. These people don’t know you, so how can it be personal?
But I think you also need to be open-minded, trusting, and forgiving. It’s really hard because you get burned ALL the time, so it’s all too easy to assume that if a guy says one wrong thing, or doesn’t reply for a day or two, then he’s a fuckboy. But everyone is busy, everyone is struggling with online dating, and so I think it’s important to give people a chance and not write them off straight away. I usually operate a three strike rule – though lots of people will tell you I’m far too tolerant!
4. What advice would you give to a twenty-year-old optimistic woman who’s just starting to date properly?
I wish – I WISH! – I’d known back in my early 20s what I know now. Back then I was so insecure about my looks, and my weight, and thought no boy would ever fancy me when there were thinner and prettier girls out there. And my insecurities were so obvious, I could barely speak to a guy I fancied without blushing and running away, so I never had any success, and it was a vicious circle.
Now I do much better with men because I have come to accept who I am and how I look, and if a guy doesn’t like it, well then he’s not right for me and he can jog on. And that don’t-give-a-fuck confidence is actually pretty attractive to guys. So my advice to all 20-something single girls would be – and I’m not saying this is easy to follow – but please, PLEASE stop worrying about what people think of you! You are young, you are about as gorgeous as you will ever be, and yes, while there may be hotter girls out there, you are still incredible! So don’t worry about everyone else, just focus on you, focus on having a good time, and when guys see that kind of carefree attitude, they will come running.
My other piece of advice would be: look for the non-obvious guys. In your 20s girls tend to go for the in-your-face lads, the blokey ones, the really handsome ones, the ones with swagger. But these guys have their pick of the girls, they will mess you around and treat you like shit. Ignore them and look for the shy ones, the nerdy ones, the sweet ones. They’re the guys who will treat you well and stay with you long term. If that’s what you want, of course!
5. What is your favourite dating app/site and why?
Honestly, I hate them all! I think dating apps are a curse on modern society, they’ve turned us all into catalogue shoppers, dehumanized us and made us forget even basic things like respect and common courtesy (though I am still battling against this!). However if you want to meet someone they do appear to be a necessary evil, so I guess the least worst ones – for me anyway – are Bumble and Guardian Soulmates. On Bumble I actually don’t like the ‘girls go first’ thing – I think it makes guys even lazier than they already are – but it’s easy to use and it’s generally accepted as less of a hookup app than Tinder. Having said that, I’ve still never had more than 3 or 4 dates with anyone from any dating app at all, which is why I tend to prefer paid sites like Soulmates. I think if people have paid they are generally more serious and less likely to mess you around, plus you get a lot more information up front in people’s profiles before agreeing to meet them, which helps rule out the ones who might be unsuitable.
6. What 3 things make a date great for you?
The three Ch’s – chemistry, charm, and chivalry. While I am very much a feminist and 100% in favour of fairness and equality – when it comes to dating, and least in the beginning, I’m a fan of traditional gender roles. I like a guy to take charge, to be polite and charming, and to treat me like a lady. But of course none of that is worth anything without chemistry. When you meet someone, and you just click, and sparks fly… it happens so rarely for me, but when it does, it’s the most exciting thing in the world.
7. What is the worst thing a man could do on a date with you?
There are so many things that can go wrong it’s hard to pick one! Obviously there are many potentially terrible things he could do: spike my drink, rob my handbag, assault me – but these are thankfully highly unlikely. On a more realistic level, I think if a guy turned out to be totally unlike his profile I would find that extremely difficult; likewise if he turned out to be weirdly creepy for no specific reason. But the worst dates I’ve actually had have been where the guy has been monosyllabic, makes no effort to ask questions and responds to my own in short sentences. I’m pretty chatty, but it’s impossible to maintain a conversation if the other person doesn’t say anything!
8. Is singledom a blessing or a curse?
I do find being single hard sometimes. It’s easier now than it used to be – partly because I’m used to it and better at being on my own, and partly because society is becoming more accepting of single people – but I still get lonely sometimes, and I still struggle with having to do everything by myself. I was definitely happier, more relaxed, and less anxious when I was in a relationship. Knowing you are loved, knowing that you have ‘your person’, that there is someone out there who has your back, someone to care for who will care for you… well that is an amazing state to be in and I would dearly love to have that again.
But I don’t think being single is a curse; in fact in many ways it’s a huge blessing. I have the freedom to do whatever I want, whenever I want, with no demands made on me or my time. It’s quite a calming state to be in, because there isn’t another person stressing me out or annoying me! So that’s why I find myself being more and more uncompromising with men. If I’m going to give up that freedom, it has to be for someone who is going to enhance my life, and not make it worse by being annoying, by messing me around, or by making me anxious and miserable. As soon as that happens, I’m out of there and onto the next. There is no point at all in letting a guy treat you like shit. But I’m still holding out hope of finding the one who, rather than ruin my day, is going to make it!
9. Would you ever date any of your date story guys again?
No, I don’t think so. With the exception of Michael the married man, who of course was never a date, but if he ever leaves his wife… well he knows where to find me!
10. Has anyone found out about your secret identity?
In the beginning I made the mistake of telling a few of my friends, as I wanted feedback. I regret that now, because the more I write about sex the less I can look them in the eye! I also have a terrible habit of telling people that the blog exists, but not where it is, and a few of the more determined ones have gone off searching and managed to find it by themselves. Turns out I’m not as hard to find as I think I am! But thankfully, so far none of my dates or exes have found it, though the more well-known I become, I guess the more likely that is to happen. I am resigned to the fact that if I become as well-known as I’d like, I’m certain to get outed at some point, and then there may well be trouble…