Hello, Lucy here!
Those of you who follow me over on Twitter may remember that a month or two ago there was a brief craze for a thing called ‘Curious Cat’.
Curious Cat is a simple website that allows you create an account and then invite other people to ask you questions – anonymously. Obviously this very swiftly became a vehicle for creepiness, trolling and abuse – some of which I may write about sometime.
But in between all the bile and hatred, there were quite a lot of decent, interesting questions too.
So for those of you who missed that, or who are genuinely curious to know a bit more about me, here are my answers to the best, most interesting ones.
Thanks for reading!
How much of your screenshot content do you actually manipulate on your blog, other than redacting of names?
Very little. I change names and sometimes identifying details and places. I take out stuff about my work, friends and other things that might identify me. I obviously only share the most relevant and interesting bits of conversations (the whole thing would get very long and boring!), so mostly I try to crop around the bits I don’t want to share. Where that isn’t possible, or the sentence won’t make sense, I redact the problematic bit. I don’t change anything that affects the honesty of the story; the only edits I make are things that would reveal personal information or clues to people’s identities.
Would there be a point of relationship seriousness where you would stop blogging about the other person and show them what you had written to date? Would you continue to write your blog, and would you consider getting their input?
I write everything with a delay, so I think I’d know fairly swiftly, and long before I was ready to write about the person, whether it was going to get serious enough for me to want to be honest with them about the blog. I would still take notes about our dates, but I wouldn’t actually write the posts or share them until I saw where things were going. If I’m going to be in a relationship with someone, trust and honesty are absolutely vital, and being a massive oversharer there’s no way I could keep the blog a secret for long! So I would absolutely tell them about it and discuss the idea of writing about them before posting anything. If they weren’t happy about me doing it, I wouldn’t. Finding the right relationship is more important to me than the blog.
Would I stop though? I don’t know… I’d hope that my partner was supportive and happy for me to carry on, and I think I’d struggle to date someone who wasn’t. But obviously I’d have to find other things to write about!
Isn’t it difficult to write with a delay e.g. about Africa, when how you felt at the end might make it difficult to express how you felt at the start?
After I’ve been on a date (and sometimes even during the date), I make detailed notes about what happened and how I felt about it. When I come back to those notes a few weeks or months later, all the information is there to remind me and it soon comes flooding back. Then all I have to do is go through the notes and flesh them out into a blog post! Sometimes those first impressions can be coloured by what happened later, but I try not to let that bleed into the post. So even though by the time I started writing about Brad it was all over, I was careful to stick to what was in the notes and capture the excitement I felt about him in the beginning.
Why do you think people are so aggressive towards you in their questioning and their distrust of your experiences?
Good question! I don’t know! Maybe they just find me annoying. Maybe they’re jealous because people like the blog (though I’m hardly a celebrity influencer!) and they feel the need to take me down a peg or two? I never understand this need to attack people who are just calmly doing their thing. Personally if I find someone annoying I just mute or block and move on. I’ve got far better things to be doing with my time!
Do you think that having a dating blog might actually be the thing stopping you finding your true love?
I really don’t. Some people might say that by focussing on being single, and by projecting my single identity out into the universe like this, I am creating some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, but that’s not something I believe in. I don’t subscribe to those kinds of notions, not least because I’ve only been blogging for two years, and I spent most of my 20s single, and have been single again for four years. So the blog is definitely a symptom of my single life, rather than the cause.
What’s one (or how many you can think of!) thing you want people to take away from your blog? Whether that’s dating, sex, single life, people, relationship etc…
When I started this blog I really only did it for me. I never for a second expected so many people would read it; much less take anything away from it apart from possibly a good laugh at my expense. At the start I tried to make it funny, but it turns out there’s only so much of that you can do when dating is actually pretty tough a lot of the time. I also found that people responded much better to the stories that are more raw, open, and honest. Those are obviously much harder to write, but if they help other single or lonely people find support or comfort, then that’s the best reward I can think of.
Do you ever sit in a meeting, on the Tube, in a pub, look at someone and think “they could be one of my followers and they have no idea”?
Very occasionally, when I’m writing on the Tube and someone is looking over my shoulder, I panic that they might recognise me. But in general, no I don’t. There are about 8 million people in London, and I only have about 7k followers, and many of them live elsewhere. The odds of me bumping into one are minuscule.
That said, it has happened a couple of times. Twice I’ve been to dating events where I’ve met someone who told me they came because ‘a dating blogger called Lucy tweeted about it’, and recently I was chatting to a girl I vaguely know who started telling me all about this ‘wonderful dating blog she reads that really helped her though her breakup’ – so that was pretty exciting – and scary!
What’s the best & worst assumptions people have made about you? Internet only please xx
People do seem to make a lot of strange assumptions, which I find odd because I put LOTS of information about myself online: the facts are out there, so you don’t need to guess!
But I’d say the best ones are those who assume I’m some kind of glamour puss or sex kitten, when I’m really not. I’m just normal. But it’s nice if they think that!
As for the worst, there are lots of people who think I’m making everything up, or that I’m doing this for money or fame – which is just a joke! I’m also not a huge fan of the accusation that I’m a husband-stealing whore, which is mystifying because literally my entire blog is about how rubbish I am with men, so I’m really not sure who all these husbands are that I’m supposed to have stolen.
A couple of the less offensive questions I was asked on here, just for example:
Do you genuinely think people believe the shit you write is real?
Why do you hate men so much?
Why do you think you’re single?
Obviously I think about this a lot. I think a lot of it stems from being unattractive and bullied at school, which massively affected my confidence and success with men in my teens and twenties. I didn’t get my first boyfriend until I was 25, and he dumped me 3 months later. Although I’m much more confident now, that scared and mistrustful teenager is still inside me, which I think may make me come across as not interested. I think some men may find me intimidating because I’m clever, assertive, successful, and not afraid to voice my opinions. And I was in a relationship from 30-36, which is when most people tend to settle down. When I became single again at 36, I was in that difficult stage where the men in my ideal age range were already taken, and the ones that were left were single for good reason.
One might be able to deduce the answer to this from your blog posts, but in cases where you’re conflicted about something/someone, does your heart tend to overrule your head? And if so, would you be more determined to side with conscious reasoning in future?
From your second question it sounds like you think I’m ruled by my heart, when in fact it’s the exact opposite. I’m a logical overthinker, so I’m very good at talking myself into things and justifying stuff while completely ignoring my gut! I talked myself into staying with The Ex far longer than I should have, even when in my gut I could sense something was missing. Similarly with Charlie, the relationship made so much sense logically, so I tried really hard to ignore the fact that my heart was telling me I couldn’t handle sharing. But sadly conscious reasoning can only get you so far before it fails. So I am trying to make more of an effort to ignore my overthinky brain and trust my gut more!
Do you ever remember one of your first loves and wish you’d never let them get away?
No, I don’t at all. Sadly I haven’t had many loves, and I don’t think most of them would have been suitable long-term. As for The Ex, we were together for 5.5 years and I really think I tried as hard as I could to make that relationship work, so I don’t think there was any more I could have done.
What would you most like to change about yourself if it could be granted instantly? (One thing for personality, one for appearance but not including age).
Personality – I wish I could be more confident with men! More patience would probably be good too – I do sometimes find myself getting quite worked up and angry, especially with stupid people or jobsworths, and there seem to be a lot of those about! And perhaps it would help if I could magically become a lover of kids and dogs – which might also help broaden out the pool of compatible men!
Appearance – I’m actually reasonably happy with my looks; maybe I’d like to be indefinably hotter, but there isn’t really one specific thing I’d want to change. Bigger boobs maybe? A cuter nose? Or maybe I’d choose to be a couple of inches shorter, to make it easier to find a man taller than me!
You look slim. Do you exercise or just not eat? What sort of exercise/gym stuff do you do, and how frequently, to stay in shape?
I’m a total glutton and I have no self-control around food, so I exercise to allow me to eat pretty much what I want and not blow up to the size of a sofa. I’ve been an exercise junkie for over 20 years, so it’s routine for me and I do something about four times a week. That’s always a spin and a circuits class, plus a run or cycling to work, and something strength building, either weights or yoga. I also live in London so I walk a lot!
What are your best and worst qualities (3-each)?
This was hard so I asked a friend and here’s what he said.
Best: witty, intelligent and actually cares rather than just pretends to.
Worst: oversharer, overthinker, find it too hard to trust people.
I’ll add in impatient and stubborn to that too!
Though I’m sad that he thinks being an oversharer is one of my worst qualities – because it’s one of my defining features!
They say you should try anything once. What have you tried once that you wouldn’t do again?
Horse meat. It’s disgusting. And skydiving, which I found fucking terrifying.
Do you want to fall in love again or are you happy in your own space?
I’m pretty content in my own space but I do get lonely and I find it really exhausting doing everything by myself. I’d love to have someone on my team, both to help me with decisions and getting through the rough patches, and also to give me a reason to stay in and do nothing – I go out a lot and when I’m at home by myself I’m always working on some project or other! So yes I’d love to fall in love again, although I am also terrified of getting hurt.
And I see so many stories online of bad relationships, people being shitty to each other, people cheating and lying or relationships simply falling apart, that I’m not sure it’s worth the risk. Being single isn’t SO terrible, while heartbreak is the absolute most devastating feeling in the world, and if I can go through life never having to experience that again, I think it will be a life well lived.
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and you thought they were the one? If yes how long were you together?
Yes. The Ex (who I mention a bit on the blog) and I were together for five and a half years. We’d discussed marriage and kids often and were in the process of buying a house together (with enough bedrooms for kids) when we broke up.
Why did he leave you?
It turns out I wasn’t what he was looking for. I think he had been coasting for a long time because his life was very easy with me: we almost never argued, I organised everything and ran the household, and I gave him as much free space as he wanted to do his own thing while I got on with my own projects. In hindsight I wonder if he was ever really that invested – it was me that pursued him from the very start – and I did often get frustrated with how little effort I felt he was putting in. I guess in the end he wanted something else, as the girl he married is very different from me.
What do you think of random guys who start to follow you ? Do you find it creepy ?
Not if they are just following, or being friendly, no. Guys are just as welcome to follow me as women. And quite a few have told me that I’ve helped them learn more about the dos and don’ts of dating, so if in some small way I’m helping to improve people’s dating experiences, that’s great!
It’s only when they say or do something inappropriate, like make sexual comments in response to a completely non-sexual tweet, or slide into my DMs with a comment that could just as easily have been said in a tweet, that I find it creepy.
The perfect guy comes along. He’s hot, tall, you have an instant spark, and he’s everything you’ve been looking for. Except he wants kids. What do you do?
Date him and see what happens. For the right guy I might be persuaded, or he might come round to my way of thinking!
In what ways do you think your experiences with men have changed you (besides being more guarded and mistrusting, especially online)?
The more I see of men’s behaviour online, and the more terrible stories I hear of the awful way women have been treated, the more pessimistic I feel about my chances of meeting someone decent. It just seems impossible. Of course I know decent guys exist – I’m even friends with some of them – but they just don’t seem to be in the dating pool.
That said, I have met a few guys who seemed nice enough, just not right for me, so there is still hope! And the fact that I still get matches and interest after 40 – possibly more than I did in my 20s, has certainly given me a bit more confidence.
Next time: Lucy answers questions about the notorious Charlie, sex, and dating.