Welcome to ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Dating’.
I thought I’d spill the tea on some of my past dating experiences in the hope that my epic fails bring some joy to the back to school month.
Trust me, you do have to kiss a few frogs before you find your Prince Charming, but it does happen!
Now, I’m sure we can all admit that it starts with a crush. Whether it be at school, on a night out or at work.
You find yourself actively seeking them out in a room and getting nervous whenever they’re around.
This is when the penny drops, and you’ve just got to face up to the reality that you have a crush on them. To be honest, it’s really not a big deal.
If I had a pound for every crush me and my friends have had over the years I would be a millionaire sunning myself on a private yacht in the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Let’s take it back a few years to young Anna sat in the school’s sixth form centre, engrossed in analysing every single word of Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’.
At this time, I had a crush. And yes, I will admit that this lad (crush #1 of many) was definitely out of my league but come on guys, a girl can dream!
I did what most would do – make an effort.
But not in the practical sense that you’re probably thinking of. Oh god no, there was no way I was ACTUALLY going to talk to him. Instead, I would just make changes that (realistically) made absolutely no difference.
Every morning at precisely 7am, my dreaded alarm clock would wake me from my slumber.
After dragging myself out of my bed I had roughly half an hour to turn myself from Miss Trunchball to a Miss GB contestant.
I will admit, I have absolutely no idea how I managed to do a perfect winged liner every sleep deprived morning in amongst all the chaos of getting ready.
After making myself look somewhat presentable, it was time to pick an outfit.
Ladies, we are lying to ourselves if we don’t admit we put at least some effort into what we wear in an attempt to be noticed!
After bossing it up the corridor in my designated outfit, I reached the entrance to the sixth form centre feeling pretty sure of myself.
It was all good until I walked into the room and made eye contact with him. I’ve never felt more uncomfortable – it was hard enough being the duff of the ENTIRE year group!
Safe to say, it all went downhill from here.
Instead of being proactive and making an effort to talk to crush #1, my friend and I (you know who you are!) would make up nicknames for him, the most memorable being “jawline”. How original…
I remember once I was walking up the stairs to the sixth form centre after my lesson and had a VERY awkward encounter with crush #1. There I was, most likely thinking about my lunch, when I reached out to push the door open to find it was being held open by him.
Well shoot me dead I felt like the bloody Queen.
My heart did a backwards summersault, a double spin and finished off with a cartwheel.
This three second interaction was just long enough for me to blurt out “thank you” and leg it to the seat beside my friend and inevitably start our lunchtime chat gushing: “you’ll never guess what just happened!”
Unfortunately, this encounter lasted as briefly as my crush on this lad…
RIP crush #1.
Looking back, this experience is both tragic and hilarious.
I can’t believe I went to that much effort! Nowadays, you’re lucky if I show up in anything other than an oversized jumper, let alone wearing makeup! I suppose growing up with insecurities is normal, but there really does come a point where you just have to learn to accept and love yourself.
Not that this matters now, but one of my biggest regrets was being too shy to say hello. Who cares what rumours are started and what people might think? It’s normal to have a crush, it’s really not a huge scandal.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this first blog of the series. Tune in next time where I’m going to talk about one of my experiences whilst on a date….