Part 3: The Relationship

Aside from the tragic dating experiences I’ve told you about, there are many other reasons why things might just fizzle out between you and your crush.

Whether it’s down to the simple fact that you aren’t compatible, or maybe University is causing an issue or (speaking from personal experience) they chose someone else over you (ouch!), these things don’t always have a fairy-tale ending.

But, don’t let that dishearten you.

Life is all about learning and the same applies to the whole dating experience. It’s safe to say, this is something that definitely shouldn’t be rushed! I never used to believe my friends when they said ‘you’ll find someone’ because it just seemed impossible.

But they were right.

Now I’m not saying that you have to go to University to meet someone, but that’s what miraculously happened to me…

However, focusing on being the best you can be is far more important than any relationship. Afterall, if you can’t love yourself, how can you love someone else?

It’s probably at this stage I should publically apologise to my friends for the amount of times I’ve said: “Sod it, I’ll just be single for the rest of my life and have 40 cats” because everything they were saying was true, I just wasn’t in the right position to believe it.

Things happen when you least expect them to and that’s the weird beauty of dating. If you search for something, it will never be there.

Not to brag, but my experience of pursuing the wrong guys would make a great comedy sketch… just saying…

The thing is, when you find the right person, it’s like everything falls into place. Trust me, you will know this when it happens, because any previous bad experiences/relationships make it so obvious when things are going right.

A visual representation of how it feels when everything falls into place…
Photo: bayasaa

Without sounding like a soppy teenage romantic, you just know when you meet the right one. Now, I’m not saying you’ll meet THE one first time round (unless you’re super lucky) but you will meet the right partner for the stage of your life that you’re at.

Take it from a dating beginner who is in her first relationship, it happens to everyone. Falling in love is scary, don’t get me wrong, but it’s equally as rewarding. Knowing that you have that person by your side who will support you through anything is a feeling I can’t fully describe.

But, it really isn’t the be all or end all.

Sure it’s great, but you don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy. Spending time with friends, focusing on what you love and being confident in yourself and your skills is equally (if not more so) important.

For me, this last point wasn’t an easy step to make, the highs were often followed by the lowest lows, but your opinion of yourself does get better and I suppose I could say I am proof of that.

Thank you all for reading this series, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it!

Part 2: The Date

Following on from the previous blog, I think it would be fair to say that once you’ve made it through the scandal of having a crush, you stand a strong change of bagging yourself a date with them.

A process much easier said than done. There’s loads of options of where to go on a first date, but organising it usually consists of the classic: “I don’t mind, it’s up to you.”

A phrase no girl wants to hear.

The amount of times I’ve found myself internally screaming ‘JUST PICK SOMEWHERE!’ actually isn’t funny anymore, might as well have a cup of tea in the garden and call it a date.

For your benefit, here’s some ideas of things to do:

  1. Go to the cinema
  2. Go bowling
  3. Go for a drink at a local pub
  4. Get some food

Personally, I always feel that a cinema date is the safest bet. Not only is it great because there’s snacks involved, but for the majority of the time you don’t have to make small talk because you’re both watching the film.

So, if you’ve got an upcoming date, sit back and relax as I ease your nerves with the ‘worst-case scenario’ – otherwise known as my last cinema date.

Throwback a year or so ago and I’d managed to bag myself a date with crush #2. I remember being an absolute ‘pick n’ mix’ bag of emotions ranging from excitement to pure terror as I walked into the cinema and greeted him.

Image credit: tps://

As we headed over to the popcorn counter, a wave of pure relief came over me when he ordered sweet popcorn because I probably would’ve walked away if he’d opted for salty. I’m sorry if you’re a fan of salty popcorn but that stuff makes my stomach churn.

Once we’d got our chosen snacks it was time to head into the cinema.

And yes, I am that person who typically finishes all of their popcorn during the adverts, so it was slightly awkward when I looked over to find he hadn’t even made a dent in his popcorn. Seriously, the prices in cinemas nowadays are ridiculous, don’t waste the £6.50 you’ve just spent!

Anyways, the lights dimmed, the cinema screen widened, and the film began.

Except the first scene of the film was a sex scene…


Now I am not exaggerating when I say I wanted the ground to swallow me up. If cinemas had ejector seats you can bet I would’ve been gone.

I was utterly rigid in my seat, every part of me was wishing for this scene to be over with. Although it probably only lasted about 2 minutes, it felt like 2 years to me.

As if enduring one of these scenes wasn’t challenging enough, less than half an hour later there was another one. I won’t lie, I did double check my ticket just to make sure I wasn’t watching Fifty Shades of Grey.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking “oh that’s not that bad” but trust me, when you’re in that situation it’s 4,000 times worse and I still had the car journey home to endure.

This definitely wasn’t helped when Salt n Pepa’s song ‘Let’s talk about sex’ came on the radio…

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There are times when I wish Shakespeare was still alive because my past dating experiences would make really good tragedies.

This episode doesn’t end here, oh no. I had to endure the cringey hello’s at school the next day. By this point, everyone knew crush #2 and I went on a date and seemed to enjoy the fact it was a total disaster!

The only good that came from this experience was the fact he didn’t get salty popcorn!

Join me next time for the last instalment of this series where I talk about the good that can come from bad dating experiences…

Part 1: The Crush

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!

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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.

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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….