Note to future dating self.

There are lessons in life and moments of undignified clarity that require me to stop what I am doing and write, spilling out hot tears into words, fervently typing across a screen, in hope that the glaring black and white letters force me to learn, the calcified lesson of self-worth. And, in doing so, never, ever, feel like this again.

I write this sat cross legged on my bed with a damp messy bun, my favourite tortoiseshell glasses perched on my face, after pulling on fleecy yellow jogging bottoms over recently diminishing hips. Once canary bright, these hideous things are now a dull mustard colour with frayed edges, acquired seven years ago as a fresher at uni. I love them. On my top half I am hunched inside in a men’s Charles Thyrwhitt cashmere blend navy jumper, it once belonged to my best friend’s little brother, Tom, affectionately known as Turkey to his friends. I was given this almost a decade ago, after vomiting all over my own clothing, aged 15. So soft and snugly warm, I have worn it to bed, for nine winters since. I look awful in navy, truly vampire and sickly. I look awful in general right now. This outfit will never see daylight, just lamp light. It smells of Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax with a hint of (much cheaper) lavender essential oil. When my bed and I smell of these oils, it’s because I am in the midst of a sad and highly anxious episode, trying to settle myself, usually having just swallowed a handful of Kalms tablets, also known as “crack” to fellow anxiety sufferers.

My body is aching and ravaged by hormones, a giant sanitary towel stuck inside a pair of rather unsexy knickers is currently collecting gushes of painful, first day period. My braless, free boobs are swollen and sore, with blue veins visible beneath my milky winter skin. As horribly uncomfortable and unattractive as I am right now, I am very present and unusually content with myself this evening. I am trying to make self-peace after two long weeks being quite mistreated and very hurt by a complicated man with arrested development and beautiful eyes.

I let it all out, for closure more than anything, penned down in a letter, warm, open and touchingly sincere. My greatest fears are unfulfilled potential, and second to that, unspoken kind words. I read this letter aloud to the source of my anxiety after a shaky, barely touched cup of tea. It was all defended by beat writer cliches, “it’s not you, it’s me”, dreary sob stories about how his mum and dad divorced and he how didn’t want to end up like his dad. It’s not always this dramatic, of course. The tiny, insidious stuff had greater effect. Cancelled dates and put downs, days without so much as a text, failing to keep an evening free because something better was going on. For months, the consistent post-coital radio silence hurt most, especially following an evening of my meticulously researched, homemade steak dinner (I am vegetarian) with dauphinoise potatoes and asparagus, Nigella’s brownie recipe, poured over and nervously executed to perfection. Delivered always with a fresh blowdry or new lingerie… often both. No thank yous. No compliments. Just radio silence, or rowing chat, if I was lucky.

The laughs and occasional great sex became piecemeal in a tedious and lonely few months of tongue-biting, second guessing and constant, low-level disregard. Always served the constant reminder, I am actually not that important. In hindsight, this ran parallel to the hope I would be told, I am lovely and not being too terrified to say it back. I was unsure how to conduct myself around this self-centred man who didn’t deserve me. I froze at moments, I knew this deep down, a tight feeling in my chest knew this. I felt very unappreciated. It was only until a close male friend pointed out that if I felt unappreciated, then this 30 year old rower, with Sonic The Hedgehog bedding, was the definition of an idiot.

My appetite vanished towards the end and with it, weight dropped off. Yellow tracksuit bottoms are now falling down.

So to my future self, should any self-proclaimed Mr nice guy, mishandle your kindness and warmth, treat your time as less important and feign excitement, closeness and exclusivity… whilst sat at work, on dating apps. Listen to your friends. He is no good.

 

 

29 thoughts on “Note to future dating self.

  1. Catherine

    This is one of the most beautifully written, lovely and honest things I’ve read in forever! What a douche! That man with the Sonic bedding didn’t deserve you Emma Stevie. I love checking back on here, and hope you realise how funny, smart and beautiful you are girl. All the way from Singapore xxx

    Reply
    1. Tom evans

      Well about time I got mentioned aha, glad to see the jumper gets use still! Christ what a live time ago that was. Good read (especially seeing as I’m in it) You write with such a friendly and unreserved tone but hope your feeling ok and you soon swap the yellow track suit bottoms and jumper for high heels and an alluring dress to find someone with maybe a more adult taste in bedding perhaps? 🙂

      Reply
      1. emmastevie Post author

        ahahaha! Tom! I am wearing that very jumper right now!! (heels and dress soon – fear not). xxx

        Reply
    1. emmastevie Post author

      Thank you for reading! I’m glad you think it was well written 🙂 I had no idea when posting this potential disaster! xxx

      Reply
  2. Tom

    Well about time I got mentioned aha, glad to see the jumper gets use still! Christ what a live time ago that was. Good read (especially seeing as I’m in it) You write with such a friendly and unreserved tone but hope your feeling ok and you soon swap the yellow track suit bottoms and jumper for high heels and an alluring dress to find someone with maybe a more adult taste in bedding perhaps? 🙂

    Reply
  3. Izzy

    WHAT A READ. I loved this soooo much! Yea, agree with Tom, better bedding needed hun and someone that doesn’t make you feel like that!!! It’s refreshing to read something that isn’t an attack or anything like that but is for you, about you. I loved this. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  4. Neil G

    Dear Fellow Kalms Popper 😉

    I feel like im in this room with you – I am sorry you are hurting. I feel how theraputic this has been for you to share this.

    I have to say – you are a spectularly wonderful writer. This has a quality that has a word that is so hard to find…which is very fitting, as your writing creates an unspeakable quality in my head which I wish I could find the word to describe.

    Nx

    Reply
    1. emmastevie Post author

      Neil!

      I think you might be the first Cambridge grad to compliment my literary mess. Black days are sad, but magical for the powers I find to write something so quickly and candidly.

      Please check back and I am so glad you took the time to read my blog.

      xxx

      Reply
  5. Sophie Lou

    Brutal, visceral, honest, lovely and made me want to give you a big hug. This man sounds v immature. I love how you describe things so vividly and beautifully, it’s like I’m with you. Came across this through Wayne! You are such a stunning, beautiful girl Emma! And you are an incredibly talented writer, so I have just discovered. This man doesn’t deserve you love. Soph x

    Reply
    1. emmastevie Post author

      Thank you! Such lovely comments! How did you come across this post? It’s had thousands of hits and GA isn’t being very insightful! x

      Reply
  6. Paul R

    Wouldn’t normally do this but I’d certainly appreciate random lurkers complimenting me if it were my blog so…that was awesome! Cheered me up that you’ve obviously done the right thing – and that was some great genuine gushing (lexical, not liquid…)

    Reply
    1. emmastevie Post author

      hahaha! Paul, like the vast majority of people on my blog, I do not know who you are, but thank you. I need a weekly babbling column! x

      Reply
  7. Lorraine Tresnak

    Beautifully beautifully written Emma. You’re well rid. No relationship should involve pain or mistreatment Unless he becomes a man he’s going to have a very empty and lonely existence. You, however, have the world at your feet. Look forward to reading more on your blog.

    Reply
    1. emmastevie Post author

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you think it was written well and has been well-received. I often worry that what makes sense to me, won’t resonate with anyone else, but this post has had thousands of hits and now all these comments! Please keep reading my blog, I am glad you have you as a reader xxx

      Reply
  8. Kelly

    Oh Em! You ARE lovely. You need to come and stay in Kent so we can have a girls weekend. Read this three times it was beautiful. Well done lady, you remind me of myself when I was young and far too nice to men lol. Such a brilliant piece of writing. You are wonderful xxx mwha

    Reply
    1. emmastevie Post author

      Jessica!

      I am so thrilled to receive a lovely comment. I will. It’s on my bucket list, and I am happiest when writing (or dancing, or painting or doing someone’s makeup). I will!

      How did you find this post? It has gone somewhat viral on my analytics!

      So glad to have you as a reader xxx

      Reply
    2. emmastevie Post author

      Also, you can now subscribe to my blog with your email address! It took me hours to code, so if you enjoy my writing, I would love to have you as a subscriber 🙂 xxx

      Reply

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