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In actual fact, dating him was like trying to make a cake with just flour and milk. It was suddenly apparent to me that despite my denial, I was very lonely. Really, I was just an undercover dreamer who wanted to find cheesy no-one-puts-baby-in-the-corner romance as much as the rest of them.I never really felt like I was properly considered as a serious option by people *opps, Lucy - there goes the world's smallest violin player just for you*. In fact, let me pause here: I suspect the 'cool girl/guy' trope was a specific stealth invention on boy-kind to keep twenty-something folk from telling their lover to stick it when they're being a jerk. I used to be always focused on how I looked to the other person first and foremost. While I have no magic bullet, I do have some experiences and some tales of woe to share.

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Luckily, now being on the other side of the dating scene and having asked permission from Matt after a few drinks (picture the scene between courses at Tokeyo on Edward Street on Valentines Day - ME: "Babe, I've got something to ask.In actual fact, I just was hiding from the possibility it held because I was scared of finding a real partner. But once I had decided I was ready to be dating, not waiting, I knew I had to apply my personal attention to the dating scene and myself. Unlike, say, dating in New York City where you could happily never see someone again, there is a strong possibility in Wellington, or actually anywhere in New Zealand that YOU WILL END UP BEHIND THIS PERSON IN A SUPERMARKET LINE WHEN YOU'RE HUNGOVER AF TWO WEEKS LATER AT PAK n SAVE. One problem I've found time and time again is I just didn't meet guys in the city because there was no community dance or wherever our parents used to meet!After life coaching, I realised I needed someone reliable, funny and engaging who shared my values like family and life-long learning. But let's stop being polite Kiwi's and doing the whole 'Yeah, Nah' thing. I'd just end up bored in town with girlfriends or awkwardly winking at my friends boyfriend's friend.For example, while you are a student no one has any money and friends come first - so romance is likely to fall to the bottom of the priorities list after buying shopping, rent and getting a 12 pack. But even then, more often than not it ends up being stuck in between work, chores, side-projects or a casual 'come over later'. To sum up: I always struggled with dating because there seemed to be no rules. )I'd recently seen Amy Webb's TED talk about 'How I hacked online dating' which, despite the misleading title (spoiler: she didn't ACTUALLY hack it) had some incredibly useful tips about how to embrace this brave new world. With Tinder, the premise was clear: we were going on a date. I started getting messages and by the time I finished my first date with a tall ginger headed chap who made me laugh so much I snorted into my Thai food, I was convinced that Tinder wasn't so bad.She wrote a book which I ordered and while I found her quite irritating as a narrator, I couldn't help but accept that there were some internet nuances I really needed to know. I was finally relieved I lived in the 21st century. While I did go on some 'control' dates afterwards, I can confirm it worked out. If you can remember this, you'll be better set up to not get caught up in a romantic ideal but to actually assess whether this is a good fit for you.

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