Dating: How To Know When You're Flogging A Dead Horse

What I posted: How did it get to July already? Mega excited to celebrate two years with my bae this month!
That's The Way It Should Have Begun But It's Hopeless

What really happened: We're celebrating reaching the two year mark with a night in Leeds later this month. We've booked a nice hotel and a table in a swanky restaurant. All we need is a bottle of fizz, and the gazing into each others eyes can begin. Or my wine fuelled questioning, "where do you see yourself in ten years?" Which I only ever asked once after getting the response "I'd like to have a speed boat." Oh right.

As most people can vouch, the hunt for 'Mr Right' is a long one. I was 29 and beyond all hope. I was resigned to a life living alone, except for the 15 cats I would inevitably end up with. I'd most likely reek of gin and be featured in the pages of Take A Break magazine after loosing my life savings to Juan, a Spanish waiter who promised me the world.

Now I don't believe that having a partner is the be all and end all, and being single can be a hell of a lot better than being with the wrong one. You should never put your own happiness entirely down to another person right?

Having said that, it's natural that most people would like to meet that significant other at some point in their life. Let's face it, when are your gal pals ever going to buy you a Tiffany ring?

When you're running the 'dating game' gauntlet be prepared for a mine field, the mother of all frustrations and basically a bloody nightmare.

These are the signs that say you're flogging a dead horse, (which have all been ignored at some point or other by yours truly):

1. He cancels your date at the last minute...more than once.
If he likes you enough to make a go of things he won't cancel on you. If he shows you that he's unreliable before you've even begun cross him off your list.

2. He only texts you after midnight.
He should be contacting you in advance to make solid plans together, not once he's drunk after spending the night with his friends. What's in that for you?

3. He doesn't tell his friends about you.
You probably can't expect a lad to sing from the hilltops that he's taking you out straight away, but after a few dates if you get the feeling your being kept on the down low maybe it's time to start asking why.

4. He already has a girlfriend.
No s*it Sherlock! If he's contacting you and he's not single, it's not a sign that his relationship must be in trouble and maybe he'll leave her shortly and make a go of things with you. He probably has no intention of leaving her. Would you even want to make a go of things with a guy that shows so little respect to women? At no point does Cinderella catch Prince Charming with another woman. Remember this, always aim for a prince.

5. He disappears and goes quiet for periods of time then suddenly pops back up.
It doesn't mean he's keen because he keeps rearing his head every time you've stopped wondering if he'll text. The part to focus on is the fact that he keeps disappearing. Whatever he might be doing while he's AWOL it's not thinking about you.

6. He doesn't put you first.
When you meet that special someone you put each other first naturally. If your not registering as a priority it's going to be an uphill struggle. You can moan at him as much as you like but you can't change what he naturally feels and besides would you want to?

7. He doesn't buy you anything when it's your birthday...not even a card.
A birthday is a perfect opportunity to show how much you mean to him. If he's Mr Right he'll enjoy making your day better by having him in it.

8. He puts you first...well first straight after narcotics.
Watch Trainspotting, do I need to say anymore? When did unhealthy and illegal ever make you swoon?

9. He doesn't come home all night.
You don't really need me to explain this one do you?

10. He borrows money from you and you have to pester and pester before he pays you back.
'So he's bad with managing his money, great that'll be good for our future together' said no-one ever. A man with good character would never see you out of pocket.

You'd think that I would've headed for the hills after any of these glaringly obvious signs wouldn't you? Sometimes it's hard to see what's staring you in the face. It's all a journey isn't it, lessons that we only seem to learn from experiencing them ourselves. Or that's what I tell myself anyway.

Shortly after I met my current chap I moved into a new flat. On the day I got the keys he came round with a bottle of champers and flowers. I was 29 and it was the first time that a man had bought me flowers! Take note of the signs. Think of all the flowers you might be missing out on.

Have you put up with anything that makes you wonder WHAT WAS I THINKING? Or better still do you have any dating horror stories? I'd love to hear them.

Thanks so much for reading it really does mean a lot. Don't forget you can tweet me here xx

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