It's not him, it's you

It's not him, it's you

From loved up to lucked out. Again. How quickly does this happen? One minute you are buying tickets for the two of you, next you're wondering which of your girlfriends would like to come instead as the latest BF is no more. GFs tell you over big glasses of Sauv blanc-it-out that he was a tosser anyway and didn't deserve you. Often times this is true, but sometimes, maybe, it was us. Maybe once in a while (shock) it is us that messes up. Maybe we need to loosen our amazing girl support it's-not-you-it's-him mantra and be open to the thought that we have been guilty of some of the following mistakes.

Mistake One: Grumpiness.

We have all done it. Looked daggers at our beloved for a misdemeanor you wouldn't even have noticed in another's boyfriend or one of your girl pals. The more you care about someone, the more you forgive their quirks, but the longer you are with someone the less those quirks are tolerated. My good friend (and ex BF) Mr P likes to eat. My acidic 'Do you REALLY need all that?' comment to his four pieces of toast one breakfast at a Jervis Bay mini break is legendary amongst our group. I am not a bitch, but seemed hell bent on being one that day. No grumpiness girls unless they deserve it. Chances are they don't.

And before you even get to being in a relationship there is so much heck-why-should-I-be-having-to-do-this grumpiness in the dating scene! I did a how to meet a guy workshop one time and it was full of grumpy chicks. A particular stand out was a grumpess who just couldn't overcome her astonishment that she hadn't met someone. 'Everyone keeps telling me' she mused 'how fabulous I am. How can you be single when you are so FABULOUS.. How can this be? Everyone says it'. Now firstly, I contest that everyone (a big word) says it and secondly isn't it a bit boringly self-centred to proclaim this - especially to a group of women who are also single? Nb when you check a thesaurus for an alternative to the over used F word you get the sub heading 'imaginary'. Hmm, interesting.

Now, I don't want to tell you not to believe in yourself because you must of course but lets court controversy and say this. There are a few ladies out there who really big themselves up. So,

Mistake Two: Punching above your weight.

My friend P has not had a BF in more than ten years. She is attractive, outgoing and fun to be around. Only once have I known her to like the look of someone. He was a hot boded looker, about thirty-three to her forty-three. Being a cougar may be a viable option if you look like Demi Moore or live in Coober Pedy but the harsh truth is if you are averagely attractive and live in a place with a typical male/female population demographic this is very unlikely to work out. P tells me she only fancies younger guys. It is a problem. But sign up to a dating site as a forty something stating your real age and you will get Larry, fifty four, not Mike, thirty four. Men want younger women. Fact, deal with it. There are more women looking than men and we have to deal with that too.

Don't think of yourself as cheated being manless. There are many of us out there. Be happy in your own skin and open to dating older men who may not physically make your heart flutter straight away. Take the chance on letting some nice older guy maybe engender some butterflies within. Stop if they are not hatching, but don't hold out for the younger hot guy. You will probably be hurt and disappointed. Sorry girls but this needs to be said. He may be sexy but he isn't going to stick around. Especially after sex however good you believe you and he were together. Which brings us to:

Mistake Three: Having sex on the third date

Have at least twice this number of dates before you get to it. Pashing on the sofa from 11.30pm - 12.30pm does not constitute two dates as you have crossed two days. All men try this - maybe they read it in Zoo. As a sofa pash can so easily morph to sex (or teasing if you are sticking to the rule) You should conduct a burgeoning relationship in public places to avoid temptation. We know by now that if a man hasn't got to know and like you for you before you hit the sack it is likely to diminish their interest when you do. And at the same time your interest in them goes up a gear. A dangerous combination. We know this, yet we fail to act upon it time after time. Of course, the lovely sexiness of we're-not-going-to-do-it foreplay makes you feel you know him and therefore him you; so stay public and absolutely no house dates. The sofa is your enemy.

So next time it doesn't work when you wanted it to, ask yourself if you were guilty of any of the above. I of course have already met my perfect guy. He was just gorgeous. Then he chuffed off to the job of a lifetime in Port Moresby and that was that. Still, onwards and upwards. He is out there. Cher once said (apparently) that if grass can grow through concrete then love will find you. Believe that, focus on the great life you have not the hunt for a guy and he will appear when you least expect it.

Rachel Owens