I have previously written about tantrums and Tinder, which looked at dating as a single mum. It wasn’t exactly full of ground breaking revelations and it definitely wasn’t dating advice. It was just some stuff about what the online dating world means today and my experiences so far.

What I didn’t mention was what hadn’t changed. Me. I may be a 35-year-old grown up but leopards don’t change their spots. My life has seriously regressed in the last 12 months ranging from where I live to which friends I see regularly. I also realised that I’ve fallen back into behaviours which largely characterised my dating life over a decade ago, when I have yet again failed to learn lessons or take my own dating advice.

Here are the life lessons I have learned, once again. I shall be repeating these as my mantra from now on if I ever stand a chance of getting past the second date. Hopefully, they may just be a little bit of dating advice for fellow novices too.

Do not drunk text

Or dial. Or go anywhere near your phone. It will not end well. It will lead to awkward cringing, apologising, and self-loathing when you wake up the following day along with a need for fried food, loads of water and ibuprofen.

I failed to take this dating advice a lot in my twenties. But, that was when a rambling text or a series of missed calls was the only way that the little device could make you want to hide under the bed. Now, there’s a multitude of ways to do something which you will seriously regret. Post something on Instagram. Unfollow someone on Twitter. Write a dumb Facebook status. The online world is your slippery little oyster.

I’ve fallen back into bad textual etiquette once again. In the cold light of day, it is most obvious that no one wants to hear from you at 2am on a Friday night. The top line dating advice here is that it needs to stop, immediately if not sooner. So, can someone remind me of that pertinent fact the next time I crack open the pink wine, please? Thanks.

It is not always a win-win situation

When I first embarked on Life: The Sequel after my marriage ended, I truly believed that I could and would find someone else very easily. I always did OK during the messy and marvellous dating days of my early 20’s. I didn’t need any bloody dating advice as I merrily (and metaphorically!) ploughed through a series of men. So, heading back into the dating game, I had the confidence in myself that dinner and a movie can’t be that hard and that there’s plenty more fish in the sea to choose from. I was wrong. There isn’t. It’s a very shallow puddle, at best. With nothing but an old tissue in it. Or, this is what I have sadly discovered so far. It almost feels like I’m living in the last chance saloon and that all the good ones are taken, gay, live far away or are afraid of even the loosest form of commitment. Despite warnings from my fellow single 30-somethings, I dove straight into the dating pool. I had no idea how right they would be. I also have no solution to this, yet.

I’m realising that maybe a 35-year-old single mum isn’t such an appealing option to many. That sounds self-deprecating and I don’t intend it to. I may not be great on paper or in a dating app profile but my heart is in the right place in real life. I just need the opportunity to show off – luckily, that is something which I am excellent at doing.

Sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind

I mentioned ghosting in my previous blog on dating and no dating advice. I heavily criticised the small handful of people who had done it to me. Yet, the situation has since arisen when I’ve had to do it to someone. I felt bad, I still feel bad, but I have definitely left it too long to do anything to change that now. At the time, it was the only feasible option … probably. I saw the horrible and sordid advantages of it – why have an awkward conversation when you really don’t need to and you can simply delete their number and move on with your life? Harsh, but true.

I know I slammed into those who ghost so, I have to admit, I should revise that opinion and give those haunting types the benefit of the doubt now. However, I will try my best not to get myself into a situation when that appears to be the only way out again. I will also hope that I won’t be on the receiving end of it again too.

You have to kiss some frogs to find a prince

I met someone. He was lovely. I thought he was a true gentleman. Polite, intelligent … maybe a little vanilla but someone who made me smile, happy and feel optimistic. We had two fabulous dates when neither of us wanted them to end and we texted pretty much constantly between those two occasions. This broke all the rules when it came to dating advice – but neither of us gave a shit about that. I thought Tinder could be for me, after all.

I was wrong, of course. He definitely didn’t turn out to be Mr Right for me. We had very differing views on all things to do with life from politics to single parenting. He also lived a little too far away for what both of us were looking for at the time. However, this did make me realise that, no matter how pretty his face was, I am not going to judge a book by its cover.

Friends will always be there

That college ex-boyfriend I mentioned in my last blog? We’re still mates. Good ones, in fact. He recently spent a weekend decorating my lounge – he’s a handyman by trade. It’s purely platonic – we laugh about how we used to be anything but. But, it’s also very fun – good playlists and joking around were enjoyed together whilst painting and wallpapering. I think we will continue to hang out … and not just to add a lick of paint to my hallway.

The one? He’s probably, hopefully, still around too. If not, I shall continue to look – both online and offline – and report back to you lovely people, of course.