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Autumn leaves are brown

Bald blogger, Hairless Hannah

So I’ve just had a Peter Kay moment…I always thought the first line of ‘California Dreamin’ ‘ by The Mamas and Papas was “Autumn leaves are brown.” Turns out it’s, “All the leaves are brown.” Gutted. It was the perfect title for this blog but as you can see, I still went ahead and used it anyway!

You will probably notice that from now on my blog might not always relate to my ailments. I will of course use the blog to update as and when I feel I want to write about it but I also need to explore other avenues for my writing. I just hope you continue to read and enjoy the content; nearly a year on and I have had over 10,000 views which is an achievement I am thoroughly proud of so thank you for taking time to read about my life!

Autumn is here…

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My spoonie survival kit!

One of the questions I am often asked is what things help me on a day-to-day basis, things that ease the symptoms of ME. Obviously this will differ from person to person but I thought some might find it interesting or helpful to see what helps me, so here is my ultimate list for my spoonie survival kit!

What I always carry in my bag

I have never been one to pack light, even in my days pre ME! In the sixth form I was awarded the medal for being ‘mummy’ as I could pretty much always provide what anyone needed, from a tissue to a paracetamol, polo to a nail file! You will very rarely see me with a small bag as it just simply wouldn’t cut the mustard (where does that saying come from?!) in order to accommodate my needs!

  1. My polarised sunglasses. These were an expensive purchase when I lived in Dubai but my goodness have they been a life saver since being diagnosed. My light sensitivity is really bad and the difference between wearing normal sunglasses and my polarised ones has been incredible.
  2. Ear plugs. As I’ve mentioned before, noise sensitivity has also remained a real issue for me. As soon as I go somewhere that is more crowded I need these bad boys to keep my head from exploding. At home we can monitor and adjust the noise level but that’s not so easy if I venture out for a meal or to walk around a shop!
  3. Polos and rescue remedy. These two have featured in my bag essentials for a while now. Since suffering with panic attacks, these two things are my go to life lines. Bach’s rescue remedy I find really calming and helpful and as for polos, I’m not overly sure apart from a previous CBT therapist explained it may be because I can focus on a different sense which distracts me from my anxiety – who knows, all I’m bothered about is that they help when my anxiety rises!
  4. My little medication purse. One of my anxieties is that I could be somewhere and not have the thing I need to make me feel better so I have a medication bag! The essentials are: travel sickness pills, Imodium, paracetamol, Paramol, anti-histamine, inhaler, antiseptic hand gel, hand cream and throat sweets.
  5. Bottle of water. One of the side effects of some of the drugs I’m on is a very dry mouth but also, water is always good incase I need to take tablets or have a hot flush!
  6. Eye drops. Since losing my eyelashes I’ve noticed that my eyes are more susceptible to getting dry, itchy and getting dust etc in them. Eye drops are just a useful things to have at hand for those irritating moments.

 

At home survival essentials

  1. Electric blanket. Honestly, this bad boy is slowly becoming my new best friend! I haven’t had it on during the Summer but popped it back on my bed about three weeks ago and oh my, I had forgotten the benefits it provides. The difference in my restless and painful legs is definitely aided by this hot piece of material and I have found that the sleep I do manage to get seems to be of a better quality.
  2. My pregnancy pillow! Again, it provides me and my painful limbs with the much-needed support they crave. I am so much more comfortable lying down with this wrapped around me – who needs a man eh?!
  3. My diary. I’ve kept a diary every day since I was 11 but it really has been an essential for me as it’s a way of venting every day and getting my emotions out. I still find talking tough so this is my way of getting my thoughts and feelings out of my system before I go to sleep. Again, this helps me to go to bed with all those heavy thoughts weighing me down.
  4. Bath range! I love me a bath! Any Lush bath bomb will suffice but I absolutely adore the Marks and Spencers Sleep range. A friend got me them for my birthday – all lavender based, not overpowering, just right. A shower gel, foot cream, hand cream, body lotion and pillow spray, all amazing products although I am also partial to the Lush cream called Sleepy. There’s been a lot of press around lately about how it’s a miracle cure for insomnia…it hasn’t done that for me at all but I do love the smell and it definitely is a calming scent.
  5. Dimmer lights and subtitles! Yep, I am a granny…these link to light and noise sensitivity but there are always options to make life bearable.

 

So there you have it, my list of goodies that I use everyday to help me – if you have any to add to it, please comment and let me know.

Hope you’re having a lovely week,

#hairlesshannah

Alopecia Awareness Month is here again

September is here again which means it’s alopecia awareness month!

This year feels very different to last. I did a lot to raise awareness last year: fun hat Friday events both here and in Dubai, I spoke at my old secondary school and posted every day on social media…but this year, for one reason or another I haven’t prepared or sorted anything.

Last year I found it almost easy to raise awareness, I didn’t mind sharing my story or taking bald selfies but this year I feel differently. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will always want to raise awareness for alopecia but my own self confidence has plummeted over recent weeks resulting in me feeling less comfortable in my bald skin than I have before.

Even the slightest glimpse of myself that I might catch in the mirror or reflection in a window makes me well up. I’m avoiding mirrors again and feel very un-accepting and feel resentful of everything my mind and body is. As always my smile masks a million thoughts, feelings and daily battles – to do with alopecia and much more and it does make me sad that I feel this way about myself because once you lose that sense of self-worth it makes everything else very difficult. However, I hadn’t really thought much about it until I was going through one of my ‘unhelpful thought pattern’ diaries with my CBT therapist where I broached this topic. They are normal, daily thoughts I have about myself but I was brave and decided to share that with her and her response was shocking to me. She got quite teary at the language I used to describe myself and crossed out some of my ‘evidence’ to support my thoughts! This is what brought everything crashing down to Earth for me, seeing someone else’s response to my ingrained self worth.

Now I’m not writing this blog for sympathy or to get nice comments – far from it. I almost didn’t post it because it because it’s so personal but I do feel that it’s an important blog to put out there because alopecia and ME/CFS doesn’t follow a linear pattern (I’m desperately avoiding the word ‘journey’ or ‘roller coaster’ here!). People say time is a healer and generally I do believe this but at the moment, a year down the line, in this circumstance it’s not true.

I am obviously writing this from my experience but my feeling about alopecia robbing me of my femininity is stronger than ever. I have always been my own worst critic but I always said my best features were my hair and eyes – and alopecia has taken that from me, to the point that if asked, I genuinely wouldn’t be able to tell you one physical part of me that I like. I wasn’t going to write about this but hey, I’ve been open in most other aspects of my life so here goes!

Weight has always been an issue for me, I am your stereotypical yoyoer. I first joined Weight Watchers when I was 16 so in reality my weight issues have been going on for over half of my life. Just before I became ill though I had had strong words with myself, took advantage of the pool on my roof, invested in a cross trainer and signed up to The Body Coach scheme. I lost just over a stone and was feeling great, I had a grip on myself and for the first time in years, felt great. But as it seems to go with me, this is when ME took a hold as did the various concoctions of drugs, many of them having the side effect of weight gain which to be perfectly honest was/is a right shitter because if you’re asleep or immobile most of the time and minimal exercise causes excruciating pain, the only result is going to be the enormous growth of Hannah Green! I know it’s happened, I can feel it, and when I dare to, I can see it. So the combination of this plus being bald, still not being able to wear make up or hats or wigs – you can see maybe why I feel so yuck – and that’s putting it lightly.

There are so many people who I’ve connected with who have ME that are experiencing the same as me in terms of drugs and weight gain and feel the cruelty as deeply as I do. It’s just an added thing to make you feel rubbish but also, as we know, weight gain will impact your joints and muscles meaning increased pain and decreased progress, it’s such a vicious cycle. I feel less and less inclined to go out, see people, do anything. I’m not giving into this by any means but I am definitely having more days where I could easily stay in bed – partly because I’m low and mainly because I am just flat-out exhausted. However, this is going to be the next area to tackle in CBT so hopefully I’ll see changes or learn coping mechanisms soon.

Haha I’ve just had a little read back – what a cheery blog this is! Seriously, I do manage to yank myself out of bed every day, put the smile on (most of the time) and get on with it because there isn’t really any other option in my eyes.

So, bringing this full circle, this year I feel less confident in my alopecia skin, I would feel a fraud using hashtags like #baldisbeautiful because for me, right now, it’s not true. Of course I will still be doing little bits and bobs to raise awareness however, in a few months I will be able to share something very exciting with you that I’ve been working on and that will be my contribution to this years alopecia awareness.

So, my little reminder to myself and to other people is to remember that everyone is fighting a battle that may not be visible so don’t pass judgement. Just be kind.

Happy alopecia awareness month.

#hairlesshannah

A day in the life of an alopecian

 

My morning routine is so much simpler – no washing, drying, styling my hair, just a little buzz with the razor to ensure the bits that still grow keep in time with the bits that don’t. I’ve got used to shaving my head now but I still dislike doing it. Every day I hope to see that the hair on the top has started growing so I don’t have to shave the rest…one day it’ll happen, everything in it’s own time I remind myself.

I make myself look in the mirror, just for a few seconds to remind myself that this is who I am and that’s okay. It’s funny, I think people around me are more accepting of my baldness than I am. That’s how they see me now and that’s how they love me, I just wish I could do the same for myself.

I’m going through a phase at the moment where I am desperately missing my eyelashes. Partly because the pollen count has been high and my eyes, with no barriers, have suffered a lot this year. But mainly because I miss putting on mascara! I loved wearing mascara – as well as eyebrows framing our faces, there’s something about long lashes that make eyes prettier. I think one day I will have to spend some proper time trying to conquer falsies but for now, the naked is eye is what it is!

Today I am venturing out, some days I constantly think people are staring, some days I couldn’t care less but mostly I feel a constant shadow of self-consciousness. I am very aware that I am more than likely the only bald woman in the vicinity and I stick out like a sore thumb. Some people offer sympathetic smiles, some avoid eye contact and others can’t help but stare gormlessly. It’s been a while since comments have been passed but today I’ve had two encounters.

  1. In the doctor’s surgery the receptionist assumes I have cancer and asks how my treatment is going. Now, normally in this situation I’m happy to explain I don’t have cancer, I have alopecia but today, in this situation, in this environment, I feel guilty and uncomfortable and I simply reply with, “it’s fine thanks.” WHY?! I then feel even worse because I’ve basically let that woman think I am having treatment and the people in the line behind me now think the same and I’m faced with four other sympathetic smiles and oh dear god, please let the ground open up. Sometimes I just don’t have the strength to explain. I know that’s no excuse but that’s how it is. I want the moment to pass as quickly as possible with as few words as possible.
  2. I hear a shout…”hahahaha that lady hasn’t got any hair!!” A nine-year old girl sitting in a restaurant with her family decides she can vocalise her amusement at my appearance. Again, normally with children I let if go over my head because, they are children. But today it hits me like a ten ton truck. I stop and stare at her with my best teacher stare which makes her look down and cower in her seat. Her mum looks and me and looks away instantly – with embarrassment? – and her dad pulls her down in her chair and mutters something out of my ear shot. I stood there for several seconds and then walked on, tears in my eyes as though someone has just punched me in the gut. As I walk away I regret instantly that I didn’t approach that child and her family to educate them. Ask the parents to explain to their children, who are old enough to know better, why some people a) don’t have hair, b) look different and c) why we shouldn’t publicly humiliate those people because of their differences. And tell that girl, her words have hurt me, a stranger who she won’t think about ever again but that I will continue to think about her for days to come because her words and laughter struck a chord deep down that hurts like hell. That she needs to think before she speaks and be kinder to people.

Like I say, thankfully these interactions don’t happen very often – thank goodness. It still stuns me how hair can have such an impact on me, my self esteem, confidence…everything. I am not okay with being bald, I am not okay with it at all. Every single day I long for my hair and it scares me to allow the thought that it may never come back. I am good at dusting myself down and moving on because there is so much else going on in the world, my hair is not a biggy.

I walked past LUSH as well today – they had a new product in the window, a cubed product on a lolly stick…of course I went to take a closer look. Hair oil on a stick – wow! I loved a good hair oil treatment but wait, I don’t have hair so I can’t use that. Damn. Luckily I can use a bath bomb – every cloud eh?! There was an article on FaceBook today about a guy who had a hair piece attached and he was SO excited to have hair again after being bald. He spent £90 in the supermarket on products and he couldn’t have cared less! He was saying loudly down the ailes, “look I’m buying shampoo, SHAMPOO, for my new HAIR!” What a legend – it made me smile from ear to ear.

These are the things that catch me unaware and it’s funny because conversations that people apologise for like complaining about a bad hair day or grey hairs etc, they don’t touch me. They don’t bother me at all. Maybe it’s because these conversations happen with friends and they are natural, normal conversations for girls to have together and I’m just happy to be involved in them. I find that I can make jokes about my baldness in these stations…I don’t have the issue of grey hairs etc!  What I do miss is the getting ready to go somewhere and brushing my hair or playing with a strand whilst watching TV…like I say, the little things.

Today the weather is cooler and I miss being able to wear a hat or having my hair clipped back but I have to admit, over the last month I experienced for the first time a sense of not missing my hair. Albeit fleetingly, but in the heat we’ve had and with no air con, the thought of drying and styling my hair – no thanks! But as Dad said, I think I’d quickly get over that if I meant I had my hair back!

As I get ready for bed and moisturise my face I think of silly memes that go around about how far up do bald people moisturise because, where does your forehead end?! Bloody stupid meme if you ask me! I run my hand over my head sometimes, almost as if I am apologising to it for hating it so much and reminding myself that my bald head is a part of me that I care about and maybe, just maybe if I try to accept it and love it more, it will reward me with some regrowth. Maybe. Hopefully.

And then I get into bed, thankful that the stress and dread of hair on the pillow in the mornings is gone but still after all this time, finding the feel of a pillow on my head is still strange and prickly. As I turn over onto my side I will occasionally flick my head like I used to, to ensure my hair is out of my face….phantom hair – who knew that was even a thing?! And then I dream, and coming to think of it now as I write this, I have never been bald in my dreams. I always have hair…a dream is a wish your heart makes.

Happy Sunday all,

#hairlesshannah

 

 

Tasty Tuesday: Prawn & Chorizo Spaghetti

This month Family Green have totally fallen in love with a new dish that initially we found through using a company called ‘Hello Fresh.’ Since we tried it, it has been a weekly addition to our menu! It’s a prawn and chorizo spaghetti dish that is so simple to make but the taste is out of this world! Here is a quick run down of the recipe – honestly, you need this in your life!

For 4 people:

prawns-3

4 garlic cloves
350g king prawns
4 large vine tomatoes
360g spaghetti
1/2 tsp chilli powder
parsley – optional
pack of chopped chorizo
500g passata
1. Peel and chop the garlic, finely chop the parsley and chop the prawns into chunks. Cube the tomatoes and boil a large pan of water for the spaghetti.
2. Cook the spaghetti for 11 minutes.
3. Whilst cooking the spaghetti is cooking heat 2tbsp of olive oil (we use a few sprays of 1cal spray instead) in a separate pan and add the garlic and chilli for 30 seconds before throwing in the chorizo to cook for 2 minutes, keep stirring.

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4. Then add in the prawns and mix for a further 2 minutes.

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5. Next add in the tomato passata and let it bubble for 5-8 minutes before popping in the chopped tomatoes for a further 5 minutes.

6. Season with salt and pepper.
7.Drain the spaghetti and sprinkle in the parsley and stir.

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8. Drop the spaghetti into the tomato mix, stir and serve up – perfect!

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A totally delicious meal for four, honestly, the best thing we’ve made in ages and I think you’ll love it too!

Happy Tuesday!

#hairlesshannah

My top 10 Valentines films

I love watching a good film, and maybe it’s because I’m a single gal but nothing makes me happier than to watch a well made romance film to fill me with hope. It is inevitable that tears will flow and that realisation will whack me around the face like a wet fish that this is the land of make-believe but you know what – a girl can dream so leave me alone!

I haven’t ranked these films, I love them all equally – well, maybe some more than others – and there are many more that I haven’t listed in my top 10, they just missed out like being picked for the team in PE lessons at school – soz about that! However, I won’t leave them on the bench completely and will list them at the end, see I’m a nice single girl, not a mean girl in the slightest!

(imagine Top of The Pops music playing now)

In at number 10 we have Bridget Jones’s Diary. To be fair, all 3 Bridget films should be here – especially the new one, simply because it’s hilarious! I have many similarities to dear old Brig, not just that I share her birthday but I also write a diary, I slam my weight, I’m unlucky in love and have crazy friends! But this film gives me hope that along with my granny pants I will eventually meet my very own Mr Darcy and not live happily ever after like in the films, but live a normal life with him loving me for who I am. Heaven.

Onto number 9 where we have the classic that is Ghost. Yes it is unrealistic, yes it is cheesy beyond words, yes it make me bulb like a baby every single time BUT it also demonstrates how strong love can be and how it continues even after death when you have that true bond with someone. Whoopi Goldberg makes this film for me, you need that hit of humour amongst all the grief and anger and let’s be honest, my main reason for loving this film is the Swayze. Swoon. No wonder the somewhat rude pottery scene is so infamous – but who wouldn’t want him coming along to help you in that situation?!

Next we have my number 8, Dirty Dancing. Lucky ol’ Patrick gets two films in my top 10 romantic films. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I adore a dance film so dance + Swayze + romance = the perfect loved up film for me. It bears a slight resemblance to an updated Romeo and Juliet – Baby and Johnny from different backgrounds, parents who don’t think he is good enough for their little girl…but luckily instead of loads of deaths and a tragic ending, we can revel in many mega dance routines and end with Baby being removed from that corner and being thrown around a dance floor like nobodies business. How lucky is she?! He loves her, they are at Summer camp and I believe they lived out a truly happy life after the credits rolled.

Number 7 introduces another love of my life – Channing Tatum in Dear John. Magic Mike didn’t seem quite romantic enough somehow so I just had to settle for this one instead! This is a film that is more likely not to have been seen by many of you so I won’t say much. It involves, war, autism, letters, dreams, love and heartbreak – go watch it!

Finally at number 6 I have my first comedy – Bridesmaids. It is just brilliant, the first time I saw it I belly laughed at so many parts and still do now. The comedic genius by the eclectic cast is spot on, the emphasis is shone on the love of girlfriends to get you through relationships, especially in the lead up to a wedding. I love it, you’ll love it, if you haven’t seen it, go now, don’t even finish reading the blog…this’ll be here later for you to continue!

Next is a Christmassy number 5 but I’ve thrown it in anyway because although set at Christmas, it is ALL about love. Yes, it’s Love Actually. I adore the start of the film in the airport, I guess because I’ve now experienced an ex-pat life so get the whole sadness of leaving and the sheer joy of returning home to loved ones. No matter what’s going on in the world, airport arrival lounges show you that love is all around. It’s my ultimate place to people watch, it always brings a tear to my eye because I know what it means to be reunited with people after a long period of time. This film combines love in almost every situation imaginable with comedy, heartbreak, hope and Hugh Grant so you know it’s going to be a romantic film winner.

Number 4 is Notting Hill, I figured I’d stick with Hugh for a while. I love the quintessential Britishness of this film plus it has my favourite actress ever, Julia Roberts. The Welsh comedy brought by Rhys Ifans sets it off for me, he brings tears of laughter every time. Romance and love can and often do happen in the least likely circumstances when you are least expecting it and this film highlights that and I love it.

Julia enters my chart again at number 3 with My Best Friends Wedding. This is my go to happy loved up film (along with Eat Pray Love which I idolise and have watched far too many times – actually, why isn’t it in my top 10?! I’m kind of including it here in this super long bracketed sentence because it is am amazing film. Woman splits from relationship, gives up everything to travel round the would to eat in Italy, Pray in India, Bali,  and find love along the way – this film is my everything.) …I feel I should start that sentence again….My Best Friends Wedding is my go to happy loved up film. So many of us have promised that if we don’t find love we will marry our best friends and that’s the basis of this film, although Jules actually realises she loves her best friend but it’s too late because he’s now set to get married – let chaos, hilarity and Cameron Diaz ensue. The soundtrack is immense and leaves me with a happy feeling in my stomach unlike any of the other films on my list.

In at number 2 is the epic film with my teenage crush of all crushes, Titanic. Leo swept into my life and in some ways was my first love. He danced, he drew, he looked hot in a tux, he had great comebacks and he loved Kate no matter that she was from a unreachably different background. Again, this film does end tragically but you kind of know that from the title. But again, it teaches us that no matter how short-lived a romance can be, it can still be the love of your life and leave you with memories and emotions that transcend death. I am one of those losers that sees Kate and Leo together now at awards ceremonies and my heart does a little flip because it’s like Jack and Rose have been reunited – I love it and I love the movie.

And finally, although there is no order here, this film is the only exception because it is my number 1 romance film. It is the ultimate love classic, The Notebook. There are no words really, it just epitomises love and relationships – the ups, the downs, the splits, the arguments but ultimately the bond that keeps you together, the passion and the love that builds the strongest marriage. Again, I won’t ruin it for those of you who haven’t seen it but if you haven’t, WHY?? There are no excuses, so don’t talk to me again until you have been and watched! You’ll cry, laugh and end the film hoping you are lucky enough to find love like that.

So there you have it, my top 10 and now here is a list of those that didn’t make the 10 but are blinking good follow ups so watch them too!

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A Walk To Remember, Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, 10 Things I Hate About You, Four Weddings and a Funeral, West Side Story, PS I Love You, While You Were Sleeping, The Holiday, The Bodyguard, 27 Dresses and Beauty and The Beast.

Let me know what you’re favourite romantic films are and any recommendations – I love new films to watch and rate!

See you tomorrow on the actual love day of the year!

#hairlesshannah

Single & ready to mingle

Todays blog is a combination of anonymous contributions from some of my single friends. When I decided to write about my single life and what I’m looking for in a man and a relationship I thought it would be interesting to do some wider research and see how many of my preferences were the same as those of my friends.

For me, what I look for in a man and a relationship at 30 is very different from what I wanted in my teens and that is what the majority of my friends have said as well. When I was younger I definitely focused more on materialistic things and appearance – as one friend said; “Gone are the days when I was searching for a rugby star. The one who would pick me up in his flaw 4×4, pay for dinner at the expensive restaurant and then propose to me as we’re on our way to New York City where he’s bought be a penthouse apartment – obviously!” She says here how she cringes at how shallow she used to be but if we are all honest, in our teenage years I bet we all had thoughts about our favourite celeb crush whisking us away and treating us like a princess. Movies and magazines romanticise relationships and as you grow older you begin to have the realisation that real life is far from that and that’s okay but you have to adjust your expectations!

We’ve all noted how most of us have our parents to look up to, wanting a relationship like theirs BUT we have grown up in a totally different generation. “I don’t think my Dad was snap chatting other girls whilst seeing my mum! He was cultivating a life, working and providing for his family.” Trust was on every single one of our lists, social media and dating apps make the ‘numbers game’ very easy to play these days and many of us have been affected by this.  We all want someone who we could meet and build a life with who we trust totally. Lots of things are easily disposable these days, helped by social media and dating apps “It makes it easy to connect and just easy to disconnect. You need to play the odds to even get a date and that’s before you negotiate the tactics of messaging! A fine balance between flirty and witty and not too desperate and aloof – it’s a minefield!” Seriously, trying to wade through single life can be readily hard!

single

We would like someone who has a good occupation, who can support themselves financially and support us if and when we have a family. Someone we can have interesting conversations with and who can challenge us, not letting us win every argument or allow us to make all the decisions. A partner who has knowledge of the world, has good manners and will agree that we should never go to sleep on an argument.  Someone decisive but who can be swayed on occasions because he loves us! Someone whogets who we are and loves us for that, who doesn’t want us to contour our cheeks and filter our photos – who will love us with no make up, in our pyjamas having a cosy night in. Independence came up lots too- sharing a life together and having fun with our friends as a group but who enjoys time out doing what he loves and lets us have our girl time and isn’t possessive. That way you will always have things to talk about because you do things separately as well as together.

As we grow older life experiences have a major impact on our outlook on life and as a result change what we feel we need from a man and relationship. Feeling safe and supported is key because life isn’t always easy and to get through the peaks and troughs you need someone stable who will help you. Who will share cooking the dinner, doing the washing and changing the bedding! Someone who will help you look after your family when they need it and who genuinely gets on with your parents and would spend time with them just because. Simple things like a man who will carry your shopping bags and walk on the road side of the pavement to make sure you’re protected feature more highly than anything else, we want to be looked after.

We all listed that we were looking for someone who is totally committed to our partnership – best friend as well as partner. Then comes the fun part – it’s so important to be with someone who makes you laugh and equally finds you funny! Humour gets you through both the good and bad times so you need to have that together.

It seems we are all people who like to travel as most of us would like a partner who wants to travel and explore the world and explore different cultures. We have also apparently reached an age where we want to enjoy a night out dancing and drinking but more so going to the theatre, comedy shows and enjoying low key date nights at home with a take away and TV!

Then comes the romance. The difference I noticed in our lists here is that the romantic expectations are much more discrete than what they may have been years ago. Someone who looks at you in the way you know means he loves you in a crowded room, who takes your hand when you’re walking. Who knows you well enough to know that the smile you are wearing is fake and that you actually need a huge bear hug and some chocolate! You need that sexual compatibility too but someone who kisses your forehead or comes up and gives you a hug when you are cooking the dinner is needed as well. No one listed over the top gestures of romance, posting pictures online to share declarations of love. The romance list was simple, special and meaningful.

Now I will list down the bits that made me laugh out loud because all my friends have been so open and honest in their responses! Women are picky (if you couldn’t already tell) but we all vary in the finite details of what we are looking for:

  • non smoker
  • has tattoos
  • DIY skills would be a bonus
  • not too short
  • not too large
  • not too toned
  • well dressed
  • nice teeth
  • not a billy big balls
  • good forearms
  • nice to old people
  • dark hair
  • not too needy
  • good banta
  • not a sulker
  • not lazy
  • not messy
  • spontaneous

However, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, it seems we are all aware of our age. Amongst my friends responses there was an underlying desire to be settled down, married, with a house, children and security.  Most of us haven’t found the things that perhaps would make is feel more complete. Not that we need men to make us complete, I’ve got very good at being single and there’s even a part of me that worries about finding someone now because I’ve been single for so long! Having to share space, share my bed, my wardrobe – that will all be a huge shift but one I would happily make because that person will bring so much into my life therefore making it feel more complete. All of my friends are fiercely independent but that doesn’t mean we don’t all want someone to share our lives with.

As one friend commented, “the most important relationship is the one I have with myself.” We have to start here because if we don’t love the person we are, how can we expect someone else to? Dating these days is hard and you do have to get yourself out there and you have to brush yourself off when things don’t work. Try not to question every little things because if he doesn’t text back, if he is liking other girls posts and not yours  and he doesn’t return your calls it probably means, quite simply, that he is just not that into you – go and watch that film too, it’s brilliant! Instead of doubting yourself, you have to turn it on its head and think – if this is how he is acting now, would you really want to be in a relationship with him? No!

I know if you’re a single man reading this blog you will be freaking out but when it comes down to it, really what we are saying is we want someone to give back to us what we can and would want offer to them in return. And I’m sure that if men are honest too, a lot of what we have said, they would be looking for too.

So here’s to single life, for now we will just have to keep kissing frogs until we meet our Prince Charming.

See you tomorrow,

#hairlesshannah