Blogger Eve Greenow writes about dating and relationships on her popular blog, Never Settle. I love Eve's optimistic, upbeat, thoughtful posts, which encourage readers to respect themselves in dating and strive for happy and fulfilling relationships, so I was excited to interview her about all things dating, from her worst dating experience to her advice for newly single people.
1. You started your blog when you were newly single, what advice would you give to people who have just started dating?
So I started Never Settle a few months after exiting a long term relationship, and it took me a long time to decide whether what I was doing was the right thing. I constantly worried that I'd never find anyone again to love me, or that I'd have to face all my insecurities in opening up to a new person. But when I was single, I genuinely felt like I regained myself again. I became bubbly, chatty - confident, my old jokey self who thrived in a crowd. I'm so glad that I didn't settle for the relationship I was in simply because I was scared of leaving. Then Never Settle was born! I found my next relationship after a year, when I was completely myself, enjoying time with my friends and family and I was at my peak confidence: I wasn't looking for a relationship, I was meeting new people, talking to everyone, and it happened naturally.
I think when you're newly single and dating it's easy to worry A LOT about finding "the one", you have this perfect person in your head and sometimes it's easy to focus only on finding a partner. But in reality, you should be just enjoying being yourself.
My advice would be:
- If you're newly single: give yourself a break. You'll only hurt others that you rebound with. If you're new to dating and are excited: then fantastic! But don't get too worked up about timelines or "needing" to find someone. It'll happen when you least expect it.
- Formulate a life where you are happy being with yourself, you have goals and something to work towards, and then meeting someone will simply add to it.
- Ditch the checklist, it's one of the biggest mistakes in dating. The perfect "ideal" person, is just that: it's an ideal which doesn't exist, and you'll miss out on all the great people who would be brilliant for you. When you meet someone who feels right, who makes you laugh and smile, who you feel a connection with: it ceases to matter if they tick off every single thing on our list.
- It's natural to have a guard up because you don't want to get hurt, and it may take a while to take it down. But by keeping it up and tarring everyone with the same brush - you're only denying yourself love. It is worth it.
- Avoid revolving your life around one person, and try and meet as many new people as possible - and talk to everyone! Even if you're shy, sometimes it just takes putting yourself in new situations to get used to it.
- If someone says they don't want a relationship.... they don't want a relationship. End of. Don't try to change them, cause it won't work.
2. What has been your worst dating experience?
Oh gosh... I've been really lucky to not having any truly horrendous dating experiences, I mean, I've never been stood up, but it's happened to people I know. I was messed around by a total fuck boy when I was single... I spent a good few months trying to convince him that I was worth investing in. I'd drop my plans instantly for him, and put him on a (unwarranted) pedestal. I failed, mainly because I didn't pay attention to the signs: He just wasn't into me.
I guess the worst one-off dating experience for me - and this is one for men to be aware of (!!) - started off a really nice evening. We had some drinks in a Soho bar, and got on well initially. I was surprisingly calm, and just spoke naturally about what we do, our jobs, hobbies etc - had a laugh even. After a few drinks and no dinner, he spoke about my blog and the fact that I review "lots of dildos"... and as expected things took a turn for the worst. Not only am I very protective of my blog, but I also find it says a lot about a person in the way they talk about intimacy. Before I knew it, he was complaining about how his ex girlfriend (who he'd been with for a long time) could be as dry as a bone during sex, telling me intimate details of her, and generally being really derogatory... safe to say I took his ex-girlfriend's side and simply said "well perhaps you just didn't actually please her, or turn her on enough". Which went down like a lead balloon. I then lectured him on how speaking unkindly of his ex, simply made me think how he'd speak of me if we were to pursue things. He wanted a second date, remarkably. I did not.
3. And your best! And what's your ideal first date?
Ahhh my best date was and still is the one I had with my current boyfriend. We went geocaching, which is like treasure hunting using coordinates. It was so fun! Although because it was in the woods, I was a little apprehensive... I had my friends on standby if I didn't come home by a certain time...! But it was great in the end and we had a real laugh.
The ideal date would be just that - fun! I actually wouldn't like going for a first date which is a dinner... I'd just spill something down myself! If you can have a laugh, and it's not awkward, then fab!
4. What do you think of the London dating scene? Do you think it's harder to date in London than in other places?
I used to live in London: first Hackney then Balham, and worked in Soho for 3 years so I know the dating scene well.
Dating in London is both brilliant and frustrating. Whilst there is possibly the largest dating pool, with such a wide variety of people, London simply isn't the city for settling into a relationship. It's frustrating because Londoners are generally so independent and career driven, that generally the "seeing someone" stage is a lot longer than anywhere else, plus you find men and women tend to see more than one person at a time. Also there's the idea of dating (particularly on apps) having a higher turnaround in London, so people see a lot of people, but don't really ever stick to anyone.
You generally find in more suburban areas just outside London, people are more likely to commit to a relationship and settle down faster than in London. The big smoke is great, but sometimes it's -easier- to find and get to know someone in suburbia.
5. What is your favourite way to meet guys and why? Whether it's an app, site, place, activity, type of event, etc.
I have a boyfriend currently (and hopefully not going anywhere anytime soon!) but I think in general it really is person dependent.
Whilst I find dating apps absolutely fantastic for meeting people you'd never ordinarily meet, lots of people don't get on with them. There are plenty of downsides too: you have to be overtly confident with aesthetically lead photos, and have "good chat' on message. if you're rubbish at messaging then it's a pain. Equally, you can get to know someone really well on a dating app, then when you meet them in real life, you're disappointed as you've built up a picture of them in your head which may be totally wrong.
Generally meeting people in person works the best - you know from the initial meet if you fancy them, you can bounce off each other and have that "spark". So dating events are great: Vee Dating is a great way to meet new single people in a safe environment. Equally you may meet someone on a train, or in a shop or cafe - and that may work well for you. Work is another place where naturally relationships do form, despite being considered unacceptable - being in close proximity to someone for the majority of the week can mean sparks fly when you least expect it...
6. What has been your most popular blog post? And what are your plans for the future of your blog?
My most popular blog post by far is Stop Chasing The Wrong One, Cause The Right One Won’t Run, which has an all time view total of 40k on it's own. I think that says a lot really, how many people are chasing someone who does not and will not love them back.
However, I also find that posts which hit a nerve with people are generally to do with dating or breaking up. Cheating is always a popular topic (sadly so).
Going forward, I will continue tackling taboo subjects head on, which is what I'm passionate about. Whether it be mental health, contraception, sexual wellbeing, or more conventional dating subjects, I will continue to push these issues to the forefront of discussion, and take one step further. Further collaborations with brands who I feel most appropriate to send important messages to my readers, will continue, as well as pushing out my Ask Eve agony aunt section more, for those who need direct advice! I am also currently writing a self-help book, which is under wraps for now, but follows the general themes of the blog - which is super exciting!!
As I always say, I started the blog with helping people in mind. It's not to gloat or complain about dating or relationships, it's to genuinely help people with their love lives and loving themselves! As long as people find it a handy tool for making themselves happier: I'm happy.