My very first addiction was, actually still is CANDY! I mean anything and everything; sweet, sour, chewy, crunchy, fluffy, and nutty… now that being said. I want you to imagine for me a candy store however, in lieu of selling confections of one caliber — it is of another. The sexual or dating appetite in the form of so many dating and hook-up apps; it bulldozes the concussion I received at 2.5 years of age to completely annihilate my mind. Let’s see there is: Guardian Soulmates, Elite, Suggardaddy.com, Tinder, Seeking Arrangements, are amongst the ones mentioned in The Extreme Dating Diaries of Isabelle Monroe, Natasha Charles’ debut novel about the pitfallsof dating. And, OMG there are so many!!!
The manner in which Natasha created this novel is similar to spider web — upon spider web — upon spider web; meaning there are so many intricacies and layers that I do not want to delve deeper. Not because I don’t see the value, as I completely do — it is because I do not want to give too much away. Especially since, there are many relevant human interactions that are best experienced by the reader. Lock yourself in Natasha’s world, I feel that this will validate so many emotions from her readers. It honestly, is a piece to be read in order to fully appreciate the depth of the lonely, cold, and at times whimsical world of dating.
As a woman we are constantly scrutinised for our behaviour there are constant expectations with regards to how we react to certain situations. That being said, there is a certain level of etiquette that must be hastened when interacting with a human being you are meeting for the first time. The fashion in which Natasha has scribed this at times: funny, sad, thought provoking, anger inducing read allowed me to simply feel what I needed to before I scrolled to the next page. Dating in the best of circumstances can be a difficult venture. There are so many things to consider, I love the fact that finding something to wear is the least dangerous aspect to a prospect that could flourish in any and all directions. There is a definite responsibility in having an out-plan. One of the things that Isabelle did throughout her various dates is to create a paper trail, documenting images and allowing her friend to know exactly where she is and with who. I can not stress this enough – I mean, this was good advice when I was dating decades ago.
We as women of course want to embrace adventure, that is a lot easier when we know that there is someone out in the world who knows exactly where we are and what to do should we not return. I was so grateful that Isabelle was not murdered by some of these questionable men that she dated. And, I feel so lucky Isabelle was able tell the tale via the lens of herstory. Books like The Extreme Dating Diaries of Isabelle Monroe should be utilised as a guide of what to and not do for modern dating. I asked for Natasha’s permission to include a component of The Extreme Dating Diaries of Isabelle Monroe that everyone who currently dates should be quite mindful of including men which includes:
“1) Be clean. Make an effort. Shave if you don’t sport a beard. Trim it, if
you do. Smell nice and clean. Wear clean clothes. Obvious? Yeah, you’d
think so, right?
2) Pay for the date. You’re not buying your date. You’re not dominating
your date. And you’re not buying sex. And don’t worry, you’re not paying
forever. You are taking part in a dating/mating ritual. Did you get that?
You’re letting a woman know you’ve got this, you’re capable, you can take
care of things. Genders are equal, but we are not the same. Women put
effort and money into their outfits, their hair and make up, their nails and,
sometimes, a babysitter. Which probably costs more than this drink or
meal. It’s rather like a Sunday lunch being prepared, or Christmas dinner
– the woman cooks it all for hours, and the man carves the joint and gets
all the praise. The time, effort and money that a woman puts into a date
means the man gets to pay the bill and hit the glory button. Go ahead
men, take the glory.
3) Be on time. Don’t leave women waiting around in bars or restaurants.
4) Listen to her. Ask her questions and try not to talk non-stop about
yourself. It’s not a job interview, or a counselling session.
5) Talk well of your ex. Slagging off the mother of your children is a very
And for the women:
1) Make an effort. Everyone likes to feel like they’re worth the effort.
2) Fashionably late is one thing, but more than half an hour late is a No
No. It’s rude and presumptuous.
3) Try not to sound bitter (even if you are). Your new date is not your
counsellor any more than you are his.
4) Your children may be the main thing in your life but, at this point, your
new date wants to know about you first. Have other interests to talk about.
And for both men and women: don’t build up an expectation or
fantasy in your mind about your new date before you have even met. You
are very likely to be disappointed. You may have a preconceived idea, but
s/he is just a person. Give each other a break and go with the flow. Accept
that s/he may not be a match, and that’s OK” (Charles, N. 328/329).
I echo all the words above; this is VERY sound advice. We are all human beings looking for the perfect match – at times there is no such thing, the images which reside in our mind rarely unfold as we would expect them to – resilience is essential in finding the right human for you.
Why are you still reading, go and read The Extreme Dating Diaries of Isabelle Monroe you can find it right here!!!!!