I try to be honest when I write. But I’m also very conscious of people I write about or reference. Although I can count the people who read this without needing my toes, I’m careful not to make people obviously identifiable; while my “inner circle” might know who they are, the casual reader wouldn’t. I also attempt to be balanced and acknowledge that my feelings and views aren’t the only possible perspective and be sensitive to other peoples’ feelings and situations.
I’ve been particularly aware of that recently as, although I haven’t seen or heard from the boy (or “the fuckwit” as he’s now known to my friends) since our final meet, I know he’s active on Twitter (it was “our space” for a brief period) and still follows me. This blog is linked to my Twitter account so it’s possible he may read it.
He also blogs. Mainly poetry or political prose and I’ve consciously not looked at it since we ended things. However I was tipped off that there was a new post that I might want to read. I wish I hadn’t. It’s a recounting of a night out with a friend. From the headline that’s all good. Time with friends is precious and can be a much needed restorative.
Bearing in mind we parted ways because, although he allegedly cared deeply about me, he felt he needed to give his 25-year relationship one last attempt at resuscitation, even though it had apparently been dead in the water for over a decade. Imagine therefore my joy at reading about his evening of chatting up various barmaids and handing out his contact details. Yep. You got it. He clearly doesn’t have the same ethics or cares about his potential readership as I do. More fool me.
From deluded idealist to complete player in one fell swoop. I definitely got played and I’m an idiot for believing anything he said. And blokes wonder why women have trust issues! There must be one decent single bloke out there, surely. Someone prove me right, please.
Generally if things appear too good to be true it’s because they are. My fledgling relationship didn’t make it out of the nest, sadly.
I thought because we’d known each other so long things would be different, but I was wrong. I received a “Dear John” text. Usual excuse, “it’s not you, it’s me, I need space”. Whatever.
I don’t have a particular issue with that, if I’m honest. Everyone deals with things differently. Has daemons to battle and mountains to climb that others can’t see and don’t know about. If it’s not right, it’s not right.
What stung for me was the method of delivery. A text message. Not a face to face conversation or even a phone call. Just a text message in the early hours when he presumably thought I’d be asleep and not able to respond. I found that really disrespectful and pretty cowardly. Clearly being the first love/muse counts for nothing.
So I’m dusting myself off, trying to undent my pride and restore my dignity and self-esteem to functional levels. One day I shall be that old lady who wears purple, talks to trees and hoards cats. But not today.
2018 is still unfurling itself. I am determined it will be my year. My trust may be low and my cynicism high but hope still abounds; you never know what – or who – is just around the corner.
They say you should never meet your heroes. That should probably also extend to cover dating your crushes. I’ve recently had a few dates with someone I first met two decades ago and who has carried a little torch for me ever since.
I am sure that with every interaction the image he’s built up of me over the last twenty years is slowly but surely being eroded, and the pedestal I was unwittingly on is being chipped away. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; from my perspective anyway.
I’m a fiercely independent, healthily quizzical (some might say cynical…) realist with an established sense of self. I am also not the same person I was in my late 20s when we originally met and I suspect this may be something of a revelation. Who could live up to the pressure of an idealised version of themselves though? Indeed, to quote F Scott Fitzgerald, There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams — not through her own fault, but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion.
But perhaps I’m being unfair. I’m not used to being the object of someone’s affection in this way; never before been someone’s muse and I think this makes me extra sensitive to reactions and responses; not the best combination with my already over-analytical brain. I know that usually I am a bit of an acquired taste, and am well aware of my own feet of clay, so I struggle with someone just liking me regardless.
Within my friendship group there are some very healthy relationships with couples finding the path to bring out the best in each other – the whole definitely being more than the sum of the parts. That’s the synergy I hope to find for myself in my next serious relationship. Perhaps I am also guilty of pedestalling (I’d hesitate to label it as self-sabotaging) and comparing each of my relationships to an ideal that no-one will be able to match.
I’m not one for making New Year resolutions, but I probably need to be a bit more open minded this year in my romantic escapades to prevent repeating previous mistakes or unfair judgments. While thinking about this piece I have had the last paragraph of The Great Gatsby buzzing around my head so will finish with that. With Jay Gatsby’s long-nurtured, obsessive love for Daisy Buchanan being pivotal to the plot, it’s not entirely unrelated.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further… And one fine morning —–
And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
I had a date tonight. We ate cheese, drank wine, laughed, and talked a lot. Will I see him again? I doubt it. He’s a lovely guy and on paper he’s pretty much the perfect match. But… Chemistry. That elusive spark. Not there.
Sometimes I think I’m single because my expectations are too high. Sometimes I think they aren’t high enough. I want a soulmate. Someone who champions me, believes in me, loves me unconditionally and can tell me to rein it in. I know they exist; several close friends have found theirs. There’s always hope.
What I don’t want is someone with so much emotional baggage that we can’t carry it between us. Someone so involved in their own drama that they can’t see anything else.
I ran into an ex and his current girlfriend last week at a party. Those who knew we’d dated were being all over-dramatic about it, waiting (hoping?) for fireworks. We disappointed them; had a hug and a quick catch up then moved on. I thought it was entertaining and was pleased to see him happy. She seems a challenge, but I liked her. It reminded me of why we didn’t work out and reaffirmed that not “settling” is the best road for me.
I know what I don’t want. I sometimes think I know who I want, but then talk myself out of it. What I do know is hope springs eternal. And, to quote Nina Simone, this old world is a new world and a bold world; I’m feeling good.
Well, hello again. I hadn’t realised it had been quite so long. I’ve not even got a good excuse for being so neglectful. If any of you thought I’d finally met my Prince Charming and been swept off my feet in a romantic whirlwind I love you for that, but sadly not.
Two of my favourite folk, who amazingly met on Tinder about 3 years ago, got engaged at Christmas (and married last weekend, but that’s another story). I’ve started working as a sessional Registrar and officiating at weddings at weekends, and other people have also been coupling up which has brought my lack of a significant other into stark focus. I decided I ought to be a bit more proactive about this as, while I’m happy with my own company, I would far rather have someone to share life’s adventures with. At the same time I’ve been losing weight and so have a bit more self-confidence, although I am still rubbish at reading any “I’m interested signals” from the opposite sex.
I decided to dip my toes back into on-line dating in June this year after getting back from Glastonbury and the constant reminders that it would be much more fun with a plus one. A friend of mine is a social media guru and I did ask her for a recommendation of a dating site that would be less “shaggy” than others in London. Tinder, Love Struck, Plenty of Fish and My Single Friend all seem to be full of guys looking for a hook up or a bit on the side. No thanks; been there, done that.
She thought eHarmony might be a better option so I signed up for 3 months (see, no commitment issues here!) and dutifully read through the profiles they matched me with, sent smiles and comments. Nada. Zilch for the first couple of weeks. A few responses started trickling through, but were either from people in different continents (helpful) or guys wanting a hook up. Hmmm. I decided not to renew my subscription, and just before it expired a couple of chaps not too far away made contact – one in Kettering the other in Bedford. Marvellous I thought, a date may ensue. However not yet. They are both very chatty – message me on WhatsApp every day – but no suggestion of meeting. Sigh. I shall have to take the lead on this I guess, which I don’t really want to do as I have to do that all the time at work.
When I was posting before about my (lack of) dating activity, there was a guy at work who was seemingly interested (CSG). After cycles of interest and absence, then being taken for a night out at the Shard (fancy!) and then him being an arse, he left the organisation we both worked for. Probably the best outcome in reality. He has tried to contact me once since he’s been gone, but I’m not interested in his little power games any longer.
There are a couple of men in real life that I am interested in, but as usual am paralysed by overthinking the possible outcomes of everything going horribly wrong if I let them know I like them. I shall have to work on that. I’ll update you on progress!
Saturday didn’t quite pan out as planned during the day, but in the evening I went up to the Southbank in London to celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday. He’s also got a new flat and so it was a flat-warming too. The photo is of the view from his lounge window – not bad seeing the Thames, St Paul’s and the Millennium Bridge. The Globe Theatre is just along out of sight.
Twelve of us all descended upon his new pad – we kept the concierge busy – and then all clamoured for the guided tour before going out for dinner. It was lovely to catch up with a group of friends I hadn’t seen in a while [and also have a nose around a stupidly expensive apartment]. The group is mainly couples with only me and two of the guys still being single – they are both lovely and great company, but sadly we don’t see each other as anything other than friends. One of the girls there – who I hadn’t seen for a few years – is studying for a degree at the moment and was interrogating the three of us about our dating experiences, which got a little uncomfortable at times.
On Friday I removed my profile from the subscription dating site as my membership had run out and I’m not prepared to pay again. I haven’t really had much success with it so far this year, so am taking a break. It’s not that I’m expecting things with CSG to turn into anything, but just want a bit of space from having to sell myself to strangers on-line, many of whom seem to have a very flexible relationship with the truth.
Next weekend I’m going camping for the first time this year; a group of 10 of us (plus 3 kids) are off to Devon for a long weekend and I’m really looking forward to it. I spent a lot of today getting my camping gear out of the loft and making lists of what I need to take and buy. As usual the majority are couples, with only me and one of the guys being single. He’s one of the nicest guys you could ever meet – and really looks out for me when we’re all out as we are often thrown together being the singletons. But again, we don’t see each other as anything more than friends [story of my life!]. I think we’ve known each other too long, and know far too much about each other’s history for there ever to be any mystery. I know several girls in the group think it would be good if we got together, as it would tidy up us “loose ends”, but it’s highly unlikely.
And CSG… well, I’m starting to question just what he’s up to. He mentioned on Wednesday evening when he texted me that he would “slide by” the next day to sort out a date for us to have a drink. I didn’t see or hear from him at all that day, and on Friday although he appeared a few times, there was no mention of drinks or dates. He was keen to show me his new Ted Baker tie though. He asked me what I was doing over the weekend; told him my plans for Saturday and that on Sunday I’d just be chilling out at home. He said he wasn’t doing anything at all, other than looking after his neighbour’s cat. I thought he’d suggest we got together, but no.
On Saturday during the day I had been planning to go to my university annual reunion. It would have meant driving through where he lives to get there. We were talking about that on Friday, and it turns out he used to live on the same road as my uni, which was a bit random. We had a text exchange that evening – and I had a bit of dig about the lack of date arranging, which he ignored, but he did tell me to wave as I drove past his place in the morning, and gave a street name. I know the part of London he lives in pretty well, and the street he mentioned isn’t where he’s said previously that he lives. It’s not a million miles away from it but is in a less desirable area than where he’s said before his flat is. Not sure what that’s all about, but I’m rapidly losing patience. Also the job he’s after closes tonight, so it will be interesting to see whether he keeps up his desk-visiting schedule. I know I’m cynical and I over-analyse but I don’t want to find out I’ve been played. Hmmm. Time will tell.