There’s that old saying that when you stop looking for something that’s when it happens. But in the modern day dating farse I’d decided that theory was about as out of date as adding someone on ‘MySpace’
I mean dating has become like shopping now right? Want a new dress go to TopShop, phone contract ends, take it to O2 for an upgrade, lust fizzles out, download Tinder and get yourself a new side piece…
This was the tragic world I had found myself in but also one I had become comfortable with. Dating, I was an old hand at, accidental one night stands- a semi pro, the inbetween stages of duvet hogging, fighting over the radio station and waking up to find half a pork scratching on your pillow is uncharted territory, a land I left behind with my Blackberry Curve and young persons rail card.
I’d become to used to spending my days screenshotting unsavoury internet dating messages to friends in the same boat and preparing for dates with with men who made my heart jump into my mouth but only wanted one thing that I’d forgotten the basics of being around another.
I just knew, high heels, good pants red lips, drunk banter.
Weekends that I spent attempting to sleep through my hangovers and cushion my loneliness with hair of the dog and empty promises.
Nights where I could look a million dollars at 9 and feel like a creased fiver in the back pocket of an old pair of jeans by midnight.
Everyone has goals, dreams endings but mine were always solo ones. Live here, do that, work there, look like this, publish book, rise up the ladder.
I used to think 28 was my cut of point that if I hadn’t found someone by then I’d be left on the shelf, alone forever. But as I got older the whole married with 2.4 kids ‘happy ending’ I began to fear more than I craved. I can feel myself getting older, it takes me longer to get up hills, my skin wrinkles in new places, my hips hurt in compromising positions…and I genuinely couldn’t (still can’t) imagine coughing out a kid until at least 35. It’s like I’ve wasted five years and I’m desperately trying to claw them all back.
And then it happens. Out of nowhere you meet someone organically, a normal person who can fix things and shit and you go into complete and utter panic mode.
OMG I’VE WOKEN UP NEXT TO THEM AGAIN AND I’M NOT TRYING TO SCRAMBLE FOR THE PANTS, THEY’VE SEEN ME WITHOUT MAKE UP AND HALF A HAIR EXTENSION FALLING OUT AND I STILL DON’T WANT THEM TO LEAVE ARGGGGHHHH.
I fought it as hard as I could. This wasn’t my plan, my room is enough of a shanty town as it is without half drunk cans of cider and packets of stale pork scratchings loitering around. I wanted to move back to London, I wanted to work for Empire Magazine (Don’t we all) and now my accents gone to shit, I listen to old school garage in a van, have a handbag full of those sauce samples you get in restaurants (because someone likes to get their money’s worth) leading to exploding mayo in my handbag and I don’t like waking up on a Sunday alone.
But I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time and it scares me and it hasn’t been easy. The one thing I forgot/ didn’t give people enough credit for is that being with another is TOUGH it can be mega chill and before you know it you’re falling out over Benedict sodding Cumberbatch.
I remember this faux feeling it happened in 2010 I didn’t write for months filled with young loves bliss and then fell flat on my ass bitter, heartbroken and en route to a long term relationship with a bottle of White Zinfandel.
But we shouldn’t let the past define us or influence new decisions. It’s hard to trust something when you’ve been hurt. Even more so when you’ve both been hurt. When their wounds are still raw and you find yourself holding them tight into your chest hoping to suck away the pain you know might very well be still there somewhere.
He asks why I haven’t written for a while, that his black country antics would make my blogging go viral. And I don’t doubt that the amusing stories would , but this is the thing , it’s difficult to date a writer, we can turn the smallest hiccup into a screenplay , a entire fart into a monologue and the tiniest of gestures can come accompanied with it’s own orchestral score.
But like all things that define us it becomes impossible to give up, I tried but it was like a cloud following me like trying to hold in a wee on the train, or looking up at the ceiling to prevent you from crying- It’s going to come gushing out eventually not matter how hard you try.
All I can say in regards to this catalogue of documented mishaps is is- ‘These are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you, these are just ghosts that broke my heart before I met you….’
The sentiment worries me but I guess we all half to grow up and leave the ghosts to rest….