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I’m writing this as I’m avoiding social media. It’s Valentine’s Day. Or more commonly known, the vomit-inducing reminder that you are single day. All those reminders that half the people you know are actually kidding themselves that they are in happy relationships. Because nothing says I’m secretly shagging anything with a pulse behind your back than 5 dozen red roses, a ridiculous teddy bear and a meal out at the local Harvester. The other half are either avoiding the day entirely or are in fact very happy and don’t feel the need to search for some form of public endorsement that they are in indeed in a great relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter or jealous over my single status. I actually quite like it. I’ve always been quite an impulsive, unpredictable, free-spirited kinda gal. Being single allows me to stay that way. Well sort of. You see in my younger years I tried really hard to fit in. As we all do. It took me a really long time to realise and accept that fitting in didn’t fit with being me and it was quite ok to break the mould and be whoever and whatever I want to be.
Unfortunately, part of fitting in or going through the process of rebelling against fitting in made me pick all the wrong boys. My goodness, I was spectacular at that. Add in having spent most of my life around very bad, toxic relationships, I didn’t know or understand what a good relationship actually was. I missed the vital point that a good relationship would involve me being the very best version or myself and being encouraged and supported in being that person.
Having a dating past that would be worthy of a very juicy novel has left me with huge amounts of fear about entering the dating game again. You see it’s rather daunting, isn’t it? Friends tell me to try online dating. I remind them of some of the batshit nut jobs I’ve attracted in the past, and none of that was online. I have no doubt whatsoever that I would attract all the crazies whilst swiping left or right. And some of these apps are just like a human Argos catalogue.
How do I know if someone can have a conversation with me about the things I like? Will they be sympathetic when I tell them I feel like an algorithm is trying to ruin my life (or business) even though they may not even know what an algorithm is? Or will they laugh at me in a patronising manner because I’m just a girl and should be more bothered about making the dinner? Will they expect me to make dinner every damn day? Will they think I’m a weak female because I don’t know where the oil goes in my car but equally I don’t think I know where the iron is kept in my own house? Yet I can go to work and stand up in front of hundreds of people and deliver a hard-hitting speech without batting an eyelid. I also own the company by the way.
Settling For Less Than Perfect
But don’t get me wrong, if Mr Right was to suddenly appear in my life then I’d have to get over all of this and deal with it to avoid him slipping away. However, I’m also now of the thinking that if Mr Right was indeed Mr Right, then all of that stuff would be irrelevant. Because he’d be Mr Right and he wouldn’t judge or patronise, or control. He’d just accept. So that just leaves me with the absolute irrational fears of dating. That getting to the point of establishing that this one is Mr Right. And most definitely not Mr Right Now. Not that I’m being overly fussy but I’ve done the rounds of the crazies, the narcissists, the control freaks, the liars, the cheats and the certifiable, and I’d really rather not go there again.
Does this mean I’m waiting around for Mr Perfect? But also knowing that nobody is perfect. Am I afraid of settling for anything less than perfect and therefore setting myself up to not find Mr Right? Well, no. I’ve just upped my standards and realised that healthy relationships are not born out of suffering a narcissistic control freak.
I’m Not Attractive/Thin/Young/Clever Enough
We are surrounded by glamorous images everywhere. I work online so I don’t go longer than 5 minutes without seeing some gorgeous female, with her fine abs, toned thighs, perfect skin, super white teeth, salon-fresh hair and feline flick eyeliner I can only dream of. She’s living the laptop lifestyle, making income while she sleeps, spending her days in the gym, shopping, hanging around pools in Bali and oh yea, hanging off some equally beautiful, young man. He’s got biceps bigger than my head and he’s wearing a Rolex that would be like a ten-tonne weight on my arm and he’s showering her in boxes of forever roses, and all manner of beautiful gifts. They seem to always run into random strangers that take the most amazing photos of them as they pose, pensively by the Eifel Tower.
You get the picture.
The sensible business woman inside me that deals with this influencer lifestyle every day knows that those photos are a load of shit. In reality, she’s a highly strung bitch of a diva, snorting coke of every flat surface available. He’s whacking steroids into himself like they’re his life support drug. Neither of them has eaten a kebab in 5 years and certainly don’t know where the local KFC is. The beautiful images are photoshopped to within an inch of their lives. Her arse is bigger than Kimmy K’s. The Chanel handbag and Rolex watch were bought from the lucky lucky man on Benidorm beach. And he’s really gay and shagging the hired photographer that follows them around taking snaps of them propped up against some fancy car they find parked up in Notting Hill or sat on the steps of a random strangers house in Kensington.
We are fed an endless stream of fakeness and bullshit, often totally engineered by the very industry I work in. But it plays on your subconscious and chips away at any shreds of self-confidence you may have left. Totally irrational, I know. So if you feel yourself comparing your relationship or even just yourself to the Insta couples. Don’t. So long as you are being your true self then you are more than enough. I too need to tell myself that.
There Must Be Something Wrong With Me
It’s easy to think the problem is you when you attract all the wrong types. Well actually yes it is you, but not in a bad way. For years I allowed men to treat me badly. Very badly. Because I knew no different. I had been set bad examples when I was young. I didn’t particularly have very good self-esteem when I was in my teens which carried on to my 20’s. Therefore when a man came along that was perhaps nice at the start and did and said all the right things, it made me feel good. However, when he then started to treat me badly, or the cracks started to appear and his true self rose to the surface, instead of running for the hills, I kept with it. I allowed them to treat me that way. Because I didn’t know any better.
Now I know better. It’s you with the problem, not me sunshine!
No One Wants Me
When you aren’t getting many suitable suitors knocking at your door, it’s easy to slip into the mindset that nobody wants you. Or all the wrong ones want you and none of the right ones do. This is totally irrational. Somebody out there wants you. You’re probably just not looking in the right places. Or positioning yourself to be in the right places. Widen your net maybe. Do your research. If you want a man/woman with certain qualities think about where they might be hiding/hanging out. Be in that place too. You aren’t going to find them deciding which fish fingers to buy in Tesco are you? Well unless you’re wanting to date Captain Birdseye.
I will admit at this point that I am useless at taking my own advice here. So perhaps do as I say not as I do. I might have to settle for Captain Birdseye at this rate.
I’m Never Going To Get Married
Marriage can be a bit scary. If you’re wondering how you can fit every man you meet into your perfect Pinterest wedding, then you may have to scale it back a bit. Marriage is a long way down the road when you’ve only just made eye contact with someone. And is a marriage that important to you really? Will it change the landscape of your relationship that much? Besides having a certificate. You know they take that off you when you get divorced? Anyway.
Perhaps keep the Pinterest board a secret for now.
He Might Be A Vegan
That may sound completely irrational to the rest of you, but to me, it’s a real fear. It’s not that I’ve got much against vegans personally. It’s just that they can kill me. And they often have strong opinions about meat eaters.
Ok, I slipped that one in there, but yes, a vegan could kill me. They eat a lot of nut products and I’m allergic. By the way, if you laughed at the allergy to nuts in the context of a blog about dating, then you need to leave the room. You’re a bad person.
I’m also a meat eater. A nice juicy steak is up there on my list of favourite foods. How do I go to dinner with a vegan? ‘Oh hey there, please don’t eat anything nut based, ever, whilst I sit here and order a 10oz Sirloin, cooked medium rare.’ It’s hardly going to set the date up well, is it?
Therefore that fear is not irrational. Do you see the difference now between real fears and irrational ones?
He Might Want Kids
This is a big thing for women my age (40 and a bit). If you go for older men, they will either already have kids, an ex-wife and child support to pay. Or they will be the dregs of society left over because no other woman alive lowered herself to marry them previously. Most men my own age probably also fall into these categories.
If you go for younger men, then you either get called a cougar or they want babies. I have several friends that have had babies, in their second time around relationships, in their 40’s. How nice for them. For me, that is my idea of hell on earth. I’m sorry. And I don’t mean it to offend anyone that loves kids and wants millions of them. I just don’t. I have one and that is enough for me. Quite enough.
So younger men. You may be beautiful, have abs and no wrinkles. But I do not want to have your babies. Never. Ever. But I am happy being a cougar. It’s your choice.
Likewise older men. I can cope with your wrinkles and lack of abs, but again I don’t want your babies. And I may not want your other kids in my house for too long if it involves doing battle with your ex-wife. She’s your problem, not mine. So no bitter exes, please. And visa versa. I’m not joining your pity party about how hard done to you are by her. Again, your choice.
I’m still undecided if babies are an irrational fear.
He Might Want/Need To Live In My House
As much as it would be nice to have another human in the house that isn’t a teenager and tall enough to change the lightbulbs in the rooms with the high ceilings, I’m not sure if I want someone invading my space. I like my own space. I like that I have a house big enough to be able to have time on my own as well as having a nice office in the house. And a dressing room. Girls let me just tell you that having a dressing room is a sheer luxury. I’m not sure if I’m ready to share it with someone else’s belongings.
And men come with all manner of different smells and bathroom habits. They are going to have to be seriously house trained to fit in with my OCD household ways. A raised toilet seat will make my blood boil. As will the dishwasher not being loaded in the exact way I require it to be. And don’t get me started about the sheer panic that will set in if the Sky Plus box gets down to 5%. Choosing a housemate, I mean long-term partner to live with is serious business and not filled with irrational fears!
Mr Perfect Is Out There
Although some of my fears may be irrational, I’m also fully aware that when Mr Right chooses to show up in my life, my fears won’t matter. Because he too will probably have a whole load of stupid fears himself. But together we’ll make it all ok.
So now he just needs to show up. If you happen to know where he is then please do feel free to point him out. Although I’m ok over here watching Corrie and having serious conversations about the latest Snapchat updates with the teenager in the house. And genuinely worrying that vegans can kill me!
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