There’s been a sense of doom hanging over me lately. I’ve thought long and hard about whether I should talk about this at all, because everyone loves how fun I am here, how cheerful and optimistic. Which, I must admit, I am most of the time, more so since I began this. I often get emails that express wonder that I haven’t more more douchebags (I think I haven’t met any), and I nod along in agreement. You’d imagine I’d have more bruised emotions than I have. I have been exceptionally lucky–in two months I have met three times the number of guys I would date than I did in the previous three years. And what guys they have been! Flying in to have dinner with me, writing me adorable emails and then engaging with me so well, effortless conversation: I’ve had it all. It’s pretty great.
And yet, when so much effort is followed by an equal amount of flaking, when I have to employ chirpy, jokey reminders to ask for dates over and over again, and not get them, when I’ll call you right back is followed by silence till date, it makes me wonder at the blitheness with which I have accepted that what I’ve learnt before is wrong. I learnt–the hardest way and often repeatedly–that just because a guy says he’s interested doesn’t mean he is (and vice versa), so if he says you’re amazing and he can’t wait to see you again but then somehow never makes plans…listen to his actions. I do know that life can get really busy–I’ve been dying myself–but no matter how busy you are, if you want to keep a connection with someone, you’ll remember to text. Or email. Or call. It only takes a minute.
Of course when you set something up as ‘I want to go on fifty first dates’, understandably people might think you don’t want second dates. But equally, when you say you want to see someone again, understandably they might think you mean it. I try not to do this with other people, but maybe I do.
My point though is that, when I began this, I was filled with such wonder and surprise when I found lovely guys out there, guys who claimed they wanted to date and were upset by the absence of lovely girls, in which bracket they said I belonged. I was delighted to be wrong–clearly it was my sample that had been the problem. Here were charming, engaged guys, articulate and intelligent and interesting. There was still hope for someone like me.
Yup, I have discovered that there is a part of me still that believes in love and forever for myself. Funny, I thought the last guy I threw myself at had cured me. But then we always do no? Still, it seems I might not have made as much peace with myself and my single life as I had originally thought. Or maybe I had, but then a glimpse at the possibility managed to awaken dormant hopes.
This, combined with the expected drying up of interesting potential dates, has made me… not unhappy, but definitely the sun of happiness has dimmed. Of course, that’s life, up and down. Still, there are times when I’ve had a brutal week at work (which seems to be the norm these days) and had to listen to someone spit accusations at me and call me a liar without the power to slam the phone down, those times I do want to come home and crawl into bed next to a warm body that will stroke my back and murmur nonsense at me till I fall asleep. And those are the times I remember that anthropological experiments might be fun and cats might be warm and cuddly, but sometimes being single really is shit.