Posted in Future, Single Life

What’s your ‘Scary Age’?

I have also always wanted to be a Mummy.  Growing up in a big, loving family has given me strong family values and when I was younger I presumed I’d be married with a baby on-the-way by the time I turned 27.  Evidently, this is not looking likely.  And I’m surprised at how little this has phased me over the past few years.

Since I was 15, 27 has been my ‘scary-age’

whereby if I don’t have this, this and this ticked off by then,

I’m gonna panic.

Having fun at Uni and having a good start to my career has put me off reproducing for a few years and being 25 is turning out to be better than I anticipated:

  • My social life isn’t covered in a cloud of peer pressure any more
  • My friendship circle is full of people who I actually want to be friends with, not just because they’re cool
  • I can assert my right to say ‘no’ to things, ‘No, I don’t want a head massage, thank you; just shampoo and conditioner is fine.’
  • Sometimes, a Friday or Saturday night can consist of tea, BBC iPlayer and my onesie.  And bed by 10pm
  • Everything in my wardrobe suits my figure
  • My ‘scary-age’ is 2 years away.  But it’s really not that scary anymore.

At least it wasn’t, until recently.

For the past 25 years, health has not been my friend.  I was born with a heart defect and as I journey through my twenties issues are manifesting themselves.  As The Eternal Optimist,  I’m remaining positive – although my mum keeps checking in to make sure I’m not depressed or suicidal.  The recent manifestation has be a fertility issue:

“Having children won’t be impossible, but it’s going to be very challenging”

Said the hospital technician.

I still haven’t found out the full extent of the baby-making problems, but I know it’s not looking great…

————————————————————————————————————-

In her book Sex Object, Jessica Valenti noted:

The things you do in your twenties are just things you do.  But as you approach thirty what you do starts to become who you are.

This rings true for me in so many ways.  I’m a true believer that personality is pretty set and you learn who you are and you shape yourself through childhood, teenage years and into early adulthood.  When I first read this, I texted my friend with how this quote is so applicable to one of my exes: he went through the fun times of being a teenager and early twenty-something, but he’s still doing these things and now it’s ingrained in who he is.  Therefore – not suitable Husband Material.  Likewise, 10 years my senior, The Bar Man is not Boyfriend Material.

But I’ve also realised it isn’t just what I do that determines who I am, it’s also what happens to me and how I deal with it.  Knock-down has followed knock-down in my dating life.  Boys haven’t been kind and my stead-fast resilience has been tested.

And then we add fertility complications to the mix.

Being 25 and single is totally fine.  And I’m enjoying dating people and seeing what happens.  But I think I’ll now be a little more discerning when choosing someone to date; I can’t waste the latter half of my 20’s with fuckboys.

 

Posted in Future, Relationships, Single Life

I gave it another shot.

I know getting back with you was a risky move.  No one supported my decision, and at times, I majorly regretted starting things up again.

 

Round Two started after I wrote you my letter.  I asked you to make the effort.  And you did.  On a quiet Sunday evening, you phoned me up and asked if I wanted to go for dinner as a date.  You started to say it was fine if I wanted to keep things going as friends but then you told the truth; that wouldn’t be fine – you really wanted me to accept your offer.  You told me you’d changed: you said you realised you had been lazy last time and felt comfortable so stopped making the effort.  This was everything I had wanted to hear all summer.  So we went on our date and things escalated.

As predicted, you were irritating me even from the beginning of Round Two.  But I remained optimistic.  I took a step back, enjoyed us for what we were.  We were having fun and you were making me happy.  I made us happen because I wanted you.  You made us happen because you needed me.

Even our frank conversations helped us to feel closer with one another.  We were honest for the duration of Round Two.  But unfortunately you were in deeper.  You wanted (want?) to spend your life with me; and I wish I wanted that too, but it wasn’t going to work – and I knew that from the beginning.  I’m sorry things ended again, but this really is for the best.  Imagine if we had moved in together and married and had babies…

  • Firstly, my family and friends would have disowned me
  • I’d have driven you crazy
  • You’d have driven me crazy
  • Either  Both of us would have cheated
  • You’d beat me up
  • Our children would be miserable
  • We would be miserable
  • Divorce would be messy
  • I’d have tonnes of debt (of course you’d be living off my salary)
  • We’d be 40 and single
  • And my parents would have said, ‘We told you so’.

A lucky escape for both of us, I reckon.

Selfishly, I had to participate in Round Two; I needed to know my decision was the right one.  Sorry.

Posted in Future, Relationships, Single Life

This isn’t a practice run.

There really is just one chance to get your life ‘right‘, isn’t there?  You can’t just ‘have a go’ and hope for the best and hey, if it goes tits up, oh well – try again next time.  I’m 25 and don’t have a partner and the scary thing is there is no way of knowing if I’ll definitely be married by 30, 45, 60..!

What if I’m still single in 20 years’ time?  Then what?

By then, it may be a little late for a Plan B…

Posted in Dating?, Future, Relationships, Single Life

Let’s not beat around the bush.

In dating and relationships, I’m a real advocate of ‘honesty is the best policy’.  It’s not fun hearing someone isn’t into you, but at least you know.  It’s not fun admitting a relationship has run its course, but at least you aren’t clinging onto false hope.  It’s not fun accepting the possibility that you might never find Prince Charming, but at least you can get on with your life rather than idly waiting around.  When I was well-and-truly single a few months ago, I really had accepted the fact I might not find someone for a while (at least not on Tinder).  It was shitty at first, but it meant I spent more time making plans with friends than sitting on my arse on the sofa, swiping through pictures of random men.  Now I’m sort of back together with my ex (shhh, I know…), I’m viewing the relationship from a vantage point; this is Round 2; an opportunity to make a few changes and see what happens.  At first, Round 2 seemed to be a winner – we were jumping through hoops and scoring top marks, and when the going got tough, we’d take a step back, press pause then resume at a more convenient time.  This seemed to be a fab solution to a temperamental relationship.  Everything ran smoothly until he fell harder.

We’re no longer on the same page.  I’m continuing to take our relationship day-by-day.  He’s thinking very long-term.

have been honest with him.  I said, “You make me happy, and I’m going to keep doing what makes me happy until it doesn’t make me happy anymore.”

He said this seems very short-term and like I’m not planning far ahead.  Yep, that’s true and I told him so.

Recently, on a Saturday night, our different stances on future plans blew up.  He told me how committed he is and how he wants to spend his with life me, marry me, raise children – the works.  I played my trump card; I openly stated that I will not live with, marry, or raise children with someone who is an alcoholic and drug-dependent.  Naturally, he didn’t like that comment, but we went on to have a frank discussion about the future and we seem to be back on the same page.

 

Posted in Future, Single Life

Thank you for judging my life, Mr Taxi Driver.

At £2.20 I was making small talk with the cabbie.  He asked how my night was, what I’d been doing and who I’d been with.  I asked how his night was.

By £4.10 he was asking about my social life, whether I was out with my boyfriend.  ‘No – I don’t have a boyfriend.’

‘Oh, if I could turn back time…’

Awkward stare out the window.

By £6.70 I was saying how I’m only 24, progressing through my career as a teacher and enjoying spending time with my friends.  Then the fare soared (metaphorically, of course).  He ranted on about how being 24 is the perfect age to get married and start a family.

Don’t focus on your career; it should take up 30% of your time and your real life should take up the remaining 70%.

As we approached the end of my road, I was batting off his comments by advocating my housemate-filled life.

At £8.80 he said, ‘housemates are a waste of time’.

I handed him a tenner and waited for my £1 change.  That cab drive definitely cost me more than £9.

 

 

Posted in Friends, Future, Relationships, Single Life, Starting Something New

Walk away…

I ended things 4 days after my previous post .  We had a fun weekend planned with lots of socialising, but he was late on Friday evening due to a heavy one the previous night.  I spent the weekend being extra bubbling (it’s rare I have 1 social event at the weekend; let-alone 3!) and he spent the weekend being hungover, on a come-down and generally ill.  Sunday was a sad day with lots of tears.  We took the following week as a ‘break’ to help with the sadness, but as the weekend approached, it was becoming more and more evident it was the right decision.  Also receiving a 100% response rate of, ‘Well done, you did the right thing’ showed me it was for the best.

This weekend we decided to meet.  I wanted to finalise our break and have some closure; I also thought it would be good for him to know where I stood, no matter how heart breaking it was bound to be for him.

 

How wrong I was.

It was tricky seeing him again (he looked irritatingly gorgeous) and John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ came on in the cafe – you really couldn’t make this up!

What I was wrong about was how he responded.  Part of me wished he’d have made promises to change.  I knew I wouldn’t have accepted them, and the text the previous Sunday about how he’d do anything for me was clearly a load of bollocks, but he just accepted the end of the relationship.  It’s just another indication of how he isn’t my Prince Charming.

 

 

Posted in Future, Relationships

There’s this grey area…

When discussing my relationship with a friend, she highlighted to me ‘this grey area’.  It’s the time between loving your partner and breaking up with them.  More specifically:

It’s the area in which you’re not in love with that person anymore, but the thought of having sex with them doesn’t physically repulse you.

This sums up my current relationship status perfectly.  The guy I first thought was Prince Charming has shown his true colours; from not having constant sex, to trying to reconcile with the fact we have completely different personalities, myself and my boyfriend have been having a rocky few months.   We have very little in common beyond each other.   Amongst the daily arguments, there have been promises made and broken, lies told and nasty things said.  I’ve gone from loving him so much, to feeling strangely indifferent about him, particularly when we’re apart.  When we’re together I flit between feelings of indifference, passion, hatred, astonishment and frustration.

 

The end is undoubtedly in sight.

What a shame.

Posted in Beginning., Friends, Future, Relationships, Single Life, Starting Something New

How to Find the Perfect Partner

Quirk Venn Diagram1

My housemate reckons he has dating sussed.  So here’s his guide to finding the perfect person for you:

  • Use the ‘Quirk Rules of Attraction Venn Diagram’

It comprises of

  1. Sexual Attraction
  2. Physical Attraction
  3. Emotional Attraction

All are equally important, and the best relationships involve all three elements.

  • If you’re physically AND sexually, but not emotionally attracted to someone, this tends to lend itself to great short-term flings / one- or two-night stands.
  • It can be ‘really annoying’ if you’re physically AND emotionally, but not sexually attracted to someone, as you have great conversations with this person, find them absolutely gorgeous, but there’s no sexual chemistry (which most people find important to successful relationships).
  • It can be a tricky situation if you’re emotionally AND sexually, but not physically attracted to someone, because you wouldn’t want to be seen holding hands with or snogging this person, but you desperately want to shag them.

So what to learn from this?

Next time I start dating someone I need to work out if I fancy them AND like their personality AND want to shag them.  If I don’t want all these three things, then the potential relationship is doomed…

Apparently.

Posted in Future, Single Life

Adult life, on fast-forward

30’s the new 20.

They said.

You’ve got ages to start worrying about all that grown-up stuff.

They said.

And I listened.  But over the past week or so, many of my twentysomething friends have seemed to suddenly grow up; they are:

  • moving in with their partners,
  • buying properties,
  • trying to procreate,
  • actually pregnant.

I was under the illusion that these events happen in your 30’s not your 20’s, so why are people settling into adulthood so quickly?

Ignoring the minor issue of not having a devoted partner, I’m not even in the right head-space to share a bathroom with someone, spend a stupid amount of money on a property, go through the agony of having the coil removed or stop drinking for 9 months, have the stomach the size of a netball and have terrible wind.

If all goes well, you’ll likely be with your partner until you die – assuming you’re 20 and live to a decent age of 90, that’s 70 years with one person!!  How terrifying.  I’d much rather wait until I’m 30 and actually have the funds to enjoy being in a relationship (my savings are deteriorating at an alarming speed – but that’s another story).  At least I can spend my 20’s enjoying single life, and having the freedom to be totally selfish and look after me, me, me.

In her TED talks video, Meg Jay (an American clinical psychologist) discusses adult development – a critical time for twentysomethings to enhance their personalities, their career options and their love lives.  She says that by leaving settling into adulthood (career, partner, marriage, house, kids) to our 30’s, we’re really limiting ourselves with the amount of time to tick all these boxes and piling on the pressure at the same time.

Meg Jay offers three key things to achieve in your 20’s:

  1. Get ‘identity capital’ – i.e. do things that enhance who you are or who you want to be.
  2. Expand your social circle – make friends with people older than you and get to know the friends of friends of friends.
  3. Work on your marriage before you get married – make deliberate, considered decisions about your love life.

Although I’m in no position to move in with a partner or think about getting married or having children, I am definitely in a strong position of gaining identity capital, I’ll work on expanding my social circle but I can’t help but be cynical about the third point of carefully selecting my partners.  My friends and family already tell me I’m too fussy about guys – surely if I’m more careful about the guys I see I’ll never have sex let alone start a relationship…

Claim your 20’s – it’s your Defining Decade!

She says.

I think I’ll listen.

Posted in Beginning., Future, Single Life

Alterations

When your relationship status has been ‘single’ for over a couple of years, you have to really consider whether it’s you who’s doing something wrong. And this is why I took the risk and asked my friends what I do that has resulted in me remaining single.

Naturally, they said ‘nothing’.

Then I asked my sister.  She was happy to point out the things I shouldn’t do on a date that I probably do.  You can always trust a relative to tell you your downfalls. 

So I’m heeding her advice – it’s hard to subdue the natural things I’ve done automatically for the past 23 years, but I need a new tac.

Watch this space.