Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Underneath it all, under the surface of holes in the road - is love enough, to solve our concerns and needs? Can love fill our bellies, or might we still ache for more?
Is love enough to fix it all?
Someone asked me a few days ago how long I stayed single. Did I feel 'single' from when my last relationship ended in America, before I met my current partner? It’s hard to say. For the immediate time afterwards I was in a period of healing (and a touch of retaliation) and so I cocooned myself entirely in training while settling back into British life.
Then I moved to Birmingham, and decided to give the dating scene a go.
In the year that followed I went on no less than 50 first dates! 50 first (and occasionally second) dates.
Did I love the process? Yes, actually.
Beyond each pre-date grooming session (which mainly involved me dancing around my flat gleefully choosing outfits while pausing to message my date to make plans) I met a huge variety of really interesting people.
I met Olympic sportsmen, company directors, and high flying surgeons. I dated musicians and artists. I went to the theatre with men who had been divorced, for dinner with men who hadn’t yet had a relationship, and brunch with men who weren’t quite as self assured as they first made out. I met kind men, and ones who weren’t quite so. There’s one thing for sure - dating is a great way of collecting anecdotes and interesting experiences to write about! I’ll never forget being asked if “I worried about people thinking I’m transgender, since I have short hair and write about freedom?” I didn’t see that fella again, funnily enough.
Fancying myself as something of a modern Carrie, I embraced the local culture and food scenes through my endeavours. Tourism wasn’t my purpose, nor the need or want for a free dinner. It was lovely to be taken out, to have these experiences. But I sought love. Love was my true cause, as it probably always has been.
So, the begging question; why only first dates? Why did none of these men sweep me off my dancing feet and into the arms of a relationship?
In truth, none of these men were perhaps quite what I was looking for. Wonderful as they were, for various reasons it didn't work out.
What I can tell you, is that I no longer seek the heady, intoxicating feeling that I found when I met my past relationships. I have learnt the hardest way that this path hasn’t lead to happiness. In turn, I no longer carry the vulnerability of mind that I once did which had strongly attracted manipulative men. I could (and intend to) write a book on the early signs and later habits of abusive characters. That was a love that belongs to the history books for me. I realise now that it was never true love. It is not today’s love. Not anymore.
Let me know your dating stories, and your tales of exploration! Go on dates, as many as you like. Fall into years of relationships, if that’s what you choose.
We’re all in the same boat, working through life the best way we know how. Don’t forget that this is exactly what every new person is doing, when they sit down opposite you.
Be gentle with yourself, and with the hearts of others - we all remember those who bruised us, just as we remember those who made us ecstatically, insanely happy. Go for the latter.
Oh, and don’t forget to always order dessert!