The Dating Game 

I recently had coffee with an old friend, and we talked a lot about past relationships. So much so, that I’ve been dwelling on the memories of my relationships for days now. Truthfully, I’m sneaking up on two weeks here. Two weeks of late night insomnia, where my mind instead of doing the nice thing and allowing me to sleep, decides to remind me of every single person I’ve ever dated. Truth be told, it’s a long list, and sleep doesn’t seem to be getting any closer.

When I was younger, you could have called me “boy crazy”. I had a lot of crushes. Although, I was also shy, not having my first kiss until I was fourteen years old. An embarrassing affair at a friends birthday party, with all of my comrades watching hungrily to see if I’d mess it up. I did. Turned my head the wrong way, smashed noses. 

In time I got over the shyness, and in turn learned how to kiss, I suppose. With my seventeenth year came graduation from high school, my first real job, and college. I don’t quite know how or when it happened, but that year I blossomed. No longer did I feel like an ugly duckling, or shy as a mouse. I grew more confident of myself, and finally started to understand who I was as a person. That’s when I started to really date. 

As the World Wide Web grew more and more popular, and I was gifted a computer from my father, I found myself drawn to chat rooms where I could flirt more easily, having a mask of anonymity to hide behind. 

By the time I went to university in New Zealand, I’d found my stride in the dating world. My best friend Carmel and I used to constantly joke that this year or next year would be the year we would find boyfriends. And while we always gave it a laugh, and crushed on numerous, I don’t think we were ever fearful of not finding a life companion. It was only a matter of time.

Fast forward fourteen years, and here I am at thirty five, still single. Not that I haven’t dated. I’ve held two long term relationships in that time, as well as dated countless others. Do not misunderstand me, it’s not that I fear commitment. It’s as they say, I just haven’t found “the one”. 

For the last two years I could have sworn it had to do with my illness. I mean I did have all my hormones turned off due to long term pain management medications. Over a year of no libido is a long time. But now that I’m off them, and my hormones and libido are back in check, I can’t really use that as an excuse. Perhaps it was my insecurities all along that kept me alone. Confidence shows, so of course insecurities and doubt can show as well. Throw in a good dose of self loathing due to weight gain, and you don’t really paint a pretty picture.

So here I was, in a coffee shop, listening to my old friend talk about how they couldn’t find anyone to date who was worth it. And it catapulted my mind into a wormhole of every relationship, crush, sexual encounter, and glance, I ever had with another. Suddenly I was up at night wondering where I had gone wrong, if I should have given one a chance, or if I had wasted time with another. Your mind sucks that way. Anytime you want to sleep, it’s always there to count on with sneaky little unspoken comments like “they could have been the one” or “should have given that guy a chance” or “too late now”.

I hate my mind at 3am.

But despite my mind attempting to screw my sleep pattern, I did learn something of all this. My disease was never keeping me back. It was me. And all those other relationships and crushes and scenarios, well they didn’t work out because they weren’t meant to. My heart was still on reserve for the one who was worth it. 

We can’t judge our relationship statuses on the timing of others. My old friends dating life might not be working because he’s yet to meet his penguin (yes, I am using a Never Been Kissed reference, deal with it). Carmel found her soul mate eight years ago, and married him last year. It doesn’t mean that I will never find love. It just means that it’s not my time. Both of my sisters have married already, one being ten years younger than I. Doesn’t mean I won’t. And it doesn’t mean I will. But I’ve got to stop thinking negatively about dating. 

People say you’ll meet someone when you’re ready. I don’t think I was ready before.  But that was then, and this is now.

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About sixthousandsteps

In March of 2013, I was diagnosed with chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis and was told my disease was very aggressive. Every day since then has been an ongoing struggle and life lesson on how to stay positive and keep fighting. This blog is a glimpse of how it all came to be, and who knows what the future holds.

Posted on April 19, 2017, in The Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You ‘will’ find you *One*, and when you least expect it (if you haven’t already – I don’t see a date for when you wrote this- unless it was April 2017?)

    I was 38, my husband was 10 months my junior when we met online.
    We’ve been married 10 years next year, but you see while he and I are both nerdy geeks, he’s the type to hide away and I’m the type to go out with my friends but hide or make a quit exit if a guy talked to me, or I generally said something so stupid in the first sentence, they’d walk away.
    I was married aged 24-27, turned out I was a very bad judge of character and he was an alcoholic wife beater (which showed 1.5 years into a 3year marriage.
    I swore I’d stay single then and I managed very well for 11 years with flings and short term romances I refused to let get serious.

    I never ever expected to meet and be so crazy about anyone that I fell in love which I had no control over.
    He often tells me he feels if I hadn’t come into his life, he’d still be a bachelor well into his 40’s, then meeting anyone just would have become too hard for him.

    So if you haven’t found the one by now, so what 🙂 enjoy your life and it’ll happen when it’s meant to happen and when you least expect it.

    I should add, ours has not been smooth sailing.
    Firstly, I found out when I was 32 that I couldn’t have kids and had to have a hysterectomy, so our relationship started with my being full menopausal. Bless him, I swear he could get up silly o’clock in the morning, help me change sweat soaked sheets, get back in and carry on snoring all without waking up.
    Then, just when life was good for us, about just 4 years into our marriage I injured both shoulders. One playing tug with a 16kg large breed dog, the other, pulling luggage off the moving belt in baggage claim in one of Londons airports.
    We coped as the pain grew, I couldn’t even brush my own hair my shoulders got that bad while on a massively long list for surgery. Then out of nowhere, all hell broke loose with my body!
    I found I couldn’t go hill walking or long distance walking any more, the pain in my legs was too much. Cutting a very long health story short, I went from being a highly active runner/jogger/long distance walker & complete workaholic who earned enough for hubby to retire at 42 and become a house husband to me & our dogs to practically living between the doctors and hospital. I now spend 85% of my time in a wheelchair, the other 15% on crutches.
    Along with osteoarthritis in all main joints and both hands, I have
    Spondylolisthesis, where a lumbar vertebrae slips out of place and rests on the one below it. I’ve been on and still am on a myriad of pills for various conditions.
    Neither of us expected to spend from just 4 years onward sleeping apart. I have a hospital bed in the living room, I can’t lay flat in our bed and as its too low for me, like most chairs, I can’t stand up from due to the pain in my knees.

    In a totally selfish way, I’m glad I met and married him before all of this happened, but it’s so unfair on him because he’s lost so much, it’s really causing him as much emotional distress as me. He doesn’t deserve this, he deserves the person he married, not the one he’s stuck with now.

    So, disabilities, health conditions and/or still being single, I still believe your *one* is out there. Just enjoy your life while you’re waiting and he’ll turn up, as I said, when you least expect it. 🙂

    Julie 🙂

    Like

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