I have been lucky in love, I know this. I am the first to say that there has been a limitless, consistent supply of love running through my life like a healthy river, swollen and fast flowing, alive. Other than my family and close friends who I love and will always love, I have love-loved, twice. I say love-loved’ because I initially typed ‘I have been IN love twice’ but then I sat and considered this statement. To love and to be IN love I feel are very different emotions and when I think of my two most prominent loves I ask myself which category each one falls into.
My first love was innocent, beautiful- it followed what had been a long and close friendship and turned into something that helped sculpt my teenage years and carve who I was as a person. We got together after a very long and tough period of my life and I always thought of him as a reward for having had the strength to deal with that. Our relationship was one of firsts, it was all shiny and brand new and he became as natural to me as one of my limbs; the complete male version of myself and as familiar to me as the feel of my own skin. My fondness for him was achingly strong and I spent every day for two years of my life being cradled in the comfort and security of my best friend- but of course we were still just children and life soon got in the way.
My second ‘love’, two years later, was very different. Again, unlike anything I had experienced before; I usually find myself drawn to the cheeky, rugby-playing, charismatic types who are a great laugh but can’t hold a conversation for more than five minutes which is why it never goes any further. But this guy was a painter, a musician, fluent in Italian and had such an interesting, unique perspective on the world and everything in it. I had very low self-esteem and he was grieving so we matched perfectly, dwelling in our sorrows together until it became so toxic and so twisted that I ran away waving my white flag in agony, begging for laughter and light in my life. I hadn’t known him very long, and although he was a very special person he sucked the life out of me, leaving me so depleted that I came crawling into the arms of my parents who, bless them, raised me up yet again and plopped me back on my feet.
And then we have lust, oh lust. Such a confusing emotion, so dangerously similar to love yet so completely the opposite. I have had a plentiful supply of lustful feelings in my life, much more so than real love and I have to say it’s definitely the most entertaining (albeit highly irritating) form of attraction. It’s risky, unstable, unhealthy- yet so thrilling and tempting and I always secretly enjoy the pain of lusting after someone knowing that anything more is impossible and out of the question, but that somehow makes it more intoxicating. It rarely ends well but is a fantastic way to keep occupied, adds real spice to the mundane monotony of life. May I also recommend lusting in two’s- lusting with a friend is so much more fun (as one of you doesn’t get attached!!) drinking wine and giggling over men is my flatmate and I’s favourite pastime.
Anyway, to go from one extreme to the other, a two year relationship with my best friend that was so comfortable that it became dead and boring, to a roller coaster of anger, sadness and upset blended with a ‘well we might as well stick this one out together’ outlook has left me completely and utterly horrified at the thought of being in a relationship. I used to be such a sap, always searching for the sickliest love movies and books, fantasising over the man I was going to be with and all that crap and now as soon as someone mentions the word ‘boyfriend’ I am outta there quicker than you can say ‘monogamy’. Nothing screams ‘Boring!’ louder to me than the thought of sitting on a sofa in the middle of the afternoon bickering over what to have for dinner and receiving one word answers and grunts from a guy who has let himself go, abandoned all the things that attracted me to him in the first place and is content with a Saturday night Chinese and a Sunday lay in.
Is ‘love’ supposed to be so off-putting? Am I asking too much? I was having a conversation with my mum the other day about how rare my dad is (my parents aren’t together but are good friends). How clean and tidy he is, how hilarious, witty, intelligent and how outgoing, motivated and fun he is. Jokingly, we came to the conclusion that there is no others like him in the entire world and both of us are going to spend the rest of our lives searching and failing to find someone with his ideal attributes. I am ALWAYS the one to suggest throwing a ball about, going for a hike, taking trips etc. I am ALWAYS the outgoing one, the silly one, the playful one, where are all the spontaneous, hilarious men hiding? It’s quite hard to make me laugh, like genuinely laugh, can’t breathe, dribble all over yourself sort of cackling- the only people who seem to be able to achieve it are my family and a smattering of others I’ve come across in my life that are all eccentric and weird, just like me- but no one ‘special’. Is it possible to find a guy with a solid sense of humour that isn’t nerdy, gay or very strange? Don’t get me wrong these people are my favourite kind of people however I am rarely attracted to them physically, so I am left with a bunch of incredible friends but nothing more.
I do love being single. I know that is such a single thing to say but I genuinely do. I love being able to be selfish, do whatever I want whenever I want and not have to question my decisions based on the opinion of someone else. I like keeping my own identity and being a ‘me’ not a ‘we’, I like to be free of suffocation and jealousy. But of course there is only so much I myself can fulfil in my life and as I approach the 1 year single mark I have started to wonder whether it’s time to open myself up again to the possibility of something new- then I just think of boring nights in and lack of intimacy and I’m right back in no-thanks-ville. I’m going to hold out for the ultimate teammate who is willing to undergo all of life’s weird and wonderful obstacles with me and be as crazy as I am, I’m really in no rush. People always say I am too fussy, too picky… but why not be? Why should I work hard on myself to be the person I am and NOT find someone who is willing to appreciate it? Don’t feel bad about not settling for anything less, you are fantastic, you deserve the best and you only get one life so choose someone fucking great to enjoy it with you.