Every now and then I wax lyrical about how it is my destiny to walk this world alone, or how it is my God-ordained mission to raise my child to fulfill his greatest potential rather than seek out or allow someone to share my life with me. And to a great extent, those excuses have served me well – a particularly convincing front during those times when I feel as if no decent human being would touch me with a barge pole …. But it’s not the truth.
The truth is I’m just PANTS at relationships. End of ….
I’ve never had a real boyfriend in my life that I can recall. Certainly not anybody who would ever admit to it anyway. I’m apparently just not sticking material.
In an earlier post I discussed my views on marriage, relationships and singlehood and came to the conclusion that I preferred being single. And at the time of writing that particular piece, I did.
And now I don’t.
And probably in a couple of days, I’ll have changed my mind again.
Such is the life of a Swinger – mood swinger, of course. When minds and moods are changed more often than underwear, and the phrase, “I really mean it this time,” generally translates to, “until next time.”
There are times, like right now as I write this, that I crave affection from someone other than my child or my dog. You know, Grown-Up affection. Not in the Biblical sense … just in the, “It’s OK, I’ve got you” sense. I want a strong, comfy hug, and to be told that life is OK, in spite of me. I want to chat on the couch to a grown-up about grown-up subjects. I want to be intellectually challenged. I want to complain about my work day. I want someone else to let the dog out or bring home the fish and chips or brush my hair. I want a reason to shave my legs and wear mascara. I want someone to look out for me for a change.
But this feeling will pass – maybe tomorrow, maybe next week – and I’ll return to a state of beligerent, staunch independence, where nobody can do for me any more than I can already do for myself. I will return to being the proud spinster, the head of my household, the mistress of my life, in which there is no emotional room for anyone other than my own offspring.
It would be a brave, patient and extraordinary person who could take me on as I am, and I have only ever met one person in my life who came close to being that exceptional man …. but his wife would never have agreed to it!
That said, every now and then, I find myself in one of those head-spaces when I feel genuinely ready to try and make a relationship work with someone. And it’s usually at these times when I sign up for one of those internet dating sites. I write a witty, intelligent, articulate profile for myself, and I post a picture that I think has caught me in a reasonably decent light. I don’t lie about anything, and I usually take the picture of myself on the day that I sign up, so the picture is an accurate, non-tacky representation of me. And then I just leave it in the hands of the computer-gods.
It is always surprising to me that I receive responses at all, but I do, and often the people who respond are genuinely decent and genuinely interested in meeting me. Conversation goes well to start with, confidence soars, and the real me (in my opinion) often shines. But without fail, within days of signing up, the mood starts to swing. I start to doubt myself, my insecurities bubble, and cracks appear in my confidence. I start to make excuses for myself, talk myself down, ask if they have any idea how fat I am, or how unattractive, or how inept, or how broke I am, or any number of other negatives I can whip myself with. I begin to feel impatient and agitated and conversations become annoying chores rather than pleasant banter. I become short-tempered and apathetic. I stop responding to messages or wait days to answer, although I still visit the site numerous times each day just to see if anyone has messaged me, feeling completely pissed off if they haven’t and ambivalent if they have.
Interestingly, looking back on the last couple years, it’s quite easy to graph my mood cycles simply by examining my phases on the dating sites – the highs and the lows of my moods correlating perfectly with the signing ups and the deletions of my accounts. But one time, in an effort to recognise that, despite my Jekyll and Hyde act, I really did still want to give this dating thing a go, I changed my profile:Old, frumpy, fat knacker / “bodacious, curvy woman” (hah!), likes cheap shops, eating, and annoying people. No life, except work and monster-child servitude. Wouldn’t know a relationship if it bit her on the leg. Seeking a miracle!
Still waiting …. !