“I am Looking for Love. I am Actively, looking for Love. You know those traffic light parties where you wear red if you’re not available, amber if you might be and green if you absolutely are? Well I’m on green. Constantly.” – Many Moons, by Alice Birch
Nope, these aren’t my words. This is the start of a monologue I am learning. I was told to pick a character I could relate to and felt a connection with. This is Juniper. At the time, when I first read this monologue; I could have been her. I too was actively looking. (By this I mean; swipe, swipe, swipe..) I was sure that having a boyfriend would in some way “complete” my life. Then after a few dates, many conversations with friends –single and not- and of course my mother, and a very busy few months, I realised: I’m really quite happy SINGLE.
In a lot of ways, I couldn’t be happier. (Okay, maybe I’d be happier if I was “happily married” or “happily engaged”, but a lot of the time I think boys just bring a whole load of complications and drama. This year in particular I’ve learnt there is no such thing as the perfect couple, and my single-ness really isn’t the worst thing in the world) Look at me! I’m growing up!
Yes okay sometimes I miss having all the sex but y’know, that’s what treadmills and books are for. And I’ve never ran or read more than this year. (When one door closes)…Let’s just say I’m in no hurry to jump into bed with some random male I barely know. It’s not my style. (My style is to jump into bed with someone I’ve known for a month, and apparently procreate with them…) Either way, one doesn’t want to be DESPERATE. – Because desperate people make bad choices, and bad choices result in unhappy relationships, and consequently unhappy people. I’m beginning to understand the rise in obesity. It’s all those unhappy people!
Of course I’m open to meeting new people but why should I spend my time scrolling through images of guys, hitting LIKE in the hope one might actually say hello – or better yet be this wonderful person..- This is hardly being proactive. It’s a bit of fun but it’s also kind of a headache. Seeing the little Tinder app was this constant reminder of my single status, and somehow this felt like a negative. Why should being single be a negative? So I deleted it. And I’ve never felt better. I don’t need an app! I need human contact in the form of friendship and cuddles with my child (who will love me unconditionally forever and will never use the phrase “It’s not you; it’s me”. DAMN RIGHT ITS YOU.) *That’s not to say Tinder isn’t a useful tool, in many ways it’s a positive creation; just don’t pin your happily ever after on it.
It’s not a case of “I don’t need a man!”… I’d love a man, and I’m often in situations where I feel a man would be helpful (carrying the groceries, carrying heavy things around the house, reaching high shelves in super markets, painting hard-to-reach areas…- I’m sure there are others but those spring to mind..) Oh, and of course the emotional support would be great on days when I just feel like eating my body weight in ice cream and chocolate. But my problem with having a man is; I don’t have the space. At the moment – and of course this will change – I do not have space in my life for a man. Not an inch.
I’m with Maia every day of the week, my spare time is precious and I’d rather not spend it trying to get the attention of humans that may not even be interested! –It’s a little self-demeaning. It gets a little repetitive telling guys “and I have a baby…” and wondering how they’ll react before you even know if you actually like them; it’s EXHAUSTING. Maybe I’m just lazy in this area but I’m actually getting quite used to being single, I’m learning to appreciate the alone time. Being alone doesn’t have to mean you’re lonely.
There is more to life than finding a significant other. Love isn’t just in a partner. It’s in your children, your best friends, the work you may or may not love, in good food, music, a good book. It’s doing the things you enjoy the most, the things you lose yourself in; regardless of your relationship status.
I used to look at photos of my friends and their boyfriends with envy “ERGH, look at them all happy, it’ll be years before I have that!!”. But now I’m just happy for them, because I know my time will come. He’s out there; I’m just not ready for him yet. Now is all about Maia. (Our relationship is blossoming, last night she put her nose against mine and kissed my forehead; now that is true love folks..) Second to Maia comes exploring my career options (because much like men, there are many of them, but they won’t all make me happy, so I feel I need to be picky).
So for now, whist I love the idea of waking up next to some wonderful male ( I call him The Magical Mystical Male of the Future); I’m more than happy to be waking up next to my favourite person (..When she doesn’t climb on me, cos that kid looks small but she is like a bag of bricks sprawled all over me, squashing my bladder before I’ve even had a chance to pee..).
Whether I’m single for another year or ten (oh God please not ten, ten’s a long time) I plan to embrace this time, make the most of not being tied down, and y’know, occasionally date, because it would be good if I could maintain the ability to talk to guys.
*I say all this, but give it a few months and like Juniper I too will be actively looking for love. I’ll somehow make the space. My ever-changing attitude towards my single-ness can be summed up appropriately by song:
I start the day on a high with Gloria: “At first I was afraid, I was petrified……I WILL SURVIVE”. Then as I get tired, the day goes by and moral dips; a little Celine: “ALLLLL BY MYSELLLFFFFF”…But by the evening I’ve perked up and right back with Gloria “..Did you think I’d Crumble…Did you think I’d lay down and die, OH NO NOT III, I WILL SURVIVE”.
“Mum? You can get down now..And please stop singing that you will survive…”