There’s something in all of us that likes to be needed, to be wanted and adored. Whether that’s the short term kicks of a Tinder match or a pat on the back from your boss, or it’s the long term need to procreate or get promoted and win a shiny gold star. We all like to be needed and we all want to be loved.
I have been mulling this over in recent weeks as I’ve continued to work my way around the age old question of ‘what do I want from my life?’ and it generally comes down to wanting to find a connection with a significant other to share the mundanities of life with.. now don’t get me wrong I’ve had relationships that have been longer term and short lived where I have shared a connection, but not a connection that’s been all consuming and none where both parties have wanted that to go on forever…
Dating is a six letter word
There’s a real stigma to being single at 30, those looks you get when you RSVP alone (so you end up sitting awkwardly at the end of the table because you’ve been tacked on) or dare to ask if your pals new partner has any decent looking friends they can set you up with… like singledom is contagious or something.
When you’re 30 and you’re dating it can look to others, whom are settled with their chosen being, that you’re looking in all of the wrong places or rushing into things or even dating too much. God forbid a girl goes on more than one date in a month, let alone sleep with more than one person in as many months. I spent most of my twenties in long term relationships figuring out how to navigate through life with another person and largely without the support of social media or Netflix, yet dating at 30 compared to your early 20’s is a completely different ball game.
Communicate too much and you’re too keen and too eager, showing interest in another human being is seriously frowned upon, much better to be aloof and not respond to someone’s texts for a couple of weeks. Or if you do it like a stereotypical cave man and put yourself out there physically but not emotionally – you’re a slut. Trying to find the middle ground of what won’t scare someone off but won’t look like a marriage proposal is seriously hard work to the point of becoming a chore and what’s worse is that every man and their goat has an opinion on this perfect combination of availability.
Most of my coupled friends if not all say the same thing, ‘just wait, slow down, stop dating and let it happen naturally, let it come to you’. LET IT COME TO YOU! Like I have a sandwich board permanently attached to me that says ‘Please love me I’m single’ so all other potential singletons will know my availability.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; as a sober person with a mental health illness that doesn’t socialise with other single folk because 90% of my social circle are coupling and I’m perfectly happy with my friendship group – thank you very much… there’s no chance in hell that someone is going to walk up to my sandwich board who is ‘the one’ or even the ‘one for a prolonged period of time’ without me at least making sure my sandwich board has the correct messaging on it. It doesn’t work that way. Life is not that easy. You have to go out into the big wide world no matter how many times you get shot down, turned down or rejected – just be sure to make your board free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes to avoid the riff raff.
Goldilocks and the three bears
It’s terribly easy when you’re dating to make sure you’re meeting the needs of the other person, ensuring you don’t scare them off. But let’s turn this around a little bit, are they scaring you off? Imagine if you will that you are Goldilocks, and your dates are the bears…do you really, honestly and truly like the porridge on offer or are you just eating it because the stigma of being single is just too much so you’re adding a bit of Golden Syrup to make it taste better than it really is?
We all go around acting like we are the bears trying to get someone to eat our porridge and choose our bed but seriously, consider this; what if you are Goldilocks, not the bears?
If like me you’re wearing your sandwich board and wondering just how many kisses at the end of a text you’ve not sent for a few days, is just right, chill out. You ARE Goldilocks and you don’t need to settle, listen to your gut. If they aren’t contacting you as much as YOU need then they aren’t right for you. If they aren’t answering the message on your sandwich board (so many metaphors in this post I can’t keep up) then it’s ok to move on. After the initial few dates and cooling period no person should make you feel anxious or insecure or have you second guessing your worth as a companion. They should make you feel valuable, because you are. Remember that.