Love Ever After?

I beat the odds, it’s official – after lonely years in the wilderness I’m happily walking hand in hand with my meant-to-be love.

I’m not crowing, I’m not lording it, I’m not rubbing it in, I’m just saying hang on in there people please. Even when it’s dark and you’re lonely and thinking bad thoughts. Even when cruel people take your love, turn it back and hurt you. Even when you doubt yourself and stoop so low. Keep on trucking, one step in front of the other, it’s true what they say you won’t be lonely forever. Honestly, I am proof. Good, no, amazing things come to those who wait, look and learn.

My man and I are damaged. We poured our love away, wasting heart and soul on undeserving people. We waited in vain and in pain, but a broken heart is stronger than a whole heart – it means you tried and fell hard along the way. We learnt to choose better, to choose reciprocity and to choose happiness.

Miss Kitty finally got her man! So it’s time to close the blog and get out and enjoy some happy loving! Thank you to everyone who commented or followed my journey through the post 30 and 40 dating landscape, this blog was my absolute rock and gave me encouragement. The funny, the silly, the heartbreaking… what a journey I had, but if I can find him in all of that you can too. And to my special man…

I believe in love ♥

I believe in you ♥

Thank you cariad ♥

The End xox

kiss

Well dressed magic

The old saying goes “Every woman comes with baggage, a gentleman helps her to unpack it” and if that’s the case then my gentleman has not only helped me unpack my bags, he did such a good job I’ve decided to stay as well! Chivalry is not dead, I’ve seen it, it’s alive and kicking and comes in the shape of my handsome new boyfriend who is beaming his happy, elegant vibe on me.

When I was growing up there was talk of princes and princesses but I always ignored it thinking it was an old fairy tale, but now I know there really are knights in shining armour out there walking the streets just waiting to be called on, because I finally found a man who means what he says and says what he means. A bona fide, rare, old fashioned gent who opens doors for me, pulls out chairs, offers me his coat, lifts and carries me over uneven ground, who tells me I’m beautiful first thing in the morning, buys me flowers and makes me dinner.

And I am blissfully happy, not the crazy kind of happy from before – the erratic mood swings, the hot and cold push and pull of rejection, instead it’s a calm, wholesome, safe kind of happy, as if everything is falling into place, which it is. It’s funny because when love finally knocks on your door you stop all of the kicking and fighting, you just let its peaceful lullaby wash over you and everything between you is easy, like rolling off a log or floating down a river.

This special gentleman (let’s call him Mr. Fox because he’s beguiling, quick and clever just like his namesake), is more than I could have wished for and if I ever I had such a thing as a list – well then he is ticking all those little squares and more!

Mr. Fox is kind and thoughtful, caring and sweet, protective and giving. He embodies all the important things to me bundled up in one amazing package. At his core he loves family and comes from a big, happy, messy crew of parents, siblings and children, he’s passionate about music in his life and is governed by the twin laws of rhythm and soul, he adores food in every flavour, shape and form and is happy to wash it down with a good splash of wine.  He has a penchant for classic cars and restores these curvy, vintage ladies himself with loving care. He has a deep love of the sea, salt air, ports and boats and recently discovered the joy and curiosity of travel and other cultures. He has an uncanny connection with children and animals, loves to sing and dance with style and is inspired by design, art and beautiful things. He is the delicious embodiment of manliness and yet gentle when needs be, with a sparkling, shy smile and an uproarious laugh. My well groomed devil is always immaculately dressed, smells great and behaves impeccably – treating me like a lady… now call me old school, but I love it when a man knows how to treat a woman!

Most important of all he has a good, honest, open heart and he listens to me and sees me. I count my lucky stars everyday that we recognised each other second time around, I finally found the man that makes magic happen and for that I am truly grateful…

couple

Calling In The One

I found The One.

Now that is quite a bold statement and a bit of a shock for me to write and read back, but it’s true. They always say you just know and well I guess I just know? And yes we are talking about me, Miss Kitty who has struggled with the notion of being single for three long, lonely years, through rejection, sadness, stupid dates and silly men. And in four little words I can change my whole life just like that? Well no actually it’s nowhere near as romantic, lucky or serendipitous as it sounds, it boils down to plain old practical, common sense with a touch of silver lining.

I didn’t call him in like a sea siren on a lonely rock amidst stormy seas, I actually called myself in first, truth be told. So really it’s not about him at all, it’s actually all about me. I finally took the time to find out what I needed in my life and gave it to myself.

Yes I admit I did go a bit hippy chick there for a while, diligently doing counselling, a lengthy personal development course called Calling In the One and even reading The Secret. They were great tools to help me step back and look in, but none of these things independently were the answer, in the last few months I’ve made a concerted effort to create big change in my own behaviour, my outlook on life and my quest for love.

If you read this blog, apart from funny dating disasters which are weird and often random, there is a common thread of heartbreak, chasing ghosts, rotten scoundrels and selfish men. The quality and focus of my life was all wrong. I finally realised that I needed to work on the inside stuff first – as trite as it sounds. So finally I lit the fires and guided myself home back to contentment.

I worked through tears and upsets identified my bad habits, found my triggers and this time fixed them for good. In the process I got me some happy and around about the time I started to feel like a room without a roof he showed up and we got on just like a wink and a smile. It really was that easy and that cliched…

We dated before and were tender but we couldn’t quite make it work because our hearts and minds were elsewhere, bound up with other hurts. Now we’ve grown, opened our hearts and can see the best in each other. We have gradually built up our connection, spending lots of time enjoying each others company and exploring the world together. He feels like my best friend, when he holds my hand I feel safe and when he’s not there I miss him. I could say an awful lot more about this gentleman of goodness, integrity and beauty, but instead I will simply say it is the beginning of everything and the end of something and finding him made it all worthwhile…

the one

 

Keep calm and Kitty on

I’m coming up for air….

A couple of months ago I had a light bulb moment. It’s been a long time in the making (just ask my friends and poor worn down Mum) but finally the penny dropped and caused a cascade of emotional coins. I’ve been chasing my tail for far too long.

I realised that I’ve been secretly resigned to being solo, I would moan to my friends that all the good guys are taken, everyone who’s left has baggage, it’s too late for me to find someone, the guys I like don’t want a bar of me… etc, etc. I would say I didn’t want to be alone but I would get involved with men who were unavailable and needed fixing. Like a collector I was drawn to the ones with broken wings and I hoped that by making them feel better, they would fall head over heels in love with me. But it hasn’t worked and I finally figured out why! I am the common denominator here. All I’ve done is moan and bitch about these men (that I have chosen) and their sad inability to love me back. No matter how much I bent over backwards and did triple flips they refused to love me and instead stayed steadfastly attached to a memory of another love. Why? And I suddenly realised that maybe it’s me who’s just as stuck as they are? It is me who is addicted to the melodrama, not them, me, who like a love junkie has been weaving my own little, sad tale of unrequited love. Despite myself I wanted to be in that hole.

Do I pick these men because I’m not really ready to commit even though I say I am? Am I a mirror for my own actions? The more I pursued them, the more they ran away and I shot myself in the process. When I realised this I had a very uncomfortable moment. It’s not nice to see that you yourself are in fact the author of your own destiny and that you have spent months, years even, bemoaning your bad luck, the hopelessness of your situation or even how life is being unfair when in fact all along you were your own worst enemy. The horrid, ugly truth is I pick the men who don’t want me and then I am heartbroken when they don’t step up.

Hmmmm. It was time for a rain check. Time for some tough love. Time for dare I even say it…some self help? I sat myself down and opened an amazing book, it’s a personal development course which has taken me on the most transformative, deep and powerful set of lessons. Exploring all the internal issues and false assumptions that we hold about ourselves that blocks the ability to find and ‘see’ love in our lives, even when it is all around us.

And it’s not easy… a 7 week course of searing honesty, painful admissions, promises and adopting new practices. I am halfway through my journey and I feel like a different person, I am cutting my own steps to get out of this hole. I said goodbye to Kitty the self sabotaging kitten who fed off scraps of affection. Now I am filled with positivity and hope for the future, self confident, centered and weirdly not lonely anymore. I’m seeing a new vision of what I want in my life and this time instead of just wishing it, I am acting it too! Not only that but I’m cleaning out my closets both metaphorically and physically, I don’t want draining, sapping energy anymore, I’m accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative. And strange but true that once you stop fighting, the law of attraction really kicks in and everything starts to flow, springing up in ways that seemed so… well obvious all along! I’ve discovered that sometimes the door to second chances does stays open, as the great philosopher Homer Simpson once said D’Oh!!!

homer

Double standards

So I reactivated my online profile for what feels like the millionth time in my 3 year journey. Everytime I do it it is with heavy fingers and a dramatic Victorianesque sigh. This isn’t romance right? Trawling through profiles like I’m reading labels off a supermarket shelf? It should be wham, bam, no thought, no effort, but this is the way of modern day love, hard work, effort, investment and above all else patience.

Our society ties have broken down so much that you have to fend for yourself these days in the realm of ‘mature’ love. Thinking back to my Mother at Christmas and the Magnificent Seven who spawned one glistening (but ultimately doomed) bauble of a gentleman I awoke at 6 am unable to sleep and impulsively sent 7 love messengers out into the wide world, 7 mini cyber cupids. OK, OK I’m being overly poetic here, really I sent 7 smiles at guys I liked the look of and this time I didn’t trawl through their profiles for hours weighing up the pros and cons, I just looked for the fresh meat and smiled at them like you would someone across a crowded room, I just looked and hit the button – kinda like poker!

And what do ya know one guy came back within 45 minutes (please bear in mind it was only 7am by now, an ungodly hour for romance) – he said he was pleased to have a smile from me, but obviously a newbie to the whole internet dating thing – he said and I quote he found the whole medium ‘discomfiting’ and I thought yeah mate who doesn’t? No-one wants to be on this site, not a single person on this site would choose meeting a complete, anonymous stranger by this totally synthetic and unnaturally forced method, none of us here are actually enjoying this process, it’s tiring, depressing and energy sapping. Everytime I go back online it’s like returning to some sad old memory of a washed up youth club of misfits, failures and loners “Oh yeah there’s him again, oh and him, and him, oh yeah and I recognise you, and oh I haven’t seen you for a while, back again eh?” Same faces, same places, on and on, over and over, for several years and these people aren’t ugly or weird they are normal, good looking, probably kind and lovely people and yet here they still are. Just like me. Still sitting on the shelf waiting for the next buyer to come through the door, till they get returned again for being faulty or not to standard or even voluntarily send themselves back to the point of dispatch. So yeah, wait a minute Miss Kitty… take a look in the mirror aren’t you back again too? Bruised and sore from you latest disappointment? Aren’t you just as sad and sorry as these poor buggers? Going round and round in the same washing machine?

Pat Benatar said ‘Love is a Battlefield’ no better words for it in my opinion. I’ve been knocked about so much in the last few years. But I take a breather and eventually I drag myself up, I dust myself down and I walk on, well what else you gonna do? Really? Don’t let it break your heart. If I’m lucky one of the seven will lift me up and galvanise me to keep on struttin’ my sexy stuff! Because odds are one day my husband is going to just turn up, just like that out of the blue and say “Hey you! Miss Kitty, where the bloody hell have you been all my life?” and will I then just say “Erm, I’ve been here all along just waiting for you?” Will I bloody hell as like! I’ll turn round and say “Hey you yourself, I’ve been hanging out and having some fun with these dudes, you shoulda turned up earlier!”.

Marilyn

Pride and prejudice

A select dinner party in a middle class West London suburb.

Husband: “Seriously though, offices full of single girls in their early 30s. Fine, physical specimens… but they just can’t seem to hold down a chap.”

Wife: “Yes, why is it there are so many unmarried women in their 30s these days Bridget?”

Awkward pause

Bridget: “Oh I don’t know.. ‘spose it doesn’t help that underneath our clothes our entire bodies are covered in scales.”

‘Life’ so Oscar Wilde once said ‘imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life’, I watched that scene from the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary 13 years ago in a cinema in Ealing Broadway and I laughed my socks off, I was young, ambitious and living in the same London as Bridget but without her dating traumas, I was happily ensconced in a relationship.

Fast forward to Christchurch, New Zealand over a decade later and I am the modern day equivalent of Bridget (with the alcohol units, but without the cigarettes) and instead of a diary I have this blog. Personally I believe Helen Fielding’s observations are still a valid and truthful commentary on thirty or fortysomething single women today as they try to make sense of life, love and the way society reacts to solo females.

Point in case a recent Friday night out with three married couples or as Bridge would call them ‘Smug Marrieds’. Of the three I only knew one couple. Within minutes of sitting down they had established I was single and that I would like to one day be in a relationship. For married people who hold all the so called keys to getting life right this is like a red rag to a bull, the wives pounced first with one slurrily advising me to never give up and be ready to receive love and how it would crop up when I least expected it before telling me a long winded version of her love story. The other wife fuelled on Sauvignon, took it upon herself to fix my ‘situation’ by determinedly marching around the bar, interviewing potential suitors and dragging them back to the table for an awkward and downright humiliating chat with me, while his friends would take photos of the moment on their iPhones.

And their husbands…. well first they dribbled all over the table excitedly asking me among other things if I was bumping up my age, was I wearing stockings, did I have sex a lot and could they have their photo taken with me to show their mates on Monday? Then they began accosting any circling, young barman to ask if they liked Cougars and did they want a slice of this action – pointing at me.

I am not sure at what point it became acceptable to treat comparative strangers to an unrequested life intervention or why they thought they had all the answers to fix everything? And this I might add was a group of parents who were all buzzing out of their brains and behaving like a bunch of drunk teenagers. Yeah real mature!

All I know is my pride took a big knock that night and their prejudice about my ‘singledom’ was offensive and rude. Spending time in their company has made me embrace and cherish my status even more. I am not a side show or a loser, but a woman who chooses to wait for the right combination of magic to happen and not just settle for any passing barman.

And yet there are marrieds out there who’ve recognised their prejudice – I salute you Rebecca Sparrow, and I am proud and thankful to say I also have a lot of lovely, sane, healthy marrieds who are extremely supportive and love me, like Bridget, just as I am.

Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary

Love is the thing

I once said to someone special that for me and my future happiness ‘love was the thing’, it was a brave but stupid thing to say because it was a hint. A big massive neon, glow-in-the-dark or slap me round the face hint and when I said it I couldn’t look him in the eye because it was directly addressed to him. It was supposed to be a key to unlock the future, but he didn’t quite get it and I lost him to another path.

But this weekend I am remembering that love actually bloody well is the thing, not just for me, for everyone! It is THE key, the master key to everything not just the guy, the girl, but yourself and everything in your life. Strangely I’m finding love all around on my solo road trip. Bring on the cheese! But ’tis true!

Everything I’m doing and seeing is with love, be it love for a new day, love for the washed up debris of a storm, love for a delicious mussel and lamb dinner with the best soundtrack in the background, love for a perfect wake-up coffee, a good read, my own pleasant company, a soft seductive Pinot noir (at lunchtime no less!) or a crisp Sauvignon blanc, a brisk salt-air walk, an amble through old streets and charms, a chat with the old lady who’s attending a Jehovah’s Witness wedding or sharing stories with another lone traveller along the way.

I’m completely on my own on this trip, barring my loyal, lovable canine companions and yet strangely I don’t feel alone at all. I am quite happily dining in the best restaurants all by myself with nothing for company but my thoughts, best perfume, underwear and a good book. And yes I am making an effort… for myself! And I’m not self conscious at all, in fact I’m celebrating and loving it! I do get some odd looks but I don’t care – I really can do what I want.

I feel loved by a caring Universe. I feel happy to be me and have all my best choices ahead of me. Left, right, single, coupled, stop, go, baby, no baby. I am free to do what I please and achieve what I want and I guess after all that is something special at this age. Well it’s the first time I’ve seen it that way. So I’ll try and have no more panic attacks at being left behind, no more doldrums, no more self pity, no more poor me. Instead I’m going to say love is the thing and enjoy the journey and if you’re lucky enough I might just share some of mine with you!

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