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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Soul trip

Easter beckons and this year I’ve got an itch I need to scratch, I don’t want another holiday season sitting around contemplating my lonely navel, so it’s time to hit the road, brush off the dust and feel the wind in my hair.

With a long weekend ahead I can escape. Travelling always makes me want to turn the page to see what happens next and after a bumpy first quarter a new chapter is just what I need.

So I’m leaving the shit and the baggage behind, throwing my dogs in the car and I’m driving far, far away on a spiritual journey to please nobody but myself. Who needs chocolate Easter eggs when you have the open road, a favourite mix tape, windswept beaches, starry night skies and tables for one at the best restaurants? I’m going to spoil myself rotten, indulge my inner foodie and I can’t wait!

But most of all I’ll take this time to look back and learn from all the mistakes I’ve made on the way to where I am today. I’m done with over-sharing, over-giving and over-loving with the men in my life and having nothing left in the pot for me. I won’t over-extend myself anymore, this time I will be sharing, giving and loving myself because just like L’Oreal “I’m worth it“.

Happy Easter, may the road rise to meet you too! Lots of love Miss Kitty xx

road trip

Nature or nurture?

I have a very good friend who worries about me, let’s call her Mrs Gyrate (for reasons best not pointed out here!) but suffice to say she worries about me a lot.

Mrs Gyrate is a living a romantic comedy lover’s dream, happily married with a bonny wee baby. She met her husband in a wonderful ‘meet-cute’ moment waiting for a delayed plane at the airport. Fast forward to a surprise proposal on top of the Eiffel Tower in the world’s most romantic capital and a baby that arrived with perfect timing and you pretty much have the synopsis for a classic Hollywood romance.

Am I happy for her? Of course! Am I a teensy bit jealous? Of course! So cutting to the chase hot on the heels of the latest disappointment Mrs Gyrate advises I take a no date, no-man zone approach for the next 6 months.

My lovely friend says I don’t love myself enough, haven’t learned to enjoy being alone and will be stuck in this rut if I continue to ‘chase men’. She believes once I’m ready that nature will eventually take it’s course and my Mr.Darcy/Bradley Cooper/Shining armour Knight will either a) charge up to my door or b) our paths will cross.

Whilst I love the optimism, I disagree. Nature has had plenty of ops with me. In the past 18 months I’ve dated real world and cyber world as well as not dating at all for 6 months on and off last year. And yeah OK I secretly waited wastefully for a certain someone for most of it, but how much of a window does nature need to intervene?

I prefer to take the nurture route because I like to spread the risk and maximize the chances. I like to get out and meet new people, go to new places, do new things, dating after all is only meeting them for a drink and seeing if there’s a faint trace of firelight there? And having an active online profile is a shop window for opportunity should it pass by, no need to chase them down? But I’m the first to admit that often nurturing love can be more like a Sci-Fi, Horror crossover than a Rom-Com, it’s clinical, takes determination and an enormous sense of humour.

Still I’m not comfortable leaving it all up to Mother Nature because her odds are stacked against me. It’s a double whammy of lack of quantity and quality. It’s not like school days or even in our 20s when you could trip over piles of potential suitors just waiting at the bus stop. Finding fellow singletons is like looking for the proverbial needle – sometimes I wish we had invisible New York style cab lights over our heads that lit up when another singleton walked past. And then there’s the men themselves who are are either happily married (no thank you no home wreckers here) or unhappily separated or divorced (great!) or those men who’ve not yet been touched by the hand of marriage but are in Jack-the-Lad mode and still ‘sowing their wild oats’ .

And Mrs Gyrate is right – I don’t particularly enjoy my own company day in day out (Miss Kitty can be a real bore in 24 hour solo surround sound) but I have to get on with it and so I do.

If my dating genie appeared and granted me one wish I guess that it would be to leave it up to Mrs Gyrate’s nature book and have my own serendipitous meet-cute, perhaps at the supermarket when I drop my groceries on the floor, or on the road side while I’m puzzling over a tyre puncture, when my stiletto heel conveniently gets stuck in a manhole on the pavement or when I’m caught short in the rain and have to shelter under an awning… I would love the bells and whistles, harps and unicorns.

But the reality is it only happens in the movies or to a lucky few like my gorgeous, wonderful friend. Of course I could force a Pretty Woman style meet-cute and pull on my brand new thigh high black suede boots (hold up people it’s legit – they are in right now!) and totter downtown looking for Richard Gere but erm… somehow I don’t think that will get me the same fairytale ending?

Pretty woman

Loving by numbers

No one said that finding The One would be easy. let’s face it we know there are multiple possible ones, but by deed or inaction we sometimes miss them in the final mix. I have a good friend who always calls this dating malarkey a numbers game. When I say good friend, he’s actually my ex-partner of 11 years and nearly 3 years on from our parting of the ways he’s just as stuck as I am. He often says to me it’s just a case of try, try and try again.

I think he has a point. A recent study from the UK specialised in crunching the romantic numbers to make some sense of this nonsensical thing called love, and believe it or not they found a pattern. The average woman will kiss 15 men, enjoy two long-term relationships and have her heartbroken twice, not only that but she will also suffer through four disaster dates, be in love twice, live with one ex-partner, have four one night stands and be stood up once before she finally meets ‘The One’.

Phew! It makes me dizzy just thinking about it but when I take a long hard look at it turns out that I am that average woman! I sat down and did some math and so here’s my summary: Kissed: 21 / Long term relationships: 2 / Heartbroken: 2 / Disaster dates: 2 / In love: 2 / Lived with one ex-partner: 1 / One night stands: 3 / Stood up: 1

The study was commissioned for the launch of a new romantic novel called The Rosie Project it’s about one man’s search for love and about love not prescribing to a formula – about it finding us, not us finding it. The author Graeme Simsion said “It’s a reminder that the path to finding a life partner can be a long and rocky one – and indeed is for most of us. All of the disaster dates, mismatched relationships and awkward one night stands can leave many feeling like they are never going to meet their soul mate. But there’s an annoying yet wonderful randomness about it. All those calamities, false starts and heartbreaks never knowing when or if or how “The One” is going to appear in your life.”

Hear that homeboy! And that my dear readers is the single most important reason why I have the Dating Kitty site, it’s my personal chronicle of my weird and wonderful, bittersweet journey through the dating maze to find The One. Like Alice in Wonderland I threw caution to the wind and jumped out of my sad and restrictive relationship down the rabbit hole. It is most certainly not how I expected it to be – not at all. I thought it might take a year tops to meet someone…and yet here I still am three years on.

Some days it is exhilarating and ecstatic but mostly it is depressing, frustrating, scary, hilarious and lonely. I really do hope my life won’t be like this forever, I actually like being in a partnership and I hate being alone. But at the same time I also realise and appreciate that this painful process is all growing and learning and I hope that one day I can look back on it all and marvel at the uncertainty and promise and all the interesting and eccentric characters I met along the way.

Right now though I don’t have a choice except to keep on going and keep on hoping that my number comes up. On a really bad day when I have the mean blues there’s a quote that pretty much sums it up, it’s cheesy but I love it! From Tom Hanks in Castaway upon discovering his one true love and lucky talisman has moved on with her life, remarried and had a baby while he was stuck on his island:

“I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”

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The Pinnocio Syndrome

Some of you dear readers may remember that I fell head over heels in love last year with a man who could not commit because he still loved and longed for his ex-wife who he said treated him like dirt, cheated on him and left him. But that aside at some point this man had decided he was ready to date and that he liked me, or so I thought, because he even told me he loved me. And I fell hook, line and sinker and waited, and waited, and waited. But he lied. He wasn’t ready and he didn’t love me at all, otherwise why would he have put me through such torturous agony waiting for him on the whiff of vague promises? He promised to seek help, promised to sort his head and his heart out, promised to be decisive, promised to take me out on his bike for a ride. Promises, promises.

Earlier this year this same lovelorn soul told me that his ‘best friend’ had fallen pregnant and that he was now – for want of a better word stuck. He was adamant that the child wasn’t his. Couldn’t possibly be his he said. He lied. It is his baby. He’s been friends-with-benefitting. Now they are staying together to bring the child up. So much for still loving the ex-wife. So much for keeping me waiting. So much for love and bike rides.

Some of you may also have followed the story that I’ve been seeing a dapper, charmingly old fashioned guy that my mother picked online for me at Christmas. His profile said he was recently separated, naturally I was cautious because I now have an aversion to men with ex-wives (twice bitten, yes there was one before that too, three times shy). I enquired several times if he was ‘over’ the ex gone since 10 months? He said she treated him like dirt, cheated on him and left him. Yes, he said ready to move on, ready for a new chapter, but the key was to go slow. I agreed going slow and courting was not a bad thing, after all I was badly burnt last year and needed some protection. How quaint and charming I thought that 5 weeks in we were still holding hands, kissing and having a cheeky fumble.

But last week we passed date 11 and the 8 week mark and we are still no further along than at the very beginning. We average a date a week and he plays cool, doesn’t call, just texts and even they are intermittent. He makes me work hard. We weren’t just slow, we had stalled and I was having a cup of tea at the side of the road while he went off to find a mechanic! When I challenged him about it this week he admitted (by text only of course) that we were in different places and that he still thinks about his wife. He lied. So much for slow, so much for new starts. This time we mutually agreed to leave it, but still by text! He half heartedly offered to come and see me at the weekend to talk about it. What an insult, I said not to bother as there’s nothing to talk about. We’ve gone our separate ways just like that after all that effort again. Except for this. I didn’t love him, I just liked him, I did learn that one lesson from my useless, lovelorn beardie and that’s not to trust ’em until you can see the whites of their eyes. Difficult in this cyber world.

My point is – why do these guys lie? They lie to themselves and they lie bare faced to us. And for what purpose? It only ruins everything. And I hate lying. Honesty is the trait I value most of all in a person let alone a man, no matter how much the truth hurts. In future I will ask them first if they have an ex-wife and second who their favourite Disney character is… maybe then I’ll get an inkling? pinnocio