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?