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…

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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

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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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?”

tide