I really thought we could have had something special.
So having that particular fantasy of mine quashed, I’m left with an uncomfortable reality. I’m still single.
I say ‘uncomfortable’, for the simple reason that I’d actually like to have someone around to share stuff with. You know, a girlfriend. The uncomfortable part is knowing there’s something I want, something that matters to me, that I don’t have.
Even more uncomfortable is knowing that I can’t completely control it. I could go out this afternoon, slip some Rohypnol into a pretty girls’ cup of coffee, take her back to mine, dress her up as Uma and tell her that she’s my wife now, but unless she wanted to play along I don’t think there would be much of a future in it.
So I can’t just decide to head out this afternoon and find myself a girlfriend, because 50% of that is down to someone else. To move from being single to being in a relationship there’s a gap to cross – I need to move from where I am now to where I want to be.
That takes 2 things – a shift in behaviour and some time.
To get something I don’t have right now I have to do something I’m not doing right now.
And that’s the thorny bit. You see, I’m a little too comfortable in my singleness. I have a carefully balanced life where my coaching, my writing and my freelancing take up pretty much all my time, and my down-time between those things is extremely important to me.
The other day I joked with a friend that the only ‘free’ time I have is between 3pm and 6pm on Sundays. I caught up with this friend between 3pm and 6pm last Sunday.
So I’m faced with a question – what happens when there’s no room for what matters? I don’t know the answer to that, I honestly don’t.
I need to give space to coaching, writing and freelancing if I’m to build a business that matters to me and keep a roof over my head, so I can’t see that I’ll be able to drop something to give me more time. And with my post-viral thing continuing, my down-time needs to be just that – down-time.
So while some socialising is fine, I have to be careful about when I head out to bars, restaurants or social events, because burning the candle at both ends doesn’t work for me physically.
Which still leaves me with a problem to solve. As I can’t find an answer to the problem I’m going to do something else instead – I’m going to let myself off the hook. I’m not going to beat myself up because I don’t have answer, and instead I’m going to shift my attitude.
This shift in attitude is one that I need to make for my own sanity and for my own self-confidence.
I haven’t been willing to cross that gap I mentioned because of a perception that it would throw my balance off or send my health plummeting – and while both of those things are entirely possible I think at the centre of it is fear.
And behind all of that, if I’m honest, is your good, ol’ fashioned fear of rejection.
All of that means that I’ve been emotionally closed to dating and haven’t made a dent on closing that gap.
Real confidence means that you can let go, and I haven’t done that with dating because I was clouded with fears about rejection, my health and the balance I have.
I haven’t trusted myself to deal with things in my romantic life and the impact they could have on other parts of my life, and as my dating muscles haven’t been exercised for a good while my confidence in that area has been hit.
I’ve continued to flirt like a trouper (I could win awards for flirting) because I know that it’s is a safe route, free from any risky decisions, and that it makes me believe I’m doing something constructive.
Instead, no matter whether it ends in marriage or in a tear-soaked pillow, I have to lighten the hell up and trust that I can make more active choices about dating and still be just fine. I know that’s true, so now I have to shift my attitude accordingly.
It’s about being open to the possibility, to the potential for something unexpected to happen.
I think that confidence and self-trust is vital in dating, because it’s that very thing that means you’ll be willing to go for it, simply because there’s potential for something amazing to happen.
What do you think?