Hopeless

Hopeless romantics scare me. Have you never been scarred from love? Please tell me what that is like if you are a hopeless romantic.

What does hopeless romantic even mean?

Since giving in to the love I feel for GG and accepting that I am loved and in love, I’ve been in a very sappy mood.

I’m daydreaming a bit more often, I’m seeing couples for the first time in ages and smiling at PDA’s instead of cringing. I’m lying on the sofa or in bed wishing that GG was with me on the nights I’m alone, and telling him so (I don’t ordinarily, because I’m a strong independent woman who doesn’t need a man). My independence has dive-bombed and I’m now looking ahead on how I can fill my free days with GG, planning dates and fun things to do, or just deciding to chill and eat some food before getting an early night. It is close to 8 months, yet the bedroom antics are as wild as ever.

I’m a firm believer that if a guy tells you he loves you after sex or alcohol, you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. That oxytocin has us all messed up.

GG and I have just spent the best part of a week with my son on the English coast. We’ve been camping. One night, after a particularly dirty bedroom session (I really can’t go into detail, because our sex life can be rather twisted and I am honestly ashamed of myself, but not so ashamed that I won’t do it again, you feel me?) GG says ‘ I fucking love you’.

It wasn’t immediately afterwards, and GG has been telling me he loves me for at least a month, so I allowed it. I replied ‘oh yeah? I love you more’. It was as simple and straight forward as that, but in the moment I said it, after nearly a week of watching him playing and supporting my son, hearing their laughter and seeing him nurture him, I couldn’t hold it in. It might also have been the oxytocin you see, but when I woke up the next day, I knew I’d meant it. As we packed all our stuff away and loaded the car and van up with our gear, me returning home and GG off to visit some friends to do some more camping, I did not want to say goodbye. I hugged him and I didn’t want to let go. I kissed him and I didn’t want to stop.

So, what is a hopeless romantic? Can a love cynic be turned? Because I think ya gal right here, miss independent pants who doesn’t need a man, who won’t give up her free time, who thinks the Menz are dogs and they deserve nothing, is becoming one.

Crazy Train pt4

Is there a Goldilocks zone for telling someone you love them? Too early and it’s just weird. Too late? Well, that’s my question. Can telling somebody that you love them ever be too late?

Please see Crazy Train Pt1 Crazy Train Pt2 and Crazy Train Pt3 for further context

GG told me he loved me on 11th July. That’s a month ago.

I still haven’t said those words to him. Partly because as you all know, ima but if a psychotic mess at times and I’m overthinking my feelings for him and I don’t want to say those three little words without meaning them and it doesn’t help when I have temptations thrown in my face and and and.

See all these excuses I’m making?

Truthfully though, what do those three little words even mean anyway if not backed up by actions? And this leads me onto a complaint, a very minor complaint, but still.

Gg fails to send me kisses on his goodnight texts and rarely texts good morning.

Now, in the grand scheme of telling me he loves me, organising weekend trips, making efforts to get to know my son, introducing me to his family, cooking my dinner and doing minor chores for me, you are thinking this is insignificant.

And you would be right. It is insignificant in the grand scheme of all those other things. But it’s the small things that really matter. Because I can do all those big things myself. I’m grateful for when he does them of course, and I appreciate him for those things, but it’s the little things that make the most impact.

Like little ‘post it’s’ randomly left.

Or finding my fave chocolate in the fridge

Or picking up those rare crisps you love that hardly anywhere sells

Or randomly sending me breakfast when I’m working at home and have a ton of stuff to do

Folding my laundry (I cannot explain just how much I despise this task)

Send good night and good morning texts. With Xx’s

Back scratches and tickles.

These are all things I have done or do for GG. And are worth way more than the three words ‘I love you’

And I know words of affirmation are some peoples love language. But it’s not mine. And it’s not GG’s.

I guess the thoughtfulness that was there in the beginning has started to wear off.

I wouldn’t mind but we haven’t even had an argument. 8 months!! This makes me suspicious…because it usually means he’s a bottler. The silent treatment type. The passive aggressive.

I had 13 years of it and let me tell you, it’s worse than yelling.

The crazy train continues….

Give me strength

Next Friday is going to be the biggest test of my life. All of the hard work I have put in trying to heal myself and make better choices in dating and follow the peace instead of the chaos and to not self sabotage and just go with what feels good, not with what feels exciting. It will be the ultimate finale on what feels like a long journey through self-love, self-acceptance and self-discipline. It will see me pitted against temptation and influence, the evils of sin. Like King Leonidas vs the Persian God King Xerxes, I will be leading the fight for all single women, kicking temptation into a hole, after exclaiming ‘This is Sparta’

Ok I’m getting carried away. Definitely over exaggerating. Ish.

I have a works do. An evening to finally celebrate retirements with those who have left us over the past 18 months. England has lifted almost all of its COVID measures to allow the world to start getting back to normal.

Which means laughter, dancing and booze. And Mr Big!

We have been working with each a bit over the last few weeks and all has been well. I’ve banished all romantic thoughts and feelings for him. And we have gotten along as we normally do, friendly, professional with the odd dirty joke thrown in for good measure.

So I wasn’t worried about the works do.

Until he said ‘you’re gonna be there Friday?’

‘Friday?’

‘Yeah, the leavers do’

‘Sure am’

And then he looks me up and down, maintains eye contact for just a second too long, throws me a wink and smiles!!!!!!!

Motherfucker.

Now, I’m not weak willed. In fact I’m bloody stubborn. Too stubborn.

I raised an eyebrow to him as he kicked the door open and said goodbye.

But if this mofo thinks for one minute he’s gonna be flirting with me on this evening and giving me fancy vibes and loving on me, then he has another thing coming. Let me tell ya!

But boozy me? Oh she’s not stubborn at all. She’s loving. And soft. And influential.

She’s the romancer, she’s the one who lets her guard down. She’s the chancer, the adventurer, the rebel too. She has no inhibitions, she’ll dance on tables, cuddle people, she’s touchy feely.

So for the past two days, I’ve been having an internal dialogue with myself

‘We want different things’

‘We work together’

‘He’s had his chance’

‘You have a boyfriend’

in the hope that when boozy me decides to show up, they will be firmly planted in her mind should Mr Big try anything ungentlemanly.

Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to take my boyfriend. Except, he’s on a stag do. Far away.

I could just not go? Not even an option.

I could not drink? Please.

Nope, I’m holding onto the fact I have grown and however thin that line maybe be, I’m confident I will not break it and undo all the lessons I have been learning.

I will not. I will not. I will not.

I’m back…I think

3 years ago, I found myself swallowed by a big black hole. I was numb. I was exhausted. I woke up one Friday morning and I could not move. It wasn’t because I was paralysed physically, but mentally and emotionally I was broken.

I’ve suffered with anxiety as far back as I can remember. I have stubby fingernails and some pretty crazy actions, borne out of overthinking, that pay testament to that fact. But after a break up, a new home, a new job, finding my feet with single parenting and the loss of my beloved dog Rosie, the cracks in my toughened exterior finally shattered into a million pieces.

I rang the doctor. I had no idea why I was feeling the way I was but after a 20 minute chat, the doctor simply said…it’s not an anxiety attack you are having. You are depressed.

For the first time in a long time I cried. I cried and cried and cried and cried. I struggled to breathe through the sobs as the reality dawned on me that my brilliant astute brain and my inner strength had finally given up on me.

Of course they hadn’t given up. Simply put, my mind and body forced me into facing my reality that I cannot lunge myself into all manner of exciting things as a way of dealing with what was going on inside.

I was hurt. I was sad. I was carrying a heavy guilt. I felt like a burden on my friends and family and rather than face that head on, I simply ignored it and went on with life. I was fixing a broken heart. I hadn’t felt loved in a long time, nor did I think I was deserving of it.

At the very same time, I had met a guy. He was nicknamed Super Mark because he had done all these incredible things. He had such an amazing life story. Things were moving rapidly, but when I woke up on that Friday morning I had no idea how I was going to tell him.

He knew I was off work. And one night on the phone he asked me if I struggled with depression. No, I answered. He responded softly saying ‘I have you know. I’ve been depressed to the point of suicide. I know from experience that the only way to start healing is to talk’.

In that moment, everything I had been holding in came tumbling out. I have no idea how long I was on the phone for. He patiently listened to me pour my little heart out. I have no idea if he was listening really, but I sensed he was from his mmm’s and aah’s and awww’s.

By the time I finished, he simply said ‘this is a chapter in your life. You won’t feel like this forever, just for now. Do you feel better?’

It dawned on me in that moment that by talking and getting everything off my chest, I felt a sense of relief. I wasn’t ‘fixed’. I had simply opened the door into healing.

And the mad thing about it, was that afterwards, Mark didn’t run a mile. He chose to love me instead and gave me a wonderful 8 months. That is until I found out he told my Dad that my mum was fit and how much fun it would be to have me and her together.

(Which is proof that even the good guys can be grade A fucking dickheads)

I digress. Back to healing.

I started therapy and working on doing things that made me happy. That’s how I got into football coaching. And how I got back to my hiking. I started budgeting properly and planning days out to the beach. I discovered hypnosis and meditation. Eventually, although it took a while, I found writing again.

Reflecting on the last two months, despite the wonderful things I have been experiencing, I have definitely fallen backwards a little. Depression isn’t ever fully resolved. It’s a constant battle of forgiving yourself. Forgiving the feels. Forgiving people. And in my case, speaking your truth. And after the year we have had, being confined to my own four walls, it’s amazing that I didn’t slip sooner.

I injured my foot and broke my big toe at the end of March, which stopped my usual exercise routine in its tracks. I was able to walk so I still hiked a little. And I managed to limp around the football field twice a week, there really isn’t much running in coaching thankfully. But it delayed my progress.

Last weekend though, I climbed 5 mountains (not as dramatic as it sounds. Actually it was, because it was hot as fucking hell in England) and since then I have been doing my 15 minute hiit or dance workouts. The result is I am happier. Less fatigued. More motivated. I’ve found myself singing again, to the point people have commented. I’m dancing as I walk and shop and talk. My mood is just way more upbeat. I don’t feel like writing is a chore (sorry for that), I’m doing the washing again. The plates are no longer stacked high.

I’m not saying that exercise alone fends of depression, but I’m a pretty good example if it does.

So next time I go AWOL, please, somebody shout at me to dance round the living room for 15 minutes and all will be well again.

Peace out mofo’s!

Crazy Train Pt3

‘When love is not madness, it is not love’

How much do you guys agree with this statement?

I’m not sure. I’ve had loves that have their own kind of madness. Not all of these loves have resulted in a relationship. I’ve loved people from afar. And I’ve been in relationships that have been all-consuming.

The all-consuming loves bring excitement and electricity and wonder and yearning and desire and and and.

But my most successful loves (despite them ending, because life happens) have not been all-consuming. They are steady. And secure. They are peaceful, low energy. Safe.

But I’m not the kind of person who would be satisfied by that for an entire life. I need the adventure and excitement like I need my next breath.

I love GG. I haven’t told him. I’m scared that I recognise that the relationship we have, as wonderful as it is, does not fulfil me in adventure and excitement.

It’s really hard to change habits you know. Self sabotage when it has been life-long is a tricky one to curb. My head knows that what we have together is beautiful. Im grateful for it. It’s peaceful. And lord knows after the up and down few years of dating I’ve had, peaceful is what I need.

My head also knows I love him. But my heart and my body just isn’t catching up. I’m logical by nature. My head always overrules my emotions and in most cases that is the right way to approach things. I think?

But how do you will the heart and body along.

I’m comparing again, and I know I shouldn’t. And this is a moot point because neither happened. But how would I be feeling today if this 7 month relationship had been with either FD or Mr Big? Would I even be questioning my feelings?

A big fat NOPE!

So why am I doing it with GG? It’s unfair. I’m unfair. I’m being unfair.

And I can’t be sure I’m looking for reasons here, I’m almost drawing up a pro’s and cons list which is also unfair. I mean, I’d feel pretty shit if it was the other way round, but considering all of the amazing qualities of GG, there really are very few bad bits. Except….there’s a distinct lack of spontaneity. And it’s the spontaneity that I think the quote at the start of this blog refers to. Not crazy in love; I’m not talking about the love that makes you wonder if they are into you. Where they are. Who they are with. The double/triple/quadruple texts. I’m talking about the madness that makes people elope to far away places for shotgun weddings. The madness that makes people vulnerable to being hurt when they’ve not allowed it before. The madness of riding 100 down a motorway with wind in your hair and 1200CC’s between your legs (a motorbike metaphor). The madness of wanting to rip each other’s clothes off at any given moment.

Is it really too much to want to be slammed over the kitchen side whilst I’m making toad-in-the-hole?

Just wouldn’t cross GG’s mind even though it does mine. And I tell him. Often.

The struggle (even though it shouldn’t exist) continues…

Crazy Train Pt1

All aboard.

So this week has been a deep dive into a world of vulnerability. Vulnerability that was unexpected and that I was not ready for.

It all started on Tuesday when GG gave me the key to his house. I say key. GG, the big bloody geek, has a digital door lock. The kind that does not need a key, just a fob. Or an app.

Yes. I said an app. I’m not tech-averse, but if it ain’t broken, don’t try fixing it, ya know?

Anyway, I digress. GG handed me the instructions to download said app. I did. I tested it. It worked. I now have unlimited access to his house. His sanctuary. His safe space.

After a few questions about boundaries and when I can and cannot use it (there aren’t any) I said, ‘this is a pretty big deal’. GG said, and I quote ‘we’ve been seeing each other for 6/7 months, I’m ready for this. You don’t have to be, I’m not saying I need a key to yours, but I’m there’.

Then, I had the worlds longest day on Friday, I had to complete a 3 day audit in 1 day. I was at work for well over 12 hours, but I got the job done. I rock up at GG’s house at 11pm to find he has ran me a bubble bath, lit some candles, switched on the diffuser and poured me a glass of wine.

Stay with me here, I’m not finished.

Last night, we watched the Euro Final. With us both being big football fans and knowing the high stakes that came with seeing England in a final, we made a Sunday roast and then settled down to watch the game. Heartache ensued. C’est La Vie. But by the time the game finished, GG had sank 9 bottles of beer. Too distraught from the game, and very drunk, we went to bed. At some point, we found ourselves looking at the clock and it was 1:20am, wayyyyy past my bedtime. Luckily, neither of us have work today. But GG rolls over to me and says ‘can I tell you something?’

Of course, I reply.

And suddenly I know what’s coming and in those spilt seconds, I realise I have been expecting it. The whole last couple of weeks of my own behaviour, the questioning, the overthinking, the sense that something isn’t quite right has just been a subconscious reaction to what was about to happen; to what I was preparing myself to hear. I already knew what was about to spill out of his mouth and have known for a while as he says;

‘I Love You’

Temporary Madness

I’m the worst person in the world. THE worst.

In the same week that GG gave me a key to his house (!!!) and where he had a bubble bath waiting for me with candles after the worlds longest day at work, I decided it would be a good idea to test the waters with Mr Big.

I got the reaction I was expecting, it’s a one way street to casualville. I’m learning that the sooner I speak up, the less likely I am to spiral into overthinking. So now I have my answer.

And I thought about whether it is possible to break habits? My contentment with GG is what is making me happy right now and I should chalk the feelings I have been having over the few weeks as a temporary blip.

Slowly learning to recognise and experience what is a good thing as opposed to just imagining what it should be in my head.

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to ‘There Never Was a Saint with Red Hair’

Yesterday marked one year since I re-established this blog with Too Many Choices. According to my stats, I have had over 1000 views on my blog, I have 110 followers and I can’t even count the number of likes and comments I’ve received over the year. WP can though, it’s 618 and 277 respectively.

In the last 12 months, I’ve also written over 40,000 words which means, if I had put any thought into scheduling my content, brainstorming ideas instead of just writing whatever is on my mind, then I might even have had half a half sensible story; 100,000 words yo! That’s a book!

More than that though, I have made some amazing connections with other bloggers who I now consider friends and it’s tough luck if you are one of them and wish you weren’t. You are more than a friend, you have witnessed all the good and bad of my inner psyche, helping me through the tatters and always knowing just what to say to bring me up from the depths of despair or back down to earth, because we all knows I need it.

I’m in awe though. I’m amazed that what started out as a simple writing exercise designed to aid my thought process and decision making in relation to men and dating, has been relatable to so many people out there. So much so, that they have stuck around to follow my blog, commented or liked my content. I find this incredible and so, for anybody who has stopped by, commented, liked or even enjoyed my content so much that they follow me….a great big huge thank you.

I thought I’d give a brief recap of the last 12 months;

Started out with 4 ‘boyfriends’

Dropped to zero

Developed major league crush on FD

Got carried away with Mr Big

Started dating GG

Lost 1.5 stones

Gained .5 stones back

Lost my writing mojo/muse

Found it again

Lost it again

I went to the beach 5 times

Climbed 3 mountains

Played and coached football twice a week

Took up tennis

Put the tennis racket back down

Made last two in interview – didn’t get the job

Made last two in interview – did get the job

Lost my shit – the crazy way

Gathered my shit – the crazy way

Cried, laughed, meditated, slept.

Phew! Can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings.

The S Word.

How do you know if you are settling for something?

Is settling OK?

Or should we be striving for the absolute best?

It’s been five months with GG, 6 if you include the talking/virtual stage before we actually went on a date.

The list of good qualities he has just pours out of me, kind, generous, laid back, funny, charming, fit, geeky.

So, you would think after 6 months, I would have met at least one friend or at least one member of the family and I would definitely have heard something along the veins of ‘I love you’. Not necessarily that direct, but things like ‘I’m crazy about you’ or ‘you make me so happy’ or ‘I can’t imagine my world without you in it’ or ‘I miss you’. None of these things have happened.

My love language is quality time, closely followed by acts of service. Physical touch and words of affirmation are sub-par to the above but that doesn’t mean I don’t need them. Because I do. I hold no value of gift-giving, albeit, I do think it has it’s place in a relationship that isn’t just directly related to birthdays, holidays and Christmas.

And I don’t think you can say one person is 100% a love language, because it’s more like a spectrum;

I’m 36% Quality Time, 30% Acts of Service, 18% Words of Affirmation 10% physical touch and 6% gift giving.

And my love language will increase or decrease depending on any given scenario I am in, but in general the above is an accurate reflection of how I give love and how I like to receive love.

I get a lot of quality time from GG. Assuming cooking or buying dinner is considered an act of service, then he tries really hard. But there’s not much else. There’s very little words of affirmation, he can choke out ‘you look pretty’ when I’ve made an effort. He’s not into PDA which is fine but he does like to gift things, either buying dinner, or bringing a bottle of wine or buying chocolate.

And I feel guilty, because as much as those things are nice, it’s not what I really need. I can buy my own things, you know?

And so, I’ve done the worst thing I can do, I’ve started drawing comparisons. Comparisons to other people, ex’s, tv, social media. I know I shouldn’t. I know. I don’t need anybody telling me why I shouldn’t draw comparisons but the other side of the coin is that we use our past experiences to develop an internal radar. We have a gut. We have instincts. We are animals after all.

My instinct is telling me that I’m settling.

Remember my boundaries post? And how I was adamant that I would not invest in somebody who wasn’t investing in me?

Well, GG has met my parents. We’ve talked about meeting my son. He’s been on the phone to my friends with me. All these things which are normal building blocks to a relationship, yes?

And while I’m trying to build my blocks, every time I look over, my metaphorical wall is always much higher than GG’s.

Now I’m not saying he doesn’t make an effort and isn’t investing. He’s just organised a weekend away, we had a lovely time and he’s organised another the end of this month.

He’s asked me to be a plus 1 for a wedding in October. OCTOBER! So there’s the future element of building going on, but it feels superficial. It’s surface level. Do you agree? Or have I started my usual of overthinking?

I need to be honest here too, because the doubt has crept in for two reasons;

1) 6 months is usually make or break time for me. It’s like I have an internal body clock telling me, here you go, 6 months in, decide if it’s worth your time/effort to continue things forward. But then I think, hang on, that’s your pattern and the whole point of the last 18 months was about recognising patterns and changing them. So then I think, no decisions need to be made now but then I think again and I don’t want to waste another couple of months if it leads me to the same conclusion.

2) After 3 months going cold turkey, managing to avoid any contact with Mr Big, we’ve done nothing but see each other or talk to each other (professionally of course) over the last two weeks.

And damn if my body doesn’t just vibrate around him. It’s like I’m on a completely different frequency with him to anybody else. Not even football dad had that effect on me when I was at the height of my crush. The babes comment? Pah!! Nothing on what I feel when Mr Big is in my midst.

And whilst I know Mr Big and I have no future unless it is to bounce each other off the bed every once in a while, I do wonder…can I find that buzz with someone else? If I can, I should probably do the kind thing and bring the pleasure that has been GG to an end. Would I even feel that buzz if things were right with GG and I? I should feel that buzz with GG, right? And if I can’t find that buzz with someone else, is that settling or is that normal? By not actively pursuing the ‘buzz’ I feel like I may just end up in something boring and unfulfilling, but I’ve only ever followed the buzz and it’s never got me anywhere. I said buzz a lot. There, I said it again. I’ll stop now.

And I know not all days, hours, minutes are constant excitement, but I’m scared that I’ll end up 13 years into another relationship being unhappy. It’s harder to start over in your when approaching 50 than it is when you are approaching 30.

So, to quote Shakespeare, ya know, if Shakespeare was a 30-something-female living in the post-Covid dating world in 2021….

‘To settle or not to settle? That is the question’