I think I need to write this blog to be able to make some sense of my random thoughts on this particular topic (as I said in my TYSIC blog, I need to do this more often and be open to constructive criticism/feedback). It is my way of improving my critical thinking.
I know why I am thinking about love more right now, it is because I am thinking of what I used to consider “my goals before I turn 30” and that is fast approaching; also I have been single for some time.
Firstly, I don’t think being single for the last 3 years is a problem, at all. I’ve had plenty of fun and dated a bit, met some interesting people. But more than that, having been in long term relationships from the age of 17, pretty much non-stop until I was 27 ish, some single time was much needed. I guess others will share a similar experience, but I believe from teenage years into your twenty something’s you change a lot as a person, you grow up and gain some sense of identity (I know some do this earlier or later, but for arguments sake...). Being in long term relationships has to have some effect on these years, as you grow up and develop as an individual, but a couple has to have some influence on each other. So my point is, having spent those important years (mostly happily) with a partner in tow, it has been great to find the real me (sorry, I hate that phrase too, but nothing else fits). I have not gone all hippy or anything, but I have tried things I used to do (some I forgot I did), and decided whether I actually like them, or perhaps I was playing along a bit (as you do) with the boyfriend of the time. And I now have a lovely mix match or random influences from which I have decided I like lots of different things, because I choose to.
The “my goals before I turn 30” bit was, as I now realise unrealistic and not necessary. I had the goals that many people have; have a career, own my own house, fall in love, maybe get married, have a baby. I know I said they were unrealistic, but perhaps that was not the right word. I do own a house and have a career which I mostly enjoy. It is the love, marriage and babies bit I have come to realise cannot be goals. My thoughts on marriage have changed a little, although I don’t object to it and may even one day do it, to me it is something that may or may not happen and it does not matter, so long as I am happy. The same for the having babies part. I used to believe I definitely wanted children, and although I think I still would quite like one, if it doesn’t happen and I am happy, I think I can accept that. (I have 14 nieces and nephews)
Now we come to the main part, falling in love. Of course I think it would be great to be in love, even with all of the angst and the getting to know you, scary parts. To have one person that truly understands me, who I can understand back and who I can share my life with would be awesome. But it cannot be a goal. It will happen or it won’t. I have accepted that hunting for love is (for me) not the right way to go about it. My concern is that in looking so hard for something, I will see something that just isn’t there. The only way I can think to accurately describe the way I feel about this is; imagine those people who really want to be famous, as a singer or a model. Some of them are lucky and make it they have the right attributes and are in the right place at the right time, they get their break. Then there are those unfortunate few, who really really want it, but it doesn’t happen. Yet they plod on entering countless competitions, sending of demos and photographs, it consumes their lives. Then one day with a moment of devastating clarity they realise it was all a pipe dream, it isn’t going to happen and their life seems wasted. I don’t want my desire for love to be like one of those poor deluded searching for fame people’s search for recognition. I don’t want to spend my time searching for something that won’t necessarily happen. I also do not want to fall into the trap of deluding myself, seeing love where it isn’t really there. Bluntly put, I don’t want to “make do” with the next nice guy who comes along. I may find the real thing, I may not.
From all of this contemplation I have decided, what I do want is to be happy. This means filling my life with experiences and people, making the most of every moment, and most of all not being focussed on love. If I am one of the lucky few who meets that person then great, but in the meantime I plan to live life not waste it in the search.
I know lots of people may think that even the search for love is great experience in itself. I don’t argue with that, but for it to be a main focus feels wrong to me. If I am going to have a chance of meeting someone I figure it will be when I am doing the things I enjoy doing, then there is a chance we will have at least something in common, a beginning maybe. I am lucky I did meet my exes in such a way (a rock club, at university and one of my best friends). There has to be some maths in all this, the odds are that I will meet someone with similar interests when doing something I am interested in, not in some artificial dating scenario. I am also aware that in some cases opposites attract, and two people in a couple are very different, have different hobbies etc. But I have decided I like doing what I do in my spare time, and although I am always open to new experiences, I want to keep doing the things I do and have someone else share in my enjoyment of them.
In a way I consider myself lucky, the beginning part of a relationship is very exciting, an adventure. And although I may have many beginnings and not quite find the security of “the one” for some time, if at all, I will have fun along the way and not be too preoccupied by my lack of love.