So the most desperately annoying question I ever get asked after the obligatory ‘How are you?’ is ‘So Aj, how is the love life? Still single?’…
Always asking with some gleam in their eye like I will have a delicious story to tell. Yup still ‘just’ me. They look so disappointed for me, almost sad, and I feel the need to console them and put on a brave face. It’s only been 625 days single, its not that bad, I’m doing just fine. Really truly I’m ‘just’ fine, ‘just’ single. They gently take my hand or pat me on my shoulder, Oh when the time is right it will just happen, when you least expect it. There is a lid for every pot you know. Have you tried online dating? I hear that’s the go. Yup, you should try that.
OMGoodness it’s unbearable! I am actually fine. Truly. I have my moments, like we all do. But honestly, truly, right now I’m good.
I was married for 9 years, 9! Fucking 9 of them!! My youth was wasted languishing away in a suburban hell. Id rather never be in that type of cage again. Ever. From all that captivity I’m quite happy now having wings to fly. Life is in a good place. I feel quite ok. Life is exactly where it should be, I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this very moment. Aren’t I?! Crap. Everybody’s words start to get into my head, start to settle on my neurotic self, maybe I should try it all again, maybe I would be better not being ‘single’. Doubts and inadequacy. Is our value a mere reflection of what everybody else sees? Maybe I should ‘try’ to find somebody? Or at least have some good stories to tell of my escapades? Maybe. Fuck. I don’t know. I suppose, what harm can it do? Crap. Fine then. If nothing more than to shut every body else up. But truly I suddenly feel like I’m not whole. Damn it. Better get ‘dating’ ticked off the list.
Ok so following are just a few of my unbearable life experiences with online dating I’ve decided to just notch them all up at this stage to ‘character building’ life experiences.
I’ve mentioned already that I was married for 9 years. After our disgusting divorce (no need to delve into that at the moment) I decided that after being with one man for more than a decade I better get my self something else. It felt like I was a virgin with something to loose. Like I had to quickly just rip it off like a band aid. Get it over and done with. Sleep with some one other than my husband. Desperately terrifying I tell you. But I knew with my neurotic disposition I just had to get it out of the way. Otherwise I would never do it. And it would be 10 years later and Id be all cobwebbed up.
So what’s a girl to do, when you are married at 18 and never really ‘dated’ ? (still no idea what ‘dating’ actually entails). Every guy I know or knew was attached or gay, such is life! andevery one I knew didn’t know anybody suitable, Not really a big clubber or pubber, and really are those good places to meet someone? what to do? Anyway so my husband found all his lovers online, what’s good for the goose?
Everybody was of course telling me with the standard pity in their eyes that I must try it. And so began my first taste of the online dating scene. It was a brief love affair with highs and lows. It started out fun and harmless and ended up all too real. The trouble with the first experience, was that after being with one man (man is an over statement, boy or child is more appropriate) since I was 16, I was terribly naïve. No excuses. But it is what it is. I was also still very heart broken. Full of anger and pain. Ok, so, naïve and heart broken. Yeah, not really the best start to an online dating experience.
I muddled my way through. Muddled my way thorough questions of my cup size and men offering to send pictures of their ‘private’ parts. Muddled my way through men offering to meet up this minute, and men who just seemed to want to chat forever.
I felt as if I was blind, just groping my way through. Well perhaps a bad choice of words. I had no idea what I was doing, and no one to really ask for help.
All I knew, was that I was now on my own after 9 years of devotion to one man. A man that never wanted ‘just’ me. And now I was alone and that was quite simply not ok, as every one inquiring to my ‘just singleness’ highlighted. Needed to get that shit sorted. So I jumped, jumped in head first.
First one was a no show. I of course knew straight away it was because I was disgusting and he took one look at me and immediately ran in the other direction.
Second guy was honestly 10 years older than he said he was and showed up already tipsy, borderline drunk. So. Not. Cool. My polite upbringing meant I stayed for about an hour until I had the courage to thank him and excuse myself. As I stood he grabbed at my arm, and said with a slight slur, So love, this is not what your after? No thank you, have a lovely evening. I high tailed it out of there as fast as my shinny black heels could take me.
Third guy insisted we meet at a cinema. What the fuck was I thinking?? I shudder to think now. I should have known. Should have known that he was a total creepy prick when with the first phone conversation he asked If I would ever have sex without a condom, with him. Stupid, stupid girl. Anyway get there, he too is older than he said he was, much older. But nice looking. A cinema. A darkened place. A captive audience. Not conducive to chatting. Stupid, stupid girl. Seriously Aj!
Anyway, so brief chit chat, take our seats and the movie starts.
Hand on my thigh. Fuck dude I just met you. I was paralyzed. Completely terrified and frozen. Like a deer in head lights. I did not know what the fuck to do.
Hand slowly moving up the inside of my thigh. I had not given any signals like that had I? All sex talks I had skirted around, hadn’t I? My everything was sweating, my heart beating in my chest. In my head I was screaming at my self to do something before he reached the end of my thigh.
So somewhere, somehow I plucked up enough courage to pick up his fingers and peel them off my thigh, less than an inch from the end. Did I mention I had a dress on? Not a short one, but still, I did not have any of the protection jeans offer. (Note to self, wear jeans to first dates. Jeans with rabbit traps attached. ) I just smiled and said in as flirty a voice as I could manage, Not yet buddy. On with the movie. I just sat there for what seemed like hours, sweating, my heart beating, no idea what the hell to do. Thankfully my little purse was still on my lap, I leaned into his ear and whispered, I’m just popping to the loo. I quietly, calmly and ever so slowly got up from my seat and walked out of the cinema. Cinema door closed behind me. Check, nope he did not follow. I did not waste another second, I ran out of that building as fast as I could possibly go, my heart beating and my head racing. I jumped in my car and sped home, I cried all the way. Got home and cried my self to sleep. What a silly girl. That man would call me several times every night for the next few days and on a few different numbers, just to throw me.
Ok how we doing so far? One, two, three, Oh & four …
Ok so guy number four, he thankfully was ok. I got from him exactly what I needed. He was the age he said he was. He was European, lovely dark eyes and skin. Lovely. We met in a safe crowded place. We had a drink chatted. Another drink, kissed. Going well. So just to be clear, my goal really was to have sex with some one other than my husband. Just so we are on the same page. I did not, at this stage want anything else. Cinema guy just creeped the fuck out of me. So no need to go into the details but with guy 4 my mission was accomplished. He was good fun, but very honestly and clearly wanted just ‘fun’, fine by me. So he was more than once, more than a few times, he was good for my ego. The fling with guy four naturally died its own death, I was getting bored of him, he was a very selfish lover, and I suspect he was getting bored with me. The thrill of something new for him to play with had worn off. No hard feelings there. Good fun but now done. & I was alone again. Crap.
Ok then we have nice face guy, guy number five. I decided after cinema guy I should probably talk a bit longer before the ‘meeting’, just to try to weed out the complete creeps. I devised a series of questions. That seemed to work in getting rid of a few freaks. & I found someone interesting to talk to. We talked for a while. He was kind and interesting. His picture seemed lovely. He really was a nice guy. So a coffee date in the middle of the day. He was waiting for me, had ordered me a pot of tea, he had remembered I liked tea, in tea pots. Nice touch. Just one small glitch …
As a still image, he was nice looking. But an image can not illustrate a vibe, can not demonstrate some ones mannerisms, or facial twitches. He didn’t have a twitch, I’m just saying a photo is only two dimensions, and there is so much more to a person that just two dimensions. Nice face guy had a dreadfully horsey laugh and ugly mannerisms, he just didn’t have a good vibe, there was not click, no connection. I just couldn’t do it. I was just not the least bit attracted to him. At all. He was a nice guy. I felt dreadful. I was polite. Ended before it began with nice face guy.
The last guy, guy 5? Yes, we shall call him stalker guy. So stalker guy was the tipping point. He was the straw. The straw that broke the camels back.
After him, that was it, I deleted all online ties and vowed never again. That was almost three years ago.
First and second meetings were ok. He was a little self absorbed, but I didn’t care, I didn’t want to marry the guy, just fuck him. To be able to tell my husband, see I can do it too, not that he ever asked. After cinema guy though, id decided the only way to deal with all this shit was to be a little intoxicated (which is of course the dumbest fucked up thing I’ve ever thought) Anyway he was good at what he did, truth be told. Good. Cracks stared to appear, a tad rough (which at times I quite like) so I was going with it. Lot’s of messages, lot’s of phone calls. At first I thought that was nice, it made me feel wanted. Cracks stared to deepen. Started to get angry if I didn’t respond immediately. Um ok.
That last night, a little rough turned into pain, turned into naked me pined to my bed all night with his arm against my collar bone and painfully pulling at my chest. The sex was mind blowing, I think maybe because I was scared, all my senses were alive and awake like prickly stars. After he was done though, I was trapped there, with his heavy sweaty arm across my collar bone. Trapped in my own bed between him and the wall. Trapped in my own house. I just wanted him to leave, I told him he could go home, I’m not going anywhere tonight baby. We didn’t move an inch all night. I just lay there my heart screaming, falling restlessly in and out of sleep, my body silent and still. Waking and sleeping like I was falling off a cliff and then suddenly being bought back to wake. Too much movement from me and even in sleep he would tighten his grip.
He woke in the morning, got up helped him self to my shower and good towels, he kissed me and left. Ill be back later baby. The next two nights I didn’t sleep at home. I told him I was busy, he started to get angry. The calls and messages increased. The third night I had a friend over, he text again, can I come over baby? No, sorry I’m out again tonight. No reply for a long while. And then, Baby I know your home, you have company, it’s a guy isn’t it? You have a guy there you slut. I turned off my phone. Later in the night when I turned it back on, it was full of messages and missed calls.
I spent the next few nights away from home. I sent him a text clearly telling him I didn’t want to see him anymore. Ever. He would, for the next few months continue to call me and text me. He called often late at night on different numbers. These fuckers think they are so smart. Any way one night I told him I had called the police and they had been recording all my calls. Never heard from him again.
So that’s where the story ended with my online dating journey. There were of course a few other moments in there, they were just the highlights. Needless to say stalker guy cured me completely of my curiosity. He also completely confirmed in my head that ALL mean really are dreadful human beings. All of them. Complete fuck heads. They either want to fuck you or hurt you. And fucking would eventually lead to hurting. Men can only ever be handled by fight or flight. End of story. There is no in between.
I started to consciously solidify my heart. To seek out my bitch. To look for inspiration in other women that were strong and did not put up with crap.
My former husband was of course making my life hell, Oh you’ve no idea. But that’s another story. My point is simply this: I started to learn right or wrong that I needed to grow a pair. That I needed to learn to fuck them all, not literally. I mean Heels on!!, Fuck you, You fuckers!!, you will never hurt me again. You know that saying, ‘Shut up, my heels are bigger then your dick!’ I started to do all I could to personify that ideal. Build those walls. Solidify the blackness of my heart, toughen the fuck up. Grow a fucking pair Aj!!
I felt stronger, slowly, drawing strength from my black pain. Harder, deeper into my anger than I had ever been. The black of my heart started to flow into my being. I treated men with disdain and cold curt words, all of them. I deflected any kindness and cynically deduced kindness meant they were just trying to manipulate me. Fuck you all. I embodied a ‘bitch’ with men. Using my new found bitch with the one person that it mattered, was near impossible. With my (former) husband, it would take much longer to build a wall between him and the strings he still had on my heart, the strings that like a puppet he played me with.
After stalker guy, I realized that I needed to resolve a few things, Oh you think Aj? Yeah, no shit.
It was all about trying to punish my (former) husband, Ill show you! But all I was doing was hurting me. He didn’t even notice. Of course he didn’t.
So I decided on a man detox. Until such time as I was not angry at ALL of them, or not scared of all of them. Believing they are all monsters only brings the monsters your way. Still, at the time completely and genuinely afraid of my (former) husband. Any contact with him, rendering me completely wasted. Terrified, full of anxiety and pain. Like literal physical reactions to how horrible he was. So that was it, whenever possible I avoided men altogether.
The first and most obvious thing I needed to work on was taking my power back with my husband (former) all of that nonsense is really another story. Years later, I’m very comfortable with how that relationship is tracking. Like I said another story, but I’ve reconciled the pain, as much as possible taken back my power and cut the puppet strings. I am free. For our children we manage it all well (mostly) That has taken years.
Second thing (probably the most important thing) I identified was/is an issue is to believe I’m worthy. That I deserve all good. To unlearn all my negative self talk. I’ve talked about that at length, still a work in progress, but getting better. I choose to believe I am whole on my own, I am ok without a significant other, I’m just fine without a ring on my finger, I can buy myself my own fucking diamond ring. I did, I love it. I choose to believe I am worthy of being ‘just’ me, embracing it, in fact, loving it.
Being one with this experience, choosing to believe I am here, in this moment to learn something, choosing to be open to me and this life and all that I am supposed to learn right now. Thankful and worthy.
But, just one but, company sometimes, company of male variety would be nice. I’m ok with out it, I will live, quite well actually, but it would be nice.
And the last thing is that I have to stop being a man hater. Stop giving off such a dreadful vibe. No wonder they don’t come near me when I’m unconsciously telling them all I hate them. Truth be told when I look back and reevaluate, there were guys about the place that did show some signs of interest and I just completely deflected it. Lovely men on the train trying to catch my gaze, fuck, anxiety welling, look at the floor, look at the floor, don’t meet his gaze, get the fuck out of here, ASAP! Poor guy. Men that crossed my path attempting to flirt, I have no fucking idea how to flirt. Just go away, I’ve no idea what to do with you, do you want to fuck me is that it? Is that all?? Poor guy.
I decided to believe they are not the enemy. This is really just a very recent revelation. Like we are talking months. But there it is. They can not possibly all be arseholes, I mean statistically speaking, that’s just such a silly notion. There are as many horrible women as there are lovely courageous ones. I deduced from my findings that there has to be some nice men out there. And company from a nice one would be lovely sometimes. On occasion, just like everybody I do feel lonely.
But my life is not really conducive to meeting new men. I work full time in our city, am out of my house mostly 11-12 hours a day, I have a big chaotic family, I have two children I have shared care with (oh yes that’s another fucking story) Plus a partridge in a pair tree. I’ve had the occasional friend try to match me up, but none that I’ve been the least bit interested in, at all. Thank you though.
So again with every body else in my head, I decided to venture down the dreaded ‘online’ road again. It has been years, maybe its better now? I also figured I do actually need some help, I need to seek out women who are good at that stuff and ask for their hints and tips, I surely cant be trusted, I’ve no fucking idea how to negotiate these waters.
So armed with a much stronger sense of self, a panel of female ‘experts’, some character building experiences, and being driven from a much more authentic place I decided to try it all again. I mean, if it’s the thing to do and everybody looking is there, then how else will you ‘find’ anybody? It’s just about being out there. Not chasing, not trying to catch, just about being there and seeing what happens to cross my path. Nothing more.
So we start with Google. Best free internet dating site Mr Google, please and thank you. Ok so we have a few. I am positively not paying a cent for this, at all, ever. So on with creating the profile, bloody hell that’s so horrible, it feels so contrite, what to write, what to write. Answer all the stupid personality profile questions. (questions of course guaranteed to find your perfect match, a perfect algorithm indeed) What pictures to put up?? Don’t want anything too Instagram filtered, nothing that makes me look better than I am, nothing too sexual, must have a full body shot, because I’m curvy (aka:fat!), Ugh. What to write!! Devised some mildly witty but honest profile blog. Ok and go. Online, live. Fuck.
Expert panel assembled. Ok they check the list of the ones who have messaged me. I will not, have not ever instigated contact. Mainly because I’m old fashioned and think the guy should do that, no wait that’s a lie, mainly because I can not handle rejection. Any way, back to the list.
First pick was a dead end. There is literally hundreds of them, felt like we were trawling. Do not have the patience for this tedious shit. Ugh, on we go. Ok one of my experts pick a guy that had sent me a few messages, I had ignored him, much too good looking for me. She said stop it now don’t be silly. Ok fine. Exchanged numbers all was well, meeting booked, fuck, but then it all went weird when he started asking me to text him pictures. Yes exactly. ‘Pictures’ Ok so that expert was fired.
More trawling, more wading. My previous experience had given me some very good triggers to look out for the freaks and tools to weed them out. For example: This one works a treat every time! Opening message from guy: Hey sexy, you’re hot, what you interested in? Me: I want to get married live happily ever after and have lots of babies. Guy: Keep dreaming, and he never messaged again. Gold!
Some of my other online dating rules: (I did actually have this list on one of my profiles, evil laugh)
- If you do not have a picture, then don’t even bother, its only fair you know what I look like.
- If you have a picture of your self half naked then don’t bother. While your buff arms and chest may be lovely to look at, it says a lot about who you are and I don’t think we would be a good match, in any capacity. Good luck though. Having a profile image of your car or pets is lovely. If I wanted to buy a car. Again choosing to represent your self this way says a lot about you and I don’t think we are a good fit, but good luck.
- When you first message me please don’t call me babe or hun or hottie or anything else dreadful, I don’t know you, I’m neither your ‘babe’ or your ‘hun’. Once we are acquainted I may let you call me schnookums. (ones with a good sense of humor will get this and laugh, I will never let anybody call me that!)
- Lying or embellishing the truth is an interesting thing, we all do it form time to time. But in a gesture of good will I have been honest. If you haven’t it will become evident in time, so please don’t bother.
- If you are older than you say you are then also please don’t bother, unless you have had some amazing work done it will eventually be discovered.
So the parameters are set … Good luck in your journey.
So it helped weed some out, honestly It did, But still wading. I’m done! I declare (after a couple of weeks) It’s all so tedious. I don’t have time for this crap. Ugh. So expert no.2 says one day, I think you are too picky and much too romantic. You’re too idealistic, its not reality. Do you want company on a cold Saturday or do you want to be alone forever holding out for some epic love?
Her words settled on my being like sobering ash. Maybe she is right?? Crap. I am very idealistic. Much too romantic for my own good. Epic notions and dreams have always flown through my being. You just need to be cool Aj, just pair it back a bit. Epic ideals will not keep you warm if that’s all you are left with on a Saturday night …
I could not shake the notion that she is right. That I do just need to be less, well less of me, less of my chaos. I started to think she was so right. I let the notion of settling reconcile in my mind. Ok. Company or alone? What do I really want? Well I don’t want to be alone? I have no idea what I want.
So as I continued to wade, to troll through the men, I entertained the idea of the ones that didn’t make me zing, you know zing? The ones that were kind, and stable, they ones that were polite, that had houses and full time jobs and weekend footy … and slippers and beers in their hands …
And all at once my being was full of my marriage and suburbia and the life I never ever wanted. I have always wanted to fly. Forever. My husband and I did not have that kind of whole connection. I was just trapped and alone in a marital suburban casing.
But I don’t really want to be alone all the time. I chatted to them, I imagined a life with them, with their slippers and beer … I could do that couldn’t I? I have never wanted a pedestrian existence. But it was safe and stable and kind… (and boring and unimaginative, and numb} … Reconciling the idea of settling …
I didn’t know how to move forward form here … So I just started with this thought: I am worthy, I deserve all good, I deserve to have company from people who are kind and people I admire, men just like women can be kind and honest.
Because I choose to love me I welcome into my life new people and experiences that are my beautiful reflection. People that inspire me, people that nurture me. I will accept nothing but being treated well, and I will return the favor and more. I am open to all light and love and the beautiful experiences that life has to teach me
From this single thought, this single seed started to grow all manner of amazing things. Amazing little connections throughout my day. Like little sprinkles of glitter, a smile here, an eye catching gaze there a random lovely conversation here. Life started to flow my way and confirm my affirmation. I am really not disgusting and unworthy of positive attention, the trick is that I just had to believe it. I practiced just little things, like making eye contact and not fleeing. A little giggle and a light touch to the arm. Just practice. Fun and glorious. I’m not a failure, just need to undo all the negative, its just practice, honestly I promise. Not yet resolved, but getting there. It’s all just about feeling worthy. Nothing more.
About believing that I am worthy and open and receptive to ALL good.
These beautiful little glittering stars bought me my perfect poet just waiting at a bus stop. I’ve written at length about him. So I wont go on too much. But just to say that after him, I know I can never settle. Never Ever. I know there are people in this world that you can have a truly honest amazing connection with, there positively is. Anything less is just sawdust. Anything less will render me again, but a bird in a cage. I don’t ever want to go back there. You can fly in the soul of another when you find a true reflection. You can be free in the love of another when its authenticity is pure. Hold out for it. Accept nothing less. Id rather be alone. Truly. I am honestly ok as I am. For the first time in my life I know that with absolute certainty. And I feel alive and blessed and free.
My dear poets words have given me strength and courage to just be me, to seek nothing but authenticity. I know I’m ok. I am not ‘single’ I am not defined by my relationship status. I am me. Beautiful and alive and free.
I am open to whatever crosses my path, praying that I will learn all that I am supposed to, to be all that I am supposed to be. I still have one online dating profile, but no expectations, I don’t look on it unless I receive a message, and if I don’t like it I just ignore it knowing they are not for me. I’m practicing building ‘friendships’ with people form the opposite sex, knowing not all of them want to hurt or fuck me or both. I practice being honest and just me. Trying to practice eye contact and smiling, just simple things.
How beautiful is this life. Full of amazing things when we choose to see them. Still traveling along this road, we shall see…