Somehow along the line, Cupid has missed me out. Well, not ever, but certainly in the last decade. I have fallen off the romance radar and my forties have been bleak desert when it comes to love and even lust. All I can say is – I feel wasted! Not with party drugs or red wine, but the value of me, through a close and loving relationship, is not being acknowledged or used. Wasted, wasting away and feeling very blue about this.
It hasn’t always been the case. I started out fine – array of boyfriends mixed with education and kicking off my career. And then the Big One, I met a Lovely Man and we married. A bit more work and then two children by 31, all good so far. Then refocused on career and the Fantastic Children enter into schooling, I looked around and the Lovely Man was no longer so lovely and in fact was gone (off into the distance with a tattooed woman as it happens).
That’s nearly 10 years ago and since then I have had a few dalliances with romance but all with one of two striking themes. Either men who have wanted it all and wanted it quickly or those that hold a woman off as if she might actually impact on their life. The Velcro male equipped with wedding date and shiny ring, all within 4 weeks – very scary. Or the man, who professes to look younger than he is, loves excitement (usually abseiling, rock climbing or kayaking) and really wants a relationship in name only and puts the most effort into avoiding commitment or closeness. Both varieties of the species should be avoided at all costs – unless of course you are their equal match, and there in lie the role of Cupid. All sorts of people find compatibility and love again.
It seems to me that most people do meet their match and find love again after failed first relationships. I feel though, that I haven’t passed the second marriage muster, and have been left standing alone in the corral and waiting the third muster with the really ropey members of the herd. Most of the time I work with this and find pleasure in entertaining romantic daydreams, but recently I have come to realise that I have been left behind. I am a dedicated Mum and worker, I look reasonable, low wear and tear, no bad habits, and I trusted that Cupid would win out and find me that special Lovely Man number two, but it seems not.
This has been brought home to me in my friends’ reactions. Good people, with good lives, and always married, whether it is first or second time. I am really the odd one out, the one who never got through the second muster. Initially they have been wonderful supportive friends and held tissue boxes while I cried for the first time, and at the second relationship failure and even the third. But I guess it must be exhausting, no matter how much you like your friend, to watch them go around the romance water wheel – waiting to see if she is still breathing when the wheel emerges out of the water again. I sense that my friends hold me at arms length due to my failure find a partner, and that it might be feared that I carry some sort of contagion. It might be paranoia but just a few days ago when I expressed interest in a new colleague and asked for a male friend and colleague to help find out whether this man was single, married or otherwise, my friend said he wouldn’t. He looked away and said it was too complex for him to get involved in. Stunned and abandoned – that was me – having to face that even my closest friends have written off my ability to have positive romantic potential and do not want to be involved.
And that makes me wonder if they are true friends? Can people choose not to support a person in this most intimate area of friendship, helping them to find that match, and still be close friends? I am not sure. What I do know is that maybe I need to meet people to be friends who are in similar situations to mine and who understand the motivations and needs of a forty something single woman. Sadly where I live it may be just as hard to find another like-minded person living in a single state as it is to find the Lovely Man. I guess the alternative is to give in to my inner mad old cat lady, and become even more eccentric and disregard the general view that only couples can be truly happy.
My friends are dear to me, but maybe I have expected too much of them. So, I am going to let them off the hook of Cupid’s bow and enjoy my friendships for what they are worth.
I wonder whether a dog may be easier than all this! Man’s best friend and all that.