I’m Looking For The One But…

This is the conundrum of the singleton looking for a partner; not those who are comfortably solo. It was certainly my dilemma. For the longest time, I would take every suitor at face value. If you pursued me, with enough vigour, then clearly you were a potential lifetime mate. Right? Wrong!

 

For those of you who’ve been following me, you will know that my biggest message is to be at peace with wherever you are in life. But since we’re social beings and look for companionship, here are 3 simple tips that will hopefully help you navigate the minefield of dating. This is strictly for those looking for long-term commitment; those wanting to have fun, well, you don’t have a problem.

(1) There’s no rush

We’ve lost the art of connecting. Take time to get to know someone, without any expectations. Have a genuine interest in their lives, families, their aspirations and hopes and dreams. Have long conversations with no agenda. Even if it doesn’t work out romantically, you will have gained a friend and possibly a network of new friends. A small disclaimer, this is usually best before you take your clothes off.

(2) Make your intentions clear

Not necessarily at your first encounter. There’s no need to say on date one, “Hi, I’m Ann and I’m looking for marriage, a white picket fence, a girl, a boy and a cat or dog”. This can come a little later, once you’ve established that this is someone with potential.  More importantly, your intentions are made clear by not tolerating unacceptable behaviour from the beginning. You meet at a bar and he hits on your girlfriend first. She has her eye on someone else, and so he zones in on you. If you have no intention of being a second option, don’t even entertain it. But if you go ahead, you’ve second guessed yourself. A sure way to lead to issues later.

(3) Go with your gut

If you have any unsettling feelings, this is the Universe sounding an alarm. I’m going to be tough here. Checking someone’s phone or email or stalking them on social media is a sign that you do not respect yourself. It has less to do with the other person. I don’t care if you overheard a conversation with the “PA” that sounds too familiar and you want to do further investigation. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then it is uncomfortable. Run!

 

‘The one’ will usually appear when you’ve let go of any preconceived notions about relationships. You need to relax, confident in the fact that you are all that you need. And the rest? Well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

 

Bonus

 

These are some tips for those already ‘in the game’ and struggling to read the signs. You know you’re the ‘other’ person or not the only one when:

  • You always receive calls from the car… this is a very busy so-and-so. Literally and figuratively.
  • Visits are always at your place… you never know where they live and have never been invited. Linked to this; they never sleep over. They’re masters at excuses on this one.
  • It’s been 6 months and you’ve never met any friends or family.
  • You often get invited on out-of-town trips. They’re fantastic, but if you never see them on weekends and public holidays, in public, in the city of your residence, that’s a red flag.
  • Your physical relationship is the glue that keeps you together. You’ll most probably never know their blood type, but you will know their underwear size.
  • And, finally, if you’re experiencing most or all the above and regularly get ‘spoilt rotten’, that my friend, is guilt. Otherwise known as an adult pacifier.

 

Woman, Prioritise Yourself!

The ancestral influence on one’s life journey is significant. It moves beyond the physical and genetic to the more complicated psychosomatic recesses of one’s being. I have always known that my mother was a central influence. That’s innate, right? But as I near the age of her death, I am acutely aware of how her life has shaped mine.

 

There’s an unspoken expectation that a woman will “lay down her life” for her husband, family, friends, whoever is within her sphere of influence. Any woman who chooses to go against the grain, by putting her career first or God forbid, leaving her child with her partner or someone else who may do a better job, is vilified. How could she?

 

When I look back at my mother’s life, I see how she gave her life in sacrifice of all others. She paid the ultimate price: death at a young age. Cancer is described as a “lifestyle disease”. By inference, created by the poor choices we make. We “deserve” them. Stress is the main culprit as our modern lives pile on layers and layers of new things to stress about.

 

Don’t you find that once one issue has been resolved, another crops up, in its place, like it was always there? Will I find a husband? Get married. Will we have children? Have one. Will we have another? Have another. Have two boys. Don’t you want a girl? Will they be happy/smart/grounded/whatever? And so our stresses continue. Sometimes we don’t even recognise that they are stresses; we just learn to live with it. Poor Flo, she didn’t stand a chance.

 

As the eldest, I remember moments when she would lock herself in the bedroom, crying. Disconcerting to a child; you feel the pain and sorrow but since the adult never fully discloses, you never truly understand. Now I do. Cause I have those moments of sadness too. Sometimes you’re just frustrated, feel like a failure, a bad wife or mother. Sometimes you’re worried about work or finances, sometimes there’s physical pain. Sometimes you’re crying for past pain when your mother died. There’s no consolation for that. And we always need to do this within the confines of our private bedrooms because we must always be “strong”.

 

Now there’s a contradiction, if ever! We’re the fairer, more fragile sex. Can’t do this, can’t do that. Then we need to be strong, carry our families, just get on with it. Put your hand up if you’re as confused as I am. I’m not surprised my mother had her struggles. Unfortunately, she did not have appropriate coping strategies that could help her through.

 

If you’ve read The Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolyn Myss, you will understand the direct impact of our thoughts and attitudes on our physical bodies. The colon is referred to as the seat of emotion. What does your gut tell you? We’ve all heard that and often make decisions based on our feelings which are housed in our colon. Have butterflies in your stomach? It’s real and not imagined.

 

My mother died of colon cancer. The ravenous disease hit her in the cradle of her emotions. Gone within 11 months. She succumbed to emotional turmoil. A broken heart. How tragic. She would have celebrated her 76th birthday on 6 July; gone almost 30 years and the void will never be filled.

 

I love my husband, children, family, friends, colleagues and those around me. But not at my expense. I have to prioritise my health and sanity and be at peace. And I have to be brutal about it.  My exercise, the sauna, eating and drinking well, reading and taking time out for me. That allows me to press the pause button. And invariably benefits those around me.

 

Woman, prioritise yourself! Martyrdom is not a measure of your self-worth.