I have been inundated of late with information on “How To Choose A Partner.” My friends and family have decided it is time for me to find a partner to avoid me becoming a burden to my children, my family and my friends. Let me just make it clear from the outset that this post is not going to give you the answer you want. BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CHOOSE A PARTNER and I’m fairly convinced that at my age, choosing a partner is not an option.
I have dipped my (ageing) toe into the shallow gene pool of online dating and have already dismissed that as being not for me. I am clearly not making it a priority, which you have to do if you want to make a go of it. You have to be prepared to scour the information about each and every person and not be horribly dismissive about their photos and their jokes. So for me, this will have to go on the back burner until I am really at a loss as to what else to do.
In the meantime, I succumbed to a casual series of questions and advice about how I might be failing to choose a partner, that clearly didn’t consider the fact that at my age their simply aren’t lots of available men wandering about looking for someone like me. The focus was on how we choose the people we fall in love with. That we are drawn to those who will answer our emotional needs and offer us a strength we don’t have ourselves. I was told I must be more instinctive and try not to analyse so much so that I can simply go with my feelings and recognise that when your heart speaks you must take careful notes. I was informed that I mustn’t let my childhood hangups cloud my perspective. That perhaps I am seeking familiarity rather than happiness, looking to re-create feelings that I knew so well in my childhood. I was told I mustn’t reject certain candidates out of hand simply because I am unconsciously looking for the wrong things in a man.
But my point is, how can I be looking for the wrong things in a man when there aren’t any men to dismiss? THERE SIMPLY AREN’T ANY CANDIDATES. It’s all very well telling me to be aware of what I find attractive and what I find repulsive, but I’m not really in a place where there is a choice to acknowledge those feelings either way. I’m too old to meet anyone random in a pub or a club these days. I go to pubs with my friends. I don’t go to clubs anymore unless I’m with my children and I’m there to enjoy being with the people I came with. Which is just as well because everyone else is twelve. The thing is, that the random attraction of a stranger in a bar is to do with youth. To do with finding someone you have chemistry with who you might then want to have babies with. I don’t want to have babies. Obviously. Nor do I want to take up some random hobby simply to meet a man.
A friend suggested I take up cycling the other day. Can you imagine. I would have to don lycra and terrify myself simply to meet other people wearing lycra who are clearly going through a major mid-life crisis. I would prefer to just wait on the sidelines until they’ve realised that they look awful in lycra and it was just a phase.
So, for now, I will continue learning how to be happy in my own skin, not leaping out of it and turning into someone else every time I think I might be miserable on my own. I’m not lonely, my house is full of children and this time of being single has been good for me and to be honest, I have no problem with admitting that my children are my priority and my main focus.
But look how happy I am surrounded by you all….
You’ve got me around for the foreseeable future. Not ideal, but the way things are going at the moment, fairly important. I really don’t think I’d be an attractive partner to anyone at the moment and when you focus on the children and you work and do all the stuff that is involved with looking after children, there is not a lot of time left for romance. Which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned and so I’m keeping busy and am happy with that decision.
My kids will tell me when the time has come for me to stop hanging around with them. Then I will do something about it. So unless someone falls into the trap I have left in my front garden, there is not a lot that is going to change around here any time soon.