We are all aware of the pressure to look and feel good – which usually means younger – and the thought of getting yourself out on the Open Market after a generous dose of heartbreak is bloody awful. You tell yourself that no one is ever going to want you again. You’re past being exciting and attractive. You’ve maybe got children. You’re not required in a biological sense any more. Why can’t you just have your old relationship back? it was familiar even if it wasn’t functional. There’s an awful lot of comfort in familiarity. The right shape. Your body knows it. Safe but broken; like slippers with a big hole in.
But for me, I can’t have the familiar back. It’s too easy and I’ll never move on. You can’t keep falling back into the arms of a person who asked you to leave. Those arms are not your harbour. Those arms once pushed. They chose not to have you. It can take a long time to live by the words you know are the truth, but when you do and you move on a step or two – my goodness, it’s OK. It’s really OK.
This is what has just happened – My sister is having a New Year’s Eve party in Brixton. She has invited me. She has also invited a single mate; a dad, fairly recently out of his long relationship, a guy she thinks the world of. She told both of us. We FB checked each other out. We both thought ‘hmmmm’ in a good way. I talked to her about him over a whole bottle of wine. SOMEHOW, SOMEHOW that night my iPad friend requested him. Now, I realise that you need a human’s finger to facilitate that, but I’m not accepting responsibility and neither is my sister. So, I sent him a hello and he sent me a hello back. Then, 675 messages later, I picked him up from the train station for a gig and he joined another sister, a mate and my brother-in-law for a very fun evening ending in a 4am two-guitar blues session in my kitchen (yeah, sorry about that neighbours).
So, we pre-met before the NY Eve party. I’m looking forward to meeting up again. It was exciting. I kissed him on the cheek at the station before we had said a single word to each other. It felt a bit wild and a bit exciting but it was also so safe. Here is a guy who is already known so well by my own sister. He has already passed through so many of the screening processes that you would have to work out for yourself. He was a pre-processed date. The fast food of dating. I recommend it.
And although I am wary and frequently despondent about social media taking over real relationships, this was one occasion where it worked so well for me. The 675 messages of that week (I’m not joking) established a shared sense of humour and a feeling of support from someone in my opposite space. Someone who is kind and good and positive about their ex. Like he was the boy one of me. I sent him a BBC clip about a pie being sent to space and he made me a Spotify playlist called ‘Space Pie Returns’ (it’s a work of genius), we had discussions about everything from cemeteries to current trends with pubic hair. It was only ever going to be a good evening.
I’ll keep you posted.