Love letters

Dating in the dark

What are your aspirations in a boyfriend? 

That was the question posed to me last night by my favourite Tinder guy. What a great question! Tick.

For the past decade, my answer has always been the same. A serious, loving, committed, long-term partnership. Marriage? Yes. Buy property together? Yes. Have more children? Yes, I’m open to the idea.

I was so clear about what I wanted. I was a single mum for 10 years and I yearned for a partnership while my son was growing up, no question.

But when I was asked last night, I realised something has changed. Somewhere between a broken engagement two years ago, two bad online dating experiences, and my son nearing 18, I’ve changed.

“Um, I’m looking for someone to, um, do stuff with, like go to movies and dinner, be intimate with, travel … just basically have a nice life,” was the best answer I could come up with.

You see, I don’t want to have any more children now. I’m 41 and that ship has sailed. I have my own home now (well the bank does, but you know what I mean). I’ve put my son through private school and nurtured him into a wonderful adult. He’s a man now, not a boy. I’m going to Italy soon, which is a dream come true.

Basically I’ve achieved all the life goals I set for myself. And to be honest, I never actually imagined my life beyond this point. Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like?

It also occurred to me recently that lasting love simply may not happen for me. There are so many variables that factor into a relationship working – timing, location, future plans, compatibility, self development, blah blah blah. Finding true love has never felt more elusive. So I thought I’d better get comfortable with the concept of being alone for the rest of my life. And so I did.

But now I seem to have morphed into the kind of boyfriend I used to hate. You know the ones who are all like, “relax babe, I just want to have some fun and see where this goes”. Ugh. Have I become that guy?

For the first time in my life I don’t have a master plan. I don’t know how I want to spend the second half of my life. My Tinder guy has such a clear vision for himself. He wants to live in a beautiful house in the forest, with a studio and an easel, and paint in the nude. Yes, very specifically in the nude. And, quite frankly, his vision is superior to mine at this point. At least he has one! I’m completely in the dark.

Do I want to live in the city or the country? I don’t know. Get married again? Possibly. Live and work overseas? Maybe. Write a book? I think so. Travel more? Definitely. I’ll have to contemplate my vision for the future while I explore Italy. Now that is a plan.

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