Love is a losing game

‘Love is a losing game;
One I wish I’d never played.’

My god how Amy was right.

I’ve been single coming up three years. When I became single, that’s all I wanted. To be on my own. To be independent, to be fully comfortable with myself and have a firm set of values and beliefs.
Time passed. I healed. I began to listen to what my intuition was telling me. I learned why I made the choices I did, didn’t do the things I would have done for others, for myself. I worked on the things I wanted to improve in my life. I still am.
Things were great and I was content with life.
And then I started thinking… I reckon I’m ready.
I reckon I’m ready to really put myself out there, put the hard yards in and try and find the person for me.

Well, in this modern day and age, ‘put yourself out there’ (when you live as isolated as I do) means ‘online dating,’ and ‘online dating’ is code for a cess pool of time-wasting men (or people), many of whom don’t give a fuck about anyone except themselves.

So, without delay, let’s delve into the world of my ever-failing love life.

First, there was the Plumber who came in STRONG.
So strong that one day, after only three dates, he came around to my house while he knew I was out… AND DID ALL OF MY YARD WORK.
AND TOOK THE GREENWASTE AWAY WITH HIM, so as not to leave a trace.
He then preceeded to lie about having done it, but did let slip “I was so worried the entire time that you’d come home and be like “WTF are you doing!?” ”
Well… YES. That’s exactly what I was thinking, so, Pal… if you were thinking it… why were you doing it in the first place?!!!
Such a helpful, yet gross invasion of privacy!
There was no connection, but I endured. It’ll develop, I thought.
After, once again, showing up at my house unannouced, he invited me to go diving at the beach with him. I apologised and said I couldn’t as I had some work to do, needed a bit more notice, but would like to another time.
Two days later I recieved a message saying “It’s not going anywhere and I’ll see you around.”
Here, folks, was the first time I encountered the come in hot, abrupt ice cold exit strategy.
It wouldn’t be the last.

I then dated a Geologist. He was nice. He was kind. He was tall.
What he wasn’t, however, was engaging. Or overly interesting.
We had two dates,  one of which I was very unwell on. Needless to say, my patience ran out very quickly and his big-boy charm became big-time irritating.
I apologised to him and told him I wasn’t interested, and I wished him well, thinking it was the end.
He then continued to send me snapchats for up to eight months after the fact.
What do you do in this instance? Reply? Not…? I don’t know how to navigate this social norm.

Next, was the Doctor. Oh, the Doctor.
Interesting. Check.
Smart. Check.
Sense of humour. Check.
Vegetarian. Check.
Concerns for the environment. Check.
Cares about people. Check.
Connection. Check.
Love. I was sure it was going to turn into love.

Oh, how I was wrong.
Not only did he completely forget that we had arranged to have a date one night, he had forgotten because he was too busy playing the new handheld PSP he had just purchased. How do I know?
I phoned him several times only for it to ring, then go to Voicemail. When he finally checked his phone and realised, (tail between legs) he said he was so sorry, his “phone had gone flat.”
Funny; when I phone my friends and their phone is flat it goes straight to Voicemail. Flat my arse.
When I arrived, the PSP had been carelessly strwen on the ‘bed’ (matress on the floor).
Lies. Check.
Lack of basic level of bedding for a thirty year old. Check.
Exit Strategy…  Check.
He moved. Islands. To Dunedin.

‘It wasn’t love, it wasn’t love.’

There was the date with ‘the Builder’ who was so intimidated by me that he showed up to the venue already drunk. And smelling of stale cigarettes. That, teamed with his clear mysogyny was enough the curtail anything there. Goodbye.
And another Plumber who asked how tall I was… (164cm) and promptly ghosted me.
Clearly I wasn’t petite enough [for his small stature and tiny ego].

After the Doctor I went on one date with a Paramedic and one with a Builder.
I paid for drinks on both dates because, feminism. Generosity. Kindness. You pick.
Well, ladies… both ‘ghosted’ me immediately after. Turns out being self sufficent or independent isn’t attractive!
Oh gosh darn. What a shame.

It was then that I reaslised that dating was exhasuting. Being rejected constantly does take a bit of a toll on ones self. I needed to rebuild my mental health, spend a bit of time recharging. I took a break. It was a good break. It was a long break. It was a needed break.

Did I mention dating was exhuasting, per chance?
I did? Oh, good. Because as it turns out, after a very reasonable break, I seemed to have forgotten this very, very important fact.

Next, the Journalist.
There were so many good things about him. He was interesting. We shared values and he was socially progressive like noone I had met before.
Yet every time someone asked me about him I replied with something along the lines of “aahhh yeahh…. I dunno…. he’s nice.”
Here, after such a long break spent on my own (mostly working and reading books) I applied the same line of thinking as the Plumber… Maybe if I keep going on dates with him it’ll happen… something will happen… surely? Anything? Maybe…?
No. The answer was no.
Whilst there was some good chat, there was no chemistry and a few awkward moments which ultimately ended up with him attempting to clean up dog shit he’d trampled into my carpet one day.
Are you surprised, fair reader, to hear that after this… once again… after two months of dating…
No, neither am I. I mean… why would you talk about your feelings or care about anyone elses’ when it’s just SO easy to not do ANYTHING at all!

To be fair. Upon reflection of all of this dating, I have learned a few significant things about myself. Like the fact that one goes on dates to meet someone, to get to know them… but I won’t actually let anyone get to know me, not without a deep connection, and generally not in the first three to five(ish) months at least. Go figure!
Socialising is exhausting.
Small talk is the worst.
It’s tiring tying to be yourself,  but not all of yourself, or not too much of yourself at once…
As one friend mentioned when I was dating; “You can’t go ‘Full Sarah’ to begin with! You need to ease them into that!”
I love you, friend. But I only know how to be me and that’s either full on fairy, or awkward unicorn.
Also… I was right. I do want to be on my own. It’s so much more comfortable!

I think, perhaps, from now on, I’d much prefer to stay in the house and read a book instead. Bring your babies to me for cuddles.

‘Well I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart.’

Farewell, dear Journalist. I wish you well on your endeavours.
And your potential move to Dunedin. A place it’s looking likely, I may never, ever visit.

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