I stood at the window overlooking the East London skyline, gazing in awe at the spectacular performance as fireworks illuminated the midnight sky. A rush of gratitude seared through me, leaving an unfamiliar but knowing feeling that this would be the last year in sometime that I would be bringing in the new year alone. It didn’t feel like I was starting a new chapter; this instead was more exciting; I was starting the next book in the series of my life.
Sounds pretty deep, but hey, it’s me – sometimes deep is all I’ve got.
January. A time for reflection. A time for intention. I’ve been mulling over what to write about on my blog for some time. There is so much that I could choose so I decided to go for the one thing that consistently tugs at me. That is me, being single and admitting once again, that I no longer want to be single! I’ve spoken about being single countless times before in my blog, at first it was easy to do but as time went on and other areas of my life were improving. My career. My finances. My relationships with friends and family. My personal development. The one thing that hasn’t been anything to write home about, literally, was my love life.
I am ready for love. To paint it clearer, I am ready for a loving relationship! Yes, this time I am actually ready to let love in. Honestly speaking, I know I have been blocking it in the past. Emma – the great love defender! Seriously, my blocking skills are that great, I could play for England!
I feel more ready now than I have done in a long time and I have 2020 to thank for that. 2020 gave me the gift of loving myself. I know that last year was such a tough year for so many and rightly so. There were lives taken too soon. Jobs lost with no idea insight where the next pay cheque was coming from. The government confusing matters and family and friends warring over opposing views. People having to live in tight quarters, working from home, home schooling whilst trying to make sense of it all. My heart goes out to all those that feel like they came out of 2020 bruised, burnt, or broken.
I feel as a single person who loves their own space, I was in the best place I could be. It gave me the opportunity to spend time with myself. Real time. And slowly without me knowing, for the first time in my life I started to fall in love with myself. Oh, don’t get me wrong – it was a rollercoaster, because… hey life! There were countless time I fell out with myself, muttering under my breath what a dick I was, telling myself to fuck off and that I’m not worth it. Forgiving myself for this quickly has become a part of my love journey.
I continued to watch the firework show, full of gratitude for the year I really got to know and truly love myself. My quirks, my dancing, my love of 90s music and 80s films, my spontaneous breakout into song, making up the words and weird sounds, crying at the end of films and books and drinking red wine and IPA and signing up to yet another subscription. Having debates in the shower and dressing up and using my expensive perfume – just because! Spending hours on end on social media becoming an ally to other marginalised groups, looking at the world from different perspectives and learning! Exercising, reading, doing breathworks, meditation and journaling, looking at myself in the mirror saying out loud; “You are beautiful” and “I love you”. I’ve given myself that time.
I love me. And it doesn’t feel embarrassing to say now and I know I am not lying or faking it until I make it. 2020 has given me that gift.
So yes, now I am ready for a loving relationship. And I know that for love to come I am going to have to be active. I have just finished listening to an audiobook called The Luck Factor. It delved into what luck was and researched the traits of people who said they were lucky or unlucky. There are a series of exercises and tests to complete to define whether you are generally a lucky person, neutral or unlucky. I have always deemed myself as a lucky person and listening to the book confirmed the reasons why I am. Apart from in love, which now paints more sense as I haven’t been putting myself out there, speaking my truth (ouch – awkward), sticking with it or giving myself the chances that I deserve.
I would jump from advice to advice from friend to professional putting my own beliefs in the backseat. Not fully understanding that we are all on a different journey and 100 people could tell me how they met their partner and each of them will differ. Some parts of what they say could cling to my ears, make my stomach flutter and resonate in my heart whereas I will not understand the next person and their choices and their decisions. That is where I have faltered in the past, tried to follow someone’s advice where their life, values and perspective look entirely different to my own. Instead of using and trusting my intuition which I do so in many other areas of my life, I go for the words of someone who has never walked a day in my footsteps. Following so many different people’s advice for so long to the letter and still not getting anywhere is proof that I have to trust myself – even if I make a mistake!
So, what have I done so far? I deleted Tinder and downloaded Bumble. Frying pan, fire maybe but I felt I needed that fresh start. It can often feel like a cruel game and superficial using the apps but this will be one of many ways I am going to approach dating this year. I have started making a list which notes how many matches I make and how many responses I get from the matches within the 24hr timeframe that Bumble gives.
You can see from the image above that I am on 20 matches – all of which I have sent an opening message to. I have had 14 of the matches time out (which means they haven’t responded to my initial message within the 24hr allotted timeframe), 2 have unmatched me and 4 have responded. So, if we look at percentages (sorry not sorry, this is my recent university course coming out), I have a 20% match conversion to chat rate. I’m not gonna lie, viewing the numbers does squeeze out the romance from meeting ‘the one’ but it’s good to know what I’m working with.
The 20% may also reflect the options I have checked on my bio (see below).
39 year old, looking for a relationship and wants children some day. Which, if they have read that far and are knowledgeable about the ‘biological clock’ doesn’t leave much time for a long courtship. I did wrestle with myself if I wanted to be so truthful but if I’m not I would reel in the rubbish alongside the fish. A waste of time for both of us.
It’s been a struggle swiping left (which for those app virgins means ‘not interested’) on the guys that tick so many boxes but have put they’re looking for something casual or they don’t want any children or have and don’t want more.
I keep reminding myself – I just need the one.
In the past I wouldn’t have been able to chart my progress as every ‘timed out’ or ‘unmatch’ would feel like a personal attack and I would have gone into victim mode – thinking “why me?”, “what’s wrong with me?” and trying to figure out the reason. No more! 2021 won’t allow it. It is not my business to try and fathom what makes them tick. These matches don’t know me, nor I them. They don’t owe me anything in the early stages and I don’t owe them my precious time playing psychoanalyst. People are people and with that they have layers and issues and quirks and their own shit to deal with. Sidenote: This also goes for not wasting energy trying to dissect past relationships, dates and ‘could have beens’.
I keep reminding myself – I just need the one.
Speaking to a friend last weekend, I had a lightbulb ‘that’s the badger’ moment. I’m a plate filler. I’m at the buffet wanting a taste of everything so I fill my plate up good and proper, not standing back and asking what I want and leaving space for that to come in. I’ve worked more than one job at a time for most of my life, put friends first, attended course after course and squeezed in holidays and trips – full on Yes Man vibes in action! For many people getting themselves out there like I have has meant chance love encounters. Perhaps that could have happened to me too, it most likely did and I didn’t read the signs as I was rushing off to the next thing. In turn, this made me the ‘adventurous one’ the ‘fun one’, the ‘independent one’, the ‘one who didn’t need cuddles’. They’d be wrong – give me cuddles and stroke my arm god damn it!
I may feel it in my bones that this year is going to be the year I change my relationship status but that’s not going to be my only focus. Old habits die hard and I love setting intentions and this year is no different. I intend for my 2021 to be filled with laughter, intimacy, romance, security, patience, presence, and radical acceptance!
Deep shares aside Happy New Year, I realise I didn’t wish you it at the start. I hope that you get a 2021 that you can be down with. If you’ve set any resolutions, goals or intentions – drop them in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.
I am not sure who the lucky soul is that will get my heart but I’m smiling knowing that this is the year I am going to get to know them. I can’t predict the future, so let’s see what happens but I’m ready for this cloaked heart of mine to be seen, to be held, to be looked at in its truest form and to be loved the way it deserves to be loved, the way that I love it.
And if that fails, I could always go for this lad…….
Thanks for reading with me through the years. I appreciate each and every one of you.
p.s. if you know of any eligible bachelors, give me a nudge.
p.p.s. if you want to give me any dating/love advice, I’m good thank you – my intuition is leading the way this year.