Morning reflections.

I’ve been up since 4.30am with two vomiting children. Now they’re settled and there is no point in me trying to go back to sleep, it’s given me time to think.

I’m conscious that my last few posts have mainly centred on Wild Card. Don’t think that is because I like him more than Second. My life is never that simple.

I’ve questioned myself about that. I still believe that I like them both but in different ways.

With Wild Card I feel excited and passionate when we talk. He makes me laugh. I’m intrigued by him. But I don’t altogether trust him either which makes me anxious. I can’t believe that he doesn’t have a number of women and I am still surprised that he likes me, although I do believe him when he says he does. You can’t fake some facial expressions. I get the impression that if we were to meet and we liked each other, I would fall hard.

Second is different, culturally as well as feelings wise. He was the front runner for a long time but circumstances – his working at sea for six weeks – has meant that we have only communicated by WhatsApp for the past few weeks. His contact is consistent and regular.

He also makes me laugh – we make each other laugh. We have similar backgrounds and interests. His messages have become more and more affectionate as the weeks have gone on. He is kind and complimentary. And I am attracted to him physically, just slightly less than Wild Card. That’s not a bad thing.

He makes me smile, inside and out. I feel more steady and secure with him, even though there are still no certainties – although he tells me he is certain we will meet.

If the messages, phone calls and video chats are anything to go by, I think we are going to get along well.

But his circumstances are even more difficult than Wild Card’s. Not only does he have a different Nationality to me, which is the reason we have not met yet and won’t do until January (he is spending Christmas at home with his parents), he lives in Scotland and has just bought a house there to be close to his children.

How would a relationship possibly work with him? We live four hours away from each other, when he’s actually in the country and not at sea or visiting his homeland.

So, if anything, I know I’m also wary of falling for him too. The reason I allowed the chats with Wild Card to initiate was to ground my growing interest in Second. Modern dating, remember?

At a friend’s advice, I’ve logged back in to Hinge in attempt to find some more connections to draw myself back into my original ‘flirt and date’ game plan. It’s not working. Despite some interest, I’ve found that I’m half-heartedly messaging back which is unfair to all involved.

The advice I have received on here has been sound and I am grateful for it. I need to keep pulling myself back, enjoy what I have in this moment. I haven’t met either man yet!!! I need to calm down. I’ve had the no-connection dates which had previously held so much promise. There is every chance that a date with either of them would turn into nothing and I am breaking the cardinal rule of no-textationships.

Grounded, grounded, grounded. Live in the moment. Learn and grow. Be open to all possibilities, good and bad.

Wish me luck.

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One year on.

A year today I started this blog. Madness. At first I was pretty proud of myself for posting for a whole year, but then I realised it was more than that.

This blog has got me through some really tough times this year. It’s been a friend, a sounding post, a crutch.

Without a shadow of a doubt, on my second and final separation from my husband a year ago, I felt the absence of utter misery and stress would leave me feeling a lot happier. Surprisingly, it didn’t.

My circumstances are a lot different from the first time. I’m older (obviously), have three children (not two), and a more demanding and high pressured job.

I’ve found my separated life to be quite lonely. I’ve gone through dark clouds of depression to euphoric bliss and the boredom of monotony in between:

Dates – nope.

Rooms redecorated – half (don’t ask).

New hobbies – one.

Weight lost – none.

Evaluation of creation of new life? Poor.

But (and there is always a but)..

I HAVE MADE IT!

I have been a single parent to three gorgeous but highly demanding children whilst holding down a career and attempting to keep my house from looking (and smelling) like a dump.

So my advice to you, ‘newly separated and hopeful’ is:

Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to make big changes. Let the dust settle.

Accept that it will take a while for the dust to settle.

Don’t think that the big hole left (however desired) by your ex leaving/getting kicked out is going to be filled with love and wonder and happiness. Not at first anyway. You need to explore every inch of that crater to process what happened: how you feel about it and what you truly want now your dream of night long sex with [insert sexy movie star here] is no longer needed to get you through the pain of a dissolving marriage.

Be kind to yourself. You are going to emote in ways you didn’t know possible. You may even miss him a little. Doesn’t mean you want him back or that you should backtrack on your decision, necessarily. It’s OK to mourn what once was and what could have been.

Give yourself the gift of time. Go out with the girls. Get out in the fresh air whenever you can. Laugh, cook, dance. You don’t need a replacement to make you happy.

Take stock of your achievements regularly. This is a big change to your life. It’s not easy to go it alone.

Don’t be afraid of asking for or accepting help. It doesn’t make you weak. Just reminds you that you are not Wonder Woman. (More’s the pity).

Don’t settle for mediocrity. You’re better than that. You deserve more than that. There’s no rush – get it right this time.

Thank you to all the people who have read my blog and the two special ladies who regularly comment. It is always appreciated. 😊

Here’ s to Year 2 and all that may bring.

Happy Blogging!

Xx

Less is more

As anyone could have predicted, I did not  hear from Jay today. When I didn’t hear anything in the day, I excused him by expecting it at night at a similar time as I had messaged him on Sunday. I gave him more manners than he deserved perhaps. 

Is that harsh? I don’t blame him for ending our little chats. The distance was ridiculous and if anyone tells me that I am going to have to look that far away to find a half decent man to chat to/date with then I am going to give up now. I suppose I am just not sure why he continued after the first, very late night chat. I’d love to know what is going on in his mind. Probably not a lot – about me I mean…or do I? 

I think I would have preferred the old “It was really nice talking to you. Perhaps we can chat again sometime?” which translates into you helped pass a few minutes enjoyably  but this is going nowhere. You don’t deserve to be treated like shit but don’t  your breath for my next contact. Instead my weakly fluttering heart was considering why he wanted to talk again and why he was willing to text me the day after that. What did it all mean? My ego got a little nudge, a little awakening, despite Doubt and Reality shaking their heads at it. 

Was that sneezing fit actually real in our last conversation? If not, that is the weirdest way to end a call I’ve ever experienced. Saturday night should have stayed as it was – two lonely/bored people brightening up their evening by enjoying conversation without fear or expectation. 

And so, bye bye Jay from London. It was nice talking to you. You made me smile. 

Onwards. 

Red, Red wine 

I am pleased to announce that I have lost 6lb in two weeks. It feels good. Surprisingly, I’ve had a few comments from family and friends who had noticed before I’d told them about it. It certainly picks you up. The diet was given to me by a friend and came out of a magazine: set meals and snacks for five days, strict eating hours and low carbs. I enjoyed the meals and snacks, was hungry occasionally, but managed – I think knowing that I had the weekend helped. What it has done is give me a boost – I’m going to try slimming world again for a few weeks then try it again. 

Naturally following a good loss and a restricted diet and naturally being Mother’s Day, I decide to jeopardise my weight loss by drinking red wine. I love red wine. 

One glass turned to two, then two turned to three. I was pretty merry by this point. The children were in bed, the TV was unappealing so, as the majority of the world do nowadays, I turned to my phone. 

Before I could drain the last drips from the glass I found myself in an online chat room. Don’t judge me. In some ways I prefer it – I want to chat and being naturally shy and self conscious, doing this online is easier at the moment. 

As said in a previous post, I can’t quite bring myself to pay for Match.com. I honestly don’t think I’m ready. But spurred on by the harmless fun I had in Spain, I want to move to the next stage. My experiences with online dating five years ago were not good. I know times have changed and I know that there are many more sites out there.. I’m just not ready. 

The chat rooms are fast paced. There are thousands of people out there and yes, a seemingly large proportion are perverted. Even ones that initially seem nice often end up asking your bra size – I can cope with this by blocking them and moving on. I can talk to men from all over the world and,  hiding behind my username, I can be anonymous. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to play games here. I am me, I take no delight in duping people by pretending to be something I’m not. But I can do this without fear of the next steps. No pressure. 

I have done this a couple of times in the last few months. If I examined myself closely enough, I would probably see that this is when I feel most lonely. But you know what, I find this easy and safe entertainment. 

Last night I got chatting to ‘Jay’. He is 40, lives in London (so miles away) and is single with a 16 year old. We moved off the frequently glitchy and ad-ridden chat site into kik. He seems like a nice guy. I’m far too cautious to believe everything he says but I enjoy his conversation. I’m honest with him, tell him that I’m reluctant to start the whole Internet dating thing again. He advises me to take it at my own pace – I’m in charge of how I want to date – and suggests a few online dating apps to try.   Then he says he wants to hear my voice. I freeze. I stare at my phone, my heart pounding. Then his number appears on my phone. I’m scared, I’m excited. It is 12.30am and I’m in bed. 

I walk downstairs, stare at my phone a bit more and fueled by red wine, dial his number with the safety blanket of 141.

His voice is warm and his accent is slightly RP. I like it. He tells me that I can end the call at any time – he understands – and then we chat. I mainly listen. It wasn’t earth shattering and there were some awkward pauses. But it was nice and it was exciting. In the end I told him I was tired and that my battery was nearly dead (which it was). 

I put the phone down and felt… Warm. I can do this. I can put myself out there. I’m under no illusions, even if he liked the picture I tentatively sent we live too far away for this to go anywhere. But I smiled as he spoke and was pleased when he said he’d like to chat again. 

As I lay in bed, I waited to hear  the ping of my phone, half hoping for a final message. It didn’t come and I fell asleep. My disappointment was minimal. 
This morning as I checked the time on my phone, I noticed that he had actually messaged me. Then my phone died. 

When I finally got on I saw that it was to say that he had pictured me smiling throughout our conversation. Clever or intuitive, I’m not sure but I liked it enough to reply that he was right. 

I waited all day but there was no response as he had not read the message. Eventually though he did – the messages were polite but short – asking each other about our day. Then nothing. 

For half an hour I eyed my phone. I can’t explain how I felt. Disappointed is too strong but I suppose my pride didn’t want it to end so soon. Then he replied. He said that he would be happy to speak again tonight. 

It is 9.55 and I haven’t called yet. My eldest is on her way to bed any minute. I’m nervous despite knowing this is going nowhere. There is no red wine to fuel me tonight. But I see this as my dating lessons. I’m practicing my manoeuvres, getting used to the feel of the car again. I’m not sure what is in it for him. Wish me luck. 

Update * 11.05pm. 

I have just finished my call. 

I messaged after my last post. The message was unread for 15 minutes. As is my usual form, over-analysis stared immediately. Had I left it too late? Did he think I was messing him about? Should I just call or text rather than kik – I had his number. Is that what he was expecting? I decided no, so far we had communicated through kik and he didn’t have my number. As I was mentally drafting the message I planned to write:(Sorry I left it so late. Didn’t want to call as you may be busy. I enjoyed speaking to you. Would that have been too much???) he replied, apologising for missing the message. He asked if I still wanted to chat and when I said yes, he asked me to call in about 5 minutes – he would let me know when ready. 

Got to be married. I really don’t want to be this analytical over one phone call and a few messages with a man who lives too far away for comfort. 

I called and we chatted. Again, a couple of awkward moments but nothing out of the ordinary. My, he has a really lovely voice. Warm and deep. He seems nice, intelligent and interesting. Our chat ended quickly as he keep sneezing-as in every couple of minutes – but he ended by saying that he will message me tomorrow. How I’m going to stop myself anticipating that message, I don’t know. Scary stuff.