The hopelessness of hope

Are you a positive person or negative? An optimist or a pessimist? Glass half full or half empty?

Up until a few years ago I would have said that I was a positive person. People have told me I am a positive person. I try to see the good in every situation, try to learn something from the bad.

At some point, that changed for me. How easy it is now to spiral down the rumination vortex to a bleak and dark place.

I’m in my bed looking at two pencil portraits that I made of Wildcard and me. They were copies of stills from videos that he took of us when I visited him in February 2020. I am proud of them. But up until now, they have spent most of their life in a cupboard. Why? Because I feared hanging them up would be a bad omen. That I was being too self-assured about our relationship, presumptuous.

This year, so far with some success, I have been planning and preparing. I’ve used Mel Robbins’ free course and bought a great Legend planner. I haven’t met all my goals. But I feel good about what I have achieved. I feel there is some purpose and plan to what I am doing. To forgive myself for not completing everything is a big step for me.

What I can’t do, and I have tried, is plan my future dreams. My skills at shutting off unwanted emotions are top class – they caused a break down a few years ago. Hiding emotions simply saves them, festering, for another day. The more you hide, the more they multiply and grow strong. I know this.

My top class skills are currently throwing a impenetrable forcefield around my dreams. I start to think of them and whoosh down it comes. Blank. Nothing. Gone. I see a glimpse or a hint and then, no more.

Those dreams are fuelled by hope. Hope that my relationship with Wildcard will continue to stand strong against the pandemic and everything else which makes it hard. Hope that legalities and finances will allow a life together. And … bang. It is down again.

I can’t think about it because it is everything I want. And like the pictures, if I dare to hope…if I dare to dream aloud and acknowledge what I really want, then the fear of the hopelessness if it doesn’t happen is too much to even contemplate.

Equally, the Love is Not Tourism Facebook group gives me mixed feelings. Hope when I see couples still together, still planning on reuniting in the future. Hopeless when I see couples who have parted, no longer able to maintain their love in this situation. When I read of their passion and belief that they were soul mates, that the love was a lie or not strong enough…I am filled with fear that I feel too much. And when I see the wedding pictures – we did it! – I feel hope that one day it will be us and hopelessness that it may never.

I can’t ever imagine a life without him. That is how much I feel. I have possibility in my life now, because of him. My future isn’t fixed. I know that I want him in it. I want what I feel to be the truth, the reality. Because if it not… if I am wrong… I will never feel hope of love again. I will lose all faith in myself and love and a dream future.

So I hope that my dream future is hard to imagine not because I am scared but because it is too wonderful to contemplate or imagine. I truly, truly hope.



Two of my single friends have dabbled in the dating game recently, each with differing experiences.

One went online and almost immediately met a compatable match. Whilst admitting he is ‘not the usual type’ she goes for, they have completely hit it off. Two weeks of talking and a few dates later and they feel they have known each other forever.

The other is not as positive. Lots of chatting, lots of flirtation. Men openly complimenting her and apparently turned on by her. No meet-ups because they disappear and/or ghost after a few weeks.

In my attempt to console my friend on her on-going disappointment and frustration, I’ve come to the following conclusions.

(I’m going to sound like a feminist here. This is not my intention. Stick with it.)

I genuinely believe that there are men who go online to meet the love of their life. Equally, there are those that aren’t. Either way, I think most of them are swayed by their sexual impulses, even when they don’t realise it. Once they’ve had that perceived gratification, or even hit a dead end, they then move back on to their path to love.

I believe we are three parts. Our sexual, physical self who lusts after what we find appealing aesthetically.

Then there is our ‘personality’ self, our mind, who searches for the someone who matches our expectations, created through our cultural experiences and the environmental factors of our personal development.

Finally, there is our soul. That part of us which is seemingly unaffected by environmental or physical factors. The part of us that gels with someone without the need for sexual gratification, because that relationship can be of friendship. Its when you meet someone who just gets you, and you them.

I think the problem that most of us, is that we are looking for all three in a perfect package.

I’m not saying that person doesn’t exist. They do. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s more than one.

I also think that there are many close fits. Think about the people you have gone out with. Are they similar? How?

I think we search for that perfect fit. I think we meet people that are physically perfect but don’t match in other ways. Once we have had our sexual gratification, the emptiness we feel from the other areas being incompatible means we move on quickly. When the physical compatability isn’t there, we become friends.

I think many people settle with a close fit. How long that relationship lasts depends on how close that fit is but also how strong our cultural conditioning is to make a relationship work. I think it also depends upon the influence of the other people we may meet in the future who may appear to be more compatible….

So how do we meet this perfect partner?

Well that depends on our circumstances. Do we spend our time in the open, doing the things we live and value? You’re more likely to meet that perfect someone in those situations, when you are at your lost happy and attractive and where you my meet someone with compatible interests.

It depends upon other factors in your life which may be weighing down on you spiritually, affecting your ability or desire to find that person.

It depends on your physical health and your sense of self worth. You will not pursue or perhaps even notice that perfect partner if you are consumed by self loathing or illness.

It depends upon your stage of life and culturally, what you think is expected of you. This may cloud your judgement and what you think you should be looking for.

Ultimately, I believe online dating is about luck. It’s about a numbers game. We allow our desire/physical self to decide upon whether someone I worth swiping right for. On occasion, our personality or mind may dee details on a profile that may influence our decision, based upon our cultural expectations of what the orfect partner will be – we may swipe right for perceived compatability, even when the physical connection is not as strong.

However, its only when our souls connect.. When all three elements align, do we truly feel that connection. I don’t believe for most people, online dating is the place to find this. Just the lucky few… Or those that are happy to settle with a near match… find the one online.

Thoughts at 5am

Before you ask, no I haven’t text him yet. But I will. Later.

Despite being so tired last night that I felt sick – it had been a long week – my mind raced as I went to sleep. Mainly about what I was going to say to him and how. Over and over it played in my mind, hardly ever with a good outcome. I can picture every rebuttal, every block. I’ve heard some of them before.

Eventually I fell asleep but it seemed like forever. Then my son woke me at 4am with a temperature. Calpol administered and he went back to bed. For me, the future conversation replay started in my head again. At 5.05am I gave up and I’ve come downstairs and made a pot of coffee.

Last night as I was reading before bed, my friend from Ireland text me. I let her in on the recent updates with Lost Soul including Mumslovelife’s advice, which unsurprisingly she completely agreed with:

Better to know and move on whatever direction that might be than be in permanent limbo land!!!! And getting more hurt by having your emotions tested each time you meet. 😔

You are far too gorgeous, kind, caring and funny to be somebody’s “maybe” or “temporary fancy”. Know what I mean?!”

So I now have steely resolve masking the fear. I will text him today and invite him round tonight. And if he can’t or won’t see me tonight, then the next time I see him and he starts with the flirting, hinting and suggesting, then I will say my piece. Either way, this conversation is going to happen and happen soon.

Update over for now. Catch up with you all later.

Just thoughts

She stood in arrogance: tall and slender but her hair in a messy pile on her head and headphones dangling from her ears. Her phone was held out at an angle from her body, almost daring someone to look at the screen as she held it out before her.

She showed no concern that the whole platform could hear her one sided conversation; rather she seemed to delight in sharing the drama of her life as she loudly professed her opinions, criticised an unknown subject and swore repeatedly. At one point she mentioned being a mother to six children and I was surprised: to me she looked barely in her twenties. However, I had only glanced at her and noticed her bad skin and aggressive stance, intrigued as she had openly complained about the person who though she should have her children taken from her.


The coat barely covered the pair of them but it didn’t matter. They sat, shoulder to shoulder, head to head, eyes closed. They looked content, at ease. Occasionally, one of them would open a sleepy eye for a moment, disturbed by a noise on the train: first him, then her. In their statue-like state, neither one would know that the other was awake, that moments before the other had also opened their eyes. I imagined that they weren’t married, probably had been together for a couple of years and then I tutted at myself. Just because my marriage hadn’t been like, doesn’t mean there’s wasn’t. One thing was for sure, they were very different to the older couple sat behind me, more concerned with the filling in their sandwiches or noisily eating crisps, than each other.


Her voice was high-pitched and a little shrill but not in an unpleasant way. She peered through her glasses, underneath the strands of grey hair that framed her face, the rest of her hair piled up on top of her head in a neat bun. Small and frail, she had endeared a nearby passenger who helped her disembark, carrying her luggage and wishing her well on her journey. As I stepped off the train after her, I noticed that she wore two pairs of trousers, the top pair calf length and allowing the thicker warmer pair to peep through at her ankles. I contemplated the independence of an old lady who was off on a journey in her 80’s, seemingly alone and frail.


And so my train journey today was spent people watching and thinking. So many different characters, embarking on a journey, embroiled in their own drama. I was going on a course for work: my drama was internal and raging in my head.

I now feel much calmer. It has taken a hot shower and a cup of tea to achieve this.

I came home in a state of nervous anticipation, my mind and heart racing, adrenaline coursing through me and nausea building in my stomach.

Mumslovelife’s comments on my post yesterday have really hit home. She is absolutely right (I could picture us sitting in a cafe together having this conversation if she lived closer, me nervously sipping coffee as she counselled me as good friends do). This on going situation with Lost Soul is not healthy for me. It has gone on far, far too long and I can’t go on like this. Everytime I think I’m finally getting over him, learning to live without him, he appears back in my life and reawakens the feelings I’ve fought so hard to subdue. I know I have never been truly honest with him out of fear of rejection or fear of scaring him away. The truth is, over the years, this has happened anyway. For two people who claim to feel such an infinity and connection with each other, we’ve done a great job of ripping this friendship apart. We’ve gone months of staying away from one another. You’d think when we were both in other relationships we would be confident in the solid boundaries of just-friendship that would have induced but instead we have stayed away.

I know, once and for all, I need to tell him the truth. (I’m feeling anxious again just thinking about it).

I need to tell him that I just want to be with him. What I feel is too complex to label – I just want to be with him. Whatever happens in the future, no matter how long or short this thing might be, I know my heart will always yearn for him until we’ve tried and succeeded or failed. I want to give him my heart, fully aware that at some point he may give it back. I just don’t want to regret never offering it to him.

He tells me he has changed, he has grown up. He tells me that he is attracted to me and that I understand him like no other. He often reminisces about the fun we have had in the past and compliments me regularly. This should not be as scary as it is. Perhaps if I felt less it wouldn’t be.

I feel excited, nervous and scared.

I know from past history that after a night of emotional and physical closeness, he often disappears (another way Mumslovelife was correct). This can be physically – I don’t see him for a while – or emotionally, he will pull away and start talking of a new girl he is interested in or even an old one he claims to still want. It’s often overdone and obvious. I can see how this is a way of protecting himself after he has shown his vulnerability to me, particularly when I have then refused him the physical intimacy he has asked for. Maybe the fact that he is often very inebriated when he asks for this, but admits that he wanted me much earlier in the evening, shows how little confidence he actually has around me. I know he does not have this lack of confidence with other girls whom I know he feels little for.

To combat this usual disappearance and to have this long overdue conversation, I need to facilitate another night with him. Which means I need to ask him to be with me. Without the others.

Tomorrow night is ideal: my kids are with their dad and I have no plans. It also will limit the torture of this nervous anticipation. I need to get this done. But its making me feel sick. I don’t want him to say no at just seeing me – that would be even more hard hitting than him rejecting my heart somehow. I’m not sure why. Perhaps rejecting me without even knowing the truth? It won’t matter if he says he has other plans or just that he doesn’t want to – it will feel the same. By trying to initiate this, am I just making it seem bigger than it is? Am I not better waiting for another opportunity to say all I feel and want? Part of me just kind of wants this feeling over with once and for all. The strong desire to be with him in conflict with the absolute fear of heartbreak is crippling me. I undstend myself better than ever now – this is why I have partially hidden my feelings from him for so long. It’s easier to live in ‘what if’ land and that’s not easy at all. I’ve hoped for years that he would be the strong one: one day he would make the move but he hasn’t. Or maybe he has in his own way but I haven’t realised. I don’t know. Could be that he has been waiting for me too. Or maybe he knows that we can never be together for whatever reason. I just need to know, don’t I?

So, at 7.50pm on a Friday night, I’m sat here trying to be brave and make myself text him. I’ll let you know what happens tomorrow.


Just a quick report..

I am at camp whilst the others have gone to the stage for the last song of a great band.

I can report that Lost Soul is up to his old tricks:

Talking about other women – check

Reminiscing about the past – check

Reminding me about times we were intimate – check

Purposeful talking about things I like – check

Reminiscing about books we both read and shared in the past – check

I am in dangerous territory but then I remember, I’m too old for these games and they only lead to heartbreak. Don’t go there!


I have fond memories of jigsaw puzzles. I’m talking about the huge 1500 piece ones of mountains and valleys or rose covered cottages.

On a rainy day in a countryside cottage, we would sit together – maybe with a hot chocolate or a cup of tea – and we would sort the pieces. We would work methodically until eventually we’d get to that bit. You know the part I mean. It could be an expanse of trees or sky or shadow. But either way, the pieces look identical.

At first glance anyway. Closer inspection will soon show that there are a few distinct shapes. You will also see subtleties in shade or colour.

After a while you will steadily begin to manage that difficult section and the puzzle will begin to grow. Occasionally you will go so far only to realise that you have gone wrong somewhere. It looked like the two pieces fit: right shape, right colour, right pattern. But you have a nagging feeling it’s not quite fitting right…so you exchange it and realise that it want the right piece after all.

I believe that somewhere out there is my perfect puzzle piece. I’m going to find and meet people who look like the right piece for my life picture. And for a little while, I’m going to get on with life thinking that they are. Only after a little time, I will realise that they are not quite the perfect fit.

And that’s OK. Maybe I will find one that is not quite perfect but will do. Either way, I’m not giving up hope that I will find someone right for me again.


There’s a reservoir of tears in my head. The dam is holding steady but the pressure behind my eyes is intense. I want to cry but I can’t. I don’t know if it is my medication or self preservation or just sheer hope, but I cannot cry even though I’m desperate to.

I know I’m behaving irrationally. I know that I am acting like a complete child. I realise that I am simultaneously boring and worrying those around me. 

So WordPress, if I cannot cry out my feelings, I am going to have to purge myself in another way – by writing this down. Forgive me for boring you. I solemnly swear that this will be the last post on Lost Soul unless something actually happens. 

My heart is breaking all over again but this time it’s worse because hope is fading. 

I have got to accept that if he wanted me, he would have been in contact. It doesn’t matter whether I was cold to him or didn’t encourage him. If he really wanted me, he would fight for me. 

My friend suggested that I think about what it is about him that I find so appealing. 

I have had three, ‘long term’  serious relationships. I’ve had the excitement of a new relationships, a very healthy sex life and those intense feelings of new love. I’ve also had my heart broken by boys/men who have not wanted more than a night with me. 

No one, not one, has made me feel the way he has. First of all, of course, I find him physically appealing. And yet, it’s more than that. The sight of him makes me feel that there is an invisible cord from him to me that pulls me towards him. When I see him, I feel physically excited and nervous and sick at the same time. I have been attracted to men before – of course I have – but not like this. 

I felt comfortable in his company. I felt safe. I felt like I could talk to him about anything.  Somehow, he inspired the best of me. Being with him just felt comfortable and right as well as being exciting and intense. 

We were there when we needed each other.  

I spent years wondering whether I had imagined the chemistry. I couldn’t understand how I could find my soul mate and yet not be with him. 

I blame my weight, my age and my circumstances. I dream about losing all my weight and then falling into his arms. But then I am upset because if he truly loved me, my weight wouldn’t stop him from being with me. It’s easy to blame my weight. But I could lose it and he still might not want me. 

I’m ashamed of how I feel and how I can’t get over this after all this time. I’m scared that I will never be able to find this chemistry again. I don’t want to settle for anything less. I’m scared I’m going to love him for the rest of my life and yet mourn him too. 

I wish that I could wake up one day and forget all about him. You’d think after five years that I would be able to do that. I can’t. 

Why did he want to have sex with me, just once? Why did he remind me of how ill he was before he left? Why did he say “why did we wait so long to do this?” and then not be in contact? 

If I’d have had sex with him, would it be different now? Have my actions confused him? Although I know he has felt the same way, has he missed me? Has he thought about being with me at all? 

What am I to him? Nothing? 

I wish I understood all this. I want all these feelings and questions and doubts to disappear. 

I don’t want to regret him for the rest of my life. 

The maze and the box

One of the most important qualities a person can have is the ability to listen. 

Today, over a beautiful coffee and a decadent scone, I told my friend about what had occurred yesterday with Lost Soul. She listened. I spoke. 

I manoeuvred myself through the maze that is my thoughts of Lost Soul. There were dead ends. There were dark, scary corners that I didn’t want to go around. There were light filled paths of flowers and butterflies that resulted in more dead ends. Eventually I got to the middle. There wasn’t much there. Except the exit. The exit was there. 

She listened. She questioned occasionally. And at the end of my manoeuvres she told me that I had answered my own questions: I had worked this out myself. Here are my thoughts:

Fact is, he has had more than enough opportunity to start ‘something’ with me. He hasn’t. He hasn’t called and he hasn’t indicated he wants anything more.  After what happened a few weeks ago, he is probably well aware that if he tried again, I would say yes. 

But he hasn’t tried again. He clearly doesn’t want there to be anything more. His coming round means nothing. Sure, he is friendly towards me. You wouldn’t visit – even if it was to see my sister and her husband – if he didn’t feel welcome here. You wouldn’t touch someone needlessly as you walked past them unless you cared. But it doesn’t mean he wants any more than that. As my friend said, he was brazen enough to ask for it last time so there’s nothing stopping him from doing it again if he wanted. He clearly doesn’t want. 

Part of the long process of getting over him last time was about putting a box around my feelings. The box’s label said ‘only if’. I pictured a time when we could be together. In that box I was single and had lost weight. My children were cared for equally by me and their dad, meaning I had time for him. Lost Soul had matured. He had a career. He was settled, happy – knew what he wanted. He wanted me. He was single.  

The box helped me because it gave me hope but allowed me to get on withy life. However I knew that it was very unlikely that all those factors would align at once. If it did, we were fated to be together. I knew that in reality it wouldn’t happen, but I had that little sparkly box of hope to keep me going. 

I know that it is never going to happen. I know that if it did, it probably wouldn’t work. 

It doesn’t matter that everytime I see him, my heart just sings. It doesn’t matter that I am unbelievably attracted to him. It doesn’t matter that I thought we were soul mates. 

He does not want to be with me. 

And so I am taking that sparkly box of hope called ‘only if’ and I’m going to place it in the deepest, darkest part of that maze. And then, I’m going to will Sleeping Beauty’s thorny fortress around it. I’m going to relegate it to the fairytales because that is all it is. 

I’ve got to get over this. I’ve got to stop hoping that everytime I see him, this could be the time that… He doesn’t want me and never will. 

I’m ashamed of myself for being so.. so weak. Yes, this really, really hurts but I have got to accept it. 

My friend suggested that I ask my sister to not bring him round again. My heart sank. The fear inside that I would never see him again…  I also know that wouldn’t work for me. Not seeing him doesn’t change how I feel because my sparkly box of hope still exists. 

No, I need to learn to exist in this life with him in it but accepting that he will never, ever be mine. I’ve got to get over him, once and for all. 

My return

To all my few but treasured followers:

You’ll be glad to hear that I have returned from my short and not so sweet journey to looney-ville. 

This morning I have woken up feeling pretty much back to normal. I can’t tell you that I haven’t thought of him, but what I will say is that the accompanying feelings of nervous anxiety and anticipation have gone. 😊 Hurray to CBT. 

Of course, I can’t be sure of the reason behind his no-show yesterday. Displaying indifference is a killer when you are desperate to know everything. But ever since my sisters started to worry about me regarding him and the situation, that’s the way I’ve played it. 

So, what do I know?

I know that my brother in law was supposed to come last night but then offered overtime. 

I know that when my sister was organising what was going to happen when my b.i.l finished work, Lost Soul had contacted her and had asked them what they were up to. 

I know that my sister had contemplated asking b.i.l to look after their child at home, with Lost Soul, so she could come back to my house and enjoy an evening child free. 

She did suggest at one point asking b.i.l and Lost Soul to come to my house also – I nonchalantly agreed (whilst boarding the Virgin express to looney-ville) – and she was going to suggest it to them. 

I know that ultimately, b.i.l stayed at home with my nephew on his own. Lost Soul’s whereabouts are unknown but he wasn’t there and he definitely wasn’t here. 

Other tidbits gleaned last night were that Lost Soul has spent a lot of time with them since splitting with his girlfriend. I also found out that he is on tinder and has been talking to a girl for sometime. That info bought the ticket home and shut the train door behind me. 

I don’t know whether Lost Soul was even asked to come round. My sister may well have decided she wanted a child free night (fair play) or my b.i.l may have decided that he fancied a night on his own while his son slept and his wife was at my house. Maybe Lost Soul had other plans all along. 

Either way, what is absolutely certain is that I have spent far too much time thinking about him. Whether through fate or design he did not come last night and based upon my reaction to that whole situation, it is not good for me either way. 

If he’s on tinder he wants something. I’m assuming he still has my number but he has not been in touch. Therefore, despite now knowing we are both single and that we had shared a rather intense moment of intimacy on Monday, it’s clear that is all he wanted. 

I’m so glad I didn’t have sex with him. I’m secure in the experience we did have and I’m now happy to dispose of my season pass to looney-ville and get back on with the life that I am trying to build. 

I know now that I did not imagine the connection and chemistry between us all these years. But I also know that whatever his reasons for not starting a real relationship with me all those years ago, they’re clearly still there. I also know that, as I am on the road to recovery from anxiety, the last thing I need in my life is him and his game playing. If he turned up, cap in hand, and told me that he loves me and wants a relationship, well – I may feel differently. 

But it’s not going to happen. That is the stuff of romantic literature. My story is a little more down to earth than that. 


OK, so there may be a part of me that could be obsessing ever so slightly. I think this is probably because I’ve not had anyone to talk to about this: to purge my system of all the thoughts and emotions surrounding my unexpected intimacy with the man I loved and lost. 

Last night, I finally got the chance. I wasn’t sure whether to tell my friend. We’ve been friends for a while and she knows the story from the beginning. But it’s only recently that we have become close. I knew she would say what I didn’t want to hear. 

She’s a little older than me, which has no real influence other than she has not had a relationship for a long time- fifteen years. I’m not going to go in to the reasons why as such – that’s the content of her blog – but she is a beautiful, intelligent woman. On the other hand, her principles are just that little bit more strict than mine and she has chosen to be single for a long time. I want a relationship and she’s not ready. 

I suppose what I’m saying is, I knew what she was going to say before she said it. And I also knew I wasn’t going to like it. But I needed to talk, to self-counsel almost, and I do have a high regard for her opinion. 

I think the overriding things that were discussed is that I clearly want something to happen (obvious, I know). But I also want this on my terms. I’ve decided that I want all or nothing: I need to him to walk away now or to come back and say he wants to start a relationship with me no matter how slow we take it. My friend is worrying about me getting hurt again and so am I. I can’t cope with anymore “will he, won’t he; does he,  doesn’t he”, although ironically I’m in that place already to a certain extent.  

Romantically, I want to believe that like me, he has regretted not starting something last time (my friend says “well why didn’t you? If it didn’t work the first time, why would it work the second?”) and that he has missed me as much as I missed him. I want him to be cautiously wanting to try this thing out, to see if all that chemistry and connection will lead to something amazing. 

The evidence I have for this is…. Nearly five years on from the end of our ‘thing’ and that pull towards each other has never waned. This is the first time that we have both been single since then. And Monday felt so right. And that he had never wanted me as much as he did then, nor had he ever shown such desire for me in those circumstances. 

But…  (I hate that word as I type it). But there is no reason why this experience won’t be like the last. As expected, I’ve not heard from him yet. Surely if he wanted more, he’d have been in touch? Surely he would have been thinking about this as much as I have? So maybe, this is me wanting to see more into this than there  is. Again. If I’m not careful, I could put myself back where I was all those years ago. 

I want to tell myself that things are different this time. I’m in a much better place than I was when I split up with ex last time. I’m not desperately searching for a romantic replacement and have decided to just have some fun for a while. In some ways, he is in a better place too. He has been focusing on his career this last few years. And the age gap has shrunk – we are both in our 30s now and hopefully we have both matured. 
We are still at different stages in our life though. I’m 37, separated,  with three children a mortgage and a career. He’s 31 and just about to embark on his career. Whatever reasons he had for not taking this where it naturally wanted to go are probably still there. I’m (some speculation here)  not the young, slim beauty he wants on his arm.  My children would come first. I still have an ex who hates his guts from the last time. 

And so, all signs are pointing to a non-starter. I keep telling myself to enjoy the now and I think this is the only way I’m going to get over this again. 

Feel free to send me your thoughts. 😊