In theory, I should be in a relationship by now. That is if my romantic history is anything to go by, anyway. For instance, from 2009-2011, I was in a relationship. And then, for the following 3 years after, I was single. Same goes for 2014-2016. I was in a relationship for nearly 2 years and then, consequently, single for 3 (and counting) So far, it’s followed this same pattern. So I guess it’s time I started prepping for the imminent arrival of Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome because he is most obviously waiting for me, and I am most definitely not ready for him. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I’ve forgotten how to do anything remotely sexy. Honestly, if you flirt with me, I’ll miss every line. These days, I’m more likely to think a teasing wink from a man in a bar is a mild form of affliction. So throw at me every, “Relationships for Dummies” book you have going, because I’m going to need a crash course.
Question 1: How do you please your partner in the bedroom?
My answer:…Bring him up a cup of tea?
I’m guessing that’s not what they meant.
Either way, with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been solidly working out the best way to prepare myself for such an occasion – by reminding myself of all the achievements I’ve made ever since I’ve been single.
Umm, Sorry, fellas. You’re kind of a distraction! No offence.
Now, before you think I’m some crazy cat lady (yeah, so I have 3, but that doesn’t count) or some vexed feminist type (okay…so I have written one blog on the matter, but it’s not what you think!) I’m far separated from being anything “anti-men.” In fact, most of my closest friends happen to be guys and I even write romantic fiction in my spare time, so, you know, I’m actually quite for relationships!
I’m not for being “in a relationship” for the sake of being in a relationship. People who stay single for all of 5 minutes confuse me. It’s as though they’re not secure enough in themselves to think that they could possibly be happy without the constant gushing from another. And, whilst being single for 3 years is probably just as conceivably weird in this day and age, I’ve done my best to actively invest in the things that make me, “me.”
Obviously, if you’re here because Instagram plonked me in your feed, you’ll probably better know me as the “solotravellingfemale” This is because one of my biggest identity-finding investments has been whilst exploring the world. You’ve probably heard it a million times – “Find yourself: Go travelling!” And whilst that notion is as cliché as they come, there’s definitely a great truth in it. Especially when you go at it alone.
So much of my confidence and happiness has evolved from pursuing these solo trips, going for no other reason than because I wanted to. Also, having no one to hold me back or work around made trekking about so much more blissful, too. Never had I had such a privilege before! And, amazingly, it also made the whole voyage of self-exploration far more achievable. I learned so much about myself during that time alone. And although I still needed a hand with directions every so often (because being independent only works as long as your android apps do) I also realised that I’m far more capable than I ever thought.
Nowadays, my mind is perma-buzzed. It actually gets quite annoying sometimes, what with the constant thoughts and ideas flurrying through my brain like busy train-hoppers in rush-hour. There’s simply no time to think about the fact that I’m single until I’m really made aware of it. Valentine’s Day remains to be that buzzkill of a reminder. But, you know what? It doesn’t hurt like it used to. Once upon a time, it’d make me feel sad to think that I hadn’t found, “The One” yet. However, now, since growing happy in my own skin and accepting myself for all that I am, being single doesn’t really affect me anymore. I am not defined by my relationship status. I am defined by the actions I undertake, the things I stand for and the beautiful friends I’m lucky enough to have in my life.
And, let’s be real here – before you can truly love anyone else, you’ve got to love yourself first. Because – at the risk of sounding like a preachy quote you’d find on a herbal tea bag – loving yourself really is the greatest revolution.
Taken from my recent trip to Dubai (at the Garden Glow beside Zabeel Park)