Last night I went on a date with my fiancee. And on the 16th of September 2010 I wrote half a blog that I never finished and never published because it was sad. I have just found it.  On the 15th of September 2011 I asked someone to marry me. In 364 days everything changed.

‘Being single in your thirties is a funny thing. Not funny ha ha. Or funny peculiar, particularly. Just funny in a ‘funny sort of fits’ lazy writing kind of way. I believe the kidz today are saying Meh..? Because right now, on this day, I am largely indifferent to being single. But last week I was desperate to be in a relationship. Today I am focused on the exciting new path my career has taken recently and the fact that tomorrow I am seeing most of my best friends for an old school day of fun and frolics. But on Monday I might well start working out how old I will be on my first child’s 18th birthday if I don’t have one in the next five years.

And thinking that it is a bit weird to be single when you are thirty three. I can’t quite see past that. It does mean that something hasn’t quite worked out. This might just be that you ‘haven’t met the right person yet’ but it might (might it?) allude to something more? something more difficult to accept or even admit? I am fairly sure that I am a difficult boyfriend in many ways and I suspect am becoming more so. I work funny hours, like reading the paper in peace and quiet and really hate doing things that I don’t want to do. Like going for lunch at your parents house when I have a hangover or going clubbing in Shoreditch for your idiot friends birthday.

I was the one in my late teens and early twenties who always had a girlfriend, pretty much constantly from 18-23. I thought at 23 that I was going to marry my girlfriend. We had a little garden flat, a cat and for a time an amazing thing. But she came home one Sunday night, said she wanted to break up and that was that, I never, ever saw her again, to this day. I think we still have a joint bank account somewhere. And I wonder sometimes if the brutality of that break up, the near insanity that I experienced over the next 6 months has affected my ability to be in a grown up relationship now.

Since then I have flitted in and out of various relationships, six months here, a year there. Had hundreds of blind dates, internet dates, one night stands and two week flings but never come remotely close to knowing beyond all doubt that this was the mythical one. And in that decade, that decade, Jesus, nearly all of my friends, cousins and peers have done it. Have found another person that they want to spend all of their time with. And the older I get, the more cantankerous and set in my ways that I become, the more unlikely it seems that I will even want to spend my time with any one.

But we repeat the single person’s mantra about not having met the ri…blah blah blah. And we get drunker at weddings than everyone else and we go home to mums and sleep in a single bed whilst our younger married siblings take the en-suites.’

It’s amazing. I had given up hope- I know that I wrote it, because it is saved in the ‘drafts’ section of my blog, but I don’t recognise that person, that ennui, bordering on despair. Thing is, I was right. There probably is something wrong if you are in your thirties and single. There is something wrong with you. There was something wrong with me. But that’s OK, because somewhere there is someone with something wrong with them too, but it’s your kind of wrong. And you make each other better. And that’s just fine. Three days after I wrote the above, I met Sara and last night we had dinner in Quo Vadis and laughed until we cried. She’s my kind of wrong and I’m hers.






6 Comments to Date

  1. January 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for posting that. It’s actually quite nice to know there might be single men my age out there who feel that way. I’m just not quite sure where to find them… Where did you and Sara meet then?

  2. January 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Sarah- A random combination of Twitter and Guardian Soulmates…… Do it!!

  3. Jill's Gravatar Jill
    January 29, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    it happens when you least expect it….. I feel your happiness and honesty to each other. Look after Sara xxxx

  4. January 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    It is good to know it happens- I’ve done soulmates and found it soul destroying if I’m honest. The highs of thinking wow they are amazing, funny and ok they arent George Clooney but they’re cute- and the lows of the non replies or worse the you sound amazings but I don’t you’re my type (which means I love your email but I don’t like the way you look, I think- which is understandable- and I’ve done it too).

    This is a lovely story though and I have long believed in things happening for a reason- yay for love and twitter and soulmates however you find them and however long it takes!

  5. February 1, 2012 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    My grandmother once told me something. ” Wesley! A woman chooses the man who will choose her” I learned young that older people were rich in experience, not because of the life they had lived or the many years they had been around- but simply from making mistakes.
    I think knowing this makes me rich. I chased women for years and in the end it was something that was not natural. I had become someone I did not like very much and managed to end up in a relationship with a stupidly good looking women who lacked basic human compassion.
    It was in this moment surrounded by all my hard work,perfect flat, great job and future prospects that I realised that falling in love is the most natural thing on earth. You can’t for the sake hope and faith make it happen. Falling can never be predicted, If it could we would all know when and where. Maybe its in the bizarre truths when people explain it and they say things like ” I know- I still don’t know how it happened myself” Smiling all smug! eye fucking the shit out of that engagement ring.

    I don’t mind being single in a way. I think its really cool you can talk the way you do in your blogs. I read it over and had a few people read it over my shoulder too. We all talked about it. Older chefs can do this in the kitchen. Less dick talk and have a conversation about the bigger things that make life more grand.
    What I have learned though, is that in this day in age it is ok to admit that you still love someone. I live with a desire to love to the end. I love all my ex-girlfriends and some of them have go on to marry and have kids. Some not. Some even hate me. Yet things I did when I was 20 will probably never be forgiven for- but I won’t lose sleep. I got by with some words that go like this.

    ” In the last 10 minutes of your life, Do you think you will look back on the places you have been, the houses and cars you bought, the jobs you had, how happy or sad you where. NO!
    You will think of the people in your life. And that is all you will think of ”

    I look forward to reading more.

  6. Janice Hally's Gravatar Janice Hally
    February 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful blog entry. I came to this after reading the Daughter Daughter entry. Quite a contrast! But you know, THIS is more important. (although you might consider dragging your fiancée’s ass down the to TV studios and trying to sell her as a front for a new cookery show, “Fiancée of a Chef” sounds like good credentials to me. Will she do it in a bikini?)

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