Saturday, 28 May 2011

Getting back on

There's a saying that when you fall of a horse (or is it a bicycle?) that what you really need to do is get back on again. That's assuming you haven't broken any bones I would have thought. Or that your horse (or bicycle for that matter) is fit to take you back on.

Well, just as it's true for horses/bicycles, so is it true for life in general. Or as true as any of these cliches or aphorisms ever are.

I find myself therefore, dear reader, contemplating how - and if I'm honest, indeed whether - to get back into the dating game. Before you leap to a conclusion, I don't mean I'm thinking of taking out a lonely heart ad. I've already tried that approach and let's just say, it's not one I think I'll try again. That's not to say that I might not try replying to an ad or two, if I could only just get beyond the preconceptions that most of these ads provoke. Or, more to the point, if I could work out what half of them actually mean. GSOH I understand, N/S is obvious but OHAC???? And does clean shaven mean facial or other?? For the more cultured, there is of course a fabulous Wendy Cope poem on the subject that's worth a read.

Because, do you know what, it's actually unbelievably scary. Or at least it is to me - mid forties, twice divorced, work obsessed, wrinkles and grey hairs showing, gravity working its worst on my skin tone and completely out of practice. How on earth do I go about it? How do I get started? Will anyone be interested anyway even if I do?

And there indeed is the rub, as Willie boy would say. What happens if I do manage to screw my courage to the sticking point, put myself back out there again, turn myself into a metaphorical party - and nobody comes (double entendre entirely intended).

On a very small scale that happened last night. I took up the invitation of an acquaintance through work to be the partner for a friend of his at a formal dinner. It was all in all a lovely evening - excellent company, fine food, an excuse to wear a posh frock and buy a new pair of shoes and a new place to visit thrown in for good measure. The trouble is, my date for the evening and I just didn't seem to hit it off. Or to be more accurate, while I was enjoying his company, he rapidly seemed fairly bored with mine and at the end of the night, he gave the distinct impression of not being able to get away fast enough.

Now I know there could be any number of explanations - he may have been distracted by weighty matters, he could have just been shy, he might not have wanted to go to the dinner in the first place, perhaps he doesn't like redheads. But the thing I keep coming back to is that there's just the outside chance that it's actually me. Perhaps I am boring, perhaps my company isn't that great, perhaps I just wasn't likeable enough. Maybe my independence is off-putting, or my sense of humour isn't that funny after all. Maybe I'm just not that great a catch.

Of course, it could also be that we aren't suited to each other and all I need to do is to find the right man. But that still begs the question, how on earth do I go about doing that? Meeting the right guy probably means meeting lots of wrong guys and I'm not sure if my fragile confidence is up to it at the moment. Last night has really dented it if I'm honest.

Bit of a dilemma really. As long suffering/chronic readers will know, I like to look for dolphins - but the reality is that they aren't that easy to find, and even harder if you don't go anywhere near the sea in your search for them. Looks like I'm going to have to get my feet wet after all - only problem is, I haven't a clue how.

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