Is it okay to aim for love?


I've always wanted to be married, not get married, that seems like madness - a whole day of dozens of people staring at you and taking pictures from every conceivable angle. Heck, no. It just sounds anxiety inducing and I'm pretty sure vomiting at the alter is not a good start to married life. I wasn't interested in the day, what I craved was the life. I wanted a person to call home; I longed for all the petty intimacies - peeing with the door open, texting for forgotten milk, falling asleep on the sofa. When I was a kid, on the rare occasions I was defiant, I would listen to my parents talking about me in hushed voices after I had gone to bed. Underneath my heady sense of injustice I felt a longing. I wanted that, I wanted a teammate and until recently I had been lucky enough to have one and then I wasn't

It was months after my marriage ended that I thought I might be vaguely ready to think about loving again and I figured if I seriously wanted to be in a couple I better take it seriously, I better treat it like a job. So I updated my CV: 

Previous role: 15 year position as mostly supportive partner 
Special skills: Cottage pie 

Then I asked every trusted friend if they knew of anyone who might be eligible, someone for whom they would be willing to act as guarantor for my heart. I told them that it was an attempt to live in a fairy tale to not actively look for love. I got a lot of the 'scary eyes'. You know the scary eyes, they're the ones you make when your friend comes back from a two week all inclusive holiday in Tunisia and tells you she's marrying a barman called Aziz. Your mouth says, 'That's great honey but maybe a little soon' but your eyes say, 'Girl you done lost your mind'. I knew from the scary eyes that many of them thought I was crazy but I didn't care. If you want to be an actress you don't wander through life hoping a director will spot you on the 250 bus - you hustle, you network, you make it happen. Why don't we think the same about love? 

The problem was maybe I was lying to everyone and mostly to myself because I made no work of meeting my ex, in fact he swept me off my feet. We got together at a time when I wasn't looking for love, I was looking for a career and adventure and a part time job that would keep me in Topshop jeans and love knocked on my door and said, 'Can I take you to Deep Pan Pizza?' And it was wonderful. It wasn't that I wanted to be so serious about my search it was that I hoped that if I did things differently, it would end differently, in that it wouldn't end.

So I didn't apply for any of the openings I became aware of because I thought that to aim for love might rob it of its essence. Is its beauty not in its elusiveness, the way it crash lands into your life without warning? It might be the last bit of magic in adulthood and who wants to live a life without magic?

photo credit: the past tends to disappear I Love You Dani! via photopin (license)

45 comments

  1. I can so relate to this. When my marriage ended after 11 years and I was suddenly single at the age of 28, I felt incredibly lonely and for a while, I put myself out there and went on dates, set up by well meaning friends, which went okay, but they didn't sweet me off my feet. In the end I came to the same conclusion as you, I didn't want to go out there searching for love, I wanted it to happen when I least expected it, out of nowhere, and it did! I am now six years down the line with the most amazing husband, three more children and a true believer that what's meant to be will always find a way. xxx

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    1. Oh wonderful! Stories like yours give me hope x

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  2. Whenever I have been 'looking' for love I have never found it. When I don't have any desire for it that when it finds me! Always the way! I agree about the magic too!!

    Sophie x
    www.sophobsessed.com

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    1. Also shopping for clothes right? When I've got money,time and an event to go to NOTHING IN THE SHOPS

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  3. I really believe that love always finds you when you're not looking - a beautifully written post hon x

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    1. Thank you. I have my fingers over my eyes ;)

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  4. A lovely, honest post. Beautifully written. They say love creeps up on you when you least expect it x

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    1. Thank you! Love better be careful, I know self defense :)

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  5. I suppose everyone's story is different but I would agree that love finds you when it's ready and there's nothing you can do about it!

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    1. I think you can be open, you know like give love your number or whatever.

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  6. A beautifully written article and completely in contrast to the organised way of finding love that on-line dating provides. I hope love comes crashing through your door soon clutching a bouquet of roses!

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    1. Thanks! I think online dating is very practical, my problem is that when I'm looking or something it's because I think I need it and that (the need) is NOT attractive.

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  7. I definitely think you're more likely to find love when you're not looking for it. Obviously, relationships take work, but I don't believe it should be an effort to love someone if that makes sense?

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    1. I think having my son has helped me understand that. He is WORK but I love him effortlessly

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  8. I've only ever fallen in love once, when I met my husband and I was 18. I said it was never going to be anything serious and here we are 16 years later.

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  9. I think when it is forced, you might try to force it to make it work, if that makes sense? Lovely post sweet x

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    1. Total sense! I will remember that. Thanks x

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  10. After my marriage ended I was broken and I thought that I would get that sweep you off of your feet love again. It really is the last big of magic that we have as adults.

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    1. I'll hold out for it and if it doesn't come, there's always The Notebook :)

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  11. I love your writing style. I think looking for love does take the magic out of it somewhat. I think you should enjoy doing the things you do, be active (meet people but not necessarily with the intention of falling in love) and let love find you. :) Good luck.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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  12. Sad thing is I have never been in love but have always thought I was. I am sorry to hear about your ex but this was beautifully and even humorously poignant. Love will come one day when you least expect it. I think it will be the same for me too.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope we both find great love and a bit of me hopes it's with ourselves X

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  13. A lovely post. I'm so sorry to hear that things didn't work out with your ex. I would say go for it! Look online, download those apps (they weren't around in my day) Be open to love, but don't let the search consume you. You have so much good in your life. Enjoy that and it will happen xx

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    1. Thank you honey. Often I'm
      sorry too and often I'm open to it being the opening of a new door for both of us. Those apps are scary though :)

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  14. Love will find you when you least expect it, probably right out of the blue! x

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  15. I've learnt that forcing us to find a couple is not really healthy because we can make wrong decisions. I think it's best to stay open and meet people normally, till the special one appears x

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  16. Lovely post. I remember the day I first seen my husband. I flicked my head around and looked at him, he gazed back at me, hehe. Didn't speak for months but we were meant to be..

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  17. Oh it's a tricky one. When I broke up with my ex (now current again - long story) partner, I set myself up on like 4 dating apps, got babysitters and partied etc, all in the hope of bumping into 'the one' as I really longed for the peeing with the door open companionship again (so well put btw Charlene!)
    I feel you, wanting to find it again but I think I echo the others when I say it'll happen when it's good and ready. Hopefully one of your friends will have a light bulb moment and remember there's a Mr Right for you, so much easier when they come with a recommendation right!?

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    1. Long story but a GOOD ONE! Definitely need good references especially no I'm a mum, I think I'd have to stop myself asking for a police check :D

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  18. I agree on the magic but I guess when you go looking for it you never find it. If only life was like the movies x

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  19. I separated from my partner of 5years last year so can totally relate to this. While i want to love again, it's not something i'm actively pursuing, i'm putting myself first for a while. BUT i a firm believer that love will find me in time so who knows what the future holds xx

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    1. Awww I hope you're going okay. I love your belief in love x

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  20. Love your writing. Love tends to find us when we are not looking.

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    1. Thanks honey. No peeking I promise x

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  21. That's a great piece you wrote there. I can confirm it find us when we are not looking. That's how I found my now fiance of 8 years.

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  22. This is such an interesting post. I am still married and have been since i was 20 but my mum spilt with my step dad when i was 11. She was with a few men who were not good for her after that but then stopped looking for love and she bumped into a man who who dated when i was a tiny baby before she met my step dad and got married. She would always say he was the one that got away as my mum had me at 17 and this man wanted to go to uni so their relationship didn't last. So they bumped into each other one night when i was pregnant with my first daughter who is 8 and they have been together ever since. I love the story so much and i am truly happy for her. She always said she knew the right person would come along when she least expected it :)

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    1. Oh goodness! I LOVE a love story. Thanks for sharing x

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  23. In my mummy's experience you find love when you least expect it. She's been married for 10 years now and couldn't imagine looking for love in this day and age x

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    1. She'd be grand but I'm pleased she doesn't have to x

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  24. I didn't expect to fall in love with my husband either, so I am sure it does happen when we are not expecting it.

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  25. I wouldn't give you the crazy eyes. I think you talk a lot of sense. If we all sat back waiting for someone to sweep us off our feet then who would be there to do the sweeping?

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