Why Should I Be Hopeful About Finding Love?

So today is Valentine’s Day (I’m only informing you of this in case you are one of those people who live under rocks), and as with every year, it’s not a day I’ve been looking forward to.  Why?  Because once again I find myself in the position of observer of other women’s treats, and not my own.  Only this year (fortunately) I am not currently working, therefore I can stay in my house and not have to witness women in the workplace receiving surprise bouquets of flowers, balloons and stuffed toys.

Some might say I’m one of those bitter singles, and truthfully I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, but I’m on my way.  In fact, let me be extremely honest with you right now:  I have never been in what most may class as a  ‘proper long-term relationship’.  I have had what I call ‘involvements.’  The longest involvement lasted about 10 months, and that itself was bloody hard work for me.  I know relationships generally take a lot of effort anyway, but this was too much on my part and wasn’t worth it.  Although we were together during Valentine’s Day, he wasn’t the type who even slightly acknowledged it, so I may as well have been fully single.  Conveniently, all the other involvements I have been in have managed to end before or begin after V-Day.

As I get older I’m becoming less and less hopeful about finding love and one day having the family that in my younger days I assumed I would have, but everyone else around me seem to think it’s going to happen and when it does it will be big.  One of the blogs I follow is The Hopeful Romantic, and in light of this day that others are celebrating, I have decided to ask her why she is so positive and remains hopeful about love and romance. She says:

Why am I still hopeful?

It’s a good question… I’m hopeful because I have to be.  I’ll explain.  When a significant relationship broke up last year I went through an extended period of depression.  I have always had a positive outlook on life (albeit one tempered by logic).  My spirit has always been light and in that period after the breakup I lost that woman.  This is a process for me.  This is about me being real and aware of the facts of life, and yet saying that I still believe in LOVE.  And it can be really, really hard, but to steal a phrase: “You’ve got to look further than what you see with your eyes.”

I know that in the run-up to Valentine’s Day it can be particularly difficult as a single person.  You can’t turn around without being bombarded with messages about how wonderful it is to be in love.  The shops are full of hype and commercialisation and yet when you don’t have a ‘significant other’ all you want to do is to be part of the spectacle.  And for the most part, it is spectacle… Valentine’s day is the day when couples pack into an overstuffed restaurant for a ‘romantic meal’, when men pick up that last sad bunch of flowers from the petrol station, and when women up and down the country eyeball the tacky underwear purchase and wonder where the receipt is .  But Valentine’s Day is also the day when the non-demonstrative man steps out of his comfort zone because he knows that his wife loves and appreciates his effort, when people who can’t always get that time they need spend the evening cooking a meal together, and they day when small unexpected gestures are really appreciated. Yes, Valentine’s Day is, in reality, just a day like any other – life doesn’t stop because you do or don’t have another person with you.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being alone at this time of year or in fact at any time of year.  It won’t kill you.  Everyone needs some alone time to establish themselves, to know what they want and to ensure that if they are looking for a ten out of ten that they are bringing their ten out of ten game with them.  The ‘wrong’ lies in the sadness that comes from completely giving up hope of meeting that special person that compliments you.  Being hopeful is about doing you.  Maintaining you.  Loving yourself as a whole person – because you are a pretty special person.

Being a Hopeful Romantic is about me trying to encourage people in a little way – in the way that people I’ve stumbled on at just the right time have encouraged me.  As I’ve said, it isn’t always easy.  As time goes on you do start to wonder.  Will it?  I think when we focus on what we don’t have we start to lose sight of all the great stuff that we do have and we almost repel that very thing we are seeking.  It’s not over until you’re dead, so don’t stop living!

“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” — Audrey Hepburn

Keep going!

#THR

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Speaking Easy – Battle of the Sexes: Parental Custody, Staying Together, Polygamy, What Men and Women Want, Biggest Turn-Offs

 

The first Speakeasy of 2011 took place this week, and it was a funny and lively evening, with a little added twist of being a battle of the sexes, therefore we were seated in opposing male and female sections. Here’s what was discussed:

Why, by default, are mothers awarded custody of the children when a couple split up?

Female:  The mothers are the ones who carried and nurtured the child.  There is a bond that the fathers can not match.

Male:  Women have a distorted view of what a man’s role is.  Just because women carry the child, it doesn’t give them an automatic right.

Female:  It should be split down the middle and the most appropriate parent should have custody of the child.

Male:  A lot of women are more concerned with the quality of their own lifestyle than that of the child.

Female:  It should be equally shared.

Male:  The court system is against the father, no matter what.  It is always the woman who gets he child, regardless of the effort the father has made.

I agree that in the event of a split the child should go to the most appropriate parent.  The male who posed the question said that he thinks men are better financially equipped to look after the child, and even if he is unable to provide the sort of emotional support a mother would, he would know how to make the child strong, especially if it was a son.  Nonsense.

What do you think?

Is society more selfish now?  Our parents and grandparents would stay together for the sake of the children even if they hated each other, but now all our generation care about is that we ourselves are happy.

Female:  Choose the best person for you.  If they make you feel negative in any way, the child will be able to pick up on it, and you will grow to resent your partner later.

Female:  Sometimes you can try your best in a relationship and it will still not work.

Male:  Women are more selfish nowadays, some wan kids regardless of who it is with, just as long as they get a baby.  They have no concept of ‘family’.

Female:  If men protected themselves, they wouldn’t be having unwanted children. 

Female (42 years old but looked FAR younger!):  Hasn’t had any children as yet, because she hasn’t met anyone she’s wanted to have children with.  But she is now at a place in her life where she feels she has established her career and everything she has wanted to achieve, so she is ready to have a child and doesn’t feel she needs a man to help raise it.

Male:  We, as a whole, are confused about how to sustain a successful marriage, because our elders haven’t shown us, simply by staying in unhappy marriages for the sake of the children.  Now that we are the elders, we have to teach the youth how o do it properly.

Female:  Men can produce children until their dying day, women realistically are on the clock past their thirties.

Female:  We live in a society of instant gratification, so everything is about what we want right now and we don’t think in the long-term.

I agree with the guy who said that we haven’t really been taught properly about marriage.  I can think of quite a few aunties, uncles, etc, who are either together just because that’s how it has always been, or are no longer married and literally hate each other.  Therefore I don’t think we can be blamed for wanting to find someone who we can see ourselves being happy with, rather than see marriage as some sort of business transaction.  Children are not stupid, and as much as many parents think that their kids won’t interpret certain situations…trust me, they do.

What do you think?

With the growing number of women professing that all men cheat, should we be considering the idea of polygamy over monogamy?

Male:  We are mammals, and if you look at mammals in the animal kingdom, the don’t stay with just one ‘partner’.

Female:  To suggest that polygamy should be introduced because men are cheating so much would mean that we are accepting that it’s fine for men to move from woman to woman.

This would be such a silly reason to legalise polygamy, and I completely agree with the lady who spoke.  It’s not about letting men off so easily, we should rather work to find out why they are cheating, and put an end to it.  Okay… yes I know, that wouldn’t happen in our lifetime, but I refuse to believe that men are not designed to be with just one woman, because there are men who do not cheat, so it is more than possible.  Another person brought up the fact that polygamy doesn’t exist purely for men to be able to move between women, it is rather seen as another form of creating a family.

What do you think?

What is the biggest turn-off in the opposite sex?

As the mic was sent around the room, there was a whole load of opinions:

Laziness

Lying

Arrogance

A flat bum

Pretence

Deseperation

Bad hygiene

Black women who do not identify with African culture

Bitch-ass men

Women who think that raising a child means to just shout at them

Inability to care for oneself

Lack of ambition and drive

Men who say they can deliver but can’t

Lack of cultural awareness

Inability to communicate

Not being able to articulate

Women who speak and behave like men

I have to say that although all those mentioned are turn-offs, for me it is a tie desperation and a man who chooses to speak like a teenager. Innit, you get me doh blud?

How about you?

Adult-Only Flights? Hmm…

  It has been reported in the Daily Mirror today that there are calls for airlines to introduce ‘Adult Only’ flights, for the sake of peaceful journeys for passengers, according to a survey carried out on Business Class fliers.  Seventy-five percent of those questioned cited unruly children and the sound of crying coming from Economy Class as their biggest gripe.

It’s funny this should come up now, because something similar crossed my mind while on my journey back to London from Ghana last month.  I actually enjoyed my Economy Class flight – the staff were friendly and helpful, the entertainment was good, and the turbulence was at a minimum (I despise turbulence so you did well that day Virgin!).  The only problem was that there were three families around me with children under two years of age, and throughout the flight, at different times, these children were crying (or shall I say screaming!) for whatever reasons.  It was jarring my bones.  In my head I think I had a few fantasy Scrubs or Ally McBeal moments, where I got out of my seat, went over to the offending child and just screamed continuously in their face to see how they like it.  But in real life I just tolerated it, because I could see the parents were feeling bad enough.

Most of us don’t have the luxury of flying Business Class for every journey, like some of those surveyed probably do, so they should just imagine that the irritation they feel is two-fold for the rest of us.  I love kids (well those I’m related to and my friends’ beautiful children) and I fully intend to have some of my own some day, but I don’t see the problem in having a specific area on a plane for families with young children, and adult-only long-haul flights wouldn’t be a bad idea either.  Of course a lot of parents are up in arms about such a suggestion, but no one is saying that children should be banned from flying full-stop (I’m certainly not saying that), there should just be consideration for others.  Just because you think your little Timmy is the most adorable thing ever created, doesn’t mean everyone else does.  He may be a complete angel when you’re at home, but unfortunately he’s not communicating this to me on right now in these close quarters.

My journey made me come to the decision that when I do become a mother, I will not be taking a long distance flight with my child until he or she can speak clearly and understand fully the instructions I give them.  And know that crying and screaming won’t stop your ears from popping, but it will get you a spanking when we get off this plane.  Just be quiet and chew the gum.