“and I still haven’t found what I’m lookin’ for…”

A few years ago, I used to be a believer. No, I’m not talking about God, Buddha, Jesus or Cher (although, I love your work, guys). I’m talking about love. Hopeless, romantic, undiluted love. I was, I guess, a cardinal of the church of love. My ex-boyfriend would grill me about my views on love and believing that love conquers all, on a daily basis.

When I was 18, I was sat in a park with the guy who I would then go on to spend a significant chunk of my early life with. After finishing my shift at the nursing home that I was working in at the time, I met him at the park at about 9pm. It was pitch black and I was freezing! That didn’t matter, because my heart and my head were on fire. With my heart pumping fast on overdrive, he looked at me and asked me to be his boyfriend (I was 18 and still young enough for that question to be socially acceptable). My smile went from one ear to the other, my face felt prickly and I stuttered between trying to catch my breath and say yes at the same time. I wanted to scream from the rooftops

“I HAVE A BOYFRIEND!! WE ARE IN LOVE AND I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW!”

If we take a look at the last boyfriend I had, when I was stood in his kitchen, being asked how I felt if he introduced me to his family as his boyfriend, rather than “this is that Kalvin guy I mentioned”. I should have had a beaming smile, a pulse strong enough to sink a ship and butterflies making me float across the room, but there was none of that at all. All I could muster was a simple “yeah, that’d be cool”. Really, I didn’t feel anything. For a while, I thought that there must have been something wrong with me because I wasn’t feeling that thrill that I’d felt the last time. Needless to say, the relationship didn’t work out, for one reason or the other (“It’s not you, it’s me”, but we’ll come to that another time), and so it came to be that I reserved another seat for myself on the train to singlesville. A few days ago, I got to debating with my own mind about my opinion on love (I debate with myself on a daily basis): Had I become the Scientologist rather than the head of my own church of love?

I wouldn’t say so. Not completely, anyway. I think that when I started upon my journey of ‘finding myself’, sat on my bed in that godforsaken hotel room in China, I wasn’t aware that when my relationship died, a part of me died with it.

I used to think that I was looking for love. I wanted a romance to outdo every love story ever written, because I believed that I deserved it, after the stuff that I went through. It turns out that after finding ‘romance’ (if you can call it that), that I was in fact looking for something more than the title of ‘boyfriend’ and I didn’t want to settle for spending my Saturday afternoons traipsing around Poundland. I wanted (and still want) more than that. Why settle for a burnt out matchstick when you can have fireworks?

Fireworks don’t just appear out of thin air, and you cannot find that sort of relationship with just any guy. I’m always being told to wait for the magic to find me, because apparently, it happens when you least expect it and when you’re not actually looking for it. So let’s put it to the test.

Click here for the next instalment

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