Finding Love In The City – Entry 2: Valentine’s Day, solo

I love love.

I said to a dude recently that I know some people become jaded and desensitized, and eventually want to give up, or just give in to hook-ups without borders. And I understand that. I understand that’s how some people work.

But it’s not my jam.

I’m fully committed to the idea of finding love. That somewhere there’s a dude that I’m supposed to meet. And it’s going to be amazing, and awesome. And right.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m not going to spend the day wasting away in some funk or melancholy that I wasn’t with someone today. That I didn’t get flowers. Or a date. Or a cuddle watching Netflix. Maybe next year, but not this year.

Some of my romantic conquests in the past have been super jazzed about Valentine’s Day. One of my exes and I had our anniversary on V Day. Some of my previous relationships gave as much care about the love holiday as they did anything else they didn’t pay attention to. Valentine’s Day has been everything for me. Lonely, exciting, euphoric, lame, awesome, romantic, dull, sad and amazing. Today, I’m just going to peruse the room of my friends and their lovers and watch them celebrate. And I’ll post lots of love quotes and photos and videos and memes and remember that today I may be single, but single doesn’t have to equate to unhappy.

Whatever you are today, I’m sending you all the love I can muster. Because this year, I’m okay to be single. Because single this year just means that what’s meant to be still will be. And it’s okay to be a minor character on this year’s love holiday. Who knows will next year will bring?

It’s been another week in the world of online dating. As the days go by, I’m consistently intrigued by what dating can bring. Should I ever get to the dating part. Lots of conversations. Conversations that go on for days and days until they eventually fizzle out. Conversations that pop up here and again. But nothing committed. The first part of making a match on an app is seeing if you can go beyond the superficial (I swiped right because you’re hot AF, are you DTF?), and see if there’s really any chemistry.

I’ve been listening to just a shitwhack of love songs today. I started with “Cupid” by Sam Cooke. I’m onto the Four Seasons. I’ve been running through these classic oldies, listening to the love songs roll right into one another, like an avalanche of emotions. It’s unbearably sweet, and hopeful, and whimsical. I love it.

“I’m easy like Sunday morning,” croons Lionel.

It’s been a time this week! A TIME. I finally went out on Friday night to a friend’s house. And he and his wife and I just drank and sang karaoke and I hobbled my silly ass on my air cast from my house to theirs. And it was fantastic.

Part of the evening was spent catching up. And it was my turn to listen. It was my turn to stop talking and just hear what he had to say. “You left us, Care,” he said, “I love you. And I waited for you to come back. But you disappeared. For two years, you were just gone.”

I remember biting my lip. Trying not to protest what he was saying. Because he was absolutely correct. I had vanished. I spent so long trying to lose one identity in favour for another that I’d completely lost who I was entirely.

“The girl I met – the girl on radio, who shut down bars with me, who spent time with me, danced with me, she left,” he went on. “This Care – the one here tonight. This is the one I remembered.”

It took everything out of me not to cry as he continued to unveil what the last two years has meant to him. And same goes for the last six months I’ve spent patching up the pieces of my heart. He said, “I left you alone intentionally. I knew when you were ready to come around again, you would.”

And I did. From the end of September till right now, I’ve focussed on getting settled, getting Kid C established. I’ve gone about figuring out my finances. Hanging the portraits on my walls, and creating goals for myself. Trying to figure out who I am, who I want to be now. And part of that was getting back out to see old friends who missed me as much as I had missed them.

The conversations in online dating begin. They asking who I’ve met, who I’m talking to. Would I like them to set me up. Who’s piqued my interest. Have I met anyone in person? What’s your plan, they ask. What do you want?

I’m single’in and mingle’in, I laugh.

One dude on Tinder has changed my name to “sexy”. “Morning sexy,” he writes with a kiss emoji. I don’t respond.

Another asks what I wear to bed.

One came straight out and said: I’m just here for hookups. Are you? When I respond “no”, we virtually high five, unmatch and go on our way. I probably have more respect for that guy than I do for most on the app. Thank you, stranger, for not wasting my time. Good luck on your Tindering. And I mean that sincerely.

Some of my conversations are enticing. And lovely.

“Hey doll,” one writes. I’m already blushing. That reminds me. I should message him.

There are the jokers, and the tokers. The lovers and the alpha males. The guys who love to tell you all about their life, but refuse to ask anything in return. “Do you have kids?” I ask. “Yes.” They say. I think for a moment and ask: “How is co-parenting for you?” “Fine,” they reply. “Are you vaccinated?” I venture. “Yes.” sighhhhhh. One worded answers get me nowhere.

“I’ll be seeing you,” Billie is promising from my living room as my Valentine’s Day playlist continues. This song was from The Notebook. The tale of Ally and Noah – two unlikely lovers who manage to requite their love after a summer romance tears them apart. And once they give in to their respective feelings, they have the love of a lifetime. “That’s my sweetheart,” a geriatric Noah explains to his adult children about Ally. And not time, or illness, or anything else will tear these lovers apart.

With a day saturated of love stories, and fables, and fairytales, I’ve also taken to watching Love Is Blind. Season 2 dropped on Netflix this weekend, and right on time. I found myself completely obsessed with the first season, despite not being someone who generally takes to reality tv. But there’s something so intriguing about this cast of characters attempting to find love without seeing the other person – finding attraction and happiness by only knowing a person’s heart. As these looking-for-love adults sit in pod after pod, talking through walls, bearing their souls, I listen to them in their confessionals. Talking about how apps are superficial. How they’ll swipe left on someone strictly because of how they look, but knowing nothing of the person inside.

It’s hard to imagine how many people swipe left on me just because of how I look. Physically overweight. Piercings. Tattoos. Too old. Hair colour too wild. For whatever reason they’ve swiped left, it wasn’t for giving my heart a chance. It wasn’t for listening to be whittle on about life, and happiness, and wants and desires through a pod wall. And would an experiment like that work for someone like me? Who am I swiping left on – and why? For the same reasons?

Let’s not forget that most of us in my age group have typically already had one significant relationship. Probably more. Most of us have kids, and some are younger. Some have moved out. Some of us are scorned. And some of us are afraid to meet someone new. Some I’ve met are so recently separated, they haven’t even confided in their families yet. Some people are experimenting. Some are just dipping a big toe into the dating pool, and they’re hard to get to know because they’re so afraid of letting out too much too early.

I’ve relegated myself to Tinder and Hinge. And a couple of conversations through mutual friends. I don’t really know what happens next. If I’m supposed to be hopeful, or cautiously optimistic.

“Dream dream dream,” chides the Everly Brothers. Excellent timing.

There’s a lot of that happening. A lot of dreaming. But in the good, day-dreamy kind of way. I finally truly love seeing my friends in love. I’m in the space where I want to see the happiness. The dreamy, hazy love that two people truly get to share. The kind that locks eyes across the table, steal a glance a the family function. The person you look at while listening to someone recite their vows. I’m glad that there are friends of mine who are completely euphoric in their relationships – whether they celebrate Valentine’s Day, or work in partnerships of mutual adoration. The kinds that are over the top with their proclamations of love and romance, and the kinds that are satisfied to just be with each other and no PDA is going to change what’s at the root of their relationship – love.

On this Valentine’s Day, I hope you get what you’re looking for.

Maybe there’s romance in the air for you. Maybe it’s a dinner date. Maybe it’s putting the kids to bed early, and taking two minutes to each other. Or a cuddle over an old movie you both haven’t seen in years.

Maybe you’re cooking dinner alone. Maybe you and the gals are grabbing drinks. Maybe you’re ignoring today because it means nothing more to you than another day in February.

Maybe you’re silently wishing for a different Valentine’s Day next year.

Whatever you are today, I’m sending you all the love I can muster. Because this year, I’m okay to be single. Because single this year just means that what’s meant to be still will be. And it’s okay to be a minor character on this year’s love holiday. Who knows will next year will bring?

Lionel is singing from the living room again … “Once, twice, three times a lady,” he muses.

Well. D’aww.

One Comment Add yours

  1. brendaratcliffe says:

    Omg your amazing and your blog made me cry🥲I have been single for years and I guess I have just gotten use to it but reading this makes me realize how I would love to have that love that special Valentine to spoil me adore me and I adore him!! But…. After a very abusive marriage I deserve nothing but love and I refuse to settle for anything less dating sites no thank you too many creeps and some just looking for romps not my jam either to be used for sex again I deserve want more. My mother always said there is a lid for every pot I just haven’t found my lid!! If love comes my way I never shut the door to that only because I live my life of what’s meant to be will be. So as I age every day if it doesn’t happen I will just grow old alone and sometimes I wonder if that’s for the best I have so many scars and insecurities it would take a special man to see my beautiful heart and help me work with scars but in the meantime I will always keep that one eye open hoping to find love one day. Special Care my wish for you Is you find that love I use to get goose bumps when I thought you found that love in Jan but I guess it wasn’t meant to be but your young and I am sure your lid is there waiting for you!! ❤️🌹Ty for your blogs love reading them!

    Sent from my iPhone

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