All the kings horses

I was walking on Camps Bay yesterday with the doggies, when I ran into a old friend. This particular friend is a theatre Director / Producer and a hold-over of my days when I worked for Artscape. I hadn`t seen him in a while and we had loads of catching up to do. We decided to have drinks (dogs in tow) and he was shocked to hear that I was no longer involved with my ex-partner (Let`s call him X). Now when he met me I was still very much involved with X and, as a couple, we spent a fair amount of time with this gentleman. Yesterday was bitter-sweet, as it was one of the good things that still tie me to X and most reminders of that relationship doesn`t always sit well with me.

In catching up we obviously touched on subject matters that I (thought) are well dead and buried…i.e, My break up with X, what happened (I still don`t know?), would I ever want to go back there (uh? Yes. I love pain.) and how I`m keeping now (Seeing as I haven`t been in a serious relationship since then). Incidentally, dating is hard work and when I meet up with people who knew about X, I have to keep on reminding them that my single status is not as a result of latent feelings left for him. It`s just that meeting new people is tedious and sometimes I just couldn`t be bothered).

Anyway, the point is that I went home last night thinking abut the things I have learned in the past couple of years things I didn`t know in my early twenties and I have had to learn the hard way. And maybe …I just need to remind myself why I am picky and why I am so incredibly comfortable with being me right now.

It`s like a little mantra on How not to be a silly bugger next time…

Dear Jean,

In the future, please remember the following:

You are an amazing woman, please stop dating guys that are not so amazing.

– It`s OK that he is still “best friends” with his ex. However, it is NOT ok that he seems to be in a sort of psuedo-marriage with her. If he’s still emotionally involved with her, he can’t be emotionally involved with me.

– If for some strange reason you don`t meet his friends but he has met all of yours and gets along famously with them, question it. If he won’t introduce you to any of them, that says something even more valuable.

– Run, and fast, when life becomes a routine. You cannot sustain a relationship in front of the TV. Do stuff together.

– The guy for me needs to have discernible moral convictions. Not necessarily religious in nature, but there has to be some standards, some life code that he follows or adheres to. While it works for some people, having no boundaries is not OK with me. I am liberal enough to understand a need for expression but I draw the line at a total lack of moral code.

– Someone I am going to be with for the long term needs to be honest and forthright about his past, willing to share with me, and respectful of my needs and boundaries.

– It’s not enough to just be a warm body who’s nice and calls on time. He has to be more than that in order to deserve all the wonderful things I have to offer.

– He needs to be doing something in his life he likes, or at least working towards it. Dealing with someone else’s depression over the fact that they are wasting their life in a dead-end job, when they’re not motivated enough to try to fix their situation, will never work out for me. I am a doer. I make things happen. I change my situation. Hopeless and pathetic doesn’t work for me.

– He doesn`t have to be some kind of yuppie, but some measure of ambition is important and so is finanacial independence. I don`t expect you to look after me don`t expect me to look after you.

– I have my place. Your have yours. Cohabitation is a serious next step. I like crawling just fine.

– I need to feel like I am getting back what I’m putting in. Emotionally and mentally and intellectually and physically. I need to be with someone who is capable of that.

– I need to be strong when I meet new men, and be willing to part with the ones I know FOR SURE aren’t right as soon as I realize it. (See, for instance, “a warm body isn’t enough.”).

– I want to be with someone who takes care of me sometimes. I want to be able to feel vulnerable once in a while. I want someone who can be strong for me, and help me, and motivate me in my life goals and pursuits.

– The guy who is right for me will understand how much I put into a relationship, how thoughtful and romantic and wonderful I can be, and he’ll WANT that from me and WANT to give it back to me, not just be willing to take it because it’s there and I’m stupid enough to keep giving it to someone that doesn’t deserve it.

– Men and women cannot be long-term friends, who suddenly become lovers for the sake of scratching an itch. Don`t shag a friend for the sake of shagging. It`s not worth the sacrifice of your friendship and integrity.

– I am not unlovable. I may be unlovable to this particular guy, at least in his mind, who knows? I may have just met someone who is not mature enough, emotionally, to be with someone who is at the place I am in life. If this guy can’t love me, who cares? I couldn’t have loved him either, not in the long run, and that’s OK.

– I am cool, and smart, and funny, and attractive and I definitely deserve to find someone who respects me, and is capable of giving ME what *I* need…not just taking what he needs.

– I am a nurturer at heart. I love to take care of people. But I don’t want or have to take in every stray dog of a man I meet and nurse him back to health so that he’ll be in great shape to go back to his ex, or be a great boyfriend for someone else. No more stray dogs. I`ve had my fill of being the doctor.

– Marriage is NOT the logical conclusion to a relationship. An adult partnership is not that prescriptive.

And there it is…It may sound like I’m being precious and extremely self-aware. But surely therein lies the answer. Don’t settle, but always keep an open mind. I`m sure as I go on and stumble and fall, I`ll add to the list (and proabably kill myself in the process ;-p). Being the type of person that I am, I don`t always make safe decisions and sometimes I get myself into really really stupid situations. And that`s ok. Life and Love is not supposed to be easy, right? And how mundane would life be if that was the case.

So, to all the boys I`ve loved before…

Thank you. I`ve managed to survive your phobia`s, issues and infidelities. I`m ok and I`m stronger – and one day soon, I`ll make the right decisions

Incidentally, had an amazing weekend. Had friends over for supper on Thursday (I was still eating the chocolate pudding last night, Leo!), shopping with my mom and sister most of Friday, spent time with my cousin and her husband on Friday and Saturday evening (awesome!), spent most of Saturday afternoon unpacking the last of my boxes and suitcases which were still left unpacked after the move, had lunch with my daddy yesterday (now who`s a daddy`s girl?) and went off to have drinks and stuff in Camps Bay the afternoon. Yeah, I did get time to sleep.

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