Category Archives: being single

Date me! : I’m a chronic overthinker … 

Really, you’d have to be as nuts as I am to date me. My anxiety disorder often manifests itself in over thinking . I can work myself up into a frenzy about situations that are never going to happen. I can decide what OTHER people are thinking about me and make that fact in my mind. I grab hold of one comment someone has made and obsess over it relentlessly, make the highest  mountain of the tiniest molehill and it always ends with me being in a panic.

So I can either drive myself even more nuts worrying about it or I can laugh at how ridiculous I am at times.

I choose the latter.

It has become apparent that dating is the ideal place for my anxious  over thinking to thrive. Let’s face it, in this kind of scenario EVERYONE is trying to put the best version of themselves forward. You want to be liked. That’s how it works.

Poor unfortunate souls who date me though? They’re already fighting an uphill battle.

What he’ll say : You look amazing tonight

What I’ll take from that : aaaaw he fancies me! I’m rocking this dress!. ..errrrm hang on a minute. I look amazing TONIGHT? Has he been thinking I look rubbish every other time he’s seen me? Oh my! What on earth was I wearing last time? I must burn that outfit immediately.

What he’ll say : You can choose where we eat. I’ll eat anything.

What I’ll take from that: Ah how considerate, he knows I’ve odd little food ‘quirks’ … Oh wait, he obviously thinks I’m really high maintenance. He said he’ll eat anything – the undertone being that I’m a problem, my food dislikes are the barrier to us eating somewhere nice. He’s going to think I’m too much hard work and dump me!

What he’ll say : I’ve found us a new cocktail bar to try, you’ll love it.

What I’ll take from that : He’s so cute thinking of me when I’m not there.. .. although ‘us’? ? ? Did he just use’ us’? Bloody hell stop pressurising me, stop trying to encroach on my space you’ll be trying to move in next! While we’re at it-I’ll love it? ! Sure we’ve done cocktails often. Sure I’ve always raved about how much I’ve enjoyed it. Sure he’s been lovely enough to take time to get to know my likes and dislikes. Thinking he knows what I’ll love though? Cheek of it! Slow down Mr Telepathic!

What he’ll say : You’re fantastic to be around, I’m so relaxed around you.

What I’ll take from that : Yay! Yay! Hot guy thinks I’m great… Relaxed though? Relaxed? Is he saying I’m boring? Like he’s so ‘relaxed’ he’s borderline comatose because my company is so dull?

What he’ll say : I’ve got you a surprise!

What I’ll take from that : Ooo he’s so into me he’s getting me gifts! Eeeek this is awesome! Surprise though, WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DOES IT HAVE TO BE A SURPRISE? It could be anything, what if it’s something I don’t like and I’ve gotten this whole scenario wrong thinking he really gets me to discover he really doesn’t? He knows about my anxiety, why is the word surprise even in his vocabulary?

– upon receiving lovely, thoughtful gift. .

Yes but what does it MEAN though?

*brain explodes*

I mean, I think I do quite well and manage to control the over thinking most of the time and I can certainly cover up the underlying rabidness but I’ve also come to accept this is just part of what makes me, me.
The right guy will find it endearing I’m sure.. Or learn to live with it at least. I have to! !


My Facebook page is here

 
 

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Packing up the emotional baggage that was never even mine

I’ve been telling you for ages now about how healed I finally feel years after I left the abusive relationship. Therapy, this blog and time were a really helpful trio is aiding this and I feel mentally more healthy in so many ways.

I’ve accepted as fact though that I’ll always have my little ‘issues’ left over from that relationship. I accepted I’d been damaged and some of that was irreparable, but that’s life I just had to get on with it.

That’s bullshit.

You see I’ve come to realise many of my ‘little issues’ are in fact not mine at all and there’s no chance I’m carrying around someone else’s baggage around with me forever.

Let me try to explain…

My lack of confidence in my parenting ‘issue’

Yep that was never mine.

I think I’m doing an OK job. Some days I’m supermum, some days I’m locking  myself in the bathroom and wondering what on earth I’m meant to be doing. I’ve come to realise this is how many (dare I say most) parents find parenting. A roller coaster of joy and worry?

The issue here belongs to the person so aware of his own crap parenting that he needed to make someone else doubt themselves at every turn to make himself feel better and essential to my existence.

He can have that one back.

My emotional ‘issues’
Yeah I’m cold and unfeeling. I struggle to express my emotions and in fact emotions as a whole terrify me…

More bullshit…

Here I am, in this very blog expressing my feelings and emotions. To other people. Often over sharing in fact (sorry about that! )
It turns out I feel a whole myriad of emotions which from time to time I even manage to express quite articulately (ssshhh don’t tell about the rogue grammar and excessive exclamation marks!)

The issue here was with the person who stifled my emotions in the first place, who belittled me expressing my feelings. The person so threatened by a chatty, intelligent, ambitious woman he had to squish all that out of her by one way or another.

He can certainly have that one back.
The icy ‘keep away’ wall that lingered around me long after he did should have only ever have been built around him… . Preferably with no door. .. and a with a lid… and then buried. …. Anyway I digress… but yes, not my issue.

My intimacy ‘issues’
This was quite a clever one to make me believe was mine. It allowed him to retain a bit of power long after he’d gone.

I hate touching and affection – well seems when I’m relaxed and comfy in another persons company I’m actually quite the fan!

If I let another person see me naked what with me being so grotesque his eyes would dissolve at the sight.  – trickier to get over this one, I grant you. We suffer enough with body confidence as women as it is, particularly when you’re a mum.

After an abusive relationship though when that’s been a huge weapon in his armour you’re going to disregard anything positive a new person will tell you, ignore compliments. The ‘fat and ugly’  voice in your head is louder. 
Not forever though.  When a positive, complimentary voice  is consistent and you choose to allow THAT voice to be louder… Well it turns out the ‘fat and ugly’ voice shuts up eventually.
A multitude of sex ‘issues’. I was probably best celibate forever –
Again, tricky. I decided to own this one though. Warn anyone I got involved with how awful at sex I am. I may have used the line “honestly if I was reviewed like on TripAdvisor I’d get 1 star” (a REAL issue I have is thinking I’m funny-it’s a family thing)
Turns out (and I detect a recurring theme here. .. Comfortable… Relaxed. . ) not my issue either!
They were the issues of a man who needed me to totally believe the only person who would ever be interested in me was him.
These are getting so much easier to return to sender.
After all the big stuff this is going to sound daft. The ‘issue’ I got worked up over the most though was that I knew, definitely I’d never ever be able to sleep in a bed with a man.

How would I explain this to a new boyfriend I was trying to enthrall and interest? Where in all the flirting do you slip in “can you sleep on the sofa please a man in my bed  freaks me out”

Come on , you can’t do that I’d think to myself . It’s OK I’d just lay in bed and pretend to sleep. Keep up the illusion of being a normal human.

That’s genius…Oh except ..I can only even fake sleep if I’m at the side of the bed nearest the door. I can’t possibly even breath if there’s a person laid between the door and I , he’s going to spot the crazy there immediately.

I was a lost cause, how sexy is a panic attack at 2am because you’re at the ‘wrong’ side of the bed?

This turned out to be the most insignificant worry ever. Again – relaxed and comfy around the right person  I can sleep soundly, even more amazing I didn’t even realise I’d slept the whole night at the wrong side, away from the door, until much later.
This one had been my issue. Caused by another persons behaviour then magnified ridiculously by my own brain.
So if I could overcome issues that were partly mine. Well the ones that belonged to other people, mislabelled as mine? Certainly time they were packed into the suitcase marked ‘Someone Else’s Baggage’ and said goodbye to for good!



Here’s my Facebook page 

 




The Boyfriend List

I, tongue firmly in cheek, allude to The Boyfriend List in this blog whenever I chat about my singleness or my absolute unshakeable belief that MY Mr Perfect is out there somewhere. I say ‘my’ Mr Perfect because obviously no one actually is perfect are they? I believe there’s someone out there who is perfect for me though.

During a particularly productive therapy session years and years ago I produced a list of characteristics my ideal partner would have. It became The Boyfriend List.

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Now I know EXACTLY what you are thinking. You’re thinking that’s pretty demanding list for a woman in her mid 30s with a whole brood of children. I know that’s how it appears.

Let me explain.

Back when I wrote this list I was still battle weary after the abusive relationship. I was also hugely aware that I was vulnerable.

Life after abuse is scary.

The problem with being tired and wounded and damaged is this : It attracts the very men you need to be well away from. Abusive men love vulnerability, to them it means malleable, easy to manipulate, easy to control.

Even back then I knew I wasn’t put off men forever. That I wasn’t sworn off relationships. It’s unusual to get to my age and never having been in love. I knew one day I wanted to give that a whirl (how on earth can I write my best selling rom com without ever even have had a sniff of the happy ever after stuff)

I was distrustful of my own judgement when I wrote the list. I also knew EVERY relationship I’ve ever been in had come about accidentally. There was never any desire or admiration or even the simple crush about them. I’d met someone, thought they were OK and fallen into a relationship I didn’t particularly want.

I never want to do that again.
So despite how it looks, my list really isn’t a demand.
It’s a promise. To myself.
It’s saying don’t settle.
It’s saying I deserve someone a bit special.
It’s saying even if he never shows you’re best on your own than in a shitty relationship.
It’s saying don’t lower your standards.

Also, as was pointed out to me – (my name is Kelly and I’m the least self aware person in the world) this list isn’t unreasonable.
I’m not asking to be woken in the morning to a specially assembled dawn chorus of trained birds before having breakfast brought in bed on a golden platter followed by out of this world, mind blowing sex. To later find myself spending the day on the yacht of my boyfriend, the most handsome man to walk the earth, lounging in my diamond shoes having my every whim catered to by an adoring man.
It’s really just asking for a decent human being.
That’s not too much to ask is it?

My Facebook blog page is here

The Pramshed

One Messy Mama

Ah so I’ve some weird crushes…

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that my taste in men is a little.. Errrr.. Different.
That’s OK though, remember I told you about the psychic lady who told me that the love of my life is going to be an ‘acquired taste’ and a little ‘off the wall’. Reassuring then that this is the kind of guy I get crushy over. I like to think my odd taste in men means I’m not shallow, that it take more than a pretty face to woo me! (unless it’s Becks… in those pants.. then shallow me up I admit it I’m not wondering what he’s thinking about)
So if I tell you mine, you tell me yours? Deal?
1) George Michael

I initially wrote this post before we lost George,but I’m leaving him here. I spent many a year believing we’d get married in the end.
Not so weird, everyone loved George back in day. Even of late though when he’s crashing into photo shops I still have a tiny crush. The thing is, he’s the first boy I ever had a crush on and it’s stuck. Whenever I’ve seen him interviewed I’m intrigued and fascinated by the guy. To tell you the truth many of my crushes turn out to be on gay men (Will Young you broke my heart) but that’s OK. I’ve as much chance of getting it on with the gay celeb crushes as the straight ones (zero chance if you’re wondering)
2)Chris Evans

No. Not the film star one. The ginger one. Yep. Him.
My absolute giddiness at the return of TFI last year wasn’t solely because I love the show and couldn’t wait to share it with the kids. There was an element of that of course. There was though, the matter of a 15 year long crush on the guy. It peaked throughout the Billie years as I fancy the pants off her too, but the fact they spent months hanging about in beer gardens… yeah that worked for me!
3) Peter Capaldi

Obvious Doctor Who love featuring here I also swoon (love that word, if Mr Perfect comes along and there is no physical swooning I’ll be disappointed) over David Tennant in the role too. I suppose it’s not just Capaldi himself I crush over but his incarnation of The Doctor. The mean and moody sadness, the rage, the passion… yeah does it for me. I’d happily spend my days tossing about in the TARDIS with him! I mean this weekend’s Where I stand is where I fall speech ??Just.Wow.
4) Andy Murray

I know he comes across as a bit of a grump (I’m feeling a bit of a sulky ‘artistic temperament’ theme here) I know his post match interviews aren’t the most enthralling. Well except that time he lost Wimbledon – do you remember when he CRIED! Oh be still my beating heart. Never have I wanted to scoop a person up and take them home more (for cheering up and cake hush!)
When he’s playing though, his bad loser thing, the swearing at himself, the way he gives himself little pep talks well leaves me a bit flustered if I’m honest.
I LOVE HIM (the superarse nickname is just to cover up my true love and devotion of course)
5) Simon Cowell

No it’s the not the yachts and the cash. It’s the winking OK?
I may come across as the slightly ice hearted girl who doesn’t get giddy over men but the one thing that gets me weak in the knees and blushy and giggly is a wink.
I love a winker.
Unfortunately the universe has gotten that one letter wrong on many an occasion.

Come on your turn…
Confess, you’ll feel better..

Xxxxx


My Facebook page is here

The good things about being single in the summer…

Now I know I wrote about how I think I could maybe possibly deal with a bit of  summer romance , you can read that just here.

However should I more likely find myself a summer singleton that’s ok. It has it’s advantages- it does honestly. Let me try to sell it to you.

1) No extra sweaty bodies in your bed

I don’t know about you but when it’s a really hot night , I can only just about put up with my own hot sweaty body in my bed. I definitely do not want another, especially if they are a  cuddler…yuk!

 

2)Solo sun time is fun!!

It is!!! OK I grant you , sat picnicking alone would make you look like you’ve never quite grown out of the imaginary friend stage. Spending the afternoon in a beer garden on your lonesome may get you  few odd looks. However sitting in the sunshine somewhere pretty with a good book is one of life’s little pleasures.If you really want a treat pack a gin in a tin too! I won’t judge

 

3)You don’t have to ‘make an effort’ if you don’t want

When you’re seeing someone you kinda feel obliged to look nice. Summertime though for me I don’t really want to be worrying about doing my hair or wearing make up. I want to tie my hair back ,leave my increasingly freckly face bare and off I go not having to worry about giving someone a fright.

 

4)You don’t have to join in someone else’s social life

Summer is barbeque season. Nothing better than the epic combo of beer , burger and great company in the sun. If you’re all loved up that’s going to feel even better I’m sure. The only problem is , as part of a couple you have to do all this stuff with your other half’s friends and family too. Their friends might be a bunch of knobs. You know where you stand with your own.

 

5)Ice lollies

You know when you really , really fancy someone and your gaze falls over them often as you marvel at their beauty? Well I’m telling you now even Becks himself , king of sex would put you off slurping on a twister ( NOT a euphemism) Ice lollies are the work of the devil himself – when other people are eating them I mean. I’m quite fond of a mini milk myself (STILL not a euphemism) The slurping , the sucking , the dribbling …urgh. Enough to destroy any budding relationship. Also a little glimpse into why I am still single!

 

Summer singledom isn’t so bad. As a silver lining finding kind of girl I’m going to embrace it. Spending summer with people I actually like, sleeping alone and being able to dribble ice lolly down my cleavage all I like!

Course if the Mr Perfect Summer Boyfriend rocks up, don’t hold me to these words! Well except the ice lolly one *shudder*

 

Rhyming with Wine

 

The Summer boyfriend plan..

Being single suits me, I quite like it. In the main I’m a bit of a solitude loving kind of girl.

When the sun is shining though, it even manages to thaw my icy heart a little and my mind wanders to thoughts of a bit of romance. Handholding on a gorgeous summer stroll, snogging in the sunshine.

It’s all a guy in Wales fault. Can I bore you with that story?
One summer we were holidaying in Wales, my eyes wandered to a picturesque stream with the background of stunning Welsh hills. There by the stream was a picnic going on. A romantic picnic for two. This guy had gone all out. Beautiful picnic basket, lovely blanket, the perfect surroundings. The food was laid out like a feast of cooked meats and various salads. He’d baked the bread that morning with his bare hands (OK I’ve made that bit up but I bet he did. Kneaded it with love) Champagne in the ice bucket. Just perfect. Anyway it touched even me miss perma – single sceptical ice maiden. I actually thought aaaww

So the sunshine now does make me think I could do the summer romance. I’d quite like Mr super picnic himself but he seemed to be taken. I mean given my track record I’d find a guy who thought a dairylea sandwich in a car park the height of romance, but we’ll see.

So I’m leaving a gap for the summer romance although a boyfriend is JUST for the summer DEFINITELY not for life (yeah I know bit weird – I’ve intimacy issues leave me be)

I think it’s a good plan for a love – phobe like me.

My kids are away for 2 blocks of a week at a time during the hols, summer boyfriend could be like a little hobby to keep me busy.

Obviously there’d be strict parameters.
No love stuff
No wanting to be around me ALL the time.
A very strict end point, say 1st Sept? Where we can shake hands, say thanks for a lovely summer and leave it there.
Just beer gardens, picnics and bbq’s, sweetness and niceness and all that stuff

Infallible plan don’t you think?

Now, just to locate a hot, funny guy with impeccable manners and similar commitment issues… Shouldn’t be too hard..

If it doesn’t work here’s why it’s great to be single in summer , never let it be said I don’t cover all angles!

My FB page is here if you like my nonsense! https://m.facebook.com/kellyandthekidsblog/

The problem with the Mr Perfect list (spoiler alert:I’m a bit weird)

Today started horribly with anxiety. So as the day has gone on and all my anxiety ridden quirks have made them self known I’ve done the only thing I really ever can now I’m coming out of the other side of it – laugh at myself and how bloody nutty I can be at times, whilst wondering what kinda guy would find my quirks endearing rather than irritating.

I have my perfect partner wishlist, I’m kind of brutal with it too.

Chatty
Lovely manners
Good with kids
Non needy
Respectful to everyone
Has opinions
Intelligent
Reads
Likes the theatre
Funny
Respects personal space
Creative
Optimistic in the main

This isn’t an exhaustive list, just a little sample and of course if a potential Mr Perfect popped along but hated the theatre, I could possibly work with that.

It may seem demanding to even have a list but as I’ve said before I’ve always fallen into relationships with Mr ‘he’ll do’ and I don’t want that again.
After being single a while, for me anyway, I like my own company and really it’d take someone very special to turn my head to thoughts of romance and happy ever afters.

Also, and here’s where my Mr Perfect list falls a bit short. I’m well an acquired taste… I’m a bit.. well.. niche. Herein lies a potential problem. The chances of my list and some gorge, clever funny guys matching are probably relatively slim. His list would have to look a bit like this:

Fussy eater
Contradictory
Enjoys her own company
An absolute bloody nightmare when anxious… and also along those lines-
Hovers mostly on the right side of sane but occasionally crosses into deep periods of self loathing and self pity
Can only connect on an emotional level with a time travelling timelord.
Irritable
Feminist soapboxer

You see my point??

These two lists are certainly niche and quirky.. but you know what? That’s how I like it.

Did I ever tell you about the time a psychic told me the love of my life would be quirky and a little ‘off the wall’… bodes well don’t you think?

I’m also thinking this Mr Perfect dude could probably be The Doctor (Doctor Who not the local gp, lovely though he is I’ve done the older man thing already)

Of course my ticklists may count for nothing when the love of my life rocks up, and sweeps me off my feet. I suspect life would certainly play that trick on me. That’d be OK too.

For now though I have my lists and whilst unlikely a box ticker will show up anytime soon, I’m not investing in cats just yet!

5 reasons I don’t mind being an old cat lady (and one reason I do!)

I’ve been single a long time.

Last time I started a new relationship it was the 90’s.

There’s only about a handful of men (behave!) I am fond of.

Now, I’m in my mid 30’s, I’ve 4 children so my opportunities for dating are rare (me having the inclination to date even rarer) so sometimes I do get to thinking, what if I’m single forever? What if I become the stereotypical crazy cat lady? Yeah the thought of that doesn’t worry me so much… Here’s why being single forever would be fine:

1) I can continue with my uncompromising, egocentric (when the kids aren’t here) life. I watch my crap telly, eat my fave dinners, got my special places. I never have to take someone else’s wishes into consideration (again only when the small ones are away obviously!)

2) I’ll never have to pretend to like someone else’s family and friends. No matter how supremely lovely your other half is, there’ll always be one family member or friend that is an absolute pain in the arse. You have to put up with them though, because when you first met them you wanted to be all positive to your partner and told them you really liked them. I can’t feel sad I don’t have to hang about with knobs!

3) My space is my space.
My bedroom, my house, my favourite places, they’re all mine. No other grown up will be invading soon. I don’t want some ball scratching, sweaty man invading my lovely girly bedroom that smells of Lush. Certainly not.

4) I don’t have to do kid – related panic.
Will the kids like him? Will he like them? (course he will they’re amazing) When do I introduce them? When can we all do activities together? I imagine even if the much anticipated Mr Perfect were to come on the scene, the kid related anxiety would cause me great stress. Crazy cat lady doesn’t have such issues.

5) If I don’t fancy making an effort I don’t feel obliged.
When the kids are away if I want to only get changed to put on fresh pj’s post bath I can. If I want to hang about with no make up on, hair scraped into a ponytail, bra-less.. I can. No one is going to see. I expect should a boyfriend make an appearance I’m going to be obliged to get dressed… or shave my legs at the very least. Though if Mr Perfect was in fact that he’d be happy to come hang out in pj’s..he’d probably even bring Nando’s.

So I know, ending up scary cat lady should be a worry to me, I do. It really isn’t though, seems like a nice way to live!

Oh the one reason I don’t want that to be my fate though?? I really don’t like cats…. Scary book lady maybe??

Disclaimer : Should Mr Wonderful find his way into my world and all the above is forgotten. Don’t judge me! That’s merely a plan B!!

#Blogtober17- Day 4- Dates Dating after domestic abuse

When I first left the abusive relationship I was sure I never wanted another boyfriend, ever. For a while afterwards this was the case. It was so freeing and new to be on my own just the kids and I doing things my way , making my own decisions. I’m still enjoying it years on , so much so I still can’t imagine ever being in a serious relationship , I certainly don’t think I could live with anyone again.

Now and again though I do think it’d be nice to have someone special. An actual grown up to spend time with , a bit of affection perhaps even a bit of romance (I know high maintenance eh?!)

The thing is after you’ve been in an abusive relationship, dating is a minefield. There’s so much scope for old anxieties to resurface , to fall back into negative thought patterns. I can only tell my story but there really are a lot of hurdles to overcome.

One of my main problems when I’ve given dating a shot is that it highlights how skewed my view of myself is and how the damage that was done in all the years of living in an abusive relationship is still apparent. Compliments are difficult for example. If someone tells me I look nice or I’m funny or anything positive at all I dismiss it instantly. They’re just being polite I think or even worse they’re thinking I look terrible and are having to lie. That’s a really warped thought pattern , I know that. The thing is being told you’re fat and ugly and disgusting everyday for years on end is going to have an impact.Years of being told that noone would want anything to do with me , I’ve 4 children and the body to prove it , has left me guarded. Trusting when someone tells you you’re fantastic is a risk , you believed someone when they told you that before and look how that turned out?

My next boyfriend is going to have to be the world’s most patient man.

Then there’s *whispers* sex ssshhh. Another mental minefield. Another thing associated with trauma. Along with the body worries there’s also the fact I’ve not done it in AGES!! What if I am rubbish at it ?! I worry I’d zone out mid event as was the way I got through it back then. That’d be fun eh??

The next guy is going to need to be so patient he would make Mother Theresa look a bit cranky!!

Then there’s the big one. Trust.
It’s not what you think either , it’s not that I don’t trust men or that I think they’ll all treat me terribly. I really don’t believe that to be true . I don’t trust my own judgement though.

I’ve always said my perfect boyfriend would be someone who was happy to just see me once a month for dinner and romance and the bedroom stuff , with more time in the school holidays when the kids were away! Good plan eh?

I know this is an unrealistic scenario. Men I’ve known have wanted to move along quite quickly and it put me off straight away.I’m certainly not ready to jump into anything with both feet. I don’t know if I ever will be.

So you see dating is a tricky game to play for me . I like meeting new people , I enjoy the company of interesting men and I hope one day I will have my Mr Perfect in my life ….it’s just the actual dating bit I could do without!!

It turns out though, the only way to get over all the hang ups is to actually get out there and do it! Practice makes almost perfect. Bad dates are as helpful as lovely ones.
The bad ones help you realise that your self esteem has grown to a point that deciding a person is just not right for you is OK.

The good ones? Well if like me you’re naturally suspicious of men as a species after bad experiences, there’s hopefully going to be someone who comes along and presses the reset button. Who has you decide actually this is the benchmark for the future.When someone is respectful and kind and thoughtful  you kind of make an internal deal with yourself that this is the only way you’ll stand to be treated in future. It doesn’t have to be love of your life stuff (one step at a bloody time) but just enough to make you set the bar high.

We’ve been through the mill and not treated well enough, but that really doesn’t have to be our lot.

Setting high standards isn’t a thing of arrogance it’s self preservertion.


My Facebook page is here

#Blogtober17