Thursday, 4 February 2010

Twelve Months Off

So, as I mentioned in the last blog, I think, or the one before, I've sworn off boys for a bit. In the hope, to continue with a theme, that less boys will = less whining. It is my actual new year's resolution... no boyfriends in 2010.

This is a slightly odd new year's resolution as it implies a certain amount of arrogance (which I do possess at times, I must confess) in assuming I shall have opportunities for boyfriends that I shall have to decline. This may, of course, not be the case. But I do seem to have a habit of picking boyfriends up without really trying, not unlike the way one can sometimes pick up a bit of toilet paper on the bottom of one's shoe as one exits a public bathroom, ruining both one's dignity and one's night (reason number one for new year's resolution, or NYR: excess bitterness).

Let me do a quick recap... my first true love began when I was 19, in my first year of uni. It was full-on, fireworks across the sky, scratch your name on my arm with a fountain pen type love. We stayed up all night scrambling our brains, writing stories together, and rolling around in kittenish glee. I don't think I've ever really got over how good that was. True, I broke up with him, but because he didn't really seem so interested in spending time with me any more. Or at least, that's how it looked then. Now that he's pretty much married to another girl from my year at uni, and they've got two kids and are all shiny Sunday supplement happy, while I'm alone with overgrown roots and no job, I wonder if maybe I couldn't have put up with it a bit more than I thought I could. I was young... I didn't realise that things don't stay perfect forever. I probably had pretty silly expectations. But who can tell from this far back?

So I stayed single for probably about 8 or 9 months after that, and then had a total rebound relationship which staggered on for two years, mainly because (I now perhaps unfairly think) that boy lived in Kent so we didn't see each other very often. I thought I was in love. We said we were in love. But looking back, I'm not so very sure. Certainly, as soon as he moved to London, we split up pretty quick sharpish.

Then a few months after that, there was the beautiful dreadlocked boy who promised much but said so little... then, after that, there was the second love of my life, who, to my eternal shame, I wrecked another relationship over and lived with for a while, and yet, despite our perfect meeting of the minds, still it didn't work (although he is my best friend, or one of them, now)... and then, before the second one was even really done, there was the third love of my life who was half completely perfect and half baffling terrible and who also hurt me so badly I think I'm gonna be limping from it forever. Then there was the most recent boy, who started out so promisingly and then turned out to be more interested in what I could give him (when he was awake enough to notice me, bless him) than in giving me anything back.

It's that phrase, you see... 'started out so promisingly...' They ALL started out so promisingly, I'm not a complete idiot, I wouldn't start going out with someone if I didn't, at some point, think it was a grand idea, a plan without flaws... this could be the one, this could be the one as Sean Hughes once said. But I've come to realise (staggeringly slowly, given that I'm meant to be a smart girl) that clearly, I cannot trust my instincts when it comes to men. I am a moron magnet! I'm not sure how I do it, but I do.

Hence... NYR. Reason number two: spend time alone, and try to hone my instincts so I can trust them better when or if I ever decide to use them again.

Reason number three: I really do quite like being single. There is a paradox that exists within my life, as I'm pretty damn lonely a lot of the time, but I'm almost always happy to be alone. I like reading my books and watching my telly and doing my exercise routine and listening to my radio in the mornings... and I like doing all those things without any interruptions. I like not having to meet other people's friends. I like deciding what I'm gonna cook for dinner and cooking it. I like all my clothes being in my house, rather than half of them here and half in some boy's stinky room on the other side of London. I like deciding what I am and am not gonna do at the weekend. Does it sound like I'm protesting too much? It probably does, and I'm not gonna deny that I like being in relationships too... but I've done that for a long time now. It's time for a change.

Reason number four: I'm really tired of crying and having my heart kicked around like a football. I'm just bored of it! And if I'm bored of crying over boys, christ alone knows how my poor friends must feel about me crying over boys. I think, for the first time in my life, I'm getting a bit scared of the whole thing, and I've never felt like that before. I've always been proud of my idiotic, blind trust in people, which carries on going despite the number of times I've been let down. But I think my simpleton's faith has taken too much of a beating, and is retreatin'. (Oooo, internal rhyme, see, that creative writing degree wasn't a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME after all) ;-)

A case in point: I recently had the chance to do a bit of part-time work as an online counsellor. I wanted to get that job so, so much, even though it meant working a weekend day every week. I am generally a person who guards her weekends against work very jealously. Sadly, said chance has been snatched away from me. I'm really gutted. So gutted that I cried A LOT over my supervisor this morning, which took me aback somewhat. And I realised, on the walk home just now, that part of the reason I wanted the job so much was that I felt like it was gonna keep me safe. Three months of working at weekends... I'd have no life. Which feels just about perfect right now.

I was talking to a friend about NYR the other day and he said that, like other kinds of detoxing, you can detox from the opposite sex for a little while, and feel a little benefit, but if you want to feel a big benefit, you've gotta do it for a long time. I see the logic in that. And I hope that he is right.

I'm not really feeling any benefits so far (one month in), despite putting my money where my mouth is. I have said no to stuff. I expected to feel a rush of pride and elation that I was sticking to my principles and all of that. Instead, I just feel a bit lonely and hollow, and a bit worried that once a year is up, I shall be old news, mutton dressed as lamb, on the shelf etc etc and no-one will be interested (question: would this really be the worst thing ever?). But maybe the rewards of celibacy take a while to kick in. I shall get Morrissey on the phone and ask him.

I'm thinking I probably shouldn't even kiss anyone, not really. I'm such a hopeless romantic, all it generally takes is a couple of snogs for me to think I'm in love. Again, who knows if I'll even be offered a kiss in the near future... but still... it's good to plan.

Of course, I shall probably make exactly the same mistake I always make in about (if past results are anything to go by) four or five months and be latched on to some new moron who isn't being very nice to me, and then I'll look QUITE the idiot, won't I? If I suddenly disappear from my blog again, you'll know what's happened. And then I can re-emerge, some months later, tear-stained and heart-battered, writing mournful poetry and swearing that I'll never do it again.


  1. Love you Johanna! And oh i know exactly what you mean, having done so many things 'romantically' similat to you, it would seem, but mainly a long time ago, as I mainly seem to have given up these days. Im rubbish at relationships. Ho hum. We should have a girle w/e soon (love)Joy xxxx

  2. That would be great, Joy! I would love that, LoveJoy. ;-)