For a long time my greatest fear was being alone.
I’m not sure when it started. Possibly around the time that I stopped believing in the fairies at the bottom of my garden and realised how mean people could be.
Often I would feel lonely even in a crowd. Especially then.
It took me forever to shake that gnawing teenage angst that no-one really understood me – or even wanted to. I had friends. Some really great friends, I can see that now. But at the time my paranoia wouldn’t let me appreciate them as much as I should have.
As you can probably imagine this didn’t bode terribly well for functional relationships. In my twenties I pinballed between variously inappropriate men: some lovely, some not so lovely, but none the right person to fill that chasm in my soul, however much I tried to convince myself that they were.
I began to think I should maybe look elsewhere, and decided to give internet dating a shot. It wasn’t really my thing, but I convinced myself I was being old-fashioned. I knew an increasing number of people who had found their soul-mate online after all.
One evening, after a couple of glasses of wine, I settled down to fill in the (rather lengthy) questionnaire which would give me access to one of these internet dating sites. As I made my way through the questions, responding as honestly as I could, I couldn’t help but begin to feel excited. This site was building such a detailed profile of me that it promised to only show up ‘deeply compatible’ potential partners. Whatever idiosyncrasies I feared I may have, well, they would have them too! No more trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, so to speak. This was it: my chance to find the perfect partner.
And then the results came back.
They started by saying they were very sorry, that this didn’t happen often. Well, ever actually.
But in their database of over three million people they did not, in fact, have a match for me.
This really makes me giggle when I think about it now. And it did then too, once I’d got over the initial shock. No wonder I’d had trouble finding love, had never been able to shake that niggling feeling of being alone – there simply wasn’t anyone out there who I was compatible with!
I decided it was time to make peace with myself, to accept my wonderful uniqueness for what it was, to begin to revel in being solitary rather than being afraid of it.
It didn’t last long. A couple of months later I found my future husband (sort of online as it happens) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Whilst I think I had finally got to a place where I was happy on my own, it’s hard to put into words how wonderful it was – and still is – to have found the person I’d been looking for. We have only been together for five years, but in that time we’ve shared so many adventures.
Now that we’ve embarked on this great adventure of parenthood together I’ve pretty much forgotten what it feels like to be alone. And the little person who has shared almost every minute with me since his conception almost three years ago does not care that I’m a bit peculiar. In fact he probably loves me even more because of it.
I admit that nowadays there are even times when I crave a bit of solitude.
But then I look back at how far I’ve come, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am finally happy in my skin. And whilst it might now be a moot point, I am no longer afraid of being alone.
The confidence of being in your thrities! I think it comes with age and experience and you tell a story we can all relate to in some ways. Although having given internet dating a go once uppn a time I don’t know how I’d have reacted if that had been me. You dealt with it very well. #ThePrompt
I think not being afraid of being alone is a brilliant way to be even if you’re not alone. It means you have that inner strength and resilience to get through whatever life throws at you. Interesting how you found your husband once you’d stopped looking for ‘him’ and just found yourself instead. xx
What a great story – I think it’s flattering that the database couldn’t find you a match. It goes to show how unique you are! And it’s interesting that you met your partner after you started to accept yourself too. I think that’s the perfect grounding for a relationship.
I can relate to craving a bit of solitude now and then, but I’m glad you’re at peace with yourself. It’s funny how quickly you found love once you were okay with your own company.
I have become increasingly happy in my own company as I have got older. Now, I crave solitude at times, although I am more than happy surrounded by people! I think that being happy in ourselves is what allows us to be happy with other people, and it sounds like that is where you are x Thank you for sharing with #ThePrompt x
What a great story. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being happy with enjoying solitude, although I do think it’s something we learn to embrace the older we get xx