I’m in the habit of googling phrases that describe how I’m feel at a particular moment and usually a bunch of articles come up, from which I select one or two or three to read. In a way it’s like having a conversation with someone (without someone actually having to be there) who understands how you feeling. Mostly it’s helpful, and I’ve honestly found some really good ones that have given me ‘real food for thought’ and helped me process whatever it is that I was feeling.

An interesting situation that has now arisen is currently I can’t find an article that adequately describes my current feelings or situation. I don’t think I’m unusual or special in any way. I guess that when most people feel like I am feeling at the moment they just don’t bother to write about it. So that’s why I am now writing about it.

I’m not scared of being alone or lonely. That notion or concept has lost its sting for me. I think over the past year (just like one would train yourself to not be afraid of the dark), I’ve trained myself to not be afraid of being (1) alone – or by myself and (2) feeling lonely. I’m not afraid of it anymore but …. I just don’t enjoy it.

There are many theories on how not to feel lonely. One that resonates with me is establishing human connections. For the most part ‘being connected’ to others mitigates the negativity of feelings associated with loneliness. And I am connected. I have an amazing supportive family, strong bonds with my children, I’ve two super best friends, a handful of other really close friends, a network of other activity partners, two great business partners, a bunch of adoring students who I love working with. And I don’t isolate myself from them. When I engage, it’s rich and meaningful. Equally important, I am in touch with my innermost core-self too, and I regularly spend time alone meditating or running to sustain that connection.

But there are times when I don’t feel like meditating, or like just being quiet and on my own. And I am not unhappy with being by myself but I do feel like something is missing. It’s like eating broccoli. I’ll eat it (spend alone quiet time with myself) and I don’t mind it but I don’t really enjoy it that much. Whoever said they enjoy eating broccoli is a liar…. trust me on that! It tastes ok but it’s not the same as ice-cream.

The most natural thing for me now to do is to get a partner and although I have tried, it’s not so easy. For a moment, let’s set aside the fact that there must be some physical attraction, or at the very least not repulsion. Let’s be honest, all of us have preferences and certain things like physical attributes that we would rather stay clear of – for me it’s a full beard. Not stubble or a goatee – that’s rather handsome, but a Father Christmas kinda beard. It just is.

Then, at my age I am not a blank slate. I come with experiences and I come with baggage. Let’s start with the baggage. Obvious ones that spring to mind are my children and my cats baggage yes, but I also come with a supportive family, a bunch of friends, a house, a car, a motorbike, a successful career (which includes students who depend on me) = all my baggage. See as the years passed I have built (and invested) so now I have these assets. A man I get involved with must not only not mind any of my assets that but he must also understand the value of all of my assets. If he has his own assets then one could assume (although it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true) that he will understand. To manage all of those assets, time is arguably my most precious commodity. If he is not able to comprehend that, then he doesn’t see my true value or worth. Then we are not a match and I’d rather not be with him.

So it’s more difficult at my age to find someone who meets that criteria. When we were about 20, we all had nothing or very little. Now that I am about 40, if he doesn’t have similar to what I have then there’s a chance that he and I do not share certain values. That doesn’t exclude a every man out there, there are exceptions, but it’s definitely a consideration.

Secondly let’s talk about experiences. Over the past 20 years, during my marriage and after, I have had experiences that have moulded and influenced me. I believe that I have processed most of them very well and although I still carry some scars, because of that, I am wiser. Quite frankly, I’m really proud of my scars because going through all those experiences has made me much more loving, more compassionate and definitely more purposeful. I am still here to serve a purpose. Now, this also means that a man more or less my age will naturally also have had his own set of experiences. The thing is, each individual will process their own personal experiences differently and at a different pace. This is yet another variable to contend with in a partner search. See, what can happen is that you can find someone who you think is amazing (like I did a few times) because of the high level of synchronicity in so many areas, but then you discover (like I also did a few times) that he is still dealing with stuff from his past. A very common example that I can make is self esteem issues – because we all suffer from it. No human being is exempt from self esteem issues. But just how big are those self esteem issues – that’s the question.

So what now…. well, getting back to that loneliness. I’m not scared of it, but admittedly it’s just downright unpleasant when I find myself in it. I’m currently still experimenting with healthy ways to deal with it. Not being fearful of it permitted me the space to realize that what I must not do is to settle (again) ….. Being scared of being alone is the reason why I did that in the past. So even though I’ve dated some really nice guys this year, my intuition is telling me: “if it doesn’t feel right, then don’t pursue it”.

The guys are really lovely fellas but….

One fella did Ironman a bunch of times, very masculine, brimming with testosterone, a very physical oke with a strong kind heart. I’m completely attracted to his sheer determination. And even more attracted to his cheerful demeanor. Whenever we’ve been on a date I’ve noticed how he goes out of his way to say something nice to people – like the cashier or waiter. Sweet guy, people’s person, physically strong. But….

There was another dastardly handsome fella who had me laughing all the time. Quick witted and so smart too, I literally could have conversations with him for hours on end – and we did. He works out of town and almost every night we’d speak on the telephone about various random things for two, three sometimes four hours. He is interested in my opinion and has a kind, benevolent nature just like I do. But…

Then there’s the other fella, who is very tall and super cute in a nerdy kind of a way, and fairly sporty too. Really sweet kind guy with a gentle nature. Calls me Princess 👸🏽 and packed a surprise beach picnic for our second date. I feel completely relaxed when I’m around him, But…

I’m not expecting to find someone perfect because I’m not perfect. Far from perfect – So maybe – I am probably going to settle. Maybe we all have to settle eventually – but my heart is telling me don’t settle Yet. So for now, I’ll eat my broccoli 🥦