12 Jun 2017

I continue to struggle with what to say, when people ask the rather dumb, "Why is a great girl like you still single?" question. I usually have an arsenal of flippant answers ready to fire off, depending on how feisty I feel in that moment:

* I've been kind of busy and it is hard to get into a relationship when I am always on the go. (Tame answer, but true when it cums to this time of the year at school during June Examinations.)

* Probably, because I've turned down every guy, who's asked me to be a FWB or do NSA. (Random married men count, right?)

* I haven't yet met another man I can't live without and I'm not attracted to women. (Love the startled looks this one brings!)

While I was flipping through mindless thoughts, while invigilating during exams - spending my Power Ball winnings; decorating my home; working out romantic scenario's for meeting The One - a very real response I would never thought about, jumped out at me - I am ambivalent about Love!

It all started with this little nugget of introspective insight: The most important prerequisite for finding a satisfying relationship, is wanting one. Wholeheartedly, genuinely, earnestly, single-mindedly, and without reservation. I will admit that, while I think it would be awesome to find someone again to share my life with, there are a whole bunch of other things upon which I place a higher value at the moment. Pursuing my passion about studying further and getting my PhD; getting my life back in order and on track (and heart healed) after a monumental relationship disaster - with a married man (stupid woman!) avoiding drama and having people in my life, who upset my sensitive BS meter. (What? I like my life drama-free now, as I have shoveled enough of it over the last few years.) finding ways to spend more time on my bike, so that I may become unconsciously competent and enjoy more of the riding; building relationships, through solid friendships.; enjoying life in what I consider one of the most beautiful countries in the world, because, well - Life is short and I might not make it past tomorrow or the next day.

If I am honest, I will admit that finding someone is somewhere near my top five on my To Do List - Ok, maybe number two - visiting my children overseas is No. 1. LOL. All of the photo's I see of swirling couples look amazing, but I just do not have the emotional energy to put behind trying to make that a reality at the moment. I have got so much stuff to do. (It probably does not help that I procrastinate and cannot get motivated to do shit, let alone mark the piles of scripts to meet the end of the month report deadlines.)

Now, this does NOT mean that I do not get out there and meet men or get my flirt on, every once in a while. It does not mean I do not go on dates or try to get to know men I am interested in, a little bit better. I am an outgoing woman, who loves people. (Weird, I know.) It does mean though, that I am possibly too quick to evaluate, whether I want to jump into the possibility of a love connection with both feet. Most of the time, the answer is No. For me, the perceived benefit never really outweighs the cost of possibly being hurt....... again and more importantly, I have not yet cum across The One, who ticks most of the boxes; the pickings out there are slim or, I am, I know and acknowledge, very probably just too full of kak!

Ambivalence is defined as simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action i.e. continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite) and uncertainty as to which approach to follow.

If anyone can identify at all with this, it is important to note that ambivalence towards romantic relationships is normal, especially in this day and age. There are all kinds of things competing for the top spots on our priorities list: careers, travel, hobbies, homes, children. Recovering from past relationship trauma, or avoiding heartbreak or rejection can even rank at the top of the list.

Ambivalence (in any area of life, but especially in regards to finding a partner) can hold me back, when I am not aware of its power and influence. If I am not wholeheartedly committed to Love, and if I do not hold Finding Love as a top priority, I may be talking and behaving as though I want Love, but I am holding back on my follow-through. I liken it to wanting to leave a dead-end job and abusive boss to find something I would rather love doing, but I won't put my CV out there or go for interviews. Another example: I want to lose those last 5kgs, but won't change my eating habits or exercise, because I should not have to alter the way I live. Right? The kg's will just melt away, if I talk about how wonderful it would be to lose them and besides, it is winter and I am eating more warming, comforting foods.

Ambivalence is safe. I do not have to change anything. I do not have to decide anything. I do not have to give up anything. But, I can dream and say that I am excited about the possibility. It is the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, it does not yield results.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk in my lab (I am a Life Sciences teacher so I don't have a regular classroom) and thinking about how much I would want to be in a sustainable loving relationship. I had been thinking of my abortion of an affair, with a married man and it once again, caught me a little off guard. I am pretty sure I want to try falling in love, all over again (No! Not with Him!) but, guarding my heart seems to be more important........Shit!!!! Falling in love is clearly NOT a priority and that means, I am not doing anything significant about it.

Tough Love?

I am not saying that this is an awesome position to be in. To my family, friends and colleagues, who view my finding a man and settling down, as their number one dream and goal for me; leaving me sometimes, looking like a flaky so-and-so. They do not get why I am not as amped-up about finding someone as they are and I am willing to bet, I am not alone in this incredibly confusing head-space, though.

Here's the thing: the antidote to ambivalence is NOT trying harder. As long as ambivalence remains unconscious it remains in control. I have to acknowledge that I am ambivalent and identify the things that are competing with my desire for a love-connection. Then, I can take action to overcome them. Only I can decide if the reward of Finding Love outweighs the risk of pushing another competing priority down the list - like preventing more heart sore. Knowing what I want - and how bad I want it - is half the battle. We put action behind the things that are most important to us.

For me, the decision to put Love on top will have to be an intentional one..............Maybe tomorrow, next week or once all my marking is in.