by Diana Rusu
“I had not chosen to be single but love is rare and it is frequently unreciprocated. Without love I saw no reason to form a permanent attachment to any particular place. Love determined how humans arrayed themselves in space.”(Emily Witt, Future sex)
I've been single before, but never in my thirties. In fact, when I moved to London I had recently broken up with my first girlfriend ever. I was 28. It was love at first one-night stand.
Pushing on the fast-forward button on my memories, I remember the exact feeling that I had when I landed in Victoria station, like an alien from a distant world. I can't say I was marveling at the buildings, mouth opened and eyes with sparkles. Not at all. Instead, there was a peace and happiness coming from within myself; I was somewhat smiling, thinking that it's ok now; everything is alright, the planets have aligned with the sun and the stars and I finally felt... home.
Of course, the feeling goes much deeper than any words I'd use to describe it, but you get what I'm saying. So, I was happy. And, what a surprise, I was single. As I'm just falling in love with Emily Witt's "Future sex" at a speed that I have rarely experienced when reading a book, of course it inspired me to write.
It was like we were there accidentally, without any idea of why we even met.
I don't know about you, but I decided to give all my time and attention to the big city. I watched its every performance, I stalked its every corner shop, farmers market, vegan restaurant. I discovered that I was good at writing poetry about it and all that jazz. At some point, it was time for me to move on to the next level. Meaning after the first 2 months of learning how to get around with doubledeckers, oysters and the mighty tube, it was time for me to step up the game; I had my first job, so I told myself I could handle a dating app and find my way to a date in the city. Yay, so much fun!!! Although, all my dates were with women and all of them stopped after a first meeting. It was like we were there accidentally, without any idea of why we even met.
It wasn’t that bad, after all; at least I can proudly say I've been ghosted by some interesting people. I wasn't bothered at all, until I really liked this Greek short girl who was passionate about theatre and wine. Whom, by the way, I saw three years later at the pride festival, sat right next to her & her gf, awkwardly trying to avoid looking at them. I met a lot of girls from everywhere and nothing seemed to work out. A year passed, and I gave up the bloody dating apps, when I met my soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend (it's still weird to think of him as an ex). This happened in real time and in real life, but oh well, I’ll skip over almost two years of relationship and fast forward again. It’s now: surprise, surprise! I'm single and not ready to mingle.
Why is it that I cannot put myself out there?
No, I don’t have any dating apps on my phone, although I did try one for a few weeks; only this time I didn’t give myself green light to go out and meet new people. I really didn’t have the energy and until this day, I cannot be bothered to go on dates. On one of my overthinking sessions, I tried to understand why? Why is it that I cannot put myself out there? Am I scared of how they're going to see me? (pffffff like I would give a fuck!) but what if I’m not young enough anymore? What if I’m not their type? Or I’m too quiet? My walk ain’t no cat walk, that’s for sure. But it’s funny, at least. Well, this is a challenge I didn’t expect. I wish I could give you some advice; the best I can do is tell you that once you’re there, if you’re there, keep an eye on the word problem, as there is no such thing. You’re smiling, aren’t you? You’re either reading this or you have no idea that this text exists, maybe you don’t speak English or maybe you don’t have access to the internet. Maybe you were just born and can’t read, maybe you’re dead. You can be all these people and still don’t have a problem. Because somewhere, sometime, you existed. And you still exist; I remember you. I remember your funny walk.
photo by author