February. It’s that time of year where singles (me included) are thrown into a tailspin of depression and weight gain. That one month a year where it is socially acceptable for loved up couples to throw their nauseating happiness and romance in the faces of the sad and alone. But I’m not that bitter; I promise.
February, by its very nature, is not an easy month for singles. We are still over-analysing and obsessing over our New Year’s Eve kiss, while shop fronts are giving us countdowns to the day where being single gives you nothing but pitying looks and the Don’t-Worry-You’ll-Find-Someone head tilt. I haven’t always been bitter, though. I’ve had some wonderful Valentine’s Days in the past. I have memories of being whisked away for a weekend of pampering and adventures; nights surrounded by champagne, rose petals and the embrace of someone that can actually stand you.
But it’s just not the same when you’re sitting in that hotel room, alone, trying to keep your hostile tears out of your cheap, Tesco brand bubbly – and I speak from experience.
We live in an age where finding your mate should be as easy as swiping right. But if that is the case, then why am I still single?! Ok, maybe not a good time to sift through all that baggage…But now we have Tinder, Grindr, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Match.com, Zoosk and all hiding in our pockets – and before you ask, no, I haven’t been on them all… Okay, so maybe I have, but I’m calling it research and sticking to it!
We are a generation that’s been taught that our soul mates are definitely out there, but we have no say in when they will find us. Our ‘one true love’ will kiss us while we are sleeping (that’s weird), find us standing in the rain in Paris, use our hair to climb our tower (OUCH!) or catch us at the very last second before we board our flight. I just don’t buy it; I have to believe that I have some control over falling in love.
I have this friend back in Australia (for arguments sake lets call her Mandy). Mandy has always been the kind of girl that goes after what she wants, even if people are telling her she’s crazy. She doesn’t let the judgements of others stop her pursuit. When I met Mandy, she was madly in love with John. John and Mandy were happy and we were all waiting for the wedding announcement, but alas, reality rained down over their fairytale and the wedding never came. Soon after they parted ways and a newly single Mandy met Steve. Within a year, Mandy and Steve got married. 9 months later, they too parted ways. I find out over dinner one night with Mandy and our friend Aria that Mandy is still in love with John. As she tells Aria and I about how she wanted to see him and tell him, Aria and I begin to formulate a plan to make that happen (because we were supportive and a little bored). We decided the only way to deal with this was to drive the 900kms and put the two lovebirds back together. An hour later, we piled in the car at 10pm on a Friday night, and we began the long journey to see Mandy’s Prince. 14 hours, many Red Bulls and Britney Spears sing-alongs later, we finally arrived out the front of John’s house only to find out that John now had a Cindy*. What we thought was going to be a happily-ever-after moment turned out to be a bust (a very long, dry, Britney Spears filled bust), so we made the journey home.
Fast-forward a few months, and a drunken Mandy finds a drunken Phil. Phil was a traveller from New Zealand. Love blossomed quickly, but after a few short days, it was time for Phil to return to his kingdom. And in true Mandy form, she followed. Over the span of, lets say 4 months, Mandy visited Phil several times, and with each visit the heart grew bigger and bigger. So it was no surprise that when Phil said he was moving to Argentina, Mandy followed. Three months into their big move, they split and Mandy moves back to Australia. And this is when she met James.
Mandy has made a life on big gestures and crazy sounding stories… And it still continues. While some of you will say that she is… not completely sane, that she falls too easily and wears her heart on her sleeve; I think that is what I admire about her. She is making her own happily-ever-after. Like many of us, she has been burnt, but that hasn’t stopped her believing that her Prince is somewhere. She is determined to find Mr. Right, even if she has to continue rubbing up against the Mr. Right nows until she gets there. We are all waiting for our fairytale moment, but I’m sure that even Cinderella sat on a lot of pumpkins before it turned into a carriage.
So to all you couples that are celebrating this month in the way it was intended; congratulations. Congratulations on writing your own love story; you are that little bit closer to finding The One. But to you singles; that, like me, are nothing but bitter and hostile about this month – relax; your story hasn’t reached that part yet. Maybe we all just need to be a little bit more like Mandy and try a life of harder falls and longer kisses. Like they say, you gotta fondle a lot of toads, before you find your prince/ss.
* Note: This was the exact moment when I stopped believing in the ‘Disney’ love story. Aria and I now both suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.