Whether it’s a bit tragic, I make no bones about the fact I’d quite like a boyfriend.
On a good day I’m stoically nodding, noting that yeah, it would maybe be nice to have someone to discuss Making a Murderer and the NHS crisis with.
On a bad day I’m wailing into a vat of red wine about being lonely and just wanting a body to lie next to once in a while.
On a terrible day I’m perusing Cockapoo breeders simply to have someone to listen to me natter on every evening (and dogs can’t disagree, brilliant!).
But the thing is, I find it (and always have done) really difficult to compromise on the type of man I end up with. Yes, I’d love to have someone to share all the wonderful things in life with forever and ever amen, but I’m also so content being alone that the person will have to be pretty special to turn my head. We’re talking Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski special. Next-level special.
So I need magic. I need to meet someone who’ll give me butterflies, make me challenge myself at every turn and strive to be the best person I can be. Recent research has shown that, being the slightly headstrong and assertive woman that I am – ahem – I also need someone who’s the same and isn’t afraid to give and take a ribbing or put their foot down every once in a while.
And it turns out these men don’t grow on trees.
I know, right?!
Photos of me. All of the time.
The last time I met an available man fitting this description was, ooh, 2013? And it’s starting to annoy me. Don’t get me wrong, my own company is fabulous (“you aren’t drinking alone if your kids are at home”, am I right?), but there is still something… missing.
I worry that I’ve also forgotten how to be with someone.
You see, since being on my own I have developed a whole host of, shall we say, ‘quirky’ behaviours; that for me make my life and interesting and fun one to live, but to others might make times, and by times I mean every single day, a little tough.
Yep, it’s my Secret Single Behaviours.
For example, there’s my pillows.
I am a woman who appreciates gorgeous bed linens, high threadcounts and pillows stacked like a hotel. My bed is my haven and I like to keep it looking like it just left the John Lewis showroom.
To do this, and writing it down I know how mental it sounds, I have one side of my top pillow that is for sleeping on, and one side that is for display. I do this so I don’t get mascara and face oils all over the side of the pillow I like facing the room and – sorry to say this guys – I’m kind of worried that the theoretical hair product of my theoretical boyfriend would get the wrong side of the pillow all dirty.
I mean, can I really get into bed next to someone and tell them to turn the pillow over so they’re using the ‘right’ side? That’s not exactly what you’d call foreplay.
The gorgeous Bluebellgray pillows
It doesn’t stop at the pillows, either. I’m pretty darn anal about the cleanliness of my whole house: where some are freaked out by the OCD Cleaners on Channel 4, I’m inspired. Could I really live with a messy man later down the road?
Then there are the things I like to do in the precious moments I have alone. Whether it’s the weird face mask rituals I have (these generally terrify the children so probably wouldn’t be a turn on for a bloke), the 30 minutes I need to find once a week to sit in the jaccuzzi at the gym in complete silence or the McDonald’s breakfast I eat in bed on a Saturday morning if I’ve had one too many Savignon Blancs with the girls the night before. All things I love doing alone, and could never imagine giving up.
I dread to think, too, what a man would think about me snapping food and flatlays for Instagram all the time, poncing around in front of a camera or obsessively combing online beauty reviews twice a week.
I can’t say it wouldn’t be handy to have an Instagram Husband, though.
I’m not pretending this is a one-way street. I’m pretty sure the man I meet will have his own quirks and eccentricities, i.e. annoying and painful-to-me habits. I sometimes listen to my friends speak about their (admittedly lovely) husbands’ bad habits and think: is this something I really want to get myself in to?
I mean, stubble in the sink? Excessive use of loo roll? Mugs on top of, not in the dishwasher (ditto pants/laundry basket)? Stinky beery farts?
I kid: there aren’t enough stinky farts in the world that would exceed my need for a hand to hold during Luther. It’s just a case of finding that special farty magic, right?