Secret Single Behaviours

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?!

secret single behaviours

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.

HOWEVER. However.

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.

secret single behaviours

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?

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  1. Anna wrote:

    As someone who was woken up by a sleep walking boyfriend going through his wallet to check “his savings were there” and then proceeded to wake me up every hour with either some mumblings about spreadsheets, mushrooms (I dread to think which kind, but they sounded magical) or placing all of his pillows (sister, I hear you on the routine – and can tell you men can abide by this) on my face because he “needs space” … ERGH … You’re not missing out that much.

    Posted 3.23.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      um. WOW.

      The three year old who occasionally climbs into my bed to wee on me is looking no-where near as bad as he once did ;)

      Posted 3.23.16 Reply
  2. Honest Mum wrote:

    He is out there girl-your bed is amazing btw and I too am a bit OCD about cleanliness- but the key is finding someone who compliments you and you, them you don’t have to dig the same shizzle or be alike. My husband Peter is totally the ying to my yang and great relationships are about compromise too-sounds boring I know but when you meet someone worth compromising your perfect pillows for, you’ll KNOW x

    Posted 3.23.16 Reply
  3. thismummylark wrote:

    When i keep hearing there is someone for everyone…im not so sure! Other people seem to find someone that suits them easily. Whats wrong with me lol everybody has their quirks

    Posted 3.24.16 Reply
  4. Lottie | Oyster and Pearl wrote:

    I really love this post, Alice. Your honesty makes me <3 and there are many of us who feel the same way, even in a relationship!

    Do you know the Dan Savage price of admission talk? If not, it's really worth a look:

    Posted 3.24.16 Reply
  5. Susan wrote:

    Love this post….

    There is no magic! Yes there will guys who make your heart flutter but they will drive you mad at times too. The flutter will make the annoying habits bearable though . It’s not compatibility that’s needed it’s compromise. Argh. Compromise is the key..I know, I hate the word “compromise” as I want everything MY way because I’m right! I too, adore bluebellgray designs and have plenty of their cushions and pillows. My husband isn’t allowed to put his sweaty head near them. They come off the bed at night, simples! I’m not stressing about his sweaty head ruining the gorgeous pillows and he’s not at all fussed where he lays his ( sweaty) head as long as it slightly resembles a pillow. Be brave and take a leap into the unknown.

    Posted 3.28.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      See, that’s it. I’ve had the flutter before and I’m definitely chasing it a little bit… but I definitely get the flutter around the wrong kind of men sometimes. Such are the wonders of chemistry in relationships!

      I would also never ever ever let a man near the precious Bluebellgray ;)

      Posted 3.29.16 Reply
  6. Lauranne wrote:

    OMG I should date you, I am reading this thinking this is so me. I have a pretty pillow and then a dark pillow underneath the pretty pillow which is the one I sleep on, and I find the OCD cleaners inspire me. Honestly, the amount of times I have cleaned the bathroom after that programme, or washed out the bin…

    I am so with you. I know I am strong wild, that I can occasionally be bratty, and that I want someone to stand up to me who knows their own mind. I am starting to think men like these don’t exist! At the moment S does seem to be these things, but that scares me!

    Posted 3.29.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      If S doesn’t work out Lauranne, I’ll most definitely date you ;)

      Posted 3.29.16 Reply
      • Lauranne wrote:

        Woo hoo, I will add you to my back up plan (which I would like to pretend I don’t have but having been hurt one too many times…) I am currently thinking IVF at 35 but you’d be up for that right ;)

        Posted 3.30.16 Reply
        • alice wrote:

          At this point I think I’m up for most things!

          Posted 3.30.16 Reply
  7. trevorcapon47 wrote:

    Woh !
    What a read.
    Sounds like a cr@p job, but I will step up and be your boyfriend.
    I am 75% bald ( the 25% is stubble ) so that´s the pillows covered.
    I am McRaven anal about making beds so I would probably suggest sleeping on the floor, so that´s the bed issue covered.
    I do Instagram stuff and I am cool about weirdness so you are covered.
    Your lucky day AJT :-)

    Posted 4.2.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I can’t believe I’ve only just seen this comment! Best one I’ve had on the blog in ages :)

      Posted 7.11.16 Reply
  8. Leonie Toal wrote:

    Reading this blog has just made me want to go out and buy new duvets, fluffy pillows and bed linen…and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

    Posted 6.20.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      I hope you went for it, Leonie!

      Posted 7.11.16 Reply
  9. Adam wrote:

    Intrigued to say the least….
    Having not long coming out of such a similar relationship (Similar to you when I say that) I can find it extremely relatable from the male side.
    I’m the opposite to you, I like spontaneity and excitement, robotic and routine isn’t attractive to a male. It becomes laborious at times. I’d happily try again the the same scenario but only if I would be able to implement some ideas of my own (unlike the last time

    Posted 7.11.16 Reply
    • alice wrote:

      Oh I really do like spontaneity and excitement… when it’s planned well for the ultimate enjoyment ;)

      Posted 7.11.16 Reply
  10. Adam wrote:

    Ha!! Pre planned Spontaneity eh?! As long as it’s not repetitive and is mixed up then ultimate enjoyment is achievable. You say you like spontaneity, but only to a certain extreme :-)

    Posted 7.11.16 Reply