'The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely.' - Charlotte Bronte
This is a sentence I would probably have scorned at a while ago. Being independent has always been one of my strong points and certainly when I was younger, not relying on other people was part of my survival strategy. And all the time I have been in relationships I wondered if the grass was greener on the other side. It was something I yearned for secretly.
But as you get older and more used to sharing your life and your space permanently with someone else you learn that give and take is part of the norm. In your day to day life you learn to cope with people, help them, socialise with them. But it's a learning curve and we're not all born with the social gene. And whilst I am certainly not high on anyone's social radar I do enjoy getting out and meeting new and interesting people. This thankfully is becoming a more regular occurrence. Long may it continue.
I've been less bothered with the serious relationship angle though. I became an official single last November and was happy to embrace singledom full-heartedly but I have discovered to my surprise that I don't do well as an isolated single. No man is an island and human interaction is necessary if you are to have a well balanced life and keep your perspective. It doesn't mean permanent. But we are all animals and that little bit of me needs attention.
It's not an easy thing to cope with. Trying to find the perfect balance in your personal life versus your relationships is a fine art. Because I have learnt to fill my spare time with work, which means I am very committed, finding time for others, whilst very welcome and wanted, is still quite difficult to balance up. But I have also discovered that singledom can offer up all sorts of opportunities you don't necessarily have to turn down. I have been rather smug about this, because frankly I've been missing out and I like playing catch up.