I blogged last year about the horrors of dating in your 30’s, my
friend B and I have been through all the different avenues, speed dating,
online, casual sex etc but I have come to the conclusion that it can be a
horror for a woman of any age to find a man, the one who is going to hang
around or isn’t one of the following, for which I will describe.
I have recently decided to go on a 30 day man Hiatus, after the
last three men in my life fell into three of the categories below, I decided to
empower myself. I believe I may have been attracting the wrong men because I
allowed myself to fall into the traps. I have been reading self help books
lately, to help me discard my old ways, the ways that attract the wrong men. I
need to feel like a ‘catch’ before men see me as one.
Baring in mind before I begin, that there are a lot of keepers
out there, men who stick. The course of true love doesn’t run smooth they say,
but there are many, many people for which it does because there are the
Before I run through my list of men that aren’t in the keeper
category (or may be but just not found the right girl?), I have to say that
women aren’t always the good guys either. There are a lot of women out there
digging for gold, seducing men for their own means. As I am a woman, I can only
write from this perspective and as I’m not a gold digger myself, I can only
compartmentalise men. Sorry boys.
We can also be guilty, us girls, of allowing these type of men to
treat us this way. I am very guilty of this one. Jumping in too fast, trying to
please, wanting to find love. If you give off desperation, these types of men
fall in your lap. Thus my hiatus, I have expectations, I know what I want and I
need to stick with them or repeat the same patterns.
Type One: The Commitment Phobic
Now my best male friend, who I love dearly, is one of these. Our
friendship is strong and although we tried to make it work together, we are
better as companions, best friends who hang together a lot. We will always be
friends and I know we will stick by each other for the rest of our lives, no
matter what men or women come and go. I can rely on him to love, support and
stand by me... he just wants different things. Well, different to what I
believe I want anyway.
It isn’t that these men can’t love, they can, but they are not
into monogamy. They don’t want the white picket fence and the 2.5 children.
Whether they tell you this up front or you find out along the track, in my
experience, a guy who doesn’t want to commit, won’t change because a girl has
come into his life, no matter how compatible. Not saying that this can’t
happen, that these men don’t meet the right girl and settle down... I believe
it to be rare.
Type Two: The Unavailable
There could be many reasons why they are unavailable. They may be
in a relationship that isn’t working, staying for the sake of the kids, or
really have no plans to leave at all. This is the mistake that is made on both
sides. I have been guilty of it... getting involved with someone who won’t leave
his kids. This is where both genders can make the error of judgement. If you get
involved with a man who is unavailable, it will usually end in tears. Don’t get
me wrong, some men do leave their unhappy relationship and follow the course of
true love but how often this happens, I don’t know.
Type Three: The Attached
The attached man is the one carrying a torch. They pursue you,
thinking they are ready to date, to move on and build a relationship with
someone new... until she comes back. Not saying this always happens but if the
man isn’t over his last love, then run the other way. He may pursue you
vigorously like the womaniser I speak of below, he may actually like you, but I
believe the biggest warning sign is; I want to go slow, take it day by day. He
doesn’t want to make dates for next week, but then may be spontaneous and
organise several with short notice. This type of man is the reason for my 30 day
man hiatus. Although the girlfriend was no longer in his life, he wasn’t over
the relationship. He threw himself fully into something with me, thinking he was
ready, then she rings, out of the blue, and bye-bye to current squeeze. The
rejection may hurt, but in this instance, what is to be done, feelings are
elsewhere and who am I, as a romance writer, to stand in the way of true love,
what is meant to be. It could all fall in a crumbling heap, the same problems
that broke them up could be there, but maybe things can change. The jury is out
on this one for me but I have a motto, don’t go back if it didn’t work the
Type Four: The Womaniser
I think this speaks for itself. They wine, they dine, they ...
but that is all they want. Promises may or not be made and they may or may not
tell you up front that it is casual. Again, these men could change, find the
‘one’but I believe that these men probably don’t.
Type Five: The Vanisher
This could be a man you met anywhere, online, out and about,
speed dating whatever. There are phone calls or online exchanges. There is that
nice getting to know each other period. From experience, these guys take your
number and don’t give out their own. They call you, things seem great, they say
they will call to make a date, then poof! Up in smoke they go. Maybe they fall
into one of the categories above, maybe it was all a fun flirtation they don’t
want to follow through on, but I find the vanisher can leave a girl wondering,
Now these are all generalised and I am only speaking from my
experiences... there may be other types that aren’t coming to mind right now,
and there are exceptions to every rule. A scene from ‘He’s just not that into
you’ reminds me of this. He is the serial womaniser, thought that there were no
exceptions until he met her... She believes in love, analyses every little
thing men do, will he call, why hasn’t he called, I think he likes me.... etc
(I have been guilty of this I admit!) and though in the movie, it takes him a
while to wake up... this sums it up for me.
Her: I thought there were no exceptions
Him: You are my exception
All I can do is hope to find a keeper (and maybe I have with my
best friend, maybe this is the best option, companionship and respect) or
perhaps I can be someone’s exception.
Serenity, acceptance, strength and wisdom
Well I have been rewriting ‘Womaniser’ the follow up to the soon to be released Fire Starter. So I decided to post the new first chapter. I love feedback so if you feel so inclined...
Isabelle rubbed tired eyes as she stumbled into the bathroom and turned on the tap. Splashing water on her face, she attempted to wake up fully. She lifted her face to the mirror and rested her hands on the basin. A scowl appeared when she noticed the dark smudges under her eyes and the toll of life etched into her face. Her beautiful face. Just as well she didn’t have a shoot today; her money-earning face wasn’t looking the best. Beauty could be a curse but Isabelle needed her curse to support her family.
Jesse had kept her up most of the night and you could tell. She needed to sleep better tonight or she would look like hell tomorrow. Isabelle swept up her hair and went over the brief for the following day. A closer scrutinising glance into the mirror reminder her that a facial should be scheduled and as soon as possible. The usual glow on her high sharp cheekbones was absent and her olive complexion looked sallow. This only reminded her that her exercise regime had been a bit slack of late too. A run today or after the shoot tomorrow was in order.
A reluctant sigh burst from her lips and she shook her head. This wasn’t where she wanted to be. To disallow regret to seep in she thought of Jesse. He was all that mattered. University, a life, love and all the other things she wished she’d done before falling pregnant at twenty-one, could wait.
The light happy sound of her son drifted into the bathroom from the kitchen. Their cramped living space entailed every sound being heard throughout the apartment. The appetising sound of cooking beckoned so Isabelle turned from the mirror, pushed aside her worries and smiled. Jesse always managed to bring a cheer.
A familiar sight greeted her when she walked into the kitchen from the short hallway. Her mother, Carol, was attending to toast and upon spotting Isabelle popped two more slices into the toaster.
“Morning, honey. Coffee’s hot.” Carol pointed to the pot sitting on the bench.
“Thanks for getting up with Jesse this morning,” Isabelle said, pouring a much needed cup of caffeine.
“I get up early anyway.” She shrugged.
Peering through the gap between the bench-tops and shelving in the narrow kitchen, Isabelle studied her son. Pink coloured his cheeks and he dove into his cereal as though he hadn’t been sick at all. The resilience of children. Life would be easier if she was as resilient.
Jesse sat at a small square table in the compact room that served as a dining room and living area. His blonde curls bobbed as he ate. When his blue eyes caught Isabelle’s he smiled and she was reminded of his father as she was every day. The ache over Adrian had subsided over the years but she still missed him. Although they had only been ‘friends with benefits’ his death still cut her deep. Life was that much harder without her best friend.
Burying the sting she returned her son’s smile and helped Carol finish breakfast before joining her son.
“Are you feeling better, honey?” She asked him running her hand through his tangled curls.
“Yes, Mummy. I don’t like being sick.”
“Me neither.” They shared another smile and the usual warmth associated with motherhood spread over her.
“Are you working tomorrow?” Carol asked joining them.
“Yes. I’m working with a photographer I haven’t worked with before.”
“Is this the campaign that is going on the main billboard near the city square?”
“Yes it will be up for a month. I’m lucky to have gotten this job, it will help my uni fund nicely.”
“I still haven’t gotten used to having a famous daughter.”
Isabelle laughed. “I wouldn’t go that far, Mum. People may know my face from magazines but they don’t know who I am and I plan to keep it that way. The last thing I want is to be a famous supermodel.”
“Well you know I’m proud of you. You have been working hard, you deserve a break.”
“And a life.” Isabelle tried to hide the bitterness in her voice. It certainly wasn’t Jesse’s fault that both Carol and Isabelle struggled most of Isabelle and Jesse’s life. No you could blame her absent womanising father and the cruel twist of fate that took Adrian. With resolution she pushed aside her loneliness, there was no use dwelling on what had passed.
“So what do you want to do today, Jesse?”
“Go to the park.”
“What do you say?”
“Pleeaassse.” Out of the corner of her eye Isabelle saw Carol stifle a laugh.
“Sure we can but no leaping off the top of playground, it scares Mummy.”
“OK, Mummy.” It was Isabelle’s turn to stifle a smile. If he was capable of rolling his eyes he would have.
They finished their breakfast and while Carol prepared lunch Isabelle organised her son. As it was a short distance to the park they decided to enjoy the spring sunshine and cool breeze and walk. Jesse ran ahead jumping over cracks in the footpath while Isabelle and Carol both lost in their own thoughts strolled not far behind. As predicted by the weather forecast on the news the previous evening the breeze teased at Isabelle’s straight black hair and took the sting off the sun.
They located a shady spot under a group of trees, set out a blanket and made themselves comfortable, apart from Jesse who had raced off to play on the equipment. Still deep in thought Isabelle watched her son play and a sigh escaped.
“Something bothering you?” Carol asked.
Isabelle turned to her mother and found a concerned frown wrinkling her brow. “Don’t look so worried it’s nothing serious. Just the usual.”
“The usual being how lonely you are?”
“Yes, my lack of love life, a male role model for Jesse.”
“I know how difficult it is to meet someone, especially when you have a child but don’t give up, just keep your mind open to possibilities.”
“I do but it can’t be just anyone or a fling. Jesse needs stability.”
“I know how lonely it can be. When your dad left I craved male company but over time I got used to it. I guess working a lot helped fill the time.” Carol’s smile was filled with reassurance but Isabelle grimaced regardless. She knew how hard her mother had worked to support them. Her womanising creep of a father had seen to that. “Don’t frown, Isabelle, it wasn’t that bad. I have a few male companions and it is all I need. I was older than you too so it will be easier for you to meet someone. It is a long time to be alone.”
“That’s what scares me. All I do is work, sleep and spend time with Jesse, which I wouldn’t change for anything of course but it makes it really difficult to meet anyone. The men I do meet through work are not the kind of men I want around Jesse. I don’t go anywhere else so the chances of meeting someone are slim.”
“What about here?” Isabelle followed the sweep of Carol’s arm with her eyes. “It is a goldmine of single dads and dog walkers.”
“You could be right but what am I going to do? Just walk up to them and say hi. Besides how do I know if they are single? Then there is this,” she gestured to her face, “men are either intimidated or think I’m a pretty conquest.”
“The curse of being beautiful.”
“It isn’t funny, Mum.” A wry laugh surfaced despite her feeling anything but humour.
“Fate has a funny way of making things right.”
“I hope so.”
Isabelle perused the park to discover that perhaps Carol was right, there appeared to be a smorgasbord in the crowded park. When her eyes reached the playground she spotted Jesse as he did exactly what he said he wouldn’t do before running over to them.
“Jesse, what did I say?” She asked with a laugh.
Instead of chastising him further as it would do no good, Isabelle picked up the ball beside her and took off at a slow jog.
“OK, smart guy, see if you can catch me.”
A gleeful laugh followed her as he ran after her the way only pre-schoolers can. Letting her son win by pulling her down and jumping on her caused delight to warm her blood. Did she really need anyone else when she had a supportive mother and a beautiful boy? This question along with many others she had no answer for swirled around her head as they walked home in the cool afternoon. Was there a man out there who wasn’t judgemental? Who wasn’t a player just looking for a good time? Someone who would love Jesse as well as her?