Val's blog about "Mediocre Housekeeping' was thought provoking and as I trundled the vacuum cleaner around my house this morning, obviously inspired to do some cleaning (for once). As I pushed the hoover back and forth I realised that I'd been doing my own internal mental housekeeping for the last few months.
I'd been dating a man off and on through lockdown, I'd even described it to friends as a messy coming together of two people. He has a past history of trauma from an earlier relationship and my own tendencies to connect with traumatised men, meant he was magnetic cat nip to the nurturer within me.
Our semi fling was a distraction from the chaos and loneliness around me… he was lovely, funny and intelligent but self effacing… and passionate, no bad thing, it was a bit like sex at funerals… just that we were all in one big long covid funeral and embracing life seemed like the best way to cope with the death being spread liberally before us. But the deeper I wanted to go the more shallow the story went.
After Christmas he suddenly wanted to spend more time together and I wondered if there was a future in this, you know the normal things that happen in relationships, dates, phone calls, stupid little gifts, but no he refused to call our 'thing' a relationship, but he wanted all the trappings of a perfect relationship, but with no emotional responsiblity. It was 10 months by this time and becoming more obvious that his messy past didn't allow for any level of romantic connection and I started to feel used by the whole situation - it had suited me for a while and I wanted to give it a chance and not bury it immediately.
So my second lockdown birthday arrived and he sent me an IOU via text, not even with any birthday wishes, I was hurt by this, but then it forced me to realise that I didn't need someone who was so cavalier with my affections, I saw that his chaos and lack of commitment had no place in my life and I declined to see him again, ending the 'thing' with an explanation.
In past times i would have committed to helping him regain trust in women and become some sort of martyr, slowly sacrificing myself on the altar of connection, but now I brush them out of my tangled mane, shower away the grubbiness they leave me with and move on. Their chaos isn't my emotional responsiblity, so now I’m only looking for a man with a sensible tidy house and garden, or the ability stick on some marigolds and sort their own mess.
It might be boring to my bohemian need for crazy - but my head feels cleansed and ready to accept someone who arrives maybe a little bit careworn, but not covered head to toe in mud, with absolutely no intention of wiping their feet or cleaning themselves a little bit… I don't need their mess anymore, I'm keeping my house tidier than I have for a long time, well the internal one is getting better, the real one still needs a bit of dusting.
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