I had a light-bulb moment last week. I don’t have high standards, I have standards.
When I talk to my friends and acquaintances they always want to get my opinion on the dating scene in LA and in a round-about way ask me why I’m still single. My answer is simple, I have no fucking idea.
What I do know is that I am a romantic. I want that elusive “chemistry” that I know exists because I’ve experienced it. I’ve also learned that I would rather be single for the rest of my life, than be unhappy and unfulfilled in a relationship. Experience is the greatest teacher you’ll ever have.
When you aren’t content in a relationship, you think about how unhappy you are, and that’s OK because you’re the one who can’t sleep at night. But when given advice about my situation; my friend told me that I was not being fair to my partner, I was stopping both of us from finding true happiness. It was selfish of me to stay in a relationship that was not working just because it was awful to think that I would hurt him by leaving him. This advice was what finally gave me the confidence to do what was right. It was not just about me.
Being unhappy in relationships manifests itself in many ways (mostly negative), and it’s these manifestations that are the real concern. For me, it was putting on weight, losing my confidence & assertiveness, but most depressing was that I lost my sparkle. My je ne sais quoi that made me shine, and made me Amy. My family, my best friends and even I could see it. That is the point when you know you have to change your life. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but one of the most rewarding as it set me on a path that has lead me to the most incredible experiences and extreme happiness that I’m living right now. As my friend said to me recently, “Amy, you are living the dream”.
So back to when I broke it off with my long-term boyfriend and regained my ‘je ne sais quoi’, I was once again enjoying life to the fullest. One day, I was in Melbourne for work and I met an American guy. I’d approached him as I thought he was cute, and that moment of assertiveness lead to a liquid lunch and me trying to delay my flight back to Sydney that afternoon in order to spend more time with him! No joke, I fell in love with him in 10 minutes. It was insane. It was the most incredibly intense love I’d ever felt. We just clicked, and within 6 weeks, he came to Sydney to meet my family and we were talking about where to get married. Crazy! My gut was cautioning me about how fast things were moving, but I’d never met anyone like him, nor felt like this about anyone. So I suppose my giddy head and heart took over sensible reality. It really was the fairytale, until the red flags starting flailing from all corners! Bullets kept getting fired at me (figuratively of course) which thankfully I dodged.
- We lived in different countries and he wasn’t willing to consider moving to Australia. RED FLAG!
- He was scared of commitment yet had basically proposed to me in a matter of weeks of meeting me. RED FLAG!
- He had a borderline drinking problem. RED FLAG!
- He had a string of girls all around the world (which I only found out after, but of course my mum called it!). RED FLAG!
- He left me for a younger woman who was a stripper. Ahem, lifeguard?!! RED FLAG!
So, even though I loved him fiercely, the universe had helped me dodge this guy, but not before opening up my eyes and my heart to knowing what chemistry really was, and also to define what I do and don’t want in future relationships. It also made me stronger as at my tipping point, I recognised where I was, and made the hardest decision which is always the right one, and that was to wish him & his stripper girlfriend all the very best and cut him out of my life. 6 months after I did this, I received a text message from his phone which read “We’re engaged now.” I congratulated him, but I must admit, I could only think about how incredibly joyous he and his soon-to-be wife were that one of the first things they did was text his ex-girlfriend. Must be true love 😉
With all of my experiences in relationships and from dating in one of the toughest cities to find decent men in (LA), I can only be thankful for what I have been taught; thank those that have shared my heart, and wish them all the happiness in the world. We may not be for each other in the end, and that’s totally fine.
To answer those that may think I haven’t found a man because my standards are too high, look at the relationship I’ve just described. When it feels right, I’m all in. I am grateful for all that I have experienced and am infinity wiser for having met who I have.
Timing is everything, and I own a watch. What I expect is fairly simple – kindness, chemistry, thoughtfulness and being able to support one another. I’ll find someone who’s up for the challenge, when the hands strikes ….