Postmodern Girl and the dating hiatus: why I chose to take a time out

Forget what Pharrell says. I’m pretty sure I’ve never felt like a room without a roof, but I do know what it feels like to be happy. When you’re a child, you might not know how to spell it, but happiness is always within reach, even if you do have to eat vegetables and go to bed early. When you’re a teenager, happiness is something your parents and teachers have brutally purloined from you and you’re pretty sure it’s gone for good. After graduating from university, you realise that happiness isn’t dependent on how many times you go clubbing per week, or whether you’re hanging with the right social subset; it’s something you will spend your life trying to achieve.

A few months back, during a spectacularly average working day, I was called up to the CEO’s office. Unsure as to whether I was about to be fired, I made my way up to top floor. Feeling like I’d just been sent to the headmistress’s office, I sat and awaited my fate. Much to my surprise – and relief, for that matter — I did not get fired, but was instead asked to help out at a meeting the following day. Snore. But, wait. Just as I stopped listening to my exceptionally-coiffed boss, in walked the most beautiful man I’d ever seen, wearing tan brogues and carrying a battered vintage satchel. Hawt. We spent the rest of the afternoon together in preparation for the meeting the next day. Needless to say, I was feeling really rather warm as I finished work, armed with a brand new crush. This infatuation, however, was short-lived, as I bumped into a colleague the next day while heading out for a skinny chai latte, who informed me that my crush was, in fact, gay. To make matters even worse, this was the third time this had happened to me, not to mention the kaleidoscope of fuckwits, douchebags and monumental losers I had dated in recent months. I was at a dating nadir and it did not feel good. It occurred to me that perhaps it was time to recalibrate my taste in the opposite sex.

I began my dating hiatus with immediate effect, and soon realised I had a surprising amount of time on my hands. Within two weeks, I’d had a personal style renaissance, joined the gym and booked a trip to visit a friend in Hamburg. After a dearth of creative activity, I began to write again; I had ideas; I felt motivated. Yes, my dating retrospective – comprised uniquely of commitment phobic playas — did resemble a house of horrors, but I was cool with that. It was a formative exercise in the lesson of how-not-to-date. It didn’t take long for me to acknowledge that this was the happiest I’d been in years and it felt fucking fantastic. I figured, if it’s good enough for Lady Mary and Mindy Lahiri then it’s good enough for me. Who knows, maybe I will start dating again, but right now I’m oh so happy as a party of one.


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