Late Sunday afternoon and I've just got home from my weekend in London, a first real life (as opposed to Skype) date with Martyn, my brain is kind of scrambled, it's been a bit of a full on 24 hours and I promised Martyn I wouldn't write a blog post where a flock of unicorn seagulls lifted us high on clouds whilst bluebirds sang, I'm sure you would have read it anyway and all clapped wildly but I promised that I would be real and write from my heart and with my head just as he told me he's going to do and that means taking off the rose tinted glasses and that's hard for someone who is by her own admission a bohemian romantic.
So here's some facts about Martyn, he's 34, a single dad, blogger, he's got facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy which is life limiting and he's also got dependent personality disorder, he's a genius, an actual genius, he plays 13 instruments but not the harp (I know, disappointing, right?), he home educates his 2 sons, he teaches piano, he's kind, funny and on an attraction level, my face definitely likes his face. He blogs about his disability and his mental health (as well as many other things) and since he came into my life he's helped me become more real and I've blogged more about my own mental health. We as writers need to put this out there, we need to help people talk about mental health and we need to encourage people who might be feeling helpless that even if you are messed up in the head that it's ok, you can be brilliant and funny, you can be entrepreneurial, most importantly you can live a life where you own your shit and just carry on, carrying on, living your life in the best way that you can.
I want to jump now to something I believe about relationships and dating, something I've always believed. I'm lucky to have experienced good relationships and bad through my own experiences, that of others and through my work I'm always humbled to share the moments from others relationships at the most poignant moments in their lives, I've seen true love in all of its glory and I've known hurt, betrayal and had my heart broken and shattered into a million tiny pieces.
I think in the best relationships you always see a great combination of friendship plus the spark of attraction, the chances are if you want to rip someone's clothes off after 5 minutes on the very first date then it's just going to be lust which will die out after a month or possibly turn into something darker. I've never been into the whole lust based thing because I don't want my life to be full of quick passionate relationships, I realise they work for some but essentially I start by looking for friendship and this is something Martyn and I have established over the last 3 months with messages and our once weekly Skype dates, we have laughed a lot and talked about more serious things and I'm pretty sure I could talk to him about anything. When we met up yesterday it was just easy, I'd had my nervous half hour before he arrived but that was mostly due to hoping he wouldn't be a serial killer after I'd travelled the length of the country on a train surrounded by snoring black men, falafel eating mummies, smelly footed youths with their shoes off and an old man with a sheepdog, my cancelled earlier train meant a comedy journey of epic proportions, no wonder I was anxious!
I'm not a flirt, I am rubbish at it, always have been, always will be, I like laughing and talking and I like people who are smart and also people who'll not mind so much that I can't flirt. It's on first dates that I always make sure that I kiss my date, if they don't want to kiss me, it's always a fail because I'll never know if there's a spark and if they kiss me and it's like kissing cardboard, well then that's also a fail because you need a spark, it's the difference between friendship and a potential relationship. My point here is Martyn and I spent about 7 hours together having dinner, laughing, just being friends and when I walked him to his car at midnight we kissed (I should have perhaps just done this earlier but at the age I am, I always feel a bit uptight about public displays of affection) and, (remember, just the facts) we both felt a spark, a big spark, I said "wow" and I'm going, to be honest, we woke up together this morning!
So, what happens now? Martyn went off home to process his thoughts as did I, a smoother train journey home and I smiled a lot! Martyn is a complicated enigma and to be fair so am I, you get two messed up people together and they either fix each other's broken pieces or they're just two messed up people messing each other up, I rather hope it's a Deadpool scenario and I do think that my crazy matches his crazy but it's still early days really. I'm going back to London at the end of March for another date (seriously, how much easier would it be if he lived in Killingworth instead of Kent) and in the meantime, we'll continue to message and Skype each other.
What I want to do now is only write what's real and true so I'm afraid for you unicorn loving readers you might miss out on the whimsy (dang it, I nearly managed a blog post without mentioning it). If anything strikes me I'll no doubt write but I think we need to be allowed to just go and find out ourselves if this has a chance of working without the expectation of half of the internet (as lovely as you all are and I want to thank you all so much for being there every step of the way). Human relationships are hard, some work, some don't, some are honest and some are not, some are kind and some are harsh, some are imaginary and some are real and there are no magic formulae to make sure it works even if you want it to with all of your heart so you just have to be true to yourself, open your heart and try to be real and honest. What I do know In my heart is that I think we have the chance of something which could be bright and shiny, even if it is just a couple of half broken silver spoons lying in a muddy puddle on a moonlight night.
Whatever happens now, we'll always remember London...