Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Friday, September 22, 2017

Why I'm still alone after 3 years

Me, why I'm still alone after 3 years, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, writer, blogger, relationships, love, dating

The year was 1999, it was October and I was out dancing on a Thursday night with one of my best friends, Mark (sadly not with us anymore) and I kicked our height in disco night club Baha and out of the corner of my eye I spotted a tipsy bohemian looking man with surfer like wavy blonde hair, he came over an introduced himself just before the end of the evening and we kissed goodnight.  Seven weeks passed until once again I was out dancing with friends when I spotted the blonde boy I'd kissed all those weeks ago, I ran up to him and said "I kissed you seven weeks ago at Baha, do you remember?"  I can't remember if he replied or if he just kissed me but that was the night that my life changed forever.  That was the night I met the greatest love of my life.

It's hard to believe that it's nearly 20 years ago and it's still harder for me to believe that we are not together, I thought this crazy bohemian boy with the weird ideas and even stranger behaviour would be mine forever, he still remains to be one of the few people on the planet who actually understood me, our bohemian ideals of truth, beauty, freedom and love drew us together, his love of life and total disregard of conformity terrified the life out of me at times but politically, morally and ethically we agreed with each other on so many levels.

We shut out the world and built a nest that no one else could invade, maybe that's where my hermit tendencies originate, I really don't know, all I know is that, in those first days, weeks, months, years even, I didn't want to let anyone or anything disturb what we had found.

I will never have any regrets about meeting him or spending a large chunk of my life with him because when it was good it was like the most magical thing on the planet, it was like the best piece of music you ever heard, or the tastiest cake you ever ate, 15 years we spent together and 3 years on from that and I'm whole again, I'm as healed as I'm ever likely to be but I've come to realise that you only really get one shot at love, well maybe not love but true love and soul mates, I honestly don't think that kind of lightening strikes twice, I'm not even sure I would want it to.

I'm much happier to be just me now, I sometimes shy away from the company of others because I'm content in my aloneness.  Meeting someone else terrifies me and though I occasionally glance at the Eharmony account I have, in 1 year of being on there, only 1 person has ever messaged me and he couldn't even spell!

I think the truth is that even though I get lonely from time to time, I would rather spend my life alone than settle for second best, I'm a complicated person to be with, don't get me wrong, when I love, I love with all of my heart but I'm not emotionally connected a lot of the time, I can seem standoffish and guarded, I can seem distant and aloof but that's more self preservation than anything else.  I know even before you have to deal with my strange personality you have to get past the fact that my face is odd and ageing and I have the body of a giant white jelly baby, I'm not what you would call, catch of the day!

It took me 25 years to find someone the first time and I think the only reason we fell in love was because we were in those days, clumsy and foolish, we spent a lot of our time out with friends partying and that meant that I dropped my guard, I relaxed, I stopped being so uptight.  I can't even drink alcohol without being wildly allergic and it actually interfering with my breathing so the chances of me relaxing enough to let anyone see the special parts of me (and they are in there, it's just an effort to find them) are microcosmic.

Since I've been on my own, I've watched couples split up, I've watched both sides then go on to have new relationships and it's amazing, people have actually got divorced and married again to other people and here's me, still on my own trying to work out if there's any way of becoming the kind of person someone could fall in love with.  Sadly, and believe me when I say that I'm not looking for pity here, but sadly I think not, at 43 I've missed my chance, I guess it's a good thing then that I have my kids, I have my dog and most importantly I know myself and whilst I can travel and not stay in one place for too long, I don't have to worry about the times I spend alone.

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