Chapter One, Take Two
So this is it – 12 columns over 13 months and I find myself penning this final one. But it's a good ending, not a sad one. When I started back in 2012 things were, by my own admission, pretty hard down in ol' relationshipville. Faced with the prospect of starting over again was always going to be scary.
Underneath all that fear was inevitable excitement. For me, the end of a big relationship had the same feeling as the end of the summer holidays in school. You're filled with anticipation for the new year to start because you feel there's this magical, once in a blue moon chance to reinvent yourself but what you end up finding is that you just become a better version of the person you always were. You might be thinner, older, wiser (?) but deep down not much has changed and that desire to put someone else first, that implicit trust that only comes with true love, it's all still there and just as strong as if it was the very first time.
Maybe that's where the fear comes from in the first place. It's not the countless disappointing dates with the rude, the boring and the spark-less, it's the worry that things will never be new again. That the last person used you up and left nothing of worth behind for someone else.
Trust me, I'd throw that thinking out right now because whilst you're wasting time tearing yourself down there's a great guy out there with the cutest dog you never knew how much you wanted all wrapped up in the most amazing package.
Well there's one less now because that's basically the happy ever after I've found myself in! So whilst it's goodbye column it's hello new man, new dog and new home – honestly I couldn't have made it better if I'd written it myself. Except maybe if I'd made him a millionaire...
Gold digging aside I would never have believed how life could turn around in 12 months just by being open to new opportunities and living my life. The truth is, despite every dating column out there (including this one!), there is no secret way to 'get' a guy. We can't snare them with perfume and clever make-up.
There's no engineering scenarios to make them jealous in the hope they'll decide to commit. It's just two people, living their individual lives who, for whatever reason, cross paths at the right time and it just works. Now we're living together that theory of it 'just' working will be put to the test but right now there's nowhere else I'd rather be and no other challenge I’d rather take on.
I wish the same for all of you. Even when it falls apart, as it did before and as this might, so much good can come out of it. Hold on to that and become the person you would want to make happy for the rest of your life. Before you know it someone else might be willing to do the same.