Lucy has been away on holiday to try to avoid the horror that is her birthday and didn’t have time to write a post this week. So here, in her absence, is a guest post from the lovely Jude Peppis-Clay.
I know I won’t be alone in feeling this if Ariana Grande’s recent chart topping success is anything to go by. The stunning songstress talked about how she was thankful for every person she’s dated and the contribution they brought to her life – but that it’s important to move on when that’s all finished with.
In today’s modern dating world, we deal with a conveyer belt of prospective partners. One after the other, we match on a dating app or they slide into our DMs before meeting for a drink, Netflix and chill or some other date-type activity takes place.
For me, more often than not, this leads to a dead end and the reactivation of my Bumble profile. I won’t lie – my optimism of finding the right man for me has been significantly dented as this process happens over and over again. Cheryl Cole has sung about this too – how she keeps falling for guys but that doesn’t stop her going back for more in the quest for love. Well, I would sing that from the rooftops too.
We can take it one of two ways when we head back to Square One of the dating game. We can be miserable, curse all men, and resign ourselves to being single forever. Or, you can pick yourself back up and learn from it. That’s what I choose to do. Every Mr Right Now comes with his own lessons and their own reasons for coming into – and also going back out of – your life.
Here’s the story of a couple of my Mr Right Now’s.
Last summer, I spent a sunny weekend in Southsea at the home of a man who I was dating at the time. It was the third time we had hung out, and it seemed to be going rather well. He had a motorbike so, after we cured our hangovers from the night before, he took me out for a ride. I was super nervous as I had never been on a motorbike before. But it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. So, I pulled on a helmet and held on tight. It was brilliant. Exhilarating, scary and such an adrenaline rush. Life seemed good – great, in fact.
I travelled back home to north Hampshire shortly after that ride – and we had excitedly chatted about meeting up again the following weekend.
I never saw him again. He ghosted me – twice, actually. I am an idiot who double texted.
It would be very easy to feel bitter and negative about all that (OK, part of me definitely did!). But that motorbike ride got me through a difficult time. At the same moment as I was pretending to be Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2, my ex-husband was introducing our toddler son to his girlfriend for the first time.
The thought of the three of them spending time together cut me deep. It’s a feeling that I have had to get used to as time has continued to go on. It’s also something that I brought on myself as I instigated the separation of my family. But I didn’t expect a potential future stepmother to be in the picture quite so quickly, only weeks after I moved into my own home. So instead of sitting around dwelling on the state of affairs, my mind was far from reality when I was on the back of that motorbike.
Southsea was a Mr Right Now.
The positives that I can take from that are that, unbeknown to him, Southsea helped me through a very difficult time in my life. So is that what some relationships are for? To help you to emotionally move forward, to reach whatever your end game is and/or to get you to the next path on the road? I think so.
A few months later, I dated someone else. He was handsome, fun, on my wavelength and we had random things in common. I totally let my guard down in several conversations which lasted way into the night. I was briefly happy.
However, part of the modern dating game appears to be having to keep your cards close to your chest. You have to pretend to be carefree, stay a little emotionally unavailable and just play the game. I didn’t. That’s not me. If I had, I would have been lying to myself, lying to him and wasting time and energy on something which wasn’t authentic. But it wasn’t a good strategy because that handsome man went running on the premise that he wanted something more casual than I was prepared to offer. That hurt too.
But, what did that Mr Right Now teach me?
Was it that I should present a fake yet carefree version of myself to people who I date? Hell, no. It taught me that I need to be 100% honest with everyone – and if they don’t like it, then stop coming here to drink my good wine and drain my spirit. I was comfortable, relaxed and ‘myself’ around this person and that can never be a bad thing – even if it wasn’t ticking the boxes for him. But I am looking for love and I won’t stop until I find it with someone who wants the good, the bad and the ugly side of me.
Everyone in our lives is there to play a certain part. It could be to take on a specific role. They could mean something to us or be someone for us. Family, friends and potential partners are all the same. Sometimes, those people come into our lives and do not stay around for long, even if you want them to. But the only way to keep going with that is to learn lessons, help them to positively shape you as a person and then wish them well on their way.
Mr Right Now’s are stepping stones on the way to finding the elusive Mr Right. There may only be a small number of Mr Right Now’s for some people. For others, like me, there appears to be quite a lot. But, they need to be there so when you find the one who will change your life for the better, you recognise just how great that person in front of you is. Then, you never let them go.
Jude Peppis-Clay is a 30-something single mum navigating dating after a decade out of the game. She has a brilliant new website at gluingcheese.co.uk where she shares her parenting and relationships experiences. You can also find her at: