In The Search For Love, What’s The Right Card To Play?

Should I continue playing the game?

Transatlantic flight to South America, third big trip I am taking this year. This is the luxuries that I can afford when working online. Trapped for over nine hours in a seat and forced to bear myself. Usually constant running helps to escape, but not this time, not with the seat belt fastened.

Location independent, educated with masters degree in a serious field, well-travelled, financially-stable. ‘How lucky you are,’ my friends keep on reminding me every time I have a sigh that something is missing in my life and with years passing by that “something” is clearly the feeling of belonging.

However, maybe all the qualities mentioned above do not help finding a partner but rather make me a demanding and even selfish person that became unlovable? And the question keeps on spinning in my head: do I deserve love?

Lowering the requirements

‘You should lower your requirements’ is the phrase I’ve heard from my friends a million times. And I tried, tried hard. Sometimes probably too hard.

It was the very beginning of my own business after I quit my corporate career and decided to give a go to a new venture. I didn’t have that much savings and invested every single penny of my relatively small passive income into the business.

Mister E that I was dating back then was very intelligent, but had some problems with self confidence and was constantly stressed out that translated into all sorts of psychosomatic symptoms. Who doesn’t like confident men? Certainly not me, but I told to myself: ‘Stop being so demanding for once’ and crossed confidence off my requirement list.

The main reason of his stress and low self esteem was his credit card debt rolling for a couple of years with massive interest that was killing him. Well, maybe not killing directly, but he was not able to afford a new pair of pants and going to work with old rugged ones that were not exactly up to office attire standards. So here I was coming for a rescue and doing shopping for him despite my significantly smaller income while bootstrapping with my own business like crazy.

I suggested him to start online venture which he could manage during his free time and he got into it with a great enthusiasm. Sadly, his enthusiasm faded a couple of weeks later and I had to motivate him and contribute to his business with my own time and effort.

A few months into it he was generating small but steady side income that eventually helped him to repay his debt. It also led to regaining his self confidence and it was clearly noticeable. And there was one more outcome I haven’t anticipated: he fluffed up his feathers in front of another woman while I was away on a trip and asked me not to come back.

All or nothing

I took it as a sign, packed my bags and booked a flight to India. Don’t ask me why, I just felt like going away as far as possible. The further, the better.

Even though I was never a spiritual type, it turned out to be quite a spiritual journey. Half a year in the country of babas and yogis, real and fake gurus and travelling hippies I had plenty of time to put things into perspective and reconsider my priorities.

Travelling alone for most of the time, watching the life revolving around me and listening to my inner voice I became comfortable being on my own and stopped kidding myself that I can cope with any looser that shows some affection. So that was it: almost 5 months no men were in my vicinity, even though the choice was plentiful due to me being the exotic element in that environment.

And then suddenly, a couple of weeks before leaving India Mister H emerged out of the hazy air of Delhi. Initially he was interested in me, but not too much. Just enough to spark my curiosity.

It certainly wasn’t about the looks, but more about his confidence. I must admit, he had every single reason for that: well educated, career in a large international company with a leading position for Asian region, travelling all over the world, chauffeured by a personal driver.

He spoke like reading from the script: was suggesting to do everything that I like and ready to please me in all the ways possible. On top of that, he was extremely rational and organized with excellent leadership skills ― the qualities that makes me want to worship a man who possesses them. I played a bit of cat and mouse game, but eventually I gave in.

From passionate dancing in nightclubs with Bollywood songs playing to a little romantic weekend get away trip to another city the sparkles were flying in the air not thinking too much and not making any projections towards the future. And then I had to board a plane back to Europe.

It took him exactly one day to switch back to his normal life and start ignoring my messages and around 5 days for me to get to grips with reality that this fairy tale was over. There were times when he remembered my existence texting me in the middle of the night saying that he can’t forget me, the guilt dripping out of his texts along with empty promises to go on holidays together in a couple of months time. We both knew it will never happen.

Relying on the stars

Reading a magazine I brought along with me on board (no time to read it otherwise). There are a few love stories in it on how people met accidentally during trips or in some random places and then it was happily ever after.

Every now and again I lift my eyes to watch a girl in the seat in front of me. She and her boyfriend have got separate seats quite a distance away, so he frequently comes over to her to give a smooch and a cuddle.

There is a handsome guy sitting next to the girl. He keeps on ordering same thing as me - gin and tonic and we are two lonely drinkers separated by one row. ‘What if?’, I am toying with the idea on how it would be if I had been seated next to him instead of that girl. Could have been another story worth of magazine pages. But it is not and there’s always a feeling that I am missing out on something by that close.

When I went to the best Jaipur astrologer earlier this year, he said the stars showed somebody new appearing in my life in October. I am just wandering maybe my stars do not quite align by a second or so and I will always be alone.

Last time when I had a chat with my friend Lauren who is a psychologist, I was telling her how I feel and she said to me: every day look at the mirror and say out loud: ‘I deserve success. I deserve being loved.’ ‘Mhm’, I mumbled. And then she asked me: ‘Do you actually believe you do?’ My answer was: ‘I certainly deserve success and I fight for it every day. As for love..., wouldn’t be so sure.’

So maybe this is it, maybe I programmed myself to be lonely forever. And honestly, I can’t imagine who and why would want to put up with me. No permanent place of living, no plans of settling down and I am looking for somebody who would tolerate and even see it as the ultimate form of liberation, but would be grounded enough at the same time to bring some certainty into my self defined, seemingly chaotic life.

The probability theory would say that the chances are slim. However, all the great inventions balanced on the edge of impossibility. Should I continue playing the game?

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