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Updated: Jul 1, 2020
What is it?
Is it a jam doughnut?
Almost certainly not.
Is it a tender kiss goodnight?
I don’t think so.
Is it the unity of two souls, the pairing of two spirits separated since birth; miserable without each other, but complete when they’ve finally been reunited?
Or is it a long, drawn-out argument over whose turn it is to put the bins out, an argument that’s gone on so long that you’ve both forgotten how it started and you’re now taking verbal blows at each other over an embarrassing thing one of you said two years ago at a family member’s wedding, but eventually your dog will fart and you’ll both laugh and it’ll all be fine again?
We’re getting closer.
Love is a concept that we’re all deeply familiar with, and at the same time, it’s so hard to express with language. It’s very difficult to put into Microsoft Word what it actually means. I can describe it with noises – it’s kind of like a sniff and a grunt, followed by another sniff, and then finally a sigh.
Today is Valentine’s Day and I thought it would be a good idea if – without making any weird noises – I shared with you my thoughts on love. Half-way through writing this thing and having completely lost my passion for the concept, it turns out I was mistaken in thinking that it would be a good idea. But much like a loveless marriage that provides structure and stability, it’s too much hassle to get out of now. This is the blog equivalent of me staying for the kids.
So, although this forced blog may be more psychologically damaging for you in the long run, please be grateful I’m here and don’t forget who slogs away all week to put food on the table for you.
Now, it’s perhaps the world’s worst kept secret that I’m not successful romantically. The world’s second worst kept secret is that carrots don’t actually help you see better in the dark. Come on carrots, we all know what’s going on, who you tryna fool? You have loads of fantastic qualities without having to resort to lies. Have a bit of confidence.
But the point is, I’m no Romeo from Romeo and Juliet. I’m not even Romeo from the noughties English rap group So Solid Crew. It’s just one of those sad facts of life that my name isn’t Romeo.
I’ve always wanted love. Life’s really difficult and it seems like it would be easier if I had someone else to moan to and also kiss when I’m feeling sad. I just wanna wake up beside someone, not underneath my 17-year-old brother wanking. I should point out that we have bunk beds, he isn’t just lying on top of me tugging it. I’d almost admire the audacity of that if it wasn’t so disgusting. I’d be like, “Fair play Danny, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. Now can you PLEASE get off of me.” The problem with relying on love for happiness is that it can be too much pressure. You look at the things lacking in your life and you desperately search for another person to provide those things. But all that means is that you’re gonna get the wrong idea of the other person and start seeing things that aren’t there.
When my last relationship ended, the girl said, “Eric, you’re not the person I thought you were.”
“Who did you think I was?” I replied.
“Ben Shephard from Tipping Point.”
Turns out it was a legitimate case of mistaken identity – and I can’t blame her for that. Tbf I shouldn’t have made him my pic on Tinder. It was my fault. She said she knew something was wrong on our first date, when I turned up without bringing effortless charm and charisma.
This whole Tinder business gets me down. If you want to find someone these days, you’ve got two options: strike up a conversation with a stranger face-to-face, or use Tinder. Which means if you’re not a maniac, you’ve got one option. But striking up a conversation on Tinder can be just as difficult as in real life.
One of the major advantages of Tinder is supposed to be that you don’t feel like you’ve been rejected, because you can’t see the people laughing at your stupid ugly face and swiping left on your profile. But it doesn’t really work for me. When I walk down the street, I get super paranoid that everyone around me has swiped left on my Tinder profile at some point. An old lady scowled at me in the veg aisle of Asda the other day for no apparent reason, and I was convinced it was because of Tinder (my age settings are very inclusive)*.
It’s like being a celebrity. That’s why I changed my photo to Ben Shephard. He’s used to the trials and tribulations of fame and infamy. From the GMTV days right up to the mega-stardom he’s gained from Tipping Point, he’s seen it all. If he gets a bit more hassle when he’s out and about because of my Tinder profile, then I’m sure he can handle that.
I want to stop using Tinder. I want to stop caring about romance all together. I’m trapped in a constant cycle of swiping right, running out of likes, and then waiting 12 hours until I can swipe right again. It’s like Groundhog Day, except for the fact that the in-between hours in my day actually have quite a lot of variance and also I’m not Bill Murray.
And I think that’s what I need to hold onto, that I’m not Bill Murray, and that there’s so many other things to be doing with my day than worrying about love. Maybe those 12 hours when I’m locked out of Tinder are a blessing. It’s a chance to stop thinking about it. We’re all so much more than all this nonsense. Our days are filled with a spectrum of experiences, many of them great and many of them having nothing to do with whether we’re getting our dirty little ends away.
Even on a day like today, when our happiness is especially supposed to be proportional to our romantic success, I had loads of good things happen to me. For example, there were free doughnuts at work today. Did Cupid give me those doughnuts? Nah mate, I’m pretty sure it was Bev who brought them in. And they were well tasty.
Having a romantic partner to get you through life is a bit like having a calculator to get you through a maths exam. It can be great, but if you have no idea what you’re doing, then it’s not gonna be very helpful, even if you have figured out how to make it display boobs.
You need to figure out how to answer life’s big questions by yourself. There’s lots of learning to do and many tricky problems to think about. If you find someone to study with, cool. But if you don’t, don’t worry about it. It doesn’t matter.
Maybe love is just a jam doughnut. A nice fat jam doughnut.
All to yourself.
Anyway, that’s about it.
*If I’m being rational, she was probably just angry because she was buying carrots, and I’m getting a reputation in my area for slagging them off all the time.
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