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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ainscough

Hope for Hopeless Romantics

TW: I'm in a stroppy mood.

So, where I'm at right now, is I am so done with romance. I'm done with dating, I'm done with rom-coms, I don't want my epic true love story moment and I don't even want to fuck (wow). On top of everything you know I've been dealing with lately, there's a whole lot of shit you don't know about too. I've had a lot of loss, I fell soul-destroyingly hard for someone I can never be with, my self esteem has pretty much completely disintegrated, oh... and I just discovered one of my oldest, closest friends is an actual psychopath (undiagnosed but change my mind, I dare you) and so the last ten years with him I was just playing the fool. So, I mean all that considered, I think it's pretty understandable that I'm not feeling like making new connections right now or trusting somebody else with magical me (shoutout to Kenneth Branagh in Chamber of Secrets). Dating is wonderful, but its also very demanding, and right now my confidence, energy levels, wellbeing and self care skills aren't really feeling up to that challenge. My plate is full, it really is. Like, right now even if the complete package, my exact shade of spectacular, the man of my dreams strode up to me and asked me out for a cup of coffee, I think I would actually say 'No, thank you. Right now I'm just trying to get by.'

Okay, so that paragraph was a bit of a bummer, I'm sorry. But sometimes life does contain some bummers... and that's okay. The rest of this post is not a bummer, because as much as right now I feel like I never want love again for the rest of my life, I'm pretty sure things will change when I'm feeling better and I'll be back to being the starry eyed horny tween God seems to have frozen me as. In the meantime, my friend is falling in love, and that is just the best thing in the world. Unlike me, she's falling for somebody she can be with... with somebody she probably will be with, and doesn't that just make your heart sparkle!

Anna is like me; a hopeless romantic. Over the years we have convinced each other we are in love with a whole plethora of randos that we definitely weren't, and God knows we've scuppered a few friendships over it too. We both go bang, crash, wallop, dip-died hair-donned-head over heels for pretty much anybody with that sensitive-masc dualism and a job doing something physical. Within the hour we're debriefing over wine on facetime and imagining a whole life together with these people. When they turn out not to be our happily-ever-afters we promise each other to take it slower next time, be more discerning, focus more on ourselves than the rest of the planet. And now after so much trial and error, we're both (kinda) starting to learn.

I think my fear was always that if I take the romance out of the way I look at things, the world might not provide any of its own... and that would be such a shame. But good news, readers, it's not true! Just like life is bursting with magic, life is also bursting with love! (And not just wholesome friends/family/self love... but sexy, candlelit, swoony love, too!) Anna was brave and let go of her fantasies. She put in the work, she calmed the chaos, and the next thing we know we're toasting espresso martinis in a yummy but class-less Italian restaurant chain to her new beau, excited for her to get to know who he is in real life, and not just in her head.

None of this is to say that hopeless romanticism is a curse itching for an antidote. People are different, and I certainly think being hopeful and wide eyed are some of the nicer parts of my personality. I guess all I'm really saying, is it's okay. It's okay to cling on to fairy tales and it's also okay to let them go. It's okay to look inward and it's okay to stop 'goin' an' gettin' 'em' and let life come to you for a change. Maybe I'm not really saying anything... but there is hope out there, friends, and when I want it again, there will be love.

Thank you for baring with my lack of clarity or direction, and rest assured that even if I'm not snogging or daydreaming I've still got lots of untold stories to dive into over the next few weeks with you all. Check back here for a bit of sop, a lot of slop and potentially some minor breakdowns? (I like to keep you on your toes). Oh, and raise a glass to Anna and Dickie with me - here's hoping I wear big hat at your wedding.

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