For my entire 36 years of living, the main narrative for my life has always been grow up, go to uni, get a great job, meet the man of my dreams, get married, have a child or two.
Now that's all good in theory but what happens when you start to carry out that life and hit a massive roadblock every time you think you've met the man of your dreams.
You see, it happened again this weekend. After doing all that manifesting jazz, and envisioning my dream man, I finally, and happily stumbled upon him. (OK, I swiped upon him.)
We had a brilliant first date, followed by a second fun date, then coffee and then another date where he met the friends.
He was everything I had written down that I wanted. Career driven, handsome, gorgeous dad-of-one, an absolutely open communicator, emotionally intelligent and a real go-getter. At the end of our first date he said 'Now how do you want to play this? I can wait three days to text you or we can just act normal. No games,' and I though YES! Finally the bloke I've been looking for.
So why, on a Sunday morning, did a wake up with a dread I know all too well?
You see, I had enjoyed the most heavenly lunch with my friends the day before, left at a decent hour, ordered my favourite Uber Eats before bed with a movie and woken up to soothing rain pouring on my roof and a comfy queen bed all to myself.
It was glorious.
I had been invited to a sporadic pub lunch later that day and then I wanted to tuck back into bed, make the most of a cosy afternoon before a busy week at work and read a book with my dog nestled in beside me.
But I had made plans with the fella. So it would be straight from lunch, to a date that was still in its early stages so I would have to be "fun Jana". Except I didn't feel like being "fun Jana".
I revel in times spent with my friends, and I also adore alone time. What I don't adore is doing things out of duty, because I had committed to a plan on Saturday that I no longer felt like doing on Sunday.
Now I know you're probably thinking: "Oh Jana, it's called being a grown up. It's what you gotta do if you want to find 'the one.' You've got to make an effort."
And here's the thing that dawned on me … I actually quite like being single. I like doing things when and how I feel like doing them.
Have I got the narrative wrong? Just because I'm 36, does it mean I have to rush things. Give my dating life 110 per cent at all times? Because … you know … tick tock … tick tock.
Now don't get me wrong, the date went well and he ended up meeting us for lunch, but I realised that I'm not quite ready to dive right in, and from what he was communicating, he is looking for someone who is. (Girls, seriously, he is a catch. So trust me, if you're ready to find a great guy, they are out there!)
The next day I turned to one of my closest and wise single friends and explained why I was feeling all anxious-y. This bloke and I just weren't on the same time frame. I thought I was ready to settle down, but I'm ridiculously happy being single, and until one of the very few guys I like finally turn around and say, 'Yep let's give this a crack' then I'm much happier on my own. (I should mention that these guys I like are never what I ask for on paper. Funny how the universe works that way …)
And you know what … that's okay. In fact it's more than okay. We are led to believe that the single life is the waiting room we're stuck in until we finally meet our match and get to live our real life, but what if the single life is JUST as much fun?
So may I suggest if you're feeling a little down in the dumps, go organise a lovely long lunch with friends, treat yourself to your favourite Uber Eats when you get home, enjoy a sleep in and zen the heck out.
Or alternatively, go babysit one of your married friends' kids. That will make you feel a heck load better about your fabulous, quiet, no-kids-sport, weekend free, life-for-one.