It’s A Funny Old World: Self-help guru Caro­line Buchanan

‘I’m be­gin­ning to think it might be quite nice to have the odd gen­tle­man caller’

Woman's Weekly (UK) - - Contents -

Just the other day I bumped into a man I’d had a crush on for years. I was un­hap­pily mar­ried at the time, but the crush went on for quite a while af­ter my mar­riage ended. Noth­ing had ever hap­pened be­tween us. We’d had lunch to­gether a few times but that was it. We’ve never even kissed, bar a friendly peck on the cheek, let alone had a steamy clinch.

Then re­cently, af­ter a quick catch up, he said those three magic words: ‘Fancy a lunch?’

The funny thing is, he was much smaller than I re­mem­bered. His height hadn’t changed a bit, but in my head he was di­min­ished. He wasn’t the su­per­man I had cre­ated in my imag­i­na­tion. He was an or­di­nary man. Noth­ing wrong with that, but I re­alised that my past long­ings to find true love had painted an ide­al­is­tic pic­ture of a per­son who had so much of what I was look­ing for.

When my ex-hus­band and I broke up five years ago I was de­ter­mined not to rush into an­other re­la­tion­ship. If I’m hon­est, I’d al­ways been a bad picker of men, which is ironic bear­ing in mind that as a trained cou­ples coun­sel­lor and agony aunt, I was quite good at help­ing oth­ers with their re­la­tion­ship prob­lems! A cou­ple of times in the very dim and dis­tant past I struck lucky with boyfriends, but the two long-term re­la­tion­ships I’ve had since were far from wise. One of the leaflets I of­fered through my agony col­umn was called ‘How to Spot a Rot­ter’, and yet I couldn’t see one right in front of my own eyes!

Now, af­ter a five-year pe­riod of learn­ing to live hap­pily with­out a man, I’m only just be­gin­ning to think it might be quite nice to have the odd gen­tle­man caller. I don’t need a part­ner to make me happy now, which hope­fully means I’m in a much stronger po­si­tion to make a bet­ter choice. If a nice one comes along, that would be the ic­ing on the cake – but it wouldn’t be the main in­gre­di­ent of a ful­fill­ing, happy life by any means.

So, for any­one think­ing of brav­ing the dat­ing scene again, I’d say make sure you’re truly happy within your­self be­fore you do. Most im­por­tant, beware of pro­ject­ing your deep­est long­ings on to some­one else. Just be­cause you ache for some­one who is lov­ing, kind, trust­wor­thy, bright and funny, it doesn’t au­to­mat­i­cally mean that the man of the mo­ment is all those things. Just be­cause he turns up on time for your first date does not make him some­one who is al­ways re­li­able! Just be­cause he says you’re the per­son he’s been wait­ing for since the year dot, it doesn’t mean for cer­tain you’re the first woman to hear those words!

By the way, my for­mer crush said the other day that he al­ways thinks of me when he passes the res­tau­rant where we used to lunch. He said it’s changed hands now, but he sug­gested we try it out.

But you know what? That was two weeks ago and I haven’t heard a word from him since. Do I mind? Not in the slight­est. He’s a man who has per­haps al­ways given mixed mes­sages... So could it be a lucky es­cape, per­haps?

This week’s colum­nist: Au­thor and coun­sel­lor Caro­line Buchanan

G ajksfdh Some of Ros­alie John­son’s work kjahs f akjshf jkahs ka­jsh

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