Last year I went on a date with a guy who didn’t exactly set my world alight with a lack of anything in common combined with a lack of chemistry, and the following night I attended a thirtieth birthday party in a so-called trendy bar, which was barren of any totty. Nothing remotely attractive, nobody personable and the most frightening collection of shirts I have ever come across in a bar full of men.

What did I do when I realised that there were no apparent prospects in sight? I didn’t attach myself to the nearest married man. Instead, I kicked back and had a laugh with my mates. I thought this was generally the case until I got talking to a group of women who were older than me, and single.

They literally scoured every inch of space in the room to confirm that a potential husband wasn’t in sight, and then regaled me with the tales of all the exes, near-marriages, and disastrous dates. My mates and I thought the stories were hilarious and even threw in a few ourselves, but by the end of the night, an uneasiness had settled in, which none of us seemed to be able to vocalise.

As I slipped under the covers to go to sleep, it suddenly hit me full force, and I admit I felt a bit nauseous. Those women could be me and my friends in a few years time. And this begs the question:

Should I hide behind the pillow for this scary movie called Finding the Elusive Mr Right? Or, should I remain optimistic and do my best to watch it and enjoy it with the occasional duck behind the pillow?

I, and most of my female friends feel that we have got plenty offer to a guy who wants to go the distance with us. While like most women, we have our insecurities, things we’d rather not see in the mirror, quirks, and of course faults, we haven’t lost the optimism yet.

For a few moments, I considered calling the guy from the night before (who I had nothing in common with and no chemistry). And then chastised myself for even thinking of it. Yet I was scared following my encounter with these women, and I’ll admit that my optimism faltered, if not downright collapsed temporarily! I started out in my early teens kissing boys at the local disco. I’ve had boyfriends, tears, joy, great sex, relationships, and I can say that I have had one great love, even if I lost it. But I am fast approaching the big three zero, and it suddenly feels a bit exhausting, and I want to get off the treadmill.

I realise that I may take it for granted that I will meet the right guy, get married, and have my first kid by the time I’m thirty. While I don’t believe that everything will be perfect (my family are extremely loveable but dysfunctional, but mine), I believe that all of these things are in my future. And with my rapidly advancing age (!), a relationship can’t be too far around the corner!

But this is where it gets frightening.

Most of those women thought this way until reality kicked their asses, and they woke up and found themselves fast approaching forty, and no closer to the dream, than I am to marrying Morris Chestnut. Even the most die-hard optimist will feel uneasy with that prospect.

Following a fitful night of sleep, I discussed my thoughts with the friends I’d been out with, and it seems that we were all thinking the same thing. The women that we’d spoken to were outgoing, attractive, professional, independent women who seemed to have personalities and that don’t look like they should be struggling to settle with a man. When these opinions are transferred back to ourselves, the prognosis doesn’t look good!

Well I am still optimistic, and although I do feel a little tired, and many women feel really tired, I believe that part of getting what we want is reliant on our optimism. Although easier said than done, if we are trying to be happy and comfortable with ourselves, and projecting negativity and pessimism, we will invite negativity into our lives.

We live, love, lose, but we also win. For whatever reasons, the men that have come and gone in our lives are not the ones, or the ones right now. As long as we are learning and growing from each of our experiences with the opposite sex, I believe that we will get to the finishing line one day.

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