Can you believe it has flown by already? Sometimes, I cannot. Two years ago this week, Mirror Image and I met for the first time. Later when we decided that we were a couple (the sheer amount of sex we were having at the time meant that we were clearly more than “booty calls” or “FWBs”) we decided to backtrack our anniversary to the day we met, even though many months passed before we were official.
It has been a wonderful two years. Being with her has emphasised precisely everything that was wrong with my marriage and more than once I have asked myself why I bothered staying with my ex-wife for so long. The truth is, I didn’t know any better. She was my first love and despite its flaws, we were happy in many ways. I/We ignored the problems, particularly the sexual issues that were between us. We had sex, of course we did, but it was rare and she was full of excuses 99% of the time.
When she cheated on me saying I wasn’t seducing her (wouldn’t you give up trying if you were being rejected all the time?) my whole world collapsed. When she said it was my fault that she cheated (using that typical female excuse of “you forced me into the arms of another man”) I sank even lower. I started to hate everything about myself, sinking my lifetime of self-esteem into critical territory and spiralling me into several major bouts of anxiety and depression.
This is a week I thought would never come. Over a year before I met Mirror Image, I almost took my own life. Long-term readers know I walked away from the cliff that day without anyone there to talk me out of it, but the 12-18 months between the breakdown of my marriage and the end of 2012, I became convinced and resigned to my eternal singledom. I remember a conversation I had with my ex, telling her that I knew I would never be with anyone else and that was ok, I had to learn to accept that there was something fundamentally wrong with me that was obvious to everyone except me.
You might call it self-pity but even now I would fiercely argue that it wasn’t. I knew I would be single for the rest of my life just as I know that I am straight. It wasn’t a belief, it was knowledge, it was resignation to an inevitable state that there was no woman out there who would want me. I am average looking, average height (a mere 5’9″ in a dating world where many women automatically dismiss any man under 5’10” and others dismiss any man under 6′), well-qualified and driven, but not rich.
When Mirror Image walked into my life, it was following around 15 months of dating and meeting some truly awesome people. I fell for one date very hard (Ubergeek), I was starting to fall for another one when she turned flaky (Mischief) and had a few others about whom I had mixed feelings (Little Red, Indiechick). Through dating, I un-learnt many lessons I had learnt about myself. Here I was, meeting and attracting some gorgeous, funny and intelligent women WTF would they see in me?! But eventually, when I kept getting these dates, the belief began to creep in. “Maybe there is something about me that women can find attractive”, “maybe I will meet someone who can’t wait to get me into bed”, “maybe I will one day, meet someone who will fall in love with me as I am in love with her”.
Now, two years after meeting her, I can see how wrong I was. In 2016, we move in together – the first time I will live with a woman since my ex and I had a flat as students.