16 November 2012

Playing it cool/Playing to win

I wrote this earlier in the week, and revoked it. Now the puzzle pieces fit, I am republishing.

I'm a rational person with plenty of willpower. I think I can read people quite well. I think things through logically and I can keep a block of dark chocolate in my pantry without scoffing the lot. I can drive calmly through city traffic and I can go for weeks, even months without seeing friends, and know our friendship is still very strong. I know people are busy. I think I'm smart. I'm educated and know about stuff. I am an adult and in less than a decade I'll be 40.

But then I get to like a boy and my rationality and willpower dissolve into a puddle of teenage girl. And it's usually got to do with communication via mobile phones. I try to foresee the future in 160 characters.

There's been no contact from him for five days. There's no future for us.

That wink in his text means he was flirting. Wasn't he? Or maybe his finger slipped? Probably.

It's better to be wishy washy with my feelings than just say what I really think. Even if I look needy.

Texting is the done thing now. People are afraid of speaking on the phone. I can't call him.

He's not updated Facebook in ages. He must have deleted me as a friend.

He's so beautiful I'm punching above my weight and I may as well concede defeat now.

And then I hear from him. It's brief but it's something. My heart feels full and my world fills with a colouring book scene of rainbows and hearts and lambs frolicking in a paddock. I run out of the room to squee! And I tell my best friends. I'm still in with a chance. Gosh I like him.

I'm stupid. Not the queen of playing it cool. I am both the king of wishful and over thinking. But I'm trying to change my ways. One text at a time.


He came to visit me in hospital today. He was lovely and funny and cute and then said "I've met this girl recently..."

My heart landed in my mouth. I cried into my pillow. I told the nurse my skin is sore and I'm a bit sad too.

Maybe I've got to fight harder for what I want. Should have told him. Saying he's awesome and I'm glad we met wasn't enough.

He's a great guy. One of the best. But he's not mine.


  1. Oh sweetheart don't go blaming yourself with what if you had said or done this or that...
    If he couldn't see what an amazing person you are then he isn't the one.
    You deserve someone that sees that colouring book scene with the rainbows and hearts when they hear your voice.
    Never let anyone make you doubt the beautiful person that you are.
    You are an extraordinary woman and the wonderful way things have been going for you this year Im sure the best is yet to come.xx

  2. '''hes so beautiful i'm punching above my weight'' WHAT ON EARTH are you talking about. Yes your rationality must dissolve when you go gaga for a guy. Have you stopped and thought about how intimidating you must be to men. You are such a success on so many levels and it is amazing to read of all the opportunities you have created for yourself. I am sure they would be the ones thinking 'i am punching above my weight with this woman'. So uuimmmmmm YES you do have to fight harder and you do have to tell that special someone how you feel to give them the confidence that they have a chance with you.

  3. I agree you cant beat yourself up with the what ifs :(

  4. Carly

    Please don't take this as negativity - I'm trying to be realistic.

    15 years ago when I got seriously sick my boyfriend at the time (we were talking of marriage etc) was getting really stressed and depressed and eventually within about 2 years we broke up, the reason being he couldn't cope with my problems.

    At the time I was really sad about the fact that I might not ever be able to find anybody and did a lot of googling of studies etc...... and I found something that said that in the US 85% of marriage end in divorce when one partner has chronic pain (this now is an old study given I read about it more than 10 years ago)

    And I realised that I wouldn't be able to find anybody that would cope with my problems ...... and so decided that I would concentgrate on all the positive things about being happily unmarried and all the negative things about me being married ..... and it didn't take me long to get aclimatised to it. I'm now happily single - although it's not to say that I don't get lonely but then many people who are married are lonely. Once the "honeymoon period" ends things go back to normal.

    So what I"m trying to say is can you just live for the moment and try to be happy NOW, and if someone turns up then great, but if not then not-to-worry. Read and learn about all the good things about not being married - because there are a lot of them.

    This is a psychologist who has a blog on the topic -


    Hope you don't hate me for saying this - but you might be risking your happiness wishing for something rather than just trying to live for the moment etc.


    1. Hi Ioland
      Thanks for your reply. I know you were only trying to offer a realistic suggestion, but how about this? I am very happy, I'm not chasing boys, I have my goals planned. But when a boy comes along - one that I just happen to meet when I'm doing something I love - and I really start to like Jim, it's justifiable that I'll be a bit upset when things dont work out between us, esprecially since we have spent a considerable amount of time together. Ive been single a long time and I know that I'm going to pick myself up and dust myself off. Is that ok?

    2. Ioland I have just reread your comment and I'm disappointed. You've pretty much said that I shouldn't try to find love because a high percentage of marriages where one person is in chronic pain end in divorce?
      So I should just accept this? Not live a complete life? Bullshit to that, and probably not the 'advice' I need while in hospital. You may be ok following this advice but I sure as hell aren't. I'm not going to accept defeat because I have a chronic illness.

    3. Wow. So we should all just shelve our dreams if the odds are against us? If I really want to get into a certain college and it only accepts the top 15% of applicants, I should not even bother trying? And everyone who is unemployed should not bother looking for work, because of the competition? And I guess I'll just throw out that manuscript I'm writing because the odds of getting published are pretty slim.

      Perhaps the study you found ten years ago found that 85% of marriages involving chronic pain end in divorce. Well, 50% of any kind of marriage ends in divorce. And yet people keep seeking love, and keep getting married.

      Being single can be lovely. It allows one a lot of freedom. Being in a loving partnership can also be very nice. It is human nature to desire intimacy and to want to give and receive love. We all get to decide what's important to us, individually. While it's important to be realistic about our chances for success, quite often what we define as 'realism' is really just a lack of courage.

    4. iOland, let me tell you a little story. Guv & I have been married for 12 years, this Sunday in fact. We've been together for 13 years. We've had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows while married.

      We've fought infertility and suffered through miscarriage after miscarriage and are now facing a life without children, despite us both desperately wanting them more than anything.

      I suffer through chronic neck and back pain every single day and have done nearly our entire marriage.

      Now looking at the general statistics of marriage eg 50% end in divorce we've been lucky to make it to 12 years. Then factor in the stress of infertility and repetitive pregnancy loss and now we're really trying our luck by still being together. Finally lets factor in your "study" that you found and wow we're in that lucky 15% who haven't ended in divorce despite one of us being in Chronic pain.

      I think Guv and I should buy a lotto ticket tonight because it's VERY obvious now that we're pushing our luck when it comes to our marriage and how long it's lasted and continues to last.

      Moral of the story - love is love, some love lasts a long time, some love lasts a short time but what will be will be and it has NOTHING to do with anything a study says. Some couples crumble under pressure, others pull closer together and thrive under pressure, it's just the way it is.

      Carly, as I said to you yesterday, there is someone special out there, who when you find him, will thank the stars everyday that he gets to wake up next to you but until then, yes revel in being single, it can be fabulous xx

    5. Well you're just a bundle of joy, aren't you? Do you also enjoy telling small children they'll never amount to anything so they should just give up now?

  5. Got no useful advice, it's all moot anyway people rarely take advice - and why the hell should they? We're all just struggling along doing the best we can. Hope talking about it helped ease the pain a little. Hope you meet someone awesome who appreciates you fully very soon. Hugs and stuff.

  6. Anonymous,
    For anyone to give up on love for whatever reason is really sad.May I suggest that there was probably a lot more that contributed to the demise of your relationship than the chronic illness, and it probably feels better to blame the illness a.k.a.(projection) for your own personal failures. There are always several layers, and the truth about ourselves can be hard to face, that being "defeated" and giving up or projecting becomes the only way to deal. Its better to deal with this, than advise on your negative experience-NO?.
    Wish you all the best in your quest for love Carly, and love is for all, the sick, the well, the rich, the poor-Don't give up. Ever!.

  7. Hey Carly, sorry to read you're in hospital and we missed your smiley face at dinner the other night. When you're feeling up to it Mexican is calling. Sending you a huge hug and hope it's not too much longer until you're out again. P xx

  8. Hey Carly,
    I'm sorry to hear about the pain you're in at the moment. As your readers I'm sure if we could each take a bit of the pain away from you we would gladly.
    Re: the boy- just know that you are not alone, so many people are in like/lust/love with people they can't have...but your feelings are your own
    I'm not at all a religious person, but below is a quote(?) from the bible that might manage to make you feel a little better

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

    Take heaps and heaps of care Carly- and some time off (I don't know how you keep up with your life half the time!)


  9. I think that a hell of a lot of relationships do not survive one partner suddenly acquiring chronic pain (e.g. after an accident or an unexpected illness). But if the pain has always been there, and it is part of the person that you come to know and love, it is a different thing altogether.
    Hang in there, and hope you continue to recover well.


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