Just another ordinary Friday night after work. There was no chance I was going home to wallow in the fact that yet again, I had not stuck to my healthy eating regime for entire week. No, I was going to meet my friends at a local bar and keep up appearances if you will, as a cocktail addicted socialite. The girls were already at the bar, much to my happiness, as this meant there would be a Pink Cucumber Martini waiting for me on my arrival and who can complain at that kinda service?
As with any other rendezvous, we’d discuss the happenings of the week and of course, who was now sleeping with who and other general chit-chat that would evoke eyebrow-raising reactions from the group. Carla had been in a relationship for about 2 years now and was still head-over-heels in love with her partner. She was rambling on to the girls about how great things were and as I took another ambitious sip from my cocktail glass, I chose the share what I thought was a trivial bit of information with my group, only to find their expressions to be horrified after I spoke.
“I’ve never been in love”, I said.
I don’t think I can recall ever having seen the girls looking so stunned before, apart from when Tom from the local pub accidentally dropped his draws in the pub one night to reveal an appendage that can only be described to be as equal in size and stature to an acorn. I hadn’t even considered the fact that I had never been in love an issue until this very moment. The perplexity on their faces was too much to bear, but what really hit me hard was Carla’s response:
“That’s not normal”, she said.
Ouch. I instantly felt outcast from a group of friends I was closer to than anyone else. My presence suddenly felt alien because I was yet to experience an emotional that seemingly came so naturally to everyone else. The conversation quickly changed it’s tune, but I couldn’t really get this off my mind. After twenty three years, was it really so unnatural to have not been in love? I mean, I know the old saying goes, tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all, so maybe they were right. I needed some reassurance that the decisions I had made so far in my life were right for me, regardless of the lack of love. Who was I to turn to? In this instance, I got in touch with Fred Siriex – a marvellous Maitre D’ and all round lover of love. I kinda described the situation to him, and his response:
“Define being in love”, Fred said.
Where on earth do you begin with something like that? To me, love was the sort of thing that – you know – once you know, you know. I’d never really sat down and thought to define the very emotion I’d never experienced and wonder as to why. From what I can see around me, and what I’ve read, and what I’ve heard, I believe love to be a sensation of elation, an emotion of devotion, a burning desire to be with someone, a feeling of not wanting to be without them, a mind that’s consumed by them. I shared my ideas with Fred and went on to say that I’ve never met someone I’ve felt this way about.
“You are young and it takes time to find out and know what you want”, Fred said.
The man had a point – no surprise there. I know for a fact that the last few years of my life have been entirely focused on my career and establishing myself in a working role that would see me through my adult life – predominantly developing a particular set of skills – much like Liam Neeson in Taken but without the whole hostage, killing, shooting thing. Sure, I’ve dated and whatnot but I wasn’t really open to the idea of anything long-term and the more I look back, the more I find reasons as to why I’d never really found that redamancy to date. Now, I can clearly define who I am, what I do and more importantly, what I want, which leaves me here like an open book:
“If you are open enough and ready for it, you will get it”, Fred said.
So now is the time. Sure, I’ve never loved a man before but for goodness sake, I’m in my early twenties – the world is my oyster and I am the pearl! Relationships will come and go and I’m almost certain I’ll be going on a whole lot more dates before I meet someone I feel more serious about. I won’t dwell too much on that though, I’m a firm believer in living life to the fullest in the present and the future you dream of will follow. I’ll put myself out there, I’ll be ready and open to meet new people and who knows, maybe 2016 is the year I’ll fall in love for the first time. Will people still think I’m not normal for never having been in love?
“Don’t listen to people who think they know better yet don’t”, Fred said.
I definitely felt a sense of clarity after our conversation. When it comes to love, nothing is normal – there are no rules, no guidelines, nothing. It is what it is and it happens when it happens. The only thing that matters at the end of the day is not love, but happiness. If you are happy and content with your life and yourself, then everything else will follow suit. You should live your life your way and write your own rules because as Fred said, “It’s your life, your choice, so enjoy the journey”
P.S. A huge thanks to Fred Sirieix for taking the time to share his pearls of wisdom with me!