I wrote this in 2015, just before I moved to the US. I was reading over some stuff and wanted to post it again. Some people want to fill my single void, and I don’t mean guys, more people wanting to set me up with guys. Maybe they think I’m lonely, but honestly, I’m very much okay. There’s a lot to life, nothing is ever one dimensional and sometimes I wish that were more obvious

As I get older I am coming to terms with the fact that I don’t believe in love in the traditional sense anymore.

Growing up I was very much about being with someone, though I’m not going to say I was always faithful to everyone I was with. I was however in long term relationships continuously till I was 26, though I’ve only actually been in love with two people but was never sure if they felt the same. I was always the kind of girl who felt too much and fell too hard. At 26 I knew I had to have some time to myself, so for the last few years I’ve been doing just that. Dating. God, what a scary thing that was to start with, and it’s had its ups and downs.

The other day, after a little bit too much cider and a few too many donuts I sent my friend a text that said I’ve started to feel like the time-filler when it comes to guys. This is worrying me because when people come along that I do actually like I don’t know how to act. I can’t remember how to do things beyond the temporary, I get weirded out and make a mess of things. This hasn’t happened very often but I know that feeling anything about anyone freaks me out quite a lot.

I’ve not wanted to be in a relationship after the last disaster. It’s not that I think every boy is now going to be as bad as that one was, it’s just that when I started something new I wanted it to be real. Up till now I’ve never felt good enough, I told myself that I’d never be in anything that made me feel low or kicked my self esteem ever again.

My family is full of non-traditional relationships. I’m not going to go into the technicalities of them because that’s not too relevant (also it’s their business and not mine to write about online) but I’ve been watching them for years now. My parents for example are in a less than traditional marriage, but they are super happy. My parents have made bending rules and conventions into something really harmonious for all parties involved. I think a lot of this is why my attitude to relationships changed. If my religious, conservative family can take a look at marriage and decide to do things against the grain and be successful at that, then why am I so stuck on dating as one dude, one girl and romance?

Relationships are so complex. I honestly think you can be in love with two people at once, and even if you’re not in love with two people you can be madly in love with one person but know you have great sex with another (which really is a whole other level of emotion – but equally as important as love). I was talking to a friend of mine who has been with her boyfriend for ages, but is still like a horny teenage boy when it comes to going out, she wants to kiss a whole bunch of dudes and feels guilty about it. If you’ve been with someone for so long and you love that person but you want to meaninglessly kiss someone else, is that really bad? No, not if you let the other person do just that too. I use the example of musicians a lot, bands that tour a lot mainly. If I was dating a guy in a band would I be mad if he hooked up with a random girl on tour? Tour is a lot of things, and if you’re on tour a long time it’s probably hella sexually frustrating. 21 year old me would have cried, 30 year old me can see the logic in letting things go a little.

This doesn’t mean you can’t trust a person, instead it’s about being able to communicate by saying “If you’re on tour and you mack on a girl then that’s okay, I’m okay with that, but it works both ways and maybe let’s keep it at a level where it really is a one time thing” is kind of the key. Come to a balance, work out things, talk and ideally it will work out. I actually know a few people who make something like this work, I don’t think it’s a total myth but I do think that feeling guilt over being attracted to other people isn’t right. Not all relationships fit the same mould and if my friend who I talked about before felt she was totally okay with what she was doing and her relationship with her boyfriend then she shouldn’t feel bad.

I’m still trying to figure out who I am. My twenties were insane and I’m taking time out in my early thirties to get this Maryam thing down. I am a romantic, based on watching too many romcom films when I was a teenager but I’m also a realist. I know when I meet someone if I’ll like them or not really quickly. It’s instinct and I was taught to always go on what my gut told me.

I don’t know what sort of relationship I’m going to end up in. Tinder and OKCupid have made me wary of internet dating and I know I have far more luck talking to people at shows or at bars and just being myself. I’d like if my self esteem caught up to me maturing on my ideas on what a relationship is or should be. I always thought when I actually wanted to date again properly it would be because I knew who I was and was amazingly confident in myself, also when I was at least 20 pounds less heavy but I’m still just as confused about me. I’m still always questioning, even if it’s quietly in the back of my mind, why someone is taking an interest in me and am always surprised by whoever I hook up with. The reason I feel like I’m a fill in is because honestly I believe that’s what I’m worth, but I’m pretty sure I can work on that. If I can grow out of being a romcom, one person for the rest of my life, serial dater, then anything is possible.