I didn’t write about it before because I was kinda hoping that she’d stop being AWOL, but the hot Tinder Girl #4 and I, formerly also known as Future Wife, are no more. She disappeared completely and I’m pissed. I made myself vulnerable to her by telling her about my wife the day after we slept together for the first time (read the previous posts). I expressed my worry that she’d run away. She said she wouldn’t. Then she did. Our last text was about Boris Johnson, London Mayor with comedy hair, who she abhors. Then that was it. I tried a couple more messages. Nothing, despite my wit, charm and fabulousness. WTF? Did she abandon me because of my grief? I dunno. Maybe. That might be part of it, but suffice to say that despite the fact I’m still kinda stalking her Instagram and Twitter (I know, I know – you’re going to tell me stop. I will!), I am in a place where I realise that she is simply not good enough for me. I was abandoned by virtue of my wife killing herself and I’m not dealing with shit like that again. TG#4 has her own stuff going down and is clearly not in the right place to be dating a woman like me. I’d like to date mentally stable women please.
The thing is, I think I’m being rather ambitious in saying that. Finding a single, hot, smart lipstick lesbian in London who is mentally stable is near to impossible. We all have something ‘wrong’ with us. This is in addition to bad shoes, piercings, tattoos etc. Fact. Reflecting on it, I don’t think the mental illness challenge is limited to lesbians, actually. A lot of the most brilliant, intelligent people I know (including my bipolar self, obvs) have mental illnesses, and it happens that I find intelligence incredibly sexy and also a non-negotiable when it comes to dating. I therefore can’t rule out dating mentally ill women – although I think I’m going to be drawing the line at depression. It was after all, bog standard depression that took my wife from me. Being a double suicide survivor? No thank you. I’ve had enough pain for a lifetime. I’m also ruling out people significantly older than me with chronic physical illnesses. Fussy? Moi? Never! Next love of my life will also need to reach a stage of acceptance that I will also forever be in love with a 26 year old late wife.
I’ve just had a girl message on Tinder. She’s not getting a number because four messages in and I’m certain that she’s not the one. She works in sport. Yes, I’m a bitch and pre-judging, but she is a million miles away from who I am – a musical, dramatic, corporate, City worker who prefers a morning spent in bed reading the Guardian and Huffington Post, followed by an afternoon attending hustings for the next Labour candidate for London mayor (to replace Boris who Tinder Girl #4 abhors). This girl likely has lots of good endorphins pumping round her body and is therefore not depressed. Ergo, in my mind, she is not intelligent. Bizarre logic? Yes, but meh.
On the other hand, I’ve found Tinder Girl #5, to whom I’ve been chatting for a week now. A new prospect, hurrah. I really need some sex again. It’s been over a month. It turns out that she coincidentally works in the same place as Widow Bestie and she formerly worked in Parliament for the Labour Party. Cue lots of text and picture messages to Widow Bestie to pre-qualify that this left-wing-ism, and wit is a true reflection of Tinder Girl #5 and that she’s not just choosing glamourous pictures for her dating profile. Widow Bestie is being very protective and attentive. One of her latest messages:
‘Just ran into your friend. She has glasses on. That’s some of it. Maybe she doesn’t wear makeup to the office.’
That’s some of it? Well, the rest of it is rather complex, indeed; I was on the verge of being a complete hypocrite and not dating a girl because she’s grieving and in therapy. Her mother is on her last legs so TG#5 has anticipatory grief, guilt, and a heck of a lot of weight on her shoulders. We’ve been very open with one another considering we’re yet to meet in person. The worst is yet to come for her.
I should be running a mile. Who wants to take on someone else’s grief when they’re vulnerable too? Who wants to date someone whose parent is dying prematurely and might have passed the faulty genes on? Put myself first, is what I always tell myself. Thing is, I’m expecting exactly that from someone else, as I’ve said.
They must accept all of me, not just bits of me.
But the other night, Widow Bestie pointed out to me that I should just take things as they come and not make assumptions. She’s absolutely right – people grieve in different ways and I shouldn’t project my own experience onto another woman before even meeting her. Being able to support her, even just via message, right now is illustrating to her that my own grief hasn’t conquered me. I have many words of wisdom, although I cannot relate to losing a parent. Even more astoundingly, her admitting her fragility to me also gave me the guts to tell her about my late wife. Trying a different tactic this time – be upfront in dropping the widowbomb. We’ll have to see how this goes. I shall report back soon, no doubt.
For now, I’ve decided that I’m not saying goodbye. To judge would be hypocritical. Grief does not define everyone necessarily, and the same goes for mental illness. I have put it out there though that she might not be in the best place to be dating right now. Only time will tell. I’m protecting my heart, but keeping it open to possibilities.