This is why I’m glad I’m not looking for love!

What with novelty dating trends like wanderlove, open-casting, dry-dating, infla-dating, nostalgia-stanning, ethical sex-ploration and the latest, cob-webbing, finding your significant other has literally become more complicated than conjugating a verb! I’m so glad I’m not looking for love!

  In case this year’s trend is not obvious folks, ‘cob-webbing’ is basically getting rid of the old to make way for the new. In terms of dating, it’s deleting phone numbers, messages, photographs, gifts, memories; or anything else you’re holding onto that’s left over from an old flame which might serve to interrupt your ‘mental focus’ when starting out with a new one.  

  While I know it’s unhealthy to hang onto a failed and emotionally damaging relationship, in my opinion this new-fangled fad of ‘cob-webbing’ could possibly serve to be even more problematic. 

  As far as I’m concerned, in the context of a relationship, when you’re ‘cob-webbing’ you’re not exactly detoxing your life, as in, dealing, healing and moving on; rather it’s akin to  you checking someone you once cared deeply for off a shopping list, as it were. 

  Clearing out, and cleaning up after a user, abuser, or a plain old idiot former partner is not as simple as slapping a plaster over a cut on your finger, and moving on. Take it from me folks, you can’t just set your heart back to its factory settings; rather you must identify what went wrong, examine it, and resolve to use your time spent in that previous relationship as a way to progress and do things differently. If we don’t identify and remember the negative and nasty aspects of a former flame/love, how can we look for the positives in a new one? 

  I’m certainly no expert when it comes to dating, or love for that matter, but I’d have thought trying to attract a partner was difficult enough without the need to buy into this new cob-webbing rule. 

  But what would I know? I’ve only ever had two ‘serious’ partners in my entire life; both of whom I married – at different times I might add.  

  I met my second (and current) husband in the very unromantic setting of a north Dublin petrol station where I’d pulled in one evening to put air in my car’s tyres.

  I was on my way to meet a camera crew to film an evening segment for a TV documentary series I was producing. I was exhausted, I was hungry and, due to the bumper-to-bumper rush-hour traffic on the East Link Bridge, I was running late; something which made me very angry. It’s worth mentioning here that I’m not in the least bit mechanically minded, so I was (still am),  completely clueless regarding all aspects relating to tyre inflation; so it’s a mystery to me why I even stopped in the first place! Call it fate!

  Cue large, tall man on motorbike, who, upon pulling in for petrol, noticed the harassed-looking, expletive-spewing, small woman who was not only attempting to inflate her tyres, but who was actually trying to do it without the benefit of removing the nozzle caps!   

  Long story short, he offered his help; I was grateful, and, tyres inflated, he asked for my number. I gave it, and drove away, cursing my make-up-free face, under-eye bags, hair in a scrunchie and hormonal pimple!

   Next morning, tyre-inflator saviour rang, we met for coffee, hit it off and, six weeks later he proposed. I accepted, and this summer we’ll celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary! Simples!

  Yes folks, meeting someone the old-fashioned way is not only unexpected; it’s also uncomplicated. Not a single, solitary Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Bumble, Bado or Ourtime – the new dating app for ‘mature singles’ – was needed! Nor was there any new-fangled apps evaluating each other as a ‘potential match’ in sight; just a kind man offering assistance to a tired, annoyed, but very grateful woman at the end of her tether.   

  No rules, no obstacles, no snowflakes, no political correctness, no swiping, no ghosting, and no creepy time-wasters using fake statuses.

  In short, no surprises, no disappointments; what we saw standing in front of each other that evening was what we got. Try it, you might like it! 


Parenting is the hardest job …we should accept help when it’s offered

According to reports, over the past eight years, Tusla –  the State’s child and family agency – has placed 726 babies on its child protection notification system (CPNS), with around 100 unborn infants being placed on their ‘watch-list’ each year due to ‘safety concerns’. 

  Any parent will tell you that the quality of parenting a child receives is a crucial factor in their development as an adult. They’ll also tell you that parenting is the hardest job in the world for the simple reason, the second we take it on, we become physically, emotionally and financially exhausted due to being placed in charge of another human being’s entire life.  

  Let me stress, I am not in any way judging any parent who’s receiving support/help, so please don’t think I am. In fact, having been a teenage mother myself, I know only too well how miraculous yet challenging parenting can be; therefore if anyone needs help they should never, ever feel ashamed to ask for it, and to accept it.

  Let’s say, if certain concerns are identified in a family unit, I believe that, in a bid to improve the overall wellbeing of everyone involved, it’s important that those who need help can receive it; as in, parents are provided with advice, support and guidance, and children deemed at risk are protected. 

  Remember, in a difficult, delicate or vulnerable situation, an intervention by someone who has our best interests at heart can only serve to be a positive thing. Indeed, when that help comes at the earliest opportunity, it can not only optimise our own outcomes; it can also optimise our children’s outcomes as future parents themselves. Well done to any parent/family for seeking help, and for being open to accepting it; and well done to Tusla for providing it. 


January is a Groundhog Day type of month

It’s always great to receive your feedback, and this week I’d like to say thank you and a happy 2023 to a lovely lady I’ll identify only as June F! You know who you are June! It was a pleasure to receive your email, which was passed onto me by our editor.

  My reason for mentioning June’s message is twofold. One, I always feel humbled when someone has taken time out of their busy day to write to me, and two, I think it’s very important to acknowledge that fact. 

  I was particularly delighted to receive and read June’s very positive comments regarding what she describes as my ‘always interesting, often controversial column’. I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself due to the fact I tend to find January to be a horribly, dreary, Groundhog Day type of month where many people (me included) feel trapped in a never-ending cycle of cold, dull, wet and windy weather. 

  On top of that, the bills come in and the cheery Christmas decorations come down during January…bah humbug; so it was uplifting to receive a nice message.  On a more positive note, there is one aspect of January that I do like; my beautiful baby girl Megan, my youngest daughter, was born on 25th, giving our family a reason to celebrate and share our plans for 2023!