At the age of 28, I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that I have had succession of boyfriends. Not too many, but started dating at the age of 17. My life of relationships started with ‘Fred” (that’s what we’ll call him for now!) He was a really nice guy, and in fact too nice for me. We dated for 2 years and then went our separate ways when we started university.

The second ‘Albert’ was also a really nice guy. You’d think I’d have learnt my lesson after the first guy, me and nice guys just are suited. However that relationship lasted 6 years and we were happy, but we became best friends and the passion died. So that was that.

Then the third, ‘John’ was as far away from the ‘nice guy’ as you could get. In fact turned out to be manipulative, controlling, jealous and possessive. Amazingly we lasted 3 years, obviously a gluten for punishment.

I look back and can truthfully say I was in-love with all three of my ex’s and I felt a different kind of love for them all, individually.

However, recently I have discovered a new love, a love that doesn’t involve a man or any peripheral factors. This new love is for me!

I’ve been single now for several months and I love this burst of new found freedom. After 28 years of living I have discovered a love that is pure, unconditional and fun! For the first time I’m comfortable in my own skin and happy to slob around in my pyjamas! I love spending my days doing the things I love, and without the consideration of the other half.

Granted the love of this new found freedom might have something to do with the trappings of my previous relationship, but either way, this new found love is such a breath of fresh air. Now, you might think that there are certain things I might miss about being in a relationship, but there isn’t. I thought I might miss the late night cuddles or the skin-tingling passionate kisses. But now I can sleep in my favourite position (the starfish) without having to fight for the covers or the space, and now my skin-tingling moments are replaced with other passions such as running, reading, writing, cheese and music.

However, I am incredibly wary and on guard that love is more likely to come around when you are least looking for it. So I have designed an element of protective armour to protect myself from this surprise. My protective armour exists in the form of a list, and the next guy I even consider dating must pass the following:

1.       Must love music

2.       Intellectual, not necessarily educated but have some brainpower  

3.       Be quick witted, and possess the ability to hold a conversation

4.       Must make me laugh, there’s nothing more attractive than a good belly-giggle

5.       Enjoy reading

6.       Preferably travelled, I would love to share travelling experiences with someone else

7.       Comfortable in their own skin, no hang-ups

8.       No children

9.       Not married

10.   Look like John Mayer/Edward from Twilight! (Okay, maybe this one is quite unlikely! But worth a try!!)

Now, call me high maintenance, or whatever you like but love is a precious thing, and I’m not ready to give up this new found love easily.

So here’s to the happy times. Free and single and loving every second life lets me!