Remember, Remember, the 7th Of November..

Okay, I know that isn’t how it goes. But I do tend to remember the 7th of November, every year since 2015. It is the birthday of the last guy I dated, and the last guy who hurt me.

One and the same, might I add. Another reason why I lost faith in relationships, and dating, or anything that involved a member of the opposite sex.

Let’s rewind a bit.

So, I’ve always been a romantic at heart. After a trail of disastrous mistakes and a couple of years of abstinence while my heart recovered, I decided to bite the bullet and try out this Tinder lark.

Yes, if I was me reading this knowing what I know now, I would be laughing too upon reading that.

Tinder. Home of fuckboys and casual hook-ups.

But I didn’t know this. Naively, I believed that there were genuine people out there who were also signing up for Tinder in the search for a relationship.

They must have seen me coming a mile off.

Fresh-faced and filled with hope, I enthusiastically embarked on a spate of swiping left and right, and eventually matched with Jedi.

Obviously not his real name, but anyway.

Jedi was a few years older than me, with a dog and a teenage daughter, both of whom he doted on. Sounded perfect, right?

Over the next few months after our initial date, he led me a merry dance. Naively, I had believed his initial ‘confession’ about looking for a relationship, and I allowed myself to be led. I was an idiot. He wasn’t interested in me. He wasn’t interested in a relationship. He was only interested in collecting a variety of women to boost his ego and keep his options open.

But I had set my cap at him, and I am nothing if not tenacious. When he ‘admitted’ to being flattered by a woman who chased, I obliged. When he said he was scared of getting close to anyone for fear of being hurt again, I worked hard at showing him how trustworthy I was.

In short, he manipulated me and I fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

Part of me, the silly part that believed in astrology, and compatible star signs, thought we were destined to be. Scorpio-Cancer, the best match in the zodiac. Apparently.

Not in my experience.

He was just an arse.

The mind games, the other women, the lies. I allowed it all because I believed it was all I was worth.

I wanted to believe that he was a good guy.

Then one day, I opened my eyes and saw it for what it was. A massive joke, and it was on me. I deserved better, no doubt about that.

This was around his birthday, 7th November. I should have listened to my own heart. Scorpio has never been good for me, a sensitive, soft-hearted Cancer crab. They hurt you, and they relish it, and you never even know why.

Or you do, but you can barely accept it because it is so trivial and pathetic.

Not to them though.

Now I’m not going to tar every Scorpio with the same brush. I’m sure there are some lovely Scorp’s out there. But I seem to attract the lowest of the low, the ones who prey on my generosity and then sting me for some imagined slight.

I don’t have time to be second-guessing myself all of the time. I struggle hard not to hurt myself, let alone stepping on egg shells around somebody else. And I don’t have time for pettiness.

On his birthday, as a last resort, I sent him a DVD of a film I knew he adored. He thanked me profusely by text, but it didn’t break down any barriers. Instead, he found himself yet another ‘playmate.’

It was around then that I made the decision to door-slam him. And I did. No texts. No stalking on Facebook. I went cold turkey.

Once I lose interest, I really lose interest. And once I lost interest, he became interested.

Too late. I had already moved on, and was therefore impervious to his ‘charm’. Whether it was real or not, I’ll never know. I didn’t want to find out.

Since then, I have avoided dating at all costs. I don’t trust men, or dating in 2017.

And I don’t trust myself not to get involved with an arsehole again.

I always remember the 7th November though, because two years ago I made a pact with myself on this very date.

To stay single until I learned to love myself, and to understand exactly what I deserved from love and life.

Cancer the Crab

When I was younger, I was totally obsessed with astrology. I devoured books on the subjects, scouring the descriptions for signs of myself, and  I obsessively read every daily or weekly horoscope I could find in newspapers and glossy magazines. I was desperate to discover myself and I became fanatical about it, but it eventually got out of hand. I needed quick answers to minor problems that had been blown up to massive proportions, and I turned to the classified ads. I ran up colossal phone bills on those ridiculous 0898 numbers, desperate for an answer to my current predicament. 

After struggling to pay my phone bill for a second month in a row, I decided things needed to change. I began to realise that astrology was definitely not going to predict my future for me, and I needed to lower my unrealistic hopes and expectations and just go with the flow. Fate would take me in the direction I needed to go, and Jonathan Cainer was unlikely to tell me where that would be.

It was extremely difficult to wean myself off, but it had to happen. I couldn’t afford to fund my ridiculous obsession, end of story. And I began to realise that every obsession directly corresponded with my latest crush. I needed to grow up, and fast.

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and I no longer give a damn about reading my daily horoscope. In fact, I actively avoid it, as I know how rubbish, and potentially addictive, they really are. However, I do still believe in astrology, and the different star signs. I am a typical Cancer, and the majority of the traits are exactly me. I still own astrology books and like to peruse them every now and again, especially if I have an interest in the opposite sex (Linda Goodman’s Love Signs has to be the best!) But I sneer at compatibility signs – I have been in disastrous relationships with two Cancers, two Scorpios, and a Pisces, and they have all ended badly, which is odd as my compatibility with these signs should be through the roof! As someone who has previously talked myself out of a crush based on that persons star sign, I have realised that it may not be entirely accurate. I don’t want to date someone like myself, after all! 

So these days, I take it all with a pinch of salt. But I’m unwilling to discredit it completely. After all, I’m a Moon Maiden through and through, and some of the things I read about my star sign are so me. I refuse to allow it to control my life anymore though. When I think back to my obsession, I cringe. Back then, I imagined that a few insincere lines written in a newspaper would tell me what was going to happen in my life, and that’s a little scary. My daily horoscope actually dictated how my mood would be that day. If the horoscope was good, I’d be happy. If it wasn’t the best, my mood would become melancholic. It was completely and utterly crazy, and I’m so glad that is all behind me. But I can certainly understand how, for someone who was so introverted and a little bit of a fantasist, it was so easy to be taken in by it all. 

Nowadays, I can stand back and look at it all realistically. Horoscopes are still in every newspaper and magazine I read so there must still be a huge interest in them. I just hope that nobody else comes to depend on them as obsessively as I did.