The love-barrier

20 Sep

An alarming number of single women among my social group (myself included) suffer from a chronic condition. We constantly complain about the symptoms: fatigue, anxiety, stress, tardiness. And as the longer days hint of the approaching summer, we shake our heads knowing our condition is going to flare up like angry eczema. Even though there are things we can do to help manage our condition, reining it in proves to be an impossible task. RBS (Ridiculously Busy Syndrome) has become our way of life.

RBS commonly occurs in single women living in Sydney. Having so many options for entertainment, combined with no obligations toward a Significant Other, means our interests can consume most of our time outside work. My social circle is primarily female, the majority single, and made up of people with diverse interests. But one thing we have in common is that We Are Oh-So Busy All The Time.

Part of this busyness is because we all have things we love to pursue, whether it’s music, fitness, fashion, psychology or fine food. But I wonder whether it’s also partly because we don’t have anyone (aka Mr Lovely) at home to help us slow down. Instead of seeing how a relaxing Sunday could pan out, most of us have a series of events to carry us through the day, inevitably leading us to be happily socialised but rather exhausted. An eventless day on the calendar is an endangered species or something that’s been deliberately scheduled to catch up on less appealing chores, like tax returns or Gumption-ing the shower recess.

Although I enjoy feeling like I’m living a full and productive life, I can’t ignore the thought that RBS might be a barrier to love. In our rush to get from one event to another, to make the most of the time we have with our friends, to finish this and move on to that, to see that film and go to that festival and attend that event, are we missing out on catching the eye of that guy sitting a few tables away, or waiting for the train on the same platform as us, or enjoying the sun in the park? We’ve all heard the quote that’s often used as a metaphor for love:  

You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.

Despite my cynicism of all things Hallmark, perhaps there’s some truth in this saying.

Last Sunday I spent a few hours at Bondi Beach. Festival of the Winds was on and I was hoping thermanMap says let's go fly a kite!e’d be a crowd. The sun was out and the kites looked stunning against the blue sky. But I felt anxious about meeting my survey quota. There were so many families getting involved but (not sure why this didn’t occur to me earlier!) kites didn’t seem to be a huge draw-card for the average man. Kicking myself for wasting precious surveying time, I headed beyond the area of the festival and there they were: clusters of men catching up on Vitamin D and enjoying some down-time. Many of them weren’t locals. They’d just decided to hang out at Bondi for the day because it was sunny. They weren’t planning to swim or fly kites and yet they were there.

Not once have my friends and I deliberately headed to a grassy patch to watch the world go by. Our gatherings, particularly during the day, always involve activities. Perhaps this is where we’re going wrong. Our movement is scaring away the butterflies. I’m not generally one to make New Year’s resolutions, but perhaps this would be a good one: schedule in some regular time to be still. That way, even if my butterfly* doesn’t flutter past, I can at least loosen the grip of RBS.

*With apologies to my future partner for likening him to a feminine insect. Whoever you are, I’m sure you’re most manly and not at all butterfly-esque. 🙂

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4 Responses to “The love-barrier”

  1. Louisa September 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Hi. I just emailed the Oprah Winfrey Show suggesting that when Oprah is in Australia she joins you as you investigate Sydney’s pubs, searching for Mr Right, working out which pubs attract which types of men. Wouldn’t it be amazing, if they went with the idea?

    • Lucie Stevens September 26, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      I think I would pass out with the combination of joy and shock! Thanks so much for your support 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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