Mr. Maybe

And suddenly I realize that although I've never thought about being in love with Nick before, all the right ingredients are there. I fancy him. I like him. He's my friend. He makes me laugh. I love being with him. And I start to feel all sort of warm and glowy, and screw the other stuff. Screw the stuff about him having no money, and living in a bedsit, and not being what I thought I wanted. I'm just going to go with this and see where it ends up. I mean, no one says I have to marry the guy, for God's sake.

As Carrie Fisher once said in a film, everyone thinks they have good taste and a sense of humour.

As far as I’m concerned you have to give every relationship your all because if you’re going to get hurt, you’re going to get hurt, but at least at the end of it you’ll know you gave it your best shot.

But maybe love doesn't have to be about lust, maybe I could learn to love, maybe.

I'm just scared that you've fallen for the way he's treating you rather than for the man himself.

I suppose you can’t help who you fancy, can you? And that was the bottom line, I fancied Nick. Fancied him more than I’d fancied anyone in years, and somehow, when someone gives you that tingly feeling in the pit of your stomach, you stop thinking about the rights and wrongs, the shoulds and should nots, and you just go with it.

I want someone who will adore me so much that they cannot even walk past me without touching me in some way. I want someone who will worship me, even when.. I'm sitting around in fluffy slippers with no makeup on and hair scraped back.

I'm sick and tired of being on my own. Most of the time I'm fine. Some of the time I even quite enjoy it. But at this precise moment in time I'm fed up with it. I've had enough..

Jules has always been one of those women that men go crazy about because she has enough self-confidence to say this is me, take it or leave it. And, invariably, they take it. Or at least try to. They love the fact that she doesn’t wear makeup. That her clothes, on her tiny, petite frame, are a mishmash of whatever she happens to pull out of the wardrobe that morning. That her laugh is huge and infectious, and, most of all, that she listens. She loves life, and people, and makes time for them, and even before Jamie came along men were forever falling in love with her.

Jules says there are three things that make you a grown-up: an eight-piece set of matching dishes; gin, vodka and whiskey in the house; and making your bed every morning. I disagree with her. I think you're officially a grown-up when you've got another half. When you don't have to live in fear of other couples. When you don't have to feel you're not good enough.

Men haven't changed: they love the thrill of the chase, and if you hand yourself over on a plate they'll lose interest.

On the way back to the office- I get a cab, on expenses, naturally- I decide that I could quite like Ed. Maybe I could even fancy him, and maybe the fact that I'm not thinking about him that much when I'm not with him is a good thing, maybe it means this is a proper relationship, not just lust, or the equivalent to a teenage crush. Because quite frankly I'm sick of falling madly in love and spending twenty-four hours a day thinking about them and crying with misery when they don't phone. I'm sick of being the kind of girl who, when they say jump, says how high. I'm sick of always, always being the one to fall in love and get hurt. And maybe this is how it should be, getting on with my life and not putting all my energies into a relationship.

The thing is love is really the most important thing. That in love feeling at the beginning settles down into a different, familiar sort of love, but it has to be there right from the start, otherwise it just won't work

To be honest, I'm not sure about this whole scared of commitment business. I think it's become too handy, a useful phrase that men can bandy about whenever they feel like being assholes. And sure, I do believe there are some men who are genuinely terrified of commitment, but there aren't that many, and for the most part I think it's that they haven't met the right woman yet. Because if a man, no matter how scared he professed to be, met the woman of his dreams, he wouldn't want to let her go, would he? And sure, he might not want to actually get married, but if he were madly in love and risked losing her, he'd do it, wouldn't he?

That's what I think, anyway.

Whenever our friends get involved with married men we hear about what they say and it's always the same and we always tell our friends that he's never going to leave her, but the minute it happens to us, the minute we meet a married man and he says he loves his wife but he's not in love with her, we believe him.

When it's just sex, you're allowed to be predatory, to make the first move, to entice them into bed, because it's not necessary to make them fall in love with you.

When it's right, it's right.

You are the best person I've met in years, and if I'd met you in a year's time, or maybe even a few months, I know we could be happy together, but I can't give you what you need.

You didn't like him, did you, Dad?"

"It wasn't that I didn't like him," my dad says slowly. "It was just that he lives in a completely different world, and I worried that he didn't really approve of you the way you are, that he was trying to change you into something else."

God, I never realized my dad was that perceptive..

"You see, the thing is," he says after we've both sat for a while in the sunshine, "the thing is that love is really the most important thing. I know it's hard for you to see it now" - he chuckles quietly- "but when I first laid eyes on your mother I thought she was fantastic, and I've never stopped loving her, not for a second. Oh yes, we've had our rough patches, and she can be a bit of an old battle-ax at times, but I still love her. That in-love feeling at the beginning settles down into a different, familiar sort of love, but it has to be there right from the start, otherwise it just won't work.