I think this post may be of mammoth proportions, seeing as I seem to be turning to this blog into a form of self-therapy.
I've just returned from a week away in the country with my couple friends from home. We were in the peak district, where there was no internet, almost no phone signal and very little to do but enjoy the great outdoors (and the hot tub!).
Despite my initial reservations of going on a "couples holiday" and being a singleton, I actually had a fantastic time. However, despite everyone's efforts to not make me feel like the odd one out because I'm unmarried and not in a long term relationship, just being surrounded by three couples made me feel more lonely than ever. Even sitting at the table for dinner was awkward, with the insistence that everyone sat opposite their partner... oh wait, I don't have one.
Shrugging it off, I made the most of my time there but even just seeing the closeness between the couples - helping each other over the styles and through puddles on walks, making each other cups of tea or even just hearing them laughing in bed in the mornings (thankfully that was all I heard). It did make me wish I'd finally meet someone who had a mutual liking for me enough to stick around...
I did manage to get everyone over to Chatsworth House which I have wanted to visit since seeing it used as Pemberley in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie. We did a 6 mile walk around the grounds and it was so lovely. Sadly I didn't get the chance to actually go into the house (it costs £16.50 for entrance!) but no doubt I'll go back some day.
After a stressful couple of weeks in London - dramas with housemates, friends and work - I really needed this week away and I definitely enjoyed the mixture of walking, food, drinking and sleeping as well as the company of my good friends who I sadly don't get to see enough of.
It's left me feeling a little confused though - I've always looked at my friends and wondered how they can be happy. After all, they've never left the town we grew up in, they've pretty much married their first serious boyfriends and their worlds revolve around their teaching jobs and spending every Saturday night eating takeaways in front of the X Factor. They NEVER go out and whenever I suggest it I get shot down pretty quickly.
But after the past week I could see how content they seem and I thought to myself that if I'd met someone worth staying at home for I could be in the exact same position and would I be unhappy? I'm not sure I would...
I've always been glad to have got out of the small town, enjoy going out and about and never spending two Saturday nights doing the same thing but it's costly and despite going out, I am still yet to meet anyone I can settle down with when I'm good and ready. My friends are buying houses and talking about having kids in the next few years - will that ever happen for me? At this rate it doesn't seem like it will, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see.