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Now I actually had someone I cared about, which made me worry even more about protecting that person and our privacy.So I stuck to my old reliable ‘I’m dating’ without naming names, until journalists started rolling their eyes to my face.While on location, I had a fun relationship with someone who revealed at the end of the movie that he had a girlfriend back home. I wanted to hold out for men with good behaviour, but ultimately I settled for less-good behaviour because I wasn’t sure when the next chance to meet someone would be.I shook hands with a cute guy for the first time while presenting him with an award. He asked for my phone number, and then didn’t call me for three months. Of course, when he finally called, I told him politely that he’d waited too long and I didn’t appreciate being disrespected like that. One thing I learned: starting off with low standards is a sure-fire way to ensure they’ll be met.It was as if I’d misread the schedule and the trains to Happy Couplehood had all left, and there I was with nothing to do but sit with the drunk businessmen at the bar, nurse a warm beer and wait for the trains to start up again. I attended weddings by myself, went to parties I didn’t feel like going to ‘just in case’ and was escorted to various events by my dad, my cousin Tim and my dear friend Sam. At one point during this time, my father was on a plane and noticed a woman reading a magazine I was in. Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!
Their attention had turned to birthday parties and school tuition, and I was playing catch-up: ‘You guys, who’s free for dinner Saturday? ’I looked at these friends and realised: well, work is gratifying, but it isn’t everything, and it’s no fun to sleep with at night. I’d be interested in this other stuff.’ But I’d missed the time when most people around my age had paired off. ’ journalists would say, with a sympathetic frowny face. ‘Please tell her I didn’t meet my husband until late in life – there’s still time,’ she said.
Our paths crossed occasionally at an event or party and we were always friendly, but I avoided handsome actor-types as a rule.
Backstage that night, we made small talk, and just as our names were being announced he turned to me and said calmly: ‘Want to hold hands?
Plus, if you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, make-up and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high.
There is no way they won’t be disappointed when you reveal your true self: ‘Hey, where were those boobs I was promised when I saw you up on the podium?That’s one thing I’ve learnt when it comes to relationships: there’s so much to negotiate once you really get to know someone that the beginning should feel easy and inevitable.