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Since I got back to Lusaka I’ve been loving my free, single and ready to mingle life. When I was in London I was so sure I wanted to settle down and focus on maybe doing the whole wifey thing. As touched down on African soil that all changed!

Wedding bands

There are a lot less people in Lusaka than I knew growing up, most of them having moved out of the country, gotten married (therefore are never seen) or died I guess. It is definitely harder to find someone in the age range I usually go for (older than me these days) who are single and have no drama or baggage. I know a few of my friends who also relocated back to Zambia, opting for dating younger men.

I actually have been lucky to have been asked out by a couple of eligible bachelors. Once I got back on the dating scene I loved it, it had been awhile in the UK. But once I started dating, I started questioning if I really did want to settle down in a committed relationship.

Dating in Lusaka is definitely fun – guys don’t go dutch (well rarely), nor have I picked up the full bill – a welcome change from my dating days in London. Money aside, it’s also a nicer environment to get glammed up in – I never have to worry about wearing my heels because I don’t have to walk anywhere – well maybe from the car to the door of the restaurant. And Lusaka is so small, you’re bound to have similar stories or mutual friends to talk about when you run out of chit chat – so might help keep the date interesting a few minutes longer!

But it’s not only that. After some reflection on why I’d pretty much done a 180, I started to realise that it was my emotional unhappiness that made me want to settle down, thinking that I would be more satisfied in life if I had someone to share it with. Now that I’m back in Zambia, my family around me and leading an exciting career path, I don’t feel unfulfilled. I’m happy with my life.

However, the other day I did meet someone, he’s older, sorry more mature, than myself or indeed anyone I’ve ever dated before and it’s caught me slightly off balance. Unfortunately I don’t think we’re on the same page so doubt it will go anywhere but it’s had me questioning what I want in life and what I’m willing to live without. And though I’m sure that I want more, I also can’t help but be drawn to him. It’s not the older, wiser thing that does it – he looks no where near his age, and can be quite ‘young’ acting (not to be confused with childish), so I’m not even sure what it is…

At the same time, I haven’t officially stopped seeing the Adonis, but since he doesn’t call or text me as much, I’m safe to assume that he’s moved on to a new catch.

My real problem is that I’m also attracted to men who fancy me. I rarely fancy someone first and maybe that’s what is the problem with my ‘relationships’. I’m too busy basking in their attention, and then I feed off it and feel like I’m really into them, when I never really got to know them (or them me) to decide whether I really liked them or not. Could be a reason I can move on to someone else so quickly after a break up? Maybe…

I had lunch with an ex – who I didn’t speak to for close to a year because he’d been a dick – and he said that I needed to be honest with myself about what I wanted because he felt that one moment I was so confident and sure and the next… not so much. I guess he could see that in our relationship alone – I didn’t speak to him for ages, then called him inviting him out for drinks like nothing had happened. Though that’s me simplifying it, but the point is, when it comes to men, I can be wish-washy. Now that I’ve met Mr Mature, it has me questioning what I want all over again. I really wish I could be the kind of woman, who when it comes to men, she knows exactly what she wants… Though I guess knowing what you don’t want is half the battle. We’ll see how this goes but might be time for me to start doing things differently.

As I get older people keep asking me ‘Don’t you want to settle down? And/Or have children?’. My honest response is ‘I don’t know’. My ‘happily’ married friends with kids don’t understand this – allegedly having kids complete you. But I genuinely don’t know. I’ve been single for so long and am finally content with the idea that being single is ok, that I don’t know if I’d like to trade it in for a settled, committed relationship. I admit that occasionally I do think it would be nice to snuggle up to someone on those days that are particularly tough and just have that person whose shoulder you can lean on when the going does get tough. It is hard being superwoman all the time. Sometimes I do think it would be nice to have the Clyde to my Bonnie (not in the criminal sense though).

But on the downside, I always think of the hurt and pain you feel when you fall for someone and they break your heart. No one likes feeling rejected. I do always get up and brush myself off, so rarely do people know that I’m hurting. So every time I meet someone I’m slightly wary, not wanting to get hurt. Recently I let my guard down. I’ll call him Mr X. I’d met Mr X a few years ago but never really paid him no mind, not really sure why, I guess it was such a brief encounter at the time.

This time round we got to spend some time together and had a lot of fun, he made me smile. Though he’s physically attractive (ok hot) he made me feel like I was the most beautiful woman in the world. He made an effort, and just made me feel… wanted. It had been a while since anyone made me feel that special. I really didn’t want to fall for him, it was complicated, least not because I was leaving the country, or rather, the continent.

It’s not so much that I fell for him, but I definitely waited expectantly (if it was an M&B I’d say with bated breath) for him to text me – hey calls abroad are expensive – or for his email. But at the back of my mind I knew it was just a matter of time… Less time than I’d thought. It was totally understandable but it didn’t stop that sinking feeling at the pit of your stomach. It also knocks your confidence and leaves you thinking, ‘why me?’. Or even, ‘was I played?’, which is even worse, no one likes to think they’ve been played. I don’t have the best relationship history so of course these thoughts always cross my mind, though sometimes it really is a case of wrong timing. Doesn’t make it any easier to deal with though.

I know people always say you have to take the risk of getting your heart-broken to find true love but I’m kind of happy avoiding that altogether and just having fun as a single, flirty, young woman.

As for babies? Well, I’m not sure I want to lose my body. Yep, I’m kind of vain. I also don’t know if I’m ready to change my lifestyle to fit in a baby, can’t they fit into my lifestyle? Not that I’m that self-centered…

I think I don’t mind the idea of being pregnant – there’s something very fascinating about the idea of carrying a life in you – it seems like some weird concept. But… I don’t know…

Anyway, today has made me think a lot about these issues and I’m still stumped. Maybe it’s just the fear of it all. Being, single, and free to mingle, is something I’m comfortable with, so it makes it easier for me to stay that way. But I’m not cynical, or bitter, and I do believe at some point I’ll settle down… eventually.