When you look through your 2016 diary, you’re annoyed to discover Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday again. Even though you’re single, were single on the last Valentine’s Day and have no reason to suppose you won’t be single in a month and a half’s time.
You embrace the New Year as a clean slate in dating terms, an opportunity to start anew: to put aside bad dating practices such as reminding guys who have forgotten about you that you exist. That includes the guy from Tinder who sent you a ‘Happy Christmas’ message but won’t commit to a date.
At 5pm on 1 January you send him a message saying ‘Happy New Year’.
BUT you won’t be carrying memories of failed relationships over into the New Year. No. You’ve decided – and this applies to both parties, to another human being over whose feelings you have no control, as well as your own, over which you have possibly even less control – that feelings are like annual leave: they can’t be carried over.
#1 and #3 were obviously never going to happen. As for #2, there’s been the occasional lapse in the form of a friendly text message: Valentine’s Day, last Sunday…. I attribute these moments of weakness to a combination of lack of mail, and my desire for one irresistibly funny male.
Had he been less witty, I might have focused more of my efforts on #16, and my houseplant might still be with us.