I’m pretty sure my oestrogen levels just shot right up with that panel there. I do draw an adorable baby, even if I do say so myself!

I’ve always wanted to have children. Not, like, immediately right now, of course; I’ve stil got loads and loads to get done before I’d feel accomplished and stable enough to bring a new life into the world. But I do feel I should be putting more effort into finding a partner. As you may know from years of reading my blog posts, I’m not particularly brilliant with the opposite sex; my cocktail of mental issues, a few bad experiences, all coupled with my less-than-stellar looks have combined to give me what has been a relatively relationship-free life so far.

And I’m getting to that stage where friends are getting married left, right and centre. People who I’ve known since we were kids, since we were at uni, since they first arrived in the country… And people who’ve all found love, and success, and happiness. I’m not sure if it makes me feel… Inferior, or anything. But I certainly am starting to worry about the fact that, as they’re all settling down to live out the rest of their lives together, I’ve never had a significant relationship.

The problem is, as it always has been, is that I’m absolutely batshit scared of dating. I mean, it’s so friggin complex, and I’ve dedicated my life to being good at school, or work, or at art. I have not learned how to date, not as a teenager, not as an adult. And it’s SCARY out there. How do I read the signals? How do I approach someone? Am I doing things right? Am I saying the wrong things? Oh God, am I annoying her? How do I even meet single people anyway???

As you can see, this is one massive anxiety bomb that detonates every time I think about trying to find someone. The problem is, even though people say to me ‘Oh, stop looking, you’ll find someone eventually’, I haven’t REALLY been looking all these years. I just don’t do enough things that put me into contact with people of my age or circumstance. And if I don’t meet people, how am I supposed to find someone compatible? Or even just someone who will tolerate me??

(The self-deprectation is a coping mechanism, just… go with it for the moment).

I even contemplated getting back into the horrendous, typhus-infested waters of online dating, as one friend told me that he had met a few lovely ladies through it, even his current girlfriend. The problem with online dating for me is that it is a massive source of paranoia, disgust, and implied rejection. Again, not brilliant for avoiding the anxiety bomb.

So, I was wondering – Do any of you have any practical advice you’d care to share with me? I know at least a few of you are married with kids, so you must be doing something right! Any and all pearls of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!