Grazia's weekly columnist, Laura Jane Williams, is looking for love - and she's not afraid to say it...
I don't really know what it means to be friends with a straight male - I've never done it before - but The Sexy Geek and I are trying. My ego smarts from his suggestion that, while I'm 'great', after a few dates and lots of kissing, he just didn't fancy me. I don't understand the logic but, well...I'm not in the business of persuading a man to be into me, so we swap messages and plan drinks soon and I hear whispers from our mutual friend that, 'Honestly, he thinks you're the coolest person he's met in a really long time.' I despair.
It has dented my spirits, this turn of events. Winter as a single girl can be the most isolating time of year. I dread that bit between Christmas and New Year when everyone is comatose in front of the TV in pairs, eating the last of good chocolates and forgetting what day it is. When you're part of a couple, that elastic stretch of time bends into mid-afternoon romps and lazy walks to nearby pubs and is hazy and fuzzy and lovely. That same timelessness can torture the single girl. Getting lost in a 'is it New Year's Eve tomorrow or the day after or, wait, even the day after that?' vortex is sublime when there's somebody else to eat another cheeseboard with. Solo, and that one week where the world closes down can feel oh-so lonely.
Maybe it's that fear of being alone that tells me it's a good idea to reconnect with a ghost of my Christmas past. Four years ago, this one guy crumpled my feelings enough that I think twice when the chance comes up for our paths to re-cross. But. Maybe he has changed. Maybe he still isn't the on, Mr Right, but will be a fun Mr Right Now? Maybe a boyfriend doesn't have to be for life, just simply for the festive season...it's entirely possible that this is why I suddenly find that he is reaching out to me: men long for a warm body to sing Auld Lang Syne with, too, don't they? It can be a wordless agreement. A reconnection with a sell-by date. Expiration dating. Come 1 January, we can part as suddenly as we came back together.
It 2016 has taught me anything, it's that there's no romance to be found in the absolute. In the black-and-white, do-you-or-don't-you, are-you-in-or-are-you-out mentality. And so, to see out the year my resolution will be a simple one: that to embrace togetherness, I must embrace the not knowing. The grey area. Stop trying to riddle an answer, and luxuriate in the uncertainty of it all. Maybe my final lesson of the year will be to enter a short-term dalliance with an ex with zero expectation at all, just for the fun of it. Just because I want to. Because at Christmas, we should all have exactly what we want.
Read Laura Jane's column each week in Grazia magazine
More from Laura Jane Williams: