I was told by a good guy friend recently while on the topic of my singlehood how I’m the type of girl that doesn’t need a guy to look after her and that intimidates some guys. I didn’t really correct him because I knew he was right.
I grew up used to doing things on my own. I hate the idea of having guys carry my purses. I enjoy the occasional movie and dinner on my own (add a recent discovery of drinking out by myself). I prefer shopping without a hapless dude following me around to carry my shopping bags. I don’t need anyone to take care of me in that respect. I was raised to be quite independent and frankly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
However, that does not mean that I don’t want companionship. I’ve been single my entire life and it’s something I’ve found very difficult to talk about until recently. I’ve had a few acquaintances and new friends grill me about it and curiously asking why I haven’t been in a relationship. I would just shrug and say, “It just didn’t happen for me.”
I was a normal teenager/young adult with a bunch of extra curricular stuff but that didn’t mean I didn’t have time to have crushes and be completely befuddled by the opposite sex. But somehow there just wasn’t any boy who’d have the courage to tell me upfront that he liked me and wanted to get to know me better. Sure, you can say that I should just initiate it but try telling that to a shy, somewhat socially awkward teenage girl and see if she doesn’t just hide behind her books forever.
It really didn’t just happen for me. And for the longest time that made me question my worth as a person. I always thought that something was wrong with me. Of course, I know now there isn’t anything wrong with me and that I’m actually great person.
“You didn’t have guys tell you they like you?” Someone would ask me. There were those I’d like to call whisper on the walls a.k.a. “I know someone who likes you” but then that wouldn’t really materialize into anything. I’d been told on more than one occasion that “my success” (I’m not sure what they mean) makes me intimidating.
I told the same friend I mentioned at the beginning of this entry that those experiences made me realize that I didn’t want to be with a guy who didn’t even have the balls to admit to my face that he was interested in me. I can’t have someone who is intimidated by “my successes” (we all have different measures for success, so I really do not get that).
And I have now reached the point in my life where I’m starting to form what it is I come to look for in a potential partner. Obviously, I still refuse to settle (nor do I think that I will ever settle). I wrote about this recently on my journal and that is what this long winding intro is mostly for.
“You see, I want a man in my life that has his ambitions. We don’t have to like the same things but I hope he is supportive of my own wants and ambitions. I don’t need him to lug around my things. I just want him to be there for me. I don’t want him to give up his independence for me. He’s free to pursue his passions and have as many guy nights as he wants because I expect him to afford me the same respect. I don’t need him to take care of me, I can do that for myself. What I want is his affection. I want his love. I don’t want my life choices questioned but I want someone willing to step in if I am on the verge of hurting others or myself. I want a man who can call me on my shit. I don’t like mind games. You like me, you tell me. If you don’t, then tell me that as well. I hate having my time wasted. I want someone who inspires me to be better and will make me want to help him better himself.”
This is such a touchy subject for me but I have grown enough as a person to know that I can’t really deny this part of me because it is something that has helped me become who I am. And while I have kept this topic stored in the back of my mind as a potential post, what helped push this over the edge was this interview with Katie Heaney. She’s the author of Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date. She basically made a book out of my life. Haha. Okay, not really but she was also 25 when she wrote this (or had this published, I’m not really sure) and didn’t really date. You can read an excerpt she put up over at Refinery 29. And she also has this other great interview with Salon that is worth a read as well.