5 years and a couple of months, but who’s counting? Well, no one except for me. If you’re wondering what this number means, then you probably don’t spend a lot of time with me, especially drunk me. Because drunk me, and occasionally sober me, likes to point out the fact that it’s been just over 5 years since I’ve last seriously dated someone.
Yes, 5 years, and in that time, I haven’t even been on an actual date. Now, I’m not asking for pity, and I’m DEFINITELY not asking for the most common responses such as, “You’re such a catch! I can’t believe no one’s taken you out”, or, “You’re such a catch! Someone will ask you out one day”.
Now here’s the thing before you all get your panties in a twist. I KNOW that my life will keep turning and the sun will keep rising if I don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. In fact, 5 years is a long time, and therefore I’ve gotten very comfortable with my loneliness. In fact, sometimes I want to retreat into a shell like a turtle when I even think about trying to start a relationship. (But I’ll give you a hint as to why; I’m scared).
That’s right, I have no idea what the FUCK I’m doing when it comes to relationships. Partially, I think it’s because I haven’t had one in so long. Any time anything even remotely potential shows up at my door, my flight or fight responses kick in, and that’s definitely NOT how you keep someone around.
I immediately get defensive, and I worry about everything from “do they even really want to be with me” to, “god damn I’m going to say all the wrong things”. And eventually, I do say all the wrong things.
In my normal day to day life, I find being honest and healthfully communicating with my friends and peers to be a piece of cake. I know who I am and what I want. When it comes to being honest and assertive in a potential relationship, I fall extremely short. I don’t want to seem too disinterested, but I also don’t want to seem too eager. I can never seem to find a middle ground. Frankly, as the years pass on, I worry that I’ll get worse at this.
And here’s where I get even more terrified. I once read this blog post on Tumblr, where this girl was ranting on and on about how sometimes people don’t have great big loves, and how they’ll just end up alone, and that that is okay. RED FLAGS JESSICA, PLEASE STOP WRITING, YOU’RE TERRIFYING THE SHIT OUT OF PEOPLE.
Her name’s not really Jessica, but Jessica keeps writing to say things like that some people won’t experience a great big love in their life and that it’s okay. She uses examples like her aunt, who got divorced at 40 and never remarried, but fell in love with pottery. How her cousin is well into her 30’s and hasn’t dated a single person since college, but she is deeply enamored with her job as a journalist. How her friend’s grandmother has never married, and stayed persistently on the path of her artistic passion. Basically, she’s saying that if you fall in love with life that you don’t have to worry.
And I’m GLAD that these women could fall in love with something in life other than a man or a woman. I am so deeply in love with a lot of things in my life! And I am well practiced at going home alone and being able to peacefully fall asleep without a second thought. But sometimes, sometimes, no matter how many years pass, the loneliness will creep in deep into the cracks of your bones.
Sometimes you’re up until 6 o’clock in the morning, wondering why you couldn’t have just said one or two words differently in that fight with that guy you met 4 months ago. Or how you let yourself stay exclusive with someone for a whole year who wasn’t exclusive with you and was all wrong for you. Sometimes your friends are too far away, or just don’t understand your situation and feelings. Sometimes, you want to hold onto something other than your sheets.
Before you roll your eyes at me, I need you to know that I love myself. I have never loved myself more than I have right now. I love my weird thighs, my stretch marks, my awkwardly chubby cheeks, and even my hideous scar on my leg (yes, you can love something and still think it’s hideous). There are a lot of personality traits that I love too, that I won’t bother to bore you with.
I know that I don’t need someone by my side to live a happy life. I’m living a happy life right now. But what’s so wrong about wanting to share that happiness with someone? We’re humans. We’re riled up with so many different and insane emotions and to ignore them, in my own opinion, is absolutely a defilement of what it means to be a human. To act tough, to say that someone is stupid for wanting someone to love them other than themselves, is mean, and unkind. And I feel that it is even more unkind to tell someone that it is okay that they might never be loved. Because I’m not saying that it’s not okay, but to instill that notion in someones head doesn’t make it easier on them. In fact, I think it makes them a little more fearful. I know, that it has made me that way.