Contrary to many posts about me ranting about being single and sometimes craving stability I have come to the conclusion that settling down is not what I want, this very instant. It's that I want to know that it will happen, that romantic story of the perfect guy who will consume my every thought and to who I will want to belong, desperately and entirely.. I just want to not believe in the Indian adage of 'there are no nice guys post 28' or I'm 'overqualified' for great guys in the arranged marriage pool because of my work experience and MBA. I just want to know that it will happen. At some point when I want it to.
Which means I'm more than happy to enjoy being single in the meantime. MORE than happy. The past few months have been a 'coming out' of sorts for me. I got out of a perfectly nice relationship just because it wasn't tugging at my heart strings - this is a great guy and a fantastic friend, but at some point I felt like we were it because there wasn't a reason not to be.. and that's not good enough. For me, or him. I almost feel like the relationship before this was the same way - it ended way later than it should have. Was I just afraid of being single? The more I think about it, the more I believe I was. Through my life I've always had an emotional anchor - someone I outsource my craziness to, my stupid crying at ridiculous romantic movies, always had a 'go-to' person as company to my insane spontaneous ideas of jumping off a plane. While I have some of the bestest set of girl friends (yes, we actually like each other) there is a different camaraderie and chemistry with guys. They're as daring, challenging and stimulated as I can be sometimes, without the hassle of worrying about dresses and hormones. In short, easier to be with. So, imagining being myself without this 'anchor' probably scared me into dating sincere, really nice guys who I wasn't in love with really. That's a bad move.
Not only have I cheated myself out of what could have been a few super fun years and bogged myself down to relationship(s) which I really shouldn't have, I probably hurt the boy (s) way more who actually fell in love with me and envisioned a life with me before I bolted. Ah, well I guess 28 is as good a year as any to realize some of the things I've done wrong.
I remember being in love with that best friend for years... I remember how painful it was, that dull ache in my stomach when he'd say another girls name, that quickening heartbeat when he'd say 'I love you' to me, and mean it, only as a bestfriendforever and how in my mind I would add a jingle and sparkle to it as though he's coming around. I remember being consumed by wanting to spend each moment with him and not tiring of looking out for him and trying to make life easier for him each and every day - I could do it back then. I could give off myself, and be vulnerable and let each and every pore in my body be involved in one emotion - of longing, belonging and letting go. I had it in me.. and then I lost it.
When things went downhill with us, I shut myself off.. realized that its too risky to give all of you to one person, that that knowledge can make the other person very powerful, in ways you don't want them to be. He used his power. He used exactly the words and actions and people in my life that he knew would leave permanent marks on my heart. I know he knew it. He knew exactly how to hug me and make me love him again, and exactly how to sidle up to my best friend to see that hurt in my eye he enjoyed so much.
Its strange, right? Ego makes a man do unimaginable things. I can only imagine how enjoyable it is to look into someones eyes and see desperate longing, love, jealousy, hurt, pining and restraint - all for you. It's one hell of a kick. At B school we learn that money makes the world go round - I respectfully disagree. Its Power. It's enjoying that 'hold' you have over someone, something.. it's knowing that you have the strings.
Last Sunday night as I watched a movie, and after a long conversation with a girlfriend at a hippie coffee shop where I swear I smelled weed, I came to the realization that this past experience has made me exactly what I hoped I'd never be - that person always wanting to be in control. I don't think I ever let go, loved or let anyone else have me. It's almost like I'm as afraid of someone falling in love with me as I am doing the same. In the last few years whenever I have had it said to me, it invariably that moment from when my relationship goes downhill. Am I just too scared to know that once the other person has crossed the line into 'love' I should too, do the same? Have I ever said I love you back without feeling it completely? In hindsight, I have.
How does this impact me now? I've realized that my first few interactions with ANY guy will be in combat mode. I will crack (smart) jokes and go out of my way to prove how comfortable I am in my own skin, how unspecial this new guy is to me, and how I am not impressed by silly tricks and cheap dinners and cliches. I'd even go as far to say that the more I am genuinely interested in a guy, the more I will go out of my way to make him feel as though he doesnt make a difference to my life. [ My point being if he's really THE ONE he will fight all obstacles I put forth and make a valiant effort to stand out as 'not one of those guys'. yeh, I know, wishful thinking ] While all of the above is true, I am a very fun loving, independent person whose always surrounded by friends, I NEVER come across as the sweet, gentle, docile, vulnerable girl who bats her eyelashes at guys. I'm VERY hard to get, and I don't like silly boys who beat around the bush. This narrows the pool of boys I'm interested in to nearly ZERO.
So what was the point of this post? Just to acknowledge formally how much baggage I carry with me still, and how things so far back in the past seem so near, so recent. How that girl who gave her all is now that girl who holds it all back.