I’ve been seeing myself for a little over two years now and I have to say, things are going pretty well.
My relationship with self however, was recently disrupted. How dare this person interrupt the euphoric equilibrium I’ve worked so hard to create. For the first time in years, I’d developed all the feels for a guy who on paper seemed perfect, or rather, based on the mental ideals I was projecting on to him.
I went through my mental – and, regrettably superficial – checklist and there wasn’t a single box he didn’t tick. Intellectual? Check. Good job? Check. Confident? Check. Handsome? A chiseled beauty mate.
Reflective, considerate, kind? Err…
The last three things are the most important. You know, the ability one should have being able to reflect internally and externally, to consider how their behaviour may affect others; to have a wider understanding of our planet and not be solely confined by restrictions of first world capitalism.
Well, it was too soon to tell and I was optimistic.
The last few weeks made my head (and heart, sigh) spin; I was shocked to experience all the feelings I hadn’t felt since my first love. I couldn’t believe that at the wise old age of 27, I was suffering from a case of love sickness. It scared the shit out of me.
For starters, I became fully in tune with my bodies chemistry. Each time he would say hello or ask a question, I’d blush so hard I’d have to turn the air-con on: it’s still winter. I’d hear my heart beating in my ears as if I’d done a treadmill marathon and hopped off; you know, that feeling where you try to walk properly after a run and it feels like you’re walking on the moon or something? I lost like half a stone in two weeks because the butterflies in my stomach were so ferocious I was scared I might throw up. Despite my panic, it was a reminder of an aliveness one provokes; that the right person will be the catalyst to a vast opening of reintroduced, uncontrollable feelings.
The right person.
Initially I was sure the attraction was mutual because his gestures showed that he liked me. He sought a way to connect, his interactions seemed sincere and earnest; it was refreshing. But it was hard. Every effort he put into knowing me better I would close up. It wasn’t a case of “well if he likes me, let him chase”. No, I just felt too goddam nervous.
Generally I’ve been good at communicating. I’m not particularly shy; on first meetings I’ll always give warmth, make effort; I’m open to those who connect. But with him, I reverted back to my adolescent self. I would end up being rude, asking what he wants, reenacting that whole school girl thing when you diss the guy you like because you don’t feel in control. I didn’t know what was up with me…Well actually, I knew exactly what was up with me.
Like many areas in life, I’d been unconcerned. Uninvolved in choosing the guy and letting him find me. After one too many lessons, I delved into self-protective mode. I didn’t want to open the door and not be taken seriously; fun and games aside, life is real.
When I commit someone, I commit fully. I go into love wholeheartedly with the intention to support and build, hence why I’m initially slow and observant. I don’t have patience nor desire for male frivolity or flakiness. If my time isn’t pursued with sincerity, the guy gets a pat on the head and friendzoned, byeee!
It’s an intense revelation, I get it. I’ve been left so cold in the past by love that I questioned whether I’d turned into an ice-cream. Like what the fuck?! I have feelings? Oh no, not those wretched feelings again, making my head melt down the sides of my body; filling up my cone with a sweet and gushy sentiment.
I could certainly do with a tub of Haagen Dazs right now.
There’s too much to the story to mention, which is a better move anyway because discretion in courtship is key. For instance, I could mention the time I attempted flirting and ended up insulting his attire (wtf, who does that?!) Or the time I called my mum in tears and said “Mum, he said hi and I’ve fucked it all up”. “Why, what did you say?” “I said…oh god it’s just awful… I said…good morning!”
Seriously, couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
Anyway, all’s well and good in the losing game of love because he proved to be what I feared he would be: a disappointment. The guy who showed such promise; unfairly placed on top of a pedestal for fairytales and expectation, crashed down into a sea of mere mortals. Who would have known that this smooth and suave guy would end up being just another inconsistent and flawed human being? Fucking ridiculous I tell you.
There were two occasions where he belittled me. The first was fair game because 1) I had successfully sabotaged every intention to reciprocate his efforts and 2) I unintentionally compared him to an alien because I thought the alien was a scientific symbol (yeah – long story). As a result, I was told (with others present), that I would be looked down on and ignored at every future opportunity. As you can imagine, like most strong, independent and savvy ladies, I retaliated with a phenomenal defense of “O..kay” and then burst into tears. Fortunately, the storm in the teacup settled and I managed to return back to my semi-normal awkward behaviour.
The second time was less redeemable.
I was in the pub before meeting a friend when suddenly, the god of all gods walked in: clouds of smoke and lightning bolts. At this point I’d already had two glasses of wine; safe to say I was on my way. He didn’t acknowledge me, nor I him. Twenty minutes later it was hometime; I needed the loo and had to walk past. Don’t be rude, don’t be a dork; polite and cool, you got this. “Hey! How’s your night going?” I asked, met by the response: “Why are you talking to me like I’m a retard?”
I began to nervously babble about him being rude and myself, needing a piss, to which he replied “that’s not very ladylike is it?” and “It’s not my problem you have social anxiety”.
Okay, somebody contact rehab ’cause this dude’s been smoking crack yo!
There were two things playa did which made his fall from grace a mighty one:
1. How can somebody remotely educated slam a word like “retard”? If used to expel or suggest indignity, the word is extremely upsetting. It’s possible I was slurring due to being a little tipsy but still, he wanted to shut me down and I hadn’t even tried to provoke him yet.
Secondly, what was the social anxiety remark about? To tell someone who you suspect might have social anxiety, that their social anxiety isn’t your problem, shows a lack of empathetic concern. Comments like that are what give people social anxiety in the first place, idiot.
Had I actually suffered with social anxiety (which for a brief while I did), this comment would have kept me housebound. And don’t even get me started on the whole “ladylike” thing. As if having a vagina makes it socially unacceptable for me to pass urine, yet guys will get their penises out and have a field day urinating willy nilly. That shit pissed me off, literally.
As a child I was brainwashed to seek out partnership and romance – not my parents doing but courtesy of the media and school. Compare a film like Disney’s Sleeping Beauty (1959) to Moana (2001) and you’ll witness progression regarding a woman’s life ambition.
It’s not right to expect Prince Charming to straddle up and sweep me off my feet; he doesn’t exist; I’ll be waiting for life. Plus, do we ever really know what’s in another persons mind? We only really know our own intentions, feelings, desires etc. For all you know, I could be totally overthinking the whole thing. Maybe he was just trying to be funny. Maybe I’m being a complete and utter drama queen. Maybe.
As cynical as it sounds, I’m more comfortable keeping everyone at arms length until they prove themselves worthy. The good news is, my prince-not-so-charming woke a writers block spell just in time for Valentines. As a thank you gesture, I’ve decided to send him a giant bunch of thorny roses; leftover fragments from my tired, aching heart…
…Perhaps not, but the sentiment’s still there in Land of Make Believe.