Tag Archives: Hopeless Romantic

Those Every Day Moments

This is a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while now. It wasn’t a planned post by any means, but each time one of these moments would happen, when I’d think back on them, I’d just sit and think, Yeah, I really want to write about this; both here on the blog and in the writing sense. I’d love to write about characters who get to experience and emulate and feel such a wonderful and lovely experience that I’ve been so lucky to have.

It’s about to get sappy and cheesy, friends, so grab your tissues, if you got them. Or if you’re like me or Gus, when it comes to anything even remotely close to sentimental…

new york mets baseball GIF

You see, I was single for a really long time. Most of my life, actually. I met my man when I was 24 and we didn’t start dating until I was 25 (I turn 26 this year). Before then, I had crushes, but not much more than that, in the romance realm.

I had a ton of dreams, though.

I used to dream what it would be like, to find love. To experience what it was like, to have that other person who was always there for you, who was your rock, your support system. That person who you came home to, every night, and no matter what the day threw at you, you knew you could count on them, to curl up with you and make everything feel okay–even when it was them you were mad at. The person who became your best friend, who doesn’t put up with your antics and your quirks, because they don’t feel like they are putting up with anything. It gets difficult sometimes, sure, but they love you, quirks, edges, hiccups and all. The person who you go on adventures with, who challenges you, who believes in you no matter what, who reaffirms truths about yourself you’ve never been able to believe in, yet somehow, seeing yourself through your eyes makes you believe that, one day, maybe you can.

I have always, always wanted that.

Now, I have it.

And it is…just as great as I imagined it would be.

i love psych GIF

But when I’m reminded the most–that my dream of finding love has finally come true–it isn’t with the grand adventures, the roadtrips, the spontaneous dates or the big decisions we make together; though all of those things definitely cement this reality I’ve been living for the past year and a half now, a reality I never thought would be mine.

No, I’m reminded the most with the little things, those every day moments I never realized I would cherish as much as I do.

My boyfriend and I, we work opposite schedules. I work 3pm-12am Sunday through Thursday. He works 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. During the year, we usually see each other Friday evenings and Saturdays, if we don’t have any other plans or other commitments (and we usually do), before missing one another throughout the week. Over the summer, we get six weeks where I work days and our schedules blissfully match. We get spoiled, seeing each other so much when it’s normally so little. And it’s during this time that I see those every day moments that I’ve learned to cherish so much.

The other night, I was so overwhelmed with feeling loved, with that feeling of, Yes, this is what I waited a quarter of my life for, that it reminded me that I wanted to write this post, if only so I could experience that warm feeling all over again in remembering it. He got home from work (I had arrived a little earlier) and then we went to the store. We bought groceries. All the while, we’re trading stories about our days: rants, laments, advice, laughs (though I’m talking a little more, because, writer). We get home and continue as we put groceries up, talking as we leave out what we’re going to cook for dinner. We cook, we eat while watching some YouTube videos, playing with the two felines that are now our cats instead of his, inside our apartment that we now share, we clean dishes. We settle in for the evening, playing video games and slipping into other worlds together, all the while discussing weekend plans, upcoming vacation plans and dreaming about the future.

I know it’s so simple. All we did that night was come home, go grocery shopping, cook, eat and relax before bed. It was nothing “special”, nothing planned. Yet it is moments like this–moments that are so routine for couples in long-term relationships or something I used to only associate with my parents, growing up–that remind me that, all that dreaming I did, wanting to fall in love? All those tears I cried, over boys who didn’t know how to treat me or didn’t like me? All those fears I felt, that I’d never experience what it felt like to love and be loved in return, in a way that no one else can?

They are a thing of the past, because right now, in this present moment? I’ve found exactly who I was looking for and everything I wanted.

I couldn’t ask for more, for I’ve already got it all.

And that’s…the most surreal thing ever, I think.

Cheers.

PS: I warned you it was going to be cheesy and gushy. I’m a hopeless romantic, after all. And to every single person who reads this, to everyone who is still dreaming: you won’t believe me when I say it (because Lord knows I never did), but your person is out there and you will find them. And every moment of waiting, of doubt, of wanting, will be totally and utterly worth it. ❤

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Something A Little Different

So, this is the first year I’m not celebrating Single Awareness Day, but instead, celebrating Valentine’s Day in all it’s couply, mushy, over-priced messiness.

That is…such a new feeling, for me.

And I couldn’t be more excited.

And something that, if you’ve been following this blog since I started it, back in 2012, you’ll know I’ve wanted for a very long time (it’s almost embarrassing, to go back and look at some of the posts I wrote, but hey, they were valid at the time, so I’m not ashamed of them or how I felt; I’m a hopeless romantic, after all). Not just to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’ve done that before, alone, in all my singleness glory. Like when I took myself to see Pride and Prejudice and Zombies one year alone in the theatres and ordered nachos, a large Sprite and Buncha Crunches and went ham. Or how I bought and played For Honor while eating an entire pizza alone in my apartment.

When I was single, I slayed Valentine’s Day.

No, what I’ve always wanted was that relationship, to find that person who liked me for me, who wanted to be with me and didn’t care who in the world knew about it. To have that connection with someone, who knows how to make me laugh, who recognizes the signs when I’m not doing okay, who knows my quirks, weirdness and nerdiness, and not only appreciates them, but loves me more for them. To have someone else to count on, to support me, challenge me, uplift me, believe in me. To have someone to come home to, someone to go on adventures with, someone to make my heart flutter, my face flush, my knees weak.

I finally found that person.

And friends, he is wonderful.

hou hsiao-hsien love GIF by Film Society of Lincoln CenterHe puts up with me. He gets to deal with my heightened anxiety, paired with overthinking and worrying all of the time. He supports me through my depression bouts and has adjusted to the fact that my go-to response to any emotion is usually to cry about it. He’s learned not to run away in terror when I send him a novel as a text message. He’s learned beside me and stayed patient with me as I experienced so many firsts that come with my first relationship ever (hey, it only took 24 years *fistpump*), which is even more complex when I’m still battling self-doubt and the occasional round in the ring against self-hatred, so I know I gotta test his patience sometimes. There are a lot of things I’m still working on, but he’s right there beside me, every step of the way.

Just like I’m right there beside him, helping him through his own battles, challenges and struggles.

But then, while we both have our own demons, we also complement one another in so many ways, it’s uncanny. Laughter is contagious around this man. I love talking with him and learning from him. He is such a wealth of knowledge in the sciences and technology, areas where I couldn’t be more ignorant. Yet he doesn’t mansplain or talk down to me. And then I teach him about every writing/related related topic and then some. It’s refreshing to find someone who’s nerdiness both complements and expands upon mine. I love how many new things, like Cowboy Bebop, Battlestar Galactica, Borderlands and Fallout, I have discovered and gotten into, thanks to him. I love how many more adventures I go on, because he’s so extroverted and I’m much more introverted, yet he includes me in things and helps me step out of my shell. I appreciate his support of my writing and my dreams so much. His relentless faith in me is…absolutely wonderful.

He also puts up with my obsession over Lord of the Rings, my tattoo addiction, how I squeal so loud every time I see a puppy/dog (that it almost causes him to wreck when he’s driving), my travel wanderlust, my desire to hold his hand all of the time, my weird work schedule, my passion for my personal health/fitness, my Commander Shepard level dance moves, my love for dragons and animated films and KU basketball. He respects the close relationship I have with my family and he’s accepted that we’re going to own a dozen dogs one day.

Him. Us. This.

This is what I’ve been waiting over two decades for.

And it was worth every second.

So, to celebrate my first ever Valentine’s Day? We’re getting all dolled up (he even bought an entire new outfit, including a tie, that he looks absolutely dashing in, while I’m wearing a dress and heel combo ((which, hello, that never happens, but I’m so excited to get all dressed up alongside him)) and going out to our favorite date night restaurant. Then, we might do a little shopping or we might just walk around the outlet and enjoy the rare sixty degree weather. But, most likely, we’ll roll each other back to the car (because, you know, we’ll be so full) and then get ice cream (because we like to punish ourselves, apparently) before heading back home so I can steal his sweatpants and play video games until we pass out.

And you know what?

I think I can get used to this new way of celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Cheers.

PS: Sorry for the overly gushy post, friends. But you’ve stuck with me in my overly depressive, all-I-want-is-to-fall-in-love posts over the years, so now that I’ve finally done so, I thought you might like to see that post, too. ❤


Frankly, I Have No Idea What to Title This Post

There’s a line from Twenty One Pilot’s “Migraine” that says, “Sometimes to stay alive you gotta kill your mind.”

I really love that line.

I also wish they gave advice on how to do just that.

I’m an over-thinker. A worrywart, as my companions and parents growing up dubbed me. I’ve always been this way. I know I’m not alone in this, but sometimes, that knowledge doesn’t help me deal with my incessant need to look at every angle of a situation–and often situations that haven’t happened yet, but are possible–and then fixate on the worst possible one, causing anxiety, stress and depression to set in as I then obsess over this outcome. Which, nine times out of ten, doesn’t even come true.

But let’s not keep this simple. Let’s include the heart into this, add another layer of complexity.

I’m a big believer of following your heart. It’s why mine is so scarred. I’m not afraid to chase what it wants without abandon. Some believe that’s foolish. Yet that’s not something I’m going to change. I’m sure it comes to no surprise that often, the heart and the mind conflict, even to the point where the mind overrules the heart and makes it confused on what it even wants, which makes it even harder to come to a decision about what to do in X situation.

Hold on, though. Still not complicated enough. Then add in the need to please others and the reliance on your fellow’s good opinion and approval.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Welcome into the mind of Nicole.

‘Tis a confusing place.

Of course, I have a specific conundrum in mind: my love life. It’s complicated and confusing and conflicting, which I think is the most difficult thing to deal with. At any given moment, my mind will tell me to do one thing and my heart will agree. The next, my mind and heart splits. Another second passes and my heart has completely changed its tune, but now my head is questioning. And then you add in the opinions of everyone else I value–and don’t forgot the overthinking mind that doesn’t fail to look into every possible solution into every possible scenario, and frankly?

I’m just at a loss.

Here’s the situation (you might have gathered inklings about it from this postthis post or this post. Sorry my complicated love life has taken over this blog. But this blog is my outlet and I’ve never been confused like this before. Ergo, a lot of emotionally-charged posts).

Entered into a FWB relationship which actually felt and was treated like more of an actual relationship, just in secret. Not surprising that, on my end, feelings developed and complications arose. I “left” and then came back, twice, before finally deciding to leave the “benefits” side of a relationship and trade it for a “just friends” side, so I could move on emotionally and find someone who’d be capable and willing to meet both my needs and my wants. It’s been…hard, but I’m getting there. What’s been the hardest, however, is being plagued with one question:

What if? 

Because while I left because I needed more stability, more commitment and more certainty, I’ve been lost in this realm of uncertainty ever since. Because though the “relationship” is officially “over,” there are some small seeds of hope that it could still actually blossom into something real. So we could, potentially, still have a chance at having a relationship. Or I could say no, if that question was ever asked. Or it could never be asked and I could find someone else. Or I could find no one. There are so many different ways this could pan out and there are plenty of What Ifs to accompany each route.

What if we date and everything is as amazing as I always thought it would be? What if it’s everything I ever wanted? What if we completely fall on our faces and the relationship crumbles? What if everyone thinks I’m an idiot for giving him another chance? What if everyone hates him? What if I miss out on the guy “meant for me” because I gave him another chance? What if he is the one meant for me and I gave him up too early because it took a little work beforehand? What if I end up alone forever (but kill it as your ultimate dog lady)? 

Yeah, sometimes, my mind sucks.

There are just so many elements in play: my emotions, my feelings, logic, the opinions of others…all of which conflict and fight each other on a daily basis, which isn’t exactly comforting.

You got the feelings I have for the guy that everyone I care about tells me “didn’t treat me right” and constantly reminds me that I can “do better and deserve better,” yet part of me still wants to try because he does mean so much to me and I know he could treat me exactly the way I “deserve.” But then that raises logical questions, like, why hasn’t he already? What made him take so long to chose me; which, in turn, brings up some questions regarding trust. Yet he’s also made me happier than any man before him. Doesn’t that count for something?

Then I look at all the relationships I’ve ever known. All of them have had some sort of conflict, at one point or another. To varying degrees of complexity and difficulty. Some started great and got rough in the middle, only to become stronger. Some started out difficult and took work, but made it in the end. And very few have been really solid throughout it all, hardly a hiccup in sight. And sometimes, when people tell me that I can “do better,” I want to point out that every relationship is different and maybe this one is just experiencing the rough patches at the beginning. I want to ask not to be so quick to judge, even though I know everyone is just looking out for me and wants me to be happy. And I haven’t been happy, recently. So I understand that. It just adds another level of complexity.

And then you get all of those corny quotes telling you to never pick a guy who made you question or made you guess or made you walk away. Then there’s the small excitement of meeting someone new, wondering who is out there for me and the excitement of flirting and getting to know someone; battle that against the comfort of already knowing someone and admitting there are some challenges there, but there is also certain happiness, as well. Then there’s the fear of never finding anyone else juxtaposed with the fear that I already found them, but I’m just giving them up because it takes work and everyone else tells me I should and they are proud of me for finally letting go of something less than what I deserve. But is that really what want?

Yeah, I’d love to just kill my mind for an hour now, thanks.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to two things: choice and risk.

Everything is uncertain. I have no idea if said dude will ever want to try an actual relationship with me. I honestly have no idea if I’m willing to try, if he wants to–my heart and hope scream yes at the same time my mind, my doubts and my fears shout no. I have no idea how I’d meet anyone else or what I’d say if I did. I have no idea about any of this and all this worrying and thinking I’ve done in the past week isn’t really helping.

Regardless of whatever happens, the choice is mine. And though I do recognize that I really rely (a bit too much) on the approval of others, I have to trust that those closest to me will support whatever decision I make. And I need to let myself make that decision, without basing it off the opinions of others.

Even though I’ve been searching for the right answer, through talking and blogging and praying, I think I’ve come to the realization that there isn’t one. There is no right answer. That’s why it’s a risk.

I can’t know that my choices are going to be the best ones. I have no idea how they are going to affect my future or if they are going to hurt me or make me happy. There is no guarantee that whatever choice I make is going to be the right or the wrong one. Because that’s what risk is. It’s making a choice and sticking with it even though you don’t know the end. It’s trying to decipher the feelings in your gut and learning to follow them. It’s talking with those involved and learning to trust them. It’s finding a balance between hope and logic.

At the end of the day, it’s weighing everything I’ve been describing and more, and then finally making a choice, trusting yourself to make the right one. It’s accepting the aftermath and forgiving yourself when you make the wrong one. It’s having the courage to change your choice, if that happens. Or the courage to stay, depending. Or even trusting yourself enough to believe that you made the right choice and believing that everything is good, even when it feels too good to be true.

That realization doesn’t make figuring out my love life any easier. I know that I definitely don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I’m trying my best to follow my heart wherever it guides me (even if that journey is a bit confusing, at times). I’m doing the best I can and I’ll take a small comfort in that. Because all I can do is try and follow my heart, trusting it to guide me true. Even it it leads to failure and ruin, at least I gave it my all.

Hopefully, when I look back at all of my choices, no matter how many were “right” and “wrong,” I’ll be able to take comfort and avoid regret, knowing that I did the best I could navigating this quest called life; amidst every wrong turn, pleasant surprise, lucky break, difficult choice, second chance, mistake, celebration and achievement, I tried and followed my heart.

Can we really ask ourselves to do more than that?

Cheers.


If It Means a Lot to You

I’m not really sure where this post is going to go. I just know that my heart hurts right now and I need to get something out before I go crazy.

I recently lost someone. Someone who means a damn lot to me. Worse, I chose to give them up, just as equally as they chose to let me go.  I’m talking about a case where A Day to Remember’s If It Means A Lot To You lyrics sort of speak to your soul and make you both want to bawl your eyes out and slam your fist into a wall, but instead, you just listen to the song on repeat and wonder how your life has come to emulate it so utterly.

My heart hurts. I miss them. A helluva lot. I miss having conversations with them and nerding out, getting headshots left and right (whaddup, co-oping Borderlands), staying up way too late watching YouTube and having Star Trek marathons. I miss having someone I talked to a daily basis. I miss looking forward to going over to their place and having that feeling of…well, home, frankly, when I was with them. I miss the way their nose would crinkle when they were trying to make me blush or the way their lips felt against mine. I miss being challenged by them, having my views expanded and my comfort zone stretched. I miss them being the sci-fi to my fantasy, the Darth Vader to my Sauron.

You know, ironically, writing that out isn’t helping me miss them less, like I was hoping this post might.

*tries again*

It was…amazing. And I was happy. He was everything that I wanted: someone who listened to me, supported me, challenged me, connected with me. Yet he wasn’t what I needed–no, that’s not right. I know he could have been what I needed and hell, still has the capabilities of doing so. But he’s not ready to be what I need. For what we had was amazing, but it wasn’t serious. It wasn’t exclusive. It wasn’t a relationship.

And I need that.

It makes me feel selfish, that rationale. That because we weren’t exclusive, because we weren’t in a committed relationship, I had to let a good thing go.  A good person go. That choice made me reevaluate my wants and needs and desires and hell, even get pissed at myself for being so traditional; for wanting that old-fashioned relationship.

I mean, what does that even really mean?

Because frankly, to me, I already had many aspects of what I imagine a relationship to be like, without the title. But it’s not the title I wanted. It was the promise that comes with commitment. It was being chosen by that other person. It was them saying, “You know what? I like you enough that I’d rather be with you than any other person. I want to try and create a future with you. And I want the world to know how much I care about you. How much I adore you. How proud I am to be with you.”

And after would come all the fun milestones and experiences I’ve never had, being eternally and utterly single. Going on dates. Changing your FB status to in a relationship and everyone gushing and asking you questions and begging to meet him. The meeting each other friends and integrating friend groups. The awkward meeting-the-family-for-the-first time dinner. The holiday parties with extended families. That first roadtrip together. The plethora of pictures, surprising each other with good luck notes in the morning, making dinner, the lazy weekends and the fun nights out.

And that’s just the start, I imagine. It gets even more exciting–and more serious–the longer you choose one another. Getting a pet. The moving-in-together convo. Watching each other’s personalities and desires evolve and change. Growing together. Life changes, like careers and finding a forever home. Marriage talk. Kid possibilities (or maybe not, who knows).

And then there are the little things throughout it all that are just as important as the big things. The being there for each other through every up and down. The taking care of one another when your sick or both skipping a day at work just because it’s been a busy week and you missed each other. The surprise notes, the kind gestures, the fancy dates just because. The little fights, the arguments, the compromises, the tough choices.

I want it all. I want every aspect of a relationship. Because I’m sorta definitely a hopeless romantic. I believe that love conquers everything (hell, the saying is tattooed on me). I’ve believed in love for so long and never had the chance to experience it, that I now have a very big, eager heart that I don’t want anymore. I want to trust it to someone else. And I want to take care of theirs instead and show them just how much a person can be loved. That’s what I need.

Unfortunately, my needs didn’t align with his wants. And so I made a really hard choice and I gave him up. And it hurts. It hurts knowing that if I had made a different choice, if I had swallowed those desires and instead stayed content with what I had, I’d still have those conversations, that connection, that feeling of home in another person. But that would be unfair to both of us. And no matter how much I miss him (it’s almost embarrassing, how much I miss him), we both deserve to have our needs and our wants met.

So it’s going to be hard, for a while. Not only getting used to being alone again, but getting used to not having such an important presence in my life. My only solution is to pour myself into a lot of things (distract myself, honestly). Working out, most definitely (main benefit of having a broken heart is that I usually run a shit-ton afterwards, so at least I’m looking more and more like a BAMF in the process of healing). And writing. I’ll definitely be focusing on writing a lot and transitioning into pursuing that as a career, not a hobby.

As far as love goes, I have no idea what will happen next. Whether the man I let go will one day want to pursue a relationship with me (and maybe I’m still be available and one day, we’ll laugh about what we went through to get there). Maybe I find someone new or date ten different people before I find the person stuck with me. Or maybe I become the most badass dog lady you’ve ever damn known… whose to say and whose to know? For now, I know one thing, one person, who I’ve neglected loving for too long and who, honestly, deserves my love the most.

Myself.

So that’s what I’m going to do. Work on myself, work on loving myself, until I’m a person that I both love and understand.

Cheers.


As Is

Yesterday, I started reading this fantastic romance, Seven Secrets of Seduction, before work. I loved it and will discuss why I did so on my book review blog later today (as we all know I stayed up until 3am last night to finish it). Not only did it have me swooning in all the right ways, but it had me connecting with the female love interest on a really true level. She could have been me, she had the same personality, quirks and questions regarding her worth. So to see her fall in love was magical and gave me hope that one day, the same might happen to me.

Also, it gave me a bit of surprising confidence.

Later, during my work shift, a conversation with coworkers led to some reconnecting with friends on Facebook. During this reconnect, I noticed my friend was friends with a pretty attractive gentleman that caught my eye. Innocently, I creeped on his profile and determined that yes, he was definitely attractive and yes, he was single. What a surprise.

Now, normally, that would be the end of that. I would move on and continue living my life, berating myself for being creepy and odd and weird. Yet something made me pause. I figured, what would be the harm in mentioning to our mutual friend that an introduction between us wouldn’t be opposed of by me, if such an instance arose? The worse thing that would happen is that, well, nothing happens and I continue life as usual. Or, a connection could spark and who knows what would happen after that. All because I took a leap of faith and put myself out there, instead of waiting for someone to find me.

So I mentioned something, casually, trying to be smooth but feeling totally out of my element, to my aforementioned friend.

And nothing happened.

*whistles as she goes back to her eternally-single life, carrying her “Participation (But Not Really)” medal*

Except something did happen immediately after I sent that message to the cute stranger and I’s mutual friend. I felt the need to do two things: go to the gym and find a better Facebook profile picture, lest the creeping got turned back on me after my friend checked their messages. I stared at my profile picture, immediately picking out every potential flaw, as the gym was impossible to reach at that moment. I tried to think of where I could find a better photo, how I can make myself look more appealing, more beautiful, more attractive.

Only a manner of seconds passed before I realized how truly messed up that was.

Yes, the gentleman in question is an attractive dude; probably out of my league, if such measuring system possibly exists. Yet that shouldn’t matter. The size of my hips? Shouldn’t matter. The fact that it is obvious I’d rather get a second helping than work out 24/7? Shouldn’t matter. That my profile picture leans more towards cute instead of drop dead gorgeous? Yeah, shouldn’t matter, especially as I happen to really like that picture. That’s why it is my profile picture (and those of you whom are friends with me on Facebook know how often I change that thing ((hardly ever)).

Why, when I felt an odd courage to put myself out there on the dating marking, did I feel the immediate need to change myself; to subscribe to a predetermined ideal of what is considered beautiful, immediately doubting that someone I found attractive could look at me as is and have the same reaction? It’s no secret that I long for a relationship. Yet that doesn’t mean I want a man who is going to look at me and only see the things he wishes were different. I don’t want a man who I can’t be comfortable around, always wishing I was something that I’m not; something that, nine days out of ten, I don’t actually want to be. I want to be me: human, flawed, imperfect, but damn if I’m not trying. I want someone to love me as me, as that is something I want to do.

After putting myself out there, immediately feeling like I need to go and change–improve, as it were–myself isn’t the way to find a man who will love and appreciate me as is.

I always tell myself that I’ll try and actively look for someone once I’m skinnier; after I’ve been to the gym for a few months; after I learn to love myself fully; after I am financially fit; once I’ve moved into my own apartment; after I deal with this bout of depression. After, after, after. Though the small leap I took yesterday with a rare showing of courage may not look like much, it was a major step for me. And though nothing changed for me romantically, something changed for me mentally.

Perhaps…I dunno, perhaps I don’t have to wait until I have a body I love perfectly to go searching for love. Perhaps I don’t have to wait until I get my life together. Perhaps I don’t have to love myself entirely before I pour so much love into another soul. Perhaps I don’t have to wait for love because I am waiting until I have “improved myself enough” to deserve it. Perhaps, I am just enough as is; as me.

Perhaps, after 23 years of waiting for love, I can go and search for it. Whatever the hell that looks like.

Cheers.


Single Status: A Choice and a Dream

Valentine’s Day is always a hit or miss for me emotionally. Most years, unfortunately, I find myself pretty miserable, wishing I had someone to spend it with and someone to spoil with letters filled with gushy confessions they already know and a ridiculous amount of chocolate. Spending 23 years solo will have that affect on you, at times (though, let’s be honest for a moment: about half of those years, I either didn’t know about romance or didn’t realize I wanted a guy, as I was too concerned with beating them on the pitch to prove my worth as a soccer player ((tomboy life, right there)), so really, I’d only say there has been half a dozen years or so since being alone of Valentine’s Day really struck a cord; but half a dozen isn’t as dramatic as 23 years, and I am a writer, after all. But, I digress.). This year, however, I was quite content with my single status. Instead of moping and dreaming of my ideal date with the most amazing guy, I went and caught a flick that I thought was perfect for the day of romance: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Not only was the film fantastic, but it had an awesome blend of romance and gore that just warmed my very odd heart. And truly, you can’t really do better than Mr. Darcy, can you? (I’d marry him for his eloquence, if nothing else. Goodness).

Plus, I didn’t have to share my nachos with anyone, so there are benefits to the single life.

Later that evening, I was reminded why I was single very bluntly. And it wasn’t because my friends who are in relationships were posting about all of the lovely things they did that day or because I was growing depressed imagining what else I could have done that day had I a romantic interest. No, instead, it was seeing what my Dad got my Mom as a Valentine’s/birthday present combo that made me realize not only why I’m single, but why I frankly choose to be, even though I want nothing more than to be in love.

Let me explain.

Two weeks earlier, my Mom dropped a hint that she wanted a band to go with her wedding ring. She didn’t harp about it, she just mentioned it offhandedly to my Dad and then we went about our day.  My Dad went and bought the band with my sister the next week, but not after talking with me and my siblings multiple times to make sure he heard her right and got exactly what she wanted. Fast forward to V-Day, when my Mom woke up to a jewerly box on the table and a card. Yet inside the jewerly box wasn’t the band, but a beautiful cross necklace. My Mom was convinced it was the band, but the necklace was perfect, too, so she wasn’t too disappointed. Later that evening, my Dad–after contemplating half a dozen ways to give her the band, including leaving it in the fridge for her to find after her shower and (thankfully) ignoring my suggestion that he lay in front of the fire in a “draw-me-like-one-of-your-French-girls” Titanic pose–before he finally decided to use three different cups and hide both boxes separately under different cups, leaving one cup with nothing underneath. My Mom would walk into the kitchen and have to play the guessing game of which cup held her prize. Meanwhile, both jewelry boxes were empty and the ring was in his pocket. Which, after she realized this, he pulled out in a very charming and corny way. My Mom loved it and it was all very cute.

But how does this relate to my eternal state of singleness?

On the day where love is expressed openly and often obnoxiously, I was reminded by my parents of the type of love I want: with a partner who knows me, listens to me, who is both romantic and fun, and the utmost gentleman. My Dad shows all of these things and more on a daily basis for my Mom, but this year, Valentine’s Day was a blatant reminder. He listened to my Mom about what she wanted but he wasn’t afraid to ask for clarification from us kids. That shows courage, humility and attention. When he gave her the necklace first, he knew she would think it was the ring and feel slightly disappointed, despite loving that necklace. Doing so not only turned a romantic gesture fun, but it reflects my Dad’s love for my Mom so well: he knows her well enough to know how she will respond and what necklace to get her when she wanted a band. Yet he stays true to himself in everything–and if you know my Dad, corny and goofy and funny sums him up pretty well, all which were reflected in the way he gave her both presents. Plus, seeing my Dad get excited about the band and struggle to come up with the perfect way to give it to my Mom showed that, despite them being married for almost 24 years now, they still sometimes get nervous around each other and their love is still strong. And that’s just beautiful.

That’s what I want. I want a man who understands me and can be quirky and fun and romantic. I want a guy who knows himself and isn’t afraid to be that man. I want a guy who I can talk to and trust and grow beside. I want a guy to challenge me as I challenge him. I want someone who communicates with me and accepts me as exactly as I am, curves and quirks and nerdiness and all. I don’t care about expensive gifts or being showered with presents constantly. Just like my Dad knows my Mom, my man would know that my perfect Valentine’s Day gift would be a trip to the local bookstore and then an evening of his undivided attention, no electronics attached (look for my Luddite post later this week to learn more of what I mean by that).

The reason I’m still single is because I’ve been spoiled by my parents to see the quintessence of what love should be. I see the potential of what a person can share with another person that they care deeply about and I yearn for that. And I’m stuck in a world where many guys, quite bluntly, don’t want to give that much in a relationship. They don’t reach those expectations and standards I have grown up believing should be natural, basic, to a healthy and true relationship. People tell me I have high standards, that I’m single because I expect too much. This Valentine’s Day, I was proud to be reminded of why I won’t settle for anything less than a love that emulates the one shared by my Mom and Dad. That’s why I wait. That’s what I want, that’s what I expect, that’s what I strive for and that’s what I search for. Does it make me a bitch, to expect a man to live up to higher standards than society places upon them? Some may consider me so. Does that mean I may reach 30, 40, 50, before my streak of solo Valentine’s Days is broken (if ever)? Perhaps. But in the same vein, whatever man steals my heart, he’ll be damn sure that if I hold him to such high standards, I hold myself to higher. Everything I expect from him, I plan to give tenfold. So why, on Earth, would I ever settle?

Here’s to finding examples of love and dreaming about your own. Here’s to knowing yourself and what you want and not changing it because others think you should. Here’s to standing your ground. Here’s to patience. Here’s to hope. Here’s to wanting and giving more. Here’s to choosing to rock the single life while dreaming of a novel-wothy relationship.

And here’s to discounted chocolate.

Cheers.

 


The Vision of a Hopeless Romantic

In trying to write more for this blog, I have planned out different posts and whatnot that I want to write about. For example, I still need to write my Valentine’s Day post (oops) and my workout update post (reached the halfway point, yes!), but instead of writing either of the posts that I have planned and needed to write for the past week, instead I am writing a unplanned post that was birthed by a random spurt of emotion. Should be fun.

So, many people know that I’m absolutely a hopeless romantic. There are so many definitions to it, but to me, I am just obsessed with love and being loved. I love seeing others in love, I love hearing about my friends relationships and their happiness within them, I love seeing cute things that couples do that might be unconscious or they may not realize other people see them being cute, e.g., a guy winking at his girl from across the room just because they made eye contact. I just love seeing people be appreciated by another human in such a special way.

As this type of romantic, I also hold firm to a few beliefs: that everyone has someone out there they are meant to love; that everyone can find love; everyone deserves a great, novel-like love; and that love can conquer anything. I believe love is powerful and that it is a great part of life. I believe that love should be fought for and, like many situations, I look for the best in love and always hope that couples can “make it”, stay together and grow old together, constantly growing and challenging one another in all the best possible ways.

And because of all of this, one of the things I want most in life is to fall in love. And I haven’t yet. And it used to really, really bother me. As I’ve grown older, I have come to appreciate my single state and the independence I have learned through that (though I am the first to point out that being in a relationship does not mean you’ve lost your independence — you can have both). I’ve appreciated the ability to be selfish (and I think once I move out and live on my own and get into the “real world” come May, I will appreciate that healthy dose of selfishness even more, as I will truly be doing things and living the way I want to live). I have been able to figure out who I truly am as a person; what I stand for, what I believe, my virtues and morals, my likes and dislikes, my strengths and my flaws, my faults and my dreams, my failures and my successes, all independent from the influence of another soul. All me.

But regardless of my growth and learning how to love myself (a process I will always work through), there are still reasons why I want to find that special person to share my life with me. So I’m going to explain a few reasons here (as it’s definitely an inexhaustible list) because I just feel like I need to; that writer vibe and this topic meshed really suddenly in my head and now, this post is being born as we speak.

So, why do I wish I had a boyfriend at this moment in time? One reason is that I absolutely love to flirt. That might make me seem shallow or a tease, but I don’t see it that way (and I’m definitely not a tease, although me being nice sometimes is mistaken for flirting, which could be awkward). It’s just fun to have that connection with someone and flirt with them and then have them flirt back. And honestly, it’s not even the flirting, but the butterflies and chills that result from flirting or a really smooth comment. I absolutely love those and they are hard to come by as a single woman not talking to anyone.

Cuddling: it’s one of the best things invented in the world. This shows how “lame” I could be considered to be, but when at home, I cuddle up with my dog, Shadow, and we sleep on the couch together downstairs and it is the cutest, nicest thing. He sleeps at the bottom of the couch while I play PS3 or watch TV and then when I’m ready to go to bed, I lay down and get comfortable and turn off the light. After I get comfortable, then he moves and rests his head someone on me, whether its across my legs or on my stomach; then promptly starts snoring and falls asleep until his claws and practically unrelenting desire to be petted awakes me the next morning. It may seem weird, but Shadow just wants to be close to me while we’re sleeping. We have that kind of connection, since my bed at home is also his bed.

With a human (okay, now that does sound really weird) — with another person, or a significant other, I believe cuddling symbolizes a similar thing: the need or desire to be physically close to someone else. My cuddling experience is very limited, but in my head, cuddling is when you wrap yourselves up in as many blankets as you can find and get as close as you can to one another and it is simply enough to be in the other person’s presence. Whether you are talking or enjoying the silence or sleeping, just the idea of being wrapped up in someone’s arms who loves me differently than how all my friends and family do — feeling that sense of comfort and protection — is something that I cannot wait for when I find my one and only.

That connection is something that I can’t wait to have. My friends are amazing and know me as well as anybody, but I think having a partner is a different connection entirely. And there are plenty of times that I wish I had that connection. You know, the kind where you see them and their smile lights up the room; when they wink at you just because they know it gives you butterflies; when they can understand how you’re feeling or thinking without you having to say anything, and then be able to know what to do about it. That sort of awesome connection that combines a physical attraction with a emotional investment. I always wonder when I find an agent one day, if I’ll have a boyfriend to call excitedly, who will be just as excited and understanding what an achievement that is, and who will cancel all his plans so we can go celebrate (not saying he always needs to put me first or cancel his plans for me, but in this instance, that’d be a huge deal, people. And ideally, if I had boyfriend who meant a lot to me ((which, if I have a boyfriend, shouldn’t he mean a lot to me; that’s why we’re dating)), I’d want to share that with him as much as I would my best friends or my family). Or to come home after a long day at work and to have him already be there, ready to cuddle (seriously, it sounds so great) and relax for the evening. I think that’d be a cool connection to have.

And lastly (for this blog post, I have so many others), I honestly want to show him off to the world. I want to be able to introduce him to my friends. I want to have that required awkward dinner with my parents after we’ve been dating for a couple months and I truly know I want him to stick around. I want to bring him to the family Christmas party and have all of family wonder who he is. But when I say show him off, I don’t mean I want to show off the fact that I have a boyfriend. I mean I want to show him off. I want to show the world this amazing man who I have made such a connection with; show the world all of his successes and his quirks, all of his trials and all of his dreams; show off the human that I know I will believe everyone should get to know because he, as his own person, is an amazing individual that people should know and learn from; an amazing individual whose connection to me is that he just happens to be dating me. That’s what I mean when I say show him off to the world. The man I date is going to be awesome and I want to be able to show that awesomeness to the world.

Those are just some of the few visions I have as a hopeless romantic. I have so many more — especially as a dreamer, as well, I’m telling you, they are endless. As someone who has grown much more comfortable with being single (I mean, it has been 22 years, so I hope I would have some level of comfort by now), I have to admit that there are still nights where I want all of these things and more. Like tonight, where I am happily taking a night off from homework, staying in and relaxing through playing some video games and eating some Dove chocolate. While I’m not wallowing in loneliness — I’m actually just content at the moment — I can’t lie and say that a huge part of me wishes that I had a man here with me to make fun of my obsession with DragonAge, complain about how long it takes me to shower and how early I want to go to sleep, but still cuddles up with me anyway and holds me while I dream, and wakes me up with a kiss. One day, I hope to have that.

But until then, I’ll continue to dream about it while also learning to love myself without someone else to do so (so that when I do find them, I already love myself and can continue to do so, even though they are loving me).

Cheers,

Nicole