Tag Archives: Love

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.

 

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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


Searching for Infinity

So, finally, just got back from the theatre; went and watched The Fault in our Stars. I know what you’re thinking: you know what is coming next. A review of how the film — just like the novel — pulled at my heartstrings and made my gut wrench; about how it moved my soul and broke my heart; moved me to cry for most of the film, even bawl as I choked back sobs and sniffles, to the point that, thirty minutes later after returning home, my brother is like, “Dude, Nicole, I can tell you have been crying.” You expect that because that is how everyone has (and should have) reacted. And trust me, everything I wrote was true and I agree with.

But that isn’t what this post is about.

I read the book and jumped on the bandwagon once the movie was in production, at the recommendation from a friend who has a fantastic taste in novels. If she said this book was worth reading, then I knew I was in for a treat. That treat turned into starting the book at 11:30 at night and finishing it at 2:30 that morning, with a trip to the bathroom to clean myself up and counting myself lucky that I didn’t wake up my parents from sobbing. It was brilliant. It was beautiful.

Then, the film comes out in theatres and I know I am in for a roller-coaster. I push it off because I just don’t know if I am ready to go through the emotional trauma on screen that I already survived through words. But tonight, I finally caved. Now comes the emotional baggage.

I love this story. I love how, at the moment, I feel solemn. I feel contemplative. I feel like I need to burst into tears. I want to be held. I feel like I need to tell everyone that I love them and why they mean so much to me. But most of all, I feel validated.

That doesn’t make sense, I know. But what I mean is that I feel validated in my belief in what love is and my choices surrounding it; the belief that, in a sense, has lead me to still be alone after almost 22 years of life. The belief that has been the foundation of setting high standards for the man that will one day be the one who I give everything to.

I believe love is the most powerful force in the world. And I will never stop believing that. It is the purest form of emotion, the truest proof that magic exists in this harsh world. I believe that it is what you fight the hardest for and what gives you the most in return. I believe that it can conquer anything and all, and through love, all types of love, you experience the greatest happiness that one could ever feel. And in The Fault in our Stars, Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace experience the exact type of love that I believe is possible in this world, the type of unbreakable, awe-inspiring, gut-wrenching, butterfly-inducing, powerful love that I aspire to find and earn one day.

And it is because I believe in my core that this type of love is achievable that I am alone, because I believe that out of all the things you could chose to settle for, love cannot be one of them. Never.

Am I saying that I expect and will accept nothing less than Price Charming? No. Do I have a checklist that must be filled and completely checked off by a potential boyfriend before I give him the light of day? Absolutely not. Do I have things I want? Of course. Am I willing to compromise? Definitely, on some things. When I say that I am avoiding settling and keeping high standards, I don’t mean perfect. I don’t want perfection. I mean knowing yourself well enough to know the type of person you are and the type of person you want to be with; to know what is important to you and what you are willing to compromise on in a relationship and what not to; where to draw the line and when the line is too extreme. Having high standards is staying honest with everyone involved, recognizing what you want and going after it. Sometimes that means trying with dozens of different people, messing up and learning more about yourself with each broken heart. Sometimes that means waiting. And sometimes it means being alone. And lonely.

But do you know what else it means? It means finding that love that every person deserves to have; that love that every person is meant to have. It means not settling for things you know you don’t want, which hurts both you and the other person involved. It doesn’t mean that you’re settling “for less than you deserve.” I think we all deserve the highest amount of love we can achieve, and that love is different for every person. And in order to find that love, you have to know yourself and know what you want, which will also be different for everyone. And you have to be willing to go after it and not be afraid to say no when you know something is not want you want; doesn’t mean that person you turned down or didn’t “settle for” is any less of a person at all, just not the right person for you. But they will be the perfect person for someone else. Just as you will find that person.

Not gonna lie, I’ve been pretty lonely. I want to find that person I know is out there now. I don’t want to wait for him anymore. And I’ve had people tell me lately that “if I weren’t so picky, I would have found someone by now.” But I don’t believe I am being picky (and it’s not like I have guys lining up my door that I am turning down left and right, either; psh, hardly). I believe that I know myself well enough to know what I want. And I want to wait for a guy who will respect me like I respect myself, not be with a guy for the sake of being with one — no matter how lonely I get sometimes.

So people judge me for that. I accept it. And maybe, in some instances, they are right. But I also know that I am too stubborn to alter the standards I have and I firmly believe that they are acceptable, reasonable standards that anyone should have, and that they shouldn’t be changed in the first place. So I wait. And one day, I will love. And when I do, it will be a love so great, that every moment spent alone will feel like a dream of another lifetime; every moment wishing will be a memory that was worth it, because they also taught me exactly what I want and, in a weird way, gave me the strength to wait and pray for it. Because that is the type of love that is possible in this world, as shown through The Fault in Our Stars. (And yes, I know it is “just” a story, but I also believe that even the most fantastic stories are birthed with some traces of reality, drawn both consciously and unconsciously from our experiences, dreams, desires, ideas, etc.) A love that makes you feel infinite, that gives you a sense of forever, even when your days are numbered.

Because too many things in life are mediocre. Love should not be one of them.

Cheers,

Nicole


It Gets Better

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Perks of Being a Wallflower. Great film. Haven’t read the book yet, but I plan to. But that line, first delivered by Charlie’s teacher, portrayed by Paul Rudd, and later repeated by Charlie to Emma Watson’s character, Sam, made such an impact on me. Those eight words are so simple yet are so intricate and challenging, it is crazy. But not as crazy as how much it rings true.

People are caught up in bad or negative relationships all the time. We see it every day. People are abused — physically, sexually, mentally — by those who claim to love them, and who they claim they love in return. You get caught up wondering why anyone would endure some of the horrors that people caught in these relationships experience, but taking this quote into perspective, it reflects a sad reality. People are constantly lowering their standards and going through sad situations, not only because they believe they can’t get out of it or making a wide range of excuses, but because they believe they don’t deserve any better.

Unfortunately, I’m often stuck with the crowd on this one.

I have never been in a relationship. I turn 21 this year. All throughout high school, I believed it was because I wasn’t good enough for anyone. That I didn’t deserve the love that I so badly wanted to feel, the love I dreamed about since I was old enough to read fairy tales, recreating them in my head with dozens of  intensified scenarios that only a writer could dream up. As I got older, I still sat on the sidelines. I sat and watched, as friend after friend found a love so magical, rainbows appeared in the sky as unicorns sprouted out of the ground. And without every having a phrase for it, I silently accepted my fate.

We accept the love we think we deserve.

And I believed I didn’t deserve any.

But, eventually, I got over my self-loathing and told myself that I was wrong; that love is something everyone deserves. And I truly believe that. I believe that love is one of the most powerful things a person can feel, for anything or anyone. To experience love for another person is huge and it can overcome or overpower anything. I believe in this idea so much, that my second tattoo is of the Latin phrase “Omnia Vincit Amor” or, in English, Love Conquers All. And I will forever believe that. I adopted that Latin phrase as a motto, of sorts, after I got out of high school, as I strove to get off the path of self-hatred, low self-esteem weighing down my every step. Every since I graduated, almost two years ago, I have worked on trying to love myself: who I am, what I believe, where I come from, who I want to be, even what I look like (though that has been the hardest battle). I think if I learn to love myself and who I am, then others can love me because who I really am will be able to shine through, without the shadow of doubt and secret, silent hatred hazing my image. And I think I have been pretty successful in completing that goal. I am definitely off the path I was traveling down in high school and I thank God every day for that fact.

But, inevitably, every year around February 14th, I find myself yearning to go back onto that path. Valentine’s Day — or Single Awareness Day, as I like to refer it to — is my least favorite holiday because it is like a giant, flashing neon sign alerting to the whole world that I am alone on the day that is meant to be shared with the one that owns your heart. And every year, I find myself sitting at home alone, eating more chocolate than I have all year while bawling my eyes out to some overplayed romance movie, so I can at least pretend I am crying about the narrative on screen. This year, I think I’ll watch Titanic. And I try to stay optimistic throughout the day, but it becomes hard as literally every step I take, I can see signs and gifts that remind me of my forever alone status. But, after I endure a nice bawling session and the week goes on, I go back to being my positive self, not half as bothered about being alone as I was only a few days before. It is a sad cycle, but one that I seem to repeat and I doubt will end this year. But, I no longer believe that I don’t deserve love, like I used to.

And neither should you.

If anyone reads this, I know some of you may not be in the best place in your relationships. Maybe they hurt you, in ways that no one should ever be hurt. Or maybe you are in the same boat as me, wishing you weren’t alone.

But I want every single person who reads this to know one solid truth: You deserve more than you give yourself credit for. Now, I’m not saying that your relationship should be perfect. I’m not saying that you should be treated like royalty, showered with gifts by the most perfect creation known to man. One of the awesome things about relationships is the struggles it endures and conquers, and how much stronger it becomes because of it.

What I am saying is that love is such a powerful thing. Love has the power to do so much and it is one of the greatest things you will EVER experience in your life: to love and be loved in return. Love is one of the most magical things we have. Why would you allow yourself to half-ass something that has the potential to be so amazing, so brilliant, so powerful, so challenging, so magical? You shouldn’t settle for someone who you know is wrong for you or for someone who treats you badly just because you think you don’t deserve any better, or because you’re afraid of never finding anything better. Life is a grand gift that no one should waste and love is one of the most precious things we are blessed to experience in the short time that we have. Don’t waste it.

So if you love someone, tell them. If you have someone that loves you, appreciate them. If you are single, love the brilliant person you are. Being alone is not a negative thing, though it is often considered in a negative light. Being alone allows you the freedom to discover yourself and who you are. Don’t take that for granted. And you never know who will be waiting in your future. Be ready for them by already loving yourself, so you can love them later on without worrying about you. If you are in a bad situation, do not be afraid to get out of it. Because there is a way out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And stop belittling yourself. Love is too powerful an emotion and experience to short-change in your life. Don’t forget that.

We accept the love we think we deserve. And we deserve more than we give ourselves credit for.

Cheers,

Nicole