Tag Archives: Single Life

The Soft Craving

I can already tell you that this title is a lie. Or, at least, it is a lie currently. When I saved a draft of this post, with only a title and a note of what I wanted to write about, back in August (yes, I know, that was a long time ago), the title was very apt. It described perfectly what I was feeling, capturing the desire and longing I felt with the term “craving” yet also reflecting the contentedness I felt through the clarification of “soft” instead of “intense”.

Currently, I think “intense” might fit the bill a bit more.

It’s my craving to be in love.

I’ve always had it, ever since the 7th grade when I had my first real crush that I told all my girlfriends about. And it’s never been fulfilled. Crush after crush passes by without so much of a batted eyelash in my direction. Or perhaps they steal a glance, but someone else always catches their eye, instead. But that craving has evolved to be so much more than not wanting to be alone on Valentine’s Day or wanting a date to the dance, like I wanted in high school. It’s so much more than just wanting to not be alone. I’ve been alone. I am alone. And I can thrive and be happy like that. I just don’t want to.

I want my forever person.

Originally, when I had made a draft of this post and then never gotten around writing it, it was the weekend I first moved into my apartment. I was putting up groceries for the first time, excited but also exhausted from moving and also working on top of moving. And I distinctly remember putting some food up in the cabinet and imagining, out of the middle of nowhere, a guy–my guy–suddenly leaning against the door frame and asking me how my day was, before he started putting items up in the fridge, after kissing me on the forehead. It was such a vivid snapshot that filled my head so randomly, so out of nowhere. Vivid in every aspect but his face. I couldn’t picture it. And my heart hurt, just slightly, ever so softly, for that fantasy to be reality; to have that presence in my life, that comfort, that connection, that love.

And that craving has only grown these past few months.

I’m at the age now where I’m alone a lot more than I am with people. Gone are the days where I had consistent friend groups or activities I was involved in because of school. Now, everyone has graduated and started that next stage of their lives: moving into apartments and houses, starting jobs that take out the same amount of money in taxes that you made in a semester during school…getting engaged and married and starting families. I love knowing so many people who are taking that next step, who are entering those next stages of their relationships. I love being there for them to celebrate and stress and awe over such a monumental time in their life. I absolutely adore seeing love win, manifested through a real, true and flourishing relationship.

But I also want to have that.

Hell, I want to have the starting point of a relationship; the nervous butterflies as you start talking, the chills down your spine when you flirt, the calling-your-best-friend-to-freak-out-about-what-to-wear-before-your-first date moment. And then I want it to continue: one date turns into two or three, your friends start to ask after him by name, your parents ask when they can meet him, you wonder if he’s going to kiss you next time, your hand instinctively reaches for his the next time you see one another. He asks you to be his girlfriend. You tell your family and friends and they freak out because it’s the first time it’s happened to you and they want to know all the details. You meet one another’s friends and family. You get used waking up to a text from him and look forward to telling him random stories and thoughts throughout the day, while eager to listen to his jokes or complaints or what he is thinking. You begin to learn more things about one another. Slowly, he becomes a major aspect of your life and, at the same time, you become the same in his. You post pictures together. He convinces you to watch a scary movie only to have the excuse to hold you tighter. Date nights turn into weekends spent together. You take him to your family Christmas party and he invites you to go on a roadtrip to celebrate your anniversary.

The connection. The attention. To be wanted. To be cherished. To be challenged. To be held. To be important. To be loved. To be chosen, day in and day out, even though there are others who are better out there, because that doesn’t matter, because he wants me.

I want that.

More often than not, I don’t spend my time dreaming about what I could have, in a relationship. I spend my time questioning why I haven’t found that relationship yet and why I never have (and dreading, with every core of my being, that I am one of those people who never will).

Is it my looks? Am I too curvy? Too plain? Is it my personality? Am I too nerdy? Too quirky? Too odd? Too insecure? Too honest? Too blunt? Too awkward? Too shy? Too opinionated? Do I open up too much? Do I want to be in love too much that the universe refuses it to happen? Is the fact that I struggle with brevity in all forms make talking to me exhausting? Is the fact that I consider physical aspects a bonus of a relationship and not a foundation too much a turn off? Is the fact that I have no interest in playing games–no interest in making you chase me, no interest in worrying about how long it’s been since I’ve texted you, etc.–make me too boring/not worth it? Are my standards too high? Do I desire too much? Am I too much?

Am I not enough?

I have a fantastic life. I have a roof over my head, a job that almost supports me, passions that I pursue, a family that I’m close with and hold dear, friends that keep me sane, independence that I cherish and an imagination that I thank God for every day. Yet this craving, when I’m at my loneliest and the questions above hit me like thunderclaps during a storm of self-doubt, questioning why I’m alone, why I have to wait, why I haven’t found him, does he exist; when this craving, which is constant, but at it’s strongest, it overrules everything else, because that hole, that missing link, in my life, is so evident, is so obvious, is so felt

And I have no idea what to bloody do about it; if I can do anything about it, because suck it up, accept a life featuring just me and a horde of dogs, and move on.

My heart has wanted to be in love for so long, I don’t know if I could even imagine what it would feel like to actually be in love. I have wanted to choose someone for so long; to make him feel wanted and cherished. To be a presence and a light in his life. To challenge him and help him grow. To be there when he struggles and be that person he calls when he is excited. I know I’m not the greatest thing to look at and my body isn’t exactly a bombshell. I know I’m quirky and nerdy and shy and introvertedly extroverted and I don’t necessary think any of those aspects are bad. I know there are women out there who are prettier, smarter, cooler, richer, better.

But I also know this: to the man who manages to steal my heart and trust me with his? To the man who chooses me every day, despite all of those other options and temptations? To the man who makes me believe I am worthy to not only be loved, but to have his love, just as much as he is worthy to have mine? To the man who shows me what it’s like to be in love and not alone? I promise you, you will never feel or be more loved. I will love you entirely, completely, totally, utterly. Despite my shortcomings, you will never doubt how much you mean to me and “how much I ardently admire and and love you.”

So, if you could be so kind, please come into my life sooner rather than later? Because I’m started to really believe you don’t exist and, even if you did, I don’t deserve you, anyway.

Cheers.

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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.