I am a hopeless romantic who doesn’t want a relationship.
Ladies and gentlemen, what is wrong with that statement? The answer: absolutely everything—right?
It’s a cliche that women either don’t know what they want, or they want it all—whatever “all” is supposed to entail. I think I’m somewhere in that gray area. I swear, one minute I see couples holding hands and I think to myself how that’s something I would want again someday, and the next minute, I realize that the only hand I would ever want to hold onto is my own.
Do relationships have to be seen in such a black-and-white way?
Maybe seeing it like that is the reason why I am a living and breathing contradiction, because the relationships I build in my head may be built on black and white aspirations that are impossible to foresee in the colors of my (or any) reality.
But it’s time for me to cut out the bullshit and come clean.
While I can’t say this for everyone, I can say this for myself. I allow my past, and the hurt that has been felt in my past, to justify holding myself back. Hence why I’m the reigning hopeless romantic who does not want to fall in love.
The more experiences that leave me caught off guard, the more armor I put on. I’ve always thought that the older we become, the wiser we’re supposed to be. Yet if anything, I have found that, for me, that pattern is seemingly reversed. And the thing is, it will continue to be as long as I continue to use being hurt as an excuse to avoid love.
There’s someone who has walked into what can possibly evolve into my love life. Yes, I said it— my love life may actually stand a chance and live after all, but only if I let it. This someone may not have all the qualifications I think I’m looking for, but are my standards skewed from the hurt I use as an excuse to make people jump through rings of fire just to have a chance with me?
News flash to myself and to anyone else who’s been hurt: Who hasn’t been?
And since when has putting up a guard been a worthwhile form of protection? If anything, it might just be another form of me hurting myself.
But then I remember how my heart has been broken before. And then I recall how messy being hurt can be.
So what if I didn’t get the white-picket-fence dream house with the man that I thought (at the time) was the man of my dreams? If he was the man of my dreams, there would have been room for him in my so-called reality.
Now, I realize that it’s time to let go of the imaginary clipboard of expectations I’ve set for my love life. I can still have standards, because that’s OK, but maybe what’s best for me is something I would have never imagined for myself. Maybe it’s time to take chances.
I’ll always be a hopeless romantic, and maybe I do actually want a relationship—it just might not be the kind of relationship I had initially imagined for myself.
But the one thing I can and will claim for myself is that being hurt is not, and will not be, the end of my world.
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