Blog post

Hard to love?

I saw a graphic on Facebook. The text on it says:

People who have been single for too long are the hardest to love, because they have become so used to being single, independent, and self-sufficient that it takes something extraordinary to convince them that they need you in their life.

(Credit: Lessons Taught by Life)

I have a lot of problems with that. The word-choices are very condescending, and the message implies that a person can be single for “too long,” and that being single, independent, and self-sufficient are flaws. These long-term single people need convincing to enter a relationship?

Anyway, let’s break this down, and then I’m going to ramble about some things.

What is “too long?” I’ve known people who dislike being single, so to them a few weeks or a few months is too long for them. They enjoy being in romantic relationships and are happy to date. Excellent! Go for it! For others, they were single for a few years and started looking actively for someone. Whose definition of “too long” are we using, and why is your perception of someone else’s relationship status important to begin with?

“…they have become so used to being single, independent, and self-sufficient….” You know that when people are in a romantic relationship they don’t magically stop being independent and self-sufficient, right? If I date someone, I am still going to be entirely capable of grocery shopping and running errands on my own, or doing laundry, or making peanut butter sandwiches. I would expect my partner to still be an autonomous human being.

“…it takes something extraordinary to convince them that they need you in their life.” Convince me? I presume that if we’ve reached a point where dating or commitment were possibilities that you’re already in my life. I won’t need convincing. What are you trying to convince me of? That this is ~*it*~, that we can ~*go the distance*~, that we’re ~*the real deal*~? That we’re going to be the sort of couple who grows old together and sticks it out through the rough patches and doesn’t give up on each other and that ~*this is True Love*~.

Okay, sure. I’ll be honest. I’ve been single my whole life, which is uncommon for people my age.  I never thought about it that way, but I guess I am waiting for something extraordinary. Over time, I got used to waiting, and as the song goes, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” What have I been waiting for? I’ve been waiting: to fall in love; to be noticed; to have the courage to tell someone I noticed them; to be in a place where I wouldn’t burden a partner with my financial mess; to be attractive enough; to deserve to be loved; to actually have something of value to bring to the table; to be someone’s “wow.” Some of these things are valid, and some are toxic thoughts I have about myself.

Waiting isn’t the only reason, though. I’m afraid. Afraid that if I went for it that it would end. I’ve seen friends and family date and break up, marry and divorce. Maybe the risk is worth it, and maybe we can never really promise anything when it comes to love. I’m afraid of intimacy and of being vulnerable, so I’m slow to let people in.

My timing is terrible. I tend to develop interest in someone right before they become unavailable. They have a tendency to start dating someone else, or move, or they’re more interested in my friend. These things happen shortly after I get feelings. Maybe it’s my brain trying to make my heart play it safe; there is less risk wanting someone who is out of reach.

Maybe I’m cursed.

Maybe one day I’ll trip, stumble, or fall in love. Maybe I’ll find myself walking along, and realize miles later that I’m already there. Maybe I’ll wander into it accidentally, wondering how I got there to begin with.

Maybe I already missed it five turns ago, or several miles back. Maybe it’s too late to backtrack or turn around and get take that exit after all. Maybe somewhere along the way I got lost and I’m just on a detour right now and I’ll eventually find my way back on the path to that person.

Maybe they’re already around and neither of us have realized it yet. Maybe it’s someone I chatted to once while we waited in line for something. Maybe we already missed our window of opportunity.

Maybe it’s not meant for me.

Sure, it would be great to have someone to hold me, and kiss my forehead, and play with my hair when I’m having a tough time. I could have really used that this morning when I got some frustrating news. But I’m used to being single, and independent, and self-sufficient, so instead I coped alone and asked myself, “Okay, where do I go from here?”

Does all that make me “hard to love?” Is that even a thing?

I’m single because I want to be, and because it just hasn’t happened yet, and maybe it never will. That’s okay. It’s not some flaw. You don’t have to tell me “Oh, don’t say that!” and feel like you need to reassure me that it will. It’s not a priority for me right now. If it happens, great. If not, great. I’m still a complete person either way, with goals and dreams. The notion that I have been single for “too long” is harmful and implies that people have an obligation to pair up.

Maybe it would be easier if I just marry a friend for the tax breaks.

 

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A list of things which make me happy

  • Hugs
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate with peanut butter
  • Peanut butter
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Lasagna
  • Pizza
  • I really like food
  • Cats purring
  • Also when cats do that headbutt thing into your hand because they want you to pet them
  • When the scent of the detergent lingers on recently-cleaned bedding and you can still smell it a few days later
  • Petrichor
  • Especially the sort of hugs when you don’t let go after just a couple seconds, but hold on longer and really hold the person (also, because SCIENCE) (but really, touch is my love language, and growing up I was all over my friends all the time, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve had a hard time forming those same sort of connections and I can tell it’s messed with me)
  • Lilies
  • Random acts of kindness
  • MYSTERY acts of kindness, which are anonymous and wonderful
  • Books
  • Daisies
  • Watching people write by hand
  • Getting whiffs of people’s perfume, or cologne, or shampoo
  • Good hair days
  • Watching and listening to someone talk about something they’re passionate and excited about
  • Watching people open presents
  • Vanilla
  • Cuddling
  • When people play with my hair
  • Playing with other people’s hair
  • Ice cream
  • Flirting (although I am probably bad at it, but odds are that I’m probably flirting with you in my own way)
  • Stories that make me feel things
  • Thunder storms
  • Happy endings
  • Getting letters in the mail
  • Pretending I despise puns (10% of me is okay with them) (mostly it’s that I know they’re terrible jokes but I actually find them amusing, and even more funny when people try to annoy me with them because I’m not as irritated as I act) (shhhh)
  • When something I’ve done actually makes a difference
  • Learning new things
  • Seeing people reach their goals
  • When people hold the door open for each other
  • Soft things (blankets, sweaters, jackets) (if you’ve ever been shopping with me, you might’ve lost me for a bit because I stopped to touch all the soft blankets)
  • Comfortable silences
  • Bursting into song
  • Finding an awesome bra
  • Flattering dresses
  • Checking out someone else when they’re wearing flattering jeans
  • Also when they do that thing where they’re wearing a long-sleeved button-up over a T-shirt and roll the sleeves up to their elbows, unf
  • When people are sweet to children
  • When people are sweet in general
  • Cats grooming each other, or other animals
  • Pajamas
  • Over-sized hoodies
  • Cute animals
  • Collaborative story-telling
  • Smashing the patriarchy

Please share your list of happy things, too!

Blog post

Wish list

Unlike goals, these are wishes I have, in no particular order.

  • Kiss someone I’m in love with on New Year’s Eve. It’s my favorite holiday, and the part of me that get romantic whims wants to fall in love, and be loved in return, and kiss that person at midnight.
  • SOLAR ROADWAYS
  • Also, a home powered by green energy
  • Humans to take better care of each other and the planet
  • Enjoy a picnic or cookout without fear of bees. I do not enjoy eating outside because they inevitably fly around and it ruins everything for me. Bees are great for nature; they are not great around me.
  • To live in a house that looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale
  • Similarly, to have a TINY HOUSE
  • Work from home
  • Have a really excellent Zombie Survival plan which means, like, I’ll need to take some self defense, and get in shape because I’m not surviving the zombie apocalypse with this body (well, not with that attitude)
  • Write things that people care about
  • To have the sort of home where people can show up whenever they want, for no reason, unannounced, and where they feel right at home, too. Growing up I had friends whose homes felt like that, and I want to have that, too.
  • Fight the patriarchy
  • A garden, and conversely, to be good at gardening
  • To jump back to the first point, I want to spend New Year’s Eve in NYC at least once.
  • Visit Rome and see all the ancient places.
  • To take care of all of you, because you are all the best part of my life, so I JUST WANT TO WRAP YOU UP AND TAKE CARE OF YOU, AND FIGHT ALL THE BAD THINGS IN THE WORLD THAT COME AFTER YOU AND SMASH THOSE THINGS, OKAY??
  • Maybe the power to control bees, because then I could tell them to come around when I’m not there and stuff, so then I could have a garden and eat outside and actually just EXIST outside and bees won’t bother me, but I can send them off to hang out with flowers and stuff. THAT WOULD BE GREAT.

This start off as a list of wishes, and that lasted for about 0.2 seconds. I’m not sure what this turned into, but there you go. A List of Things.

Happy May 4th, all. Star Wars steals my thunder every year.

What are some things you wish for?