Last week I got an email from a guy I met at some event. It was semi-professional, but he mentioned thinking “you are a very impressive woman.” Now I had no interest further than anything professional, but I couldn’t help but notice that this kind of thing always seem to happen… so I stated my observations out loud to my colleague: “Guys I like aren’t in to me, and vice versa… why can’t the ones I want think I’m impressive?” And then my colleague – who’s a close friend outside of work – replied: “Do you want to hear my opinion?” And knowing that she’s really upfront and honest I said: “Not really, but I think I should hear it anyway.”
C: look…you might just be a little too independent.
Me: you say that like it’s a bad thing.
C: It’s not a bad thing perse, but it does attract a certain kind of public… Independence such as yours can be intimidating. Not everyone can handle that. A lot of guys want to feel needed.
Well, excusez-moi. There have been times where no guy was around when I needed one. Blame it on my impatience, but when a frame had to go up a wall, I didn’t sit around and wait, I just taught myself how to drill a hole in the wall. I don’t particularly like putting the trash out, but who you’re gonna call for that every week? My circumstances have been of those where you just learn NOT to need a guy to keep it going. If that’s intimidating, there’s really not much I can do to undo that, now is there?
But then she nodded in careful disagreement, and said: “But what does it matter anyway… you don’t really want a relationship.”
Which was a sentence someone said to me for the second time in a month.
Me: What the hell are you talking about? Of course I WANT a relationship… the alternative would be single for the rest of my life… Who wants to end up alone? Not me, that’s who.
C: well, you seem pretty comfortable on your own.
Me: I’m just making the best of it with how it is… what am I supposed to do? Whine every day for being single? In life it’s cry or laugh, and I choose the latter.
C: Well, I think we can say that I know you pretty well, and I have known you for quite some time now… if thinking you don’t want a relationship is the impression I get after all this time… imagine the vibe a guy just meeting you picks up.
Me: wow… that… oh my God… I… wow.
C: so yeah, you’ll get a dude who thinks ‘oh, this is convenient, she doesn’t need me, she doesn’t question anything, she doesn’t seem to care all that much… so let me hook up with her for a while until someone who does need me comes along.’
Me: wow… and auch. What… well, I… honestly… I… I feel like I need to be someone else now and I just don’t know how.
And ever since that day I have been thinking about that. Of course I get that the fact I can lift heavy furniture and assemble an Ikea wardrobe all by myself is not the intimidating part about me. It’s the fact that I keep everyone at arms length. It’s my inability to let my guard down and show some vulnerability. It’s indeed my inadequacy to show someone I care about them. It’s the fact that I seem to skip through life so joyfully comfortable by myself, that gives people the idea that I’m perfectly fine with just that. They probably assume I’m singing my own disco-beat-version of ‘all by myself’ every night over a bottle of Vodka. Which is only partially true.
So the honest truth is this: I do want someone who’d bring me chicken soup when I’m sick, who’d hug me when I have a bad day, telling me that everything is going to be ok. I want to kiss someone in the morning, and have someone asking how my day went. And I want to purposefully get a bikini wax every month. Hell, I’m not made of stone. I do automatically smile when I get a text from someone I dig, and it stings a little when I’m feeling something that’s not reciprocated.
I spent about 3 days analyzing my own behavior. But although I might be able to tone my ‘Miss Independent Status’ a grade or two down, I surely don’t feel like apologizing for it. Someday the right guy will just see right through it, and I won’t even mind. That’ll be my guy.
So in conclusion: I have a strong feeling that my initial question didn’t find a real answer, so we’ll just call it a rhetorical one, and hope for the best. It is what it is, isn’t it. Some guys you’re not in to will try to go for it anyway, and you’ll fall for the dudes that see a version of you so far removed from the truth, and there won’t be anything you can do to make them see something different.
Life – as love – should be easy. It’s cry or laugh. It’s complicating it, or completing it. Always choose the latter.