Saying Goodbye to Unrequited Affairs
When I was eleven years old, I had my first crush. He had dirty blonde hair, brown eyes and looked like a monkey. I was absolutely head over heels in love. Whose to say what or why we’re attracted to the people we like. All I know is that I was eleven years old and had just experienced my first heartbreak from an unrequited love. Deep down inside, I knew he would never feel the same way. But, like most girls, I kept telling myself if I could only make him like me, then everything would be okay.
I was only just a Princess, searching or her Prince. But unlike most girls, I wasn’t in a rush to find him. I knew I would have to kiss a lot of frogs before I found my Prince because, my grandma told me so. And my grandma was the Queen of Westwood. And even though the boy had broken my heart, and the pain hurt more than anybody could ever prepare me for, I knew because of my grandma’s words that I’d be okay.
When I was twelve there was Alex, who was like a persian Hugh Grant. I stalked his number from the Parents night sign in book (where I wasn’t supposed to be). I called the number twice and threw it away. All I can say is that I am so glad I grew up in the last generation before caller ID! In seventh grade there was George, who was a year ahead of me and the only time we spent together was in student council. He looked like Joseph Gordon Levitt. I squealed with delight as George signed my yearbook at the end of the year but I was sad to know that was the last time I’d ever see him.
Then Tony came along. Since I have to be honest here, I wasn’t physically attracted to Tony when we first dated. But I loved his personality. He had this way of charming whoever he talked to within five minutes. And I knew anyone who let him get away was a fool. Tony was smart and cool in the way I can never be. He was hard-working, kind and a family man. I just wasn’t physically attracted to him for the majority of our relationship. I wasn’t repulsed but my heart wasn’t doing backflips. I did love him though, more than he will ever understand. I just didn’t understand what was wrong with me.
The first experience I had out of my eight year relationship with Tony was with a man I call Mr. Cocky. The name should pretty much speak for itself. But he was exciting for me, or maybe he just a flavor I had never tried before. I guess I should have known better, that he was more in it for the conquest than actual dating. While he semi-broke my heart, he also showed me how to be tough. He told me how to hide my heart and all the flaws that scream as bright red flags to make men run away screaming. I guess you could say he took pity on me because, as he liked to brag, he was my “rebound”.
I didn’t take Mr. Cocky’s words fully to heart until after I dated a man I call Mr. Monkey… and what can I say about this man? He made my heart feel whole. He was intelligent, extremely kind, hard-working and handsome to boot (in a nerdy sort of way). In truth, it was me who probably ruined any prospects of a relationship working out. I was still too emotionally needy. I wanted someone with mostly all the answers. I wanted someone who could fix me.
But instead of facing the truth, I just vowed to myself to never let myself get close enough to be hurt again. I had already rightfully lost Tony, the closest thing I had to a best friend. We were still talking, but it wasn’t the same. I was lost and I was lonely. So I kept putting myself out there, praying that something would click. Hoping that somewhere things would change. I’d like to think that I was putting myself out there looking for love, but I think I was really looking for a friend.
And while one morning I woke up and clicked that I was the one who needed to get my life together instead of waiting for someone to fix it for me, it didn’t seem to stop me from guarding my heart from men. I was barely phased when I ended things with a man I call Eggy in August. I wanted to let myself fall but, I could recognize the patterns and resisted. But it’s easy to resist against a man who you barely see and rarely makes any effort to talk to you.
There is one more guy, but at risk of losing my job, I’m not going to go into it. Except I will say that it was my fault how things turned out. Not all my fault, but most of it… probably. I tried too hard to fight against my feelings to not knowing how to turn off the emotional faucet.
The thing all these guys have in common though, is me. Each one of these men made me question what was wrong with me? They have made me question my self-worth, of why I wasn’t good enough or what they were looking for. They have each in their own way, made me have resentments against them. I have wondered countless times of what if’s. What if I had done this, what if I had done that? What if I had held back a little bit more? Remained a little bit more mysterious? What if I were thinner, prettier, funnier, cooler, etc? The questions about my self worth never seemed to end!
The ironic thing, for as coo-coo as I make myself about a boy I like, around the boys I could give a damn about, I act exactly as the girl I wish I was. Around the boys I’m not interested in, I come off as a girl who is playful, flirty and silly. To them I am independant and confident. I don’t come off as a girl who gets clingy or over emotional. These guys tell me that I am a catch! It’s just usually these are the guys I don’t want to get caught for. And I resent myself for not being able to act like this around the boys I do like.
I resent the stereotype that a guy has to make the first move. I resent the fact that women are supposed to give men something to chase in order for men to like us. I’ve grown enough to know that just because I’m interested in a guy, doesn’t mean I’ve been “caught”. I resent games and I resent that I can’t just walk up to a boy and say,“I like you. Would you like to go out?” I resent that in order for a guy to be interested in me, I’m supposed to show a persona that’s only half me. The charm of smiling, flirting, and the restraint of not talking too much only lasts for so long.
I am grown up now and have been long done with playing Princess. I never did like the fact that the Princess was supposed to wait around for Prince Charming to get off his lazy butt and ‘save her’. Growing up, waiting wasn’t a strong virtue of mine. Neither was being saved. If I saw something I wanted, I went after it. And if I didn’t get it, I got over it because I realized maybe it wasn’t something worth having. I knew that as long as I gave what I cared for a 110% that trying and caring was always better than trying and being afraid. I get scared but eventually I’ll tell myself, “Hey, what do I have to lose?’ and go for it.
So this is me, saying goodbye too all those affairs that ended one sided. I could say something corny like it’s their lost, but that’s something I already know. Because I know I’m a catch. Because I am the girl who may talk too much, but I listen just as intently and openly. I am the girl who no matter what kind of relationship, platonic or romantic, will try to bring smiles, laughter, and sillyness into. So goodbye to all the boys who made me feel like I did something wrong, or made me feel like something was wrong with me. When all I did was… be myself.