She was the innocent child thrown out to the wolves and learnt to crave his knife to lead the pack instead. Adventure was her snowflake that beckoned her to come out and play. Through the looking glass at the end of the tunnel she stood; taking her breath away was the last thing on his mind. She was never his or her own. She belonged to something far too unknown. She detested recycled stories of boy-meets-girl. Yet, she got entangled in his dream catcher and all she could do was stare. Weak men ran away from her cause they lacked the strength to fix the broken. He was a fixer and knew exactly how many and where the stitches go!
It wasn’t a rushed lunch hour or waiting for one running late,
Everyone wonders why she is in this poor state!
Don’t pity her, it was a choice she made,
She didn’t bat one eyelid so stop throwing her shade.
An unapologetic introvert although not the socially awkward,
She sat at the table rewinding it backwards.
It was the hardest thing she had to do,
She has been living up to the expectations of two.
So she took a little walk, so we could have the talk,
While everyone else around her gawked.
She talked for long hours,
Solved numerous problems that leaned higher than these towers.
A soul that matched hers, the one she remembered in tears,
Enough fire to burn down a small town,
Sometimes she’d even play the clown.
They weren’t lovers nor were they friends,
They were in it for life and knew how to make amends.
It was her! Always had been, the daytime fortresses she built,
Set her free without any guilt.
It was the easiest conversation to start
and the most difficult to finish.
This is why she hid from the world and picked up where she left off.
She had been here before,
Didn’t expect company any more,
She walked up straight and said aloud, “Table for one, please!”
‘Will there be a join?’
‘No, I’ll pay by my own coin.’
Table for one and it’s completely fine.
She used to sit at it and eat and read and sleep and cry and wine.
She ate alone, blissfully unencumbered by any concerns,
And all the while the world turns.
The feelings rush into your heart as fast as gasoline setting on fire. It has been too long since you’ve felt this way and it burns deep. You try to play it cool as much as possible, but you’re the type to wear your heart on your sleeve. It’s inevitable – the wants, the needs, the desires.
Everyone tells you to let him come to you. At this age though, why is that still a thing? You’re over the games, you’ve dealt with being alone and you’ve experienced love followed by heartbreak. You know what you want and that shouldn’t be your fault.
The days you’re together are magical, and the nights those lead into are a fairytale. You start getting to know everything about each other. Staying up until 4 am asking and answering every question imaginable becomes routine. He gives no indication you’re moving to fast, no sign of turning back, no thought of wanting to slow down.
Then there come the nights he wants nothing to do with you. You’ve discussed the whole communicating thing and expressing feelings. You’ve had endless talks about your sensitivity and your neediness. At the time, he believes “it’s cute”, “it’s endearing”, but in reality, its pushing him away-until he’s gone.
Feelings of insecurity and hopelessness surround your brain. Second guessing yourself becomes a daily activity. Why isn’t he inviting me out with his friends? Why doesn’t he want to constantly spend time with me? Why doesn’t he try to go above and beyond? You’re used to being the pursued not the one pursuing and it’s killing you.
How is it fair that because feelings overwhelm your brain and because you acknowledge them, you’re in the wrong? I want a love that is pure and magical but apparently that is too much to handle.
I’m an independent woman. I am strong, I am smart, I am outgoing but all of that combined with knowing what I want, is against society’s norms. I am not allowed to express how I feel, I am crazy if I am too interested in someone, I am needy if I want to see the person I like multiple times a week.
I can’t control it though. I deserve a person that doesn’t just “handle” me but truly wants me. I deserve to not only feel happiness from myself but also from my partner. While some might think that’s too much to ask, it shouldn’t be.
As a 32-year-old single woman I’m pretty much living in the thickest part of the modern hookup culture – perfecting the art of getting the right guy to buy you a drink at a bar, crafting the perfect response to a text to make you seem just interested enough, taking the proper five seconds to adequately judge a person and determine whether or not to swipe left or right on Tinder. That’s the world I live in now and I have to confess: I hate it with every fiber of my being.
Maybe it’s because I let insignificant events ruminate in my mind far past their welcome. Or maybe it’s because I react too sensitively to the people with whom I share the world. Or maybe the modern dating scene is just horrendously fucked up. It’s probably all three, but in the interest of, well, maintaining your interest, let’s just talk about that third observation.
Everything is so damn complicated. Nobody asks you out on a date; they just ask you to have sex or hang out – so after you do, you can spend the next three days that you’re supposed to be ignoring them wondering exactly what it meant. Did you see a movie? Go to dinner? Have sex in your car? Be careful; you guys were just hanging out. It was just casual, right? I don’t know, I wonder what he’s thinking. What did our car sex mean to him? I have a simple solution for those of you who struggle with these haunting questions: ask the other person. Oh wait, you can’t. Hahaha. And here’s why.
We live in a world where people are afraid to feel anything genuine, or at the very least, are afraid to show it. When someone is angry with you, there’s no phone call asking to talk about it. Instead you get a passive aggressive response to a text message or a suspiciously relevant subtweet, quietly calling you out in 140 characters or less. If you like someone, you don’t tell them how you feel; rather you act interested enough for them to pick up on it, but not enough to freak them out. Don’t like it? Too bad. It’s all a big game and if you don’t play by the rules then you lose, and if you lose you end up alone and drowning in a pile of your own insecurity, wondering what you did wrong.
Don’t ask to hangout two nights in a row. If you texted first last time, you have to wait for him to text you first this time. Don’t double text. You can’t assume anything is more than casual, even if you’re having sex. But you can’t talk about it either. If you’re wondering where a relationship is going and you decide to bring it up, every word you say has to be carefully chosen so as to seem okay with any response you’re given, even if you’re not. Everything is done through texting. It’s weird to call someone in the modern world just to have a conversation or try to make plans, so we’re forced to wait anxiously for a response that might not ever come.
Then you can also be a victim to the slow fade. You know the one where you leave longer and longer response times between texts, don’t answer the phone calls or promise indefinitely that I will call “soon” (note there is no commitment of a definite time, that’s how detached everything is now). Real smooth man! Real smooth. Everything is calculated to appear thoughtless, and it is one of the most exhausting games I’ve ever had to play. I could earn my masters degree with the amount of time and energy it takes to determine whether or not my casual hookup actually has feelings for me.
If I like someone, I want to hang out with him. It’s as simple as that. Or at least it should be. But in the dating culture to which we are enslaved, it has to be more convoluted than that. If I talk to him too much, I’m needy. If I’m always free when he asks me to hangout, I’m clingy and have no life of my own. If he takes three hours to respond to my text, and my phone is in my hand when I get his reply, I have to wait to answer so I don’t seem too eager. And I am constantly wondering why I play these stupid games.
Why can’t I call someone because I like talking to him? Why does showing I care make me needy? If I act angry when a guy blows me off, I’m just a crazy bitch, so my only other option is to complain to my friends and wade in anxiety until he finally texts me back. And let me tell you something; I don’t want to be that girl. I don’t want anyone to have that power over me. No one should have that kind of power over anyone. I am so tired of living in a world where apathy is more effective in getting someone’s attention than honesty. I’m tired of the manipulative games that men and women play with one another in an effort to maintain control in a relationship that we’re not allowed to define.
So here’s my idea: let’s all stop being little fucks. Respect other people enough to tell them the truth. If someone makes you happy, tell them. If someone inspires you, tell them. If you’re not interested in someone, please just fucking tell them. Don’t ignore people until they disappear. It’s time we grow up and stop leaving people hanging with unanswered texts and cryptic social media posts (I hate doing that). Please tell me that I’m not as forgettable as your silence is making me feel.
Everyone is human and we’re all just trying to understand one another in this messy dating world, so stop treating a relationship of any kind like it’s a challenge to complete. Be honest with other people about how you feel, and don’t get so lost in playing the game that you forget to extend that same courtesy to yourself.
There’s a reason why my walls are built so high, and there’s a reason it will take you longer than expected to bring them down. There’s a reason why I’m guarded.
I’m guarded because I’ve been hurt before. We all have. My weakness is that I carry the pain with me as a constant reminder that it could happen again. And while this is such a cautious way to walk through life, while instead I could be wildly sprinting, the wild sprint has made me fall and trip before, and the scrapes and burns were painful. So painful that it takes a while to try and run that fast again. So I walk, and I walk carefully noticing my surroundings because I worry if I were to ever fall that hard again, I might not be able to get back up.
I’m guarded because I’m scared of what you’ll think, but not scared enough to admit it. I fear your disapproval like a little girl fears the monster under her bed, and right now I will just keep quiet to avoid any disturbance. I’m guarded because no one has ever protected me as well as I protect myself. My own armor has been stronger than yours, or his, or hers, and it will continue to be until someone shows me otherwise.
I’m guarded because I’m no stranger to failure, and while it has made me stronger, it has also made me more aware of how all of it can go wrong. I’m guarded because I’ve mistakenly invested my trust in those who took it for granted, and because of their disregard, I no longer hand out trust so easily.
I’m guarded because I see the damage coming before it even happens, and I know that the lucky ones will tell me how unreasonable, pessimistic, and sad this all sounds, but even when you try to tell yourself that this time is different, the reminder seeps back in. Life will bring hurt and pain, and people will disappoint you, but no one has the ability to break down your walls except for you. I’m guarded because I’ve chosen to be that way.
I think when you’re young, you’re hoping that this person will be the right one, the one you’re going to be in love with forever, but sometimes you want that so much you create something that really isn’t there. But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly he would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.
That is the way it is with a wound. The wound begins to close in on itself, to protect what is hurting so much. And once it is closed, you no longer see what is underneath, what started the pain. I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.