So as you know, I only write when inspired. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had inspiration in the past few months but it’s the first time in a long time that I have found the time, effort, and free enough headspace to sit down and piece this together.
As life would have it, I found this inspiration three days after the end of a year-long relationship. No reason to get into the details of why it ended, but the past three days have brought some much-needed clarity and a serious reality check. Just a day before my relationship began, I published “Molly” on this blog. I expressed my fears of ending up wildly successful and alone. As God would have it, I would start a relationship with the “man of my dreams” the very next day.
Now here we are… a year and some later and I’m thinking back to the fears I had when I wrote “Molly” and I’m laughing. Laughing because I will not end up alone. It’s something I can say affirmatively and with confidence, but now I’m crying. Crying because the new fears I have scare me so much more.
Growth is akin to realization and boy are these realizations constant. When I think about my love life in college, that of my friends, and really any college woman, I think of fuckboys. Young men who want to play the field and yet deliberately ignore their true feelings as they selfishly hurt yours. In other words, a child.
Months before I even graduated, I had already given up the life of dealing with fuckboys. The effort, the waiting, the games, the disrespect, the nagging feeling knowing that you can do better. I was done. I was going to whole ass law school, I couldn’t be bothered with this childish species of men anymore. So when I met my now ex, I thought YES. This is motherfucking it, a real man. He didn’t play games with me, he was accepting, he was honest, and he was clear about what he wanted. He checked all the boxes, but not just any box, he checked the boxes I had created post-fuckboy drama.
Looking back, what I wanted in a potential partner two years ago is vastly different than what I want now. In college, a guy you could even refer to as a “potential” mate was one who didn’t leave you on “read” and wasn’t sleeping with one chick from every friend group. Finding that potential was like finding a fucking unicorn. Eventually, you get burned enough before you:
- Realize your worth
- Realize how much dealing with that kind of “potential” is a complete waste of your time.
(Disclaimer: if you’re a male reading this and you feel triggered, I don’t care).
My boxes have changed. I don’t even have a box for “doesn’t play games” because I’m above that. That kind of man, that kind of energy, is one I simply will not entertain. Old boxes have been replaced because l have leveled up.
But little did I know, leveling up only means that things will become more challenging. How foolish was I to think otherwise?
In the beginning of this level up, you become infatuated with the fact that you’ve finally met someone who is a clear step above all the trash you dated before and so suddenly you start to brush things off with ease. Issues that should be bigger simply aren’t because he isn’t cheating on you, he doesn’t have “hoes”, and he actually wants a relationship and does not merely want the benefits of one without the title.
Months in I found myself compromising for things that warranted a continued discussion because I thought to myself, does it really get better than this? Could I really do better? You finally found someone on your level, what else really matters?
I was wrong. So wrong. What you desire and what you expect in a relationship are not “extra” if it’s of importance to you. There is high-maintenance and then there’s what the fuck you deserve. The boxes that you wished he was checking, can be checked! I had to have a real ass talk with myself and acknowledge my feelings. If the person I was with and that I thought so highly of did not respect me enough or care enough to love me the way I demanded to be loved then what the fuck is it worth? If I settle now, I settle forever.
I now know and can begrudgingly embrace the fact that dating will only get more challenging because I refuse to compromise my standards even for a man who checks the right boxes. My fears are very real but so is my hope. If the pursuit of happiness is the pursuit of self than that must mean I need to be the truest version of myself at all times. And the real me refuses to settle.