Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sunday Reads: 'You're Too Independent!'

It's amazing how an adverb in front of an ordinary adjective can entirely change it from a compliment to something on the other end of the spectrum. For example, I'm okay with being called independent and I definitely take it as a compliment. It's an acknowledgment that I am a capable, free-thinking individual. But once you put 'too' in front of 'independent', my smile turns into a scowl.

As it turns out, I've been scowling a lot lately because almost every conversation I've been in lately has involved a lengthy discussion on how my alleged overflow of independence is impending my ability to land a man. More extensively, there's been this panic amongst my friends that I have to be paired up with someone before it's 'too late'.

No, I am not at spinster age. Far from it, in fact.

Indeed, the majority of my friends are in long-term relationships and the minority are all on the prowl to find their significant other. So to them, as someone who is not actively looking for a relationship, I am an enigma that they feel needs to be solved.

One of my friends I recently met up with for lunch grabbed me by the arm before I even got a chance to say hello and said, 'My friend just broke up with his girlfriend. He's alone! You're alone! If you two get together you both won't have to be alone!'.

Is that why people date these days?! To avoid being alone?

Another girl I was talking to was worse.

'Maybe you should look at it from a different angle. Having a boyfriend in your life means more resources to leverage'.

I almost died.

Partnering up is about sharing the rent, food and electricity bill?! 
It's true that I'm independent and while I can understand why my single friends are on the manhunt, I can't relate. Right now, I'm too preoccupied with stabilising a career and travelling as much as I can, and the past has told me that it's difficult to fit in a living and breathing person, who needs love and attention, into my schedule.

What's wrong with being single anyway? For one, I'm happy not answering to another person. I don't have to tell anyone where I'm going. I can wear whatever I want and I can eat whatever I want to eat. I make my own decisions and I run on my own schedule. I also don't have to feel bad for focusing on other areas of my life. The amount of time I spend on my career, interests/hobbies, friends and family don't have to be justified at all.

Some of my friends write me down as a lost cause - that I'm one of those people who don't believe in love. Which isn't true at all. I'm happy to commit and settle down but I haven't found the right person yet. I'm not into casual dating, getting into a relationship for relationship's sakes. No, that's not what I'm about regardless of how many pity chats I have to sit through with friends or distant relatives.

I'm really just holding out for the type of love where I'm head over heels in wanting, not needing, someone. Because if I may be frank, what I lack in my life cannot be filled with what a partner can offer. I have a loving family to come home to, good friends that keep me company (even if my single status is a major topic of interest) and loads of interests/hobbies to keep me preoccupied. I don't particularly 'need' anyone extra.

For me to be in a relationship, my 'want' for someone has to override the 'need'. I've watched way too many of my friends enter into relationships out of need and end up leaving in a worse off position than before.

I've assumed the consoling role way too many times to know that, that is definitely something I don't ever want in my life. 

via Vuible

And I'll be honest, I am of the picky variety. I am a nerd and so I like good conversationalists. 

That's it?!

Of course not. 

I am complicated and I know it takes a really tolerant individual to put up with me. The older I get, the more I feel like I have multiple personas - a game face, a friend face, a daughter face, a sister face...the list goes on. I do want someone I can just be completely real with. I'm always caring for others and I would love to be on the receiving end of it for once. 

But it took awhile for me to learn that it takes a whole lot more than 'I love you babe' to make me feel cherished. The average guy does not understand me and so I've stopped purposely looking for a boyfriend. They're interested and amused but they never cross over to understanding. I've seen and done more than others in my age group and people have always said that I am mature beyond my years. So it's been difficult to find someone within my immediate circle of friends. 

It is unfortunate that the guys I've come across either see me as a bro (my guy friends), a competitor (guys who see me as an equal) or a thing that needs to be conquered or taken down (pursuers). I've yet to find someone who'll just let me be. Someone who just acknowledges that I had a life before they came along and that I won't give up things like spending time on my interests, family and friends just for them. And it takes someone with maturity to understand and respect this. 

The ideal relationship would involve someone who is comfortable with my independence and what I want out of life. Someone who'll support and let me go my own path but will stay slightly behind in case I turn around and ask for reassurance and clarity. Someone who'll say, 'I've got you. It's okay. I'm just here'. Because despite all my independence, I am human and I do get weary and stressed

Until, I find this person, this single life is not as bad as everyone puts it down to be and I'm going to continue to wear my independence like a badge of honour. 

**Sunday Reads is now a monthly read and will be published on the first Sunday of each month!**

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