The Problem With Being An Independent Hopeless Romantic

Flickr / ethermoon
Flickr / ethermoon

I’m extremely independent. I always have been, and I always will be (this is not to be confused with feminism; I am absolutely not a feminist). I hate when other people offer to help me, especially when they give me unsolicited advice. I hate asking for money, a ride, a hug, a toothpick, anything. I despise the idea of molding my traditions with someone else’s, and I can’t imagine having to share my space, and my schedule, with another person on a daily basis.

Marriage *shudder* is an idea that strikes fear into my bones. I don’t want you to ask me if I need anything. I don’t want you to open my door for me or clean off my plate, or carry my purse. I don’t need to you pay my bills, mow my lawn, change my oil, or build me a tool shed. I am perfectly capable of doing all of that on my own, and that’s how I like it.

But for some stupid, stupid reason, I am a hopeless romantic. I want a man to come sweep me off my feet onto his white horse, upon which we will ride off into the sunset to his enchanted farm on the plains where we can frolic in the meadow and sit in our rocking chairs sipping coffee until we grow old together. I want a man who will take charge of the finances, go to work so I can stay home with the kids, pour me a glass of wine with my dinner, and text me first. I want a guy who treats me like a queen, so that I can also treat him like a king. I want to get married, to live happily ever after, and to build a life with someone. But I can’t.

You see, when you’re an independent hopeless romantic, you have all these grand ideas of what you really want your life to be like, but none of them ever come to fruition because you’re just too dang stubborn to let them . You want an amazing man to take care of you and love you, yet the minute he comes around, you tell him to back off, because you would rather take care of yourself. It’s a vicious cycle. You know what’s best for yourself and what your heart truly desires, but those things are totally contrary to what you’re comfortable with and what you prefer.

Your soul longs for a passionate mate, but your mind and body are already too comfortable doing things on their own. And every time you think you have found a perfect way to mesh these two polar opposites together and formulate a new plan for a healthy relationship, you realize you’re completely insane, so you give up and start again.

This has happened to me more times than I can count. It’s not something I am proud of, because quite honestly, it makes me feel like a heartbreaker, or a player. I feel like I am constantly using people, and then as soon as I don’t need them anymore, I let them go. That’s just not the case. I truly desire companionship like nothing else on this planet. I want to have a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to on the hard days, and a hand to hold when I’m feeling worthless.

I want my son to have a loving father and a role model. I want that perfect little family. So, when I find a man who fits the bill, of course I am going to give him a shot. Regardless of my past failed relationships, my heart still tells me to get back up and try again. And things always go really well for the first few months. I feel happy and complete. But then he starts talking about love and “serious” dating, engagement, or marriage. And that’s when I lose it.

Something about relinquishing my freedom and independence scares the living daylights out of me. I always think I am ready for a real commitment, but then the time comes to prove myself, and I chicken out like a little baby. I make all these promises and say all the right things, thinking maybe I will finally be able to trick myself into falling so hard I won’t be able to turn back. But it never works. I can be head over heels for a guy one second, and then my logical, independent side kicks back in and I snap out of it, like an emotionless robot or something.

I can go from loving girlfriend to totally platonic buddy in a matter of minutes, and it kills me. I hate feeling like I’m incapable of love when all I really want is love. I have such high hopes of one day finding my prince charming and finally being able to turn off my independence in order to replace it with mutual love and complete happiness. But I also wonder how many prince charmings I have already crushed and left in the dust due to my ridiculous and uncontrollable stubbornness.

It’s so hard to realize that something is desperately wrong with me, yet to also know there is nothing I can do about it. I have tried counseling, quitting the dating scene, online dating, losing myself in work, dieting, prayer, meditation, and just about every trick in the book to try to put a stop to this madness. Nothing is working. I keep thinking that maybe I just haven’t found the right guy yet. Maybe the right guy will break down all those walls and somehow allow me to feel 100% independent while also feeling 100% loved.

But part of me doesn’t believe such a man exists. And part of me doesn’t even want to find him. Because that would mean sharing a bathroom, learning how to deal with all of his little annoying quirks, figuring out where to live, meeting hordes of new people and taking on an entirely new identity. How awful and intimidating does that sound?! But oh, how romantic… Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Single mother. Photographer. Writer. Adventurer. Lover of life.

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