I used to be a hopeless romantic. I’m not entirely sure when that became a past tense statement. Somehow, over time, I’ve become a cynic when it comes to love and romance. I like to think of myself more of a cynical romantic, though even that might be a little pretentious of me. I love the idea of love. It’s magical, it’s everything I want someday, and I truly do believe it is one of the most exuberant feelings human kind is capable of feeling. I just don’t realistically believe it is something that will ever happen for me.
In theory, it’s lovely. In reality, it’s exhausting. Spoken like a true cynical romantic…see how that works?
Maybe I’ve just become impatient. Maybe I have had one too many ghosts leave me feeling skeptical of its existence. Or maybe I’m just butt hurt over the fact that I am 20 years old and cannot ever seem to be anything more than the “almost” girl in “almost” relationships. Yet somehow there are chicks out there who break up with their boyfriend and a week later have already somehow met and are dating a new dude…
Call me eager, but I cannot wait to invest an insane amount of love and time into someone who I have reciprocated feelings with. The hopeless romantic in me would tell you that it is worth the wait. She would have said,
“Baby, you’re only 20 years old. You’re going to get those butterflies one day. You’re going to be so damn happy that you didn’t waste that energy giving it to some fuckboy. Pretty girl, you don’t need to be giving your love to someone just for the sake of having it to give…you’re gonna hold out and give it to the one who makes hold your breath in anticipation when he pulls up to your house to take you out. Stop wanting it so bad. He’ll come to you, he’s out there. Just keep doing you, babe.”
Somewhere along the way, I lost the idea that a guy would even be capable of ever picking me up. Cynical me knows there’s the chance we could schedule a day or a night, a time or a place, but that doesn’t mean he is going to follow through. When did I go from wishing for a boy who shakes my daddy’s hand when he picks me up, to simply hoping to dear god he doesn’t flake out before I tell my friends about him? When did we stop telling our friends about the boy we’ve started talking to, because we don’t want to jinx it or have to explain the next night how it’s already over before it even began? When do we admit to ourselves that the nice guy who loves his mom and kisses us on the forehead, can also be guy who sleeps with us and then doesn’t follow up the next day…or ever?
When did I become the cynic who automatically assumes and expects every “nice” guy to turn into that second guy?
I believe in love. I believe in its magic. I also believe that I try too hard sometimes to push back the hopeless romantic in me. She’s still there and sometimes she finds her naive little self making an appearance. As much as I want to believe that I am too smart to fall for the games that exist in romance, I’m subject to have my weak moments. In fact, I have fallen into these games many times, and have always lost. Which is a major reason I have trouble accepting the idea of real romance in my life anymore. Being cynical is the only defense I have. It’s the only way I can talk myself into not getting my hopes up, something I’m guilty of doing far too many times.
Babes, it’s okay to be cynical. Cynical means you are being realistic. You are guarding your heart. Protect the hell out of that beating mechanism because you don’t get a lot of control over how it feels, but you do have control on what feelings it acts on.
Be cynical, put your guard up, it’s okay. I know you’re constantly being told to let your guard down, let someone in, stop being closed off, but I’m telling you to do what you need to do to protect your own fucking heart. It took becoming a cynical romantic for me to do that. It took realizing that not every guy who walks me to my truck, and pushes my hair behind my ear while telling me I’m beautiful is going to be a good guy. Allow yourself to lust over the idea of him, but realize that guy is just as capable of intentionally hurting you, as is the guy who straight up tells you he doesn’t want anything more than an open door and a good time. Be cynical.
It’s okay to protect your heart and keep your walls up. Just don’t forget that you’re going to have to open that locked door and let visitors in sometimes.
Be a romantic. You can’t always live in fear and assumption. Maybe that nice guy…really is, get this, a nice guy. *Gasp.
See, it’s okay to be a romantic. Just don’t be hopelessly dependent on romance. Babe, it’s okay to be cynical. Just don’t be independently oblivious to the idea that not only does love exist, but it is just as magical as the movies make it seem, and you are just as capable of finding it as anyone else.
Think with your head like a cynic and love with your heart like a romantic…or maybe it’s the other way around? Who am I to know…I’m just a 20-something getting giddy over eye contact and stressing out on whether or not to keep my Bumble app.