For a very long time, I used to wonder why I was not like the Ellies or the Mayas that I grew up with. These were the girls who were always the most popular, perhaps not the smartest but got all the guys without even lifting their fingers. I thought it was because I did not work hard enough and I thought, like academics, if I just worked hard enough at chasing at least one guy and succeeded, I would become just like them – I would have guys falling at my feet.
Throughout my teenage years, while other had boyfriends or were complaining about all the male attention they were receiving. I, in a single sex school, was labelled as desperate because I was that girl who kissed anyone who wanted it and entertained any guy who so much as gave me a smile or laughed at my appalling jokes. I was perpetually single.
Almost three years into university and officially an adult, I look back at all these so-called failed flings that I had with guys and realised that to them, maybe I was good enough to kiss or sleep with but really it was because I was asking for it. I was easy. Looking back now, really a lot of the guys that I thought liked me just saw me as desperate. They never saw me as good enough to be in a relationship or to even spend more than two dates with. That gap toothed, big forehead, dark skinned girl who could make them feel much better about themselves by laughing at all their jokes and deliberately acting stupid on purpose was all they saw me as.
They did not see my intelligence or my beauty but this was because I did not show it to them.
I did not want to bore them with intellectual conversations about politics or history because as my father had once said to me, to be careful not to act too smart, people i.e. boys do not like it. I was not confident about my looks because I had been told that I needed to fix my gap in my teeth, my forehead was too big and that my skin was way too dark.
But simultaneously, I did not see how desperate I really looked, how naïve I was being or how hard I tried to be like those Ellie and Mayas I knew. I craved the satisfaction from guys who were so below my standards that I look back in utter disbelief at my actions. Naturally, the guys were very good looking and had great bodies. But none and honestly none of these guys were driven or honest or respectful – even the ones who I kept as friends turned out not to be great friends.
I know as most people say that I am not perfect but after twenty-one years, I have decided. I am no longer chasing guys. I am no longer going to blame failed or almost relationships on my own insecurities. I am no longer going to compare myself to girls or those near perfect Instagram models and think if only I was lighter skinned or had straight teeth, my love life would be so different.
And so my message to my fellow girls who chase guys is this:
You are smart, beautiful and you do not need guys falling over your feet to vindicate this belief. Nor do you have to be in any rush to find the guy of your dreams. For when you do bump into that guy, you will not have to chase anyone.