1. I am attracted to different.
Most people tend to have a type. They can categorize their ideal partner by hair color, eye color, or career choice. For me, I am not solely attracted to blondes, or boys in bands, I go for different and unusual – the stranger the better. The ones who courageously step outside the crowd. They’re weird, and they’re confident about it, and that’s so sexy to me.
In addition to being the odd man out, my non-type must also be intelligent and able to keep a conversation going. My (somewhat embarrassing) celebrity crush is Nicholas Cage in National Treasure as Ben Gates. I love the way he talks. I don’t always understand everything he says, but his passion and intellect is captivating. I once dated a guy who was physically appealing, but I lost attraction because there was no mental stimulation. I recall multiple conversations when I begged him to read a book, or an article, so that we would have something to talk about besides his interest in bodybuilding and the reflection of his seven-ab physique in the mirror.
2. I am guarded.
I never seem to pick the right men. My friends will vouch for this (some have insisted I require background checks before I commit to dating anyone new). From guys who broke mirrors out of self-hatred, to boys with blue hair, I cannot say I’ve dated the same person twice. But what these men do have in common is a lack of value placed in me.
There is no doubt I have been hurt in my life. I could spend hours analyzing the reasons why I picked these guys, or why I stayed with them, but the end point is the same. The way I was treated altered my ability to let me guard down in future relationships. I recently participated on a Twitter Chat, called Tipsy Chat.
— Emily L. Depasse (@sexelducation) August 24, 2016
One of the questions asked was a Fill in the Blank.
“If I wasn’t afraid, I would put my heart on the line.”
That thought continues to ricochet between my days and nights. My own fear haunts me. I don’t desire the fairytale ideal of love and marriage, but I do want an adventure-filled partnership. I do want someone to create a future with, one that’s just as unique as we are.
3. I need someone stronger than me.
From an eating disorder, to a positive herpes diagnosis, there is no denying my accumulated emotional pain. I am not one to seek help. I will sit and sulk in my room in front of a mirror facing my tears because I don’t want people to know my identity in my darkest moments. This is not a realistic way to deal with pain, but it is one of the ways I’ve learned to cope. I believe in crying, and I believe in letting oneself feel, but I am hesitant to let others witness that side of me. I don’t’ crave their sympathy, I need to know that I can survive on my own.
In my last almost-relationship, I was faced with someone who wanted to run away from our most pressing issue, a shared herpes diagnosis. No matter how much I would pry, or draw attention to fact, he continued to run. My worst moment, was the accumulation of an assortment of shots which caused me to reach out for him. Upon confirmation of HSV-2 in my bloodwork, I sent him a text, revealing my ultimate moment of vulnerability. I told him I was really struggling with the diagnosis, and didn’t know where to go or who turn to. His response, or lack thereof, should’ve read as, “Don’t come to me.”
Immaturity and a lack of communication are not attributes that I desire in a long-term partner. I don’t need someone who runs away from me, I need someone who knows when I’m hurt, allows me my space, but will also know when I need him to put his hand on my shoulder or kiss my neck to ease that pain and remind me that it will be okay. I need someone who is willing to confront me when I make a mistake, and will call me out for it, as opposed to sweeping it under the rug. I’m not on a quest for stagnancy, I crave growth and honesty.
4. I will not waste my time.
Friendship or relationship, I will not involve myself with someone whom I do not envision a future with. I refuse to view people as temporary solutions to unhappiness, or loneliness. If I choose to invest my time in someone, I want them to stick around. With an increasingly busy schedule, for me to devote time any ounce of time (from a text to a dinner) takes a hell of a lot of commitment from me. I do not necessarily fear commitment, but more committing time to the wrong people. I have spent the entirety of my life living for others’ happiness, and I refuse to perpetuate that habit into the future.
5. When I do love, I love hard.
I know what my heart is capable of. I will write letters, and poems, and snap photographs with every chance I can. Men become art to me. Unfortunately, an accumulated dating history of the wrong men has created a bad habit. A defense mechanism which bolts my feelings off before they have the chance to leave my lips, before the ink bleeds into the paper.
I used to be that girl who found herself caught up in puppy love, living for men whose schedules never changed. Sacrificing my time and energy into their potential. With my own maturity, I’ve learned to correct that, and channel that energy into myself. Although I’ve found that dedication to self which I so desperately need, I do reflect on my role in past relationships.
If I could put the amount of dedication and devotion into men who did not love me, what would happen when I fall in love with the man who does? And what happens if I never learn to fall?