I’ve always liked the wild guys, the dangerous guys, the guys who aren’t afraid to jump on a plane and leisurely travel around foreign countries.
They’re also the guys who always break my heart.
It’s a thrilling ride, latching on to someone that wants you to join them (temporarily) on the adventure of their outrageous life. I liked being the flavor of the month. I liked being the sponge that absorbed all the crazy. But, I just don’t think I can do it anymore.
I’ve had a severe anxiety disorder since I was little. I used to be afraid of things like thunderstorms and sickness, but as I got older and realized how little control I have over the things that happen in life, my panic attacks became so regular and I had to start taking anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication just so that I could breathe properly.
Even that gave me anxiety. Finding the right medication combination took eight months. Some medicines caused weight gain, some increased anxiety and some led to complete loss of sex drive. I had a problem with all of these side effects because they all made me feel worse about myself.
I’m a student and I work two jobs. In my free time, I’m relaxing, doing yoga, hanging out with friends and generally working 24/7 to keep my anxiety at bay. And so, the last thing I want to do is deal with things that will stress me out more, especially in my relationships. My friends are low key and accepting, and I expect the same from the next guy that I date.
Those wild boys, they made me forget about my own problems. Their lack of fear turned me on. Through them, I saw what it was like to feel free.
But, it wasn’t always rainbows and daisies. Sure, adventure is fun, but what about safety and security? Those guys couldn’t offer me that. They never knew where they were going to be or who they were going to be with. They couldn’t make me any promises. I always came second to their next adventure.
Those guys taught me a lot of stuff, but the biggest lesson I learned from them was the difference between having what I want verses having what I need.
Does living out a backpack and traveling around the world for months on end sound cool? Of course it does.
Does figuring out where I’m going to get my medication from in a foreign country sound cool? Not at all.
Does traveling around with a guy when he could change his mind at any second and leave me at a hostel in Italy sound cool? F*ck no.
You know what sounds cool right about now?
A man: a smart, kind, adventurous, fun man that has a strong sense of himself. He’s already done enough exploring to know that it’s not about the places you go, but the people that you’re with. He’s compassionate and empathetic and reliable. That’s the kind of guy that I want to be with.
I want the kind of guy who sees me and thinks “I want to have her babies one day,” even if it never happens. I want the kind of guy who has fun running mundane errands with me, like going to the grocery store. I want the kind of guy who wants to get to know the neighbors and build roots in the community.
I can’t afford to keep wasting my time on people who don’t make me feel safe. I know that people may always leave, but I need to be with someone that has no plan on doing so.
I used to think I wanted to be a nomad. But, I don’t feel that way anymore.
Yeah, I want to travel still. But, I’m ok with weekend trips and the occasional Indonesian getaway. I don’t need to see every place on the earth to know that I’ve had a full life.
Most of all, I need a man who understands this and who feels the same way. I need a man who will keep me calm when I am panicking, who will love me despite my disorder, who will see as more than a girl with anxiety that needs fixing.