I Need Someone Who Isn’t Afraid Of Running After Something

Nathan Congleton
Nathan Congleton

While speaking to a friend about my recent breakup, she asked me if I was worried if my ex-boyfriend would run off with another girl straight after leaving me. The first thing that came to my mind was this: The fact that he has so much fucking pride.

He treated me like an absolute princess throughout our relationship and I don’t deny that one bit. Our relationship was nothing short of cinematic; he swept me off my feet time and time again, surprising me and making me smile over and over with his adorable words, witty sense of humor and comforting embrace. But he was only able to ride the high wave of romance because his love for me was requited. And more than that; I loved him first and I loved him more.

A year before we began dating, I was already head over heels for him and he wasn’t remotely interested in me. I remember listening to Taylor Swift’s “Fearless,” suddenly feeling gutsy and sending him a cringy text: “Hey, I really hope things don’t become weird between us, and I don’t know if you already know this, but I just thought I’d let you know that I really like you. Things between us don’t have to be any different than they are now but I just wanted to put that out there :)”

I didn’t get a reply.

Immature, adolescent me was crushed by this and moaned to his friends about it, but all they could offer me was the harsh truth, “I’m sorry, he just doesn’t like you back.”

We joked about this all through our relationship: him expressing how much regret he felt about not coming to his senses and realizing what was in front of him earlier, and me poking fun at my courageous display of affection despite my knowledge that my feelings weren’t shared by him. And it is in this incident that happened three years ago that I see the truth about his character.

Maybe he only took the “risk” of asking me out because he knew he’d definitely succeed (thereby disqualifying it as a risk, I suppose). And this is his problem: unless he’s confident that he’ll succeed, he won’t bother trying.

He’d never stand outside a girl’s window in the pouring rain and pour his heart out to her because he’d potentially be laughed at – and get wet.

He’d never make a sweeping confession of his affection to a girl in fear of public embarrassment.

Forget a wedding proposal that he was mildly unsure of: his fear of rejection would swallow him up.

He’d never drive for hours to ask a girl he’s madly in love with a question because he couldn’t guarantee a favorable answer and would therefore be afraid of a wasted trip.

I want someone with enough self-deprecation and humility to make an absolute fool of himself, without holding back, for the sake of a girl he is utterly crazy about. The true test of a real man isn’t his actions to make a girl feel loved, it’s in the sacrifices within those actions. Small sacrifices of masculinity, appearance, dignity – whatever it may be. I’m talking about the guys you see on vacation at late-night hotel bars who are ballsy enough to let magicians and fortune tellers turn them into the butt of a joke in front of a room full of tourists, but retain shamelessly goofy smiles because they can’t take their eyes off their girl, oblivious to the fact that they’ve been pranked or humiliated. Guys who couldn’t care less about what they look like (female purse slung over one shoulder, high heels in one hand, plastic puke bag in the other) or how they’re feeling or what they’re doing because they’re blinded by the love they have for the girl they’re lucky enough to call theirs.

No part of me wants to be with a guy who’s all brains and no balls. Maybe he only loved me so perfectly because I was the only person who ever loved him so wholeheartedly in the first place.

So, in answer to my friend’s question, I’m not worried about other girls anymore, because I know that if he ends up with someone else anytime soon, it’ll be because she was brought into him on a silver platter, begging to be loved by him. One day, he’ll be a nervous freshman at his first college party and a beautiful girl will walk past him. He’ll do a double-take and catch the back of her head as she disappears into the crowd, and he’ll go weak at the knees. He’ll scan the room for her, tell his friends about her, and maybe even spend the whole night thinking about her. But I can bet my bottom dollar that he wouldn’t work up the guts to follow her. TC mark

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