I remember my first kiss, it was with my first boyfriend. It was an awkward situation and although at the time I couldn’t quite describe my feelings about it, I think I understand what was going on then now. It was intimacy.
Fast forward several years and I have had seven boyfriends and countless dates. The last one and a half year in the dating scene has left me so tired. I am tired of being the kind of woman who has to be the perfect girlfriend to be promoted into a wife.
Why do I feel like I have to be the best of the very best in every way and compete for my man in order for him to choose me? From whether we’re going to go out, whether we’re going to have sex, or get married, it seems like men have the privilege to make all the crucial decisions in a relationship.
You know what I am talking about. Unless you’re a drop-dead gorgeous internationally acclaimed painter on one of those Korean dramas (I think it’s called The Coffee Prince), who could propose to your long term boyfriend, most of us wait for our men to propose and commit to us in marriage.
God knows I have tried to be the perfect girlfriend. But somehow romance has always been short-lived lately for me. I am not blaming myself for what happened; it was more like something had gone wrong and I didn’t know what it was. I was clueless as to why several relationships in the past did not work out for both of us.
If this sounds like any of you out there, feel no shame. It happens to me, and it happens to a lot of us.
Yet, I refuse to compete with other women. I feel that I have much better things to do out there. There are still so many things in life I want to accomplish. But that’s the reality I keep dealing with, is that I am not the one men choose to marry.
When I talk about this to my guy friends, why men seem to be making all the crucial decisions in a relationship, he said that women have a say in a relationship too. To which I say, yes, but I don’t think we get to say much. He did admit that yes, men like to have options in a relationship and choose one that he thinks is the best.
So how do you survive in the cut-throat dating scene these days? You go through it. You keep going with a sense of humor and hope that life isn’t all that cruel.
Wise men say, we are not lovely because we are. We are lovely because we are loved. Most men want someone who’s beautiful, yet only a few are willing to work on all the curves and edges until she becomes lovely.
I certainly hope in the many days to come, I will come across someone who sees the beauty that is to come in me and is willing to stick by me through thick and thin and make me beautiful.
But before I wait for someone to say it in front of my face, I am just going to say it to myself now, that I am a miracle, too. I’ve survived the loneliness and the joy of singleness, and I have learned to celebrate it as much as being in a relationship.
It’s like traveling without a companion, which is one hell of an adventure. The journey is long, and it’s meant to be enjoyed. Still, I hate the fact, sometimes, that I have to wake up on an empty bed.
Stevie Chantanu is a writer who also loves to paint in her free time. She wishes nothing more than to become a great writer someday and travel the world with someone she loves. She lives and works in Jakarta with her miniature schnauzer, Kupo.