Last October, I got into a major argument with a friend because I didn’t want a boyfriend.
“How is that normal?” she asked.
“It’s just not what I’m focused on right now,” I said. “I’d rather be single than be in a relationship that I’m not ready for.”
After questioning me like the police, the heated discussion eventually became a drawn-out screaming match in her boyfriend’s Lexus. My friend accused me of lying about my relationship status and being sneaky. I called her desperate. My throat closed in anger, and my eyes began to water. I wish that I carried cash so I could walk out the car, slam the door, and find the subway home.
I didn’t care that it was 3 in the morning, and I didn’t care that I had no idea where I was. I felt frustrated because I was tired of explaining why I don’t currently date. I was pissed off that she accused me of being a lesbian because I refused to throw myself at the next available guy. Most of all, I was hurt that she didn’t even care to know why I felt the way I did.
I grew up with a controlling father and an oppressed mother. At his best, my father was a warm and funny person who worked long hours so my siblings and I could go to Catholic school. At his worst, my father was a bully. In middle school, my mother gave me permission to try out for stepping since I was too afraid to ask my father. That afternoon, my classmates and I sat down in the gymnasium, waiting for tryouts to begin. I saw my mother.
“Let’s go,” she said with her head down. We walked to the car where my father was waiting.
High school was difficult. Guys had crushes on me. Sometimes the feeling was mutual, but I always rejected them. By senior year, I finally had a steady boyfriend who I dated out of habit. No passion; more of a deep friendship than anything else. Just a practical decision. The feeling was mutual.
I’ve been feeling like the Dr. Phil of my friends for more than a decade. They come to me with their relationship troubles expecting an honest answer, and I give it to them straight.
“But you don’t understand!” one said after I told her to throw the deuces to her cheating boyfriend. “I love him.” I rolled my eyes. Time after time, I witnessed females disrespect themselves for a guy. In college, I heard rumors about girls who slept with guys who wouldn’t even say hi to them on the quad. One of my best friends allowed an unattractive, unemployed loser to call her a “dumb bitch” in front of us for months. Friends have called me at four in the morning crying about men who’ve called them ugly, men who have told them to gain weight because they “looked like a crackhead,” men who’ve taken half of their tuition refund checks.
If that’s what love is, then I’ll pass. I have very limited experience with guys, and that’s okay for now. I’m still struggling with self-esteem issues, and I don’t need another reason to feel inadequate. Witnessing the way my father used my mother showed me that I didn’t need a man in my life to validate my existence. I wish more girls were like me.
I’m definitely not bitter, and I do not hate men. I just hate when women like to put men ahead of their own happiness. I think that the main problem is when girls rush into relationships. They go into relationships with unrealistic expectations about how great a guy will be for them. They ignore all of the warning signs that a guy is not right for them, and they stupidly believe that they can change him. Then, women have the nerve to get all emotional when the guy shows them who he always was to begin with.
Guys are NOT problem solvers. They will not make you feel beautiful. They will not make you smart. They will NOT make you confident. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only girl in the world who knows this. I’m not ready to date, and until that day comes, I will not date. I am not ready because I don’t feel like I can offer a guy the very best of me. I get too insecure with my appearance. I throw temper tantrums. I’m not where I want to be professionally or financially. Sometimes I don’t even believe in myself. I would NEVER accept that from any man. Why should he put up with that from me?
I do believe in love. I suspect that I’m a die-hard romantic at heart. I’ve improved a lot during the last two years, and I know that I’ll be ready to date soon. But there are still a couple of things I’d like to accomplish first. If anything, those accomplishments will be great to talk about on the first date. The first of many that he will pay for, of course. Because I’ll be worth it.