I’ve built emotional monuments to men in their absence. And while I’d like to be ashamed over that, I know I’m not alone. I’ve seen my girlfriends and their girlfriends do it. I’ve seen it done in movies. We’ve allowed men who aren’t really that present in our lives to be exceedingly present in our hearts. The unrequited lovers. The flaky fella who has time for you every now and again. The ex you didn’t want to be an ex. The one who skipped out after a couple of amazing (or so you thought) dates.
Since there is a dearth of real, actual time spent with these men, we deal with them on a fantasy level. We allow ourselves to paint this perfect picture of them in our minds. And we dream ourselves compatible with this perfect man in this perfect relationship. The only flaw he has is his inability to see just how happy he could be if he only realized you were the illest chick in the world.
The irony for me: there have been occasions when I have departed the fantasy and had some face time with my should-be boos, only to be very disappointed by what that actually looked like. In some cases, I was able to wake up from the dream; in others, I tried to ignore the lack of compatibility and the character flaws that would have been deal-breakers in other men and choose to keep the fantasy torch burning.
In the instances in which I went on to have relationships with these guys, the feeling of satisfaction I got from getting something I had long wanted was often better than the actual dating. And there was some truth in the things I had imagined. They weren’t bad times at all. But I do myself a disservice by letting these men who aren’t really here (*gestures around the room*) be all up in here (*taps head and heart simultaneously*). I’m too dope to give so much to someone who either chooses to or is unable to give the same to me.
I’m not saying all women do this or that men never see too much in a woman because she isn’t really there to be seen. But I’ve certainly seen enough women do this to know it’s not in our best interest. I’ve come to accept that more often than not, when a man isn’t there, I shouldn’t want so badly for him to be. I want to be wanted and if I’m not, then I should want for something else. If you are sleeping on me, then I don’t need to dream on. If someone can “deny themselves the pleasure of my company” (peace to Zora), I can deny them the space in my heart that should be saved for someone who wants it.