If you’re anything like me, you pride yourself exclusively on your emotional reserve. My social circle at times has deemed me “heartless,” but really, leave before you are left, right?
This attitude does not get me very far in relationships, but it leaves me with a peace of mind. I am not crying myself to sleep nightly, scanning text messages and emails and Facebook wall posts for the traces of where I went wrong, where I said too much or didn’t say enough.
But while this meticulously constructed wall protects the said fortress of my heart, I can’t help but feel that maybe I am not giving a chance to someone (or anyone) who could be the “right one.”
I feel that I’m quite confident. I think I’m kind of funny (but maybe this is what makes me not so funny). I dress okay. I’m not in possession of mass amounts of social grace, but I get by. Maybe it’s feelings of ultimate inadequacy from the deepest cavern of my essence that bring about my relationship insecurities.
It’s unfortunate that when mentioning the topic to a few of my other witty, intelligent and charming friends, they too share these sentiments.
Maybe we have become a society too poisoned by the ideas presented to us in modern media, from television programs and films knocking down real-life expectations of romance and instead filling our impressionable heads with these false idols of expectation.
Keep worshipping that golden calf of the Valentine tradition, there are no roses waiting for you back in reality.
When we keep looking to what we are supposed to be experiencing in comparison to what we are, it is almost as if we are being cheated. Cheated by cheap cards and candies, by physical manifestations of supposed endearment that (if we don’t receive on the regular) than apparently we are undeserving of.
Does your boyfriend stand under your window blasting Peter Gabriel? Does your husband’s best friend show up at your door, masquerading as a caroler while he uses giant index cards to unload his repressed feelings of lust to you? No, because this is ridiculous, and kind of uncomfortable.
Not to say women don’t
love a well-intentioned surprise. Even if it doesn’t rekindle that particular cinematic moment you were envisioning, it is all about the thought that went into it.
While it is hard to let down your guard and envision yourself as two parts of a whole, sometimes it is best to consider what could happen when you let yourself be at ease. The comforts of another are something to be cherished, and if realistic expectations are kept, then there is hope.
Perhaps not enough hope to get certain romantic comedies out of your head (I’m looking at you, Going the Distance), but enough to get you too familiar with the silver lining, and maybe a romantic interlude or two.
Kristen Vasquez can be contacted at email@example.com