I’ve been a little frustrated lately. I’m reaching that age–ladies, you know the one–there’s a great internal war going on. One side demands that I dominate the world as a bold and capable woman, the other insists that I get married and make beautiful babies that grow up to dominate the world as bold and capable men or women.
This debate makes it nearly impossible for me to date. Each side is afraid to commit to dating a man who might pull me to the other side, and so I go back and forth, trying to figure out what “my type” is.
Liberal or conservative? Spontaneous or stable? Wildly adventurous or deeply rooted? Harley or crotch rocket? Ok, so we all know my answer to that one, but trying to figure out what kind of men I’m attracted to is like trying to figure out what pair of heels to wear. There is an absurd number of them, all completely different, the pair I want to wear doesn’t at all match the outfit I want to wear, and if I’m being completely honest, I don’t want to wear shoes in the first place! So what’s a girl to do?
And then I actually have to walk in them–all day, step by step, over and over again. It’s a lot of pressure trying to convince a guy that he should keep going on dates over and over again! And friend, I don’t know how well you know me, but there is one key thing that regularly interrupts this date sequence for me: sex.
I make men wait.
FYI – men suck at waiting.
After being continuously rejected over the sex factor, it’s impossible not to doubt myself. It’s the 21st century. Sex is natural. There are studies that prove it’s good for your health for Pete’s sake! Why am I letting good and beautiful men get away over something as simple as sex?!
My little sister called me last weekend. Actually, she texted me “Rach :(” which sent me into an immediate panic. Assuming my whole family just died, I called her.
Her boyfriend broke up with her unexpectedly. I could tell she was crushed and confused, but listening to her tell me the heartbreaking details, I was beaming. I mean glowing smile from ear to ear, there might have been tears of joy at one point.
My sister is an amazing woman. She’s been through a lot of really unfair shit in her life and somehow still has a heart of gold, ridiculously gentle and sweet. She gives her love so freely to anyone who needs it. Unfortunately, she developed a bad habit, I think around 12 or 13, maybe earlier. She started defining her worth in others’ desire for her love, particularly in men’s desire for her love.
She’s handed pieces of her heart to people who didn’t know how to protect it and she’s suffered greatly for it.
On the phone that day, she started recounting her typical arguments with her boyfriend, which had recently grown increasingly common. She told him that she wouldn’t move in with him, that his grabbing her ass in public made her uncomfortable and insecure, that she didn’t want to sit around while he got high with his buddies, that she wanted conversation and time together instead of jumping to sex at every available opportunity.
I sat there in awe as my baby sister taught me what it means to be a woman of value. How to demand respect. How to believe in the value of the individual and of intimacy. And then to have the strength to maintain the standards based on those beliefs, despite the awful ridicule and rejection it brings from the world.
Prude, naive, ignorant, judgmental, self-righteous, “a fucking waste of time,” I’ve heard it all. It’s lonely and disheartening, over and over and over again. But there was something so beautiful about my sister demanding more for herself. There was something so beautiful about her rejection of what the world told her to be.
I realize now what that something so beautiful is – it’s truth.
It doesn’t really matter what stereotype the men I date fall under. It doesn’t matter if I spend the next 10 years conquering the world or spend next summer on my honeymoon. (Like next next summer obviously, next summer would be ridiculous.) What matters is that in whatever company or situation I find myself in, I know the truth of who I am. Because if I lose sight of truth, I become who the world wants me to be and my value is diminished to the latest trend or cultural norm.
I’m too good for that.
I will live my life in strength and in love. I’ll conquer whatever part of the world I’m exploring at the moment and I’ll marry a man who seeks truth because that’s who I am.
And that man better be in damn good shape, all this pent up sexual frustration has to go somewhere.