I struggle to recall a time when I didn’t embody the spirit of sexual despair. A period where my love-life was elegant, beautiful and simple; rather than the detonated circus it currently resembles. I’ve always cultivated a perhaps overly-ambitious idea of what romance should be like in my head, and as such I’ve always been left disappointed.
The first time I ever got naked with a guy it was grotesque. The awkwardness haunted me for years after it. The second, third, fourth time it wasn’t much better. After that I was led to believe that sex was a gooey, cringe-worthy affair and that was how it would always be. The first time I got naked with someone I was in love with this preconceived notion was whipped away – as was my heart and my underpants.
I was so relieved that sex could be more than that fumbling clumsiness or weird amounts of dry-humping and farm-animal-like grunting. More than just some guy beating his chest like it was a bongo drum or he was King Kong whilst inhaling my scent. It could be more than a ‘cum and go’ scenario.
That moment when I first made love to someone I thought I wanted to spend my life with was when I knew what I wanted and expected from guys. I’ve always been a self-declared ‘quirky romantic’ and I’ll explain what that means: I like to get odd gifts or send bizarre texts. I’ll notice the oddest features about someone I’m falling for. Their cute half-smile. Their odd dancing. How their eye colour changes in different lights or that weird chirpy sound they make when they sleep (all were/are features of love interests past and present by the way.) Uploading a photo of us together is my way of showing off this amazing person I get to spend time with. I want the world to know how lucky I am. Trouble with this is nobody gets it. Trouble with me is I work hard to impress someone then even harder to show I don’t care.
When I tell someone I think they are beautiful I mean it. I don’t waste words of kindness and affection on those I don’t deem deserving of them. Someone told me recently that I’m too intense which mirrored something my ex-boyfriend told me quite often, saying I was too ‘full on.’ It was a bit of a slap in the face to be honest. I don’t understand how valuing someone merits critique. Really I’ve ever done is express how I feel, or what I think. If I think someone’s beautiful I’ll tell them that. If I’m grateful to be in their company I’ll tell them that too. Guys often think I’m weird and somewhat unhinged because I occasionally stare at them randomly. Like I’m a love-sick robot rebooting. But I only do this because I think they are wonderful.
My flat mate’s love interest brings him flowers and packets of sports mixtures. All mine brings my grief, heartache and urge to listen to old-school Paramore. If I were to build the perfect guy, the ultimate romantic, then he’d have the following attributes: He’d admire my quirkiness and reciprocate by bringing me cute and questionable gifts on occasion. When he cuddled into me he’d realise that it was more than just a cuddle; it was an intimate embrace. He’d tell me I was a loser every time I cried at a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode I’ve seen a hundred times. He wouldn’t resent me for punching him if he snored. He would steal my clothes and lend me his. He’d meet for lunch at work and make plans with me with prompting. And I’d always be the one he was texting underneath the table when he was with his friends.
I’m hungry to be appreciated, because I have a lot to offer. I have uttered the words ‘I love you’ in a romantic context to three guys in my life – and not one of them ever said it back in the way I wanted them to. Now I’m on the verge of wanting to say it someone else, but I’m not going to because his heart is a hooligan. It’ll cause me nothing but upset and it won’t be reciprocated. I can’t rely on it. I feel I am lying to him because our encounters in the bedroom are not platonic. ‘I like you’ has dripped from my lips on several occasions but that’s as far as I’m going to let it go.
He doesn’t live up to my idea of romantic; nor does he get the way I feel. So perhaps my time is best spent elsewhere; reserved for someone in the future who will match my criteria? There’s not version of this where it is his fault, but I feel like there is forty ways it’s mine. My expectations are too high; I’m too intense. I get too attached, I want too much. I let my imagination run wild with the possibilities of something that I know now will never be.
I cannot build a romantic. There is no such thing is the perfect guy. The pain of being rejected and the sting of heartache will go, but my anxiety about meeting someone will continue to grow. Being the sensitive and creative soul that I am, moments that are seemingly fleeting for my love interests (and sexual partners) tend to linger with me for days, sometimes weeks, after they’ve happened. And because I have that mindset I possibly do come across a bit intense at times. But am I sorry for that? I’m on the fence: Should I alter my approach with guys? Dial it back a bit? Or just be myself and hope for the best? In the mean time I’ll ponder my unlucky-in-love status whilst being mocked by the gorgeous flowers given to my flat mate.