As I begin to enter my mid-twenties, I can say that I’ve only been in one real relationship in my life, and I haven’t dated much to be label as an “avid dater.” For most of my high school and college years, I was in a long-term relationship as I’ve previously mentioned here. My boyfriend and I at the time ended things on good terms, so there wasn’t really any reason for the breakup besides the fact that I was tired of being referred to as “John’s girlfriend” (using a fake name to respect his privacy).
Since then, I’ve been categorized as the woman who is strong, independent, confident, career-driven and someone who is far capable of taking care of herself. Unlike most girls who need a man’s validation in order to feel valued, I take pride in knowing that I don’t need a man to be fulfilled (it’s been me, myself and I for the past 4-5 years).
But, over the past few months, I’ve encountered this new sense of emotion that I can’t even understand or begin to describe, which is ironic because I’m usually in tune with them. However, what I can tell you are the five things that bring them up:
- I’ve made the mistake of scrolling through my Facebook feed to find a bunch of my former acquaintances announcing their engagements, changing their status’ from in-a-relationship to married and studio images of babies that they have apparently just popped out. Although I think it is absolutely nuts to have all of that by our mid-twenties, I can’t help but think that I am falling a bit behind.
- My friends are all in a relationship, so being a second priority on their list is never fun. But that doesn’t mean that I am not happy for them. Because at the end of the day, I’d want them to have that special person by their side. As for me, I just need to know where all my single sistas’ are at!
- At every family function, there is always someone who is going ask you the inevitable question, “Are you single?” For every answer give, I always feel the need to explain myself in fear that they would see me as pathetic.
- My mother consistently reminds me that I am not getting any younger. Whenever she compares my youthfulness to fresh meat, it cracks me up a little because now I’m actually starting to fear wrinkles, random stretch marks and sagging boobs (not to mention our vaginas).
- The lowest point of all points — embarrassingly, calling the ex-boyfriend…
So, after I had out-of-the-blue dialed my ex, that’s when I immediately went into a panic. What the hell is wrong with me?! My best friends, who I love so much, dropped everything that they were doing to dissect my craziness (glad to have entertained them with this as well), and here’s what they came up with:
Lori, maybe it’s because you miss having that companionship? I mean, you’ve been single for almost five-years, and I get that your mother has been the same way so that’s all you’ve known. But you’re not 40-years-old, Lori, so stop acting like it. Don’t be so hard on yourself. This doesn’t mean that you are weak. We all know that you don’t need a man, but it’s also okay to want it.
My girls helped me realize that “needing” and “wanting” are NOT synonymous. It’s actually okay for me to want to be loved and to be taken care of by someone other than my family. This desire does not diminish my self-respect as an independent woman, and that’s what I’m learning to understand.
Image via Pinterest