I cannot say the year 2016 was a super productive year for me. But not all was lost.
I started the year out completely smitten with a man who I should have never even gotten involved with. Just based on what I knew about him initially. But mostly because of what I found out later: hung up on an ex girlfriend and also not even willing to publicly admit he was even in a relationship with anyone. I’m not sure what I was thinking there. I finally got over that in the spring but then I let it happen to me again in the fall. It wasn’t exactly the same situation. I just made the mistake of letting myself start to feel when I wasn’t given any real reason to. It sucked. But at least that ended well. I let the feelings go. It’s better that way.
What is important is that I learned how to tell when someone will invest in me. I have learned that if a man does not:
1. Ask you out directly. On a date, like dinner or something.
2. Text or call you just to say hi or ask about your life. Or like, ever.
3. Acknowledge you on social media. Or want anyone to know you were together in any way.
4. Have conversations with you that don’t involve sex.
5. Text you when they are sober. Or before 8 PM.
6. Want you at their apartment.
Then they don’t care about you.
You are someone who they think of as “available”. Someone they can go to when there is no one else. You provide for them. And they are done with you after that.
It really only takes once or twice of someone doing this to you and the sting is enough. I have felt enough anger and disgust at people doing this to me in 2016 that I am 100% sure that it will not happen to me in 2017.
I am in my 30s. I know what I want. I am happy living alone. Now that I have learned to do that, I am comfortable with the possibility of a boyfriend. Not someone to marry. Not someone who needs to be involved with my daughter. Just someone to be with. Someone who can stay home on the couch and order Chinese and watch Netflix with me. For days. But someone who can also go out with me and drink and have fun and come home with me. And I don’t have to worry the next day that they are never going to talk to me again. Or if I am going to find out that there is some other girl in the picture and I’m the one they are just going to hang out with until that gets resolved.
Someone who is comfortable with just being with me rest of their life and not putting a ring on my finger, signing a paper, and having a big party that I don’t want to be a part of. Someone who thinks my word that I’m not going anywhere matters more than that strange rite of passage. Someone who respects my privacy and doesn’t need to go through my phone or question me about my friends at work or my Facebook. Because I will always give someone that respect. I want a person who will let me have my alone time too. And let me have a life that doesn’t necessarily always involve them. Because I know who I am and I don’t need to lose myself in another person. Ever again.
Someone who is not afraid of autism. Who will not be afraid of meeting my daughter. Who will realize that life is not always some freaking Hallmark commercial. Who is not religious and thinks discriminating against gay people is the same as racism. Who respects reproductive freedom but realizes that I’m not above discussing that with my partner in a way it protects them too. I want someone who realizes that my past might be pretty fucked up but all that did was prepare me to handle shit. And I can handle my own goddamn life. And everyone should want to be with someone who can handle shit. Because when it goes down, you want that person.
I don’t care if I have to be alone until I am at 89 before I meet this person who fits these criteria. This is the person I want but do not need.