I stopped saying yes to dates from other men, I cried myself to sleep on a nightly and daily basis, but at the end of it, all I have to show is one single photograph, several hours of Skype conversations, and a Facebook message history that is probably taller than Everest if printed out, and it was a constant mess because I’ve realized that he would never want to make me feel wanted and loved.And so I finally crystallize a thought that has been with me since Harvard: Yes, it is my right to choose who I want to be with, and if they cannot realize how loving, affectionate, and incredible I am, that is a reason to back off.In other words, compassion, in my mind, was inseparable from love.Furthermore, through the writing of the piece, what struck me more was that it was the love of money that would have made the story move forward, but with an “A” under my belt, I chose not to to think about this assignment until fairly recently, where I began to ponder about this early observation about equalling love with compassion, and the absolute necessity of doing thus.My only criteria were that I had to be able to converse with them, and that they be nice to me.
The lack of love, conflated with a healthy disregard for compassion, was what drove the story.
What I learned in the process is that all you receive from such short term attention is a deeply distrustful validation about who you are, superficially wrapped in fluffy words and 200 dollar bottles of sauvignon blanc, all made with an attempt to get you to have sex with them.
I needed these men to tell me that I am desirable, but I’ve also realized in the process that someone who is quick to want to take your clothes off has more serious issues than the 21st century bug of speed-dating (or should I call it speed fucking?
But life doesn’t quite work like that, and of course I was never going to allow myself to graduate from being a friend to the “other woman.” In between laughing with friends about being an asshole magnet, I was told during a sobering moment on a fire escape in the early hours of a Park Slope morning just a couple of weeks later from a female friend, in no indubitable terms, “You need to be good to yourself.” I began to wonder hence, why it is, that being good to myself involves having a man in my life, when what I had witnessed in one of the most premier universities in the entire world, was the exact opposite of this loving and caring man.
Sure, biological clocks are ticking away and at the end of the day, we are all fearful of ending up old and alone, but when did it become an absolute necessity to reach “milestones” such as finding “the one”?