what do we actually want?

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As I travel on through the perilous world of dating in my twenties I have begun to realise my expectations of men and love have dramatically changed from the one I held as a naive teenage virgin. Seriously though, as we begin dating more and more people we start to create this new version of ‘a perfect man’. But what is the perfect man? Is it true that women actually have no idea what they want? Probably to some degree. However in all aspects of life we have some expectations and visualisation of what ‘perfect’ means. Whether it’s the perfect job, uni course, friendship expectations, or just life in general, we all hold expectations for what we want our life to look like. So why are single girls condemned for expecting certain things from a potential lover? I’m often made to feel bad about being picky, not by my friends, but by random acquaintances who feel it’s acceptable to question my single status. Oft times I’m put under interrogation. The conversation could sound like this, you might be familiar with these one-liners ladies; “Why are you so picky?”; “You could find someone if you weren’t so choosy”; or my favourite “Just settle for someone who loves you more”. My answer is usually a blank stare or a simple f**k you glance before walking away.

In truth the answer is simple. I am picky because I’m not willing to settle for anything less than butterflies. The butterflies being that feeling you get when you’re about to see him or when you realise just how much you like him. I’m not willing to compromise my expectations because my pickiness isn’t about the man but the love that could grow from that. My version of this man is somewhat ridiculous, BUT I would rather have some idea of what I like and don’t like then dive in head first blind. In truth I’ve dated men that don’t meet my expectations of physical wants, but they meet my expectations for how they make me feel. In the end if a man can make me smile, laugh, or make me feel comfortable then usually everything else gets chucked out the window. My ex, was one such man. He was my first love. Sadly I didn’t even realise I had fallen in love until he ended things. This relationship ended last year in November, so like any girl I’m still obsessing over some things. However I can look upon what we had with pride. It was the first time I actually allowed myself to let down my walls and admit to him that yes I like you a lot and yes I’m constantly terrified you’re going to hurt me. In the end he did, because he had that power over me. The reason I allowed myself to become vulnerable was because he met my expectations of what a ‘nice man’ does.

He made me laugh.
He opened my eyes to how amazingly funny sex can be.
He tried hard with my friends and got along with them.
My friends liked him.
He made me feel comfortable enough to tell him how I was feeling and what I was really thinking.
I felt it was ok to actually be honest with him when he pissed me off.
He made me feel desired.
He made me feel wanted. 

Sounds lovely yeah? It was. Trust me it was. I now understand why women find it so hard to truly move on from their first love. Because that feeling doesn’t die quickly. It haunts you. Whether it’s a week or a year later something will make you think of him and then all your effort goes into trying to ignore it. And then the comparisons start. Every man you try to date, every man you sleep with is under a constant comparison of that one man who was amazing to you. And then the list begins. That list of wants and expectations of the perfect companion. Even the physical expectations of what you want from a man changes with age. Except nothing changes more than what you think love should look like. Sure there will be those things that just annoy you for no reason and like all insane women we let them break something that could have been great.

I would never compromise my expectations of love for something that just isn’t up to scratch. That being said I wouldn’t compromise my sex life for a man I have no sexual chemistry with. In matters of love nothing is acceptable but the best, and the best for you is different from whatever happens to be the best for your friends.

So to be honest, do any of us actually know what we want? I mean one man could do the same thing as your first love, he could act the same and make you smile, but then something has changed. It doesn’t feel the same, it’s wrong, and no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to make it work. Maybe all we really want is effortless chemistry with another human being. Maybe all we want is butterflies.

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