Thirty days until my 30th birthday: I can’t say I am where I expected to be in life at this point. Saying you’re 29 and single (with two cats) just doesn’t seem as sad as saying you’re 30 and single (with two cats). Thirty and single with two cats, and having never been in love.
I think this means I get to get a third cat as a consolation prize. (I won’t, as the balance of cats-to-hands is perfect).
I just wanted to talk a little bit about rejection and validation.
As I suffer from my very own form of body dysmorphic disorder (where in my mind I’m Jessica Rabbit--sexpotliscious), I often find myself really aiming high when it comes to crushes and fixations. In for most of my early life (i.e. first grade to twelfth grade) I had a crush on the gorgeous guy who eventually became quarterback of the football team, and who just happened to be in the Honor Society. Oh and he was also one of the all-around nicest guys in the school. For a time I had crushes on the gorgeous exchange students (first from Tasmania and then from Poland) that came to my high school.
Of course these crushes were not fruitful, but I think it’s the source of one of my biggest problems. Aiming high isn’t bad -- I like to say “high standards; low expectations” -- but treating myself as I I am on the “less than” side of any relationship equation is bad. I work too hard at trying to get a guy’s attention or approval versus commanding his respect. In high school this resulted in me making a jackass of myself on more than one occasion.
I know lots of this has to do with having been heavy since I was 8. The pretty/thin girls didn’t need to make a fuss over a guys; guys made fusses over the pretty girls. The rest of us had to find some other angle. I was very lucky that my HS crush never took advantage of the situation for his own personal gain. He was always very kind in rejecting me (and even kind in me turning to him after my mom died). However, not all men have been so kind.
As a 29 year old, I can honestly say that I’ve never been pursued by a man before. No flowers, no stereos or proclamations. I’ve been sincerely asked out less than five times in my life. I don’t know if guys know how to woo anymore (romance, honesty, chivalry) or if since women stopped expecting it, men stopped doing it. Or if men are just running casting a wide net/putting a lot of hooks in the (alcohol-laden) water and just seeing who bites. (I also know that there are guys who are the complete opposite, and are decent human beings)
Now that I’m older, and the game has changed, so has the rejection. Men aren’t as direct upfront; I find they’ll often use a woman (physically/sexually, emotionally) to stroke their own ego. I know so many men that will use a woman up and discard her fully knowing he’s not even attracted to her, or doesn’t even want to be honorable to her.
This is why so many (I believe) women think chivalry is dead. To me, chivalry is wanting to prove that you are honorable, trustworthy, and good in the eyes of the one you love. Too many men are dishonorable. Sometimes we women learn this the hard way. And sometimes we keep making the same mistakes.
As I am now coming into my own, and really loving my body, I find that little has changed. Men will still reject me. Men still use me. But having a man tell me I’m beautiful, or sexy....it just doesn’t get old. I have heard it more in the past year or two than in my whole life. It strokes my ego.
I love how all my (taken) male friends keep on saying to me “I don’t know how you’re single.” They should do me a huge favor and tell their compadres this. “Hey see that girl over there that’s not dressed like a hooker, and isn’t falling over herself drunk... she’s pretty cool.”
Until then, I'm perfectly happy to look at the beautiful men and think they could be mine.
And while I'm wary-- I'm happy to hear men finally look at me more than just a friend, or a pity/easy lay.