Upholding the reputation of the ‘single friend’, I don’t often turn around to my friends and admit that I genuinely like someone. However, when I do it normally garners the response “you fancy everyone!”. And yes, as much as I do have a wandering eye, sometimes you meet someone with more than good looks and good conversation.
I turn from the dismissive and distant girl that’s queuing up potential Tinder dates to somewhat of a love-fool. But having perfected the art of the independent lifestyle, meeting that person induces a palpable shock to your once lonely routine.
In my teenage years, I certainly took bronze in the ‘crazy girlfriend’ category – mainly because I was young, hormonal and inable to stand the surge of emotion coarsing through me. But even with the infinite-wisdom of a twenty-three year old, I find the influx of emotions somewhat unbearable.
Suddenly you’re deleting a multitude of dating-apps from your phone as the calm and knowingness of singledom literally slips through your fingers.
With all the energy I channel into bemoaning the single life, you may well think I’d welcome a relationship. But in reality, they petrify me. I hate the uncertainty and my inability to shake the feeling of inevitable failure.
You become irrational and turn from blasé to irrate, wondering what your new conquest is doing, how much they like you, whether they’re meeting up with anyone else and if you’ll even be talking to them in a month’s time. You go from ‘going with the flow’ to emotional overdrive.
Many of my ex-conquests would agree that I’m somewhat of a cat; my reciprocated affection is fleeting – smother me and it won’t end well for you.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been the girl who was cheated on at a party I invited my then boyfriend to. Or maybe because I was the girl dumped by a text whilst in a coffee shop as I cried into my latte. Or it could be because of that time I re-wrote my boyfriend’s dissertation, only to never see him again.
You just can’t win with me. As much as I adore attention, I also have an irrational fear of affection. The looming prospect of ‘going steady’ makes me stiff and as quickly as I fell for him, I fall out of him.
There really is nothing more patronising than being told you’re ‘too young’ to understand the intricacies of a relationship. Yet, as much as that comment infuriates me, I’ve developed a rationalism over the past years that I certainly didn’t have in previous relationships. And ironically, that’s what makes relationships even harder to comprehend – knowing that I can’t react like a girl anymore because I’m a fully-fledged woman now.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to be told to ‘stop overthinking things’. But that’s not a switch so easily turned off. By nature I think ahead – in fact, as I’m writing this I’m wondering whether I’ll re-read this in years to come from my private office in a high-fashion magazine, laughing at my naivety. But in this instant, imagining that I may be with the same person in even just a years time throws me off balance.
Frustratingly, I have no conclusion to come to. My detached attitude may be a coping mechanism but I actually like this somewhat ‘cold’ aspect of my personality. All I can do is hope that someone finds my awkward apathy endearing.
Images via Giphy.