Midnight Fryer: I’m Not Ready for a Relationship

Opinion by Yanran Lu
April 2, 2010, 12:35 a.m.

Midnight Fryer: I'm Not Ready for a RelationshipOn an unsuspecting Friday morning, I ran to Vaden in slippers and PJs to pay my weekly homage to my therapist. There he was, the “sketchy” grad student that I have not seen in a year, still as handsome as I remembered with his amber eyes and ingenuous smile. I smiled back, waved, and sat down next to him. As we slowly bridged the year-long gap, it surprised me to realize in increased clarity how we could never be together despite how “perfect” we are for each other. It was not because that he was too old for me or is in a different stage of life , but how with all the free will in the world, he chose to not be with me. And that, no matter how “perfect” a man is, is reason enough for him to not be worth my time.

This fact took me years to realize. I have always heard the saying that in order to be loved you have to love yourself. Yet somehow I have settled to be with men who are too busy for me, who have time for procrastination but not time for me; I have settled for men who “are not ready for a relationship”– in fact, I’ve heard enough guys say “I’m not ready for a relationship” and then have a girlfriend to wonder if I am cursed like Chuck from the movie Good Luck Chuck . If one were to sleep with Chuck, one would be able to find Mr. Right, and with me, one finds Ms. I-Want-to-Have-a-Relationship-With. I spent so much time wondering if there is anything that I could do so the person could fall in love with me — if I could just be sexier or wittier or smarter or some elusive secret ingredient x-er. But no matter how hard I try, they are completely oblivious and continue to treat me with their half-assed attitudes with unlimited smirks thrown in as a bonus deal while I beat myself up for not being lovable enough. After some of these brutal reality TV show reruns, I realized that they are just saying “I’m not ready for a relationship with YOU,” pronouncing the “with YOU” part silently. So trying to change their mind and make them fall in love with me was like trying to convert a Fundamental Christian to an Atheist–frustrating and, for the most part, futile.

A friend of mine had a similar experience. She was once with a guy who never went down on her and thought that he must just not do “that”. But after a night spent hearing another woman moaning and screaming in ecstasy with him on the other side of the wall, she realized that he just chose to not give the attention to her. It was a good realization–instead of wasting more time on him, she focused on finding someone who is better for her–and she did. Not only is she and her boyfriend very in love with each other and treat each other with respect, they went on a competition to see who can give each other more orgasms–a game perhaps none of us mind taking part in. So after hearing her story, I thought wow, there might still be hope for singles like me!

With this new perspective, I wondered why I keep wasting energy on people who choose to be assholes to me and break my heart? While I obsessed with being the “perfect low-maintenance girl,” I forgot to demand the attention and treatment I deserved. He got exactly what he wanted while I was left feeling deeply unsatisfied and unhappy. Why was I trading off my happiness so a person who did not care about me can have his ways and laugh at my gullibility? Think back, I had petty reasons such as “he’s cute/smart/has a perfect six-pack that is more like a ‘sex’-pack” to answer for myself. None of which, nor the summation of which, outweighs the fatal flaw of his not treating me properly. So I said, “fuck it–you are not worth my precious time, Ciao!”

Just like that (and with some withdrawal symptoms), I gave up on “projects” and “jerks,” and I hope you would too if you have not done so already (vice versa for guys). Because at the end of the day, even though I am single, I can still say that I feel good about myself and that I love myself. I am not letting myself be with someone who makes me feel negligible. Sometimes I even thank the guys who have been jerks to me– because without them having been jerks, I might still be stuck with these guys and not be receptive to someone truly good for me. And perhaps I should also be thankful for my incessant wealth of optimism–because after so many heartbreaks, I still look forward to love and have not given up hope.

For mental support in giving up your unhealthy addiction, send your SOS to [email protected].

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