wanting love

It took me until I was 16 to figure out that boys could be more than just friends or people I could play basketball with. At an age where most girls are already a good way through puberty, I had yet to discover such things as miniskirts and cleavage-bearing glitter tops. The learning curve was steep. While other girls seemed to take to innocuous hair-tossing and flirty eyelash-batting like fish to water, I was the girl on the dance floor enjoying the music too much to realize when someone wanted to dance with me.

Time has passed, but that hasn't really changed. I still need to check with friends to make sure someone is actually flirting with me, and while I like to think I've grown more confident and more secure in myself and my personality, the lack of male attention in my life has stayed the same. I was reflecting on the six months of online dating that are now coming to an end, and I caught myself wondering what I could have done better to end up with a result that isn't zero dates. Maybe I should have chosen a different photo with longer hair, or I shouldn't have mentioned the X-Men in my profile, or tried to be funny in a way that doesn't translate in print... shoulda woulda coulda.

The thing is this: I don’t want to pretend to be someone or something that I’m not in order to be in a relationship, and I refuse to settle for just anything.

I want someone who likes that I feel strongly about why Sour Cream and Onion Pringles are the only acceptable kind, and why Ryan Gosling really isn’t all that; someone who thinks it’s cute that I laugh at my own jokes, and who appreciates the close relationship I have with my family; someone who enjoys my Type-A personality, but will also call me out when I am being obnoxious and bossy; who understands that sometimes, you just need to yell at the contestants on reality competitions because they are being stupid, and that a ginormous David Beckham poster is acceptable wall d├ęcor at any age. Basically, I just want someone who will respect me completely, and love me unconditionally, flaws and all. Someone who will make already fantastic things even better, another whole person to complement my whole person, and together, we'll be something greater than the sum of our parts.

As I get older and have yet to be in a relationship or do any sort of significant dating, it gets harder to hold onto the certainty that there's a person out there who fits that description. It gets harder to look at the photos of people's weddings and baby showers and not feel a pang of loneliness and a sense of longing that is physically painful.

I don't need someone to fix me. I don't need someone to complete me. I want a person to tell my secets to. I want someone to wake up next to, to hold my hand, someone's hair to brush out of their face, someone to dazzle with my cooking and charm. I want someone to have adventures with, and someone to spend a lazy day on the couch with, and to talk all night. I want the big milestones and the little anniversaries, the fights and the tears and the apologies along with the smiles and the laughter and the love. I don't need a boyfriend, I need an equal, a companion, a lover, and a friend.

Is that too much to ask?