I’m done with feeling like some guy’s boyfriend. I’m usually the one to express my feelings first and I always feel like I have to be the one in control. It’s this strange combination of bold and pushy. But when I met an incredible guy who finally made me feel like I was the girlfriend, it totally changed my perspective.
I know what a great date looks like. You’d probably imagine hiking as the least romantic first date ever, but our 3.5-hour long coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach near Sydney, Australia could not have been any more beautiful. We ended our walk with dinner and drinks at the last beach, gelato, and me discovering the show Narcos after we took an Uber back to his place. Once his roommate returned with his car, he drove me 45 minutes home and kissed me goodnight on the cheek. Calling it the perfect date would be an understatement.
I think we should feel comfortable right away. I think people can grow on you and as you get to know them better, you like them more. However, I feel like a sense of comfort is immediate; either you have it or you don’t. I went on four or five dates with a guy last fall who I never felt comfortable around, and I think I was much too generous with my time. I don’t need to hear angels singing, see fireworks, or feel butterflies, but I also shouldn’t be twiddling my thumbs or people watching the entire date because I don’t know what to talk about.
Being thoughtful and considerate are now non-negotiables. I used to settle for a guy simply being kind, but I no longer see a guy being considerate as the icing on the cake—it is the cake. I’m constantly scheming ways I can make others’ lives easier and how to make them smile, and I deserve for someone else to be thinking of me for a change.
A genuinely good guy respects boundaries. To think that I came across a straight guy who was completely faithful and agreed to be celibate and I screwed things up. It’s something I regret several years later. What I did learn was that a great guy isn’t pushy, takes no for an answer, and shows nothing but respect. We never went further than I was comfortable with and that’s usually the downfall or the biggest regret in my relationships.
I shouldn’t have to initiate all the plans. It’s been refreshing to go from the girl who planned date nights or asked her dates to take her to see this play or try this restaurant to the woman who can just get dressed and show up. Dating this guy was so refreshing because he wanted to see me, he told me so, and he made plans to do it. Shouldn’t it always be this way?
I shouldn’t have to question how someone feels about me. He was so upfront about what he was thinking and how he felt. It’s unfortunate that things ended over a misunderstanding. In Australia, it’s perfectly normal to tell your employer or your partner that you’re leaving for a holiday and will see them in a month. I took him wanting to travel around for four weeks as him not valuing our relationship when really he was just going on vacation with his friends while they were visiting from the UK.
My needs should always be met. When I lived in Australia, I would literally overdraft at least once a month because I was the worst at checking my bank statement and couldn’t keep the minimum $25 in my account. My mom would call me and I’d give her permission to open my mail and she’d remind me to move money from savings. My guy was my saving grace. He made sure I ate three times a day when I’d stay with him on his days off. With him, I had an escape from my the noise of having 9-11 roommates and cooking in the hostel kitchen. He actually gave a damn about me and it felt amazing.
I’ve discovered the key to overcoming my clingy tendencies. I learned that if I don’t have the money or the car, I don’t have the means to be extra with my guy. What a relief because I’ve been wondering for years how I could snap myself out of my hopeless romanticism.
A guy who judges the way I show affection isn’t the one for me. I literally had nothing to offer this guy but attention and he never made me feel inadequate because I couldn’t offer to pay for lunch and I couldn’t make him dinner because I was terrible at cooking. He let me empty the dishwasher while he cleaned up, iron his clothes for the week while he cooked, and make the bed. I always expressed how much I appreciated him and did everything I could to let him know how much I cared. It was totally 50/50 and that’s how the best relationships should be.
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