“Rule Number One: is that you gotta have fun.
But baby when you’re done,
You gotta be the first to run…”
-“How To Be a Heartbreaker” by Marina & The Diamonds
One thing I get asked a lot as I get older, especially around the holiday season, is if I have a boyfriend.
The answer: “Nope, I don’t really have time for a boyfriend right now.”
The response: “Oh, what a shame. It will happen soon.”
What I don’t understand is the fixation. Honestly, who has the time for a relationship these days? I certainly don’t!
I actually ran into an old teacher, who may as well be family, the other day, and she said, “So…when are you getting married?”
I froze and let out a giggle. “Oh, don’t be silly! Never!”
She laughed and told me that never was a terrible word. I tried to explain to her that I don’t think I could live with another person, and I am sincere in that.
It’s not that I don’t like people; I do.
But I don’t think I’m a relationship person.
I certainly am not a marriage-person…and for some reason, that seems to be a problem for a lot of people.
What can I say? I don’t believe that marriage really means anything anymore.
Divorce is easy now, and other than the older generations, like my grandparents, and a very small selection of adults, no one really stays together anymore. I feel kind of mean for thinking it, but in my heart of hearts, I truly believe it.
Now, let me get to my point, as the blog is called “This Side of Gumption.” People try to tie getting a “significant other” of some sort to having gumption (see clip from The Help below).
Just to try something new and different, I’m going to be honest here; dating does require some gumption. You have to have the guts to go up to someone and lay your pride on the line by saying, “Yes, I like you, and if you shoot me down, I’ll be fine.”
That’s what makes dating so nerve-racking. It’s not putting your heart on the line. It’s not the fear of falling for someone. It’s the fear of rejection.
I often think of being a little kid. I was shy as a child, and painfully so. The idea of a guy finding out I liked them in that way was terrifying…and to be honest, that didn’t fade until probably about halfway through high school.
I learned my lesson at the start of my freshman year.
The guy I’d liked for two years admitted that he had liked me, and I admitted the same. Of course, neither one of us ever did anything about it, and still didn’t once we each found out. That was when I realized how incredibly stupid I felt for not speaking up sooner.
In fact, I felt even dumber for not saying something than I probably would have if I’d spoken up and he’d said he didn’t like me back.
So yes, dating requires gumption, to a degree.
However, I also think that having the guts to stick to your guns and not date takes just as much gumption.
I mean no offense in this, but I see girls my age who put all of their energy into a relationship. The amount of engagement announcements I saw pop up on Facebook over the last three years has been ridiculous, especially bearing in mind these people’s ages ranged from sixteen to nineteen.
To each their own, but I have never been that girl.
I’m the girl whose nose was always buried in a book.
I’m the girl who would sooner be one of the boys (mind you, I’d be the one with eyeliner and lipstick, but you know…), than the girl they obsessed over.
I’m not saying I’ve never been asked out, because I have. But I don’t think I’m built for relationships.
I don’t think in terms of a “we” or an “us.” I’m creative and logical all at once. I do my best to look at the big picture, and what I need to do to accomplish my goals; and there’s no time for a love-life in there.
To even pretend that I could dedicate my time and attention to someone consistently, would be a lie, and unfair to me and to whoever decided to dedicate his time to me.
I remember explaining that to a guy once, and he called me “a tease.” I hate that term. I absolutely detest it.
He told me that I put myself out there, with makeup and perfume, and flirtatious attitude, all to shut a guy down.
The more I thought about it, the angrier I got.
I didn’t wear makeup or perfume for anyone but myself.
I like to look good and I like to smell nice.
As for a “flirtatious attitude,” if someone misconstrues my being nice to them for being flirty, that is their problem, not mine.
I get asked quite often if I have a boyfriend.
The answer is simple; the answer is “no.”
I don’t have a boyfriend because I see no point.
I haven’t the time, nor the patience.
I have too much of a conscience to lie to a guy and pretend I can be in a relationship.
But more than that, I don’t see the point of fitting into the box everyone wants to put me in.
If I want to date, I will.
But I don’t.
Relationships are not forever anymore.
Relationships are not for everyone.
In my head, I don’t want someone to be with me because they’re legally bound by a piece of paper, or because their religion or their family tells them so.
If someone wants to be with me, I like to think it will be of their own free will, and that if they stick around, it’s because they want me and they want to be there.
When people leave, it’s awful. I know that truth all too well, unfortunately.
But I also know that when you expect the very least from people, you will never be disappointed, only surprised.
No matter how many times a person sighs and tries to convince me that a relationship would be good for me, I’ll stick to my guns. I know what I want in life, and if it includes another person, great. If it doesn’t, that’s great too.
There are worse things in life than being single.
My true passion in life is not another person, it’s my dreams.
It takes gumption to put your pride on the line and to wear your heart on your sleeve, that much is true.
But it also takes gumption to stick to your guns, and work on you. How can you love someone else if you don’t know yourself?
*End of rant, I promise! But here’s another Tumblr picture for you guys!