It hit me suddenly, and quite unexpectedly; a realisation that summed up my dating life for the past four years.
I have always been a romantic at heart, the kind of cliché that laps up terrible Rom-Coms and believes the best in the worst kind of situations. Being even more of a typical single-girl, last night I went to the movies by myself, to see the not-so-terrible Italian film The Space Between. In a nutshell, the film follows ex-chef Marco, as he tries to come to grips with the loss of his best friend Claudio after he’s killed suddenly in a car crash. When Aussie girl Olivia, comes to his home-town Udine, everything is shaken the hell up, and she becomes the ray of sunshine he didn’t know he needed.
Long story short, she helps him to heal and over the period of a few days, they realise that there may be something a bit special between them. The final scene (**spoiler alert**) is the two of them embracing as they discuss the irony that she will be staying in Udine for a design internship, and he will be going to Melbourne for a job as a sous-chef. Do they make it? I don’t know. But what I’m so unbelievably certain of, is that in that moment of uncertainty, the sure thing was that they both had chosen each other. And so, after the credits began rolling, I bolted from the cinema trying to cover up the fact that I was moments away from bawling my eyes out.
So what is this realisation, you may be wondering? Aside from me needing to get a life instead of seeing movies alone..
Well, it’s that I have spent far too much time waiting to be plucked up and propped on to a worthy-enough pedestal by some guy. I say this on behalf of most women by the way, because even if you are an independent lady, wanting intimacy doesn’t make you needy it just makes you human.
My friends, the ones who are in long-term committed relationships, like to remind me that when the honeymoon period is over, the real stuff begins. Truthfully, I’ve never been in a relationship long enough to see what that looks like, maybe because I pick the wrong people or maybe because the timing is just off. Either way, this illusive thing that I crave, and that we all do on some level, has been hanging over my head like a crown of thorns.
Whether it’s waiting for someone to initiate a conversation, or waiting on a reply to some text, in every instance I let the person take a little more control over my feelings. And by doing that, I have been actively deciding, that I wasn’t OK enough on my own, to be OK regardless of the outcome.
Of course, more often than not those people end up being with other girls who they do decide on. This is the hard part, especially when you don’t want to seem childish and remove them from all forms of social media.
The point is not to see yourself as less worthy because of how things didn’t turn out, yet rather to see it as an outcome where two people have chosen each other. This to me, encompasses everything I’m feeling right now, far more than trying to vilify the people I’ve dated. Yes, I could sit around and continue along the lines of ‘You’re better than her’ and ‘He doesn’t know what He’s missing’, but I believe we’re more dignified than that.
What I’m talking about, is far bigger than banking on a guy to finally pick you as ‘the one’ he’s been searching for. It’s greater and far more satisfying than waiting around with a drink in hand, for a guy to get the courage to approach you at a bar.
If we can all stop yearning, and longing to be chosen by someone, and choose ourselves instead, then this process will be made a whole lot more simple and enjoyable. Because even though I don’t have enough experience with relationships to know what that level feels like, I know that when eventually I do decide to be with someone, it will be entirely a mutual decision.
Maybe it won’t look like a picturesque sunset in Udine in Northern Italy, with two lovers embracing, but it will look like my own..our own version. Wait for that, it’s the good stuff. In the meantime, take yourself out to the movies on a Saturday night with a glass of wine and enjoy your singledom.