Last week, I was mainly exercising my aggressive side but this week I am revisiting the issues of desires.
It was always hard for me to know what I wanted from almost any aspect in my life. The worst thing was I knew it was important to know what you want and to have the vision that you want to achieve, except I was very lost for a while and kept exploring then feeling like it would never happen. Especially when it came to my future career path during my second year; I was looking at investment banking, then international development, then back to research and doing an internship in that during the summer, then realising I don’t want to do it anymore.
Studying abroad last year and having quite dramatic start there (will be discussed, if say, I’m writing about themes of betrayal or drunken sex), which died down eventually after the Christmas holidays. A lot of things changed after the holidays. Many people left after the first semester and I came back to London to find out people had left too while I was abroad. In some sense, I was dealing with losses after the holidays and being somewhat irrationally sad from finding out all my favourite Starbucks baristas at my former favourite Starbucks, which really has turned to shit now, have left or were going to leave. I realised I was really alone this time, and for the longest time I had not felt lonely until then, because everything in the flat would remind me of my former American flatmate, and while my new flatmates were nice, it wasn’t the same.
During that time, I stumbled upon Taylor Swift’s advice in Glamour about relationships (goddammit I thought I had saved all my photos and screenshots to Flickr and Glamour is not showing older issues on the app). I was casually reading it at first but what she said I really agreed with. And that was when I became conscious of my relationship with myself (before it was almost always self-confrontation) and how vulnerable that relationship and my self-independence was, when it was very clear that I should have been making an effort to protect them. That was when I started using Tinder to explore and, in some strange way, to test how much I cared about my relationship and my independence.
“Your conversation, your outlook, your wit, your accomplishments, your charisma, those things should challenge him. Any MAN knows that if you’re showing him all of these qualities, you could just as easily show them to someone else if he plays games. You know what they say, play games with a girl, she’ll chase you. Play games with a woman, she’ll replace you.”
“I realised that my friends who had found solid relationships had usually found them with people who didn’t initially need them, it started out as just a want. These people had already gotten their lives to a place where they didn’t feel like there were any missing pieces, then they met someone and all of a sudden made room in their already great lives for somebody great to love… I know it’s impossible to generalise relationships because every one is different, but I think if I were to ever let someone into my life, it wouldn’t be someone who made me feel like I was filling some gaping void in his life. It would be someone who was happy with his life but just really wanted me to be in it.”
– Taylor Swift
But I think I became overprotective of them. I was never for the idea of a relationship but I came so against it that I didn’t realise I did like someone until months after (when I was seeing him during that brief time, I just felt certain, not sure of what, but I definitely have never felt that way about anyone before). So when people asked me what I was looking for on Tinder, at first I was a little shy, so basically saying nothing serious when really I only wanted to hookup. At the beginning, I did my challenges (you’d know what I mean if you have heard of Barney’s perfect week from How I Met Your Mother). After I completed them, I lost a sense of purpose, but had exams to think my mind off that. But I would still keep it vague after that, mainly because I really still didn’t know what I wanted. And I didn’t need to because somehow being abroad meant I didn’t have to deal with the consequences, something that has proven to be true so far.
Fast forward to New Year’s Eve, I hooked up with my friend’s friend (seems to occur frequently when I’m drunk to my embarrassment) but from that night it became clearer to me what I wanted. Since coming back to London, I had met up with toe guy three times, but each time I was feeling more and more like he was disrespecting me. I never felt that way when I was in Copenhagen. It was something new that I was experiencing, and similarly with some other guys too. It was them disrespecting my time and my work. Toe guy called my doing applications boring, too. Whereas in Copenhagen, the guys understood when I had work to do and couldn’t meet, okay maybe until a certain point because I didn’t want to date then so I kept giving excuses until they just stopped asking. I feel terrible about that. I guess I wasn’t brave enough to say that I didn’t want to date.
Anyway, New Year’s Eve, I booty called (how else can you phrase this?!) bed guy – someone I knew before going abroad, wouldn’t put it past him to be a Trump supporter if he were American – and toe guy. Thank God, I did not meet with both of them that night (still not sure how clear it was that I hooked up with someone else after I booty called them). That night with my friend’s friend made me realise that there was this mutual respect, which is what I wanted. I knew I still didn’t want anything serious but mutual respect is a must. I never disrespected any guys I was with and I don’t expect any guys I hook up with to disrespect me, which really was the case in Copenhagen. Perhaps there really is cultural differences after all. The most surprisingly thing was, even in America, I didn’t feel like I was being disrespected.
Now this week I have been swiping more again, and when guys ask me what I’m looking for on [insert dating app name here], I simply just phrase it as friends with benefit. The weirdest thing, all the guys who have asked me that in the last week, at least 5 or 6, have all agreed that’s what they are looking for, which made me question if they even knew what they were looking for. Before, I answered with just hooking up and nothing serious or nothing serious, and they agreed, too. Are guys mostly just yes-men?
Since I was applying for PhD applications, I had to write an academic CV and wanted to make sure that I explained my projects simply enough so people with non-science background can understand. I sent it to two guys that I was talking to during that time, and they both said that it looked good, whereas my friends pointed out quite an obvious grammar mistake that I had overlooked and, well it was obvious to me as well, that it was too long.
After this I am questioning if I have more opinions than these guys I meet online? I usually don’t feel like I have much of an opinion on anything as well. This is really saying something about them. Maybe I should test this out by saying I’m looking for a relationship to the next few guys who ask me what I’m looking for…
Until next time 🙂