Curiosity prompts young girls (middle school, early high school even) to explore relationships, but what of the adult women? Why do so many of them want relationships? I don't mean the women who really like a specific man, and would like a relationship with him (or her, depending on your inclinations). I mean the women who want a boyfriend in general. Why? Because of fear, as we have touched on in previous articles. This fear stems from the idea of being alone. Will being single be enough? Will I be enough?
It is natural to feel the need to find someone at a certain point. Each of our bodies, for men and women alike, are like ticking time bombs: tick tick -- must find mate -- tick tick -- her ovaries could be good -- tick tick -- he looks like he would have healthy sperm -- tick tick -- BOOM. Because our society today is built less around the idea of settling young and producing offspring like rabbits, and more about independence until a late marriage (when the couple is ready to settle) with the possible help of artificial insemination or adoption to make our society feel better about waiting, well... I say tell that time bomb of yours to shhhh.
So many of my young adult friends are obsessed with finding a relationship. What do I mean by obsessed, and is this a fair word? When I first wrote "obsessed", I thought I had exaggerated. As I was about to delete it, I realized I had not. Many of my friends center their day around men: "The guy I met yesterday is so cute! I really thought I had a chance with him, and he didn't even text me back-- I'm not going out tonight," "no guys like me, why can't I find one?! -- I'm crying myself to sleep," "I always secretly hope I'll find a guy... but no guys want me -- I'm ending up alone." Granted, not all women are so adamant about relationships. But, for those who are? Breathe. If you let half the population control your every whim when they are not even aware you are letting them have so much of an affect on you? You are doomed to staying in bed with that stereotypical bowl of ice cream, watching "Grey's Anatomy," hoping your luck will change and you'll meet your McDreamy. Stop dreaming your life away!
For the young adult women reading this who complain inwardly or outwardly about not having a man, look in the mirror really quickly. What do you see? You see a unique face, ok right. How beautiful is that face? You might be thinking, "uh.... not so beautiful? That's why men don't like me? Obviously?"
Wrong. You see a young woman. A young beautiful woman. Because ladies, when I walk around the UC Berkeley campus, I can tell you that I'm always astonished at just how many beautiful women I see. And, this beauty ranges. Women who have a naturally heavier set body, with actual curves, and the most beautiful faces to match. Women who are skinnier than most, without curves, who walk with elegance, and again, with beautiful faces to match. Women who cover their faces with hair, but when the wind blows back the tendrils, you see a beautiful face they are so clearly ashamed of. Women who walk without confidence, when they absolutely should strut their stuff. So many absolutely gorgeous women, or even women who are not immediately stunning but are pretty in subtler ways that grow on you, don't realize their own worth. You should realize you're amazing! Look in that mirror: can you really tell me that you are ugly? I thought not. Can you really tell me no man would want to wake up to that every morning? Again, I thought not.
I know we all read articles like this and think, who is she to talk, she's never seen me. She's probably had a million boyfriends, how would she know how I'm feeling? Or, she probably knows nothing about men and what they want! Well, maybe it's time to tell you a little about me. I had no confidence whatsoever until the end of high school. Why? Because I was so concerned with the idea that I wasn't pretty "like the other girls." Then, one day, I woke up and realized: who cares? And, that feeling of shedding anxieties and really being able to do what I love, is the best feeling that has ever captured my body. I have had boyfriends, yes. But I wasn't kissed until much later in high school, and no boy even bothered to look at me in middle school 'til ... hmm, probably mid-high school. And, you know what? I'm not doing too badly for myself now. Things change. I changed. I grew to love myself. And, others began to love me too. That's what you have to come to, the point where you truly love yourself.
Now you might be asking, ok well I get who she is, but what about me? She's never seen me. Would she change her mind if she saw me? The answer is nope, I wouldn't. If you have a good personality, I can promise you it will light up your face-- make you glow. And, I bet you're a lot more beautiful than you realize.
We are young. We have plenty of time to worry about men. Enjoy the time you have now in the moment. Don't worry about how other people see you and your body. Because it is you and your body. No one else's.
Worry about if you feel healthy, happy and that you are pursuing your academic goals, and goals directed at the passions you have developed throughout your life: maybe it is art, maybe writing, maybe soccer, maybe singing... You have something that makes you light up when you do it. Concentrate on that. Because if you become obsessed (or keep up this obsession) with the opposite sex (or same sex), you will torment yourself into a self-pitying, weaker version of yourself ... who is maybe even affected by the rejection of a random guy you just started talking to, or affected by not getting attention from men (or people in general) while one of your other friend's gets a lot of attention, the list goes on.
Because ladies, when you do? When it seems like you really don't care? Like you're walking on cloud nine without a hand to help you? Like you're the most confident you've ever been? That's when they swoop! You just have to be patient with yourself, so you can get to a point of such confidence. And ladies, they really do swoop. All of a sudden, when you could not care less about being with a man? That's when you will start getting attention. I emphasize, you cannot be happy with someone else until you are happy with yourself. So, for now, enjoy the fact that you haven't come "closer to a guy than eye contact."
Relish the fact that you are still your own entity, and no one has taken little bits of your heart. Love the fact that you are your own person, with your own life, your own life style choices, and that these are the years to truly define you. Worry about men when, by chance, you find a man you connect with enough to date. Don't worry about men as an idealized hope for romance, because when you do find love, you won't love him for what you've always hoped him to be. You'll love him for exactly who he is: the most incredible person you'll ever meet with all his so-called flaws, just like you.
In the mean time, relax, have fun, work hard.