Pessimism and Bed Covers

The fact of the matter is that I grew up in a generation rife with Disney fairy tales and nineties romantic comedies. Was I bred to be a romantic that was destined for disappointment? Or am I truly just a pessimist looking to be proven wrong (or right)?

There’s that small pit in my stomach, even on my happiest of days, that reminds me that I am alone. And in the society I was raised in, this is almost the ultimate definition of failure.

Let me clarify: the society I was raised in, that I consider my main vein of influence, was middle class affluence with parents that are still happily married, and in a town where marrying high school sweethearts is not something from a novel, but a possibility that was a true reality.

So, there’s a lot of influence behind seeing successful relationships around me almost constantly, and it came down to the simple question:

What is life without love and someone to share it with?

In practicality it upsets and depresses me when I think about all the places I could have visited and the lives I could have lived by this point; time wasted on this guy or another.

The one I thought I could fix.

The one with empty promises.

The one who rescued me, but was still totally wrong for me.

The one who destroyed me.

There were those who fell between, but these are those who have markedly affected my life.

The fantastical side of me even writes my own soppy love story some evenings with a glass of wine in my hand and my cat in my lap. A meet cute in an unlikely place, despite it being one I frequent, a glance across a room, a quick but meaningful conversation, and the game is afoot. Obviously high jinks would ensue, and the story would have ups and downs, but the ending is always the same: with someone.

And I hate that.

There is that part of me that thinks having a romantic partner is essential. It disgusts me in some ways, because it should be the ramblings of a weaker woman to feel this way, right?

But women who do feel that way are not weak.

I am not weak.

It’s not weakness to want to be loved.

It’s human nature.

However, I find myself caught between the idea that I’m supposed to have these things and part of me wants them badly enough I could cry.

The other part of me, though, desperately craves independence and autonomy. I desire the control I have in making plans for myself, the fact that I can carve my own path and could pick up and move to another city — or state — without having to consider someone else, the feel of not having to share my bed, spreading out and hogging the covers to myself.

Is it just the consequence of growing up as a baby boomer’s child that has cultivated this dichotomy of feelings?

According to some research, around half of the baby boomer generation was reported to be married, and compared to only a quarter of my generation, the millennials. Although marriage rates are not inclusive of those who are coupled, but choose to not take “the ultimate plunge,” as I’ve heard it called.

Clearly I am not the only one who is still un-coupled in my twenties, but it certainly feels that way when I play party to couples and serve as the perpetual third, fifth, and sometimes seventh, wheel.

But being this extra wheel does not make me the weakest link, no matter what that one side of me says.

Those Disney princesses are always singing about finding love and finding their prince.

But there aren’t princes or true loves, from what I’ve felt and what I’ve witnessed: love takes work, time, and patience. And you know what?

Maybe I’m just not ready to share my covers yet.

#love #relationships #romance #personal essay